Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Jul 13, 2020

Board of Selectmen Minutes - July 13, 2020


 

TOWN OF LITTLETON
MONDAY, JULY 13, 2020
5:30 PM
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
2 UNION STREET, LITTLETON OPERA HOUSE, GRAND HALL
 
Present:  Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, Chairman Carrie Gendreau, Vice Chairman Chad Stearns, Selectman Roger Emerson, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings
 

Others Present:  Katelyn Robinson (NCIC), Rudy Gelsi, Karen Noyes Finance Director, Granite North Television, Doug Damko Public Works Director, Sue Pilotte Opera House Manager, David Houghton Fire Chief, Chris Tyler Deputy Police Chief, Herb Lahout

Appointments:
River District Redevelopment Commission – Re: River Front Commons
John Hennessey explained the River District Commission and the board of selectmen have been working on this project since 2012.  Hennessey provided the funding they have acquired over the years and the work that has been completed on various projects.  Hennessey said there are two additional projects. Construction on these projects should begin in 2021. 

Town Manager’s Report:
Accept & Expend a donation from Shaw’s in the amount of $1,375.00.
Dorsett provided some background on the Dells Brook and storm water retention areas surrounding the Town owned conserved lot abutting Walmart and surrounding Dells Brook to the Ammonoosuc River requires constant beaver maintenance.  The contracted beaver removal is required from time to time to keep water flowing.  Dorsett asked for a motion to accept and expend the donation.  Stearns made the motion to accept and expend the donation from Shaw’s in the amount of $1,375.00.  Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Introduction of New Interim Fire Chief – David Houghton

Dorsett said that in the Town Manager’s report from 6/8/2020 I gave a brief background of the contracted Interim Fire Chief. “David has a B.S. degree in Fire Science, an A.S. Degree in Fire Science and Technology, and has completed a Local Government and Management program with Suffolk University. David has a diverse background in Firefighting, EMS (ALS and BLS), Dispatch, Fire Prevention, Emergency Management and operations. He is a nationally certified Firefighter, Fire instructor, Fire Inspector, Fire Officer, and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician both in New Hampshire and at the National Level”. Chief Houghton will be serving in this role part-time, until the new Littleton Fire and Rescue Chief is appointed. Chief Houghton has coordinated with Chief Mercieri over that past month and has now fully assumed the role. Houghton will provide additional consulting services during his tenure. Currently he has reviewed duties and roles, standard operating procedures, dispatch procedures, equipment assessments, among other activities. He is a wealth of knowledge and effectively providing continuity while preparing the department for its next Chief.

David Houghton said he has a limited number of hours to be here and at this time his schedule is Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays.  He invited the board to come to the station and he can give them a tour and information on the number of things they are going to improve upon.  He was very impressed at how quickly the ambulance service was put into service.  He has heard from the public that these people are doing a fantastic job.  On September 1st we are going to look at the one year anniversary of the ambulance.  Expenses, Revenues, equipment and other areas are going to be reviewed.  The chief answered a variety of questions ranging from the process of building inspections, and other fire related duties.  Rudy Gelsi asked what the chief’s salary was.  Carrie Gendreau advised Rudy to contact the Town Manager for that information.  Houghton said he is not employed by the Town of Littleton.  He works for a company called Municipal Resources.  They are a company that is helping with the search for a new chief.  They have placed him here for three to four months. 

 

Houghton did some research on Engine 1 that Selectman Emerson had asked about.  On April 28, 2004 the Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 to sell the fire truck to the Eureka Hose Company for one dollar.  The Town has zero responsibility for that vehicle.  Karen Noyes stated that they never paid the one dollar for the truck and to this day the Town is still insuring it. 

 

 

Fire Department EMS/FD Call Report
The BOS meeting on 6/8/2020 Selectman Emerson requested additional information regarding an incident and response by Littleton Fire and Rescue. The redacted incident report is included in the board’s meeting packet.  Emerson was questioning why the call was handled the way it was.  Houghton said there were two calls at the same time.  Houghton said that due to HIPA laws he cannot comment or the treatment of any patient. 

