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Minutes of 8/3/2021

August 10th, 2021

Select Board Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes
August 3, 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, Ken Mills, and Rob Gauthier.
Other in Attendance: Chris & Judy Pappas, Vernon and Bobbi Amirault, Brian Mycko, Michael Gooden, Janet Nelson, Lois Pesman, Rena Vecchio, Ben Jellison, Paula Murphy, Jeff Warren, Evan Karpf, John Warren, Andy Smith
Chairperson Scalley called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Dave Scalley recused himself from the Public Hearing as he may be a bidder for the property.
PUBLIC HEARING – DISCUSSION OF SALE OF FIRE STATION
Rob Gauthier said that Ken Mills will give a brief synopsis of what we have already been through. We are going to try not to rehash the same items. We don’t want to stifle dialogue.
Ken said this is the second hearing on the sale of the fire station. Three people are here tonight that were not at the last meeting. Had the first hearing on the 20th of June to discuss the sale of the fire station. Article 30 was passed by a town vote at this year’s town meeting. We received the letters of recommendation from the planning board and conservation commission. Town counsel has given us a check list to work through. Got an updated appraisal from White Mountain Appraisals. NH DOT has some restrictions for the driveway, which will be an on-going issue and for buyers to be aware of. There are no restrictions for individuals in the town buying it, including selectboard members and that is why Dave is recusing himself. From last meeting to this meeting, Ken said the Registry of Deeds employees Leon Rideout and Abbie gave him a call the next day. They found the best indication of a deed—the tax card goes back to 1935 with the building. This information indicates that in 1946 the property was acquired by the town. It was initially a hotel, town hall, fire company then fire station and that is all indicated on those maps. This was the best they could come up with, and we will probably need some additional research with legal. That is a good place to start. We have talked about the restrictions, which is in the minutes of the last meeting. We also have the numbers from the appraisal, bottom line was a weighted value of $176,000. The appraisal is a 76-page document.
What we are attempting to do with the hearing is do we want to go with a realtor, sealed bid, or auction? Ken said he talked about the realtors and closed bids at the last meeting. There is a realtor here tonight who will speak as well. Ken said we would like to get into auctions tonight. He contacted
area towns (Lancaster, Littleton, Bethlehem, Lincoln, Berlin) to find out what other towns did. It is a little bit of everything depending on what you are selling. Tax deeded properties are usually auctions or sealed bids. Sometimes a realtor, like with the school in Berlin and the golf course in Bethlehem.
Ken had a discussion with Andy Smith, who is here tonight. It was a very generous offer from a realtor’s perspective, a 3 ½% fee, advertising with the MLS. Ken spoke with Mona at Century 21, and she shared similar things to what Andy said. Maybe a 9% commission but with further discussions. There will be a cost to the town.
Auctions: Ken said thank you to Brian who raised it at the last meeting. Ken said he immediately went to James R. St. Jean Auctioneers and spoke with him as well as Richard Sager, of Ossipee. They are both very good companies. Town counsel has recommended that we get recommendations on whatever auction companies we are considering. Ken said he is looking at two right now, and they both seem to be top notch agencies. Ken spoke with Concord, Dawn Enright, and they have done business with St. Jean Auctioneers, and she said working with them was a breeze from start to finish, could not have gone better. They had six properties, which the town had deeded and owned. She also said she had 12 years of working with them previously. She worked in another town who used them, and they had 34 properties at that location. Ken had a bit of an issue having people call him back and connecting with them. Two recommendations on Mr. Sager of NH Tax & Deed Auctions. Haverhill & Eaton Ken was able to contact and spoke with Jennifer Boucher & Lee Ann Balsnar. Haverhill had multiple properties. They had two auctions one was with 66 properties, and they completed it in an hour and a half. Auctions are very quick, and the reason for that is because all the work they do prior to, i.e. advertising, contacts, email lists. St. Jean has a very broad email list, 7,500 but it spreads out from there because there is a network of people who are buying properties. In discussions Ken had with all these people, real estate market is relatively hot. The way commercial properties work is people will show up to do the bidding but there are money interests behind that. One caveat to the auctions, if someone shows up and they make a bid and need to get financing. Deposits are made, bidders have to register, and it could be anywhere from $5,000 (for land) to $10,000 (for land and building). That money is at risk if you make the purchase and can’t follow through on the purchase. This will be something Rob and Ken will need to decide if we go the route of an auction. Do we go to next bidder? Do we try to resell it? St. Jean are very generous in the sense that any advertising cost in that scenario they absorb. Deposit is split between the town and auctioneer, and you have to find out where you go from there. Don’t want to see us paying for anything for the auction. Both companies indicated that it is 10% buyer premium on the sale so the town doesn’t pay for anything other than potentially legal costs. Mr. Sager is an attorney so he can take it from start to finish and he can handle all those transactions from the bid process to the sale. It would require limited legal counsel, i.e. the deed and closing. Ken did pass around the deed with the maps he got from the registry. Haverhill said excellent job for Mr. Sager and Eaton said it was a wonderful experience.
