Chichester Board of Selectmen
September 16, 2008
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman DeBold, Selectman MacCleery, Selectman Jordan and Administrator Lisa Stevens.
Others present: Alan Mayville, Karen Lingner, Paul Adams, Gil Vien, David Kenneally, Frank Merrill and Brandon Giuda
SUBJECT: 2008 Budget preparation
PRESENT: Budget Committee members; John Martell, Jason Weir, Scott Marston, Bruce Dyke, Lucille Noel and Norm Larochelle
The Selectmen met with the Budget Committee to finalize the budget expectations for the departments when preparing their 2009 proposals for funding. The BC would like to see the budget form drafted last year to be formally adopted by the Board and put into use this year. The form would be required for any kind of service change or when a line item would change by ten (10%) percent up or down. The BC voted 5-2 in favor of requiring this form. Chairman DeBold commented he was in favor of the parameters arrived at. Selectman Jordan stated the form looked good. Mr. Dyke will prepare a finalized copy for the Board to disperse to departments.
The majority vote of the BC was to ask the departments to strive for a flat line budget inclusive of any payroll increases. This recommendation is a target with the desire to not cut services while at the same time accommodating any staff increases in keeping with the progress made over the last several years to bring salaries at least to the median range within the municipal wage and salary demographics. A brief discussion of the COLA rate was discussed. This number will not be available until October but early projections call for this number to be above five (5%) percent.
The Selectman stated their perspective; Chairman DeBold stated that he believes the request was too excessive; that it was going to be very tough on the departments to hold to a flat line with the COLA increases included this year considering the current economic times. He believes a more realistic directive would be as we did last year-to hold operating budgets to a flat line, no increases, except for COLA increases for our town employees. Selectman MacCleery stated they could be asked and if the departments can’t offset the costs and hold a flat line then to explain why, this was a work in progress and there was plenty of time to state their case. Selectman Jordan did not feel the request was too tough and agreed with the BC’s recommendation. The majority of the Board agreed to direct all
departments to hold to a flat line budget including any COLA increases. No one was comfortable with that large of a COLA increase and the group agreed that a 3.5% increase may be more appropriate for a starting point. A memo will be sent to all departments and the BC informing them of these expectations.
SUBJECT: French Hill elderly open space developments
PRESENT: Frank Merrill and Brandon Giuda
Outstanding decisions needed- Road Bond approval process/# of Building Permits/Assessment of LUCT
The town engineer proposed two options. The Board agreed to Option #2, to have Mr. Merrill prepare the estimate for reclamation and erosion costs as described as Bond 1, agreed upon with the Planning Board for the Merrill/Giuda subdivisions, as listed on the document entitled, ”Merrill/Giuda Subdivisions Proposed Bonds”. Mr. Merrill submitted an itemized list of costs for this work.
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This estimate will be forwarded to CLD for review. Once a cost is approved by CLD, it is acceptable to the Board for the applicants to prepare the proper documents for the Board’s signature.
The Road Agent has requested access to the connector road during the construction process to complete the installation of new com spans. The applicants agreed to allow the town such access and will put such agreement in writing to the town.
Item 2-# of Building Permits-
Mr. Giuda has requested clarification of the ordinance, Article III, Section L.Growth Management Ordinance, 2. Building Permit Limitations, ii
It was the Board’s belief that French Hill was one entity and that according to the ordinance would be allowed ten permits, however the Board would like town counsel to address the specific issue raised by Mr. Giuda. Mr. Giuda contends that French Hill is two separate developments and as such, each is entitled to ten permits. Mr. Giuda has posed to the Board that should the individual condominium declarations be combined into one declaration, would they then contend that the development was one and only allow ten permits. Lisa was directed to contact town counsel.
Item 3-Assessment of the Land Use Change Tax Penalty
Motion Chairman DeBold, second Selectman MacCleery, to defer levying the LUCT penalties on the Giuda and Merrill subdivisions for up to one (1) year, as allowed by law, from commencement of road construction. DeBold/MacCleery-yes, Jordan-no. Motion passes. Selectman Jordan cautioned against setting precedent, stating doing this means we have to do for everybody else.
SUBJECT: Lighting Trespass/Glare-Chucksters, LLC.
PRESENT: Mark Blasko & Chuck Breton
Mr. Blasko addressed the items cited for correction by the Board, based on the findings of the site visit by the town’s engineer.
#2-fixtures-the lights are to the same specifications as those on the approved plan however they are from a different manufacturer then the one listed. Same lights just different vendor.
Chairman DeBold & Selectman MacCleery referred to the shielding of the lights so as not to see the element itself.
Mr. Blasko explained that he and Mr. Breton were cooperating with the town on this matter but posed, how is this different then the lights at Campers World and the gas stations? The Board responded it is not however, Campers World approvals were prior to the revised lighting ordinance and when complaints were received on the gas station, they were addressed by the town.
#3,5,6-Regardless of having Planning Board approval Mr. Blasko proposed to start by replacing one light fixture and having the Board inspect for approval before continuing to complete the work, it may not all be completed within the thirty day time frame directed by the Board. The Board felt that a reasonable request and agreed to Mr. Blasko’s request. At the time of the Board’s site visit, they will also point out which bulbs need to be corrected. It was agreed that two Board members will perform the inspections.
September 16, 2008
#6-The applicants were not aware that the plan did not indicate that the sign was to be illuminated. The PB file will be reviewed for a definitive answer to this item.
#9-The lights on the building were pre-existing. Glare from these lights has been previously addressed; those lights are no longer being used. The applicants will not be required to remove them and forward a statement in fact to that in writing to the Board.
#11-The gazebos were not built due to the realization that additional parking would need to be addressed. The buffer and vegetative screen issues will be addressed through the approved expansion plan.
Mr. Blasko and Mr. Breton will continue to correct the lighting issues and contact the Selectmen when an inspection is needed.
GENERAL BUSINESS/BOARD DISCUSSION:
Chief Vien requested authorization per the purchasing policy, to purchase a replacement battery charger for the twelve lead defibrillator, at a cost of $1,428.00. This is brand specific and three quotes could not be obtained. Research discovered a used charger for $1,300.00 with no warranty available. This is a budgeted expense. The batteries are charged on a weekly basis. Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Selectman Jordan, to approve the purchase of the Medtronic Battery Support System for $1,428.00. Motion passed unanimously.
The Chief is comparing diesel fuel costs after discovering what appears to be a higher cost per gallon at the State pumps. The Pittsfield pumps are now closed, the department travels to Concord for fuel. The Town is setup with the Mobil Station for gasoline, the Chief with speak with the owner as to the availability to the diesel pumps after hours.
The Chief has re-issued the assembly permit for the Grange Building and pointed out the capacity of the conference room and the State Law requiring all hallways be at least thirty-six inches wide and kept free of obstacles at all times.
The new ambulance is scheduled for delivery on October 8th. Lisa will finalize the payment schedule.
The Chief asked the Board for a decision on the Forestry truck. The Chief stated his issues with the vehicle- never been to a call except for burning the Shaw Field; the truck is all over the road; difficult to drive; the front drive shaft is bent; the brake system is shot; it was made to carry people not water, and the Chief does not believe the vehicle is safe. The idea was a good one, this truck is a poor one.
Lisa researched retention limits for impact fee expenditures. The law does not address this. State surplus purchases require a one year retention period.
Chairman DeBold stated he had talked to a couple of area Chief’s and to State Warden Miner regarding the use and need of this type of vehicle. The vehicle has value and in working condition is a good service vehicle. Selectman MacCleery was not in favor of spending more money on repairs with no guarantees.
September 16, 2008
Selectman Jordan agrees with the Chief’s recommendations. Motion Selectman Jordan, second Selectman MacCleery to authorize the Fire Chief to take the truck out of service and get as much money as he can for it by selling it. Selectman Jordan withdrew his motion.
Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Selectman Jordan, to honor the Fire Chief’s request to take Forestry III out of service and have the Selectmen dispose of as surplus property. Motion passed unanimously.
Paul Adams informed the Selectmen of the clearing taking place on the Merrill/Giuda subdivisions and asked the Board whether or not a site visit had taken place to observe the amount of wood chips being hauled away, or whether or not any wetlands were being disturbed. The Board has not and remarked that that oversight was handled through the State forestry department. Chief Vien stated he had been out there and all the cutting that is being done is within the marked boundaries.
The Junior Girl Scouts have requested use of the Grange Hall on the third Monday of every month during the months of September through April. The Board approved this request with the clear understanding that the scout troop would be liable for any damages that may occur.
The Librarian has requested to be included on the town’s benefits, at her own expense and inquired as to the procedure for inclusion. The Board directed Lisa to schedule a meeting with the Librarian and the Library Trustees for next week.
The administrator reviewed the list of outstanding items-
Requests for additional auditing services were tabled for this evening.
Response to Loren & Brenda Mayville correspondence-The Board discussed the desire to conduct an independent water test. Selectman MacCleery will speak to Health Officer Meehan regarding collection of a sample for testing at the State labs.
Lisa informed the Board that as a result of a hearing with the Department of Labor, the town’s penalty has been reduced from $6,000, to $500. All corrective action has taken place at this time.
Timesheets-No further feedback has been received from departments. The Board tabbed this item until next week with department heads.
Re-visit contractor hourly rate- The Board tabled this and snow plow contract until discussion with the Road Agent next week.
Pittsfield Perambulation-A final meeting is needed. Chairman DeBold will contact Pittsfield Selectman Vien.
Sidewalk Policy-No work has been done to date, the TA was directed to add verbiage as an addendum to the Winter Maintenance Policy and prepare for adoption by the Board.
No Thru Trucking Ordinance Center Road- No response to date from the Town of Pittsfield regarding the process used in their town. The TA will put in an additional request for information.
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Doucette – no response to town to date, violation still ongoing, the TA will contact the homeowners for a meeting with the Board.
Patten – Chairman DeBold reported that on prior visits to the property the homeowners were attempting to bring the property into compliance; however as of late it appears the unregistered cars are returning. Chairman DeBold will follow-up on this.
Request for re-locating the stop sign on the Main Street end of Canterbury Road- Ta was directed to send a memo to the Road Agent to address this matter with the State.
Paving Bid-Community Building-The Board proposed the contractor with the lowest bid to amend his bid removing the cost of existing pavement removal and soliciting the highway department to handle this portion of the work to bring the bid in line with the appropriated amount of $4,000.
Lisa spoke with the contractor and the Road Agent and both were agreeable to this arrangement. In light of the limited funds remaining in the highway department budget, the Board decided not to have the highway department do this extra work and rejected all bids. The Selectmen will place a new warrant article on the 2009 Warrant.
The Board reviewed the highway budget and was concerned that expenses have reached 86% of the total budget. The Board directed Lisa to send a memo to the Road Agent requesting he forward a plan as to how he will plan to fund his work for the rest of the year with his remaining budget money.
Chairman DeBold requested the minutes reflect correction to the September 2, 2008 minutes relative to the Boards interpretation of the building permit limits allowed to Mr. Giuda and Mr. Merrill to include that the Board’s belief that the one entity, French Hill would be entitled to ten permits, however the Board would like Town Counsel to address Mr. Giuda’s specific concerns.
The Selectmen discussed Friday office hours. The office has been closed on Fridays during Lisa’s absence. The office is not aware of any inconveniences this may have caused to the taxpayers. In an effort to conserve on the energy costs, the Board decided to keep the Selectmen/Planning Office closed on Fridays through the heating season. This is not intended as a cutback on employee hours, daily schedules may be adjusted to accommodate the new schedule.
The Board agreed to close the office on days when the staff is attending training. These dates will be posted accordingly.
Mail and correspondence was reviewed. Accounts payable and payroll were signed. The Board approved the minutes of September 2, 2008 as written.
Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Selectman Jordan, to adjourn the meeting at 10:30pm.
Lisa Stevens Approved As Written
____________________ _______________________ _______________________
Richard DeBold, Chairman Stephen MacCleery Jeffrey Jordan