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Selectmen Minutes 11/25/2008

Chichester Board of Selectmen
November 25, 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Chairman DeBold, Selectman MacCleery, Selectman Jordan and Administrator Lisa Stevens.  

Others present: Alan Mayville, Mike Paveglio and Jamie Pike

Chairman DeBold opened the meeting at 7:00pm.

SUBJECT: Department Heads
PRESENT: David Kenneally, Road Agent; John Martell, Emergency Management Director; Patrick Clarke, Police Chief; Gil Vien, Fire Chief; John Uitts, Deputy Fire Chief and Stephen Stock, Forest Fire Warden

 PD ñ Patrick reported he has followed-up on the complaint forwarded by Selectman MacCleery.  The concern stemmed from what the caller described as missing information not listed in the officerís report and the callers feeling that this fact had a negative impact on the child custody case.

Pat has reviewed the conceptual plan currently being worked on by the Space Needs Committee with each of the Selectmen for the renovation of the existing police station.  Some of the existing space utilized by the Fire Department will be converted to Police Department space.  Chief Vien stated he doesnít have a problem with the plan as proposed. It has come to the attention of the committee that misinformation about the plan is circulating within the Fire Department and Pat suggested a joint meeting be held with the Police, Fire, Selectmen and the SPC. This meeting would be for informational purposes and idea sharing.  Chairman DeBold strongly agreed that a meeting is needed to get everyone on board; it is prudent on our part to hold such a meeting.  A date was set for December 10th at 7:00pm, at the Safety Building.

Pat is working on a revised budget at the request of the Selectmen and Budget Committee.  He will forward to Lisa for distribution prior to the meeting next week.

EMD ñ John submitted a proposal from contractor Hubbard to update the townís Hazard Mitigation Plan should the town be awarded the grant.  This is no way commits the town to any expense if the grant is not awarded.

HYW ñ The department has been busy cutting roadside brush.  The Road Agent did not get the response he had hoped for from his advertisement for plow contractors.  Also, he has had an applicant for driving the one ton; however the applicant has never plowed snow.  The Road Agent went on the record stating this situation was not his fault; in fact he had brought the subject of the plow contracts up at the September 23, 2008 meeting.  The Board did not get back to him with an hourly rate and the prolonged decision caused the current contractor to request sand-by pay for the winter season.

Mr. Mayville confirmed his request and qualified it by stating that he was basically laid off by the town in October.

Chairman DeBold queried why the Road Agent had not reminded the Board of the outstanding decision or came in to a meeting to discuss it.

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November 25, 2008

David responded he had brought it in to the Board early and he did do his job.  Mr. Kenneally is still looking for a contractor.

A brief discussion over hourly rates took place.  Motion Selectman MacCleery, second selectman Jordan, to use the State hourly rate schedule as a guideline for the lighter trucks.  All were in favor, motion passes.

The Board had already agreed upon an hourly rate of $63.00 for trucks with 32.5 gross vehicle weight.

The Road Agent had submitted the report in his CIP submission, from CLD Engineering regarding the repair work needed to the Depot Street Bridge.  Lisa copied the report for the Board.  The Road Agent has reviewed the report and will not be hiring flaggers for a week but rather close the road to one lane for the duration of the repair job.  This expense has been submitted for a warrant article.

Selectman Jordan inquired about the new placement of the stop sign on Pleasant Street, he has received several phone calls about it.  The sign has already been hit and needs to be righted.  The Road Agent replied he is aware of it and that trucks can make the corner without hitting it.  The Road Agent is of the opinion that the pros of the new location outweigh the cons.  

Chairman DeBold inquired about the culvert repair on Webster Mills Road.  The culvert (approx. 60ft) will need to be completely replaced in the spring.  For now, a temporary fix has been made utilizing fabric paper, mesh and some material.  At the least, no one else can fall through any sink holes. David stated he wanted to get the work done before it froze out there and he felt it was a good expenditure.  Selectman MacCleery recommended research be conducted to determine where the townís responsibility lies versus the homeowner as far as the cost of replacement.

FD ñ Chief Vien submitted three quotes for replacement of the rooftop furnace that has been broken since last year.  Each quote offers a different heating option.  The contact information supplied by Selectman MacCleery turned out to be a disconnected number.

FFW ñ Warden Stock reported that the receipts for re-imbursement for the forestry pants have been forwarded to the State.  Chichester is the first ton in the State, since the inception of the new law on September 4, 2008, to handle the three strikes youíre out law.  A bill will be submitted to Ms. Brown for her third burn permit violation.  A previous bill has been issued and paid in full; a bill was not issued for the second violation.  She has been previously cited for not properly extinguishing a fire, not attending the fire, and burning during the day without a permit or snow cover.   The consequences are loss of a burn permit for the next seven years, issued to the homeowner. Ms. Brown is well aware of the situation through conversations with the Warden.   It is possible for the homeowner to give another adult permission to request a burn permit for her property.  Steve had discussed this matter with State Ranger, Doug Miner.

 Steve asked the Selectmen to begin the lien process against property owner Clarkson for failure to pay a fire restitution bill.  Mr. Stock sent the homeowner a certified letter allowing thirty days to pay the bill or appeal to the Board.  There is nothing the State can do in this situation; it becomes a civil penalty against the town and the homeowner.  Property owner Clarkson has scheduled an appointment with the Board for later this evening.

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Mr. Stock has not applied for any grants this year.  He stated his reason being the town has been awarded grant money two years in a row.

Mr. Kenneally inquired whether or not the Board had made a decision on the disposition of the old fire truck that is part of the highway fleet.   The Board has not.

SUBJECT: Fire Restitution Bill
PRESENT: Scott Clarkson
Mr. Clarkson came before the Board asking them to waive the fire restitution bill of $274, issued by the Forest Warden. This was a permitted burn on October 3, 2008 that turned out to be a fire with illegal materials (motorcycle tires) and over-sized wood.  

Mr. Clarkson admitted he had not read the laws listed on the permit and that his son had thrown the tires in the pile after the fire was started.  Mr. Clarkson also stated there was one piece of OSB treated wood and some logs larger than the 5î diameter allowed.  The burn pile remains as it was when the fire was put out that day and Mr. Clarkson invited the Board to come take a look for themselves.

Warden Stock stated once on scene he counted five tires, two pieces of OSB board and seven over-sized logs.  The wardens are not required to first inspect burn piles for compliance.  The Fire Chief first reported the heavy black smoke and called the department and the Warden to respond.  Mr. Stock further stated there was no fire suppression equipment handy at the property and that he discussed all this with the homeowner and informed him that he would be charged fairly and equitably and hold the bill to re-imbursement of those on scene only.

Mr. Clarkson disagreed that the fire was not controlled and stated he had a garden hose on scene.  Mr. Clarkson also stated he has lived in town for eighteen years, he and his wife have participated in community service to the town and he also helped to pull out Forestry I when it went off the road.

Mr. Stock stated to the Board that he felt it was a fair bill and the rules are the rules, ignorance of the law does not excuse you of the law.  Mr. Stock cautioned the Board that waiving this bill would be opening up a ìwickedî precedent.

Chairman DeBold asked whether or not this was Standard Operating Procedure or did it depend on the person or number of violations.  Chairman DeBold wants to ensure that the wardens are treating all people fairly and equitably.  Chairman DeBold was troubled by the tire violation, feeling that was a huge violation but felt the Warden had acted appropriately and well within his duties.  

Selectman Jordan inquired whether or not Mr. Clarkson was cordial to the Warden during this incident.  He was.  Further Selectman Jordan stated he would be glad to come out and inspect the burn pile.

Selectman MacCleery disputed the fact that OSB is considered treated wood and stated that the bill does not list OSB material as being present.  Further Selectman MacCleery inquired whether re-imbursement for personal vehicles is a standard charge.  The Warden answered it is a normal charge depending on the situation. Selectman MacCleery stated he did not want to open any doors; however his opinion was that the Board must look at the circumstances of every case, in this instance the homeowner admits to making a mistake and has helped the town in the past.  Selectman MacCleery posed the question, couldnít the bill be adjusted?

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Warden Stock responded by stating that the firefighters have already been paid, restitution bills have been charged in the past by former wardens, he had explained everything to the homeowner and chose this route as it would be less expensive than filing a summons and proceeding with this matter in court.

Selectman MacCleery questioned whether or not the Selectman could abate the bill.  Chairman DeBold suggested a payment schedule to ease the burden on the homeowner, stating that he feels there needs to be restitution on some level but would like the Board to be neighborly, there have been expenses incurred to the town but would like to take into consideration that the homeowner has helped the town out in the past.  Selectman Jordan agreed that some restitution was necessary.  Chairman DeBold proposed not to abate the bill but rather to allow the homeowner to pay the expense over a six months time frame with the monthly payment not to exceed $50.00.

Mr. Clarkson disagreed with this proposal and again stated it was a safe fire, on a rainy day and requested the Board make a site visit.  

Selectman Jordan stated the Board could not usurp the Wardenís authority but suggested the bill be reduced to $100.  Selectman MacCleery stated his thought was to reduce the bill in half to be fair due to the mitigating circumstances, the homeowner admitting it was a mistake.

Warden Stock stated that $100 does not even cover re-imbursement for the personnel.

Motion Selectman Jordan, second Selectman MacCleery, to reduce the Clarkson fire restitution bill to $100.  The motion passed by a two to one vote with Chairman DeBold opposing the motion.


The Selectmen signed the Equalized Ratio Study Certificate Sheet due to the Department of Revenue.

Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Chairman DeBold to continue with Cartographic Associates for the annual tax map maintenance and updates for a contract cost of $1,400.  All were in favor, motion passes.

Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Chairman DeBold, to accept and sign the proposal from Hubbard Consulting for the update work needed to the Hazard Mitigation Plan, should the town be awarded the grant.  All were in favor, motion passes.

The Board addressed a complaint file against Tractor Supply for non-conformance of the lighting ordinance.  The Board directed Lisa to research the Planning Board approval to confirm the allegations listed and report her findings back to the Board.

The Board still has an outstanding site visit to Z-1 Express concerning the complaint on file regarding light glare and light trespass.  

The Doucetteís were not able to attend the Board meeting this evening however Mr. Doucette has called Chairman DeBold concerning this outstanding unregistered vehicles complaint and relayed the list of unregistered vehicles still on site.  According to the list, once removal of the motor home and the 1988 Conquest, there will be two remaining unregistered vehicles on the property.  

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 RSA chapter #236:11-a,  states that not more than one unregistered vehicle and uninspected motor vehicle that is not over 25 years old shall be kept on the premises.  The Board directed Lisa to send a letter to the Doucetteís with this information and allow them fifteen (15) days from receipt of said letter to removal the additional unregistered vehicle.

Lisa followed ñup with St. Jeanís Auctioneers regarding the discrepancy in bid amount for the 1990 ambulance.  Mr. St. Jean contacted Selectman MacCleery personally and explained to him that he sold the ambulance personally and assured Selectman MacCleery that the price listed on the paperwork from St. Jeans, $3,500, was the price the ambulance sold for.  The Board discussed this and agreed that the clarification from the phone call was sufficient and agreed to let the matter be.

The Board discussed the assessing contracts and interviews that were held last Thursday with three prospective vendors.  Motion Selectman MacCleery, second Chairman DeBold, to award the General Assessing and Data Verification contracts for 2009 to certified assessors Chris Murdough and Kris McAllister, for an annual cost of $40 p/h for general work; $26 per parcel for field and data verification work.  All were in favor, motion passes.

The Board discussed the proposal for the building inspector position.  The Board discussed the amended fee schedule and the fact that the town also requires impact fees. The question raised was whether or not impact fees are grandfathered in on an approval from the Planning Board.  Lisa was directed to check with town counsel.  The Board agreed to forward the amended Building Regulations to the Planning Board for their review as any zoning amendments must be to the PB no later than their December meeting.  No decision was made this evening regarding the vacant position.

Mail and correspondence were reviewed. Accounts payable and payroll were signed.

Being no further business for this evening, Chairman DeBold adjourned the meeting at 10:28pm.

Respectfully submitted,                                                 

Lisa Stevens                                                    
Administrator                                                           Approved As Corrected   

______________________            _______________________                _______________________  
Richard DeBold, Chairman                  Stephen MacCleery                     Jeffrey Jordan

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