February 17, 2015 Minutes

These minutes were posted by the Selectmen.




Call to order at 6:00 P.M. by Eric Nilsson, Vice-Chairman


Larry Konopka (LK), Chairman, Eric Nilsson (EN), Vice-Chairman, Linda Small (LS), Gerard LeDuc (GL), Albert Douglas (AD), Michael Williams (MW),Town Administrator, and Delores Fritz, Recording Secretary.


Gerard LeDuc (GL)


Maurice Wells: Clue me in on the sewer generator. (MW) The sewer generator was purchased by the taxpayers so there are no monies transferable for this. Maurice: No, no, no – the Sewer Committee purchased it in 1989. Can you prove that it was purchased by taxpayers? (MW) The generator is 35 years old; we could probably transfer a $1.00 for it. It is not running and needs to be re-built. Maurice: When the Town got rid of the backhoe, the people bought it for $25,000. (LK) Maurice, I do not know about this, it was before our time. Maurice: The money came out of the sewer ratepayers’ pocket.

Maurice: On Lyford Hill there are trees that need to be trimmed because they are hanging over the road. I related that last time I was here, what did you do about that? (MW) Highway Department has been informed of this.

Maurice: Vintage Hill Sewer Fee (Old Business: No. 9 on tonight’s Agenda).

Selectman Small recused herself and was seated in the audience.

Maurice: What is happening about those fees? (EN) This happened eleven years ago and the Statute of Limitations on these kind of issues is three years. The prior Building Inspector missed having applicant pay the $3,500. It is not Ms. Small’s fault. We can’t go after her on this now. The three year Statute of Limitations has long passed. Maurice: It is not fair that a Board member should not have to pay hook-up fees. (EN) This was something that was missed by the then Building Inspector and she was not a member of the Board of Selectman at that time. How do you attempt to go after this after eleven years? Maurice: I mentioned it to the Board three years ago. (EN) It was still past the time of the Statute of Limitations. Ms. Small had a contractor at that time that was responsible for securing the hook-up fee and did not and the then Building Inspector did not do due diligence in collecting these fees. Maurice: Who signed the Occupancy Permit? (EN) Hank Fitzgerald.

(EN) related that Ms. Small would like to comment on this. Board agreed.

Ms. Small: Maurice, you did come to the Board about two or three years ago on this. I researched everything I could find on this – original application, permits, bills, and Certificate of Occupancy. I was communicating with my contractor at that time and he was responsible for securing these documents. I do not appreciate it being brought up every couple of years. The contractor should have been aware that a fee was due. I am a taxpayer, a business owner and try to do what I had to do in order to proceed with the Vintage Hill application. I would like to put this to bed and not be consistently harassed about this.

(EN) Maurice, you know where the Board stands on this subject. There is now nothing due the Town in this matter.

Selectman Small returned and was seated on the Board.

Close Public Input


(LS) Budget, Audit; (MW) Van & Old Generator, Pennichuck Recoupment $6,470.39; (LK) Non-Public Session.




1. Warrant Articles – Town Forest

(MW) The proposed Warrant Article for Town Forest on Greer Lane is basically the same language used for the Sargent Forest.

Warrant Article:

To see if the Town will vote to designate two parcels of land totaling approximately 140.5 acres owned by the Town of Pittsfield as a Town Forest being as follows: A 74.7 acre tract of land on the south side of Greer Lane and designated at Tax Map R26, Lot 8, and recorded in the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds, Book 3455, Page 2086; and a 65.8 acre tract of land on the north and east side of Greer Lane and designated as Tax Map R11, Lot 2, and recorded in the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds, Book 3455, Page 2088.

(LK) Motion to approve Warrant Article as proposed. (AD) Second.
After Discussion: Vote: 2-2. Yea: (LK) and (AD), Nay: (LS) and (EN).
Motion dies.

Discussion: (AD) I want to make sure that the Town still has the right to sell the property and that there are no restrictions or limitations on this. (MW) If approved, in order to do this, Board would have to go back to Town Meeting. In describing this, Board should be aware there are additional layers of approval involved in this. Management and rights on the property would go from the Board to Conservation Commission; to get this back, would require going to Town Meeting.

(EN) I am sorry that I was not here last week; I remember when we took these properties which was with the understanding that anyone purchasing the property would have to go before the Planning Board. Now, the Conservation Commission is requesting that it be turned into a Town Forest to use as long as needed. If someone would like to put in say a campground, they would have to go to Town Meeting. (LK) We approved the proposal of having this Warrant Article last week. (AD) I wanted to make sure what the rights of the Town were if the Warrant Article was approved.

Carl Wallman: Eric, it is too bad that you were not here last week when George Bachelder was here. He explained that it is not a good site for any kind of development and additional traffic on Clough Road would make it difficult without the developer improving the roads. He argued that the site should be used for natural resources. I thought the Board of Selectmen approved this project and I have already related that to the PYW who is anxious to develop hiking trails in that area. Plans were to defer to George’s opinion at the Town Meeting.

