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Minutes of 11/9/2021

November 15th, 2021

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
November 9, 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.”

Minutes recorded by Heather Brown, Secretary
Board Members: Robert Gauthier, Ken Mills

Members of the Public: Tadd Bailey, Jeff Duncan, Imre Szauter, Jason Sullivan, Tom Sullivan, and Mary Sullivan

The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Selectperson Gauthier.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Selectperson Gauthier announced that Chairperson Scalley would not be in attendance tonight and offered to Chair the meeting, Selectperson Mills agreed.

APPROVAL of 11/2/2021 MINUTES - Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the 11/2/2021 minutes as written, Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

APPROVAL of 11/4/2021 MINUTES - Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the 11/4/2021 minutes as written, Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT BUDGET – Fire Chief, Jeff Duncan announced that he had a revised handout and passed out to the Board, reflecting the change from the previous handout submitted to the secretary earlier. The Board and Chief Duncan discussed several line items.

Selectperson Gauthier asked about line 01-4220.10-10 FD Firefighter II and only requesting $35,000. Chief Duncan explained that as discussed previously, they were going to wait and see what happens with the budget, noting that is not going to be the salary, but a proration from date of hire (April/May) and go from there on the equitable salary. Chief Duncan also confirmed that if the position was hired on in May the amount should be sufficient.

Chief Duncan wanted to point out line 01-4220.10-100 FD Fulltime Chief/FF, noting that he did not give himself a raise. Chief Duncan explained that his calculation was based on holidays, which comes out of the line item as well. Chief Duncan further explained that it does not work to only work a 32-hour week, noting this past holiday, Columbus Day and being the only full-time firefighter. Chief Duncan explained that there are 11-12 holidays a year and figured out the daily pay and then divided by 2. Chief Duncan reiterated that the holiday weeks are the busiest, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, 4th of July, February vacation, etc. Chief Duncan reviewed how he based his calculation.

Discussion further ensued that it is hard to predict the week, especially with being the only full-time firefighter currently and that the calculation is figured on 8 hours, not including overtime and gave the example that he may get paid hourly for 36 hours, instead of 32 hours and it will still be the 8 hours at regular time for the holiday.

Selectmen Gauthier pointed out line 01-4220.10-201 FD Overtime, has been dropped considerably and Chief Duncan confirmed, since it was only him and further explained that he has been trying to not get overtime.

Chief Duncan wanted the Board to be aware of line 01-4220.10-330 FD Station Phone/Internet, noting this is the line that he changed from the previous handout from earlier. The Chief explained that he originally had proposed $4,000 and then put it back to $4,900, noting that it’s not something he can control and further explained that he has 5 telephone lines and does not need that many lines, and noted it also pays the 3 EMD phone lines, which equals approximately $418 a month. Selectperson Gauthier explained that they were going to have the telephone company talk with the department heads on what can be done, noting that there may be a considerable savings.

Chief Duncan explained line 01-4220.10-403 FD Medical Gases, noting it’s for nitrous and oxygen and that they have not had to use that much this year (currently $213), but they will need to purchase both.

Chief Duncan reviewed lines 01-4220.10-500 FD Dispatching Twin State and 01-4220.10-501 FD Mutual Aid Twin State. The Chief explained the current agreement with them (we store their vehicle and trailer and they dispatch us for free), noting that they would like to continue, however they are looking for garage closer to them, if they do not find a closer garage, the lines could be zeroed out if they continue with the current arrangement.

Chief Duncan reviewed line 01-4220.10-601 FD Radio Repair, noting the department is in good shape radio wise and most of the cost would be for battery purchases, which an annual thing because they do not last that long.

Chief Duncan reviewed line 01-4220.10-602 FD Vehicle Repairs & Maint, noting the increase is for X1, which is rusting on the side and will need to go into the body shop. The Chief explained the only thing under warranty is Engine 3 and anticipates service on all the vehicles, highlighting the cost for inspecting these vehicles is not the same as a car. The Chief also explained that this also includes ladder and hose testing, which is a yearly thing that must be done.

Chief Duncan reviewed line 01-4220.10-700 FD Gasoline, noting that the department is approximately 20% lower on calls compared to last year. The Chief further explained that with figuring on what has been spent so far this year and an increase in price of fuel. Chief Duncan also explained that all the engines are diesel and the all the ambulances are gas, but both fuels are accounted for on this line. Chief Duncan also explained the difference of purchasing fuel through the State, which is tax free, but also has a markup, vs. sometimes being cheaper if purchased at a local fuel station, which he watches the prices.