Rob said last meeting we started discussing what we will do with the funds. Here to talk about the sale of the property. We can have the discussion on the proceeds at another meeting.
Lois Pesman: Is that an auction that you have to be present at? Ken said that they do allow non-present bidders and they have to register and submit that as they serve as proxies for those bidders. Not common but it does happen. Do they need to come to see the property in person? That is up the buyer. Auctioneers do the advertising, which includes showing the property. Not sure of the details of that. When Ken was doing this work, he was non-committal so they are non-committal. Not going to share the details because that has to be hashed out. Rob said we haven’t made a decision on this yet and we won’t be making a decision tonight. It will have to be 7 to 14 days after tonight’s meeting that Ken and Rob will deliberate and decide on that. These are good questions we would take to both of the auctioneers for follow-up.
Brian Mycko: At that auction in Salem they had an hour before the auction to look at the building. Lois said so they would lose the buyers who could not come to the auction. Salem fire department had 6 to 8 bidders and it was done in 12 minutes. The bidding starts lower than what we have for an appraisal, according to industry standard, and both auctioneers indicated that. They said you have to get the interest going, and it is pretty expediential once it gets going. We would like to get at least the assessed value plus our costs.
Jeff Warren asked if there would be a minimum bid. One says no minimum bid and the other one said we could start at a minimum bid but typical industry standards start well below. Is a minimum bid an option for the town? Rob and Ken said it can be. That is getting into the details that we will negotiate or discuss with the auctioneer. Ken said when he spoke with Mr. Sager, he asked us what was our objective to sell the building. Wanting something isn’t going to make it happen. What you want is a good auction. He said you want to get the auction started and go from there. If you put a minimum bid on it, you are constraining what they can do and what the bidders will be doing. Important to realize it is a constraint on how the auction process works. Ken said he has learned a lot in this process and is glad to share it. Ken said he contacted the town of Salem today, and they got $290,000 on an $186,000 assessment. Is that going to happen here? We don’t know. They worked with St. Jean. Ken didn’t get a lot of call-backs on St. Jean. What he did get from Salem was very good. If we do go with an auction, it is going to be a tough decision on which auctioneer to use. Salem had that experience when we are considering that. Ken said in terms of transparency, we do have a selectboard member who is probably going to be participating in the process, if you have a realtor you have different touch points along the way, people talking and discussing and transacting. Sealed bids would probably be his next choice. When you have an auction, everything is right there, everyone is registered and everyone had to put money down and everybody is going to be standing there and bidding and everyone will know what everyone is doing. The winner takes all and walks away, and that is the end of the story. For Ken that had a huge preponderance for the interest of the town.
Rena: We are in the north country, and how many would actually bid on a fire station? That would play into how much money we are actually going to get. If there aren’t that many people who are going to bid, that would impact what we might get for it. Ken said there were 34 bidders in Salem, but they flipped that back to Ken saying you may only have 6-8 bidders who show up, but these are the people with the money who are there to buy the building. We wouldn’t have people showing up nilly/willy. The bidders put money down, $5000 to $10,000, which is standard within the state. Mr. Sager has said $1,000. Ken said he prefers a higher encumbrance because it shows they are serious by coughing up the money. Both auctioneers said that it will probably be the local area, the north country, who will show up with money and an interest backing them and are serious to buy the building. This information swayed his concern about the minimum bid.
Paula Murphy said she saw in the selectmen meeting minutes a list of things not allowed. Does the end use play into any of the bidder’s proposals? Ken said that is an excellent question. Mr. Sager prefers a warranty deed, but that is a huge encumbrance on the town financially and time wise. A Quit claim deed should be sufficient and buyer beware. A title search and title insurance would be on them. The restrictions also will have an impact on the sale price. The bidders will know all this before they show up. Yes, it may impact the price, however, the individuals who come up will already be aware of that. Does that town have the opportunity to entertain what a prospective buyer may intend to do with the property? Does the town have any power or control to say that doesn’t sound like a very good fit? Ken said that would go before the planning board or ZBA at that point. Brian Mycko said it would be a site plan review.
