Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Oct 22, 2018

Board of Selectmen Minutes - October 22, 2018





5:00 PM



Present: Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, Chairman Schuyler Sweet, V. Chairman Franco Rossi, Selectperson Carrie Gendreau, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present:  Chad Fillion (Channel 2), Rudy Gelsi, Jason Roshak (The Courier), Karen Noyes (Finance Director), Alex Belensz (North Country Council), Bill Sargent (Public Works), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Bruce Hadlock

Chairman Sweet called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Appointments:  None

Town Manager’s Report:
Tillotson Grant Award
Dorsett provided the following information on the grant award:
In 2016/2017 the Town began intentionally managing the Opera House.  At that time we began life safety inspections, PRIMEX liability reviews and under recommendation from Opera House manager Sue Pilotte an inventory of assets that belonged to the Town and others. The lighting system and sound system are two systems that are critical to operations, and continued growth of the Opera House. Both systems were found to be inadequate for a higher level performance artists needs and as we learned, are not owned by the Town. The need to replace these systems with modern high performance systems meant an investment was needed.  Earlier this year we brought in a technical expert who provided specifications and pricing to replace the systems, we applied for a Tillotson Grant to assist in this

project. The sound system was the first of the two priorities. On October 2nd  the Town was awarded $20,000 from the NH Charitable Foundation (Tillotson Fund).  Should the Board decide to accept these funds we will begin immediately to obtain the required quotes and proceed with the sound system upgrades.

Upgrades to include:

  • Bose passive array speaker systems
  • Bose active subwoofer
  • Bose amp
  • Bose Mounting hardware
  • Allen & Heath 32 input Digital mixing Console
  • QSC Compact Powered Floor Monitor
  • Allen & Heath Snake Box
  • AAV Wall Brackets
  • Cables & Connectors
  • Installation

Sweet stated we will have to schedule a Public Hearing to accept the grant because the amount is over $10,000.00.

NHDOT US Route 302 Resurfacing Project
Dorsett stated the NHDOT has made some amendments to the plan that we should be receiving soon.  We will then work with the DOT to accommodate the changes made to the plan. 

NHDOT US Route 302 10 at Lowe’s & Home Depot – Removal of Traffic Control Signals
Dorsett said that after months of study the NHDOT has determined that the lights will be removed. There are no further details beyond the letter we received at this time.  Sweet said that when they proposed this study we had a public input session and we objected to this.  They did the study and found that our objections had no merit.    

Wastewater Treatment Plant – Dewater
Dorsett advised the Waste Water Treatment Plant’s (WWTP) Westphalia centrifuge is an important and critical component. It is the final component in the process that removes treatable water from solids. The centrifuge was purchased 16 years ago at an approximate cost around $500,000. This device had a life expectancy of 10 years. To lengthen its life, it received a bearing repair in 2017. However this year it began to fail and spinning at high rpm’s lost its balance and was taken out of service. At its highest performance, it removed 20% of liquids, and the remaining solids were once a week, transported to be put into the Casella landfill. In 2016 I put the disposal of solids out to bid. The new disposal contract was awarded to RMI with financial savings to the sewer fund. Disposal was then through a more environmentally friendly process that reutilized the solids in commercially acceptable fertilizers.

With the Westphalia centrifuge broken, we now are reviewing the alternatives for repair and upgrade. Systems are now available that remove up to 95% of liquids vs. the 20% of our past system. I have utilized the expertise of Dufresne Group to analyze options for immediate repair or replacement of the unit with consideration to upgrading next year in coordination with our Sub 2 wastewater collection needed repairs.

Attached to this report is a draft report from the Dufresne Group with their alternative analysis with the preliminary recommendations for addressing the failed centrifuge. Looking at the cost of a new unit and the potential for including it with the application for USDA Rural Development and possibly getting some grant funds, it appears that pursuing repair of the existing unit will be the most cost-effective interim fix. The cost of leasing a unit was excessive when compared to the cost of the repair. The estimated cost of repair is $47,500. In order to ensure any potential contingencies are met, I will recommend a higher amount be approved for use.

Federal Opportunity Zone
On April 9th the US Department of Treasury and the IRS designated Opportunity Zones in 18 states. The intention of the designation was to spur investment in certain communities through preferential tax treatment. In exchange for following the rules of the Opportunity Zone program and investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones through Qualified Opportunity Funds, investors can receive substantial capital gain tax incentives immediately and over the long term.

Those who invest realized capital gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund can defer paying capital gains tax for those earnings until April 2027. Capital gains taxable principle can be reduced by 15%. Those who hold their Opportunity Fund investment for at least 10 years can expect to pay no capital gains taxes on any appreciation in their Opportunity Fund investment.  Sweet asked if there was any cost to the Town.  Dorsett said there is no cost, just time.  Rossi wanted to know how Littleton was put on the list.  Dorsett said he was not sure. 

Land Water Conservation Grant
Dorsett stated that in 2017 NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation toured Littleton’s River District and was presented the potential project of the so-called “Littleton Commons” project. The project design includes a 12,500 sf multiuse pavilion to be used for the farmer’s market, concerts, public rental among other uses, in the winter the pavilion would be used for ice hockey and community ice skating. The project also calls for additional community uses including a community garden and recreation needs. The federal grant provider held its annual meeting in NH this year and ended its tour at Schillings in Littleton and invited me to present our project. I presented Littleton’s River District history and plans for the future phases of the River District.  It was announced that Littleton would receive an LWCF grant award of $200,000 toward its “Littleton Commons” project.  Sweet said this grant acceptance requires a Public Hearing

Parking Commission Public Forum – Parking Plan October 24, 2018, 6:00 PM Lakeway Elementary School Dorsett introduced Alex Belensz to explain the purpose of the public and business parking forums that have been scheduled.  The Board of Selectman created the parking commission to advise the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager regarding parking in Littleton. The Parking Commission worked with Alex Belensz to develop a parking study scope. The North Country Council (NCC) submitted a request to utilize federal highway funds to conduct the parking study. An initial study of parking demands has been conducted and a public input and business owner public meeting is scheduled.  Belensz advised the date, time and location of the as Parking Commission Local Business Forum – October 25, 2018, 6:00 PM, Thayer’s Inn. 

Old Business: 
Agenda Policy
Sweet asked the board if they had any comments or suggestions on the proposed amendments to the Agenda Policy.  There being no comments or further suggestions, Sweet stated they would vote on the policy under board action.

New Business:
Budget Committee Appointments
Sweet stated there are two appointments needed to the Budget Committee.  One is Dan Stearns for a (2-year term to 2021), and the other is Mel Brooks (1-year term to 2020).  Sweet stated they would take a vote under board action. 

November Meeting Dates
Sweet stated they need to schedule a work session to review the budget.  This needs to happen soon before it goes to the Budget Committee.  The Board agreed to hold the work session Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 10:30 AM at the Town Office Conference Room.

Town Office Closure Request – Monday, December 24th and Monday, December 31st.  Staff will use leave time  Sweet asked if this was just for the board’s information or if they had to take action.  Dorsett said it was just for informational purposes only.

Board of Assessors:  None

Public Comments:
Bruce Hadlock wanted to know the assessed values on the utilities.  Sweet advised Hadlock he could find that information out by contacting the Town Office.  Hadlock responded by why he could not ask the board as they are the ones involved.  Hadlock said they should know that.  Sweet said he did not have that information on the top of his head. Dorsett said it is in the MS-1 which is a seven-page document.  Hadlock asked if the utilities were up or down.  That is a key factor for anyone paying property taxes.  Sweet advised Hadlock it is public information.  Hadlock responded by saying that is why he is asking at the selectmen’s meeting. Sweet said it would have been much simpler if he contacted the office.  Dorsett said they would provide him with a 2017 and 2018 MS-1.  Hadlock’s other question was in regard to the piece of land the Town was considering acquiring with funds from a grant.  He wanted to know if that has been presented to the Planning Board.  Dorsett said he believes he presented this to the Planning Board either last year or early this year.  Hadlock asked what the outcome from the Planning Board was.  Sweet said they could research the Planning Board minutes.  Rossi said there is not a final plan that has been presented yet.  Hadlock then asked who was in charge of the maintenance of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.  He was appalled when he looked around.  It did not look like it has been serviced.  It is one of the most expensive assets to the Town.  Dorsett said his questions were timely and they are actually working on a program to develop a ten year CIP for the facility.  Dorsett said they put aside about $50,000 for maintenance and upgrades.  Sweet asked if there was any other public input.  There being none Sweet moved to Board Action. 

Board Action:
Wastewater Treatment Plant – Dewater
Gendreau made the motion to authorize the Town Manager to spend up to $65,000 to repair the subterfuge.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0. 

Agenda Policy
Sweet asked for a motion to accept the two changes to the Agenda Policy.  One is to change the length of public input to lengthen or shorten the time, the other is to accept appointments if there is sufficient urgency at the discretion of the Town Manager.  Rossi made the motion as stated by Sweet.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Budget Committee Appointments
Rossi made the motion to appoint Dan Stearns for a (2-year term to 2021).  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.   Gendreau made the motion to appoint Mel Brooks (1-year term to 2020).  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.  Gendreau asked if there were only two vacancies.  Sweet said there were only two recommendations.

Sweet said those were the only items that needed Board action.  The board does need to go into a non-public session.  Rudy Gelsi told Chairman Sweet he should look around when somebody raises their hand.  Sweet said he closed public comment.  Gelsi said you did not close public comment because you made a mistake when you said there were two appointments to the budget committee.  Gelsi said there are three appointments for the budget committee.  Gelsi said he would see him in court.  There are three, not two.  Dorsett said there were only two recommendations.  Sweet said there were other letters of interest submitted and they chose not to act on them.  Gelsi said it is Sweet’s obligation to reply and read the laws.  Gelsi told Sweet he needs to resign and to stop being such a wise guy. 

Sweet asked for a motion to adjourn.  Rossi made the motion to adjourn.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.  The meeting adjourned at 5:53 PM.