APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

January 6, 2004

APPROVED – January 20, 2004

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde, Mr. William McDevitt (arrived shortly after the meeting commenced), Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Richard Derby (left the meeting before it adjourned to join the Budget Committee), Mr. Victor Danevich

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Mr. Tom Gaydos, Town Administrator (left the meeting before it adjourned to join the Budget Committee), members of the press and general public.

 

None.

              

The Chairman, Harold Lynde, opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 pm. 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

December 23, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/Danevich) To approve the December 23, 2003 meeting minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carried.

 

The change to the minutes was as follows: page 3 – the words will be submitted shall be amended to read will be considered in the following sentence ‘adoption of RSA 41:14-a will be considered as a Warrant Article’. 

 

Mr. McDevitt arrived.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF POLLING PLACES

 

Mr. Lynde informed the public of the following dates and polling places/times:

 

January 8, 2004 – Pelham Memorial School 7am-8pm – Approval of Articles of Agreement for Co-operative High School with Windham, NH

 

January 27, 2004 – Pelham Memorial School 7am-8pm – Primary Election for President vote

 

February 3, 2004 – Pelham Elementary 7pm until conclusion – First session of Town Meeting

 

March 9, 2004Pelham High School 7am-8pm – Local election for the Town and School

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Warrant Articles

 

Petition Warrant Articles

 

1) Increase the property tax exemption for qualifying veterans from $100 to $500; and to increase the amount from $1400 to $2000 for those veterans with service connected total disability.

 

Mr. Bergeron said he would like to know the number of veterans currently affected before he voted so he could understand the possible tax impacts.  Mr. Lynde reviewed the 2002 Town Report, there were a total of 421 standard veteran exemptions ($41,500); with a tax exemption increase to $500 the total taxes would be $210,500 (an increase of $169,000).  In the 2002 Town Report there were 6 disabled veteran exemptions ($8400); with a tax exemption increase to $2000, the total taxes would be ($12,000).

 

Mr. Danevich wanted to know if the base would be expanded if the warrant article was approved.  Mr. Gaydos said the base would not be expanded; the same qualifications would apply. 

 

Mr. Bergeron wanted to know if the warrant article passed, if the Selectmen would decide the tax exemption amount.  Mr. Lynde answered no.  He said the petition specified the amount, which could only be amended on the floor at the Town Meeting. 

 

Mr. Danevich informed that the names on the petition had been validated

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot - the increase of veteran tax exemption.

 

VOTE:

 

(4-1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. Danevich voted no.    

  

2) To donate the old Town Hall building to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US, Pelham Memorial Post 10722. 

 

Mr. Bergeron said he questioned if there were others that could use the building.  He questioned if the Town should sell the building for income.  Mr. Lynde said there were other organizations that were interested in using the building and would hate to give up the building without exploring the needs of other groups. 

  

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To NOT RECOMMEND following petition warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot - the donation of the old Town Hall building to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10722.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

3) To sell Town owned property (ML13-88-4) to Dennis Tessier for the sum of back taxes and interest to date for access to his back lot.

 

Mr. Lynde said the sale amount was unknown because there were no back taxes, or interest due.  Mr. Derby felt acceptance would send a poor message. 

 

Mr. Bergeron made a motion to vote favorably in connection with the petition warrant article.  There was no second.

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Derby) To NOT RECOMMEND the following petition warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot - sale of Town owned property to Dennis Tessier for access to his back lot. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4 -1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. Bergeron voted no.   

 

Muldoon second egress Warrant Article

 

 To raise and appropriate the sum of $4000 (through withdrawal from the Pelham Forestry Fund)  to develop an estimate to design, environmentally permit and construct a means for a second egress to George M. Muldoon Park.  

 

Mr. Derby said there were cul-de-sacs on Jefferson and Washington that were to be used as access to Muldoon Park and believed other alternatives should be reviewed before entering into an agreement.  Mr. Lynde said that the other accesses were difficult to get to since they were located down behind the playground area.  He said for safety there should be an alternative egress.  There was a brief discussion regarding access options.  Mr. Gaydos noted that the idea of the bailey bridge was his idea based upon minimum impact and if it was removed would not change the scope of work.    