(EN) I am a contractor and nothing is really unbuildable. Should it be subdivided, it would be brought before the Planning Board. Roads would have to be developed (Greer, Clough and Shingle Mill Roads.) Carl Wallman: Realistically, no one is going to do that.

(LK) The Board approved bringing the Warrant Article forward to make it a Town Forest for review. (AD) I agreed with this and I hope you do not feel that I am changing my mind. Carl Wallman: The Town would not be giving up any rights; the Conservation Commission would manage it.

After Vote was taken – Chris Hill: The Conservation Commission is going to need some guidance on what we would be doing with the property – some good, long-term plans. (LK) suggested putting these requests in writing. Carl Wallman: What is the purpose of the Conservation Commission in this regard? (EN) Put it in writing and have Mike Williams put you on a future Agenda. (LK) As the Board, it is our job to make the decisions.

2. Follow-Up of Police Cruiser Reserve Fund

(MW) The Board approved $25,000 in capital reserve funds for Police cruiser as well as capital outlay of $44,570 in the operating budget. The recommendation is to modify the Warrant Article:

Warrant Article:

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Forty-Four Thousand Five Hundred Seventy Dollars ($44,570.00) for the purchase of a police cruiser and authorize the withdrawal of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000) from the Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund created for that purpose. The balance of Nineteen Thousand Five Hundred Seventy Dollars ($19,570.00) is to come from general taxation.

(LS) Motion to approve Warrant Article for Police Cruiser as noted above.
(AD) Second. After Brief Discussion: Carried 4-0.

Discussion: (LS) This would include taking $25,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund and paying for the entire cruiser. (MW) Yes.

3. Follow-Up of HSA Revolving Fund Article

(MW) This is a request by HSA and I have checked with NHMA and been advised that this can be done.

(LK) Motion to approve Warrant Article regarding HSA Revolving Fund.
(LS) Second. After Discussion: Vote: 0-4. Motion dies.

Discussion: (AD) What is the definition of a revolving fund? (MW) This would be a fund similar to the Police Details fund and the Library. (LS) This would make them autonomous in their Budget? (MW) Yes.

Break: 5:27 P.M. Resume: 5:32 P.M.

Further discussion included the effects should the operation of the agency change and the impact it would have. It was brought to the attention of the Board that some questions remained unanswered pertaining to the Warrant Article and since time is soon to expire for filing of warrant articles, (February 23rd), it was not approved and will not be on the list.

4. Follow-up of HSA Governance Article

(LK) Motion to withdraw Warrant Article: Are you in favor of amending the Town of Pittsfield Housing Standards Ordinance to change the method of administration from a board to an enforcement officer under RSA 48-A:3, 1(c). (LS) Second. Carried 3-1 (EN).

5. Budget

(LS) Over the past weeks, I have asked for the tax impact which is now at
82 cents and had I know this previously, it would have impacted my vote on the Budget. Also, I do not like the 10% increase in the budget along with the
82 cents increase in the tax impact. I am not comfortable with this. (MW) There have been some changes and the tax impact is 76 cents. (Inadvertently, the revenue of the WWTP was included twice.)

(LS) I do not like making decisions on false information. I might have wanted to take some funds out of the fund balance. (MW) I do not have anything prepared tonight. (LS) We have not actually approved of the final operating budget; do we have to do that tonight? (MW) No, this will be done after the Budget Committee is finished with the Budget. (LS) We voted last week on Board recommendations; do we have any flexibility at that time? (MW) Board can review the Budget and recommend or not recommend it. (LS) I would like to see a comparison of where the two Boards went. (MW) You can recommend it at the Town Meeting.

(LS) It is the eleventh hour and there is no flexibility to move. We should have the ability to adjust some of the numbers and be on the same page as the Budget Committee. (MW) This is not a BOS Budget. It is the Budget Committee’s budget which goes to the Town Meeting. (LS) We should be able to defend our budget. I am not comfortable with what we have done and feeling “cozy” about it. There should be some room for flexibility.

(LS) Also the vote tallies should be noted on the Warrant Articles.


6. Appoint Police Chief as Deputy EMD

(LK) Motion to approve appointment of Police Chief Jeffrey Cain as Deputy Emergency Management Director. (LS) Second. Carried 4-0.

Letter of congratulations will be sent to Chief Cain. (MW) to do.

7. 37 Main Street – Authority to Purchase Units 4 and 5
8. 37 Main Street – Authority to Purchase Unit 3 with EDC Funds

(MW) I would like to address both these issues at once. Suggestion is to seek to purchase Units 4 & 5 at 37 Main Street by abating taxes of $2,500, Purchase Unit 3 for $10,000 through Property Acquisition & Redevelopment Expendable Fund, and execute the documents to abate taxes of $5,300. This will give Town ownership of entire building. The criteria for contractor resale would be that the main floor should be allowed for business and the subsequent floors for apartments. A covenant for this use would be placed upon the sale through Planning Board.

(LS) Motion to purchase building as noted above. (AD) Second. Carried 4-0.