Selectman Gauthier asked Chief Duncan how he was doing staffing wise, the Chief responded that currently call wise they are double from the previous 2-months, just under four-people, noting four months prior it was just under two-people. The Chief explained that currently they have one person starting an EMT class next month and should be an EMT by the end of January.

Budget as proposed:
01-4220.10-100 FD Fulltime Chief/FF $ 76,740.00
01-4220.10-101 FD Officers Salaries $ 10,000.00
01-4220.10-103 FD Fire Fighter Salaries $ 17,500.00
01-4220.10-104 FD Firefighter II $ 35,000.00
01-4220.10-105 FD FF/EMT Per Diem $ 25,000.00
01-4220.10-200 FD EMT Salaries $ 18,000.00
01-4220.10-201 FD Overtime $ 8,000.00
01-4220.10-202 FD NH Firefighter Ins $ 400.00
01-4220.10-300 FD Office Supplies $ 700.00
01-4220.10-301 FD Mobile Phone/Data $ 2,000.00
01-4220.10-302 FD Medical Equipment $ 4,000.00
01-4220.10-304 FD Inoculations $ 200.00
01-4220.10-305 FD Office Equipment $ 2,000.00
01-4220.10-330 FD Station Phone/Internet $ 4,900.00
01-4220.10-342 FD Software Support $ 1,500.00
01-4220.10-400 FD Equipment Supplies $ 750.00
01-4220.10-401 FD Medical Supplies $ 3,600.00
01-4220.10-402 FD ALS Medical Supplies $ 2,400.00
01-4220.10-403 FD Medical Gases $ 1,250.00
01-4220.10-410 FD Defib Supplies/Maint $ 2,000.00
01-4220.10-500 FD Dispatching Twin State $ 3,000.00
01-4220.10-501 FD Mutual Aid Twin State $ 650.00
01-4220.10-502 FD North Pact Mutual Aid $ 500.00
01-4220.10-600 FD Equipment Purchase $ 4,000.00
01-4220.10-601 FD Radio Repair $ 5,000.00
01-4220.10-602 FD Vehicle Repairs & Maint. $ 14,000.00
01-4220.10-604 FD Fire Dept Maintenance $ 1,500.00
01-4220.10-605 FD Ambulance Rep/Maint. $ 5,000.00
01-4220.10-606 FD New Fire Truck (Eng1 pmt) $ 49,602.00
01-4220.10-660 FD Forestry Equipment $ 400.00
01-4220.10-680 FD Extrication Equip/Maint. $ 500.00
01-4220.10-685 FD SCBA Equip/Maint. $ 2,500.00
01-4220.10-700 FD Gasoline $ 5,000.00
01-4220.10-701 FD Travel Reimbursement $ 500.00
01-4220.10-702 FD Clothing $ 3,000.00
01-4220.10-710 FD Protective Clothing $ 8,500.00
01-4220.10-715 FD Ambulance Protective Clthng $ 1,500.00
01-4220.10-725 FD EMS Training $ 6,000.00
01-4220.10-800 FD Training $ 3,000.00
01-4220.10-801 FD Fire Prevention $ 200.00
01-4220.10-802 FD Inspections $ 250.00
01-4220.10-900 FD Miscellaneous $ 300.00
TOTAL $330,842.00

Chief Duncan spoke in regards to having warrant articles planned, but is not sure how he going to go at them. The Chief is planning on doing (2) warrant articles, one for a new stair chair that has a track on it for going up and down stairs and the second is for a battery powered vent fan. The Chief further explained that both of these warrant articles would be funded through the special revenue fund, noting it would not be a taxation issue.

The Chief wanted to make the Board aware that the current ambulance is a 2011 and is on a 10-year rotation schedule, further noting that it is still in good shape and his plan is to not put in for a new ambulance this year and is going to wait until next year. The cost of a new ambulance is approximately estimated between $150,000-$175,000. Chief Duncan did confirm that it would be funded through the special revenue fund, and the money is already in that account.

