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Minutes of 7/13/2021

July 20th, 2021

Select Board Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes
July 13, 2021
6:00 PM
“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: Judy Ramsdell
Board Members in Attendance: Chair David Scalley, Rob Gauthier, and Ken Mills
Other in Attendance: Imre Szauter, Chris Pappas, Greg Hogan, Vernon Amirault, Brian Mycko, Annette Marquis, Michael Gooden
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Chairperson Scalley confirmed that the manifest was signed.
Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6, 2021 Selectmen’s Meeting. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Sale of Fire Station:
Dave Scalley recused himself. Selectperson Gauthier said that we conferred with legal who informed us that we should post the public hearing notice in the newspaper so the public hearings on the sale of the fire station will be held on July 20th at 6:00 p.m. and on August 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Rob said he enjoyed the spirted exchange at the last meeting about using a realtor or not. We look forward to the healthy discussions at the hearings. Ken Mills said he did some research on what other communities have done with the sale of town properties. He said he spoke with Mr. Ben Oleson, Lancaster Town Manager, and he said they have not had this type of property situation, but deeded property goes to auction, and equipment goes to bid. Littleton uses sealed bids for deeded property, no record of town-owned property sold. The sale of the fire station is a rather unique situation. Any comparison we are going to get is going to be with tax-deeded properties that have been sold. There has been no direct correlation to town-owned property having been sold by another town. Ken said he is going to check with other towns. He has a call into Bethlehem. Ken said he will follow-up at the hearing with additional information. Dave rejoined the meeting.
Water Warrant – Wotton: Chairperson Scalley said there was confusion last week with this warrant and the numbers didn’t match. Dave said that was because this is the last page of 73 pages. Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the water warrant for Wotton. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Intent to Cut Hogan, Route 115: Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the Intent to Cut for Hogan. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Ken said that when he spoke with Lancaster they said the reason they sell the property the way they do is because a realtor is too expensive.
Rob Gauthier said that on July 20th he has to be in Manchester. He said he would be more than happy to write up a statement, but Ken will have to run the meeting. Ken asked if he would be available remotely, and Rob said his meeting is at 5:30. Ken said we won’t have a quorum. Dave said we can get back to this discussion after we have done our agenda items.
Intent to Cut Dave Scalley, Grandpa Harry’s Lane: Selectperson Mills made a motion to sign the Intent to Cut for Scalley. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. Dave Scalley abstained. Motion passes, 2-0.
Certificate of Occupancy Plage: Chairperson Scalley said that this will be tabled. We still need to get signatures from the Fire Chief, and Dave hasn’t connected with him yet.
Right- to- Know Request: Chairperson Scalley said we got some information last week from Chief Bailey of someone who was requesting 20 years of records from the police department. Dave spoke with our town attorney, Meredith, as we had discussed, and she put a letter together to send out. Only thing Dave added was he corrected the phone number and added an email address to contact the selectmen. Dave said that needs to be mailed out tomorrow. Katelyn should have emailed it out today to all three board members without the corrections. Information only. Chairperson will sign the letter.
Garden Club – Recreation Field: Vern said that Bobbi Amirault can’t be here because she is making pancake batter. She discussed this with Dave last week. Dave said she had sent an email to all three members with a drawing she made up for the rec area. She had already spoken with Greg, and he thinks it is great idea where it is going to go and what they are going to do. Vern said that Greg has already taken down the dead birch. It is pretty much informational. They are going to beautify the recreation area like they have done all over town. Vern said it is something they have to do to justify the grant they received. They are meeting Thursday morning to lay out exactly what they are going to do. The board said thank you very much and tell Bobbi thank you as well.
Presidential Pest Control: Dave said that we had discussed the mice getting taken care of, and Dave had the estimate, which they all should have gotten a copy of, and this is for all the other critters crawling around the building, i.e. spiders, ants, and carpenter ants. Ken Mills: Did anyone else submit a bid? Dave did call JP Pest Control, and he still has not heard back from them. Not a whole lot who do this. Selectperson Mills made a motion to accept the estimate from Presidential Pest Control. Selectperson Gauthier second. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes. Rob thanked Dave for taking the lead on that to get it taken care of. Hard when people don’t call back when you want it done immediately.
Melanson discussion: Dave said that we all should have received an email about chit chat going around within the google chat groups. Dave said that we just got our 2019 audit done not too long ago. They are having problems with staffing and manpower. They are way behind, and not sure when they will get our 2020 audit done. Dave spoke with Kelly and Judy, and Dave is going to get the names of some other auditors. They are not frequent flyers up here. He will get as many leads as he possibly can and get it to the board as soon as he can.
Annette Marquis said in 2017 when she was voted in as treasurer, they always brought us right to the wire, which is very unsettling. She said she was on the school board at that time, and they always received their audits within a few months. If we had to get TAN funds, the bank can deny us because we don’t have an audit. Since 2017 we have not needed to borrow money to get us through tax time. Annette said she would highly recommend finding someone else. They have been doing this for years, even before Annette was treasurer. Annette said they got slower and slower and slower, and they never returned her calls, not once when she was the treasurer. Dave said that we are going to get some names of auditing firms. The Board thanked Annette for the input.
Dave said he bumped into Sue Grabael, and they are going to need volunteers for supervisors of the checklist. Diane Hogan and Linda Finn have both sold their properties or in the process of selling their properties and moving on. Susan said she cannot do it alone and needs some help. As a board, we need to find a couple volunteers who would be interested in serving as Supervisors of the Checklist. Annette Marquis said she would be interested. She should be moving into her new house by the middle of September. She is currently in Bethlehem, but her intent is to be a Twin Mountain resident. She is building a house here to move into, and she will send the board an email expressing her interest. Ken said that Sandy Pothier, his wife, may be interested as well.
Quotes from Certified Computer: Dave said that when Certified Computer was here setting up the back computer, they had some concerns about the computer and the age of it. Ken said he doesn’t understand the firewall failing. Dave said he knows zero about it. Ken says he wants to understand what we are paying for and what we are getting. Dave was going to ask Imre and Brian for their input. Bryan said that depending on the age they stop updating the software for the firewall. They recommend equipment replacement every five years. The firewall is in bad shape at this time, and if it dies we will lose internet connection and the MMAP tunnel for vehicle registrations. We do have a contract option that would allow the town to pay for the equipment over five years. Brian said if that goes out, you lose everything. Brian said from when he was a selectperson, we only have a single firewall. If that dies, you won’t have internet access. Brian said in five years, yes, it has seen its lifetime. Even in hospitals we average five years to replace that equipment. Ken said from what he read it is a five-year contract, and we would be encumbered to pay that for five years. Brian said it is pretty likely you are not going to get updates past five years. Dave said with the five-year contract, we would have to approve each year. We would have to put an out in the contract as the Board is not allowed to sign more than a one-year contract. Ken asked if there are other providers out there that we could check with? Brian said he was not sure about that. Ken asked they will accept that? Dave said he just barely got the information so he does not know. Dave said we can wait until next year’s budget. It is five years old now. It could die today or two years from now. It is not something that has an expiration date. Dave said in going over the budget, we went to the default budget, carried $20,000 last year in the budget for Certified for a computer contract. We are not anywhere near spending $20,000. We had put in additional funds in that line item for the new buildings in case we didn’t get the grants we needed to get. Not going to spend anywhere near that. Still some variables we have to get through with the SAU attorneys. Ken was wondering if we could draw from that line item, and Dave said we could if we needed to. That is legitimate. Computer software was budged at $20,000, and right now we have 85% left. We have only spent a little less than $3,000. Dave said the cost would be $11,620 if we want to do both. That is a one shot. If we pay it over five years, you would just divide that amount by 5. Information only for now. Important. Keep that on the agenda. Dave will contact Certified.
Conservation Commission notice to post on web site: Joan Karpf asked if we would post a notice on the web site that volunteers are needed to serve on the Conservation Commission. Ken Mills made a motion to post the Conservation Commission notice on the web site. The motion was seconded by Rob Gauthier. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Tax Deeded Property: Still nothing from the state
Fire Station appraisal: Rob said at 6:30 he will be done, and he can be available at 6:30 to phone in to participate by phone. He will be in Manchester. He can call in at 6:30. It has already been posted in the newspaper. Ken said he feels we will have a quorum issue. Dave said he will recuse after we have a quorum. Rob will chime in and then Dave will recuse. Rob said he will check with NHMA to see what we can do. Ken said it is worth investigating, and we want to do it right. Ken said if it turns out we will have a quorum of the board to start then Dave recuses himself and Rob can join remotely then we can go ahead with the hearing. If that is not the case, then we will have to come up with an alternative plan. August 3rd is the next scheduled hearing after the July 20th hearing. We will get that question answered tomorrow.
School withdrawal: Rob said that he spoke with Ben today. Ben had one person in mind who he spoke with and who could do it and would meet our needs. We will probably have to do a face to face with the person. $125 an hour and everything else done remotely (after the initial face to face) to continue this process. Ben is in a holding pattern waiting to contact this person again if the board so chooses to hire this person. This is the only person he had a name for based on the recommendation from the attorney. Maybe Chris, Rob, and another member of the withdrawal could meet with this person and present our case so they can write up the minority report. Rob is still of the mindset we need to continue this fight for the future select boards and residents of the town. Dave said Ken was part of the coalition committee with Bonnie. They met last week, and Dave has a couple of questions on the report. Dave said he will table those questions until the next meeting. Rob said that Ben is looking for a green light. Dave had questions on the section about the tax impact and if it would have any effect on moving forward. Dave also is wondering about the $11,000 we put into this. Has that money been expended? Dave will follow-up on this with Bonnie.
Rob Gauthier said at last week’s meeting we got some feedback, and it is always good to question town officials. It was the manner it was done in that Rob took exception to. Ken voiced his opinion at that meeting. Rob said he just wanted some time to think about it, and even at this evening’s meeting we are trying to run town business as part-time elected officials. We are lucky to meet once a week with busy schedules. We are trying to be so transparent and have public input, but at the same time it bogs down the meeting. Rob said the school withdrawal committee adopted a policy that everything has to be said with the best intent. Even the questioning is with the best intent. It seems like innuendos go on and bogs things down to the point that people are talking over each other. It is our meeting, and we need to get business done. Even tonight, did we get another estimate? We are just trying to move forward. We are in a very remote area, and we don’t have a lot of time. Rob said Ken and Dave put in a lot of time, and he hopes people realize how much times goes into it. When we make a decision like this to move forward, it is more of efficiency rather can we save $20 here or $400 here, not that we wouldn’t want to do that but if an opportunity presents itself and it is right there sometimes we have to make a decision. Rob said the Presidential Pest thing irked him in the sense of the way it was questioned. He doesn’t mind it being questioned. Rob said he wants the public to ask it. That is what this democracy does, but at the same time it was the innuendos, bogs it downs and is getting disappointed. We are back here trying to do the best we can at all times and trying to be transparent. Creating transparency leads to people saying whatever they want at our meetings. No need for that type of behavior. Dave said he agrees.
Next Meeting: July 20th 6:00 pm try for the public meeting first and go from there. If we can’t for some reason have the public hearing on the 20th, we will notice it on the website, but we will still have a meeting.
At 6:37 pm Chairperson Scalley closed the meeting. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3, Legal and Personnel. Selectperson Mills seconded. All in favor, 3-0 motion passes.
At 7:30 p.m. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes of the non-public session. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
At 7:30 p.m. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.