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot – raise and appropriate $4000 (through withdrawal from the Pelham Forestry Fund) for a design estimate, permits and construction of a second egress to George M. Muldoon Park.  

 

VOTE:

 

(4-1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. Derby voted no. 

 

Forestry Warrant Article

 

To raise and appropriate the sum of $29,000 (through withdrawal from the Pelham Forestry Fund) for surveying Town owned property off Spring Street and a portion of two newly acquired parcels abutting the Peabody Town Forest and a portion of George M. Muldoon Park. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the reasons for the amount being requested; which was due to newly acquired land, possible encroachment and deed research. 

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot – raise and appropriate $29,000 (through withdrawal from the Pelham Forestry Fund) for surveying certain Town owned properties. 

 

VOTE:

 

(4-1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. McDevitt voted no. 

 

Warrant Articles contained on the new/amended Warrant Article list dated January 6, 2004

 

AG) adoption of the provisions of RSA 41:14-a – authorizing the Selectmen to acquire or sell land, buildings or both with specific provisions for review by the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission and that two public hearing are held.

 

There was a brief discussion and the Selectmen asked if the words ‘or sell’ could be deleted.  Mr. Gaydos will review and follow up with the Selectmen. 

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/Derby) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot – adopt provisions of RSA 41:14-a

 

VOTE:

 

(4-1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. McDevitt voted no.

 

Mr. McDevitt said he would like comment from Town Counsel’s comments.

AH) authorization of the Selectmen to accept a gift to the Town of undeveloped land on Bridge Street (ML 29-7-116)

 

Mr. McDevitt said he was reluctant to accept the parcel without walking the parcel or receiving comment from the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Danevich noted that the parcel was mostly wet.  He said a year ago there was an unofficial inquiry for commercially developing the parcel; the parcel will support a commercial property. 

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot – authorize Selectmen to accept the gift of undeveloped land (ML 29-7-116). 

 

VOTE:

 

(3-2-0) The motion carried.  Mr. McDevitt and Mr. Danevich voted no. 

 

Mr. Lynde noted that the wording would need to be reviewed and possibly corrected.  

 

AD) To approve cost items included in the ratified three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (The wording provided support staff employees with a cost of living increase and step increases as agreed upon).  (The agreement was previously approved, the only thing for review was the wording.) 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the bottom paragraph of the Warrant Article, which stated that the Support Staff employees would be provided with a cost of living increase and step increases.  It was decided by the Selectmen (per the suggestion of Town Counsel) to remove the bottom paragraph from the Warrant Article and place it in the warrant article explanation flier to be circulated to residents. 

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) To RECOMMEND the following warrant article for the 2004 Town Ballot – approval of the cost items included in the three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified by the Pelham Board of Selectmen and the AFSCME Local 1801.  The bottom paragraph shall be deleted from the warrant article and placed on the warrant article explanation flier circulated to residents.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Miscellaneous discussion

 

Mr. McDevitt noted that the acceptance of Stonepost, the dam and the pond was still pending.  He requested that Mr. Gaydos contact Executive Councilor Raymond Wieczorek requesting his help to ‘light a fire’ under the Dam Bureau.  Mr. Bergeron said he had requested something in writing, but had not yet received a response.  Mr. McDevitt said a warrant article may be needed to accept the parcel and would speak with Mr. Gaydos regarding the wording. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Accept Resignation from Parks and Recreation Director

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To accept the resignation of Parks and Recreation Director, Bob Tryon.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Plans for Advertising Open Position

 

Mr. Gaydos circulated a draft copy of the advertisement for hiring a Park and Recreation Director.  He reviewed the requirements.  He noted that the department was in need of predictable support staff and requested the authorization to hire part-time help.  He said some of the people involved with the summer programs were available to help. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To authorize Mr. Gaydos to hire such part-time help as necessary to run the Park and Recreation Department until such time that a full-time Director is hired. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Review prior year Warrant Article Encumbrance

 

Mr. Gaydos said a memo had been written to each of the department heads so that their input could be received.  Mr. Lynde said an agenda item could be added for the Selectmen’s meeting on January 20, 2004.

