HANCOCK SELECTBOARD MINUTES
APRIL 12, 2010
PRESENT: John Jordan-Chair, Roberta LaPlante, Carolyn Boland – Selectboard
Barbara Caverly-Town Administrator/Recording Secretary
OTHERS: Joanne Tramontozzi- DRA, Andrew Wood-Police Chief, Melissa Hetrick,
Steve Stockwell, Nahida Sherman, Kurt Grassett-DPW Director
Jordan called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Boland moved the Minutes of April 5, 2010 be approved as read. Seconded by LaPlante, unanimously approved.
JOANNE TRAMONTOZZI: Joanne, from Department of Revenue (DRA), met with the Board to discuss what they will need to be planning for 2011 relating to property assessments. The property values will need to be reviewed either via a statistical update or a full revaluation. She said Hancock met the data accuracy she's been conducting. We could go with a statistical update that would be considerably less expensive than a full revaluation.
The Board should consider asking the DRA to move our assessment review to 2011 because we will do our statistical update then. This would move the whole process to the same year for the future. The board will move in this direction.
Tramontozzi explained what the COD (coefficient of dispersion) is and how it is important to look at property sales for "arm's length" transactions. There are sales surveys the town could send out that would give some additional, pertinent data.
There are assessing courses offered if Linda would be interested.
LIAISON REPORTS: LaPlante, reporting for Recreation Committee, said Jeff Wilder will put together a letter to Katie Cousins offering her the Waterfront Director position. The committee reviewed the budget to ensure there were sufficient funds for payroll.
Cindy Hixson is interesting is joining the Recreation Committee. They were considering holding a fund raiser on Old Home Day. LaPlante will discuss with the bookkeeper; or, they may come up with another plan.
Planning Board: Boland reported there was not a quorum at the Planning Board. Those in attendance did sign documents relative to the zoning ordinance modifications.
Budget and Property: Jordan reported on the Conval Budget and Property Committee meeting. There is concern with the food service provider. This is being looked into.
Heat: Jordan stated they are looking for contracts from the state for the two grants that were approved. The pre-RFP for the photovoltaics will be sent out soon. Temperature monitoring will be coming soon.
Boston and Maine Railroad: It was noted that all the necessary filings have been found to be in order and it was further noted the town does not own any of the railroad track.
APRIL 12, 2010
DOGS: Nahida Sherman was in to report the barking problems with the neighbor's dogs have returned. She noted they (the Shermans) do manage their woodlands so use a chain saw in the woods during the daytimes. That is a customary sound for outlying districts where wood lot management occurs. She stated the dogs have been barking at 10:30 at night for more than 30 minutes at a time. This would not be considered customary. One evening she contacted the police who came out. They also bark during the day but not continuously for 30 minutes; rather, for about a minute every five minutes or so all day long. Sherman left a packet outlining the dog problems from the beginning.
The Zoning Ordinance in place when the Stevens built did not permit a commercial kennel on a lot as small as theirs, nor does it now. Sherman stated the dogs were good for awhile, after the initial problems. The number of dogs being housed there is unknown but the real problem is the noise. Sherman also left a packet with Chief Wood.
BUDGET ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Boland stated she would like to have the committee start earlier and be more of an advisory committee and work with the Selectboard rather than having them develop their own version. Caverly will schedule them to meet with the Selectboard in May to discuss the best way to move forward.
TAX RATE SHEET: LaPlante stated she has received questions from people who note that the town tax rate estimate shown on the tax rate page at Town Meeting doesn't come close to what the rate actually comes in at. Jordan and Boland pointed out the areas that the town has no control over between the Town Meeting and tax rate setting, i.e. actual revenues to come in may be less than anticipated. The Town has to raise a sufficient amount to cover the voted budget and warrant articles.
STOCKWELL: Steve Stockwell brought in two copies of paperwork requesting the assessed value of his property be restated. Jordan explained the current values are at the 2006 level across the whole town. Those values can't be changed on selected properties. The town will be reviewed, as a whole, in 2011. When that occurs, the properties will be brought into line with the current market based on sales from the previous two years.
Jordan further noted, the valuations may drop but the rate could increase. Once again, the town needs to raise funds to cover the voted budget and warrant articles. If the value of the property is lower, it will take more taxes to cover the budget.
