TOWN MEETING MINUTES

TOWN OF LEMPSTER

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

2009

 

To all voters of the Town of Lempster, in the county of Sullivan, in said State qualified to vote in Town affairs.

 

               You are hereby notified to meet at the Goshen-Lempster school in said Lempster on Tuesday, the 10th day of March, 2009 at two thirty (2:30 pm) in the afternoon to open the polls for the voting of candidates, and at seven o’clock (7:00 pm) in the evening for the discussion of the articles of the warrant.

 

ARTICLE 1: To choose all necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.

 

ARTICLE 2: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Three Million, eighty-six thousand, three hundred dollars ($3,086,300.00) (Gross Budget) for the construction and original equipping of a municipal building at 929 US route 10 for the Town Emergency Service and Town Offices, and to authorize the issuance of not more than $3,086,300.00 of bonds and notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33) and to authorize the Selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (2/3 ballot vote required).

 

Motion: M. Grenier to pass over Article 2.   Second: P. Tirrell       

 

Moderator Shklar explained to the audience the reasons for passing over Article 2 at this time. Motion passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 3: To receive all reports and act thereon.

 

Motion: M. Grenier                     Second: D. Diehl                       Article passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 4: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Nine Hundred Nine Thousand Nine hundred sixty-nine dollars ($909,969.00) for the purpose of General Town Operations. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

                              Executive                                                                     $ 122,905.00

                              Election & Registration                                         4,720.00

                              Financial Administration                                       2,000.00

                              Legal Expenses                                                       2,500.00

                              Employee Benefits                                                 123,990.00

                              Planning Board                                                         16,842.00

                              General Gov’t Buildings                         15,000.00

                              Appraisal of Property                                             26,044.00

                              Conservation Commission                                1,600.00

                              Cemeteries                                                  6,000.00

                              Insurance Property & Liability-all Depts       20,000.00

                              Contingency                                                               5,000.00

                              Police Budget                                                            61,600.00

                              Health Officer Supplies                                        250.00

                              Ambulance Service                                                3,500.00

                              Fire Department                                                       42,600.00

                              Rescue Squad                                                          16,115.00

                              Building Inspection                                                  1,900.00

                              Emergency Mgmt/Forest Fire                           2,400.00

                              Highway Department                              290,000.00

                              Street Lights                                                               650.00

                              Solid Waste                                                 85,000.00

                              Health Agencies                                                       3,400.00

                              Sullivan Hospice                                       250.00

                              Southwest Community Services                    900.00

                              West Central Services                                         1,100.00

                              Community Alliance                                               1,000.00

                              Newport Food Pantry                                            1,000.00

                              Direct Assistance                                                    5,000.00

                              Sullivan Nutrition                                                      400.00

                              Parks & Recreation                                                1,000.00

                              Library                                                            13,970.00

                              Patriotic Purposes                                   500.00

                              Interest/Tax Anticipation Notes                         2,000.00

                              Digital Parcel Mapping                                          23,333.00

                              CPA                                                                 5,000.00

 

Motion: M. Grenier                                                                                                Second: E. Thurber                 

 

Chairman Grenier reviewed the operating budget, noting increases in employee benefits, due to the addition of family coverage for a couple of town employees, liability and property insurance premiums, and the police budget, which represents a full year of service by the Sheriff’s Department. The second payment for the digital parcel mapping project, approved at the 2008 Town Meeting, was also included in the 2009 Town operating budget.

An amendment to reduce the operating budget to last year’s figure of $869,189.00 was made by Mr. Fulton and seconded by Mr. Girard. The question was called by Mr. Onnela. The Moderator invoked a point of procedure indicating that the opportunity for discussion had not taken place. There was no discussion on the amendment so Mr. Shklar asked for a second on the motion to cease debate. Mr. Onnela, the younger, offered a second. The amendment was defeated with 65 in favor of the amendment and 84 against by a show of hands. Mr. Grenier called the question, seconded by Mr. Sauer. A paper ballot was requested. Article 4, in its original form, passed with 88 in favor; 77 against.

 

ARTICLE 5: Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 40:13 (known as SB2) to allow official ballot voting on all issues before the Town of Lempster on the second Tuesday of April? Submitted by petition by Kevin Onnela and others. (3/5 ballot vote required)

The official ballot result of this article was 141 in favor; 154 against. Article 5 was defeated.

 

ARTICLE 6: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Forest Fire Truck Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 005) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: J. Richards                                                                                              Seconded: P. Tirrell

 

Mr. Fabrycky proposed an amendment to increase the amount from $1000 to $5148.89, the balance remaining in the Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund. Mr. Verdicchio seconded the motion. The amendment was passed by a show of hands.