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT/SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos had no further report.

 

Mr. Danevich had no report.

 

Mr. Bergeron asked that the Selectmen consider the interim use of Sherburne Hall to provide people with special needs the opportunity to attend the meetings and re-play taped meetings starting the following day.  The idea was briefly discussed.  Mr. Lynde said he would discuss the issue with Mr. Jim Greenwood of PTV.  Mr. Greenwood informed that the Town Hall was able to accommodate people of special needs, just as they had done in the past.  The only request was to provide advanced notice.  Mr. Bergeron informed that the next Regional Water District meeting would be held January 8, 2004 in Bedford and that he would be in attendance.    

 

Mr. McDevitt had no report.

 

Mr. Derby had no report.

 

Mr. Lynde informed that the Planning Board had met.  He discussed the items reviewed and which items were continued to the next scheduled meetings.    

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Ms. Debra Waters, Mr. Paul Gagnon and Mr. Bob Yarmo (who were members of the Open Space Committee, Forestry Committee and Conservation Committee) met with the Selectmen to discuss a warrant article they would like to submit.  Ms. Waters said that an overall open space plan for the Town was being worked on during the past year per the Forestry Committee’s recommendation of preserving 25% open space.  The bond warrant article was a portion of the vision, and the other portion was to place the remaining Town land into quasi-protective status.  Ms. Waters said one use of the protected land could be leverage as a non-monetary match for grants.  She explained that the current land not designated could be designated as Town Forest with the Conservation Commission, or the Forestry.  She read the proposed warrant article aloud which included references to RSA 31:110, 31:112 II and 31:113.

 

Mr. Derby and Mr. Gaydos left the meeting to join the Budget Committee meeting. 

 

Ms. Waters presented a map of the parcels proposed for protective status.  She noted that Peabody Forest was the ‘crown jewel’ and said they had been informed that it should be placed in permanent protection. 

 

Mr. Gagnon said they were seeking to put a warrant article on the 2004 ballot to place certain parcels into the Town Forest.  He said they were also seeking advice regarding the status of the Peabody Forest. 

 

Mr. Lynde said the Town should that other aspects/possibilities should be reviewed (such as fire substation placement or use for a cemetery).  He suggested meeting with the Forester to discuss the land and its options. 

 

Ms. Waters said that Hillsborough County didn’t have a land trust, and went on to explain that the Rockingham Land Trust was recognizing those communities and had agreed to take them ‘under their wing’.  She said they were crossing over county lines. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the type of protection the parcels would have and the advantages of protection.  It was reiterated that there should be a meeting with the Forester and further discussion regarding the Town’s needs.  The Selectmen said a warrant article could be submitted.  Mr. Danevich wanted the Selectmen to be cautious when dealing with permanently protecting land.  At this point, he would not support a warrant article unless due diligence was done to review the parcels and understand the long-term affects.  Mr. Lynde said that the discussion was not to place the proposed parcels into permanent protection, but rather to designate them as Town Forest Land. 

 

Mr. McDevitt reviewed RSA 31:111 aloud, which encouraged Towns to manage land through timber, fire wood, natural resources through various planning.  He was unclear if the RSA offered protection.  He had concerns about what permanent protection meant; giving rights up to ever do anything with the land. 

 

Mr. Lynde said the Selectmen had two weeks (until January 20, 2004) to finalize the warrant articles.  They asked Ms. Waters to submit the information, including the map and lot numbers as soon as possible. 

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(Bergeron/McDevitt) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, d (Consideration of acquisition, sale or lese of property) 

 

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 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 7:56 pm.  Also present was Ms. Deb Waters, Mr. Paul Gagnon and Mr. Bob Yarmo.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 9:15 pm.

 

MOTION:

 

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

 

VOTE:

 

(4-0-0) The motion carried.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(4-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:15pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary