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Minutes of 5/11/2021

May 17th, 2021

Carroll Select Board
Meeting Minutes
May 11, 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 (via Zoom)

Members of the Public: Imre Szauter, Jeremy Oleson, Mike Hogan, Diane Hogan, Chris Pappas, Rebecca Pederson, Mike Gooden, Bobbi Amirault, Brad Hare, Mike Elkin, Greg Hogan, Ben Jellison (via Zoom), Michelle Palys (via Zoom)

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairperson Scalley requested a moment of silence for Jay Ouellette who recently passed.

Chairperson Scalley stated the reason for the remote meeting is Covid, as they are still offering even though the meeting tonight is in person.

Chairperson Scalley confirmed that everyone present could hear and speak, everyone confirmed.

Chairperson Scalley acknowledged that the Board would be doing roll call votes because Selectperson Mills was participating remotely via Zoom.

Chairperson Scalley asked Selectperson Mills to identify himself, his remote location and identify if anyone is at his remote location. Selectperson Mills stated that he was at home in his office. His wife, Sandy Pothier and her brother Joe are watching tv in the living room.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 4/27/2021 – Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to approve the 4/27/2021 minutes as written. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

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

INTENT TO CUT-HICKS – The Board reviewed the Intent to Cut for Hicks. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the Intent to Cut for Hicks. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

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

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

DRIVEWAY PERMIT (REGAN) – The Board reviewed the driveway permit for Regan. Board discussion regarding an email received by John Warren. Chairperson Scalley informed the Board that he spoke with John Warren as well as the developer, Mr. Cryans today and verified the driveway is going off the road, not off Warren’s driveway. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the driveway permit for Regan. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

KEY CARD REQUEST – June Rogier submitted the application for key card to access the Town Hall, as the newest Library Trustee. The Board reviewed the application. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the application requesting access to the Town Hall for Rogier. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously. The form will be passed on to the Police Chief and Fire Chief for finalization.

NHRS USER ACCESS FORM – The Admin. presented an application to the Board requesting access to the NH Retirement System that is needed for compliance in reporting. The Board reviewed the application. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the application giving Heather Brown authority to access the NH Retirement System in order to report. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

The Admin. explained to the Board that the next two agenda items are needed for reporting to DRA (MS-535 and MS-60A).

MS-535, 2020 – The Board reviewed the MS-535 form. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the MS-535 form. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

MS-60A, 2020 – The Board reviewed the MS-535 form. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the MS-60A form. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

POLICE DEPARTMENT DONATION – Chairperson Scalley announced that the Police Department received a donation for $100 and a thank you letter dated 5/1/2021 from Joe Pisani. Selectperson Scalley read the letter that was included with the donation:

Thank you to you and Officer Hennessey for responding to the alarm at our home.
It is encouraging to know that your department is watching over the community.
Please find a small donation enclosed for your department.
Best wishes, Joe Pisani

GARDEN CLUB REQUEST – The Admin. informed the Board that Linda Finn had requested booking the Community Room for the Garden Club meetings on every 3rd Thursday, starting May 20th to September 16th. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to approve Linda Finn’s request for the Garden Club meetings. Chairperson Scalley seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE. All in favor. The motion passed unanimously.

BRAD HARE – Explained that he is the owner of the Twin Mountain KOA on Route 115 and wanted to thank the Board for allowing him to speak tonight. Hare wanted to go on record and thank Greg Hogan and Scott Sonia, DS Contractors, Central Paving and The State of NH, as well as everyone who had a hand in helping with the water leak in March. Hare explained that he was out of state in Ohio and received a call on March 12th from Greg Hogan at 6:20AM regarding the leak. Over the next several weeks, under miserable conditions, to say the very least, he really appreciated everyone’s help.

