APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

November 25, 2003

APPROVED – December 9, 2003

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde (arrived after the meeting commenced), Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Victor Danevich, Town Administrator Tom Gaydos

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Members of the press and general public.

 

Mr. Richard Derby

              

The Vice Chairman, William McDevitt, opened the meeting at approximately 6:35 pm. 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

November 4, 2003 - deferred to the next scheduled meeting.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Tessier, Request to acquire easement over Town land

 

Mr. Dennis Tessier Sr., and Mr. Dennis Tessier Jr., both of 21 St. Margaret’s Drive met with the Selectmen to request the acquisition of a Town owned right-of-way so it may be used as access to their lot.  Mr. Tessier Jr. said he had requested a variance from the Board of Adjustment, but they decided to continue the case until after the Selectmen had the opportunity to review.  He said the Board of Adjustment informed that they would deny the case if access wasn’t obtained through the Town owned property. 

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

Mr. Gaydos provided a brief history of the land and the line of ownership.  The land had been abandoned by a developer (who changed his plan and no longer needed the land for access), and the Town took the property for non-payment of taxes. 

 

Mr. Tessier Sr. discussed the costs associated with constructing a Town acceptable road ($400-$600 per foot), which would not be financially feasible for one house lot. 

 

Mr. Lynde said in a letter (drafted in 1989) from Town Counsel, it was counsel’s opinion that the lots were not separate, but in fact, lot 1a was part of lot 1, and lot 2a was part of lot 2.  Mr. Tessier Sr. said the lots were purchased at separate times and they received a separate tax bill for the lot.  Mr. Lynde read a portion of counsel’s letter that reviewed the status of the lots.  It was noted that the Planning Board minutes of September 16, 1974 and September 18, 1972 to state that the approval of the strip between lots 1-1a and 2-2a was a right-of-way, not a road.  The notation on the plan approving lots 1a and 2a states that 1a is to be added to lot 1 and lot 2a is to be added to lot 2.  Mr. Gaydos added that it would have been better if the Planning Board had required at that time that the line between lots 1 - 1a and 2 - 2a be eliminated; for assessing purposes the lots were separated, but could not exist as separate lots under the current condition.  He said the request presented to the Selectmen was if passage over the Town owned portion would be granted, not if the lot was buildable, which would be the decision of a land-use board.  The Selectmen discussed the options; it was noted if an easement were granted, the Town regulations would not be adhered to.       

 

Mr. Danevich believed the decision of the Selectmen was pivotal for surrounding lots.  He was not in favor of selling the land because it would create a land-lock situation for lot 2 - 2a.  He also noted that the cul-de-sac could, at some time, be extended for future development if passage over the right-of-way were allowed. 

 

Mr. Mark Schmidt, 19 St Margaret Drive (owner of lot 2 - 2a) said that the plan was originally drawn so that the lots would have frontage onto the right-of-way now owned by the Town.  He believed the lots were meant to be buildable.  Mr. Danevich said if that were the case, it was also meant that a road was to be built.  Mr. Schmidt agreed.  Mr. Danevich said it was clear that approval with the subdivision was with the condition of building a road and the request being presented was a subdivision without building road, which would not be in accordance with Town regulations.  Mr. Tessier Jr. said the circumstances had changed since the lots intended to have access now had access onto another road.  Mr. Danevich felt the legality of the lots  being buildable was the issue.  Mr. McDevitt believed if granted, others may come forward requesting the same access.  Mr. Lynde noted that the acreage of the lots may not meet the required acreage. 

 

Mr. Tessier Jr. asked if the turn-around added by the Town for Town trucks could be considered an extension off St. Margaret’s Drive and used to gain frontage.  The Selectmen answered no, because it would have to be owned by the person using it for the frontage.

 

Mr. Danevich suggested that the Selectmen request that Town Counsel reaffirm the opinion previously given and also request a specific legal interpretation for the legality of the lot and rights of passage. 

