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Minutes of 4/27/2021

May 4th, 2021

Carroll Select Board
Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2021

“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.”

Due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis and in accordance with Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #12 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, this Board is authorized to meet electronically and did so through Zoom.

Minutes recorded by Heather Brown, Secretary
Board Members: David A. Scalley, Robert Gauthier Jr., Kenneth D. Mills

Members of the Public: Imre Szauter, Jeremy Oleson, Erin Oleson, Mike Hogan, Chris Pappas, Rebecca Pederson, Ben Jellison, Melissa Jellison, Mike Gooden, John Warren, Bonnie Moroney

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairperson Scalley announced the state removed the mask mandate.

PUBLIC HEARING ON FIRE STATION PROPERTY DEED COVENANTS – Chairperson Scalley announced the agenda item and then recused himself from the agenda topic.

Selectperson Gauthier opened the Public Hearing and explained that town counsel reviewed the previous deed covenants for the fire station property and provided a revised listing of deed covenants.
Selectperson Gauthier read out loud the proposed deed covenants for the fire station property.

The following uses are prohibited on the subject property:
• Pawn shops
• Junkyards
• Sale, rental and repair of motor vehicles, recreational vehicles and off-highway recreational vehicles
• Raising and keeping of animals and livestock
• Agriculture
• excavations
• Kennels
• Storage facilities
• Medical marijuana dispensary
• Sexually oriented business
• Materials recycling or processing
• Wholesale businesses, including a discount house or bulk sales outlet

Selectperson Gauthier explained that originally the deed covenants were discussed nine months ago and legal counsel confirmed that some of the discussed covenants were unenforceable.

Discussion of the property with the public, noting that any buyer should ask any questions about the property prior to.

Discussion between Selectperson Mills, Selectperson Gauthier and the public regarding removing medical marijuana dispensary from the list. Further discussion regarding the potential legalizing of marijuana in NH in the future and how it could affect the property. Discussion that if that type of business went in there, it would need to go to the Planning Board and it could restrict itself, as well as, the security, bring traffic to the area, seeing a dispensary in the middle of town.

Selectperson Mills and Selectperson Gauthier were in agreeance to remove medical marijuana dispensary from the list of deed covenants.

Members of public confirmed they did not have any other deed covenants to add or remove.

Selectperson Gauthier announced that the appraisal for the property has been scheduled and will be done by the end of May.

Ben Jellison expressed concern from a previous meeting regarding the question of Town employees/officials participating in the purchase of the property and referenced the Town of Carroll Employee Manual, Article IV.2 Ethics/Conflicts of Interest. Jellison asked Selectperson Gauthier if he could read a couple of sentences out loud; Selectperson Gauthier welcomed it. Ben Jellison read out loud:
“The Town of Carroll expects its employees and officials to conform to the highest ethical and legal standards. Employees are required to refrain from engaging in any activities that create an actual conflict or the appearance of a conflict of interest. Compliance with this policy of ethics and conduct is the responsibility of every Town employee to ensure the continued trust of the Town's citizens and taxpayers.”

Selectperson Mills responded to Jellison that the Board had asked legal counsel about this and confirmed that this practice was acceptable, noting that Chairperson Scalley recused himself from the topic and that the Board was going to be doing a sealed bid.

Ben Jellison acknowledged, but reiterated the reasoning for bringing it up is in the interest of the Town.

Discussion regarding the money of the sale and how it would be used. Mike Gooden is concerned that the money will be put towards the buildings. Selectperson Gauthier confirmed that the money would come in as unanticipated revenue and Selectperson Mills confirmed there are RSA’s that needs to be followed regarding the use of the money from the sale.

Selectperson Mills and Gauthier confirmed they would move forward with the deed covenants as discussed tonight.

Selectperson Gauthier announced the Public Hearing for the Fire Station property deed covenants closed at 5:32 p.m.

Chairperson Scalley resumed his seat on the Board and a ROLL CALL VOTE was done to confirm the closing of the public hearing: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. The Public Hearing is Closed.

At 5:33 p.m., Chairperson Scalley announced that the Board with be going into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 personnel.

At 5:33 p.m., Chairperson Scalley made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 legal. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills and polled; Mills – yes, Gauthier – yes, Scalley – yes.

At 5:41 p.m. Selectperson Mills made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes. The motion was seconded by Chairperson Scalley and polled; Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes.