86 Yes; 79 No. Mrs. Richards indicated that the Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund needed to be closed to the General Fund before the fund balance could be directed to another article.

 

The amended article was defeated by a show of hands. Yes 71; No 74. A motion to reconsider the original article was defeated.

 

ARTICLE 7: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500.00) to be added to the Fire Pumper Capital Reserve (CIP 008) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: B. Chadwick                Second: P. Tirrell                     Passed by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 8: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousands Dollars ($10,000.00) to be added to the Rescue Truck Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 011) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: B. Chadwick                              Second: M. Cusanelli              Passed by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 9:   To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3000.00) to be added to the Town Building Repair Expendable Trust Fund (CIP 012) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: M. Grenier                                    Second: E. Thurber                Passed by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 10: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) to be added to the Municipal Buildings Complex Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 010) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: E. Thurber                                   Second: B. Chadwick                            Article defeated

 

ARTICLE 11: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) to be added to the Town Hall/Meeting House Restoration Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 030) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

              

Motion: Mr. Rodeschin                           Second: Ms. Pinkney              

 

An amendment was made by Mr. Verdicchio to reduce the amount of the article to Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). Seconded by L. Durgin. The amendment passed by show of hands; 54 Yes, 45 No. Mr. Onnela called the question, seconded by Ms. Goodspeed. The amended article was defeated by a show of hands; 89 No, 81 Yes.

 

ARTICLE 12: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Town Hall/Meeting House Restoration Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 030). (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Thurber                                 Second: Mr. Rodeschin                        Article passed.

 

ARTICLE 13: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to be added to the Town Office Information Technology System Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 037) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer                                     Second: Ms. Grenier Paper ballot requested

 

Article 13 passed; Yes 81; No 66.

 

ARTICLE 14: To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 002) created in 2007. Said funds, with accumulated interest to date of withdrawal, are to be transferred to the town’s general fund. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. MacPhee                                                                                          Second: Mr. Adams                

 

A motion to amend was made by Mr. Thomas and seconded by Mr. Fabrycky to put the funds from this account into the Rescue Truck Capital Reserve Fund. Mrs. Richards indicated that the funds must be moved into the General Fund first. Amendment was defeated. Article 14 passed as originally written.

 

 

ARTICLE 15: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to be added to the Highway Roller and Trailer Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 031) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: M. Grenier                     Second: E. Thurber                  Defeated by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 16: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to be added to the Town Bridge Repair and Reconstruction Expendable Trust Fund (CIP 018) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: E. Thurber                    Second: Mr. MacPhee                           Passed show of hands

 

ARTICLE 17: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Town Bridge Repair and Reconstruction Expendable Trust Fund (CIP 018). (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: E. Sauer                        Second: W. Rodeschin                         Passed show of hands

 

ARTICLE 18: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) to be added to the Highway Grader Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 029) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: M. Grenier                                    Second: Mrs. McNeill              

 

Mr. Grenier called the question; Mr. Whiting seconded the motion. Article was defeated by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 19: To see if the Town will vote to establish a Plow Truck Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 032) under the provisions of RSA 35:1 for the purpose of purchasing a plow truck for the highway department and to raise and appropriate Twenty Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) to be placed in this fund. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Metz                                        Seconded: Mr. Sauer                             Article passed by show of hands: Yes 73; No 70.

 

ARTICLE 20: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Plow Truck Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 032). (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: E. Sauer                        Second: M. Adams                   Passed by show of hands

 

 

ARTICLE 21: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eighty Seven Thousand Sixty Two Dollars ($87,062.00) for improvements and the resurfacing of Grandview Road. This amount will be combined with Thirty Thousand Nine Hundred Thirty Eight Dollars ($30,938.00) encumbered from last year’s appropriation to complete the project. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: E. Thurber                                   Second: K. Onnela                  

 

Mrs. Grenier made a motion to reduce the figure to $79,694.00. Seconded by Mr. Thurber. Amendment passed by voice vote. Amended article passed by show of hands: Yes 76; No 75.

 

ARTICLE 22: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000.00) for the improvements of approximately one mile of Long Pond Road previously paved of which Thirty Thousand ($30,000.00) will come from State Highway Block Grant money and the balance of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) to raised by taxes. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer                                     Second: Mr. MacPhee

A motion to cease debate was made by Mr. Rodeschin and seconded by Mr. Stover.

A show of hands defeated the article Yes 70; No 86.

 

ARTICLE 23: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Transfer Station Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 021) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Duggan-Haydon              Second: Mr. Rodeschin Passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 24: To see if the Town will vote to change the purpose of the existing Transfer Station Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 021) to Transfer Station Equipment Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of acquiring or repairing Transfer Station equipment. (2/3 vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Grenier                                 Second: Mr. Rodeschin                        Article passed by show of hands. Yes 138; No 7. Two thirds majority achieved.

 

ARTICLE 25: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Transfer Station Equipment Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 021). (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Rodeschin            Second: Mr. Fairweather                      Passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 26: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Transfer Station Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 021) established in 1989. (Majority vote required)

 

Article passed over due the passage of Article 24 and Article 25.

 

ARTICLE 27: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Landfill Closure Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 022) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Thurber                                 Second: Mr. Adams                 Passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 28: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the New Cemetery Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 023) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Diehl                                       Second: Mr. Fulton                   Passed by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 29: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to be added to the Cemetery Fence Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 024) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Diehl                                       Second: Mrs. McNeill               Article passed

 

ARTICLE 30: To see if the Town will vote to adopt the provisions of RSA 36-A; 4-a, I(b) to authorize the Conservation Commission to expend funds for contributions to ‘qualified organizations’ for the purchase of property interests or facilitating transactions related thereto, where the property interest is to be held by the qualified organization and the Town will retain no interest in the property.

 

Motion: Mr. Fairweather                         Second: Mr. Rodeschin        

Mrs. Durgin called the question; Mrs. Kemp seconded the motion. Article 30 passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 31: To see if the Town will vote to adopt the provisions of RSA 36-a:4a, l(b) to authorize the conservation commission to expend funds to purchase interests in land outside the boundaries of our municipality, subject to the approval of the local governing body.

 

Motion: Mr. Onnela                    Second: Mr. Onnela                 Motion passed by voice vote.

 

 

 

ARTICLE 32: To see if the Town will vote to establish a Natural Resources Inventory Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 039) under the provisions of RSA 35:1 for the purpose of the Conservation Commission inventorying the natural resources in Lempster and to raise and appropriate three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) to be places in this fund. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Onnela     Second: Mr. Goodspeed        Motion defeated by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 33: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Conservation Commission as agents to expend from the Natural Resources Inventory Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 039). Motion passed over due to the defeat of Article 32.

 

ARTICLE 34: To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the General Cemetery Maintenance Trust Fund established in 2008. Said funds, with accumulated interest to date of withdrawal, are to be transferred to the town’s general fund. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mrs. Richards             Second: Mr. Onnela                 Passed by show of hands

 

ARTICLE 35: To see if the town will vote to change the number of Library Trustees from six (6) to five (5), to agree with the State Library Regulations. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Kemp                     Second: Mr. Diehl                      Passed by voice vote

 

ARTICLE 36: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) to assist in the printing of the Lempster Owl. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Whiting                   Second: Mr. Diehl                      Motion passed

 

ARTICLE 37: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) to support Old Home Day events. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mrs. McNeill  Second: Mr. Fulton                   Motion passed

 

ARTICLE 38: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to allow a one percent (1%) discount on property taxes paid in full within ten (10) days of the issue.

 

Motion: Mr. Onnela                    Second: Mr. Diehl                     

 

A motion to amend was made by Mrs. Tremblay and seconded by Mrs. Goodspeed to increase the amount of the discount to five (5) percent. The motion to amend was defeated. Article 38 passed as originally presented.

 

 

ARTICLE 39: To transact any other business that may legally come before this Town Meeting.

 

Selectperson Grenier made a motion to restrict reconsideration of all articles voted on tonight. Seconded by Mr. Sauer. Motion passed.

 

A motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Onnela and seconded by Mr. Onnela. An amendment to the motion to adjourn was made by Mrs. Grenier to adjourn to Tuesday April 14, 2009. Seconded by Mr. Adams. A motion to cease debate was made by Mr. Tirrell and seconded by Mr. Richards. The amended motion was passed by a show of hands.

 

Article 2 will be addressed on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 7 pm. The meeting will take place at the Goshen-Lempster School.

 

 

Gayle Newton

Town Clerk

 

TOWN MEETING MINUTES

TOWN OF LEMPSTER

APRIL 14, 2009

 

ARTICLE 2: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Three Million, Eighty-Six Thousand, Three Hundred Dollars ($3,086,300.00) (Gross Budget) for the construction and original equipping of a municipal building at 929 US Route 10 for the Town Emergency Services and Town Offices, and to authorize the issuance of not more than $3,086,300.00 of bonds and notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33) and to authorize the Selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (2/3-ballot vote required.)                                                                                                                      

Moderator Shklar called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM on April 14, 2009 at the Goshen-Lempster School in Lempster NH. He said the vote on Article 2 would be done by paper ballot once all discussion and debate was finished. At that time the polls and ballot box would be open and remain open for an hour in order to allow all that wanted to vote to do so.

 

He asked for all non-resident and/or non-registered voters to identify themselves and instructed them as to what degree they would be allowed to participate in discussions and that they were not allowed to vote.

 

Mr. Shklar made the observation that we are all members of the same community and although our opinions may differ greatly on various topics we were all capable of making individual decisions.

 

The Moderator then addressed the subject of mailing or posting political materials. He indicated that any such material must be signed.

 

He clarified that the topics of assessing and taxation were not part of the article and discussion should focus on the contents of Article 2.

 

Mr. Shklar asked for a motion on the article. The motion was made by Mr. Grenier and seconded by Mr. Diehl.

 

Mr. Grenier, building team leader, began his presentation by defining the charge the Board of Selectmen gave the Building Team. He then opened his remarks by acknowledging the generosity of Carolyn and Steve Fellows. Two years ago the Fellows donated $210,000 for the purchase of a 17 acres parcel of land located at 929 US Route 10 for the purpose of constructing a Municipal Complex to house Emergency Services and Town offices. Mr. Grenier moved on to acknowledge the people who volunteered their time as voting and non-voting members of the Building Team and thanked them for their efforts. The architects and engineers from MacMillian and the Turner Group were recognized and thanked for their time and expert knowledge.

 

Philip Tirrell was asked to present an overview of the Fire and Emergency Services Building. He outlined the shortcomings of the physical structure and the challenges the elements create at the current location in regard to the deterioration of vehicles, equipment and the operation of the building’s systems. Mr. Tirrell addressed the lack of sufficient space for records, equipment and gear storage. He indicated the building did not have any type of fire protection system. The heating and ventilation systems have been repaired a number of times but are still inadequate and inefficient.

 

Building team member, Barbara Richards, reviewed the issues of lack of storage space, security, handicap access, and insufficient meeting and office space associated with the current Town Office. She pointed out the advantages of the shared space in the proposed building and the cost effectiveness of that shared space.

 

Barry Hunter, building team member, discussed the issues associated with the current Police Department office, located in Valley Hall. The current arrangement does not provide a secure and confidential environment to conduct police business. There is no space to secure evidence and store files and records. Currently, individuals in police custody are transported to Newport or Unity for processing creating a void in police coverage in Lempster for a period of several hours.

 

Mr. Grenier returned to the microphone to address the cost of the Municipal Building project. First he spoke in general terms of how the annual tax rate is set by the Department of Revenue Administration in October of each year and how budget and property value increases would affect that rate in an upcoming year. He stated that using figures currently available, an approximate tax rate for 2010 would be $1.90 lower than the current rate of $17.69.

 

The Moderator opened the floor for questions from the audience. Chris Clark asked if the figure of $3,086,300.00 included interest on the loan. The answer was no, it did not. With an interest rate of 3.75% and a term of 20 years, the total figure would be approximately $4.2 million dollars.

 

Mr. Shklar addressed a question from Mr. Tirrell about the drop in the tax rate. He indicated that there has been a significant increase in the value of all real estate in Lempster. Because the county, school and town taxes are based on the gross valuation of the town; when a large project, such as the wind farm is added to the valuation of the town it has a direct impact on the tax rate. Mrs. Onnela asked what the valuation of the wind farm was. Mr. Shklar said the project had been assessed at $48 million dollars.

 

Mr. Onnela came to the podium to express his disagreement with the figures presented and his support in defeating Article 2.

 

Mary Grenier commented on the difficulties involved in determining a tax rate based on the increased valuation of the Town. She indicated that the Department of Revenue Administration was unsure how they were going to handle the wind farm and its added value to the Town when it was time to calculate a new tax rate.

 

Comments from Jim Richards, Keith Fulton, and Jon Thomas were heard.

 

A member of the audience asked what the tax rate would be without the building project in the mix. Mr. Grenier approximated that without the building the tax rate would decrease $3.70 a thousand.

 

Mr. Terrassi offered suggestions regarding the deterioration of the Fire & Rescue equipment. Mr. Quimby offered comments as to the advisability of such a project by a community of our size at this time and at this cost.

 

Other members of the audience who offered comments were Brenda Jones, Alan Chandler and Yorick Hurd.

 

The motion to cease debate was made and seconded. Two thirds of the audience voted in favor of ceasing debate. Moderator Shklar declared the polls open at 8:16 pm.

 

The polls remained open until 9:16 pm.

 

The result of the paper ballot vote was 199 against, 101 in favor. Article Two was defeated. Mr. Osgood moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Thurber.

 

 

Gayle Newton

Town Clerk