TOWN OF BRISTOL
Bristol, NH Grafton, SS
Supervisors: Raymah Simpson, Danica Spain, Nancy Gavalis
Ballot Clerks: Marcia Payne, Jan Laferriere, Cheryl Martin, Phyllis Schofield
Police: Jim Ward
Moderator: Edward “Ned” Gordon
Town Clerk: Patricia Woolsey
March 8, 2005
The ballot box was checked and found to be empty. Polls declared open at 8:00am.
ARTICLE 1. To choose all necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing. The results are as follows: Total votes cast 527. Selectmen for 3 years-Bruce Van Derven 359; Richard Walenda 130. Treasurer for 3 years-Kathleen Haskell 464. Town Clerk/Tax Collector for 3 years-Patricia Woolsey 478. Budget Committee for 3 years-Archie Auger 373; Albert “Skip” Bowie 382; David Carr 370; Catherine Pitari 353. Budget Committee for 2 years-Ronald Preble 436. Budget Committee for 1 year-Joseph Denning 420. Fire Commissioner for 3 years-Douglas Williams 447. Police Commissioner for 3 years-Robert Gray 425. Trustee of Trust Funds for 3 years-(all were write-ins and only top 3 listed) Dorcas Gordon 13; David Carr 6; Ron Preble 3. Library Trustee for 3 years-(all were write-ins and only top 3 listed) George Corrette 43; William Barrett 24; Doreen Powden 22.
ARTICLE 2. (By Petition): To see if the Town will vote to increase the board of selectmen from 3 to 5 members. The following question will appear on the ballot and is not subject to amendment: "Are you in favor of increasing the board of selectmen to 5 members." If adopted, the change would become effective as of the 2006 annual meeting. The result of the ballot vote is as follows:
YES 317 NO 151
ARTICLE 3. To see if the Town will vote to adopt Amendment No 1 to the Bristol Zoning Ordinance, as proposed by the Planning Board. A copy of the complete proposal is available for review at the Town Office. The following question will appear on the official ballot, and is not subject to further amendment:
"Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 1 as proposed by the planning board for the town zoning ordinance as follows: Amendment No. 1, if adopted, will extend the Village Commercial District on the north side of Summer Street approximately 550 feet eastward from its current boundary to Maple Grove Lane. The depth of this extension will be 300 feet from the center line of Summer Street and Danforth Brook Road." The result of the ballot vote is as follows:
YES 305 NO 201
ARTICLE 4. To see if the Town will vote to adopt Amendment No. 2 to the Bristol Zoning Ordinance, as proposed by the Planning Board. A copy of the complete proposal is available for review at the Town Office. The following question will appear on the official ballot, and is not subject to further amendment:
"Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 2 as proposed by the planning board for the town zoning ordinance as follows: Amendment No. 2, if adopted, will define -Prebuilt Housing Sales- as -A business whose primary purpose is to sell presite built housing (modular homes) as defined in RSA 674:31- and will revise the definition of -Sales Room- to exclude Prebuilt Housing Sales. This amendment will make -Prebuilt Housing Sales- a permitted use in the Village Commercial District (where "Sales Room" is currently a permitted use), and also in the Corridor Commercial and Industrial Districts (where "Sales Room" is not currently a permitted use)." The result of the ballot vote is as follows:
YES 271 NO 228
Polls closed at 7:00 pm
And further action on the following articles at the Town Hall on Summer Street in said Bristol at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2005.
March 9, 2005
Moderator Ned Gordon declared the meeting open at 7:00pm. The Girl Scouts Junior Troop 580 led in the pledge of allegiance. Rev. Wayne Toutaint of the Bristol Baptist Church offered a prayer. Chairman Bob Curdie introduced the Town Administrator and the Selectboard. Archie Auger introduced the budget committee and their secretary Jan Laferriere. Rick Alpers read a proclamation for Robert Curdie, outgoing Selectmen. Robert Curdie called Roger Pedersen up front to present him with the first copy of the Town Report that was dedicated to him and thanked him for all his years of service to the Town of Bristol.
The moderator explained the rules of the meeting. All motions, and amendments to motions, need to be in writing. The moderator will be voting with everyone else. The first 4 warrant articles require ballot votes and require the polls to be open for 1 hour each. Historically, we had done them individually. There is an alternative, which is to have a discussion on each article and then vote on all ballots at once. You would go into the booth with 4 typed ballots, which will need to be marked with an X for yes or no. Then the ballots will be deposited in separate boxes.
This procedure was Moved by Burt Williams, seconded by Archie Auger. No discussion was had and a voice vote was taken. The motion passed.
ARTICLE 5. To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two hundred forty-five thousand dollars ($245,000)(gross budget) to purchase a new fire engine for the Fire Department, and to authorize the issuance of not more than the amount of One hundred thirty seven thousand dollars ($137,000) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon; furthermore authorize the sum of One hundred eight thousand dollars ($108,000) to be withdrawn from the fire capital reserve fund created in the year 2000 (Article 3) for this purpose for the down payment. This article was requested by the Fire Commission. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (2/3 ballot vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee) (Recommended by the Fire Truck Committee)
Moved by: Doug Williams Seconded by: Bruce Van Derven
The moderator stepped down for this article and William Phinney took his place. Doug Williams spoke on the motion and directed the audience to the handout given at the beginning of the meeting. Last year the Fire Department came looking for a new truck and the vote was in favor but did not have the 2/3 vote required. After the meeting, the Selectmen put together a fire truck committee to look into the needs of the equipment. The report is available in the Town Report. Ned Gordon spoke on the article stating that he chaired the fire truck committee and stated the results. It was the committee’s feelings that we are in need to replace engine #2, as well as another vehicle. The committee found that they should be buying new equipment as opposed to used and David Carr came up with a schedule to replace a vehicle every so many years.