Stockwell said he is asking for a restatement, not abatement. He is trying to use the margins the Board of Tax and Land Appeals permits. The Selectboard explained the reassessment process and what is taken into account at that time. Boland told him he would need to correct any actual errors on the tax card to effect a change at this time.
APRIL 12, 2010
HIGHWAY: Grassett reported he will be sending out letters to the bidders of the Main Street project this week. The Federal government is holding up the signing of the contract although the state has approved everything for BUR Construction to move forward. Boland moved to
authorize Barbara Caverly, Town Administrator, to sign the Main Street contract on behalf of the Selectboard when it comes in. Motion was seconded by LaPlante and unanimously approved. This will allow them to move forward to obtain their bonds and other required data.
BUR will begin the project the second week in May and be completed by the end of July. Grassett would like to hold a public informational meeting and have BUR's site manager present to answer questions.
Meridian has hired their person to be the town's contact on the project.
DRAG BOX: Grassett reported the drag box in Troy is in better shape than he expected. It may need one patch but he feels it was a good purchase for $1,200. CR Woods has a 1992 roller that he may be able to purchase for $4,800.
The trailer will need electric brakes because of the weight. Grassett determined there is not a huge difference in price between a used and a new trailer so he has decided to look at a new one. There is one in Tilton for $2,900. The total price for the drag box, roller and trailer will be $8,900. Grassett explained how he would cover the cost using funds budgeted for asphalt, Highway Block Grant funds and some from his Special Revenue account. The Selectboard agreed with Grassett moving forward to obtain the drag box and the balance of the equipment stated earlier.
FEMA: Tomorrow night, April 13th, Grassett will attend a meeting with FEMA in Peterborough. They have declared New Hampshire a disaster area from the heavy rain storm. Hancock did not receive noticeable damage but he hopes to recoup some of the costs. He will attend the meeting and determine what he can do.
NORWAY HILL: The cost to repair the damage to the east side of Norway Hill will be between $6,000 and $7,000.
In other work, there is catch-up ditching to be done. Grassett has hired a rubber tired excavator to come in this year to do a cleaner job. He is prioritizing where it is most needed in town.
PICKERING FARM ROAD: Grassett explained the drainage issues there where the Bryer property is impacted. There are two culverts that affect his septic system area and flower garden. Grassett agrees the flowage is not going in the best direction. There is a bar way further away from the house and that would be a better location to drain into. There is a culvert near Halvonik's but to correct the flow from that would mean breaching a wall to go toward the old road. Bryer will speak with Halvonik on that one and the town will work to fix the one that
drains near the septic system. Both culverts need to be replaced so Grassett feels now is a good time to come up with a solution. The town can set up to drain correctly but Bryer will need to speak with his neighbors.
APRIL 12, 2010
PATCH: Grassett has received pricing from two local contractors for patch. Sullivan Brothers came in $10/ton cheaper than Mathewson; therefore, he would like to move forward with Sullivan. The Selectboard concurred.
KING'S HIGHWAY: Grassett brought the Selectboard up on the parking issues surrounding Martha Yates. Several years ago she requested, and received, abatement because she has no frontage. She has no place to park except the edge of the road. Grassett has spoken with her and told her she needs to address s the parking problems. There is not a safe site distance where she currently parks. Several years ago she was just here for a couple of weeks in the summer. Now she is here year round. Grassett will give Caverly a copy of her recent email to him.
Jordan stated she needs to talk to the neighbors or SPNHF and make arrangements to park off the roadside.
CONSERVATION COMMISSION: Jordan and LaPlante will be attending the Conservation Commission meeting tomorrow night, April 13th, and will discuss the Upton and Hatfield bill. LaPlante will be taking over as liaison from Jordan.
DES: Grassett reported to the Selectboard the current issues with the well monitoring at the site of the old landfill. He has asked Richard Pendleton of Eastview Environmental to apply for a 90-day extension while they try to determine exactly what needs to be changed in the monitoring process, and why.
POLICE: Chief Wood brought in Melissa Hetrick to meet the Selectboard. He is in the process of hiring her to fill the open full time position.
Wood also reported there were two underage drinking parties in town Saturday night. He had outside assistance bringing them in for processing.
ADJOURNED: Boland moved to adjourn at 5:30 p.m.; seconded by LaPlante, so voted.