Janet Nelson said she was confused about those restrictions because she thought those restrictions were already tied with the zoning. On those restrictions – how did we get to those restrictions? Isn’t it that already zoned residential/commercial?
Rob said if we put that in the deed restrictions then the town has the power to enforce that. The Board put those restrictions on. Wouldn’t it be hindered because it wasn’t already part of the town’s planning and zoning? Ken said this goes back 9 months and has been discussed by 5 board members which got us here. It is not a recent development, and it was hashed through legal as well. Rob said because it is the center piece when you come into town, we felt as a board we wanted to make some restrictions on the sale so it would not turn into something that would not be fitting for the town, like a junkyard. Janet thought with some of things on the list, why would you not have that?
Jeff Warren said he is assuming someone is going to be, at this date, or is already interested in this property and they already know about the restrictions and ordinances. Rob said that could be. We have discussed it, and they are in the minutes and it is going to be part of what we put forward. Jeff said that these people aren’t going to spend this kind of money without due diligence. That should delineate some of that gray area.
Evan Karpf said under our zoning ordinances there are things that are permitted uses, things by special exception and variance, and maybe some of those items that are listed restrictions may fall under a permitted use, but the board is saying they can’t do it if it is the on the list. The legal question will be upon the sale when there is a contract where it is stipulated that these things are prohibited and the buyer agrees to that. Evan said he doesn’t know the legality of that. Rob said that question has been asked. Janet said that was what she alluding to. Evan Karpf said that an attorney will have to determine if you can put restrictions, and the other question is could they come for a variance? Rob said that has been run by legal and we as a town would be able to enforce that. Things may change for future Boards. The Town would be able to enforce that. Rob said when he bought his house there was a deed restriction that said no horses then he got horses. The Town wouldn’t be able to do anything about that, but his neighbor could file a civil suit. Brian Mycko said the town has no say over deed restrictions. Rob said if the Town puts the deed restrictions on the property, we would be able to enforce it if they decided to do something that was on the list of restrictions. Ken said we will be working with legal on this.
Ken reviewed the list of Items prohibited: pawn shop, junkyards, sale, rental and repair of motor vehicles, recreational vehicles and off-highway recreational vehicles, raising and keeping of animals and livestock, Mr. Sager suggested we add farm animals and livestock, commercial agriculture, excavations, kennels, storage facilities, sexually orientated businesses, materials recycling or processing, wholesale businesses, including a discount house or bulk sales outlet, this one might raise someone’s curiosity but the other ones we are all in agreement that is really not how we want to introduce Twin for people coming through. That is what we are looking at. Rob said that this list was whittled down from legal. This is the final list we came up with. Ken said ones that were removed were already covered under the zoning ordinance.
Andy Smith, Peabody & Smith, said he made a proposal through Ken to list the property through the MLS, if that is the Town’s choice.
Andy said his first concern was the process of a sealed bid. It is probably the most common when you talk to the other towns, but in Andy’s opinion it is also the most antiquated. It is generally advertised through the newspapers, may be posted on the town’s website, but it is a very limited audience that knows about it. Andy said that would be on the bottom of his list. Ken said the other issue is the resources of the town to get all the foot work that would go into that. We don’t even have an administrative assistant at this time. Ken said the first thing we latched onto was the sealed bids, and the transparency issue was driving that. Now leaning towards a realtor or auction as this has unfolded. Ken said he has not made a decision yet. Ken said he is trying to keep everyone in the loop on the thinking process.
Andy said he is glad the public hearings are being held because he feels that there are ways to get more money for the town other than sealed bid process. Being a real estate guy, certainly going through the last couple of years, he is 100% convinced the only way to really get it out there is to broadcast it through the internet. St. Jean Auctions does the same thing, he puts it on the MLS as an auction so it gets to the same audience. Pros and Cons: Andy said his suggestion would be go with a real estate company, whether it be him or another company. You can structure it similar to an auction, but give a little more time to people who can’t come up here for just one day. He would suggest putting it out there that you will accept offers for 30 days and have an open house or a viewing by appointment and make sure it gets out to as many people as possible. Realtors can assist with this process. Limit it to a time frame with a begin and end date. Do not let it drag on for six months. Andy thinks they can bring the best of both worlds, the auction mentality with a time frame and finality to it, but expand it so people who may be busy the day of a scheduled auction could come up a week before and take a look at it and put in a bid. Andy said that we are getting 15 to 18 offers on properties. They would break everything down on a spreadsheet, i.e. offer, date submitted, etc., and present to the Board. Andy thinks we can do the best of both with listing with a broker. Andy said as far as the auctions go, he feels St. Jean is the one to go with. He is a class act and does a great job and gets it out there and gets it on the MLS. Pros and cons for both. There is a little more flexibility for some buyers listing with a realtor, who can take the burden off the town, categorize all the offers, if someone needs to go to the bank for financing they may have a week or two to do that before the final deadline. Andy thinks the best benefit for the town is to get it out to the most amount of people. Andy thinks that it is going to sell well over $200,000.
