APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

December 9, 2003

APPROVED – December 23, 2003

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Richard Derby,

Mr. Victor Danevich, Town Administrator Tom Gaydos

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Members of the press and general public.

 

None.

              

The Chairman, Harold Lynde, opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm. 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

November 18, 2003

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) To approve the November 18, 2003 meeting minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.  Mr. Derby abstained.

 

The amendments to the minutes were as follows: page 2, 2nd paragraph ‘Mr. Bergeron said in 2000’ shall be changed to read ‘Mr. Bergeron said in 2001’; 3rd paragraph - the sentence reading ‘...the work ridge and fill had been created ...’ shall be amended to read ‘the work on the dredge and fill, fill had been created’; 5th paragraph - the word if  shall be added to the sentence reading ‘Mr. Danevich asked if the Town’; page 5, 1st paragraph - the sentence reading ‘Mr. Lynde said because it was believed that all the properties would benefit equally, they were assessed at 100% of their assessed value.’ shall be amended to read ‘Mr. Lynde said because it was believed that all the properties would benefit equally, they would be assessed for the road improvement based on 100% of their assessed value.’; 5th paragraph - the words reading January 2004 shall be amended to read March 2004; 6th paragraph - the word same shall be inserted into the sentence ‘and would have the same force as taxes’; page 7, 1st paragraph - the word the shall be deleted from the following ‘...only the lighting the area’; page 7, 5th paragraph - the word if shall replace the word is in the sentence reading ‘...reviewed by counsel if desired.’;

 

November 25, 2003

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) To approve the November 25, 2003 meeting minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.  Mr. Derby abstained.

 

The amendments to the minutes were as follows: page 3, last paragraph - the amount of $13,000 shall be amended to read $130,000; page 4, 3rd paragraph ‘for three substations’ shall be changed to read ‘for one substation’; page 4, 4th paragraph ‘background would could be done’ shall be changed to read ‘background would be done’; the words ‘they type’ shall be changed to read ‘the type’; the words ‘the need for the substation in the area’ shall be changed to read ‘the need for more substations in the area’; page 6, last paragraph - the sentence reading ‘Mr. Gaydos said that a bond anticipation note could be taken for a couple of years to review of interest rates’ shall be amended to read ‘Mr. Gaydos said that a bond anticipation note could provide flexibility to decide when best to close the bond.’; page 8, 3rd paragraph - the word until shall replace the word and in the sentence reading ‘...12 midnight and 7am...’; page 8, 4th paragraph - the word was is to be deleted from the sentence reading ‘offer was to Pennichuck’; 

 

OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)

 

Mr. Lynde reminded residents that the Winter Parking Ban was in effect as of December 1, 2003 through April 1, 2004 between the hours of 12midnight until 7am. 

 

Mr. Lynde also informed that the Planning Department would be closed December 11, 12 and 15, 2003 for their move to the Municipal Building.  The Planning Department would reopen at the Municipal Building on December 16, 2003.  Mr. Danevich noted that building, plumbing and electrical field inspections would continue during the Planning Department move. 

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Sue Hovling, Senior Center Ramp

 

The Director of the Senior Center, Ms. Sue Hovling, met with the Selectmen to discuss a current problem with ice build up and snow/ice fall from the roof, which was affecting the ramp entrance to the Senior Center.  She researched options such as adding a lift and building an awning over the ramp (which would also help with drafts).  She also noted that there was ice building up this year (as it has in the past) which would cause major damage if not addressed.  In conclusion, Ms. Hovling wanted to know how the Selectmen felt about the options and wanted to know if the funs remaining in the 2002 warrant article (#15) could be used for correcting the current situation.

 

Mr. Bergeron said he would like to see plans, examples of materials and quotes before a decision was made.  Ms. Hovling said one of the features of the awning was that it could be reconfigured if a new ramp was installed at a later time.  Mr. Bergeron was concerned with the safety of the materials. 

 

Mr. McDevitt wanted to know if the ramp was ADA compliant.  Ms. Hovling answered no.  She said at the time it was installed, the ramp was compliant, but the requirements have changed.  Mr. McDevitt asked if the ramp could be changed while an awning was being installed.  Ms. Hovling said the cost for a new ramp was estimated at $25,000, which funds the seniors didn’t have at this time. 

