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Selectmen's Minutes 2010/12/13

6:45 PM Town Office Meeting Room
Monday, December 13, 2010

Present: Fred Gallup Chairman, Emma Smith, Charlotte Brown, Stephen White, Donna Nashawaty, Town Manager

Also Present: see sign-up sheet

Chairman Gallup opened the meeting at 6:45PM  

Director Don Vittum of NH Police Standards & Training Council
Director Vittum presented Officer Timothy Puchtler with a plaque for his dedication and commitment to law enforcement training, where he spent 14 weeks at the Academy as a positive role model to the 54 recruits, by providing instruction, guidance and support. Director Vittum thanked the Board and Chief Cahill for allowing the Academy to use Officer Puchtler expertise in training these recruits. Director Vittum also presented Chief  Cahill a plaque for his dedication and support of the NH Police Standards & Trainiing Council. Director Vittum added that it was a pleasure working with Chief Cahill.

Public Hearing-Accepting Deed for Fieldstone Drive & Open Space
Chairman Gallup opened the public hearing at 7:00pm. Donna Nashawaty reminded the Board that there are 2 pieces to be accepted; the parcel of land being shown as Fieldstone Drive and a parcel of land being shown as open space in the Fieldstone Subdivision. Donna Nashawaty wanted to share with the Board that Tony Bergeron, Road Agent did do random inspections during the construction of the road. Tony Bergeron observed numerous compaction tests which met or exceeded density requirements. After doing some key inspection; the contractor was notified to sweep road and the street and stop signs were installed, which acceptance from the Selectmen’s Agent is required by the Planning Board. Chairman Gallup asked if Tony Bergeron had any comments in regards to the road. In Tony Bergeron’s opinion, the contractor did a good job constructing the road, there were some deficiencies, which were corrected to Tony Bergeron’s satisfaction. Tony Bergeron feels that it would be of interest to the community to accept the road and would suggest a 1 year guarantee that the road won’t fall apart. After some discussion, it was decided to accept the road without the 1 year guarantee. On the open space parcel, Van Webb, Chairman of the Conservation Commission was very excited to receive the 26 acre parcel; the Commission hopes to roll the 26 acres into the Town Forest. It will open up a 40 acre piece of the Town Forest, which was landlocked. Van Webb wanted to clarify that the property does not have a conservation easement at this time. Public hearing was closed at 7:09pm.

Motion to accept the warranty deed for Fieldstone Drive as presented by Selectman White, seconded by Selectman Smith. All in Favor. Motion to accept warranty deed for the 26 acre open land parcel (Fieldstone Subdivision) from Claremont Savings Bank by Selectman Brown, seconded by Selectman White. All in Favor.

Wastewater Upgrade Presentation
Neil Cheseldine, Wright-Pierce gave the Board a presentation on the wastewater upgrade.

Selectmen Action
•The Board received a request for interest forgiveness from John and Erica Tauriello on their June 6th tax bill, sent was sent, but lost in the mail. Donna Nashawaty spoke with the Mrs.Tauriello and explained that only in very extreme circumstances does the Board of Selectmen forgive interest in situations like this one because of the checks and balances to take care of these sorts of things. Selectman Brown asked if notification was sent out on overdue tax bills. Donna Nashawaty stated that tax bills are sent out with a due date and some people choose not to pay by that date. Betty Ramspott, Town Clerk Tax Collector explained that on the second issue tax bill, in the area where it states what is due for the second issue, it asked the taxpayer to contact the Tax Collector’s office regarding an overdue balance. Motion to deny the request from the Tauriellos for interest forgiveness by Selectman White, seconded by Selectman Smith. All in Favor.
•The Board received an alternate member appointment, Betsy Katz from the Recreation Committee. Donna Nashawaty wanted to point out that the applicant would not be a resident until January 2011, as a Board it was decided a couple of years ago that it was looked at as the same as if the applicant were running for the position, the applicant should have all the same qualifications. Selectman Brown wondered if the Board shall wait until the applicant is a resident. Selectman White, as the rest of the Board, know Betsy Katz and how active she is in the community and he sees no reason to hold back the application, the Board agreed. Selectman Brown feels she would be an asset to the Recreation Committee. Motion to accept the appointment of Betsy Katz as an alternate to the Recreation Committee by Selectman White, seconded by Selectman Brown. All in Favor.

