Chichester Board of Selectmen
October 16, 2007
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Colbert, Selectman DeBold, Selectman MacCleery and Administrator Lisa Stevens.
Chairman Colbert opened the meeting at 7:00pm.
SUBJECT: Fire Department
PRESENT: Gilbert Vien; Fire Chief
Chief Vien came before the Board to state for the record that he was not opposed to the recent request from the Forest Fire Warden for additional tools and equipment needed to outfit the forestry truck, he was just not made aware of these costs prior to Warden Stocks request to the Board. Chief Vien did not have prior knowledge and is tired of being called a liar. The Fire Chief will not tolerate any more slandering of his reputation.
The Board has asked for the Forest Warden and the Fire Chief to review the list jointly and re-submit a complete and final request to the Board for a decision.
SUBJECT: Highway Department
PRESENT: David Kenneally; Road Agent
Mr. Kenneally reported he has purchased three radios for the highway department but cannot get them programmed due to the lapse in the licensing. For the interim the Fire Department has been allowed to share the current frequency which has been reassigned to the Town of Canterbury. Deputy Chief Uitts is working to resolve this issue with the FCC.
Mr. Kenneally would like to add East Ricker Road to his list of paving projects for this year. Close to one thousand cars per day are traveling that road. This road is not scheduled for any repairs until the year 2009 and even at that it may get pushed back on the schedule. It is the Road Agent’s opinion that this road will not hold up until then. Pike Industries has quoted $11,000.00 to shim and the money would come from the highway’s operating budget.
Mr. Kenneally has not been able to secure additional quotes for the guardrail replacement on Webster Mills Road. Mr. Frank Merrill offered to contact the vendor, BII Fencing on behalf of the Road Agent.
The contracts for snow plowing and the need for an additional truck and driver this year was discussed. One contractor is not returning this will necessitate advertising. The contract rates must be finalized before hand. Mr. Kenneally is conferring with the State regarding hourly rates.
The department’s traffic counting devices were destroyed during the floods. They will need to be replaced.
An engineer from CLD has looked at potential upgrades/improvements to Perry Brook and Hilliard Roads. David is awaiting the written report.
Center Road is completed for this phase. Rough estimate of cost overage is $21,000, mostly in gravel costs.
October 16, 2007
Mr. Kenneally submitted the 2008 proposed budget and noted it has been reduced by roughly $21,000. This is attributed to the fact that the excavator costs will now move to Capital Outlay.
A suggestion was made to discuss coordinating with the State, the road work scheduled for next year on Canterbury Road.
SUBJECT: Giuda/Merrill Subdivision
PRESENT: Brandon & Katrina Giuda and Frank Merrill
The developers came before the Board of Selectmen seeking the Board’s position on gating Perry Brook Road. Chairman Colbert informed Mr. Merrill and Mr. Giuda that the Selectmen were not in favor of a gate at the end of Perry Brook Road. In prior discussions with the department heads, safety concerns and maintenance issues were cited.
A lengthy and at times heated discussion took place between the Selectmen, Road Agent, Fire Chief, Mr. Giuda, and Mr. Merrill. Items of concern and debate included; fire/medical emergency access, road maintenance/plowing access; road upgrades needed to Hilliard Road and Perry Brook Road and at whose expense and the citizens petition.
Mr. Giuda challenged the Road Agent’s and Fire Chief’s claims made at the October 4th Planning Board meeting.
Mr. Giuda has researched opti-com systems utilized in many communities across the country and found favorable results stating the systems are very safe and effective for the automated opening of any gate.
Mr. Giuda also challenged whether or not the town had the authority to assess extraction fees and impact fees at the same time.
Both developers stated they would not pay any additional fees to upgrade Hilliard and Perry Brook Roads. If the fees are imposed, Mr. Merrill stated he would have to pull out of this project and pursue a separate subdivision which would have to be single family homes because he would no longer have enough units to qualify for a condominium association pursuant to the State regulations.
Mr. Giuda stated that the gate is not an impact to anybody, this is in Chichester’s best interest, and we have a better plan for the right of way.
The Road Agent went on record to clarify that his comment to Mr. Giuda citing an example of payment of the road improvement costs may be a three way split between the town, land use change tax fees and the developers, was not his call or responsibility to make. How “they” fund it is not up to me. The Road Agent is working with the town engineer on review and improvement costs only.
The wording and misrepresentation of the petition submitted to the Selectmen and Planning Board from residents on Hilliard, Swiggey Brook and Perry Brook Road was debated. The petition states; “We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our town officials to act now to either 1) Not connect Healy Pasture Road to Perry Brook Road or 2) Require substantial improvements to Perry Brook Road and Hilliard Road before the roads are opened to through traffic.”