 

Mr. Danevich believed that the awning may curtail the breeze/draft coming in to the Senior Center.  He said at a later time, he wanted to discuss an expansion of the Senior Center based on the increase of registered members (currently at 650) and use of the facility.  He said a simple concrete design to create a multi-functional hall/dining area would also address ADA compliance, since the entrance to the Senior Center could be changed to the addition.  He felt the awning would provide short-term improvement. 

 

Mr. Derby was concerned with the safety of the awning, since removal of the gutters would cause water/ice to be directed onto the awning. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked if a two-door entryway could be combined with the addition of a lift.  Mr. Gaydos said the following options had been reviewed: 1) making current handicap ramp ADA accessible, which would require the ramp to be re-pitched and extended into the back yard; and 2) addition of a lift and two-door enclosure (which was the preferred choice of a volunteer architect who reviewed the situation).  

 

Mr. Bergeron wanted to know if the warrant article brought forward this year for ADA compliance could be used at the Senior Center.  Mr. Gaydos said the warrant article was for the Library.  Mr. Lynde said that Ms. Hovling’s request was to find out if the remaining funds ($7000) from the 2002 warrant article could be used for the current situation. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the material of the awning and how it would be connected to the Senior Center building.  It was noted that the remaining funds in the 2002 warrant article was insufficient to bring the ramp up to ADA compliance. 

 

Mr. Derby suggested adding a ramp to the front door, which is located on the south side of the building.  Mr. Lynde noted that the ramp would still need to be covered.

 

Mr. Gaydos said based upon a new contract for ice/snow mitigation, the Senior Center would be shoveled and cleared of ice by 7:30am.  He was concerned with spending $7000 and then coming back in the coming year with an additional request.  Ms. Hovling discussed the problems with ice build up during the hours of operation.  Mr. Gaydos said that the maintenance should be addressed and if there were any problems, she could contact the Selectmen’s office, who in turn would contact Mr. Boyden to address any ice/snow removal concerns.  The Selectmen discussed the options and decided upon the no-cost solution by keeping the entryway clear of snow and ice (by Mr. Boyden) and at the same time have Ms. Hovling obtain additional information regarding the awning, lift as well as contacting the roofer regarding warrantee information (for the ice build-up).  It was noted that the warrant article funds would expire in March 2004.       

 

SEA Consultants: Discussion of Bridge Construction

 

Postponed until further notice.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Warrant Articles

 

Fire Warrant Article Changes

 

Fire Chief David Fisher said when making the presentation to the Budget Committee regarding the $10,000 Fire Grant Matching warrant article, the Budget Committee felt that the Fire Department should take advantage of obtaining as much funding as possible.  The Budget Committee asked that the wording be revised; Fire Chief Fisher met with Mr. Gaydos, the outcome was the following warrant article wording:

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $20,000 for public safety department to participate in applying for grants, whereby a portion of said grant must be placed as a matching amount by the Town of Pelham for unanticipated money from the state, federal, or other governmental unit, or private sector which becomes available during the fiscal year, and to further authorize the Selectmen as agents to receive and expend any such grants, or gifts. 

 

Fire Chief Fisher asked that the Selectmen reconsider and approve the revisions for presentation to the Budget Committee during reconsideration.

 

Mr. Danevich questioned who could utilize the funds, since it was unclear who was considered ‘public safety department’.  Mr. Gaydos explained that the Department of Revenue categorized public safety in municipalities essentially as Emergency Management, Police Department and Fire Department.  It was pointed out that the Town had a category for public safety department.  Mr. Danevich wanted to know if the money was raised, where it would remain.  Mr. Lynde said the money would sit in a warrant article for one year.  Mr. Gaydos said the money would lapse unless something encumbered it, such as a pending grant.  Mr. Danevich asked how the amount was calculated.  Fire Chief Fisher said the $20,000 was determined through review of the grants that were available during the past year.  He said through homeland security, the federal government was not providing adequate time for the Town to request funds through the municipal process.  Mr. McDevitt asked if grants were refused during the last year because money was not available.  Fire Chief Fisher answered yes and noted that two or three were for 20/80 funding.  He noted that some large grants were received last year without having to put funds in. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To reconsider the Fire Department warrant article for Fire Matching Grant in the amount of $10,000.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

     

There was brief discussion regarding the wording of the proposed warrant article and it was agreed by the Selectmen to revise ‘public safety department’ to read ‘Police, Fire and Emergency Management Departments’.