9. WWTF License

(MW) The WWTF five-year license expires on March 31, 2015 with a new license to be in place on April 1, 2015. The new license (permit) requires more restrictive limits with additional chemical treatments. In situations where a Town’s wastewater treatment plant is not capable of achieving compliance with a water quality based limit, it is EPA’s practice to issue an administrative order after the final permit is issued that includes a reasonable schedule of compliance. Wright Pierce can perform an engineering study to offer Town various options as to how to comply as requirements are more difficult every year. The costs over the first year could be over $100,000. However, Budget Committee cannot at this point change the budget because of public hearing requirements and funds could be out of the WWTP.

No action is required by Board tonight. Hopefully, I will have an update on this by end of next week and a new contract with Wright Pierce will be necessary.

10. Appointment Application – Marissa Maclellan, Parks & Rec

(LS) Motion to approve appointment of Marissa Maclellan to Parks & Recreation Committee. Appointment will expire in 2016. (AD) Second. Carried 4-0.

(LS) She will be replacing Nick Abell on the Parks & Recreation Committee.

11. Auction – Van & Old Generator

(MW) This is the PD generator that is dead. I would like permission to send to auction along with the van.

(LS) Motion to approve sending to Auction – van with a minimum asking price of $800 and generator. (AD) Second. Carried 4-0.


1. Pennichuck Recoupment $6,470.39

(MW) Apparently this information was sent to Town regarding the fire hydrants but which was not received by Town. If we had gotten the notice, it could have been part of the Budget, but it was not and is still payable to Pennichuck. This is an informational item and can be an amendment on floor at Town Meeting.

2. Audit

(LS) Looking at the audit results, Page 2 under Summary: Internal Control Issues, what are we doing about them?

(MW) I have talked to Cara about these as she is mentioned in most of these. Cara indicates that this does not require any kind of rebuttal answer. Two or three of them have already been addressed and I will bring a plan of action on these by next meeting.


1. Vintage Hill Sewer Fee

Please see Public Input above.

2. Second Letter to DOT Regarding State Highways in Town

(EN) This is something that I asked Mike to do requesting DOT to repair the downtown portion of Town. (See Attachment.)




(LS) Motion to approve Accounts Payable and Checks Register.
(LK) Second. Carried 4-0.

(LS) Motion to approve Payroll and Direct Deposit.
(LK) Second. Carried 4-0.


1. Public Session Minutes of February 2, 2015

(LK) Motion to approve Public Session Minutes of February 2, 2015.
(AD) Second. Carried 4-0.

2. Public Session Minutes of February 3, 2015

(LK) Motion to approve Public Session Minutes of February 3, 2015 with Correction. (LS) Second. Carried 3-0. (EN) Abstain.


Page 6, Last Paragraph, Last Line Add: ……is significant and a decrease in the tax rate. She requested a summary of the cost items.

3. Non-Public Session Minutes of February 3, 2015

(LK) Motion to approve Non-Public Session Minutes of February 3, 2015.
(LS) Second. Carried 3-0. (EN) Abstain.


Dan Schroth: I just wanted to thank you all for being here and doing a very professional job. I came tonight because I will probably not see you on this Board again, so thank you to Larry and Linda – you guys have done a super job. I know the Budget is tough and there are political and personnel issues.

I wanted to make sure that my citizen petition is on track regarding the Building Inspector. (MW) Yes. If it passes, it will be advisory only. Dan Schroth: Where does it say that? I am glad to know that. I am looking forward to the Town Meeting.

The Library had their open house recently and the room is beautiful and people are so happy. It took a while, but it is now done.

Close Public Input


(LK) Motion to go into Non-Public Session per RSA 91-A:3 II (a) – The dismissal, promotion or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee or the investigation of any charges against him unless the employee affected: (1) Has a right to a meeting, and (2) request that the meeting be open, which case the request shall be granted. (LS) Second. Carried 4-0.

Break: 6:25 P.M. Resume: 6:40 P.M.

Board went into Non-Public Session at 6:40 P.M.

Board returned to Public Session at 6:54 P.M.

NOTE: RSA 91-A (III) – Minutes of proceeding in non-public session shall be kept and the record of all actions shall be promptly made available for public inspection, except as provided in this section. Minutes and decision reached in non-public session shall be publicly disclosed within seventy-two (72) hours of the meeting, unless, by recorded vote of 2/3 of the members present, it is determined that divulgence of the information likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than the members of the Board, or render the proposed action ineffective. In the event of such circumstances, information may be withheld until, in the opinion of a majority of members, the aforesaid circumstances no longer apply.

Shall the Minutes be publicly disclosed? No.

Motion made by (LK) and Seconded by (LS) to not publicly disclose the Minutes because it is determined that divulgence of the information likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a member of the Board and render the proposed action ineffective. Carried 4-0. Individual members of the Board were polled and all agreed.


(LK) Motion to adjourn. (LS) Second. Carried 4-0.

Meeting adjourned at 6:55 P.M.

Approved: March 4, 2015

______________________________ ____________________
Lawrence Konopka, Chairman Date

I hereby certify that these Minutes were recorded by me on February 17, 2015, transcribed and publicly posted on
February 19, 2015.

Delores A. Fritz, Recording Secretary

Attachment (1)
Olympus 1.17.02

BOS Attachment 2-17-15