Hare further explained that he was at the meeting to tonight to also ask if the Town would possibly help defer some of his expenses, specifically, trying to locate the curb stops on 115. Hare noted that locating them was a three-day venture, in order to find the shut off valve. Hare stated that he believes when it was finally located, it was across the road from the KOA. Hare explained that he understands his property, noting he put in a new waterline once the water got shut off. Hare asked the Board if business owners and residents are on the hook for things that happen, when the Town cannot find the water shutoffs, noting the great efforts to locate it.

Chairperson Scalley asked Hare what type of cost he was looking for to be deferred. Hare replied that he did not really have one but was more looking for a percentage and was thinking whatever three days of trying to locate the Town’s shutoff valve would be and would deem that to the Board to discuss and determine.

Chairperson Scalley asked Hare if he would be ok if the Board discussed at a later date, noting the Board was not up to date on any of this. Hare responded that he was absolutely fine with that and would welcome it. Chairperson Scalley stated that the Board would confer with Scott and Greg and discuss further.

Discussion between the Board, Mike Hogan and Greg Hogan regarding the marking of the shutoffs. Scalley explained that when they were put in 20+ years ago by the construction companies, they were never marked, noting this is happening in Town’s everywhere, and unknown until there is a water leak. When roads get repaved, sometimes they go right over the curb stop and are not remarked by the paving companies.

Greg Hogan explained that they have located approximately 95% of the shutoffs in the Town, noting there were unforeseen circumstances at this specific location. Greg Hogan further noted that Route 115 was redone, and the Town had information that was false and other information that was sort-of true. Greg Hogan stated that Scott has been out and is continuously mapping to keep things up to date and unfortunately the records from the past were limited and not updated, noting the ongoing process of
Greg and Scott updating them manually to stay up to date as they are found.

It was confirmed by Greg Hogan and Chairperson Scalley that the shutoffs are being marked as they are found, as well as mapped. Greg Hogan further confirmed that they are mapped in a book, written down with measurements, as well as Scott marking the location with blue marks on the road. Greg Hogan explained that there were no records when he started, and it’s been 15 years of updating a book from scratch that was originally at the department.

BUDGET – Chairperson Scalley explained that at the last meeting the Board went through all of the numbers and just this afternoon the confirmed numbers that were spoken about at the previous meeting were entered into the system and the budget report was sent to the Select Board, as well as department heads. Chairperson Scalley reminded everyone that it is a budget in progress, noting things are going to change, and further noted that at the last meeting the Board agreed to leave $86,000 floating around in legal because they didn’t have the money yet funded, but hoped with everyone’s budget some could be saved and hope that legal is less than what they’re anticipating.

Chairperson Scalley asked the Board to find time to review it and make sure everything is correct. Scalley reiterated that each line does not have to be exact, it’s the bottom line of the budget. Scalley also acknowledged that the public does not have this report yet and reminded the public that it was just done today.

Discussion between Chief Oleson and Chairperson Scalley regarding line 01-4220-10.104. Oleson explained that the line was brought to $27,000 and it was never brought up in discussion. Chairperson Scalley explained that the $27,000 was half of the pay for the 6-months. Scalley admitted there was mistake made on that line, noting there was already $11,000 used and the line is $11,000 short, and the $11,000 was not carried. Chief Oleson expressed his concern with hiring for the position given the budget amount on the line, noting the department shortage, a town that is continuing to grow, and a department that continues to shrink. Scalley reassured Oleson that if someone was found for the position the money would be there and would be moved around.

Ben Jellison expressed his concern with comments in discussion regarding the budget, including “I missed that”, “that was my mistake” and “I missed it”, regarding the oversight on the Fire Department budget line. Jellison wanted to confirm that the decisions were a group decision, noting it’s a Board of three. Chairperson Scalley stated that he was the one that put the default budget together with the Admin. but did note the other two Select Board members did review. Jellison clarified his point, that they are a Board, noting Scalley is of one of three, and it’s a group decision, it’s on all of them.