 

Mr. Tessier Jr. asked if the Selectmen’s opinion would be different if the Town owned parcel were purchased by them and Mr. Schmidt.  Mr. Danevich said if the land were sold it may open the ability for future subdivision.  He believed the correct answer was given in 1969, which was that a road should be built.  Mr. Gaydos reiterated that legal opinion stated there were two lots (one on the right and one on the left).  Legal opinion also stated that the right-of-way was private, belonging to the owner (the Town of Pelham) and not a public way, or street, accordingly lots 1a and 2a have no road frontage.  He felt the burden of further legal review was the responsibility of the applicant (Mr. Tessier). 

 

Mr. Tessier Jr. said the request being made was the purchase of the land for them, and Mr. Schmidt for subdivision and access to the lots.  Mr. Gaydos said there would be additional requirements to be met with subdividing land.  Mr. Lynde suggested submitting a petition warrant article for Town Meeting vote.  It was noted if the land was purchased, a plan would need to be submitted to the land use boards.  Mr. Tessier will speak with Mr. Gaydos to find out what steps need to be followed for submitting a petition warrant article. 

 

WARRANT ARTICLE REVIEW

 

Highway Warrant Articles

 

Highway Agent Don Foss met with the Selectmen to discuss the warrant articles being submitted for approval.  The warrant articles were as follows: 1) placement of $75,000 in the Capital Reserve Fund for bridge reconstruction of the Willow Street bridge; 2) $236,000 for the Highway Block Grant; 3) $78,800 for a 4x4 backhoe; Mr. Foss noted that the request was a critical need. 4) $576,000 for a garage; Mr. Foss said that the Town owned over $600,000 in equipment and a garage would help staff when preparing for going out in the winter as well as a heated place for equipment repair in the winter; 5) $47,500 for a one-ton plow, which would replace a 1994 truck.     

 

Library Warrant Articles

 

Library Trustees Ann Francher and Linda Killbride met with the Selectmen to discuss the warrant articles being submitted.  The warrant articles were as follows: 1) $24,363 for a Children’s librarian; Ms. Killbride informed that the circulation percent had increased and a full time librarian was needed so that the Library could focus programs for youths.  Ms. Francher said the Trustees were extremely thoughtful when submitting the warrant article.  She noted that the position was critical to providing services.  2) $23,724 for ADA Library renovation which would redirect funds (of a warrant article for the old library building) to provide automatic door openers at the library and other Town buildings.  The funds may be used to make the buildings more handicap accessible. 

 

Senior Center Warrant Articles

 

Senior Center Director Sue Hovling met with the Selectmen to discuss the warrant article being submitted for placement of $25,000 in the Seniors Bus Capital Reserve Fund.  Ms. Hovling said the bus would be ten years old next year and currently had 75,000 miles.  The estimated cost of a new bus would be between $63,000 - $65,000, a portion of which may be able to be covered by grant money.  The current bus could be used for a trade-in since it was owned by the Town. 

 

Police Warrant Articles

 

Police Chief Evan Haglund and Lieutenant Joseph Roark met with the Selectmen to discuss the warrant articles being submitted.  The warrant articles were as follows: 1) $62,928 for police cruisers (which was originally in the budget, but removed by the Budget Committee); 2) $32,426 for a Police Officer; 3) Based upon the new RSA 32:6a - $42,000 for the School Resource Officer (as agreed to when Federal Grant money conditions were accepted); if not approved, the Town will be obligated to return the $125,000 received in grant monies.  The new RSA was reviewed, and it was suggested that language should be added to the warrant article to inform voters that the money would be offset/reduced by funds contained in the Police Operating Budget. 

 

Chief Haglund gave a brief presentation which documented the need for an additional Police Officer due to population growth, work duty percentages and  number of hours off-road completing reports.  Statistics were also provided for the increases in burglaries, thefts, vandalisms, drug offenses, accidents and DWI arrests; there was a decrease in summons and warnings because officers were detained off the road by arrests and paperwork.  The current number of officers was 1.4 per 1000 people - the averages were between 1.8 and 2.0 per 1000 people.  It was noted that since 2000 the Pelham Police Department had returned over $310,000 from their budget to the taxpayers.  Chief Haglund ended by saying that the population would not decrease, the number of officers was substantially lower than documented averages and increasing patrol officers was imperative to keep Pelham a safe community for residents.   