 

Grant Status Overview
Dorsett provided the following active grant information:

Granting Agency Purpose/Project Amount

Economic Development Authority (EDA) RD Ammonosuc/Saranac Street $1,018,800

Northern Boarder Regional Commission (NRBC) Rail Trail Conversion $110,000

NH Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Sub Area 5 Sewer/Storm Water $292,500

Transportation Alternative Program (NHTAP) Cottage & Mill Street Pedestrian $800,000

NH Recreation Trails Program (RTP) Rail Trail Conversation $55,000

Northern Boarder Regional Commission (NRBC) Industrial Park Expansion $119,500

Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Riverfront Commons $200,000

Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) Riverfront Commons Tax Credits $460,000

Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund (NLTF) Opera House Sound System $20,000

Eversource Opera House Sound System $5,000

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Opera House Cottage Street Design $12,000

Northern Boarder Regional Commission (NRBC) Riverfront Commons $250,000

Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Remich Park Upgrades $200,000

NH Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Asset Management Plan Phase II $30,000

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Opera House Lighting $23,230

NH Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Partridge Lake Phosphate $75,000

NH Department of Transportation Main Street Phase II $200,000

Application Pending

Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) COVID Disaster Recovery $ pending

Application in Review/Process

Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Pool & Building Replacement $2-400,000

Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Riverfront Commons Supplemental $200,000

Economic Development Authority (EDA) Main Street Phase II $2,000,000

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Main Street Phase II $500,000

Numerous closed or denied grants, more information available upon request.

 

Grafton County Broadband Committee

Grafton County Commission has appointed members to the County’s Broadband Committee.

Tourist Oriented Directional Signs – “Blue Sign” program for State Highways

Contacted NHDOT and NHDOT private contractor to learn about method businesses use to participate in this program. I93 and State routes could be increasingly utilized by businesses to direct additional traffic into the Littleton market. The program for Littleton’s four exits and major State intersections is severely underutilized. The information was relayed to businesses, however additional outreach and program promotion should be undertaken, perhaps by the Chamber or other economic focused group.

 

High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) Grant Program

The grant has been denied. We will now bring the issue to the Conservation Commission for review of options for moving forward with the Dells Dam mitigation/repairs.

 

Grafton County Budget Increase

The BOS requested that I contact Grafton County Commissioners, requesting potential relief from increased budget impacts. I met with Commission Chair Linda Lauer to discuss. The Commissioner informed me that while they are unable to provide tax relief, they were able to amend the formula for fees charged for Dispatch services. This has been reduced Littleton’s annual fees by over $60,000, with a $30,000 in 2020.

 

NHCDFA Tax Credits

Littleton received official notification last month of $575,000 ($460,000 resulting grant to Town) CDFA Tax Credits towards the Riverfont Commons Project. Click here for Business NH List of Award Recipients. Because of this funding Littleton will now be able to accomplish the first two phases of this project. Both phases are approximately $1.6 million. The funding plan includes $250k Northern Border Regional Commission, $200k Land and Water Conservation Fund, $55,000 Recreational Trails Program, $175k town appropriation, $155k individual private donors, $575k CDFA Tax Credits (yields $460k grant), partial land donation, and in-kind labor from NH Trail Bureau and Town of Littleton. The credit can be applied against the Business Profits Tax, Business Enterprise Tax, or Insurance Premium. The town is responsible for selling the tax credits. Greg Eastman and I are working with businesses for commitments. As of today, we have over $200,000 verbal commitments from: 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, Littleton Chevrolet, CAI Technologies, Eastern States Compounding Pharmacy, Union Bank, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, and Peabody and Smith Realty.

 

Main Street Phase II

We are currently working on an EDA application. And are seeking letters from local businesses that could expect to create jobs, retain employees, or undergo new construction as part of this project. We are also in a process to determine the type of occupancy of project area parcels to determine commercial and residential impacts. We are coordinating with the NHDOT for Main Street paving plans so projects can occur in sequence. Our current challenge is finding a contractor to conduct a Regional Economic Models Inc (REMI) study. We have reached out to the State and are now utilizing business contacts to learn more. Right of ways are being re-reviewed and discussions with property owners are upcoming. We have confirmed with the NHDRA that the bonding authorized at Town Meeting does not expire, removing concerns of the grant(s) timeline. This project will continue moving forward with new challenges each week. A public hearing will be required with the next BOS meeting to move forward with the EDA application.