Andy said in reference to the restrictions, Janet is right on the money. As we have zoning in this town, he would not recommend any of those restrictions. We have zoning and we have site plan review so why is this property any different than the property on the other side of the same intersection that is subject to zoning and site plan review. Every time you take away one of those bundles of rights, it will affect the price. If you say no to OHRV repair, we have thousands of OVHR coming through town and someone may want to have an OHRV repair business. We have protections in the town, and his personal opinion is don’t have any restrictions. We have restrictions with zoning and site plan review.
Andy said he is not a lawyer, but if you put a restriction on a deed the zoning board could not give a special exception or variance. We have no power over deed restrictions. That restriction would go on forever. It would run with the land.
Andy said the other thing is, that someone spoke about enforcement, with a zoning permit for an allowed use the selectmen have the power of enforcement. Andy does not believe you could use the same enforcement powers on a covenant violation. That is a civil matter not a municipality matter. He thinks you would actually have to sue somebody if they started having a junkyard and that was one of your covenants. You couldn’t use the power of the Selectmen to enforce that. Rob said the attorney said the town could enforce those. It would not be a zoning violation. It would be a covenant violation, and Andy said he believes the only recourse is the courts, which would cost the town more money.
Rob asked Andy if he has worked with Mr. Sager, and Andy said that he had not.
Jeff Warren said in this current real estate market it seems like from what he can gather the most exposure you can get, and we don’t seem to be any time restraint, why not utilize all the options a realtor has to offer, with the internet or whatever the case may be. As far as transparency, it seems like it would be a bonus there—you would be able to talk to the realtor. Jeff is a little nervous when we talk about auctions and bids. We may end up taking the low bid, and it is not a good scenario. When you are dealing with a realtor, they can field all these issues, and there is not that time restriction.
Andy: The auction companies will highly recommend no reserve. If you put out a reserve, it will limit your participation, and you could end up only getting $10,000. Andy said he worked with Littleton Regional Hospital when they sold the former hospital. We hired a very well-known international auction company who had a $50,000 to $75,000 advertising budget, which the hospital had to put up front. We had an absolute auction and did not have any bidders, not one bidder. We had a lot of people register but no one bid. You could have bought that for $1. We did end up finding a buyer for it the next week, and the buyer had registered for the auction but was busy on the day of the auction. He ended up spending $100,000 to buy the hospital building. He could have bought it for a $1 if he had shown up the week before. It was 15 years ago, and it was a totally different market.
Paula Murphy asking about having no reserve. Can at some point the town say it’s too low. Ken said yes, and he will share some information he got from St. Jean. There is a process that goes into all this, which is pretty standard within the industry. This information is just data at this point, and no decisions are being made.
Fee Structure:
--Third party bids and closes on property: this involves the auctioneer, the town, and the buyer.
--10% buyer’s premium charged to the buyer—no cost to the Town.
--NO fees or expenses charged to the Town of Carroll

--Town of Carroll Board of Selectmen fails to approve high bid:
--Flat fee of $500 is paid to St. Jean Auctioneers
--Advertising paid by the Town of Carroll (not to exceed) $2,500
--Third party bids and failed to close on property:
--Town retains bidder’s deposit
--Fee of 50% retained deposit paid to St. Jean Auctioneers
--Advertising paid by St. Jean Auctioneers
--Town of Carroll cancels sale once marketing effort commences or fails to deliver good title to property at closing:
--Flat fee of $500.00 charged to the Town of Carroll
--Incurred advertising expenses paid by the Town of Carroll (not to exceed $2,500)
Services provided for Auction include:
--Auction posted on the auctioneer’s website, for three weeks prior to the sale
--Showing property as requested by potential bidders, you have to register to be a bidder and put money down. These are people who have been vetted before it gets to the auction process.
--Marking boundary lines on property if permitted
--Brochure mailed to abutters of property—both auction companies indicated that abutters tend to be the buyers of these types of property (may not be the case as this is a fire station)
--Signs displayed on property if permitted – 4’x8’ and anyone will see this building is going to be auctioned and will generate interest. This is just the beginning of the advertising process.