The Chief explained that he recently received a memo pertaining to a GOFERR Grant available for up to $50,000 for purchasing safety and emergency equipment needed as a result of or in response to the health crisis and its negative effects. The grant opened two weeks ago and runs through June 3, 2022, but is a first come first serve basis and the municipal match is 10%, which would be approximately $5,500. Chief Duncan reviewed the possibility of using the funds to go towards the purchase of a new ambulance or purchase two new track stair chairs (approximately $6,000 each) and a power cot. The Chief stated that they have been discussing for over a year about getting a power stretcher, noting they do not have one and it would be more efficient if only one person was working, ideally you would want two people, but the other benefit is when you get to the hospital, you are not manually lifting. The Chief does not have the exact cost for a power stretcher, but estimates approximately $14,000.

Discussion amongst the Chief and the Board regarding the GOFERR Grant available and using the funds towards possibly paying for a new ambulance vs. towards purchasing a combination of equipment (stair chairs, power cots, and power stretchers) to total $50,000. Discussion of doing the equipment to outfit both ambulances with the same equipment. Discussion on the waiting period of ordering a new ambulance, which is approximately estimated at 8-10 months out, example if it was put in for March, it would not be received until December/January. The Chief indicated that he is more leaning towards purchasing a combination of equipment, instead of using towards the ambulance, because it is not dependent on a warrant article, which would have to be creatively written and contingent upon approval. Chief Duncan reiterated he is not sure which path to take, but is going to do more research, but noted that in applying for this grant, when it is received it is processed, so it is not drawn out, and once approved the funds are available immediately to use.

Chief Bailey stated that he was not aware of this grant, but had spoken with Chief Duncan about this and could not think of anything in his department he could use it towards at the moment, other than staffing issues, so there should be no conflict of how the funds would be used.

Chief Duncan confirmed that this GOFERR Grant is not the same as the ARPA Funds and he will be doing more research.

Discussion regarding possibly using towards radio equipment in other departments. Chief Duncan explained that he was able to lower his line item by purchasing a subscription to Active911, which is through their phones. He further explained the savings, reliability and benefits of using Active911 vs. a pager.

HEALTH OFFICER BUDGET – Fire Chief, Jeff Duncan explained that he was not prepared to discuss the Health Officer budget tonight. The Board and Chief Duncan both agreed to table the Health Officer budget discussion.

ADMIN BUDGET – The Administrative Assistant explained that she was not prepared to discuss the Admin. budget tonight because she is still waiting for more information before she can present the budget. The Board agreed to table the Admin budget discussion.

PATRIOTIC BUDGET – The Board agreed to table the Patriotic budget discussion and asked the secretary to reach out to see if Bonnie Moroney or Greg Hogan could submit the proposed budget.

YIELD TAX – SCALLEY – The Board reviewed. Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the Yield Tax for Scalley, Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

INTENT TO CUT – DODGE FAMILY – The Board reviewed. Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the Intent to Cut for Dodge Family, Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY – FOTI – The Board reviewed. Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the Certificate of Occupancy for Foti, Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

WATER WARRANTS – QUIRK-BISSETTE, TINY VENTURES LLC (2) – The Board reviewed (3) water warrants. Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the water warrants for Quirk-Bissette and Tiny Ventures LLC (2), Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

AUDIT ENGAGEMENT – Selectperson Mills explained that he had been communicating with Mr. Campo from Plodzik & Sanderson, P.A. regarding auditing services for FY2021. Selectperson Mills also noted that they came highly recommended, noting they have ample staff to provide services, and all conversations have been positive. The cost for the engagement is $20,595, which would be part of the Admin budget when it is presented. The Board reviewed the engagement from Plodzik & Sanderson, P.A., Selectperson Mills also indicated that a Select Board Member and the Finance Officer (Admin. Assistant) would need to sign, also noting that he wanted to make sure it is in the minutes, that the Board has made the decision and once executed they would come into the Town and do field work in the Spring of 2022, but do need to wait until 2020 is finished. Selectperson Mills made a motion to approve the Audit Engagement with Plodzik & Sanderson, P.A. to be signed by Selectperson Gauthier and the Admin. Assistant. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. All in favor.

PROPANE USAGE ANALYSIS – Imre Szauter was asked to compile data of propane consumption used by the Town buildings to help with preparing for budgets and to have a better understanding of the consumption. The data used is from AmeriGas for later part of 2019, all of 2020, and partial of 2021 (through Oct 31st). Imre wanted to point out a few additional items with the analysis - in 2020 there was a lot of construction requiring additional propane tanks, prior to the boiler systems being installed (which is illustrated as Temp Heat), those tanks have since been removed. He also mentioned the malfunction with the sensors in the sidewalks, noting that issue was resolved in July/August 2021. The consumption should be lower now that construction is complete and the sidewalk malfunction has been resolved, but further noted the analysis is based on deliveries of propane. Imre suggested a better analysis would be for June 2021 to June 2022.