 

EPA - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit

Littleton’s EPA NPDES Permit expires this month. EPA has issued a draft permit with increased monitoring and narrow limits. The open comment period is underway, DPW Director Doug Damko and contracted waste water engineer KV Partners are coordinating responses and requests to the regulators. Attached to this report will be a memo from KV Partners on the topic.

 

Dr. William Hart - New Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Hart and I had or first meeting. We both look forward to increased collaboration and partnership. We discussed the possibility of students participating in community problem solving, project development, etc.

 

Old Business: None

New Business:

Citizen of the Month

Andrew Peter Clark is an active member of the community, taking the cleanup of Littleton roadsides as a priority. He has collected over 800 pounds of roadside trash equaling 75 bags of trash.

Stearns made the motion to name Andrew Peter Clark as the Citizen of the Month for July 2020.  Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.


Apthorp District Discussion

Residents and business owners of the Apthorp area have approached the Town often, and inquired about increased awareness and attention to this area of the community. Recently Herb and Joe Lahout have offered to assist in bringing together a group of interested business owners and residents to discuss their concerns. On June 17th I hosted an Apthorp meeting at the Opera House. The meeting was well attended, and participants were in agreement that more coordination and organization would be beneficial to community attention and project development in this area. Some of the topics brought forward were:  Business signage and I93 “Blue Sign” program. Stearns made the motion to create an Apthorp District Commission with a membership of eleven on a rotating three year staggered terms.  Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Littleton Parks & Recreation MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with SAU 84

For several years the SAU and the Town have been meeting with the SAU to explore the shared use of facilities between the Town and the Schools. Littleton Parks and Recreation lacks a facility to host its afterschool and summer programs. Littleton schools as an organization lack the facilities of athletic fields and courts. Costs and use for these organizationally separate entities had been an unresolved issue. Parks Director Chris Wilkins worked closely with the SAU to establish operational expectations resulting a no cost MOU.


Board of Assessors: None

 

 

 

Other Business:

Budget Committee Appointment – John Goodrich
Stearns made the motion to appoint John Goodrich to the budget committee. 
Gendreau stated that Mr. Goodrich just moved back to Littleton and would like to be involved with the budget committee.  Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

 

Public Comments:

Rudy Gelsi said he had something to say about the appointment to the budget committee.  Gelsi said he sent in seven letters of intent.  You guys are racist.  You three guys are racist.  Starting tomorrow I know what to do with you three guys.  I’m not going to go to court.  You guys are racist you should be ashamed of yourselves.  People come to me when they need something. 

 

Gendreau asked Mr. Greenlaw if he had something to share. 
Peggy Girouard of 490 Farr Hill Road has acquired a number of signatures on a petition due to the condition of the road.  Something needs to be done.  The main concern is the safety of the road. There was an incident when an ambulance had to be called to assist a resident.  The ambulance drivers apologized to the patient because the ride was so bad due to the road.  A lot of people have had damage to their cars due to the road conditions.  Dorsett said the road is set to go out to bid at the beginning of next week.  Dorsett said it is for construction this year. 

 

Rudy Gelsi asked why the Police Chief was getting paid full pay while he is not working.  A lot of people want to know why someone who does not work gets paid a full salary.  Dorsett told Gelsi the Town is very limited on what they can say regarding this particular case.  Dorsett said the Chief was put on administrative leave and there should be an update sometime in the very near future.  Gendreau told Gelsi the board appreciates his concerns. 

 

Sam Green was present to discuss a piece of property that he owns in Town.  Green said he attended a board meeting several months ago to bring an issue before them.  At the end of that meeting the board said they would look into it.  He requested he be provided with a copy of what the Town had discovered regarding his property.  Green said he has not received anything from anybody.  Dorsett said the Town contracted with Horizon Engineering to complete a study and that they met with you and went over the results of the plan from their study.  Mr. Green said it has been 30 days and he has not received anything.  Dorsett said the issue has been taken care of.  Gendreau advised Green to set up another meeting to review the issue at a later date. 

 

Stearns made the motion to adjourn the public meeting.  Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.  The meeting adjourned at 7:28 PM.