 

Fire Warrant Articles

 

Fire Chief David Fisher, Assistant Chief Raymond Cashman, Firefighter/EMT Bob Chatel, Firefighter James Midgley and Firefighter Greg Atwood met with the Selectmen to discuss the submitted warrant articles.  The warrant articles were as follows: 1) $52,000 for two defibulators; 2) $130,000 for four firefighter/EMT; 3) $10,000 for Ambulance Capital Reserve; this is the same as presented in previous years;  4) $20,000 grant matching; 5) $30,000 protective clothing; turn-out gear used when fighting fires. 6) $19,450 for sub-station survey.

 

Firefighter/EMT Bob Chatel explained the use and need for the defibulators.  He then reviewed advantages of owning the equipment based upon the advancement of technology which increased from 45% effective to 69% effective at resuscitating individuals.  He said the machine provided continuous monitoring of various body functions as well as contacting the hospital via cell phone enabling the patient to by-pass the emergency room.  He noted that the current machines had trade-in value which would help off-set the cost of the new equipment.   

 

Firefighter Midgley made a brief presentation to the Selectmen which provided information/statistics outlining the need of four firefighter/EMT positions.  The Fire Department was looking to increase staff to match the Town’s growth, which would allow adequate protection.  It was noted that the square footage of the homes has increased, because some are difficult to reach, more water is required for suppression.  The nationally recognized standard is two people in a structure, while two remain available outside in the event of a rescue.  Mr. Midgley noted that when an intermediate person was hired, it was required that they become advanced within the first year.  With additional personnel the impact on the emergency medical services would allow staffing for a second ambulance, an increase in availability of advanced life support, more effective utilization of personnel, improved care for critical care patients, increased manpower at multiple patient incidents, and more rapid delivery of services where EMS and fire/rescue are required at the same time.  The impact of additional personnel would impact fire and rescue through an increase in survivability for victims, a decrease in property loss, increase in safety for fire-fighting personnel and an increase in operational effectiveness.   

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the decrease in call fire fighters and the need for the station to be covered.  Chief Fisher said there may be some people coming forward in the near future. 

 

Chief Fisher stated that they would like to see a  $1,100,000 warrant article to put a substation in the vicinity of Ledge Road/Harris Inn area.  He understood that there were some in the general public, and in Town government that were reviewing the possibility of borrowing a bond for construction of three substations.  He said presently, they were only seeking to do one substation.  He said because there was a need to review the Town as a whole, they have brought forward a warrant article (in the amount of $19,450) which would allow a study for the needs/feasibility of fire stations.  The funds would be withdrawn from the fund established for the construction of new fire stations from impact fees on newly constructed homes.  Chief Fisher said if impact fees could not be used for studies, the language would be deleted from the warrant, except the funds would be raised and appropriated.  He said at this point in time he would go along with the recommendation Assistant Chief Cashman, and unless there was an objection, he would take the $1,100,000 warrant article ‘off the table’.  There were no objections from the Selectmen, with the exception of Mr. Bergeron who was in favor of the warrant article for one substation, as well as the warrant article for conducting a survey of the Town.  There was a brief discussion regarding impact fees and the requirements of collecting them.  Mr. McDevitt said he supported a substation, but felt additional information was needed. 

