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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 1/4/2017

January 8th, 2017

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
January 4, 2017


“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 H. Quigley, Secretary

Board members present: Paul Bussiere, David Scalley, Brian Mycko

The meeting was called to order at 7:14 p.m. by Chairman Bussiere.

Members of the public present: Bonnie Moroney, Jeremy Oleson

Pledge of Allegiance

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

Selectman Scalley made a Motion to: Approve the minutes of 12/27//2016 as written. Chairman Bussiere seconded and the Motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Bussiere explained the Board had asked the departments heads to do surveys of area towns to find out what the various wage ranges might be. He said he had researched through the state site and the former LGC and realizes these are somewhat difficult to go by as they are for specific jobs. Due to our size, a lot of our employees actually do a number of different jobs and many of which require different skills and abilities. He said the Board is not necessarily going with the new numbers, but they wanted to know where we are and to possibly start trying to bring the employees to or close to where they should be.

The Board started their review of the updates with the Town Clerk’s Office budget and Town Clerk/Tax Collector line 01-4130.10-136 at $42,000 and the TC/TC Deputy line, 01-4130.10-137 at $7,488. It was explained the Deputy also works for the Selectmen’s Office and Water Department so her salary is split among them. It was also noted line 01-4130.10-214, Computer Software Support was increased by $2,475, split with the Selectmen’s Office (FA) budget to redo the map and lot numbers throughout the town for our new GIS (Geographic Information System). Currently, there are several systems and each has a different setup – this will bring everything to the same so all the systems will work together. The Secretary said she was not directly involved with this yet so she did not have a lot of knowledge about the subject. She said Kelly and Becki have been working closely on it and they all believed it would give them much greater use of the new system. The Board felt they needed more information about this and though would not be comfortable spending the money at this time, feel it should be in the budget at least until they get more clarity.
The Chairman noted the Election and Registration budget was down and it was pointed out that this budget is also affected by number of elections yearly.

The Secretary stated for the Financial Administration budget she had not been able to do a survey wages so she used the same number that the Town Clerk and Public Works Supervisor got for their Deputy Town Clerk and Water Clerical person, respectively, for Selectmen’s Office Staff and for herself as Administrative Assistant and Secretary to the Board of Selectmen. Thus the Administrative Assistant line, 01-4150.10-110 was changed to $37,440 and the Finance Clerk, 01-4150.10-111 to $22,464 and noted the remainder of this salary is with Town Clerk and Water.
She also said she had split the re-numbering for the GIS with the Town Clerk’s Office, so the software line, 0-4150.10-621 was increased to $10,575.

The review continued with Property Assessing and Legal Expenses and talked about possibly increasing the Legal line due to a few possible issues, which is at $17,000 in the proposed budget, and decided with the legal lines the budgets for Planning Board and ZBA, we should be all right. It was noted that in Personnel Administration, the lines for Retirement, FICA and Medicare will be increased with increased salary lines. There was also a new line added to this budget, 01-4155.10-302 Employee Insurance Compensation, $6,600, for employees who do not take the Town medical insurance benefit.

They returned to salary discussion regarding researching titles and jobs actually done and reiterated there is a big difference in many cases. They want to bring wages to a competitive amount and discussed whether this would be at once or in increments over a two or three-year period. Selectman Mycko said he feels whatever is done with one should be done with all so that it’s fair for all. Jeremy Oleson, Fire Chief, said he feels they need to look at each current wage as some may be very low compared to others. Bonnie Moroney suggested they may want to cap any increase at a percentage for fairness, and also said they will need to justify whatever numbers they use. It was noted using a percentage may not be the most fair, as some had received increases within the last year due to promotions, etc. Chairman Bussiere said he was advised by NHMA that they should only put the money in the budget, but should not talk raises until after the voting because they can’t give something if they don’t get it. Mrs. Moroney said this has always been the way and is already understood by the employees.

The Board noted the Planning Board budget had increased the Secretary line due to workload and the Master Plan line, which Mrs. Moroney reminded, was to update the rules, regulations, Zoning Ordinance, etc. These are projects they have been trying to do but are big ones and the Board members don’t have the time. They can get help from North Country Council at a very reasonable cost and once it’s done, it’s done. The Board asked if this will take care of all of the errors and places where they contradict each other, etc. Mrs. Moroney said that is why these are all being redone and they should be ready by next year if any have to go to town vote for approval.

