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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Budget Public Hearing and Selectmen's Meeting, 1/10/2017

January 23rd, 2017

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Budget Public Hearing
January 10, 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 Public Hearing was opened at 6:30 p.m. by Chairman Bussiere.

Members of the public present: Becki Pederson, Greg Hogan, John Warren, John Gardiner,
Sue Kraabel, Jeremy Oleson, Tadd Bailey, Imre Szauter, Carol Carlson Cunningham, Ben Jellison

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Bussiere began the review with the budget for the Town Officers. He went on to explain the salary lines and rates and said the Board had asked the Department heads to do a survey of the towns around us to try to get our employees to the area wages – not necessarily the highest but not the lowest, either.

Sue Kraabel spoke about the Town Clerk, and said there is a $5,000 difference between the Administrative Assistant and the Town Clerk. She said the Administrative Assistant is fulltime and the Town Clerk is less than fulltime. The Chairman reiterated there are many multi-function jobs. Mrs. Kraabel said she believes $42,000 is too high for the number of hours put in by the Town Clerk. Selectman Scalley asked the Town Clerk about her hours and she said it’s about 32 hours on low weeks, other times it’s upwards of 40 hours. She has to sit if they are short on Supervisors and she is mandated to stay late on several days during the years. He also questioned the hours for Deputy Town Clerk, whose wages also increased, and the Town Clerk said she is fulltime because her hours are split among three departments. The Administrative Assistant said she hadn’t been able to take the time to do a survey so she just used the same rate for the Financial Clerk in her office, as well as for herself, that the Public Works Supervisor and the Town Clerk determined for the Water Clerical person/Deputy Town Clerk.

Moving on to Election and Registration, there was a question with lines 302 and 303 and the Moderator explained they had paid from line 303 for programming the voting machine last year but felt it should be from 302, so they switched it for 2017.

Regarding the Financial Administration budget, the Selectmen brought up the Computer Software Support line and noted it had increased in order to do a complete renumbering of the Town. The actual cost of this is $4,950 and is split, $2,475, between this budget and the Town Clerk’s budget. It was explained the current numbering system goes back many, many years and with growth and change, numbers had to be added but now with our various systems, BMSI, CAMA and GIS, they don’t all “talk” to each other. These numbers refer to the exact location of every parcel, every piece of property in the Town of Carroll.

There were no questions on Property Assessing, Legal Expense or Personnel Administration budgets.

Planning Board: It was noted the secretary line had increased substantially as they had a very busy 2016 and 2017 was also expected to be quite busy, as well as there is a lot of work to be done administratively. In addition, the Board received a recommendation to clean up their regulations, rules, Ordinance and forms as there are many contradictions, errors, etc. They will be working with North Country Council and thus there is an increase on the Master Plan line of $5,000 for doing this. The actual Master Plan has been completed but these documents are part of its support and they must be correct.

Zoning Board: It was pointed out the secretary line for this has increased. They have not had a secretary for the past three years or so, but they will need to hire one this year.

General Government Buildings: Water consumption line – there was a question about why we pay for water. It was explained these buildings are for the benefit of the entire town, not just those people on the water system. The question was asked if oil had been reduced with the gym being closed and Greg Hogan said we need to find out how it will go as part of the building is still open and heated.

Cemeteries, Insurance, Other General Gov’t (Dog Costs): No questions.

Police Department: Chief line needs to be changed to $64,000 per January 9, Selectmen’s meeting. The Board spoke about the Legal Assistant line increase of $2,400 and Sgt. Bailey said this was based on an increase in case load.

Ambulance: Chief line to be changed to $31,000. Chief Oleson advised he had increase the volunteer line hoping to get more competitive based on certifications, training, etc.

Fire Department: Chief line to be changed to $31,000.

Property Inspection: No questions.

Emergency Management: John Gardiner said the increase is for the Emergency Operating Plan update and for which we have a matching grant. Once it is completed, we submit the paperwork and receive the reimbursement.

Highway: Reiterated that salaries for the three Public Works employees are shared with Highway, Transfer Station and Water. Greg Hogan explained the increase in the equipment line is to purchase a road-cut saw which every time they need one currently, they have to rent one. Mr. Hogan said if he had been allowed to purchase one when he had first requested a few years ago, it would have been well paid for by now. The other item is a trench box, which is not only much updated, but is much easier and safer to use than that which they now have. Further, he said, this will be shared by the Fire Department if ever needed.

Street Lighting: It was stated we pay by the pole and Chairman Bussiere said he has been trying to speak with someone in Lancaster but hasn’t been able to make the connection yet. They did
a changeover to LED and we’d like to get information on it. Sue Kraabel asked about any programs for changing and also suggested that maybe over a period of years we could do something. It was also brought up that there has been talk about the possibility of removing some of the poles, and Selectman Mycko said he had received a list of our poles and is in hopes that he and Greg Hogan will be able to do an assessment on town lighting. They were advised to be aware of safety particularly at intersections where lights should be kept on.

Solid Waste Disposal: Recycling was briefly discussed along with the Special Revenue Fund. As is usual, part of the Operating Budget warrant article will contain the wording for transferring $20,000 from the Recycling Special Revenue Fund to help offset this expense.

Sewage Disposal and Public Assistance: No questions.

Parks and Recreation: It was asked how many children participated in the summer camp program last summer and based on the answer to this question previously, it was stated there were 22 children from town and 22 children from other towns.

