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Selectmen 030413 Minutes

 

Town of Auburn
Board of Selectmen
March 4, 2013

 

 

Selectmen Present: Russell Sullivan, James Headd and Paul Raiche.

 

Also Present: Loren Martin, Avitar Associates of NE; Kathy Porter & Alan Villeneuve, Auburn School Board; Nancy Mayland, Fay Hanscomb & Jeannie Worster, Library Trustees; Christine Soucie, David Smiley, Audrey Trickett and Paula Marzloff Residents; William Herman, Town Administrator and Kathryn Skoglund, Recording Secretary.

 

Mr. Sullivan convened the Board of Selectmen meeting at 7:00 p.m.

 

Approval of Accounts Payable for Week of March 4th, 2013

 

Mr. Raiche moved to approve the Accounts Payable Manifest for the Week of March 4th, 2013 in the amount of $1,004,202.09; Mr. Headd seconded the motion.  All were in favor, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Consent Agenda – Week of March 4th, 2013:

 

Supplemental Warrant/Yield Tax

 

Roberta & Alfred Frisella, Tax Map # 5, Lot # 56 - $1,103.43

 

Application for Abatement

 

Frank Magdziarz, Tax Map # 9, Lot # 4-1 & 4-2 – Approved

 

Settlement of Abatement Appeal to BTLA

 

Daniel & Diane Jaskolka, 248 Old Candia Rd, Tax Map # 13, Lot # 23-A

 

Supplemental Payroll Manifest – Week of February 25, 2013

 

One employee left off original manifest - $1,225.04

 

Pistol/Revolver License

 

Six (6) Licenses

 

Mr. Headd moved to approve and sign the items on the Consent Agenda for the week of March 4th, 2013 as described above; Mr. Raiche seconded the motion.  All were in favor, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Christine Soucie – Town Treasurer Appointment

 

Mr. Sullivan noted that Mrs. Soucie is interested in serving as Town Treasurer. Mrs. Soucie confirmed that. Mr. Herman commented that with Mrs. Bette Dollard’s resignation, the Treasurer position is now vacant. Mr. Herman continued that if the Board chooses to appoint Mrs. Soucie this evening, she would hold the position until the March 2014 town election, at which time Mrs. Soucie could run for the town Treasurer position if she wishes. Mr. Sullivan asked if Mrs. Soucie had the time to take on the Treasurer position. Mrs. Soucie stated yes, her time is flexible. The Board had no further questions for Mrs. Soucie. Mr. Headd stated that Mr. Herman has told him of Mrs. Soucie’s background and her desire to serve as Treasurer and welcomed Mrs. Soucie.

 

Mr. Headd moved to appoint Christine Soucie as Town Treasurer, term to expire March 2014; Mr. Raiche seconded the motion.  All were in favor, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Sullivan noted that Mr. David Smiley was here tonight to speak briefly with the Board and suggested that they take up this matter before moving along with the agenda items. Mr. Smiley noted that as the Board is aware he is running for the position of Library Trustee and added that the Board also knows that he is a pretty laid back guy, so his presence tonight means he is a little disgruntle. Mr. Smiley explained that his wife received an email sent by Library Trustee, Nancy Mayland promoting the re-election of incumbent Fay Hanscomb and stating that Mrs. Hanscomb will be at the Library open house this weekend to answer question that people attending may have. Mr. Smiley stated that this seems unfair that the incumbent will be using the Library open house as a campaign platform. Mr. Sullivan noted that his first thought is that David should take the opportunity and be there as well. Mr. Smiley commented that if his wife did not receive the email, he would not even have been aware of it. Mr. Sullivan added that he appreciates the matter being brought to the Boards attention; though there seems nothing for the Board to address as it is appropriate for Fay Hanscomb in her position as Trustee to be at the open house and while Nancy Mayland expresses her support for Mrs. Hancomb’s re-election, it was sent from her personnel email account. Mr. Smiley commented that if it was Selectmen Headd using an open house at the Town Hall and opponent Audrey Trickett was not invited the Attorney General would probably get involved. Mr. Smiley also commented that if it were he and Mr. Headd running against each other, they would be out there at the polls joking and chatting. Mr. Headd agreed. Mr. Smiley stated that’s the way it should be but that is not the way it this election.          

 

Loren Martin, Avitar Associates of NH – 2012 Equalization & 2013 Update

 

Mrs. Martin informed the Board that a full update of assessment values was completed in 2010. A statistical update is scheduled for Auburn this year but where the median ratio for land, buildings and manufactured housing in Auburn is at 102.2%, the parameters are really close to market value and everyone in town is being treated similarly, the town could opt not do the update. This would save the town approximately $17,500.00, this year. However, completing a statistical update this year would avoid a heavier cost for a full assessment review in 2015. Mr. Sullivan asked if Mrs. Martin has any thoughts regarding property changes in the next five years. Mrs. Martin stated that it is difficult to predict, especially that far out but what we are seeing is a self correct and a lot of growth in Auburn, certainly more in Auburn than in other towns in Southern New Hampshire. Hopefully this trend will continue. The Board agreed to mull over the information and make a formal decision next Monday evening.        

 

Jay Nixon, TMT Real Estate – Property Tax Matter

 

Mr. Nixon was not present at this time. Mrs. Martin agreed to remain in attendance in case Mr. Nixon was running late.

 

Auburn School Board – Accommodation of Future Elections

 

Mrs. Porter stated that she and Mr. Villeneuve were here tonight to start discussions regarding elections being held at the Auburn Village School. Mrs. Porter continued that last year a parent came forward with concerns about public interaction with the students during elections. The School Board took measures to ensure segregation between the students and the voting public and from the School Boards perspective things went well at the September election. Since the recent tragic school shooting there is a more heightened awareness in schools and a letter was received from the Auburn Police Chief suggesting that school not be in session during elections. The SAU complied with this suggestion for the upcoming election, but the School Board does not feel that this is a great solution especially in years in which there are four elections. Mrs. Porter noted that the School Boards priority is teaching and learning and would like to begin discussions regarding what other options there are for future elections. Mrs. Porter stated that while some voters may not be happy, the First Assembly of God has plenty of space and parking for elections to be held there. Mr. Headd asked regarding the possibility of utilizing the gymnasiums side egress only. Mr. Villeneuve noted that the side door does not meet ADA Accessibility guidelines. Mr. Villeneuve agreed with Mrs. Porters sentiment that he thought they did a good job of keeping the students and voting public separated, however parking and bus traffic are another issue. Mrs. Hanscomb asked it there was a law that voting can only be done during the week. Mr. Herman noted that the dates are set by State statute. Mr. Headd added that the November election dates are set by Constitution/Congress. Mr. Headd suggested that the Boards should take some time to brainstorm options. The other Selectmen agreed. Mrs. Porter stated that the School Board would be back at some point in the near future to discuss this matter further.

 

New Business

 

Municipal Sharing Grant Project – Auburn Appointments to Advisory Committee

   

The Board reviewed a letter from Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission requesting the town participation in the Municipal Sharing Grant Project. The purpose of the project is to identify, explore and develop mutually effective and efficient inter-governmental models and agreements to share, purchase, and deliver municipal and county facilities, programs and services. Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission is looking for two representatives from Auburn to serve on an Advisory Committee. The Board asked Mr. Herman to round up names of some potential candidates to serve on this committee.

  

Other Business

 

Illsley Hill Subdivision, Tax Map # 8, Lot #29 – Surety Reduction

 

Ms. Skoglund informed the Board that Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. and the Auburn Planning Board have recommended a reduction in the amount of $76,400.00 to the surety held for site work, paving, drainage work and on-site improvements to the Illsley Hill Subdivision.

 

Mr. Headd moved to reduce the Illsley Hill Subdivision surety in the amount of $76,400.00; Mr. Raiche seconded the motion. All were in favor, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Old Business

 

Mr. Herman informed the Board that the Major Disaster Declaration due to Hurricane Sandy now includes Rockingham County and the incident period has been expanded to a period of October 26th through November 8th. Mr. Herman noted that the town will be compiling documentation of eligible costs incurred and submitting the appropriate request for reimbursement.

 

Minutes

 

February 25th, 2013 Public Meeting

 

Mr. Headd moved to approve the minutes of the February 25th, 2013 public meeting as written.  Seconded by Mr. Raiche.  A vote was taken, all were in favor, and the motion was approved.

 

Mr. Herman presented the Board with a DWI Patrol Grant Application that was provided by the Auburn Police Department. Mr. Raiche commented that the Highway Safety Committee has not yet signed the application. Mr. Herman noted that the Police Representative on the committee would be presenting the application at the next Highway Safety Committee meeting.  

 

Mr. Raiche moved to authorize Chairman, Russell Sullivan to sign the presented DWI Patrol Grant Application.  Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A vote was taken, all were in favor, and the motion was approved.

