Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Mar 26, 2018

Board of Selectmen Minutes - March 26, 2018

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018
5:00 PM


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

Others Present:  Patrol Officer Bryce Lineman, Chief Paul Smith (LPD), Sue Pilotte (Chairman Dog Park Committee), Brien Ward, Jim McMahon, Justin Roshak (The Courier), Joe DePalma (Public Works Director), Robert Blechl (The Caledonian), Richard Woosley, Chad Fillion (Channel2), Rudy Gelsi, Ralph Hodgman, Chief Joe Mercieri (LFD), The Amazingly Strong Space Otters

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

Pledge of Allegiance

Board Organization – Chairman, Vice Chairman
Sweet stated the board needed to appoint the Chairman and the Vice Chairman.  Rossi nominated Schuyler Sweet as Chairman, Gendreau seconded the motion.  The motion passed 2-0.  Sweet asked for a nomination for Vice Chairman.  Gendreau made the motion to appoint Franco Rossi as the Vice Chairman.  The motion passed 2-0.   

Littleton Police Department – Introduction and Swearing-In of Patrol Officer Bryce Lineman
Chief Smith advised the public that Bryce Lineman grew up here in Littleton and served in the Coast Guard and attended Criminal Justice School.  He also served as an intern in the Police Department.  Smith said the department is pleased to have him.  He is very enthusiastic.  He also worked at the Grafton County House of Corrections.  As Chairman, Sweet performed the swearing in of Bryce Lineman.  Family and friends were present to show their support of Patrol Officer Lineman.

Sue Pilotte – Chairman Dog Park Committee – Lakeway Elementary Destination Imagination Dog Park Donation $600 – Amazingly Strong Space Otters Presentation.
Sue Pilotte was present to ask the board to accept a donation made by the Lakeway Elementary Destination Imagination Team and to provide an update on the Dog Park Committee.  Sue is the Chairman of the Committee along with Chris Wilkins the new Parks and Recreation Director as the Co-Chair.  The committee has had about five meetings.  We are progressing very well.  We have a plan and the amount of acreage we will need.  We have ten very dedicated members.  We set up a Facebook page a few weeks ago and that generated more interest.  Destination Imagination Team had to do a community-based project.  She will now turn over the presentation to them.  They entered a competition and will be involved with the state finals. They have done a fantastic job. 

The Amazingly Strong Space Otters provided an excellent presentation highlighting the efforts they put in to raise $600 for the Dog Park Committee.  They distributed surveys, analyzed the data and baked healthy dog biscuits in the school cafeteria which they sold to raise funds.  The students listed the ingredients used in their recipe for the healthy dog biscuits as oatmeal, bananas, and peanut butter.  The public applauded the students, and Chairman Sweet thanked them for one of the best presentations the board has ever had.  Rossi made the motion to accept the donation.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.

Chairman Sweet had an item that was not on the agenda.  Over the weekend, we lost a businessman who gave a lot to this community over the years.  Sweet asked for a moment of silence for Ronnie Lyster.  Sweet thanked those present and stated that Ronnie would be missed. 

Brien Ward – Economic Development Presentation
Brien Ward wanted to follow up on how wonderful the kids involved in their presentation tonight, a relative of his complained that the kids coming out of Lakeway were getting worse every year.  It was not right and just to let you know the year was 1996.  Ward stated that Chad Stearns had asked him to talk about the last 25 years of economic development.  There was a 25th-year celebration held for economic growth, but unfortunately, the selectmen couldn't be there because they were busy dealing with attorneys on the threatened litigation on a land transfer.  The celebration was held just before Thanksgiving and the Holidays were approaching.  Ward presented the board with a packet of his presentation materials.  In 1992, Littleton's prospects were not as good as they were today.  We needed to take ownership of our economic future.  A group of citizens went to the board and asked for their support to address our economic needs.  We had seventeen vacancies on Main Street.  The individuals that attended that meeting were Jere Eames, Bob Copenhaver, Joel Bedor, Frank Porfido and Ed Hennessey.  The selectmen developed the Economic Development Task Force.  Seventy people worked to produce goals over the years.

Ward wanted people to be aware of one significant development that occurred was not a part of their plan, and that was health care.  Ward went on to say the support of the board is most important to their success.  The decisions are then presented to the voters for their support.  In his mind, the voters gave the board an A- for 2018. 

Ward went on to list the efforts and successes made by the Task Force for the past 25 years.  The presentation can be viewed on the Town’s website on the Town Manager’s Corner. 

Sweet realized he had not adequately introduced our newest selectperson, Carrie Gendreau whose maiden name is Winn.  Sweet said if the board received an A- for 2018, it would turn into an A+ next year.