Library, Patriotic Purposes and Culture/Chamber of Commerce: No questions.

Conservation Commission: No questions. John Gardiner asked about water runoff and if/how this might affect us. He said he read in the Town and City Magazine that they are talking about starting surveys this year of all culverts.

Debt Service: Explained the repayment of the Water loan and the Transfer Station loan on the Principal and the Interest. The interest is decreasing as more of the principal is being paid off.

Water Budget: Sue Kraabel asked if we have to buy gasoline from the State and was told we do not, but we can get it 24 hours and generally the rates are better for the town. She said because she signs all the checks as Treasurer, she notices things and asked about the water truck. She said she wondered why it was taken home, thus adding at least four trips daily, with lunch. She was told if there were a water emergency in the night, it would save going all across town to the Highway garage as well as that the pumps are checked just about every day.

The warrant articles were then reviewed.

It was noted there would be a Planning Board article on Accessory Dwelling Units, so the empty number was a place saver. Having it by today’s deadline was not required as it does not contain a money request.

Article for the new backhoe – when asked, Greg Hogan said there was about a $20,000 trade-in value and which the price takes into account. He said they try to do most of their own work, but when there’s a big job or more expertise is required, they do hire someone to use our machine.

The article for the police vehicle should have the statement added, “No money to be raised from new taxation.” During the brief discussion, Sgt. Bailey said they will probably be going with the Ford Interceptor, so-called as it is fitted out for police use. He said they will save about $12,000 by not getting a Tahoe.

Property revaluation: No questions.

All-terrain vehicle: Chief Oleson said there are many uses for this, year round. They currently have to rely on a borrowed vehicle, when they can get one and doing this causes concern for liability including if it gets damaged.

Medical transfers: They did not get to this last year but will be working on it this year.

Planning Special Revenue Fund: No questions.
Establishing fund for employee benefits: No questions.
Water Department Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.

Vehicle Stabilization Equipment: Chief Oleson said this is for stabilizing the vehicle when working on an accident. This is for the safety of the rescuers as well as the victims.

Ground-Water Monitoring of Old Landfill: No questions.
Maintenance of old landfill: No questions.

Road Improvement Capital Reserve Fund: Sue Kraabel asked if they are doing anything with the roads. Greg Hogan said they had hoped to do something with all of them, but it’s just too costly. He’s currently involved with North Country Council working on a pilot program and he plans to present it during the year. They’re hoping for next year.

New Land & Building Capital Reserve Fund: There was an inquiry regarding the balance of this fund and it was thought to be about $200,000.

Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
Municipal Truck Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
Landfill Closure Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
Highway Equipment Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
Computer Technology Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
Library Improvement Capital Reserve Fund: No questions.
To Purchase Technical Rope Rescue Equipment: No questions.
To Sell Tax Deeded Property: No questions.
To Adopt Provisions of RSA 72:28-b, All Veterans’ Tax Credit: No questions.

To Authorize the Select Board . . . . to Contract . . . Solid Waste Disposal: This is for “housekeeping purposes” as it should have been done many years ago when the Town stopped using their own landfill and had to start trucking waste to a non-town owned facility.

To Adopt Provisions of RSA 72:61 through RSA 72:72 . . . . . property tax exemption . . . equipped with solar energy systems . . .: It was noted this is for everything associated with the system.

Contribution for Caleb Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers: No questions.
Tyler Blain House: No questions.
American Red Cross: No questions.
CASA : No questions.
Northern Human Services-White Mountain Mental Health and Common Ground: No questions.
Northwoods Home Health & Hospice Services: No questions.
North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency: No questions.
Tri County Community Action Program: No questions.
Senior Meals Program: No questions.
Center for New Beginnings: No questions.
Ammonoosuc Community Health Services: No questions.
NH 75th Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol(By Petition): No questions.

Coalition Communities: The Administrative Assistant handed information received that day to the Select Board and it was stated they were happy to see they are still actively working on our behalf.

Planning, design, consulting and documentation services for a public safety and administrative building: Imre Szauter, Chairman of the Building Committee, explained they have been meeting to work on a new building for the Police Department, Fire Department and Administrative Offices of the Town. He said this is for moving forward for planning and going out to bid for a design.

Mr. Szauter spoke of the Informational Session the Building Committee is holding on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 7 p.m. He said they are hoping there will be good attendance and a lot of questions as they want input from all as well as they want as many as possible to know about the project.

The Selectmen reviewed the revenues. There was brief discussion about the PILOT for AMC which expires in 2017. The Administrative Assistant said that Town Counsel advised they will start on the renewal around springtime. Sue Kraabel noted that the Town only received $22,500 per year from the AMC. She also said that even though she has been told it is not included, she wants a guarantee that the money is not being used in our tax value set for payment of County and School taxes. She was assured we will work on getting that.

The Default Budget was reviewed.

As there were no more questions, Chairman Bussiere declared the Budget Public Hearing adjourned at 8:55 p.m. and announced they were going into a Selectmen’s meeting.

Members of the Public present: Imre Szauter, Jeremy Oleson

The following items were approved and signed:

Supervisor of the Checklist until March, 2017 – Linda Finn
Water Warrant – Hanf, Messina, Wesolowski
Default Budget

There being no further discussion, Chairman Bussiere made a Motion to adjourn the meeting. Selectman Mycko seconded and the Motion passed unanimously. Chairman Bussiere declared the meeting ended at 9:07 p.m. The next meeting will be Monday, January 23, 2017.