October 16, 2007
The argument was that this petition did not state the undersigned wished to have the road gated, yet that is what was stated at the Planning Board meeting by a spokesman (Mr. Brian Menard) on behalf of the petitioners. Mr. John Martel, a petitioner, stated this evening that he did not sign the petition for a gated road, are there two petitions?
Mr. Giuda clarified, that Mr. Menard had stated to him prior to the start of the Planning Board meeting that he had called a number of petitioners to ascertain their thoughts on a potential gate and would be speaking for those petitioners only, at this time.
Chairman Colbert stated in his opinion, those changes do not hold water. The residents can submit a new petition if they want to but the signed petition submitted to the Selectmen does not mention the option of a gate at the end of Perry Brook Road. A number of years ago Mr. Mullaney proposed a road with a gate that would come out beside Supershoes on to Route 4 for phase two of the Malachy Glen subdivision. The Town did not grant this request citing the same safety concerns by town personnel then as is the case presently. This is not a new issue, the Planning Board, Department Heads and the Selectmen have looked at this issue. The Police, Fire and Highway departments are against gating this road. Nothing is the subdivision regulations addresses gated roads. “It comes back
to life safety.”
The question of costs for maintenance, equipment and repair of the proposed gated was raised.
Mr. Merrill again stated he would not pay for any improvements to upgrade Perry Brook and Hilliard Roads.
Mr. Giuda stated he disagreed with the town imposing extraction fees and impact fees on the developers and questioned the authority of the Planning Board to impose both. Mr. Giuda further stated, an open gate is doing the residents an injustice. Mr. Giuda believes a gate is the best option.
Fire Chief Vien stated the cost for an opti-com unit per each town vehicle is $3,500. The Concord Fire Department is not allowing anymore of these types of gated systems. They have had nothing but problems with them. Further, the Fire Department is going to take the shortest route possible when responding to a call. Also, the second access will make it much easier to shuttle apparatus back and forth from the water source on Healy Pasture Road.
There was discussion of leaving the gate open during the winter months from December thru March.
Selectman DeBold asked the Road Agent what his maintenance reasons were. The Road Agent responded; who is going to pay for the gate and be responsible to repair it when it is broke; grading – maintaining a dirt road in the winter is different than maintaining a paved road; concerned for workers getting injured should they need to get in and out of the vehicle to open and close the gate; and young kids (drivers) playing around on icy back roads.
Mr. Giuda commented, it’s going to be a lot safer than it is now, everybody can’t get 100% of what they want, the gate is no impact on anybody. Mr. Giuda continued by saying he did this plan for a reason, he scraped a similar plan, the town has to make some concessions somewhere, we are not going to have all the houses right away.
October 16, 2007
Selectman DeBold commented, extraction fees happen all the time. It is common sense that the developer pay the costs, this couldn’t have been a surprise to you gentleman. This is not something Chichester invented. I do think we should question town counsel as to whether or not we can do both.
Mr. Giuda was insistent that impact fees cover the road improvement costs.
Selectman MacCleery stated this argument is premature until we have the figures from the engineers’ (CLD) report.
Chairman Colbert offered the option of Mr. Giuda putting a second egress on his land for access.
Mr. Giuda commented, no gate benefits Frank by shortening his road with just as many house lots. We did it (subdivision) differently than other developers. Mr. Giuda asked for the Board’s decision.
Selectman MacCleery wished to wait for the engineering report. Selectman MacCleery did refer to correspondence from town counsel, indicating the town could in fact assess extraction and impact fees from the developers.
Chairman Colbert stated the town has in the past imposed both. He personally feels the subdivision is a positive for the town.
Mr. Giuda suggested the Board of Selectmen poll the residents of Hilliard, Swiggey Brook and Perry Brook Roads to see whether or not they want a gate. Chairman Colbert replied he already knows what they would say. Everybody would choose to gate their roads if they could.
Selectman MacCleery stated since gated roads are not addressed in the subdivision regulations perhaps this needs to go before the Board of Adjustment.
Discussion over the submission and ten day time requirement for response regarding the review of the new traffic study was debated. Mr. Giuda stated two weeks beyond when the study was submitted was unacceptable. The Road Agent stated he was not under any deadline to respond regarding his review. The first traffic study was not sufficient, the developers made the assumption that Perry Brook Road would be gated. After the re-alignment of the right of way, the Road Agent requested an additional report.
Chairman Colbert did not need more time, his mind is made up, and he is not in favor of gating the road, further he does not think the petition is fair, it was misrepresented.
Mr. Giuda does not think Chairman Colbert was being fair.
Selectman DeBold stated he was not on the fence anymore. By building the access road and gating it, it does give the town access; it accommodates the desires of the local residents, giving validity to their concerns. I have no problem with a gate; I feel it’s an option that should be considered.
Selectman MacCleery would like to get officially from the Concord Fire Department, their opinion of an opti-com system; a new petition would give weight to the neighborhood citizen’s concerns, as did the
October 16, 2007
Department Heads concerns, and, review the report pending from the town engineers. No decision was reached this evening.
Selectman MacCleery did comment he felt it to be ridiculous to be opening and closing the gate during a snow storm.
Mr. Giuda stated he is contesting there is a safety issue.
The Road Agent commented, plowing the road is a safety issue.
Chairman Colbert stated there is some risk.
SUBJECT: Planning Board procedural concerns
PRESENT: Chris Weir
Mr. Weir is concerned that decisions are being made without the consent of the majority of the Planning Board members. Mr. Weir cited a letter that was written and sent to the applicants of the French Hill Subdivision proposal even thou the Planning Board said no decisions would be made without all the information being received first. It was not discussed at the Planning Board meeting to write and send out this letter. Mr. Weir expressed his concern for things getting done outside a Planning Board meeting.
Selectman MacCleery asked ex-officio member Selectman DeBold if this item was discussed at the meeting. Selectman DeBold replied he suggested this letter on his own to the chairman. The intent of the letter was to give the applicants a heads up, put them on notice, be informative, if CLD says improvements are needed, the developers may have to pay some of the costs. Mr. Weir again stated this was not discussed at the meeting. Mr. Weir asked why wasn’t the entire Planning Board made aware of the letter prior to it being sent? Mr. Weir again stated there was no decision by the Planning Board to send this letter. Selectman DeBold stated that there was absolutely nothing in the letter sent to the applicants that had not already been fully discussed by the Planning Board at the public
hearings held for these subdivisions.
A discussion took place as to why Mr. Weir had withdrawn his motion (regarding allowing or not allowing a gate on Perry Brook Road) at the October 4th Planning Board meeting. Mr. Weir responded he withdrew his motion because the Planning Board decided to wait for all information and said they would not address the issue until they had all the information. Mr. Weir asked the Selectmen to bring the Planning Board Chairman in to offer help to the Planning Board with direction on this subdivision application.
Selectman DeBold stated the Planning Board has addressed the list of concerns (as drafted by the Planning Board) one by one at the Planning Board meeting. Mr. Weir cited some items from his initial review of the application, have still not been addressed such as the correct map and lots numbers. Mr. Weir feels there are not enough Planning Board members involved in the process. Mr. Weir asked if it was his responsibility to make sure these things get done, is it all up to me, I’m, so I’m told, just an alternate. Mr. Weir concluded by stating he is more concerned with the function of the Planning Board, not with this subdivision.
Chairman Colbert responded that Mr. Weir had valid concerns and advised Mr. Weir to state your needs at the Planning Board meetings and request that those needs or concerns be written into the record.
October 16, 2007
Selectman DeBold stated to Mr. Weir, that he has the obligation to bring up his concerns of unaddressed items to the Planning Board.
GENERAL BUSINESS/BOARD DISCUSSION:
The Board reviewed correspondence.
Lisa reminded Selectman DeBold of the perambulation meeting with the Pittsfield Selectmen on Saturday morning.
Lisa has met with Jonathan Pitre from NHDOT regarding the upcoming detour on Main Street to accommodate the completion of the paving on the Route 4 project. This has been scheduled for November 6th, 7th, and 8th. Main Street will be closed to thru traffic beginning at 9AM each day.
The contractor scheduled to complete the repair to the grange roof is not going to be able to do this work until the spring. The Board decided to remain with the contract provided the contractor honors the price. Motion Chairman Colbert, second Selectman MacCleery to encumber the funds from the warrant article for the roof repair only, provided the contractors hold to the price in the contract. All were in favor. Motion carries. The Board discussed moving forward with the exterior trim painting, minus the repair work section.
Lisa notified the Board that Chief Clarke would be on vacation next week.
Accounts payable and payroll were signed.
The Board approved the minutes of October 9, 2007 as corrected.
Being no further business, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 10:36PM.
______________________ _______________________ _______________________
David Colbert, Chairman Richard DeBold Stephen MacCleery
APPROVED AS CORRECTED