Discussion regarding the number of tanks at the buildings and their size – (2) 1,000gal. tanks (buried) at the Public Safety Building, (1) 1,000gal. tank at the Town Hall and (1) 500gal. tank for the Town Hall generator, noting the generator at the Public Safety Building is diesel. There are also tanks at the transfer station and Lake Road. Imre confirmed there is no way to breakdown how much propane the sidewalks use, you can only go by deliveries of how much propane was delivered.

Imre wanted to make the Board aware that tank for the Town Hall generator is rented, while all the other tanks are owned. He suggested that he would like to look more into why the Town is paying rent for this tank.

Imre will be starting his analysis on the electricity usage (Eversource) next week and will be providing his results in the forthcoming weeks, noting the likelihood of inconsistencies with the construction, as seen with the propane analysis, as well as Police and Fire moving.

The Board thanked Imre for providing this analysis.

TOWN ADMINSTRATOR – Selectperson Gauthier explained that he is still waiting to hear from legal. Brief discussion between Selectpersons Gauthier and Mills regarding Town Administrator vs. Town Manager.

TAX DEEDED PROPERTY – ROUTE 3 NORTH – Nothing to new to report.

SCHOOL WITHDRAWAL – Selectperson Gauthier stated that there is a meeting at the State Board of Education tomorrow (Wednesday 11/10) to discuss Carroll being put on the ballot for their withdrawal. Selectperson Gauthier expects to have an update tomorrow afternoon. Selectperson Gauthier also stated that there is a School Board meeting tomorrow evening that he is planning on attending.

CERTIFIED COMPUTERS/PROFILE – Selectperson Mills mentioned the estimate received from Certified Computers for a new server and hardware and noted that this gives the data/information to work from going forward. Selectperson would like to wait until the Board is together to decide.

ARPA FUNDS – Selectperson Mills explained that these are the funds that were previously discussed and putting the funds in a separate account for easier tracking and reporting.

CLEANERS – This topic is still on-going.

Selectperson Mills stated that he wants to be clear about the ZBA record, as he experienced events on November 4, 2021, noting that the ZBA had noticed a public meeting with the following agenda:

1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Non-Public Session
4. Old Business
5. New Business
6. Adjourn

Before the ZBA went into non-public Mills was asked to recuse himself. Mills stated that he didn’t think that was necessary, but legal counsel for the ZBA in a related litigation said he should. Mills deferred to the ZBA’s counsel and he left the community room.

Mills waited in the lobby area by the town offices for about half hour, at which time Diane came and told Mills the ZBA was back in public session.

Mills returned to the Board and it was at that time he was informed by the ZBA Chair that the Board had discussed Mills remaining on the ZBA and had also decided by a unanimous vote that Mills should resign.

Mills said ok, reminding the ZBA he had offered to resign earlier in the year, after he was elected to the Select Board.

It is Mills’ understanding that this discussion/deliberation occurred while the ZBA was in non-public session, from the way it was presented to him by the ZBA Chair at the time, as there had been no other indication the Board had returned to public session until Diane came to tell Mills that they were back in public session and Mills returned.

Selectperson Mills expressed that he must caution the ZBA that when they meet in non-public session for an enumerated reason in RSA 91-A:3, including:
• Dismissal, discipline, hiring of employees
• Adversely affect reputation other than a member of the public body itself
• Pending claims or litigation, or consideration of legal advice
• Consideration of confidential, commercial or financial information that is exempt from disclosure under RSA 91- A:5, IV in an adjudicative proceeding.
Any discussion regarding an elected official to the Board must be conducted in public. The official is not an employee and thus not included in the enumerated reasons for non-public.

While an elected official may be asked to resign, they are under no obligation to do so. In this particular case; Mills was in agreement with the Board’s decision, but he completely disagrees with the way it was handled in this case. It is Mills’ desire to use this as a learning moment not just for the ZBA and its Chair, but to illustrate that all public boards must follow RSA 91-A:3, as written.