Town Manager’s Report:
Meadow Street Sewer Spill
Dorsett turned this over to Joe DePalma the Public Works Director.  DePalma said the Shaw’s spill was on February 9th.  Shaw's has been cleaned up properly.  We had some local help with the spill.  The work to clean up has been inspected by DES.  The problem is over after there were some modifications made and they have now installed an alarm system.  On Saint Patrick's Day weekend, the 99 had an overflow.   The restaurant had to close Friday night.  DePalma said he left his crew at home after having been plowing for hours.  When he arrived the Littleton PD assisted with traffic and the Fire Department helped out to let the highway guys remain home.  The 99 called a 24-hour contractor and had the spill cleaned up.  Milt Bratz was called on Friday night as the health officer and returned Saturday to inspect the cleanup.  DePalma said he investigated the 99 a year ago and found no problems.  These things are going to happen.  Shaw's had also been inspected on two different occasions in the past year.  These things are inevitable.  We are doing our best to stay ahead of situations like this.  DePalma stated the teamwork of the departments made the cleanup run smoothly.  Richard Woosley asked if the sewer had to be pumped back down.  DePalma said it did have to be pumped back down and then up to the Wastewater Plant.

Dorsett provided a quick update on what has been happening.  We have about five million dollars for projects that are underway.  There is a lot of coordination going on between NHDOT, Water & Light, three engineering firms and many residents and businesses and all of the grant funding agencies.  Dorsett said they are holding local concerns meeting at the Senior Center at 6:30 PM for the TAP Project.  He also had a brief update on the rail/trail.  We had a meeting at the NHDOT, and the public seems to have questions as who this project is taking six years.  Chad Stearns had put together a projected timeline.  We were expecting to begin construction in April, but after today's meeting, we are looking at possibly August.  Saranac and Ammonoosuc Street are projects that are also underway.  Sub Sewer 5 has been put out to bid.  The Transfer Station that was approved by Town Meeting has been installed.  We are also working on a permit modification that we thought would be done by now, but there has been a change in staffing at North Country Council.  The permit would allow other Town's to use our Transfer Station.  Rossi asked why we would do that.  Dorsett said they might already be doing that.  It would result in additional income for the Town.  We have a fee structure in place that helps from adding additional expense to the taxpayers.  Rossi asked if there was an additional fee structure for non-residents.  He further asked if it would be enough to cover any additional costs.  Dorsett said he would have to show him the breakdown which he did not have at the moment.  Dorsett said the fee structure was reviewed by the board in 2015 and approved.  It has been working out quite well.  Dorsett said Brian Patnoe the Transfer Station Manager has been proactive working out relationships with the Industrial Park and other businesses in making it easier for them to dispose of their waste.  Also, it reduces their costs and generates additional revenues for us.  Shillings was issued their industrial discharge permit.  He thinks we will see them begin brewing within the next few weeks.  Greenup Day is coming, and we will have Brian Patnoe here at a later date to provide an update.  Also, expect a public meeting from the NHDOT to do a traffic light study for both the Lowes and Home Depot lights to see if they are warranted and to gather public input.  Rossi wanted to ask about the Energy Conservation.  It has total costs which are great, but it does not tell us very much because the costs fluctuate.  Is there any way to get the same information in usage as opposed to dollars?  Dorsett said he would check with the members.  Rossi said their conservation efforts have paid off well.   

Old Business:  NONE

Sweet said the door is still open for the volunteer positions that are vacant on the Committees, Commissions, and Boards until the end of the month.  If you are interested contact the Town Office.  We encourage people to apply as many as possible, and then we look at all the applicants and try to pick the best. 

New Business:
April Meeting Dates – Monday, April 16, 2018, 5:00 PM, Monday, April 30, 2018, 5:00 PM

Sweet said they had to move everything up a week for April.  The meetings will be April 16th and April 30th.  The change takes care of vacations and other items.  

Carrie Gendreau wanted to provide some information on a meeting that was attended by herself, Andrew Dorsett and Sue Pilotte in Plymouth.  Dorsett said they attended a meeting with the Northern New Hampshire Arts Alliance.  It was a focus on the New Hampshire Creative Economy and how establishing and creating an arts community can benefit the economy.  Dorsett said that he thinks Littleton may be a little ahead of the curve. There is a lot of work to be done along with educating some of the businesses.

Carrie said they had an opportunity to listen to a gentleman who called himself the President of the Concord Chamber of Commerce.  She thinks he is the Executive Director.  He gave them an update on their revitalization.  It was amazing.  One of the things that struck her was they contact artists, and they place the art in different areas of the Town.  They are not paying for it; it is on loan.  She thought this would be an excellent idea here in Littleton.  She noticed the fence at the Transfer Station and thought what a great idea to place some art there.  The other thing that struck her is that most of the time artists are expected to do their artwork for free.  There are grants that we can apply for so that we would not have to ask the artists to do it for free.  It makes a big difference when art is infused into the community.  Sue Pilotte said she talked about the Opera House and made friends with someone who wants to give money.  There were significant comments about Littleton.  Things like Littleton is cool, and people like to come here.  She feels that the information she received from attending this meeting she could use at the Opera House because the walls are bleak and empty.  She had an idea that maybe we could get students from LHS and have them possibly do some artwork on some of the walls.  Dorsett said the art impact on economies was well over a billion dollars.  

Rossi asked who would be responsible for the grant applications. Dorsett said the Cultural Arts Commission would be working in conjunction with Cathy Conway.  Sweet thanked them for the update. 

Public Comments:
Rudy Gelsi wanted to ask about the cleanup at the 99 and stuff.  Do you inspect Applebee and McDonald too?

DePalma said yes.  McDonald’s was the first place he inspected when he took this job.  There was grease in the Meadow and he went to the first store and worked his way down.  The flooding inspector from the State of New Hampshire accompanied him. DePalma said they found both to be compliant.  Gelsi said so it was not our fault and then asked if that was the reason for the one point two million dollar suit.  DePalma said he would not know about that.  

Ralph Hodgman asked if the change to the meeting nights was for April only because  the first night in April conflicts with the school board meeting.  Sweet said it was only for the month of April.

Richard Wosley said there are four intersections and he has a couple of concerns.  One is it would be good for the folks that want to cross the street to the Co-op from the Old Hospital Complex, to have a crosswalk.  The Co-op has made a sidewalk that comes right down to the street and invites people to cross the street there.  It is a really busy street.  People have just stopped going seventy so you have to let them know they are in a twenty-five-mile zone and people are crossing the street.  Many people go there for lunch.  They really need a crosswalk with signs.  Sweet said he deserves an answer.  There is a process for doing that.  Sweet said the Town Manager and the Chief of Police will address.  Dorsett told Richard that if he was available at 6:30 tomorrow night he should come by the Senior Center where we will be having our public input session that is called the Local Concerns Meeting for the Transportation Alternative Program.  We received an $800,000 grant to redo pedestrian infrastructure.  The Cottage Street area you are referring to is on the list.  Wosley said he is the kind of guy that would take a five-gallon bucket of traffic paint and I would go out there so in two days from now it would be done.  That’s the way he does stuff.  Don’t schedule it for next year after a couple of people are dead.  The next concern is that there are four intersections at the high school.  He thinks three of them have two-way stop signs.  The other one has a four-way stop sign.  He thinks it would be good to standardize all four of them.  If they are all two-way stop signs they will think before they want to go.  Sweet said he said he sees Chief Smith shaking his head so he is on it. 

Rudy Gelsi said that tomorrow night should be a really good meeting.  But the public probably won’t show up.  How does the public know about this meeting?  Gelsi said he knows that you put it on the Town sight.  Dorsett responded by saying it was posted in the paper, on the webpage and all of the abutters received a letter with the notice of the meeting.  Gelsi said it is very important that the people show up, but if they don’t know about the meeting they can’t go.  Rossi said that every abutter received a notice by direct mail and it is in the paper.  Rossi asked him what more do you want?  Gelsi said maybe send a note to the taxpayers.  Gelsi said that’s the way you run the show.  Ward said when the TAP Plan was developed there was outreach to the Co-op.  The Co-op also wants to improve the intersection.  They decided to hold off on doing additional improvements to coordinate with the TAP Plan.  Ward said it might be a good idea to reach out to them and have them dedicate some funds for the project. 

Jim McMahon said he had two people come up to him who had applied for board positions and they have not heard anything back.  Is there any notification that tells them their application was received?  Sweet said we don’t send a receipt at the end after we make the appointments we notify those who were not appointed.  Sweet said it would be premature to do so at this time because the door is still open for more applicants.  Rudy Gelsi told Sweet that he had an obligation to reply to a letter of interest.  This is because of the right to know laws.  If somebody sent a letter you are obligated.  Sweet asked him if he heard what he just said.  Gelsi said he has an email where you said you are not obligated to answer my request to be on a committee.  There being no more public input Sweet read the following out of the employee handbook. 

“The Town of Littleton is committed to providing a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive, including sexual harassment.  All officials and employees shall be treated with courtesy and respect at all times.  Conduct that threatens intimidates, or coerces an official, employee or a member of the public at any time, including harassment conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, race, age, or any characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law will not be tolerated”. 

Sweet said we would appreciate it if the Board of Selectmen were treated the same way.  Rossi made the motion to adjourn.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion to adjourn passed 3-0.  Meeting adjourned at 6:19 PM.

Board Action: Action on acceptance of Dog Park Donation was taken after the presentation.

Sweet stated the board will go into a nonpublic session.
Rossi made the motion to go into nonpublic session per the following RSA:

_X__RSA 91-A:3, II(C) Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of this board, unless such person requests an open meeting.  This exemption shall extend to include any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant

Gendreau seconded the motion.  The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:29 PM after a unanimous roll call vote.  The board came out of the nonpublic session at 7:16 PM after a roll call vote.  No decisions were made in the session.  Rossi made the motion to seal the minutes.  Gendreau seconded the motion. The motion to seal the minutes passed 3-0.  Rossi made the motion to adjourn.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3-0.  The session adjourned at 7:17 PM.