--Copies of Agreement and Deposit Receipt, brochures and plot plan properly displayed at auction sale
--Outstanding real estate taxes including interest and cost through day of sale made available, if applicable
--Voice recording of sale
Hopefully this alleviates some of the concerns that Ken was hearing. This is just one option from one agency. There is kind of an industry standard. When we get to the point of making a determination, Rob and Ken will have to sit down along with town counsel and work out the details for the best interest of the town.
Lois Pesman asked if this would be the last meeting we would be having? Rob said that this is the last public hearing. Lois said that these auction places could be from far away and don’t know this area. Realtors are in the area and know this area, but they also have access to people who may be interested from outside the area. Lois said that she would highly recommend going with a realtor. Any realtor in the area knows this area and knows what it is worth. They also have contacts with people who are interested in these sorts of properties. Andy Smith said he won’t disagree with that, but St. Jean does auctions across the state and they are a very good marketing company. Andy said if it is the selectmen’s choice to go with an auction, Andy would recommend St. Jean. Andy said he would recommend a realtor, but he would support an auction over a sealed bid process. Ken said in his contact with the towns, both auctioneers were highly recommended.
Bobbi Amirault asked if the decision will ultimately be made the board? Rob said that he and Ken will be making the decision, at least 7 to 14 days after this public hearing tonight. It will be made at a public meeting. It will be done at a selectmen’s meeting, and it will be on the agenda. At that meeting, it will not be open for discussion. This is what these two hearings are for. Ken said we will be sure to articulate the what and the why.
Rena said she feels better with a realtor than she does with an auction. This zoning board like all the zoning boards in the state have people from the towns who don’t know the state laws and don’t know the zoning when they first get on the board. Some of them don’t know the zoning when the leave the board. These boards make mistakes. Having the deed restrictions, as much as it may turn off some buyers, keeps your interest to where you want it to go. That is the center of the town and the face of your town, and it needs to be limited in Rena’s opinion.
Evan Karpf said if you went with a realtor and if it doesn’t sell with restrictions, you could revisit it later on.
Jeff Warren: with these restrictions or desired restrictions, can we inform the realtor of that and is that negotiable?
Rob said he can’t say if it is negotiable, but they are going to obviously have whatever we put forth when we sell it. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. Don’t see that as being an option. We have had many hearings on the deed restrictions, and it came down to this list.
Andy said whatever route you go, auction, realtor, or sealed bid, those restrictions will be out there ahead of time. Ken said that is what we are selling so they have to be. Andy said it would be extremely dangerous if you say these are the 10 restrictions and a really great offer comes in and they say we only want 9 restrictions. Ken said we reach a point where we can’t go back.
Janet Nelson said after listening to everything, she likes going with a realtor sale. She likes the fact that it gives it more time, 30 days or 60 days or whatever is decided. A realtor, as far as knowing the area and being able to work the nuances with commercial property. The only thing with the restrictions that have to go back to zoning enforcement and town having to spend money we really don’t have. She just worries about having to sue with those restrictions. She feels the ZBA board we have now is pretty good. We really work our butts off and really know the laws are and really try to do as much research as we can and spend a lot of time to review the town and state RSA’s. We have been to a lot of the meetings down state to see what other towns are doing.
Brian Mycko said he does not agree with those restrictions because those are permanent. Once you put them in there, you can’t change. 20 years down the road if we wanted to include one of the restrictions, you can’t because it is done. Brian said there are a lot of restrictions that he feels are not fair. We have zoning and site plan review which can control it.
Rena said she certainly did not mean to make the zoning board feel like she thought they were not competent. Mistakes are made and things are allowed that shouldn’t be allowed. She is not saying with this board, but it has happened. It happens throughout the state, and we are not alone in that. People get on the boards because they want to be part of the community. Rena said she knows that this was a warrant article to go up for sale and it passed with a lot of votes. She would like the town to think this is a building you own, sits in the center of town, can be the face of the town, how can the town make this work for them? A lot of different ideas out there for the town to do something with this building that would make it a real center of the town. Something people driving north would stop to visit. Rena said she is just putting it out there as a thought. It didn’t say you had to sell it. You asked if you could sell it. This is something Rena has always wanted to say, and tonight is her last chance. She would like the board to at least think about it and discuss it.