Selectperson Mills also wants to explain, on a separate note, Sandy Pothier (his wife) had suggested to him for months how she did not care for the work on the ZBA. Mills stated that he supported her if she were to resign, but she didn’t, until November 2, 2021. Mills explained that Sandy wrote up her letter of resignation to the ZBA dated for November 5, 2021, as this meeting had come up and the question of having a quorum induced her to delay her submitting the letter until after the meeting, in which the ZBA sought his resignation. Mills further explained that Sandy had already asked him to find out who she needed to send her resignation letter to and after Mills spoke with Kelly Trammell, it was determined that it should be submitted to the Town Clerk. Mills stated that it is noteworthy that the vote on his resignation was unanimous, but he must be clear, the events during the ZBA meeting on November 4, 2021 had no bearing on Sandy’s resignation from the Board. Additionally, had the Board not sought Mills’ resignation Mills would have elected to continue to serve in whatever capacity he could, recusing as deemed necessary. Mills indicated that the point is however now moot and expressed thanks for speaking to this and the Board’s attention in clarifying these events.

Selectperson Mills explained that he spoke to Nate Smith who is affiliated with the American Legion Post 41 and the NH VFW Motorcycle Club and Mr. Smith is very excited about working on the Purple Heart Committee. Mills indicated that Smith said would be more than happy to work with Greg Hogan and the other veterans to make an event of this when putting the posts/signs up, because this represents individuals who have been wounded while serving our country. Selectperson Mills asked for the Boards consent to continue working on this with Nate Smith and Greg Hogan to get the signs ordered once the funds are received, and then come back to the Board to discuss meeting with the press. Selectperson Mills wanted to also mention that when he was driving South the other day, Purple Heart was everywhere, noting that there is maybe only one other community in the North Country that is Purple Heart and is a great program to be involved in.

Selectperson Gauthier wanted to welcome back Heather to the Administrative Assistant position.

Mr. Sullivan stated that they (Jason, Tom, and Mary Sullivan) were here in regards to a letter they received from the Selectmen at the last Planning Board Meeting.

Selectperson Gauthier suggested halting the conversation for cautionary reasons because it should not be discussed under “other” on the agenda, especially if it has anything to do with litigation.

Ms. Sullivan requested to be put on the agenda for next month. Selectperson Gauthier acknowledged.

Ms. Sullivan stated that she had some letters that were sent to the Selectmen today, noting they were copies for them. Selectperson Gauthier acknowledged.

Mr. Sullivan stated that an email was sent today with attachments. Selectperson Gauthier confirmed that the email was received, but had not had a chance to review. Selectperson Gauthier further stated that appreciated the Sullivan’s understanding of not speaking tonight due to the legal nature of the conversation.

Mr. Sullivan asked if they would be on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting, Selectperson Gauthier confirmed, but did state “unless we are otherwise advised”, but did note that the Board would reach out to them if they that was case, so no one’s time is wasted. Selectperson Gauthier apologized to the Sullivan’s for sitting through the entire meeting. The Sullivan’s acknowledged.

Ms. Sullivan stated “We have not received copies of the letter that we were presented at the Planning Board. We had not received the email copy, we received that via email at 6:35, we already left to come to the meeting at 7 o’clock, the Planning Board meeting. We had not received it until after the date of the meeting, in our P.O. box. So, we were sandbagged at that Planning Board meeting, with that letter. Definitely giving you the opportunity to talk to legal, but, yeah, we were pretty much blindsided.”

Selectperson Gauthier apologized for the Sullivan’s staying through the entire agenda of the meeting tonight, but noted that this should not be discussed under “other”. Mr. Sullivan acknowledged and stated that it was ok and noted that it was interesting.
Selectperson Gauthier announced that the next Select Board meeting is November 16, 2021. Selectperson Gauthier reminded everyone that there is a Public Hearing for the ARPA Funds at 6:15 p.m., followed by another Public Hearing regarding Pole Licensing at 6:30 p.m., noting that the Select Board Meeting would follow after the public hearings.

At 7:59 p.m., Selectperson Mills made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 II (l) legal. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Gauthier and polled; Gauthier – yes, Mills – yes.

At 8:13 p.m. Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to return to public session and seal the minutes. Selectperson Mills seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Selectperson Gauthier made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Selectperson Mills seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Selectperson Gauthier declared the meeting ended at 8:14 p.m.