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Selectmen 2024-01-02

Selectmen Minutes January 2, 2024

Present: Chet Bowles, Diane Callahan, Rich Dufresne

Call to order by Chet Bowles at 5:30 pm.

Motion to approve the minutes of 12/19/2023 (Dufresne/Callahan). All in favor, motion carried.

Motion to approve the Avitar Sales Ratio Study (Bowles/Dufresne). All in favor, motion carried.

Motion to approve timber tax warrants for SPNHF, M 7 L7; and Young, M 7 L2 (Callahan/Dufresne). All in favor, motion carried.

Motion to approve the 2024 contract with Total Notice (Bowles/Dufresne). All in favor, motion carried.

Anne Fischer, CoChair of the Conservation Commission:
Problems at the Town Forest – someone has spray painted markers in the Town Forest. It looks like someone is trying to mark trails. The Select Board was asked to add “no trail marking or maintenance” to prohibitions for the Town Forest. Motion to adopt the prohibition of no trail marking or maintenance for the Town Forest (Bowles/Dufresne). All in favor, motion carried. There was discussion about whether this should be added to signage for the Town Forest, the Board was in agreement that this should be added to the signage.

Jeff Osgood, Planning Board:
Spoke to the Board about the cost for residents to go before the ZBA. He said the Planning Board was thinking about older properties that may not conform to current zoning ordinances. It was explained that fees for the ZBA cover certified letters to abutters, public notices in the paper, and other costs. Mr. Bowles suggested that the Planning Board look into establishing a process to permit minor projects that could be approved by the Planning Board or Select Board. Mr. Osgood will bring this idea back to the Planning Board.
Ms. Callahan:
Spoke about the suggestion to increase the Veteran’s Credit from $300.00. This credit is spread across all taxpayers and in current economic conditions this may not be the time to increase. Mr. Dufresne thinks the Board needs to look at the “big picture”, but if it is changed the amount of increase needs to be looked at.
The Town owns the propane tank for the generator, it is a 500 gallon tank and is currently at 50%. Ms. Callahan has spoken to Ciaradelli, the current cost is $4.89/gallon, but Ciaradelli has a special for new customers of $2.699 for the first filling. Ms. Callahan is waiting for quotes from other propane suppliers. Mr. Dufresne suggested starting a file with equipment owned and contract with servicers. Ms. Callahan will speak to Ciaradelli to fill the propane tank.

Mr. Dufresne:
Has spoken to Dr, Shomody, who is interested in learning about the Health Officer position.
Has spoken to Audit Committee members, two have stated that they don’t want to be paid, one would agree to a reduction in the stipend.
Has researched the issue of litter on the side of the roads and spoken to the Road Agent. Suggested an education campaign and getting volunteers to clean up the road sides. Also suggested that the Board find someone to coordinate the volunteers. Ms. Callahan mentioned an “adopt a road” campaign and a way to recognize the volunteers.

The Board discussed the 2024 Town Meeting. Mr. Dufresne suggested holding the business portion on a different night instead of right after voting. It was determined that the Budget Hearing will be Tuesday, 2/4/2024 at 5:30 pm, Town Elections, per State law, will be Tuesday, 3/12/2024 from 11 am to 7 pm, and the business portion of Town Meeting will be Thursday, 3/14/2024 at 7 pm.

Review of the Town Administrator job description. Wording changes were suggested for some items. The Town Administrator will start taking minutes for the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Board approved the revised job description and Mr. Bowles will make the changes.

Meeting adjourned at 6:55 pm

Minutes taken by Debra Harling. Approved on 01/18/2024.