Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Aug 13, 2018

Board of Selectmen Minutes - August 13, 2018


 

TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 2018
5:00 PM
 COMMUNITY CENTER HEALD ROOM
AGENDA

 

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), Justin Roshak (The Courier), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Ralph Ross, Kathy Doriski, Alex Belensz (North Country Council)

Sweet called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Sweet called for a Moment of Silence for the passing of Don Sargent and Burt Ingerson.

 

Appointments:  None

Town Manager’s Report:

Economic Development Buxton Group
Dorsett said the 7/10/2018 BOS report briefly described efforts to develop a public-private partnership to provide a more planned and aggressive approach to recruiting and retaining commercial development on Meadow Street and provide analytic support to strengthen Main Street businesses.  Littleton has a successful history of effectively utilizing public-private partnerships to realize effective economic and community development.  Littleton has been blessed with community volunteers partnering with the State and industrial recruitment through the LIDC. 

In order to realize Littleton’s commercial development potential, laser-like focus is needed to develop the skills and relationships in addition to securing analytical tools and software.  Littleton could attempt to hire an economic development employee but would still need to grow an individual’s relationships, and purchase expense software, not to mention learn how to use it.  Such a position would likely be a stepping stone for an individual, and continuity and momentum would be lost from staff overturn.  Rather than attempt this on our own, we can move forward with contracting with a firm to provide a team of individuals highly trained and utilizing vast and constantly updated analytical tools. 

In order to move forward and have minimal impact on the budget, I’m seeking out investing partners to further leverage tax dollars.  Currently, I have a commitment from a developer for $30,000, $10,000 each year over the three year contract period, other businesses have expressed interest in supporting this effort as well.  Currently, I’m working to present the project to other business entities including banks to request they utilize community reinvestment funds to help.  And in reality, these organizations will benefit, since not only does the potential development diversify and reduce the tax rate but will act to support these businesses.   The annual cost is $50,000 annually for three years. The remaining need I will be requesting in the 2019 budget.  Sweet stated the balance remaining after the business owner investments will be voted on at Town Meeting.  Rossi said he was involved in the meetings and he was very impressed.  Rossi said there will be an effort to raise as private funds as much as possible.  Rossi said he is in complete support of this program.  Gendreau said she had a lot of positive feedback from people that she spoke with from the private sector.  Gendreau went on to say that she hopes we work closely with Emergency Services when new businesses come into Town.  Dorsett said that is a good point since the Town does not charge impact fees.

A citizen asked to interrupt the meeting to bring up a concern due to the fact he had another appointment he had to be at.  He lives on Saranac Street where the construction is going on and he would like to see some dusting prevention done.  Dorsett said it came up at their last construction meeting.  Dorsett said he thought they had taken care of it.  The citizen said nothing has been done at all.  Dorsett said he would make sure it gets done and that he would make it a requirement.  The citizen thanked the board and said he appreciates the Town Manager’s effort to take care of this. 

Allocation of Matching Grant Funds for the Parking Study (North Country Council)
Dorsett said they are working with North Country Council. 
As previously discussed the NCC has submitted a grant application to assist Littleton in conducting a parking study. Federal Highway has approved the $17,718 with the Town having a 10% match.  The Parking Commission has worked closely with NCC to develop the scope of the study and technical assistance contract and recommends the execution of the contract.  The Town has the matching funds available but not in a line item needed, which will need the BOS to make a motion to approve the expense.

Alex Belensz of North Country Council provided a brief overview of what the parking study would entail.

Dorset mentioned the timeline for the Master Plan Project Bid Time as follows:
Town meeting approved funds to update Littleton’s Master Plan.  The project continues on schedule.

June 12th – PB Emailed draft proposal,

June 19th – PB Met and approved proposal,

June 20th – Proposal released,

July 10th - Proposals received,

July 10 – 13th Town staff reviewed proposal provided scoring,

July 17th – PB Reviewed proposals and scoring matrix,

August 7th and 8th PB Interviews Firms,

Selection of Firm at next PB Meeting

Rossi said the Planning Board would make their decision next week.

Mill Street Pedestrian Plan
Dorsett said they met last week and talked about trying to not use the cinder blocks.  We have a number of affiliations that have donated.  $500 from Jim Alden, $500 from Doug Dutile, $500 from Shillings and $500 from Franco Rossi.  The donations will be used to help cover the costs to help pedestrians stay on the designated side of the street. 

Dorsett went on to advise there will be a State-Wide Economic Plan Meeting coming up.  The date is yet to be determined.  Rossie asked what a State Wide Economic Plan is.  Dorsett said they are breaking up into different regions.  You can log in online and be interviewed by the consulting firm.  Saranac and Ammonoosuc Street are coming along.  The completion date has been set towards the end of the year.  The landscaping and the second coat of paving will be done in 2019.  Dorsett then provided a brief update on the sub-5 project.  They have made some changes to the project.  The TAP Project is continuing with the engineering firms. We are also working on an EMS Study RFP.

Old Business: 
Parking Commission Membership
Change Appointments for Tony Ilacqua, Wayne Morello to Alternate
Appoint Chad Stearns as a full voting member
Accept Nathan Karol’s resignation from the commission
Sweet said they would vote on this after the public comment section.