Ken said he completely understands from the emotional and feeling side of what can be perceived at times as a fading part of the town. Not unsympathetic to that. At the same time in accordance to his personal due diligence that building and buyers will have to know this that with all of his investigations all of the issues that are there with that building. It is a location, and that building has a lot of encumbrances, and it is not going to be cheap to get it to however the town decides it wants in lieu of a sell. This property generates no tax revenues for the community. Also need to realize that it not a pristine building. It is the lot and the location that is really the prime attraction. Someone could buy that and tear the building down and put in whatever is permitted by the town. At that point it begins to generate tax revenue for the town. Ken said he hates to be all numbers, but it is important to balance the discussion and balance what town faces in a very big picture. We need talk about it its entirety considering the condition of the building.
Rena said she is asking them to not think about this picture, but to think of a future. A future is going to cost us something. We have very little right now in this town to get people to stop and visit and buy things or to take a look at things. Think outside the box and think about what this could do and what this could be for the town. Paula Murphy said she agrees with what Rena is talking about. You would hope with the vacant properties that come for sale, that the buyers would have the best interest of the town in mind. A lot of these properties, like the fire station, are bygone properties needing rebirth. We need to think what do we want our community to look like when people come driving thru? Do we want them to stay for a bit? Do we want them to spend some money? Or are we going to just look at the personal interest of a buyer who just may have their own idea in mind? Paula said we need to think as a community how we want it to appear down the road.
Evan Karpf said that is purpose of the master plan, which should be periodically updated. That is what you would use to figure it out.
Janet: What did you find out from legal with the money from the sale? Was it in those signed documents?
Rob said like he said in the beginning we are not going to talk about that tonight. Rob has found no minutes or documentation that says if we sell it, we do this with it. He knows there has been discussion about it. We are here for the sale of it, and as far as the funds go that will be a whole other meeting. That is not part of this public hearing tonight.
Janet asked if there will be a discussion at some point? Are we going to know if we have the option? It has been asked and asked. Ken said he went back and reviewed all the building committee minutes. The only thing Ken could find was discussion that the monies will be used to lower the tax rate. That is documented and is from the meeting minutes. The Town will have to decide what it wants to do with the money. If the building sells, it is unanticipated revenue. It is set aside until the town decides what we want to do. Is it to pay down the note? Is it improve the water supply? All this will have to be discussed by the town. The sale is the sale, and that is what we are here for tonight. That money if it comes abouts will be set aside, and then the town will decide what they want to do with it by the way of a warrant or whatever it takes to take the proper action. Don’t want to get the cart before the horse. We first will have to sell the property. There is a process for unanticipated revenue and what we decide we want to do. Janet said her question is what was in the loan documents? It was discussed at the last meeting that possibly because we got the rate we got that we couldn’t pay it off early. Rob said that we are trying to stay within the framework of this meeting tonight. Ken called the loan officer today, and he has not had a chance to review the loan documents. Ken wanted clarification for himself. Please realize that Ken still has additional research to do. In speaking with the loan officer today, it is very clear to Ken, but there was a caveat, that the town is free to pay down the debt and accelerate the maturity of it or re-amortize the debt and have the same maturity and have the monthly payments go down. That is an option. That is under banking regulations. The bank did point out that there are RSA’s that have to do with public financing that may or may not impact what the town does going forward. We still have to find out what the state has to say and look at the loan documents themselves. That is not the end of that, just a part of it.
Jeff Warren is hoping we get back on track what this hearing is about – how to sell this property and the best way to get the best price.
Lois Pesman asked if a decision will be made tonight. Ken said no, the Selectmen have 7 to 14 days after this meeting, Ken and Rob will deliberate and make a decision, per RSA. It will be included on the agenda.
Jeff Warren asked if closed bids are off the table? Rob spoke with legal about it and after bringing up the realtor and auctions options, those seem to have moved to the forefront. Ken said we discussed the sealed bids at the first hearing, and it doesn’t take it off the table. There is an encumbrance that comes with that on the town. Jeff Warren said he is all for the most exposure possible, and sealed bids appear to give the least exposure.
Evan Karpf said he is against the closed bid.
Ben Jellison asked when the board knows when a decision is going to made to put it differently on the agenda, rather than just Fire Department Follow-Up, which is there all the time, just so we know it is going to happen that night. Rob said that should be the first item on the agenda. We can change the font as well so it appears clearly. Ken said it could be included under new business.
Rob said the next meeting will be on August 17th , two weeks from tonight. They will deliberate at that meeting and hopefully come to a consensus.
Lois Pesman asked if they were going to take a consensus of what people want? Rob said most people have voiced their opinions at these two public hearings.