APPROVE & SIGN THE MANIFESTS – Chairperson Scalley announced the approval and signing of the manifests. All acknowledged that they had signed.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 4/13/2021 – Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of 4/13/2021. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 4/23/2021 – Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of 4/23/2021. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

WATER WARRANT 1st ISSUE 2021 – The Board reviewed the 1st issue water warrant for 2021. Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the 1st issue water warrant for 2021. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

ALL VETERANS EXEMPTION-WILLIAMSON – The Board reviewed the all-veterans exemption for Williamson. Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the all-veterans exemption for Williamson. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

DRIVEWAY PERMIT – The Board reviewed the driveway permit for Luth. Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the driveway permit for Luth. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

MEETINGS TELEPHONICALLY AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC – Selectperson Gauthier explained that he had been approached regarding the topic, as some people do not know how to operate Zoom. Discussion amongst Board concerning the topic. Fire Chief Oleson explained that anyone can participate on the Zoom meeting through their phone, but would look into it more so see the specific steps to getting access to the meeting if participating by phone. The Board also discussed the necessity of Zoom, if Town Hall would be opening, would Zoom still be needed and/or required. The Board agreed that additional research would be required.

FISHING DERBY FOR LABOR DAY – Selectperson Gauthier explained that he was approached about the topic, as the event has happened in the past, typically around Memorial Day, but with Covid, it did not happen last year. The Board explained the event and that it is no cost to the Town and all volunteered. The Board agreed that the it was a good idea to plan for this event this year for Labor Day.

FIRE STATION APPRASIAL – Chairperson Scalley announced the agenda item and then recused himself from the agenda topic.

Selectperson Gauthier explained that the appraisal has been set up to occur by the end of May, or around May 21, 2021. The cost of the appraisal is approximately $1,650. Selectpersons Mills and Gauthier then discussed the next step after the appraisal, would be the decision of the minimum bid price, noting the method would be sealed bid process.

BUDGET DISCUSSIONS – Chairperson Scalley explained that the numbers had been entered into the worksheet and provided to the Board, noting several highlights: PTO buyout, fire truck payment, pay increases, Deputy Clerk position, legal, sewage, building inspector, parks & recreation, resurfacing, culture, etc.

Chairperson Scalley also explained:
• Town Clerk has someone interested in the Deputy position, originally budgeted for $5,000 and is now budgeted for $25,000. The position is based on 25 hours/week at approx. $18/hr.
• The sewage disposal line was increased $1,000 because of the new buildings and there are two septic tanks and waste water oil separator.
• Pay increases were implemented as discussed in each department, noting his discussions and agreeance with Greg Hogan for Hogan’s three employees, the total of the three employees increases of $7,500 together was split between Hogan’s three departments.
• Reminded the Board from the last meeting that the Beautification from the Culture line was zeroed out this year and the budget for the Info Booth had been cut in half to $5,200. Also noting Patriotic Purposes was zeroed out this year and flag purchasing can be taken from another line if needed.

The Board also discussed the legal line, noting that it is at $120,000 and that most likely will not be enough with what is going on, on top of the recent communication regarding the Mitchell Group/FairPoint that the Board needs to discuss in nonpublic, noting the amount of $25,609 needed.

Chairperson Scalley acknowledged and thanked all the departments for working together to get the budget to where it needs to be this year. Chairperson Scalley stated that his highlight questions to the Board are that they balance out. We have $25,609 and potentially another $60,000 in legal, equaling approx. $86,000 shortfall as is.

Board discussion on the Property Inspections budget amount and how it was broken down. The Board acknowledged the reasoning explained by Chairperson Scalley.

The Board discussed the pay raises and decided to retroactively pay the employees the difference in pay starting the week of April 4th.

Chairperson Scalley stated that he had a tax payer ask a question regarding the default budget so he did some research, Scalley then read from the research he found on NHMA:

“RSA 40:13, IX(b) defines the default budget simply as an amount and prescribes how to calculate that amount. The Court also noted that the default budget appears in a warrant article only as a dollar amount and, as such, creates a bottom line figure within which the select board must stay.”

“The default budget freezes the budget at the previous year’s level except for amounts which the town is legally obligated to pay or which were one-time expenses. This means that employee raises should not be included unless they are required by a legally binding and previously ratified contract obligating the municipality to fill particular positions or employ particular people at certain wages.”

Chairperson Scalley stated that the tax payer was not at the meeting tonight and would like the two paragraphs in the meeting minutes. Board discussion regarding the paragraphs and Chairperson Scalley stated he was only mentioning this to answer a question from a taxpayer that approached him regarding the pay raises and default budget.

Board discussion regarding keeping the budget as is, presented tonight, and hope the $86,000 shortfall can be made-up between overall budget savings. Chairperson Scalley further reminded all the department heads to work wisely with the budget and only spend what absolutely needs to be spent.

