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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

APPROVED AS CORRECTED Minutes of 12/19/2011

December 28th, 2011

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 19, 2011
APPROVED AS CORRECTED 1/3/2012
"These minutes of the Town of Carroll Select Board have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions and corrections by the Select Board at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2."

Minutes recorded by Maryclare Quigley, Secretary

Board members present: Mark Catalano, Bonnie Moroney, Bill Dowling

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Chairman Catalano

Members of the public present: Roberta McGee, Mike Gooden, Chris Pappas, Ike Ikasalo, Evan Karpf, Frank Maturo, Andy Martel, Mary Devine, Jeff Duncan, Bill Smalley

Pledge of Allegiance

Ike Ikasalo filmed the meeting.

The Board announced the approval of bills and signing of checks.

Selectman Dowling made a Motion to: Accept the minutes of December 5, 2011, as written. Selectman Moroney seconded and the Motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Catalano made a Motion to: Table the minutes of December 12, to the next meeting. Selectman Dowling seconded and the Motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Catalano said there has been a lot of concern over the last year about whether or not to purchase an ambulance and went on to provide what he called a “cliff notes version.” He said his concerns were that it was a bad time to spend the money and also that he had heard statements that it does not affect the taxpayer. But the flip side is that the taxpayers pay to run the service and it’s his personal opinion that they cancel each other out. He said they looked into privatizing but he believes that shouldn’t be done at this point as this is a revenue stream into town and it doesn’t make sense to this now. He said there was a concern as the ambulance was voted in by the public, but this is a representative democracy and the Select Board has the authority to not spend the money. Mr. Catalano spoke about how monies are funded and spent and the importance of transparency. Therefore, based on warrant articles as structured between the Select Board and the Fire Department through Jeff Duncan, they feel moving all the Capital Reserve money into the Special Revenue Account and buying the ambulance and making the last payment for the fire engine from the Special Revenue Fund is the appropriate way to go and putting all the money into one fund so all can see it and know where it is, instead of having it spread among several funds, will facilitate this.

Chairman Catalano said from now on, unless a major issue arises, there will be no requirement on taxpayers to fund Capital Reserve Funds as the only one now will be an emergency maintenance fund for major repairs i.e. if an engine has to be replaced, and this will be funded from the Special Revenue Account. He also said there will be no more split on the Ambulance revenue as 100% will go to the Ambulance rather than the current 20% to the General Fund and 80% to the Ambulance SRF. He went on to explain that a warrant article will be written each year for money from the SRF to help pay down expenses and the amount will be a joint decision between the Select Board and the Fire Department. Chairman Catalano said there will be a committee to work with the Fire Department and Jeff Duncan for replacement schedule for vehicles. He said he didn’t know yet how many would be on the committee. He also said there will be a committee to work with Mr. Duncan and the Ambulance side for creative ways to generate more revenue with the ambulance. He said his last comment was that the ambulance had been a “lightening rod” for the year and he would like to ask the people of town to come together on this, as the Select Board has tried to look at both sides of the issues and have tried to take into consideration all concerns. He believes they have come up with a reasonable solution and hopes people will talk with each other and come together.

Evan Karpf said he has never been against the need for an ambulance but his question is the necessity of replacement and that no one has answered this question. He said he called the manufacturer of the ambulance and was told this one could go to 100,000 miles or more. He said he hadn’t heard that there was rot in the chassis or that the engine is burning oil, etc. He asked about the practicality of the necessity of purchasing a new one. Andy Martel said he believes common sense may have much to do with it and went on to say that he had heard the comment made at a previous meeting that the average age of people in the community is 55 years and that alone should make the need known – having state of the art equipment. Mr. Martel asked at what point you upgrade for the sake of everyone in the community – it needs to be done at any cost.

Selectman Moroney said she is not disagreeing but questioned the fact that the Select Board should sit and tell the Fire Department each year what amount of money should be used. She said Mr. Dowling has never been told by the Select Board and he seems to have been able to manage very well – the Fire Department has a chief and officers and should be able to be allowed to work it out themselves. Regarding a committee, she asked what kind of people will be on it and said they should be people who know what they are doing and who know the service and what they are talking about. Chairman Catalano said it should be Jeff Duncan or one appointed by him and a representative from the Select Board and diverse people from the community/taxpayers – a good cross-section. He said getting people involved is a good way to solve issues. Selectman Dowling said anyone on the committee needs to educate themselves if they don’t know about it. Chairman Catalano said it’s a whole lot different sitting on the side of the table the Board sits on – being involved, knowing how money is spent, laws and legislation among the specific things. He said he believes there will be significantly more than 20% coming into the General Fund with the new structure. Selectman Dowling said he agrees with Bonnie (Selectman Moroney) that the amount from the Special Revenue Fund should be brought up by Jeff Duncan and should not be reflected in the budget. Discussion took place between Selectman Dowling and Chief Duncan about showing explanation in the warrant article and reducing the budget.

Selectman Moroney made a Motion to: Sign the Purchase and Sales Agreement for the new ambulance. Chairman Catalano seconded and the Motion passed unanimously. When asked what the cost is, it was noted $133,569 which reflects the trade-in of $12,000 and the Ford discount of $4,500.

The following items were approved and signed:

Certificate of Occupancy – Miller/Presby Construction
Conditional Offers of Employment – Police Part Time Employees, Greg Lasco and Brad Willey
Real Data Transfer
Water Warrant – Panarello, Byrne
Salt Shed – Highway Dept.

Selectman Dowling explained that by signing the contract for the Salt Shed, it would allow us to encumber the money received from insurance for the collapse of the previous one, to put toward the cost.

The Selectmen went over each warrant article individually and voted whether or not to recommend each. They had voted previously to include the numeric tally of the vote with each article, and each has been so noted. The articles are attached and all of them were voted 3 to 0 to recommend.

Selectman Dowling made a Motion to: Encumber the Cable Franchise Fees to fund the new television. Chairman Catalano seconded, and opened for discussion. The Secretary mentioned that she wasn’t sure they could legally encumber funds that had already been used and explained it had been included on the MS-4 as revenue for offsetting taxes. Chairman Catalano said if they couldn’t, they’d find the money somewhere. When he called for a vote, it was two in favor and one opposed. The Motion passed.

Selectman Dowling said the Board of Selectmen sets the Default Budget or the Budget Committee does it if adopted at Town Meeting, which he believed had not been done. It was stated that it is basically the previous year’s budget and after brief discussion, Selectman Dowling said he would check with DRA about what may and may not be allowed in terms of increases and he will let the Secretary know. It was noted the Default had to be ready for the Budget Public Hearing on January 4. (It was pointed out the Default would be the same as the 2011 budget.)

Other:

Selectman Dowling said the Town Ordinances had not been brought in yet and suggested they get on it early in the coming year. Chairman Catalano said Officer Brown had told him everything was updated, as much of it is in accordance with State statutes. It was asked to have Officer Brown drop off a copy so we can send it to legal and then to have him come to the meeting on January 9, if he’s available.

Selectman Moroney said she apologizes as she should have said at the previous meeting that the Recreation Committee with their new members did a wonderful Christmas celebration and party for the children and the whole town. She thanked them very much and all the people who helped either by volunteering or providing food for the potluck dinner.

Selectman Dowling, referring to the Default Budget, said he would also check to see if increases in New Hampshire Retirement and insurance may be added when he speaks with Barbara Reid at LGC.

Chairman Catalano then made a Motion to: Accept the new Employee Manual as modified with Town Counsel, Bernie Waugh’s requests. Selectman Dowling seconded and discussion ensued. Chairman Catalano said even though he had not seen Attorney Waugh’s email, his reasoning for doing this now is that all employees had an opportunity to put any concerns they had in writing and that virtually every issue written by employees has been addressed in the new manual. He asked his fellow members if anything provided by the town employees had been ignored and they felt there hadn’t been. Selectman Dowling said there were some changes in language and some sections were taken out. Chairman Catalano said they will still have the meeting with employees – but he feels this should be done now because of financial obligations/payouts that it includes. He amended his Motion to include: “As of January 1, 2012.” Selectman Dowling seconded the amendment. The vote was two in favor, one opposed. The Motion passed. Chairman Catalano asked that the Secretary forward Attorney Waugh’s email to him. Jeff Duncan asked if the employees could have a copy of the amended manual. Chairman Catalano said he wanted to wait for Legal’s changes, but assured Mr. Duncan they would have them a few days before their meeting so they would have time to review them.

Jeff Duncan spoke about the water coming off the bank behind the Post Office. He said it was a huge amount and had flowed into the Fire Station – at least an inch of water -- as well as to the front and onto Route 3. He said it goes through freezing and thawing which is serious enough, but his fear is there will be a major problem in the spring when the big thaw comes. He felt someone with a backhoe for an hour or an hour and a half could remedy the problem for the winter. Discussion ensued about having the Highway Crew dig a trench if there is agreement with the property owner, Bob Stiles. There were several suggestions, and even though a long-term solution needs to be brought forth, but because of freezing temperatures, etc., initially something needs to be done to expedite the situation. The Board asked the Secretary to speak with Mr. Stiles and request his agreement in writing for a short-term fix.

As there was no further business, the Board was polled and went into non-public session for town aid and personnel matters at 8:28 p.m.

At the close of Non-Public Session, Selectman Dowling moved to return to Public Session and seal the minutes from Non-Public Session. Selectman Moroney seconded and the Motion passed unanimously.

There being no further discussion, Chairman Catalano made a Motion to: adjourn the meeting. Selectman Moroney seconded and the Motion passed unanimously. Chairman Catalano declared the meeting ended at 8:41 p.m. The next meeting will be determined, but must occur prior to the Budget Hearing on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.