 

Conservation Commission 3-Year Alternate Appointment:  James Durante

Sweet said they will vote on this after public comment.

New Business:  None

Board of Assessors:  None

Public Comments:
Sweet reminded the public of the guidelines of how the meetings are conducted.  Public Comment is not to be on anything that is not on today’s agenda. 
Rudy Gelsi asked the Town Manager what happened to the money he took from the Water & Light Department.  Sweet pointed out that this item was not on this agenda.  Gelsi said people want to know.  Sweet told him if he has an issue to contact Water & Light.  Gelsi said he has an issue with the Town Manager.  Sweet said he should bring it up with the Town Manager and not a Selectmen’s Meeting. Sweet went on to tell him to make an appointment.  Gelsi said he was just asking a simple question and the chairman is making an issue out of it.  Gelsi said that you know and he knows and the commissioners know that the Town Manager took the money.  Sweet said the Town Manager has nothing to do with Water & Light.  Gelsi said he was there when he asked for the money.  Sweet reminded Gelsi this item was not on the agenda.   

 

Ralph Hodgman asked when this change took place that we could not discuss anything except that was on the agenda.  Sweet said the agenda policy has not changed since Marghie implemented.  He further said they do make exceptions from time to time.  Hodgman said we have always let people comment in anything for the last two years.  Sweet said because things were getting unruly we are imposing the policy.  Sweet said the policy is not new.  Hodgman said it seems like you are trying to keep people from having a say.  He agrees with Rudy Gelsi.  For years we have been able to talk about different subjects.  Sweet said they are not trying to keep anything from the public we are trying to keep the meeting orderly and concise.  Hodgman said he feels like the board is saying they don’t want to hear the public comments anymore at these meetings.  Sweet said the public has every right to attend a meeting but they do not have the right to speak.  The board has the right to allow them to speak. To stop the unruliness and the screaming matches, those rules were instituted in 2015 when Marghie Seymour was Chairman.  They have been reinstituted after every Town Meeting in March.  We are guilty, mostly Sweet himself, for allowing people to get away with it.  It may seem like a big change but it isn’t.  Hodgman asked if the citizen who had the question about road dust should have make an appointment to come to the Selectmen’s Meeting.  Rossi said he understands the frustration with the policy, he has only been on the board for a year and a half.  We were being asked questions that they had no preparation time for and no answers.  Rossi said it was frustrating to not be able to deal with things that came up.  The rules are meant to help prepare for the answers to the questions being asked.  Hodgman said it feels to him like you are trying to shut the taxpayers up.  Dorsett said a lot of the things that come up can actually be dealt with at the Town Office.  Hodgman said he still feels like all of a sudden you are trying to shut the taxpayers up.  Sweet told him the purpose of the meeting is so they can be advised about a subject before the meeting and have the answers ready.  Rossi asked him if the public comments were allowed to be on any subject, and no answers were expected, would that alleviate his feeling the public is being shut down.  Hodgman said for the last three years we have heard Andrew will look into it and get back to us.  Rossi told Hodgman that he understands he wants to speak.  Hodgman said he wants to be able to speak with the camera here and not in the Town Managers Office because he wants the taxpayers to hear what is going on when I talk.  Rossi asked the question again and Hodgman did not provide a direct answer. Hodgman said it would be acceptable to him because this is his meeting to come to as a taxpayer to let the citizens what he feels about.  Hodgman said he had no intentions of talking tonight until you told Gelsi he couldn’t speak.  This is the first time he heard a selectman tell somebody they can’t talk because it is not on the agenda.  Hodgman said that from now on he will bother Andrew with anything he wants to talk about before he comes to a meeting.  Dorsett said they can answer the question quicker if it goes through the office and it can be sent to the department that can resolve the issues. Dorsett said he could answer Gelsi’s questions in two seconds by phone.  He also feels in all honesty that some of these questions are purely for grandstanding and that is why they want to do it in front of the camera.  Hodgman said it is grandstanding but it is the only way to let the public know what is going on by being in front of the TV.  There were no other further public comments. 

Board Action:  
Economic Development Buxton Group
Rossi made the motion to support the Town Manager in seeking private donations for the Buxton Group Economic Development Project.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Allocation of Matching Grant Funds for the Parking Study (North Country Council)
Gendreau made the motion to provide the 10% grant match for the Parking Study.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Parking Commission Membership
Change Appointments for Tony Ilacqua, Wayne Morello to Alternate
Appoint Chad Stearns as a full voting member
Accept Nathan Karol’s resignation from the commission

Rossi made the motion to approve the above change in appointments and accept the resignation of Nathan Karol.  Gendreau seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0.

Conservation Commission 3-Year Alternate Appointment:  James Durante
Gendreau made the motion.  Rossi seconded the motion.  Motion passed 3-0. 

Sweet announced the board will go into a nonpublic session under

Note:  The board will go into a nonpublic session per the following RSA’s:

Gendreau made the motion to go into a nonpublic session per:

_X    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 community

Rossi seconded the motion.  After a roll call vote, the board entered the nonpublic session at 5:40 PM.  The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:04 PM.  No decisions or votes were taken during this session.