•Donna Nashawaty gave a brief explanation of the history of the Boston Post Cane. Helene Nutting, the holder of the cane has recently passed away. An ad was run in the newspaper to try and find a new candidate. The Town Office received numerous calls that Rupert Molloy, who is 98 years old and lives on Westwood in Georges Mills, is the oldest Sunapee resident. Donna Nashawaty will make the arrangements with the family and newspaper for the presentation.
•Donna Nashawaty also wanted to remind the Board that it’s the time of year to start thinking about the Town Report dedication and cover. Please think about it and at the next meeting the Board can go into non-public to discuss their recommendations.

Selectmen Action-Budget Review
Donna Nashawaty passed out the following pages to the Board; updated warrant articles, statement of expenditures 2011, which show the comparative subtotals of the general government; as proposed step and 1.5 cola, with 1.5 cola no step, with step no cola and no cola or step. The 2011 Tax rate estimated computation with as proposed step and 1.5 cola, with 1.5 cola no step, with step no cola and no cola or step. A letter from Brendan Minnihan outlining the raises; teachers will receive both a step and cola, other employees will only receive a 3% cola. A summary of benefits information received from 3 local private companies in Sullivan County. The final page is statistics report that is generated by the NH Department of Employment Security by county, one part is the summary from 1998 & 2008 employment & wages that are based on the unemployment compensation numbers that employers provide to the state, so they’re fairly steady and reasonable across the board. An average weekly wage is calculated based on the unemployment wages by the number of reported employees, which is 52 employees in Sunapee. In 2008 the average weekly wage was as follows:

Private Industry-$699
Total Private Plus Government $687
Town of Sunapee the number is $545 compared to the $638.

Selectman White received a number of phone calls and in person inquiries regarding the newspaper article on the budget review. Selectman White wanted to remind the taxpayers that there are 3 other portions on their tax bill that the Board of Selectmen has no control over, just 26%. Selectman White was impressed with the research and material the Town Manager presented to the Board. Selectman White’s recommendation to the Board is to not eliminate the step or cola raises and go with the original proposed 2011 budget. Selectman Brown attended the School Board’s budget meeting and reported that they are giving their employees the step and cola raises. Selectman Brown thinks the School Board did a good job of reducing their overall budget with a 2.83% increase, which is modest considering the raise that they’re giving and the Teachers contract. The School Board also removed 2 warrant articles, so in Selectman Brown’s opinion the School Board has done what they could to consider the economy and also personnel. Selectman Brown feels the Board can compensate the employees with the step and cola raises. Selectman Smith had no comment. Donna Nashawaty wanted to follow-up the increase to be raised by taxes is .5% over last year. Chairman Gallup wished there were other employers that had the same attitude as this Board does. In Chairman Gallup’s opinion, in this day and age it is an employers market, as far as employees. Chairman Gallup has a lot of respect for the Town’s employees and thinks the Town has a good group of employees that are very dedicated to the Town. But believes the employees of the Town are very well compensated. Chairman Gallup has had a number of people approach him that were very happy with the job the Board of Selectmen, the Budget Committee, Town Department Heads and Town Manager have done at keeping our tax rate very even or steady, but it never goes down.

Chairman Gallup would love to give the employees much more appropriate compensation to help to bring them and as well as himself to catch up, a 1.5 or 2.5% increase,  there hasn’t been one year in the last ten years, where it only cost 1.5% or 2.5% more to live. Chairman Gallup is not going to “buck” the system; the rest of the Board has made some good comments, so be it. Selectman White said the thing that got him was that the average weekly wage was $545 in Sunapee compared to $638 that the other government employees made throughout Sullivan County. The fact that Sunapee employees were at a lower pay in the spectrum bothered Selectman White. Chief Cahill thanked the Board on behalf of the employees for supporting the employees.
•Selectman Brown asked if the Board was going to go over the warrant articles. Selectman Brown wondered if there was another place to put the Hydro money to instead of the Safety Services Building. Selectman Brown wanted to know the interest rate on the Safety Services Building loan and could the money from Hydro be used for a capital expense? Donna Nashawaty cautioned the Board that one of the reasons a capital reserve is set-up with an amount that is level because if you were to take $100,000 towards a capital reserve fund, the next year you would see an increase. Donna Nashawaty will bring the actual definition of what the Hydro revenue can be used for to the next meeting.
•Donna Nashawaty wanted to remind the Board that the next scheduled Board of Selectmen’s meeting is December 27th  and there is nothing on the agenda and she will be on vacation. Chairman Gallup suggested that maybe the Board cancel the meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:07PM

Submitted by,
Barbara Vaughn
Administrative Assistant                                


____________________                            ______________________
Frederick Gallup, Chairman                      Charlotte Brown

_________________________                       _______________________         
William Roach, Vice-Chairman                    Stephen White

Emma M. Smith