 

Jay Nixon, TMT Real Estate – Property Tax Matter

 

The Board noted that Mr. Nixon was still not present but since Mrs. Martin was here they would like to have some questions they have addressed. Mr. Raiche asked if the town has granted abatements for 2011 and 2012 why wouldn’t one be granted for 2010. Mrs. Martin stated that no abatement application was filed in 2010. Mr. Raiche asked if one was filed would it have been granted. Mrs. Martin stated likely there would have been a similar abatement as was given for tax year 2011. Mr. Headd noted that the Town made the mistake in the assessment. Mrs. Martin stated yes, but noted that if the town realized an error from 2010 that was in the taxpayer’s favor the town could not attempt to collect from the taxpayer now. Mrs. Martin went on to reference a case in which a town discovered it had incorrectly assessed a property.  The discovery came several years after the fact, but when the Assessor found the error the town refunded the appropriate amount of money to the taxpayer due to the town’s error.  The town’s action was appealed to the BTLA.  Despite the town’s representation of an honest mistake and the need to make the appropriate adjustment and resulting refund to the taxpayer, etc., the BTLA ruled that absent the filing of a timely abatement application by the taxpayer, the Town does not have the legal ability to take such an action. In this instance, the BTLA order the town to go back to the taxpayer and recover the refund that it had issued to them. Mrs. Martin stated that she would forward the case to the Board so they may read it in full.

  

Non-Public Session

 

Mr. Raiche moved to enter into Non-Public Session pursuant to the provisions of RSA 91-A: 3, II (d) Acquisition, Sale or Lease of Property.   Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A roll call vote was taken: Mr. Headd – Yes; Mr. Raiche – Yes; Mr. Sullivan.

 

Meeting in Non-Public Session with the Selectmen was Library Trustees Nancy Mayland, Fay Hanscomb and Jeannie Worster; Town Administrator Herman and Secretary Skoglund.

 

Mr. Raiche moved to come out of Non-Public Session.  Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A roll call vote was taken: Mr. Headd – Yes; Mr. Raiche – Yes; Mr. Sullivan – Yes.

 

Mr. Raiche moved to seal the minutes of the Non-Public Session. Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A roll call vote was taken: Mr. Headd – Yes; Mr. Raiche – Yes; Mr. Sullivan – Yes.

 

Mrs. Mayland commented to the Board that in past years Library funds that were distributed to the library but not spent prior to year end were kept and carried over into the next year. Mrs. Mayland continued, this year the process changed and the Trustees did not understand the process and wanted to encumber funds but apparently cannot. Mrs. Mayland stated that they do not know what to do now. Mr. Raiche commented that as with other Board in the past that have not fully understood the process, the Trustees should learn from this. Mr. Herman explained Library funds per State statute, noting that at year-end unexpended funds go back to the town’s general fund. Mr. Herman gave a few examples of times when it is appropriate for funds to be encumbered. Mrs. Mayland informed the Board that in December a contract was signed to repair the Library roof, due to weather work was not completed in 2012. Books were also ordered via Amazon, some were delivered in 2012 and some were back-ordered into 2013. The Board of Selectmen was agreeable to the cost of the roof repairs to be paid out of the Building fund. Mr. Herman suggested that the Trustee provide the town Finance Director copies of the order confirmations for the books and any other purchases made in 2012 they may not have arrived or invoiced until 2013.   

 

Non-Public Session

 

Mr. Raiche moved to enter into Non-Public Session pursuant to the provisions of RSA 91-A: 3, II (c) Personnel.   Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A roll call vote was taken: Mr. Headd – Yes; Mr. Raiche – Yes; Mr. Sullivan.

 

Meeting in Non-Public Session with the Selectmen was Town Administrator Herman and Secretary Skoglund.

 

Mr. Herman informed the Board that he and Selectmen Sullivan would be completing employees’ evaluations with employees on Thursday, the completed evaluations would be available for the full Board to review and discuss next Monday evening. Mr. Sullivan noted that he may not be available to attend a meeting Monday evening and suggested holding a meeting at the Auburn Village School on Tuesday to complete the review of the evaluations. Mr. Herman noted that the meeting should be a non-public session. The Board was agreeable to holding the meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the Auburn Village School.

 

Mr. Raiche moved to come out of Non-Public Session.  Seconded by Mr. Headd.  A roll call vote was taken: Mr. Headd – Yes; Mr. Raiche – Yes; Mr. Sullivan – Yes.

 

Adjourn

 

Mr. Headd made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Raiche seconded the motion. All were in favor, the motion passed unanimously, and the meeting stood adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

 

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