Paul Bussiere said, speaking as ZBA Chair, they had also increased their Secretary line. They will need a Secretary as he will be getting off the Board and had been doing those duties. He also noted they had reduced the miscellaneous line to $200 and added a new line, 01-4192.10-903, $800 for software and their portion of the GIS which was first included in 2016.
Moving on to General Buildings, the Board asked about the lines for town buildings labor, as they wanted to know the number of hours and which employees worked on them, as well as for repairs & maintenance. The Secretary will get them account details for these.

There were no changes to Cemeteries or Insurance. The next was Police Department. The Chief’s pay had increased to $67,000, which his survey showed was based on the lowest of the contacts he made. He noted the Sergeant line is about where it should be with a 1.7 COLA and the two patrolmen lines will be increased based on their hiring agreements and are where they should be. The Board noted the legal assistant line had increased by $2,400 and said they had signed a contract for $12,000, or $1,000 a month. They requested that the Chief be asked about this and noted they had heard some negative comments. They also noted that some lines went up while others went down.

Ambulance and Fire were next and Chief Oleson stated the salaries are split between both departments and noted that Brad is also M1, so he gets the Officer salary from the Ambulance side. He told the Board they are purchasing a titanium stretcher which will be used by both departments and thus the cost is split between the two departments. They talked about salaries and Chief Oleson said he has a pay scale he will use if the budget passes. He said it is based on certifications, levels, etc. He went on to say that some of the certifications take up to 280 hours and the members do this all on their own—they don’t get paid. There are a lot of people who have given a lot time. He also spoke of the downswing on numbers and that they have 18 on the response service, with about 4 or 5 they can count on. But he said it’s not just here . . . people have families, other commitments, etc. The Board expressed thanks for their work.

There were no changes to Property Inspections and Emergency Management budgets. The Highway budget showed change on the Road Agent line, to $27,040, as well as Part Time Labor and two Highway Helper lines, but it was not clear how these were done, so the Chairman asked that separate lines be establishes for each of the employees for whom these should cover. It was noted that salaries for Greg Hogan, Scott Sonia and Andrew Shaheen are split among the Highway, Transfer Station and Water budgets, and to make it clear, all budgets should show separate lines for each. This will be addressed for the next meeting. The Secretary pointed out that Field Tools line, 01-4312.10-202 was incorrect and should be $500, as the next line, Equipment Purchase, 01-4312.10-250 should show $15,000 to cover items approved previously.

While there was no change to Street Lighting, concern at the cost was expressed again by the Board with brief discussion about reducing the number of lights and/or replacing with more energy-efficient fixtures/bulbs. The Chairman said he had tried to make contact with the person in charge of lighting in Lancaster but had not spoken with him yet. He will try again. In the meantime, Selectman Mycko asked if there was a list of the lighting and he was told that Greg had one at the Highway Garage. Selectman Mycko asked the Secretary if she could get the list and send it to him.

Solid Waste was next and the Supervisor line, 01-4324.10-100, had been increased to $13,520, reflecting a quarter of Greg Hogan’s salary. The other salary lines, 001-4324.10-101 and 102 were increased, but it was unclear as to how these are divided among Scott, Andrew and John Warren. These were part of the earlier discussion on salaries in the Public Works Department, so there will be separate lines each of the employees here for clarity. While looking through this budget it was noted the Miscellaneous line had gone over substantially, so the Board asked for detail as they wondered what might have caused this. The Secretary said she will have this for the next meeting.

Sewage Disposal showed no change. The Health Officer budget was next and Chief Oleson said the salary line doesn’t reflect the hours accurately, as he said Brad had spent a lot of time on numerous complaints through the year. During a brief discussion Selectman Scalley suggested that they increase the line to $1,000, but it was agreed not to do so when Chief Oleson said they will track the actual hours so they have a better idea for next year. Moving to the Welfare Direct Assistance line, Selectman Scalley said since they used only $220.60 this year, he thought they should reduce it from $10,000 to $5,000, and his colleagues agreed.

The Parks and Recreation, Memorial Day, Chamber of Commerce and Conservation budgets were unchanged and approved though there were questions about the Conservation Commission and the need for this. Mrs. Moroney said there is land in a Conservation Easement on Route 3 North which requires annual monitoring which they do. The Secretary said they were most helpful in the past few years when a culvert at the Twin Mountain pool needed replacing and with their involvement, it was accomplished much more expediently and inexpensively.