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Derby) To approve the revised warrant article for Fire Matching Grant in the amount of $20,000 as written and submitted to the Selectmen.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Fire Chief Fisher had an agreement with the Merrimack Valley Red Cross that he asked the Selectmen to authorize Mr. Gaydos to sign.  He said the one-year agreement would be between the Town and the Red Cross, and would authorize Red Cross to supply emergency food, clothing, shelter and municipal supplies to those affected by fire, and other natural disasters.  He said that Emergency Management also utilized the services of the Red Cross.  He said the agreement was the same as agreed to in the past.   

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To authorize Mr. Gaydos to sign the one-year agreement for the Selectmen between the Town and the Merrimack Valley Red Cross. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Ice Skating Rink

 

Mr. Danevich said that seven people (including the Park & Recreation Director and the Police Chief) participated in a meeting regarding the creation of an ice skating rink.  He said the recommendation of the group was to purchase a 50ft.x100ft. pre-fabricated rink.  The estimated cost is $5000, which the group was seeking support for.  The unanimous decision of the group was to locate the skating rink on the Village Green.  Mr. Danevich said he was in favor of the skating rink, but was not in favor of it being located on the Village Green this year due to a pending warrantee issue with Breadloaf.  He was not opposed to the skating rink being located in an alternate location this year.  He noted that there were no funds available this year in the Park and Recreation budget to fund the rink.  Mr. Derby suggested locating the rink at Newcomb Field. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked that the Selectmen provide direction to the volunteer group that the Village Green would not be available this year and that funds were not available. 

 

Mr. Gaydos said the value of re-doing the lawn at the Village Green would be approximately $45,000-$50,000.  He noted that there was a town (non-profit organization) that was interested in donating their 50ft.x100ft. skating liner, so he was trying to contact them for further information. 

 

The Selectmen discussed the situation and there was a consensus that nothing should be done this year to jeopardize the proceedings with Breadloaf regarding the Village Green.  There was also a consensus that Town funding this year was not possible. 

 

Police Chief Evan Haglund said the group understood the seriousness of requesting funds during these economic times.  He said the group was leaning toward private fund raising.  The request that may come before the Town would be for $400-$500 for maintenance.  Police Chief Haglund said there was a consensus of the group to have the skating rink located at the Village Green.  He said the group would like the Selectmen to support the conceptual idea of locating the skating rink on the Village Green. 

 

Mr. Danevich will inform the volunteer group of the Selectmen’s discussion. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Adelphia

 

Mr. Danevich said that he would like the Selectmen to discuss the following items: 1) $70,000 grant received by PTV; 2) HDTV update and response to Adelphia; 3) disposition of Annex in connection with PTV studio; 4) digital equipment; 5) audio-visual requirements for Sherburne Hall. 

 

Mr. Lynde said that the $70,000 grant money would be available at the discretion of the Selectmen based upon discussions with the Technical Advisory Committee and Mr. Jim Greenwood.  Mr. Gaydos said that a public hearing would be held to actually receive the money, review needs and expend the funds.

 

Mr. Jim Greenwood said that the Town had the ability through its contract with Adelphia to regulate rates as they are increased and added.  He said HDTV was available in surrounding communities and Adelphia is waiting for Pelham to either regulate the rate, or send a letter informing no interest in regulating the rate at this time.  He noted that the rate, if regulated by Adelphia would be similar to that of surrounding communities and not higher.  Mr. Danevich discussed the desirability of HDTV and the new infrastructure that was able to handle upgraded systems.  Mr. Lynde said that regulating rates was a process the Town had not done in the past.  Mr. Greenwood noted that the Town could fax a letter informing Adelphia that there was no interest at this time to regulate rates. 

 

Mr. Greenwood said he discussed with Adelphia the process of moving PTV to the Municipal Building.  He briefly explained what would be involved with moving the wiring and equipment.  Mr. Lynde said that a plan should be drafted so that moving costs could be understood.  Mr. Danevich asked that the Selectmen have a consensus that would provide direction to Mr. Greenwood to begin planning for the future of PTV.  The Selectmen discussed issues such as if the vacant space at the Municipal Building would require alterations for PTV to relocate.  There was a consensus that it would be good for PTV to be located at the Municipal Building. 