Discussion regarding the 2nd Fire Fighter position status (challenges, shortage, advertising, hours, enlisting a headhunter, mailing to community, newsletter, etc.). Selectperson Gauthier is going to look into the cost of postage to do a mailing to notify the Town of the situation and the position need. Selectperson Mills is going to speak with Bonnie Moroney regarding the newsletter posting in the past, raising funds, advertising, and the effect of her efforts.

Diane Hogan expressed her concern on people voting and seeing the warrant article and only seeing how much money it’s going to cost and do not come to the deliberative session and do not know what it is all about, they only see that the taxes are going to go up. Diane Hogan asked the Board about going back to to a Town meeting and do all the voting there, instead of voting after the deliberative session.

Brief Discussion regarding SB2 vs. Town Meeting. Ben Jellison explained it’s as simple as another warrant article that would need to be crafted to go back to Town meeting form of government and voted on, noting that he thinks it’s 3/5th’s majority to go back. Diane Hogan pointed out that people do not know what they are voting on because they do not go to the deliberative session.

Chairperson Scalley stated that a warrant article would have to be added to the warrant article list for March. Selectperson Gauthier confirmed and does not have a feeling either way, noting pros and cons. Chris Pappas confirmed with the Board that the Town meeting method would replace the ballot method, and further noted that maybe more people would get involved.

Scalley also wanted to voice a thought that businesses in Town should also have a vote on the budget if they are a resident or not, noting the residents are making decisions for businesses in Town that have no say, giving an example of Michelle Palys, not a resident, but owns a business and pays taxes. Palys voiced that she like the idea. Pappas explained that in CT he could vote on municipal matters, but not elections, because he paid over $900 in property taxes. Pappas also stated that criteria would also include all the 2nd home homeowners.

MASK MANDATE – Chairperson Scalley inquired about the members of the public wearing masks in the Town Hall if they were in the administrative/office area, behind the door where the employees are, noting where the line is drawn of who is public and who is not public? Discussion amongst the Board and consensus is that members of the public should not be allowed in the administrative/office area and if they were to be they should have a mask on and still abide by the 6-foot distancing.

SIGN PERMIT FOR K9 FUN TOWN, LLC – The Board reviewed the sign permit for K9 Fun Town, LLC. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to sign the sign permit for K9 Fun Town, LLC. Chairperson Scalley 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.

FIRE STATION APPRASIAL – Chairperson Scalley announced the agenda item and then recused himself from the agenda topic. Selectperson Gauthier announced that the appraisal would be done by the end of May. Selectperson Mills also informed the Board that he has been in contact with Salmon Press regarding advertising. Mills further explained that there are 11 papers, if the Board was to advertise in all 11, the cost would be approx. $821 per week and if the Board were to choose the papers geographically around the area the cost would be approx. $292 per week.

Chairperson Scalley returned to the Board.

SCHOOL WITHDRAWAL – Selectperson Gauthier updated the Board from the last meeting that was on Thursday, noting that there have been two meetings so far. Gauthier thanked everyone that has attended and further comparisons to the other towns. Gauthier noted that when Jellison presented the proposal to have the four-year scale back with the taxes and appropriations formula, it was taken that we were drawing a line in the sand and he wanted to clarify that was not the approach at all. Gauthier highlighted that if the Town withdrew completely, they would be hurting more than if they took our negotiation in the first place. Gauthier further explained that if they did go into a tuition Town, the Town would also be paying less than proposed. Jellison confirmed that VT students who are tuition pay way less than what Carroll’s students pay. Gauthier also confirmed that Carroll is the highest paying Town of cost per student in the state, $73,000. Gauthier stated that they want to stay with SAU 36, but the cost also needs to be reasonable.

Selectperson Gauthier stated that the school withdrawal meetings are on the 1st and 3rd Thursday’s at 6:00PM-8:00PM and encouraged everyone to attend. Gauthier explained that he has had conversations with some of the members afterwards about their understanding of our approach, a very reasonable one and laid out, noting it seemed like some were shocked. Gauthier stated it’s been positive and he is optimistic.