 

There was further discussion regarding the study.  Assistant Chief explained that some of the background would be done internally (call statistics, etc.), and by working in conjunction with Planning to review build out areas.  He provided an example of the type of companies that would be asked to create the conceptual/cost estimate review.  Chief Fisher said that the Ledge Road area was a critical area for adequate coverage; response time needs to be reduced.  He said buildings were being allowed and the Town needed to protect the residents.  Mr. Lynde felt the study may show the need for more substations in the area.  Mr. Danevich said if the study was approved, he asked that it be commissioned immediately based upon the public hearing process. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked how the substation would be manned.  Chief Fisher said the substation would be manned by call firefighters.  He discussed the importance of the call firefighters and noted that without their support, the full-time personnel could not handle what is needed to get done.  He said with the substation, response time could be cut dramatically. 

 

Chief Fisher said he didn’t have the warrant article drafted for the fire grant match, and requested that the Selectmen allow him to present it at the next scheduled meeting.  He discussed the items that may be applied for through grants. 

 

Cemetery

 

Mr. Richard Jensen provided the Selectmen with an updated warrant article for a cemetery garage that reflected the increased cost of construction based upon a recent estimate.  Cost increased from $97,150 to $119,900.     

 

Mr. Danevich asked if thought had been given to turning the Annex building over to the Cemetery.  Mr. Jensen noted that handicap accessibility would be an issue as well as the door measurements, which would barely fit the vehicles. 

 

Mr. Jensen discussed the proposed building and how it would benefit the Cemetery as well as the Town.  He noted that the figure submitted to the Selectmen included the septic system.  He provided a cost breakdown for review.   

 

Town Warrant Articles

 

The Selectmen made the following motions in connection with submitted warrant articles.

 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the $535,000 warrant article (to be bonded over a five-years) for Revaluation. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approve the $52,000 warrant article for Defibulators.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To support the $10,000 warrant article for Ambulance Capital Reserve.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve the $20,000 warrant article for Fire Grant Matching; Mr. McDevitt seconded the motion for discussion.  He did not support $20,000.  Mr. Danevich suggested reducing the amount to $10,000.  Mr. McDevitt made a motion to approve $10,000 for Fire Grant Matching.  Mr. Danevich seconded. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve $10,000 for Fire Grant Matching.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To support the $30,000 warrant article for Fire Protective Clothing.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To support the $19,450 warrant article for Fire Sub-Station Survey.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To support the $75,000 warrant article for Highway Bridges.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To support the $78,800 warrant article for Highway 4x4 Backhoe.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $235,961 warrant article for Highway Block Grant.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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Mr. Danevich reduced the Seniors Bus Capital Reserve warrant article request from $25,000 to $15,000.

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approved the $15,000 warrant article for the Seniors Bus Capital Reserve.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $62,928 warrant article for Police Cruisers.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $32,426 warrant article for a Police Officer. 

 

VOTE:

 

(3 - 1 - 0) The motion carries.  Mr. Bergeron voted no.

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Mr. Lynde said that the warrant article would be worded to reflect that the appropriation would be identified within the Police Department Budget. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approve the $42,000 warrant article for the School Resource Officer.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 – 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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Mr. Gaydos discussed the need for a reserve that would cover emergencies in connection with the new Municipal Building.

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the $50,000 warrant article for Town Building Fund, the Board of Selectmen shall be named as agents for the fund; money will be dispersed through action of the Board of Selectmen.   

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approve the $15,000 warrant article for Compensated Absence.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 – 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve $35,000 warrant article for Technology Plan. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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There was a brief discussion regarding how the money would be bonded.  Mr. Gaydos said that a bond anticipation note could provide flexibility to decide when best to close the bond.  He said there would be authorization to borrow up to $3,000,000, which would not lapse.  Mr. Danevich wanted to know if there would be any cost to taxpayers if there were no land acquisition in 2004.  Mr. Gaydos answered no and said that any appropriation would go back to the General Fund.  He said the authorization would be in place until it was rescinded by the voters. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approve the $3,000,000 warrant article for Conservation Fund. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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The money was being requested so it may be added to the funds raised last year. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To approve the $35,000 warrant article for Spring Street Betterment.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 – 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the $495,000 warrant article for Campbell Betterment.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $23,724 warrant article for ADA Library Renovation.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the $1000 warrant article for Raymond Park Trees.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $9000 warrant article for Raymond Park Match.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $15,000 warrant article for Forestry Fund Withdrawal.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $5000 warrant article for Muldoon Park Building. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To approve the $47,000 warrant article for Cable. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 – 0) The motion carries. 

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The following warrant articles were not supported by the Selectmen:

 

Assessor Assistant ($11,000) - Mr. Lynde asked Mr. McDevitt to Chair the meeting so he could make a motion to support the warrant article.  Mr. Lynde made a motion; the motion was not seconded and therefore failed.  Mr. Lynde resumed as Chairman.

Four Firefighters/EMT ($130,000)- Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve the warrant article; the motion was not seconded and therefore failed.

Fire Substation - Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve a $1,100,000 warrant article for a fire substation.  The motion was not seconded and therefore failed.

Highway Garage ($576,000) - Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve $576,000 for a Highway Garage.  The motion was not seconded and therefore failed.

Highway one-ton plow ($47,500) - Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve $47,500 for the Highway one-ton plow.  The motion was not seconded and therefore failed.

Cemetery Garage ($119,900) - Mr. Bergeron made a motion to approve $119,900 for the Cemetery Garage.  The motion was not seconded and therefore failed.

Cemetery Land Purchase ($800,000) - No motion was made for the warrant article (discussed at a previous meeting) to purchase ten acres of land for the Cemetery Trustees.  Mr. McDevitt will be meeting with Mr. Jensen to discuss alternate parcels of land.   

Children’s Librarian ($24,363) - Mr. Danevich made a motion to approve $24,363 for a Children’s Librarian.  Mr. Lynde had Mr. McDevitt Chair so he could second the motion.  The vote was (2 - 2 - 0) with Mr. McDevitt and Mr. Bergeron voting no.  The motion failed.

 

Mr. Lynde noted that he had brought two warrant articles forward at the prior meeting; 1) Assistant Planner, and 2) GIS system.  He officially withdrew the warrant requests until further review. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Mr. Lynde announced the Police Department would be sponsoring a computer awareness seminar on Thursday, December 11, 2003 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.  To RSVP contact 508-3027.

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION - To discuss contractual issues. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, a (personnel)

 

ROLL CALL:

 

Mr. Lynde-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Danevich-Yes

 

Mr. Lynde noted that when the Board returned, after the non-public session, the Board would take further action.  The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 10:45 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 11:15 pm.

 

Mr. Lynde explained that the Police contract would be ratified to bring the Police salaries up to comparable towns over the period of the contract, which would provide retroactive pay. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Danevich/McDevitt) To ratify the Police contract and raise and appropriate $112,124 in year one with a total three-year package of $182,085, effective as of April 1, 2002 and ending March 31, 2006.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR/SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos announced that the Winter Parking Ban would be in effect from 12 midnight until 7am beginning December 1, 2003 and ending April 1, 2004.  He said an agenda item to meet with SEA Consultants to provide an update/status of the bridge projects.  

 

Mr. Danevich deferred his report until the next scheduled meeting.

 

Mr. Bergeron said that the Regional Water District met on Thursday and finalized the charter.  He informed that a public hearing would be held on December 10, 2003 at the Nashua High School.  He also informed that the committee made a motion to support Nashua making an offer to Pennichuck; the vote was (7 - 2).  Nashua’s offer to Pennichuck was made on November 20, 2003.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked if Mr. Gaydos would make the Code Enforcement aware of advertising signs that were located at the end of Nashua Road and Mammoth Road. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked if warrant article wording would be complete when presenting to Budget Committee.  Mr. Gaydos said most had wording, the others would be reviewed by DRA. 

 

The Selectmen discussed the Code Enforcement Officer position, and asked Mr. Gaydos to set an appointment to meet with the Fire Inspector/Code Officer.  There was further discussion regarding the responsibilities of the Fire/Code Officer and the process of hiring full-time employees. 

 

MOTION:

 

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:30 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary