Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Apr 30, 2018

Board of Selectmen Minutes - April 30, 2018


TOWN OF LITTLETON

BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018
5:00 PM
 COMMUNITY CENTER HEALD ROOM
AGENDA

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

Others Present:  Perry Goodell, Esther Goodell, Tom Considine (Littleton Water & Light Superintendent), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Ton Alt, Rudy Gelsi, Bruce Hadlock, Chad Fillion (Channel 2), Mary Edick, Kathy Dorisky, Sue Pilotte (Opera House Manager), Brian Patnoe, Ralph Hodgman, Heidi Hurley.

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

Pledge of Allegiance

Appointments:

Certificate of Appreciation – Perry Goodell (Water & Light Commissioner for Eighteen Years)

Sweet read the Resolution honoring Perry Goodell’s years of service on the Water & Light Department. 

Perry thanked the board for the recognition.  He was also the Superintendent of Public Works for fifteen years and worked as a teacher for fifteen years.  Most of his working life has been in Littleton.  Tom Considine spoke of Perry’s loyalty and his dedication to the Town of Littleton. 

Brian Patnoe, Transfer Station Manager – Green-up Day Results

Brian Patnoe said they had about forty-three participants who are about the same as last year.  We had sixty-five bags equaling four hundred and sixty-three pounds.  There were seventy-five pounds of bulky items.  The Coin Company did their cleanup a couple of days before the event.  They turned in nineteen bags totaling one hundred seventy-one pounds of trash.  Overall it was a tremendous success, and we hope to build on it.  Sweet thanked Patnoe and his department for their efforts.  Patnoe wanted to thank the Boy Scouts who helped out quite a bit.  He also thanked the Parks and Recreation Department, the Library and the Police Department among others.  Wal-Mart donated a bunch of food; other businesses gave gift certificates.  Patnoe went on to say this week they received three or four hundred pounds more of trash turned in by residents. 

Karen Noyes, Finance Director – Request to Open Two Accounts
Opera House Credit Card Receipt Account
Parks & Recreation Credit Card Receipt Account

Sweet stated the Finance Director submitted a request to open two new bank accounts for credit card payments.

Sweet said they would not act on these two items until the end of the meeting under Board Action section of the agenda. 

Town Manager’s Report:
Northern Borders Regional Commission Application – Littleton Commons

Dorsett said the Board of Selectmen vote on a motion to authorize the Town Manager to sign the Northern Boarders grant application.  The project is called Littleton Commons which will help with the acquisition of land and the continued use of the lot for the Farmers Market.  It will also include parking that will help businesses, tourism, and bus parking for the area businesses.  Dorsett said this is a crucial piece of the economic plan.  Sweet said this item would be voted on under Board Action towards the end of the meeting.

Donation of Technology Equipment – Plymouth State University

Dorsett said this is in regards to a donation of technical equipment and for the Town to accept of a gift with a five hundred value.  Dorsett said the Supervisors of the Checklist came to him recently and advised they were in need of some computers.  Plymouth State University was able to donate three Dell laptops.  Sweet said this item would also be approved at the end of the meeting.  Mary Edick wanted to educate the public on what the supervisors do and why they would need three computers.  Things are always changing to update the programs.  It is imperative they keep the voter checklist clean.  They have to put in the data immediately when they have a session.  They have a meeting that is held here because they are held in the evening.  The state requires specific meetings must be held on particular evenings.  Mary said they have no computers, other than the one that is in the Town Office.  It is highly recommended we not use our computers.  She went to Andrew, who she cannot say enough about, was able to save the Town money and get us three laptops through his contacts.

We also have to use them on Election Day to immediately input the information gathered on that day.  We can take the laptops home and work at our own pace in the evening hours.  Mary thanked the Town Manager and Plymouth State University.  Sweet said this item will be voted on under Board Action in the event anyone would like to make a comment under Public Comments.

Traffic Committee Findings:

Stop Sign on Upper School Street and Oak Hill Ave.
Dorsett said the Traffic Safety Committee got together to take some action on some issues.  The first one is due to a complaint we received from a local resident and from the Driver’s Ed teacher about a visibility issue on Upper School Street.  The committee made the decision to add a stop sign on Upper School Street. 