Selectperson Gauthier offered to continue to be the lead on the School withdrawal, noting that he and Selectperson Mills are leading the effort together. Selectperson Mills welcomed and appreciated the offer, noting that he will be flying again soon and the importance of having representation there. Mills will still be involved with Gauthier. Selectperson Mills asked Ben Jellison to share information and confirm the question of Carroll being able to pay for it, noting the valuation of the Town and the taxes. Jellison referenced that at 1 or 2 of the meetings with the superintendent and the business administrator, what we pay for students, doesn’t cost the average homeowner that much because we have these large things, like the Omni, noting that Jellison and the committee explained that it wasn’t the case. Jellison also explained that he has not seen or heard that kind of language at any of the school district meetings yet. Jellison stated that it has not been spoken of in that context. Gauthier also confirmed that he had not seen/heard that tone either.

Selectperson Gauthier pointed out an interesting question that was brought up at the last meeting noting that if Carroll does decide to withdraw, where does all the money for the books go that have already been paid for? Noting the equity that’s already been invested over the years of being part of it, and further asking how does that get broken down? Gauthier also pointed out that there are currently no bonds, no new projects, or anything outstanding that Carroll has committed to pay for, noting this is a really good time to approach this subject.

OTHER:

Chairperson Scalley wanted to notify the Board that there are contracts that were already agreed upon prior to the default budget, noting two invoices that were received today that are yearly contracts, Johnson Controls, $780 for each building (Town Hall and Public Safety) for monitoring. Scalley wanted to make the Board aware that this is above and beyond the default budget and needing to find the money to be allocated on the two contracts referenced. Selectperson Mills confirmed that they were not specific line items and that they were not one-time purchases either; Scalley confirmed they were a yearly contract. Selectperson Mills expressed that he would like to do some research, because this issue may fall into the inbound Covid relief funds, noting the rules were just released yesterday. Scalley requested that the Admin. send the two invoices to Selectperson Mills for further research.

Chairperson Scalley reminded the Board that at the last meeting they had discussed the settlement with the Mitchell Municipal Group regarding FairPoint, noting the Town was successful for the $25,609. Scalley explained that the payment would be split in half over two years with 0% finance charges. The first payment of of $12,804.50 would be due December 2021 and the remaining $12,804.50 would be due December 2022.

Greg Hogan updated the Board on the purchase of the highway truck, noting the body they are waiting for is now available and the truck should be ready within the next 2-3 weeks. Greg Hogan thanked the taxpayers with this purchase.

Selectperson Mills pointed out that it was stated the reason for remote tonight was for Covid; Mills wanted to state that his reason for remote was because of medical issues with his back.

Selectperson Mills explained that the Board delegates tasks in addition to other things, for example he was delegated to do look into the federal funding criteria and as a Board they will decide. Mills reiterated that they delegate tasks and then come together as a Board to make decisions, in reference to previous discussion tonight about Scalley’s delegation to handle the budget preparation.

Imre Szauter reported that the representative for the sidewalk snow melt system came today and did a walk through with Louis Cassady. Photographs were taken and there were problems identified that are going to presented to manufacturer to try to be resolved. Szauter stated that the apron and the two sidewalk systems have been shut down and electrically disconnected.

Chairperson Scalley announced the next meeting will be Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall, in person.

At 7:12 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 7:12 p.m., Chairperson Scalley made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 legal and personnel. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier and polled; Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes.

At 8:33 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.

Discussion regarding the open Admin. position.

Selectperson Gauthier made motion to delegate Chairperson Scalley the task to work with the Admin. to get an ad in the newspaper for the Admin. position before Friday at Noon. Selectperson Mills seconded. ROLL CALL VOTE: Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes.

At 8:38 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to adjourn. Selectperson Gauthier seconded.
ROLL CALL VOTE: Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes, Scalley – yes. Chairperson Scalley declared the meeting ended at 8:38 p.m.