Ken said he wanted to thank everyone for showing up. We have a town of almost 700 voters, and this is who showed up. Your dedication is much appreciated. Janet Nelson said she appreciate all the extra, extra work and answering those questions. Ken said he kind of sees an even split between realtor and auction, but he wants people to know whatever decision is made it will be made with the best information we were able to gather and with the best interest of the Town at heart as best as we can determine. Ken said we know that we all have an opinion, and when you see the effort that is taken for transparency to reach out to other communities, the realtors, the auctioneers and get as much information as we possibly can. It is information at this point, but it is the information we have to draw from in coming up with a decision. A decision will have to be made, even by chance it is not to sell it. Everything will be discussed in the public meeting that night. Our effort is really for the best interest of the town. Rob said we have heard different opinions tonight so somebody may not get what they want. We are going to make the best decision to benefit the town. On August 17th we will have a spirted discussion again and make a decision. Jeff Warren thought the Board would make a decision prior to August 17th. Rob said we have to make a decision no sooner than 7 days and no more than 14 days from this hearing so that is why we chose that date on the 17th two weeks from tonight we will make a decision. That will put us right at the 14-day limitation. Ken and Rob said we have to deliberate at a public session. We can’t do anything other than to get data and information before then. We share the information, but we can’t discuss it or deliberate until that meeting on August 17th.
Ken Mills made a motion to close the public hearing at 7:17 p.m. Rob seconded the motion. All in favor, 2-0. Motion passes to close the public hearing at 7:17 p.m.
The Board will take a five-minute recess.
Chairperson David Scalley recalled the meeting to order at 7:22 p.m.
Chairperson Scalley confirmed that the manifest was signed.
Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 20, 201 Selectmen’s Meeting and Public Hearing. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Water Warrant Brodeur – A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the Water Warrant for Brodeur. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Driveway Permit – McDonagh – A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the Driveway Permit for McDonagh. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Driveway Permit – Sirgany & Emond – A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the Driveway Permit for Sirgany & Emond. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Driveway Permit – Cappuccio – A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the Driveway Permit for Cappuccio. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Driveway Permit – Beaton – A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the Driveway Permit for Beaton. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Reimbursement – Forest Land – This is an application for reimbursement, pursuant to RSA 227-H, for federal and state forest land situated in the town of Carroll. 17,080.61 acres with a total assessed value of $11,406,914.
A motion was made by Selectperson Mills to sign the application for reimbursement for federal and state forest lands. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Community Room Usage Policy – Peabody & Smith – They have asked to use the meeting room. Fire Chief signed off. Dave said in the future he would ask that the Administrative Assistant can sign off on that in-house so it does need to come before the board. They will have a calendar for usage. It has one spot to sign, and Dave feels that would be us or our designee. We have just filled the Administrative Assistant position and should be ok going forward. This approval tonight is going to be for this specific use by Peabody & Smith. Going forward would like the administrative assistant to be able to sign off and will be authorized to approve it and inform the Board. A motion was made by Selectperson Gauthier that Chairperson Dave Scalley sign for this particular community room usage by Peabody & Smith. Selectperson Mills seconded. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Application for Annual Payment of State Grants – DES – Chairperson Scalley said that this is what trickles in every year from our grants from DES for a total of $289,882.78. We have already received $253, 322. This one is for the 2022 application and is for $9,162. A motion was made by Selectperson Gauthier for Dave to sign the application for annual payments for DES state grants. Motion seconded by Chairperson Mills. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
Planned Maintenance Agreement – Powers - Chairperson Scalley said that this is an Agreement we signed with Powers Generators. We are on the default budget so this is part of the regular budget that was not in the default budget. We already have an agreement with Powers, and it is for the planned maintenance on the generators for the new town hall. Our agreement is for an $1,165 annual payment.
Driveway Permit Application – Review – Dave said Greg and he started this a month or so ago. Where our new Roads are being paved and new infrastructure is being put together, we had some incidences last year when excavators were driving on our roads when they were unloaded. To protect the best interest of the town as well as the infrastructure, we copied and pasted from other towns some literature so when they pull a driveway permit the owner is responsible for any and all equipment that may or may not damage our town roads. Right now, we don’t have anything that says that. This is just preliminary. Dave sent it to both Rob and Ken. Nothing that has to be done tonight. Just want to be sure to review it and add or change anything they may want. Greg, Jeremy and Dave have been working on it. After Rob and Ken have had a chance to review it, we will send it to legal to be sure we are good with it. Any encumbrances on the individuals for a bond? We can go after them and invoice them and lien their property if they don’t pay. Rob and Ken will review this before the next meeting.