Restrict Parking at the Opera House Parking Lot
Dorsett said the next issue is parking at the Opera House.  They are looking to erect signs to restrict overnight parking in the Opera House Parking Lot.  Dorsett said the issue right now is that cars will stay there for several days.  We can't remove snow so that snow will be there for a while.  The solution they are recommending is to restrict overnight parking and then they could look at other measures down the road.  These would include meters and maybe bagging meters.  Heidi Hurley asked if she could comment on this now.  Sweet said there is a Public Comment section before they vote on it. 

Old Business: 
Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance – No Through Trucking
Dorsett said this is the third recommendation of the Traffic Safety Committee.  We had a couple of public hearings on this item last year.  It mostly cleans up the Traffic Ordinance and adds a section for Mount Eustis Road and makes it a no through trucking.  The ordinance lists some exemptions. 

Dorsett said he has a draft schedule for some of the sewer projects that will be posted to the Town Manager’s Corner on the webpage.  There are other projects that will also be posted on this page.  He understands there has been some misconception or misunderstanding on how and when projects will be taking place.  Sweet added that the Town Manager is working on getting all of us a comprehensive plan on all of the projects going on in Town that will be presented at a future meeting.  We are also going to have a presentation similar to one we had about a year ago, on the wastewater treatment system.  This presentation will be in regards to their capacity and the uses.  We will be treating less stormwater with the sewer improvements.

New Business:

 Proclamation – Municipal Clerks’ Week
Sweet read the proclamation and stated the board would vote on this item under Board Action. 

 

Board of Selectmen’s Meeting Schedule – May through August

Sweet said there is a holiday on a scheduled meeting day and we have to discuss the summer schedule.  May 28th is a holiday and our regularly scheduled meeting.  May 28Th is a legal holiday.  Sweet said we have a scheduled meeting on the 14th and have a meeting on the 29th if needed.  We have one meeting in June, July, and August.  Sweet said he recommends that we hold those meetings on the second Monday of the month.  Rossi and Gendreau were okay with the second Monday of the month during the summer. 

 

Public Comments:

A citizen said he has been in front of the board several times regarding parking at the Opera House.  He is curious why they are banning overnight parking with no events are going on.  Sweet said the primary reason for the overnight parking was for snow removal.  The citizen said there are three apartments close to his store those tenants frequently park at the Opera House because they have trouble getting up and down the driveway because they are steep.  He does not understand why you would ban public parking when events are going on but not year round. 

Sue Pilotte wanted to speak as the Opera House Manager.  When she would get to work the snow plow had not been able to get through.  One day she happened to be out there when she noticed someone cleaning off their car.  The car had been there for several days, and she asked her why her car had been there for so long.  She told Sue that it came with her lease.  Sue said to her that she did not think so and that she would appreciate she would move the car.  The woman responded that she could park there whenever she wanted. 

It is an issue for the Opera House because it is getting busier and she does have events that are during the night and the day.  If someone parks there overnight and are there for three or four days, it does impede our business.  Sue said that out of courtesy she contacted Heidi and they discussed it.  Sue said she wanted some restricted parking there.  She does not want to restrict it all of the time.  She realizes that we need to have parking for the downtown businesses.  She's talked to the local businesses and told them they could bring their signs up closer to draw people to their business.  She is looking out for the Opera House business.  The growth of the Opera House is growing on a steady uphill.  She wants it to continue that way; it is hard for us to market if we don't have parking.  We only have eleven parking spaces with only one handicap.  She hopes the board will consider the no overnight parking. 

Heidi Hurley said she had a concern with that as they have an easement agreement.  When Herb Lahout bought the business, and the Town wanted to make more parking spots, he swapped land for the parking.  In the easement says that Lahout and any of his successors will continue to have parking spaces in the lot.  If we decide to open an office upstairs instead of an apartment, but now we have a tenant that lives there, and he is entitled to a parking spot overnight.  Sue Pilotte said she knows that they have two reserved spots. Heidi said they are not reserved; they have access to the whole parking lot.  Sue said she is just talking about the signs that are there that say they are parking spaces reserved for Lahout's.  She understands that Heidi has a business to operate, but so does the Opera House.  They have two tenants that are leasing office space.  We hope that we will attract more tenants. By limiting the overnight parking, it allows our tenants to get in there at 8:00 AM.  It also provides for any parking lot maintenance that has to occur such as cleaning, sweeping and picking up litter. We want to keep the appearance of the parking lot up.  Heidi said her concern is for the tenant that lives above the office.  Where is he going to park if you take overnight parking away?

Andrew said that is addressed in the motion they are considering.  The motion talks about restricted parking at the Opera House to no overnight parking notwithstanding the existing easement dated 1998 the abutting property owner Herb Lahout.  Dorsett said that is not voiding anything that is in the existing easement. 

Heidi said her children perform at the Opera House and she thinks it is terrific.  When there is an event at the Opera House, it is very difficult to get a parking spot.  The Opera House is entitled to those parking spots, but we are too.  So when you block off the parking lot where people can't come in, and it is tough to utilize our office when it is blocked off.  Sue said she thinks that they have only blocked off the parking lot twice.  It was for weekend flea markets that they had there.  Sue said she did not know what to do about the limited parking along Union Street.  Dorsett said parking is a much broader issue than what we have here.  Sue said that when we do have events, we tell people about the free parking off of Pleasant Street.  We tell them about the bank across the street.  We tell people to try and park in the open parking areas.  We don't want to block the parking lot, but there are times we have to for loading and unloading equipment for bands and other deliveries.  We don't block it all the way; we keep it where you can turn in and exit.  We did put a sign out there that says event parking.   Heidi said the other businesses suffer because of the events at the Opera House due to very little parking.  Sweet asked Heidi if she recommends that the board do nothing.  Heidi said there is very little parking in this Town as it is.  It has always been a Littleton parking lot even if you look back at the easement.  It shouldn't be just one facility parking lot. 

Dorsett said Heidi and him had discussed this a little bit earlier.  One of the solutions he talked to her about was the potential to do an MOU similar to what was done with the Community Center.  We could then establish spaces, and parking enforcement can help with that.  It is something like a management issue.  Heidi said we have our two signs, and when there is an event, they park there no matter what. We put cones up, and they move the cones.  She thinks taking away the overnight parking from some of the tenants on Union Street, and tell them they have to go park behind the bank when there is a blizzard or whatever; she does not think it is fair.  Sweet said that what he is hearing that regarding making a decision, we probably need to talk about this more.  Sweet said it is not a question of looking at it again; we have a recommendation from the safety committee.  Dorsett said there are multiple issues at play.  One is, is it the Town's position that we subsidize apartment owner's parking.  He sees that as a separate issue.  Dorsett said there are lots to take care of that.  Rossi said he agrees with him, but there is an easement that was signed.  Dorsett said the easement said it supports the use of parking spaces for Lahout, not all parking spaces.  If people are coming to the Opera House and parking in the Town parking lot, and they are taking up a private space, we can't enforce that.  Under our traffic ordinance, if we come to an MOU, we control them and can do enforcement. Rossi said the question to if the Town is going to subsidize parking is moot based on the agreed to easement. 

Heidi said that when the Opera House has a function until nine or ten o’clock at night, her tenant does not have a parking spot and has to park four spots down.  Sweet said this needs more discussion and study and now is not the time for it.  Ralph Hodgman asked if this is a Town parking lot.  Dorsett said yes.  He has a right to park there and go wherever he wants to.  Ralph said if it is a Town parking lot, we shouldn’t have any private parking there.  Sweet said they are not going to solve this tonight.  Mary Edick said it sounds like there are more parking issues in Littleton besides this one.  Mary asked if it would be complicated to have a parking commission.  The commission could look at all of the parking issues and come up with suggestions.  Sweet wondered if there were any further comments on this issue.  Sue Pilotte said she is not restricting overnight parking.  We want to restrict it from eleven and seven to enable the plows to come in the morning. 

Bruce Hadlock had three items to comment on.  The first is the question I asked last fall about how much it cost to have an attorney attend the meeting when you were talking about selling land to the LIDC for one dollar.  Nobody has gotten back to me on what the cost was.  He wants to know what the cost was to have the attorney at that meeting.  Dorsett said he would check the invoices and provide the amount to Hadlock.  The second one was the Town voted on an article in 2015, he believes it was article four, and it was to raise money.  There was also a limit of the amount of money you had before you could do anything.  You had to commit two million dollars. He asked for a financial statement showing where it is and where it came from and where it is going before you put anything out to bid.  Dorsett said he didn't understand the question; he would have to see the article.  Dorsett said he would have to look it up and bring it to the board.  Hadlock said he wanted all the financial records related to this.  The third thing is he is interested in what Mr. Sweet's qualifications are to be appointed to the Water & Light Board.  Others on the board have qualifications, and he gave examples of such.  He wants to know what Sweet's qualifications are.  Sweet said he is a citizen volunteer.  Sweet said he had business experience and finance.  Rossi asked Hadlock what he thinks the qualifications should be.  Hadlock said they separated the Water & Light Department from the Town Manager form of government.  Rossi said he was aware of that.  Hadlock said the laws changed in 2014.  Hadlock said he didn’t think the Selectmen were doing it legally.  Sweet said that is not correct we had a legal opinion that it is not illegal.  Hadlock asked who paid for it.  Sweet said the taxpayer.  Dorsett said there was no cost to the Town it was a request made to NHMA.  

Ralph Hodgman said that a lot of you are aware of the last wind storm he had a pine tree come down right on top of his car.  He immediately called Chief Smith, and he came right out and took a report.  Ralph was able to get in touch with his insurance company.  He then called Joe DePalma from the Highway Department.  Ralph said they could not get out of their driveway.  Joe was there with his crew at six thirty the next morning. They made it so we could at least get our car and truck out of the driveway.  Ralph said he appreciates the Town crew and Chief Smith.  Sweet thanked him for his comment.  

Board Action:

Sweet asked for a motion on the request to open a new Opera House Credit Card Receipt Account.  Rossi made the motion to authorize the opening of a new Opera House Credit Card Receipt Account.  Gendreau seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Rossi made the motion to authorize the opening of a new Parks & Recreation Credit Card Receipt Account.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Rossi made the motion to approve the Northern Borders Regional Commission Applicant for the Littleton Commons Resolution.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Rossi made the motion to accept the donation of three laptops from Plymouth State University.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Gendreau made the motion to approve the stop signs on Upper School Street and Oak Hill Ave.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Rossi made the motion to restrict parking at the Opera House parking lot.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Sweet asked if there were any discussion.  Rossi said he did not think we should go forward with this.  He does not have enough information to make a decision.  Sweet said there were too many moving parts to this.  Motion failed 3-0. 

Gendreau made the motion to approve the No Through Trucking change to the traffic ordinance.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Approve the following minutes:

Rossi made the motion to approve the March 12, 2018 minutes as written.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Rossi made the motion to approve the March 26, 2018 minutes.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Rossi said he had a few changes.  One change is under the Town Manager's report.  In the second paragraph where we get down to sub-area five, it says the transfer station that was approved by Town Meeting has been installed. It should say the baler has been installed.  Just before that it states, there was a meeting by the DOT and who should be corrected to why.  Gendreau made the motion to approve the minutes as amended.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Rossi said he had one more correction under Public Comments.  Comments made by Richard Wosley in the last sentence, it says with all two-way stop signs they will think before they want to go.  His memory is saying he was trying to say it should be four-way stop signs.  The minutes were approved as amended 3-0.  Sweet said this concludes the public portion of this meeting.  We do have one topic to go into nonpublic session for.  The public session ended at 5:57 PM. 

Sweet asked for a motion to go into nonpublic session.  Rossi made the motion to go into nonpublic session per  RSA 91-A:3, II(d)  Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general communityGendreau seconded the motion.  The board entered the nonpublic session after a unanimous roll call vote at 6:08 PM.  The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:49 PM.  No decisions were made at this meeting.  Rossi made the motion to seal the minutes.  Gendreau seconded the motion. Motion passed to seal the minutes with a unanimous roll call vote.  Rossi made the motion to adjourn.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.  The meeting adjourned at 6:50 PM.