Selectmen Meeting Minutes of May 12th, 2008
Present: M. Genest, S. Schacht, G. Webber, W. Prokop, B. Houseworth, J. Parsons, M. Beauchamp, M. Gale, E. Phillips, T. Bryer, T. Feyrer, M. Pon
1. The selectmen approved the minutes of the meeting of April 28th.
2. The selectmen reviewed the operation of the Planning Department with B. Houseworth. Expenses are in line with the planned budget and it is expected that there may be some additional savings. The use of D. Chauncey has been a big help to the Planning Department and the part-time support seems to be working out fine for everyone. B. Houseworth is currently checking with other towns as to how they handle new road acceptance, bonding, and some other administrative details. Once this is complete a proposal will be made to a joint meeting of the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen. The Planning Board and the ZBA are still in need of "alternates" and is actively looking for volunteers. The Planning Department expects to have a complete up-date of our "Sub-Division Regulations" by year end. These will be reviewed by the
Planning Board and they will hold a Public Hearing on them. The Planning Board had a site review this morning of 3 sub-divisions, with the Town Engineer, P. Pitsas of Underwood Engineering and B. Varnum our Road Agent. This was very educational to all the members and helped clarify some of the items that need to be changed in our regulations.
3. The selectmen approved the Town Administrator writing a letter to NH Department of Environmental Services requesting the commissioner to exempt property in the Downtown area, per RSA 483-B:12 from the Shore land Protection Act requirements.
4. The selectmen reviewed the operation of the Building Inspection/Code Enforcement Department with J. Parsons. He reported that this year there have been only 6 building permits issued for new homes. His expenses are in line with the budget. Currently, most of his time is spent on Code Enforcement issues. There are currently several active violations that are being followed up on. He reported that the State of NH is expanding its building inspection force and is looking into more inspections of "mechanical" permits and particularly the installation of propane systems.
5. The selectmen approved the signing of a contract with George E. Sansoucy, P.E., LLC to perform engineering consulting and valuation services related to the valuation of the public utility property in Antrim. The contract was signed by the Board of Selectmen.
6. The selectmen reviewed and approved the grant from NH Fish and Game for OHRV patrols and agreed to have the Chairman, Michael Genest sign the agreement on behalf of the Board.
7. The selectmen reviewed with M. Beauchamp, M. Gale, E. Phillips, and T. Bryer the operation of the Fire Department. The expenses are in line with the budget. The equipment is all in very good shape with the exception of the Brush Truck which is getting old and worn. Station 1 will need to have some doors installed on the inside to separate the garage from the office area and in addition we need to look into the installation of a ventilation system that would remove the exhaust fumes from the building. Generally speaking the gear, due to the grant that we received over a year ago is in very good condition. Our major need is to get all the air bottles shifted over to the new light weight bottles with the automatic alarm system built-in. They feel at this time that we will need to bring forward their request for a new tanker by 1-2 years;
they would like to see it in 2009. They originally estimated a cost of $210,000 to $225,000 but feel that they can now do better by looking at suppliers out of state and that they would be able to get an 1800-2000 gallon tanker and a good reconditioned 4 wheel drive brush truck for that same amount of money. They would like to see this as part of the 2009 budget. They would like to get a Thermal Imager for the fire department and this could be part of a grant. The other needs that they have are as follows: 1. a washer and dryer (60 lbs. capacity) to clean the gear, estimated cost in the area of $10,000.00. 2. A ventilation system for both stations. 3. A fire alarm system - it does not have any system at this time and we have too much invested in the equipment not to have a proper alarm system. 4. A sprinkler system installed. The ambulance is operating very well. They just received 2 resignations; Peter Moore and Andre Ui both will be missed. Staffing is generally good and the
concern is that within the next few years we will have to go with 2 full time ambulance emergency medical technicians and a full time fireman to cover the day shift. They did have a meeting with the Bennington Board of Selectmen who were interested in how the Antrim Fire Department runs its operations and got the feeling that Bennington was also feeling that within the next few years we are going to have to have day shift coverage. They briefly discussed the possibility of regionalization of the fire services but felt that we already have it with mutual aid. They do feel that some protocol decisions could be made to improve response time. The idea of regionalization is a good one but we must look at the pros and the cons and all parties must be willing to have an open dialog to discuss all the issues. It was suggested that we talk with Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Spofford about what they did with their fire departments and how it is working. The selectmen asked how
we are coming along with the physicals for all the members. M. Beauchamp stated that it is a slow process and that he is looking into have MCH come to the fire station and conduct the physicals there. This way it would be easier and we could make it part of our standard training and be monitored closely. The selectmen asked if the ambulance is getting all the information that they need on there operations and M. Beauchamp replied that he gets all the information that he request and that he did not think that there were any issues. He does want to go over a few charges that have been made to the fire department and that they maybe charges for the ambulance but he will review those with the Town Administrator in the next week.
8. The selectmen voted to go into Non-Public session at 7:10 P.M. to discuss some personnel issues per RSA 91.4-a. The selectmen voted to go back into public session at 7:25 P.M.
9. The selectmen voted to seal the minutes of the non-public session.
10... The selectmen approved the A/P and payroll for the week and reviewed miscellaneous correspondence.
11. The selectmen are still very concerned about legislation that is being put forward at the state level as it pertains to HB 1127, HB 1436, and HB 1645. M. Genest has been in contact with our representatives and our senator to make them aware of their concerns and asked the other members of the board to also contact them. These bills will have financial impact on the Town in the future.
12. The selectmen voted unanimously to promote Sgt. Matthew Elliott to the rank of Lieutenant and Officer Sean Cavanaugh to the rank of Corporal, effective Thursday, May 15th, 2008.
The meeting adjourned at 7:45 P.M. The next meeting will be June 2nd 5:00 P.M. The selectmen will be meeting in a work session with the Bennington and Hancock Boards of Selectmen on Thursday, May 15th at 5:00 P.M. at the Hancock Town Office and with the Deering Board of Selectmen on Monday, May 19th at 8:30 A.M. at the Deering Town Office.