Dave would like to have the new administrative assistant, make it part of the policy, to send the board members a copy of the items for the agenda so you have a chance to preview them before the meeting. Not make a decision on them, but you have a had a chance to look at them before the meeting. Ken said once he gets back to work there will be a lot of that needed. Ken said if he gets the information, he will review it. Ken said when he was on planning, Rena was great about getting them the information before the meeting so that they had a chance to review it before the meeting. Ken said that would be a huge help.
Follow Up
Tax Deeded Property – Route 3 North – Town is working with the state, so we are almost there on that one.
Fire Station Appraisal – Does not need to be on further agendas. Dave said we will put “Decision on Fire Station Sale” on the meeting agenda for August 17th, right after Approve & Sign Manifests. Make sure it stands out the agenda so people will see it.
School Withdrawal – Rob said we had a meeting 7/22 with Mark McLaughlin. It was a really good meeting, and he seems to have a good grasp of what we are facing. He seemed positive about our chances. We have not heard back from him, but we have a standing order once he gets to the 5-hour mark he is to let us know where he is at.
Certified Computers – Still working with them on pricing and availability of time to come in and give us a better cost on what we need to have replaced. We are having difficulties getting our computers where they need to be with the different offices. We need to work through that first.
Other
Ken Mills said he was approached about the veteran’s tax credit on property taxes. Our credit is $500 and they wanted to know what it will take to increase that amount. They were thinking a petition warrant article. Ken reflected on how Bill Dowling was very helpful on the planning board when we needed funding to get some funds for NCC and Tara Bramford. At that time Bill said you don’t have to have a petition warrant article to do that. The Board can just do that. Ken said he did point out we are on the default budget and cutting revenues at this point would not be a priority. Ken wanted to raise the question. Ken told the person they can get the 25 signatures together for a petition warrant article. Dave was wondering if we know how many veterans get that credit? Ken said Becki would know, and he can follow-up with her on that.
Ken said for information to bring up in the minutes. A discussion came up on the $6.8 million complex. Ken did some research, in addition for the loan for just over $4.1 million as well as grants but even if you take the loan and grants it doesn’t go anywhere near $6.8 million. Ken said he did not get the individual source for where that $6.8 to $7 million amount came from. There was a letter put out at some point. It was unsigned and not relevant. Ken wants to become informed about this. He understands that some costs were budgetary items already in the previous budget. This was not an added cost, as it was included for the previous buildings. Ken was made aware of an unsigned letter from last June. Dave said there was a meeting when Bonnie was on the board with Rob and Dave, and Dave explained it and it is in the meeting minutes, which Dave believes was September or August of last year which included exactly what the buildings costs were and exactly how much the grants and loans were. This person could research and review those meeting minutes so they would know. Rob said we should have people come to the meeting and ask their questions. Ken said these people were working tonight and could not make the meeting. Dave said what we ask of the public is if someone has a question and can’t be here, they could send an email. The letter Ken was talking about from last June was not signed, and the Board did not feel they needed to address an unsigned letter.
Evan Karpf said that on July 6 at the selectmen’s meeting, there was a statement made that the Karpfs blocked/stopped the purchase/sale of the Foster’s Road. He just wanted to enlighten those who are not aware of the RSA. The RSA states that “Discontinuance of Highways Subject to Legislative Body Approval: No class IV or V highway shall be discontinued or discontinued subject to gates and bars without the vote of the local legislative body as required by RSA 231:43 or RSA 231:45. Mr. Karpf left a copy of this RSA with the secretary. It is impossible for one, two, three, or four individuals to stop the discontinuance of a road. The Selectboard had the option to put up a warrant article if they wanted to pursue it. They choose not to. Mr. Karpf just wanted to enlighten factual information for the record. He thought a lot of the personal stuff would have ended by now but apparently it continues. The entire town would have to vote on a warrant article to discontinue a town road. To focus on particular individuals causing this to happen is not possible. Mr. Karpf wanted to clarify this for the minutes. This will clarify that.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Rob will have to participate remotely via zoom as he will be out of town. Rob said he will arrange this with Imre. Dave said he will recuse himself from the vote on the fire station sale.
Selectperson Mills made a motion to go into non-public session at 7:51 p.m. per RSA 91-A:3, Legal and Personnel. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
At 8:40 p.m. Selectperson Mills made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes of the non-public session. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.
At 8:40 p.m. Selectperson Mills made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier. All in favor, 3-0. Motion passes.