 

Mr. Greenwood then discussed the type of equipment he had recently reviewed for Sherburne Hall; one item was a replacement playback system.  He said there were also features such as a web based video on demand and streaming media.  Mr. Lynde asked that a presentation be brought to the Selectmen. 

 

There was a discussion regarding the move to Sherburne Hall.  Mr. Lynde said a plan should be drafted and brought to the Selectmen.  Mr. Gaydos said the plan should include what is needed, how items would be implemented and what the timeline would be.  He said the other issue to be considered is the construction of Sherburne Hall.  Mr. McDevitt informed that the Sherburne Hall Committee was meeting weekly and were still a year or two away from completion. 

 

Mr. Bergeron discussed the possibility of moving into Sherburne Hall using the existing equipment.  Mr. Greenwood explained that wiring and power would be needed to move the existing equipment, but with the new robotic camera system, the company providing them would also do the wiring.  Mr. Lynde suggested keeping the existing equipment in the Town Hall in case meetings needed to be move temporarily.  Mr. Gaydos believed that the process had to begin with a plan so that the move could be coordinated with other interested groups. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Derby) To continue, as in the past, with regard to regulating rates.  The Town chooses not to regulate rates at this time. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

A letter will be sent to Adelphia regarding the request for HDTV.

 

There was a consensus of the Selectmen to direct Mr. Greenwood to start the planning process for moving into the Municipal Building.

 

Employee suggestions

 

Mr. Bergeron asked that Department Heads and Mr. Gaydos be open to accepting suggestions with regard to the new Municipal Building.  Mr. Gaydos said that he was open to any suggestions.  He said that requests had already been received and some had been approved based upon needs and costs.  Mr. Lynde suggested maintaining a list that categorized the items in order of priority. 

 

Results from Budget Committee Review

 

Mr. Gaydos said that he had the results from the Budget Committee review of warrant articles which he would make available for review.  Mr. McDevitt noted that of the twenty-one articles submitted, twenty were approved by the Budget Committee. 

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR/SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos discussed Town postings (i.e. meeting notices) and wanted to know if the Selectmen preferred them to be outside, or inside of the Municipal Building.  There was a consensus to keep the postings outside so interested parties could review at any time of day.  There was a brief discussion regarding December 24th and if the Town should close at 3pm.  There was no objection by the Selectmen to close Town offices at 3pm, as long as there was an agreement with the union to ensure that voluntary early closure didn’t set a precedent. 

 

Mr. Danevich said that the Town offices moved virtually without incident.  Apparently there were slight problems with the car registration printer (which needed replacement) and the BMSI software.  Mr. Danevich said that the Park and Recreation Advisory Board would meet in January to discuss getting the Park and Recreation Department to a zero line budget.  He said a lot of work would need to be done, but he felt it would be possible.  

 

Mr. Bergeron said the Regional Water District Charter Committee would hold a special meeting regarding the proposed charter for a regional water district would be held on December 10, 2003 at Nashua High beginning at 7pm.   

 

Mr. Derby had no report.

 

Mr. McDevitt thanked the Pelham Garden Group for the lights/decorations on the common, which are at no cost to the Town, other than the electric outlet.  He said that the Sherburne Hall Committee had been meeting and would report to the Selectmen at an upcoming Selectmen meeting. 

 

Mr. Lynde had no report.

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, b, c & e (Hiring of any person as an employee; Matters which, if discussed publicly, would affect adversely the reputation of any person; Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation) 

 

ROLL CALL:

 

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

 

Mr. Lynde noted that when the Board returned, after the non-public session, the Board would not take any other action publicly, except to seal the minutes of the non-public session and to adjourn the meeting.  The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 9:06 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos, Fire Chief David Fisher and Police Chief Evan Haglund. 

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 9:46 pm.

 

Discussion took place with Fire Chief Fisher and Police Chief Haglund regarding procedures for hiring part time employees.  The Board indicated that it was their wish to be presented with the applications of part time employee recommendations, and the Board would decide whether they wanted to interview the applicant, or waive that process. 

 

The Selectmen approved the appointment of Ms. Melissa Kierstead as a part time dispatcher.

The Selectmen approved the appointment of Mr. Derek Baker as a part time firefighter.

 

The Board then discussed re-entering a non-public session to conclude their discussion.  The Chair polled the Board, the vote was unanimous.  The Board entered into non-public session at approximately 9:48pm.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 10:15pm.

 

MOTION:

 

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

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:16 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary