BOARD MEETING AGENDA
July 28, 2010
Selectmen Present: Thomas Parker, Susan Silverman and Nancy Carney
At 7:00pm Chairman Parker convened the meeting.
Chairman Parker, for the record, discussed the emergency meeting that the selectmen had today at 3:10pm with Gary Roberge and Sean Green, assessors with Avitar Associates. Mr. Roberge, Mr. Green and Mr. Parker visited several properties by appointment to review questions and issues those properties owners had. Mrs. Silverman joined them on many of these appointments. Originally Mr. Roberge and Mr. Green were on the agenda to meet with the selectmen at 7pm but they finished all the appointments and work in town by 2:30pm. Mr. Parker called an emergency meeting and Mrs. Silverman and Ms. Carney arrived at 3:00pm. Mr. Parker convened the meeting at 3:05. The following are minutes from that meeting.
Mr. Parker said that some of the properties they looked at today need corrections others do not. There are some questions on Stateline Campground, specifically questions about a few campers located on this property and Mr. Roberge and Mr. Green will go back to the campground after this meeting to finish up work there. Most values were agreed to by the Hunter’s, but there are 6 that they are questioning. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter have gone out of their way to accommodate the assessors. Mr. Roberge feels that they were overwhelmed with information – their property has 94 cards – one for each site. Mr. Parker said they also visited the Fitzwilliam Inn and met with Mr. Nickerson who he feels the assessment is too high. He also feels that he doesn’t have sufficient rooms etc and is not making enough money to justify the assessment. He
says he has 6 rooms he can rent right now, 4 more on the 3rd floor (only after a lot of work is done) and he rents out the space behind the kitchen to his family who run the Inn. Mrs. Silverman said one of the things he mentioned was that the letter that he said he sent in January, which we never received. We will give him a chance to write to the board outlining his issues and then the selectmen will discuss it. Mr. Roberge said that he will submit his thoughts on the property in a letter to the selectmen. Mr. Merriman’s property was visited. It had been 3 years since an assessor had been able to get in so when Mr. Green went to the property and no one came to the door, he removed the under construction. Mr. Merriman told them that the property is still under construction and he feels that because he used a lot of salvaged materials he shouldn’t be assessed as much. However this is not the case. They next met with the Crossroads property manager, Chris Temple, and
walked through building. The selectmen had told the property owner that they would have the assessor do an income analysis and see how this relates to the assessment of the property. There are 17 office spaces plus the garage space. Mr. Roberge stated that it is laid out kind of oddly. Mr. Roberge will contact the property owner to get financial information, do the analysis and get back to the selectmen with his recommendations. The group went to Mr. LaValley’s property and went through all the units. One unit didn’t have a kitchen sink. They will consider 5% under construction adjustment on this property. At Joanne Kesses house, they all agreed it was a one bedroom house and there were also a few other small changes. Although we were not able to get an appointment to conduct an inspection of the Daigle property, they drove out and looked at the property. Most of what Mr. Green had originally picked up was confirmed.
Mr. Roberge ran a report that shows that approximately 600 properties have been inspected over the last two years which represents about 20% of the improved properties in Fitzwilliam each year. This is the project that we have contracted with Avitar for since 2008. Mr. Roberge ran a random list of the 20% for this year, about 350 properties, and thinks that he can finish the physical work before the end of August. The board discussed having him submit the completed assessment cards on a weekly basis which would help the workload in the office here. Even if all the cards can’t be put in the computer in the office by Sept 1st, we could submit an amended MS-1 to the State, depending on how much change there is in the overall assessment of the town.
Mr. Parker suggested that when we send out the letter to the property owner letting them know that the assessor has been out to their home and what the old and new assessments are we could add information stating that “if you feel the assessment is incorrect, please call our office to schedule the assessor to come out and do a complete interior and exterior inspection to insure absolute accuracy. Mr. Roberge said that they could reserve one or two days to come out to do inspections by appointment so that when people call with questions about the assessment our office can immediately schedule an inspection appointment.
The selectmen said that they are concerned that out of the 103 pickups that were done, only 43 properties were actually gotten into. Mr. Roberge said that normally they only get into 40% so he is not surprised by our numbers. He said that the only way to correct this would be to spend a whole lot more money. Mr. Roberge said that typically, if he goes to someone’s house where the UC is 50%, the second year – leave at 50%, the third year he would assume that something has been done and assume that the construction is complete. One town went to doing appointments on new construction and their cost increased their cost by 350%. Mr. Roberge said that they have found that is it far more efficient and cost effective by making appointments for those people who call with problems.
Mrs. Silverman said it would be helpful to have Mr. Roberge map out a timeline of our discussion with regard to following up and when the different aspects of assessing are being done. Mr. Roberge said that he would get this to the board as well as the abatement recommendation on Jaquline Wood this Friday via fax.
Mrs. Silverman asked about the views and where we stand on that. The selectmen discussed this with Mr. Roberge.
They talked about what constitutes a bedroom and how the number of bedrooms relate to the assessment. Mr. Roberge explained that it is more the relationship between the number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms that affects the assessment. The selectmen discussed the benefit of making a notation on the assessment card of the size of the septic system on the property, if we have that information.
Mr. Roberge and Mr. Green left the meeting at 4:10pm.
Mr. Parker said that he would like a separate folder for each land use violation with each one given a number – similar to the system we have for building permits. Mrs. Thompson suggested that in addition, we continue to have a notebook with a copy of the most recent letter for each violation and a master calendar with notations made on deadline dates for each violation.
The selectmen agreed that the docks, decks and outbuilding that Joshua Olson has placed on his property are in violation of our land use ordinance because he did not get a building permit for any of them. Mrs. Thompson will have cease and desist for the selectmen to sign tonight.
*** SIGN MANIFESTS – The Selectmen signed the manifests.
Mr. Parker said that right now we have told the school district that we will not make any payments until they give us an estimate of what our share will be based on the approved 2010/2011 budget. Mr. Parker is not in favor of paying them what we have been paying for the last six months. He is suggesting that maybe we could pay $300,000. Mrs. Silverman said that she would rather pay something rather than nothing so we don’t get behind. She is concerned that what we pay doesn’t put us in a position of having to borrow to pay the town expenses. Mrs. Silverman moved and Ms. Carney seconded to begin monthly payments to the school of $300,000 per month and to send them a letter outlining what we are doing and why.
Mrs. Silverman said she had heard that Gilsum was having full day Kindergarten and that they were the only school in the district that were offering this. She did not know that this was going on. Mrs. Thompson explained that a number of weeks ago Mrs. Craig had called to tell the selectmen that the school board had voted to institute full day kindergarten in Gilsum as a way to utilize more of the school in the northern towns. Mrs. Craig was very concerned that not all the schools were going to be able to offer this. A discussion of this ensued. Ms. Carney said that she understood not every child in Fitzwilliam was able to get into the Emerson part-time kindergarten.
*** MEET WITH JANE WRIGHT – The selectmen said that when the budget was developed, there was enough money for Mrs. Nolan to work her regular hours in August plus pay her for her time taking the course to complete her tax collector certification. The selectmen had told Mrs. Nolan that she would be able to work her regular schedule throughout the year. Mrs. Wright said that she understood that because Mrs. Nolan was working so many hours by taking the course, she wasn’t able to give any more hours to Mrs. Nolan for that month. Mrs. Wright said that there really isn’t enough work in the office for her and Denise now that the first issue tax collecting has been mostly completed. Mrs. Wright stated that she was going to be looking at this when she begins her budgeting for next year. Mrs. Wright said that she is
able to complete her work by working the 10 hours per week, with only a couple hours here and there over that during the tax collecting time. Mrs. Silverman said that when the selectmen determined the salary for Mrs. Wright, they allowed 20 hours per week during the two 6 week periods of time that the tax collector has when collecting the first and second issue taxes. The rest of the weeks were estimated at 10 hours per week. Therefore, the salary is based on more hours than 52 weeks at 10 hours per week. Mrs. Wright said that she didn’t realize that. Mr. Parker said that when they discussed the possibility of Mrs. Nolan being the Deputy Town Clerk in addition to being the Deputy Tax Collector, Mrs. Wright had said that she could work with Mrs. Wood, Town Clerk, regarding Mrs. Nolan’s work schedule. Mr. Parker said that he understands that there is time that Mrs. Wright is going to be out of the office, for vacation and her tax collecting conference, and Mrs. Wood will also be
taking time off. Mrs. Wright needs to talk to Mrs. Wood directly to work out Mrs. Nolan’s schedule between the two offices. Mrs. Wright said that she has definite posted hours for the tax collection office and her office needs to be open those hours. Mr. Parker said that Mrs. Wood has indicated that if Mrs. Nolan is working in the Town Clerk office and someone comes in to the tax collection office, Mrs. Nolan can help that person. Mr. Parker encouraged Mrs. Wright to talk with Mrs. Wood to work out the joint schedule. We have collected $2,800,441.42 so far for the first issue tax bill.
At 8:15pm, Mrs. Silverman made a motion to place those comments Mrs. Wright made regarding Mrs. Nolan into Non-public session and seal the record. Ms. Carney seconded and the motion passed 3-0. Roll Call vote: Mr. Parker, yes; Mrs. Silverman, yes; Ms. Carney, yes.
*** REQUEST FOR MIRROR AT INTERSECTION OF RTE 119 WEST AND ANGIER ROAD (AMANDA SULLIVAN) – This is a very dangerous intersection. Amanda Sullivan called and talked to Mr. Parker about putting a mirror on a tree across from the intersection so that people pulling out of Angier Road could see around the corner. Ms. Carney said that since this intersects a State highway we should send a letter to the State DOT regarding this and see what their thoughts are. We will copy this letter to Mrs. Sullivan.
*** DES LOD TO JOSHUA OLSON – The selectmen are sending Mr. Olson a cease and desist regarding the deck, dock and outbuilding he has erected without town or state permits.
*** COPY OF LETTER FROM DRA TO JOHN DAMON – REPORT OF EXCAVATION – Mr. Damon submitted the report to the selectmen yesterday afternoon.
*** BOBBI DODDS RESIGNATION AS SUPERVISOR OF THE CHECKLIST – A copy has been given to tax collector and town clerk. The selectmen will send a thank you letter to her for serving.
*** COPIES OF DES COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS OF BAILEY’S GARAGE AND CAR GUYZ – Reviewed
*** RENTAL APPLICATION FOR USE OF TOWN COMMON – 9/25/10 – Robin Hannett is requesting the use of the town common for a children’s event – pennies for peace. Mr. Parker has no objection and would like to now refer it to the common committee for their final approval. Mrs. Silverman and Ms. Carney agreed.
*** DOT DRIVEWAY PERMIT – SEAN MCGARRY TAX MAP 18 L0T 09 – This lot has been cut off in the past and several people have been to the Planning Board over the years requesting various industrial uses for the property. Sean McGarry owns this property now and DOT has issued a driveway permit for an “industrial storage garage”. We will ask Sandra Gillis if Mr. McGarry has come to the planning board with this project.
*** COMPLAINT REGARDING OVERFLOWING DUMPSTER AT SUNSET VILLA – A person living here called this afternoon stating that there is a dumpster here that is overflowing with garbage. We will call our health officer and have her inspect and send letter to BOS regarding situation.
*** HILL VIOLATION UPDATE – We will send a letter to the planning board with regard to this.
*** BEAVER DAM ISSUE – Mr. Hall and Ms. Carney have been down looking at this and the water is basically out of this area. We are wondering if now would be a good time to remove that portion of the dam that exists on property the town owns. Ms. Carney suggested that we could ask Gene Cuomo and John Holman to look at this and see what it would take to remove the portion of the dam on our property only .
*** TEMPLETON TRNPK BRIDGE – Mr. Cuomo had received a proposal from GRAZ Engineering to develop engineering plans to replace the culvert on Templeton Turnpike. This proposal includes completing the necessary permits with DES but does not include the filing fees. The proposal is for $1,900. Mr. Cuomo budgeted for the engineering and also the bridge repair in his 2010 budget. After discussion, Mrs. Silverman made a motion to approve the proposal from GRAZ Engineering and sign it, Ms. Carney seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
*** LETTER FROM HAMPSHIRE FIRE PROTECTION RE: FIVE YEAR OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION – We need a quote for this. Mrs. Thompson will call and get this information. We were not aware of this and therefore did not budget for it in the 2010 General Government Building budget. We may be able to use the expendable town building fund for this expense.
*** LETTER FROM DRA RE: YEARLY AUDITS – reviewed
*** RAFFLE PERMIT- The selectmen approved this request and signed the permit.
At 8:30pm, Mrs. Silverman made a motion to go into Non-Public Session to discuss personnel. Ms. Carney seconded and the motion passed 3-0. Roll Call Vote; Mr. Parker – yes; Mrs. Silverman – yes; Ms. Carney – yes.
At 9:00pm, Mrs. Silverman made a motion to go out of into Non-Public Session and seal the minutes. Ms. Carney seconded and the motion passed 3-0. Roll Call Vote; Mr. Parker – yes; Mrs. Silverman – yes; Ms. Carney – yes.
The selectmen rescheduled their meeting from August 25th to August 24th at 7pm. Selectmen office will be closed August 25th, 26th and 27th. We will post this, put it on the town website and on the answering machine.
There being no further business, Mrs. Silverman made a motion to adjourn at 9:10pm, Ms. Carney seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Town Administrator Thomas F. Parker, Chairman
Susan S. Silverman
Nancy W. Carney
Board of Selectmen