Chief Oleson said we no longer need the Comstar Billing Fee line, 02-4150.10-808, as that account is completely gone. We have only been keeping it active with $1, in case of any “stray” costs, so it will be eliminated.

It was noted that there would be an increase in the Water budget lines for Retirement, FICA and Medicare to reflect salaries. The Manager line is changed to $13,520, for the split (one quarter) for Greg’s salary and as with other budgets, the Board requested that lines be set up for Scott and Andrew for clarity. The Clerical line, 04-4332.10-102 has increased to $7,488. The Board noted the overtime line had more than doubled and asked the Secretary to make an inquiry about that with Greg.

Bonnie Moroney spoke on behalf of the Building Committee and said they had been meeting and working diligently to come up with a plan and a Warrant Article that would be feasible and reasonable for the town and the voters. They’ve been working with the architect (Christopher Carley) for the new Franconia Safety Services Building and using this as a starting point or model for basing estimates, etc., for a combination Fire, Police and Administrative Offices building. Mrs. Moroney explained if this Warrant Article is approved, they can then solicit bids and work on bonding, etc. to actually move forward the following year. They reiterated the need for all three departments regarding costs and space as well as the waste of money to keep doing what we are doing now. Chief Oleson said we must move forward and he will have to be looking for a larger building next year in any case.

The Warrant Article was read, “To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $60,000 (Sixty Thousand Dollars) for planning, designing, consulting and documentations services for a public safety and administrative building to house the Police and Fire Departments and Town Administrative Offices, suitable for pricing by a registered Architectural Firm, including a not-to-exceed maximum guaranteed price, and to fund this appropriation by authorizing the withdrawal of that amount from the Land and Buildings Capital Reserve Fund. No money to be raised from new taxation. Selectman Scalley made a Motion to Approve and Recommend this Warrant Article. Selectman Mycko seconded and passed unanimously. The Selectmen recommend this 3 to 0.

The Board thanked Mrs. Moroney for the Building Committee’s hard work on this project.

The Secretary spoke to the Board about a Town Debit/Credit card. She said she had spoken with the Manager at the Town’s bank, Bank of New Hampshire, and he suggested either a Debit or a Credit card and both will work as they do for individuals – Debit coming right from the bank account and Credit with an application and interest fees, etc. He recommended that names of individuals authorized to use these be printed on each card which greatly reduces the possibility for fraudulent activity. After brief discussion about multiple users and spending limits, Selectman Scalley made a Motion to: Fill out the application for a Credit Card with the Bank of New Hampshire. Selectman Mycko seconded and it passed unanimously.

The following were approved and signed:

Property Tax Abatement – Patterson – “Housekeeping”

Follow-Up Items:

Water Policy Revision – Has been completed and has been sent to Legal for review.
Town Hall/Gym Update – Selectman Scalley said they hope to schedule the change in heat piping and plumbing work by the end of this week or during next week.

Other:

The Secretary said there are pictures of town residents who died while serving their country, as well as plaques and the flag from one of the servicemen which need to be removed to another place. She said she had promised that these would not be damaged due to the closing of the gym and part of the Town Hall. The Selectmen agreed that these should be moved to the kitchen or hallway where they will be protected from the cold and still be in a place of prominence.

Chairman Bussiere reminded all that the Public Budget Hearing is on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 6 p.m.

Chairman Bussiere announced that there will be a Building Committee Informational Meeting on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at the Town Hall at 7 p.m.

The next Selectmen’s meeting will be Monday, January 9, 2017, at 7 p.m.

As there was no further business, the Board was polled at 10:29 p.m. to go into non-public session, per RSA 91-A-3 for personnel: Chairman Bussiere, yes; Selectman Scalley, yes; Selectman Mycko, yes.

At the close of non-public session at 10:41 p.m., Chairman Bussiere moved to return to public session and seal the minutes from non-public session. Selectman Scalley seconded and the Motion passed unanimously.

There being no further discussion, Selectman Mycko made a Motion to adjourn the meeting. Selectman Scalley seconded and the Motion passed unanimously. Chairman Bussiere declared the meeting ended at 10:42 p.m. The next meeting will be Monday, January 9, 2017.