The Board discussed the Rec. Program with Erin Oleson, noting the total cost to run the program is approximately $16,000 and with what is charged to the families, some money can be earned back, but is an unknown because it would be different weekly. Erin confirmed the money coming in from the children attending goes back into the revolving account to be used towards supplies to last the rest of the Summer. Erin confirmed that the checkbook only has about $8,500 from fundraising, and the Rec. needs a new shed and was planning on fireworks and any other events this Summer would also come out of this account. The Board asked Erin if she had explored fundraising options, Erin confirmed she had not yet, they were waiting to see how the budget went. Discussion of fundraising, sponsorship, advertising and donations. The Board also discussed the number of students and the weekly rates.

Melissa Jellison asked for a point of clarification – “are you asking us to raise $16,000 by the end of June to start July 1st”? The Board confirmed that was correct.

Chairperson Scalley confirmed with Erin Oleson that 4-5 of the full-time students went to Whitefield and/or Bethlehem last year. Chairperson Scalley also stated that Whitefield Rec. confirmed they had room this year for students.

The Board suggested that Rec. fundraise as much as they could this year to plan for next year and that kids go to Whitefield and/or Bethlehem this year for rec, noting the default budget this year and all of the unknowns.

The Board reminded all departments the budget is very tight and only spend what they need to spend.

OPENING TOWN HALL TO THE PUBLIC & MASK MANDATE – Chairperson Scalley explained that the Governor removed the mask mandate and things have been opening up. The Board discussed opening up the Town Hall and any restrictions. Rebecca Pederson, Town Clerk, requested that masks still be worn when entering the Town Hall. Imre Szauter suggested that someone from the Board reach out to the Librarian to get any input or concerns from him as well. The Board acknowledged and designated Chairperson Scalley full authority to communicate with the Librarian regarding any concerns with the soft opening of the Town Hall.

The Board agreed that the Town Hall would be open for Town Hall Business only starting on Monday, May 3, 2021 and masks would be required to enter, signs will be posted on the doors notifying the public.

KEY CARD REQUEST – June Rogier requested a key card to access the Town Hall, as the newest Library Trustee. The Board discussed and asked the Admin. to send June an application, once received back, the board would review at the next meeting and approve, but did want to note, new key cards cannot be programed or issued until the card system is fixed, which is currently being worked on.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (DORSEY) – The Board reviewed a certificate of occupancy for Dorsey. Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the certificate of occupancy for Dorsey. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

FOLLOW UP:
TAX DEEDED PROPERTY, ROUTE 3 NORTH – Nothing new to report, still working on with Town Counsel.

SOUND PANELS – Chairperson Scalley stated everything has been installed. The cleaning crew is scheduled to come in and all work should be completed by the end of the weekend.

WATER REPORT – Chairperson Scalley updated the Board on the progress of the recommended issues identified from the report that were recommended and discussed with Greg Hogan.
• Investigate installation of storage tank mixers: in progress
• Develop Cross Connection Control Ordinance: in progress
• Budget for wells and storage tank periodic inspection: scheduled for 2022
• Implement asset management program including distribution mapping: done

RIGHT TO KNOW/SOCIAL MEDIA – Town counsel recommended that if the Town is going to host a social media page, the Town must have (1) a written policy on content, (2) only a few select town officials/employees are allowed to post, and (3) posts are reviewed before going up.

The Board discussed and suggested the Admin. reach out to our website vendor to inquire if they had a policy template used by other Towns.

LAND USE SECRETARY POSITION – The Board explained that they had met with the three applicants and would be discussing further in nonpublic to determine candidate for the position.

HIGHWAY TRUCK & TRADE VALUE – Selectperson Scalley stated he has confirmed with Pape that the trade-in value is $21,000 and the dealership Greg Hogan is dealing with agreed to match the $21,000 trade.

OTHER:

Rebecca Pederson, Town Clerk made the Board aware of an abatement in question. The Board determined that the conversation would be continued in nonpublic.

Rebecca Pederson, Town Clerk made the Board aware that she received an application for the Deputy Clerk position. The Board discussed the position details Rebecca Pederson presented to the applicant, noting the position would be for 25 hrs./week and $18+/hr., approx. 6 ½ hours a day doing registrations and taxes, which would help the Town Clerk catch up on filing and putting tax liens where they belong. There was also conversation regarding training and specifics, noting Deputy must be a resident and be certified through the state.

The Board also brought up the suggestion that the position possibly cross train with the land use position, just to have backup, as well as doing the same for the Admin. position.

Chairperson Scalley announced the next meeting will be Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall, in person.

At 7:39 p.m., Chairperson Scalley announced that the Board with be going into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 personnel and RSA 91-A:3 legal.

At 7:39 p.m., Chairperson Scalley made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 legal. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills and polled; Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes.

At 8:57 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills and polled; Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes.

At 8:57 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to adjourn. Selectperson Mills seconded.
ROLL CALL VOTE: Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes. Chairperson Scalley declared the meeting ended at 8:57 p.m.