A question came up on whether this would be bonded, to which it was answered yes and it would be at 3.8% with the Pemi Bank. The fire department is looking at 2 options regarding the old fire truck and one is to trade it in and the other is to sell it through private sale.
Discussion was closed and moved onto discussion to article 6.
Ballot vote taken with the following results:
YES 140 NO 32
Article 5 PASSED.
ARTICLE 6. To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000)(gross budget) to purchase a new ambulance for the Fire Department, and to authorize the issuance of not more than the amount of One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon; and further, to authorize the remaining sum of Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to be withdrawn from the ambulance capital reserve fund created for this purpose in the year 2001 (Article 2) for the down payment. This article was requested by the Fire Commission. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (2/3 ballot vote required) (Not Recommended by the Selectmen) (Not Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Doug Williams Seconded by: John Bianchi
Doug Williams brought the attention to the handout given and stated that they are beyond the replacement schedule for the ambulance, which should have been replaced 2 years ago. Chief Norm Skantze spoke how the Town has 2 ambulances and one they would like to put in reserve and the other one would not be used. Several residents stated that at the last Selectmen’s meeting they were discussing doing away with the ambulance service and felt this should be voted down. John Bianchi stated that this may or may not happen and if they do, it will take several years and they are already behind on the replacement of this vehicle. It was questioned as to whether we offer services to other Towns and what revenues we are receiving. John Bianchi stated that we do service the other Towns and we receive money from those Towns through a contract. It was questioned on why it was not recommended by the Selectmen or the Budget Committee. Archie Auger, for the budget committee, explained that the budget committee wanted to wait because the Selectmen are looking into alternatives to the ambulance service. In looking at the entire Town and the proposals put forth, they felt we should wait and see what a committee might come up with. Susan Duncan spoke for the Selectboard and stated that when Bill Phinney was Selectman it was brought up to privatize the ambulance and it has resurfaced. Part of the problem is the amounts billed as to amounts collected. The Selectboard has not put together the committee as of yet. Currently, we have lost 3 of the Towns we used to service and it needs to be looked at. They would like to come up with a committee and come back next year with the results. It was questioned as to what the affect be on the tax rate for the 4 articles if they were voted in. Fire Engine .54 Ambulance .39 Library 3.91 per thousand. One question raised was why we are not charging the other Towns per call as opposed to the set fee. Chief Skantze stated that the fees to the Towns are set on a formula. It was questioned on why you would want to purchase a box ambulance as opposed to a regular ambulance, when a transport vehicle can be used to generate revenue. The Chief stated that the van was a transport but it is not effective and they are not doing transports. The maintenance was questioned and Chief Skantze stated that two employees do it on a daily basis. In response to a question regarding mutual aid, Doug Williams stated that there is no such thing and the other departments do not have coverage 24 hours a day.
A motion was made to close the debate by Kerry Mattson seconded by Jay Meegan. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed.
Ballot vote taken with the following results:
YES 63 NO 109
Article 6 was DEFEATED
ARTICLE 7. (Petitioned Article) To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One million five hundred thousand Dollars ($1,500,000) (gross amount) to fund the expansion of the Minot-Sleeper Library and to authorize the issuance of not more than the amount of Nine hundred ninety thousand ($990,000) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon; and further, to authorize the remaining sum of Five hundred ten thousand Dollars ($510,000) to be raised by the Minot-Sleeper Trustees. This article was requested by the Library Trustees. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until December 31, 2025. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (2/3 ballot vote required) (Not Recommended by the Selectmen) (Not Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: George Corrette Seconded by: Barbara Greenwood
George Corrette spoke on the motion and stated that the library trustees have worked since 2001 on this project. The library has been with us a long time and is on the historical register. He then gave the history of the Library and its needs for expansion due to growth. In 2001 a building/space needs committee was established. The study was completed and the recommendation was for around 7000 square feet. The building can only be used for a library as it was stated when it was given to the Town. The building itself is in need of some work, as well as the addition. A fifteen year bond for 990,000 would make the first year impact on the tax rate of .46. Once this is past, the Selectmen determine the rates and the bonds, but this is what Mr. Corrette was told by the Bond Bank. If we went 20 years it would drop it by .20 but it is really not cost effective. The bonds would not be sold until the trustees could raise 510,000. Rick Alpers stated that the selectboard did not support this because they felt the price was too high and referred to the space needs committee report, which stated that the police department was top on the list for space needs. He then read the space needs committee report of 10/28/03. Archie Auger spoke for the budget committee who stated that the Library and its committees are doing a great job and that is why they have always supported their budgets, but they didn’t recommend it because of the building needs committee report. It was stated that the rates listed regarding the rates per thousand on the tax rate was incorrect as the Selectman read the wrong line. It was stated by a resident that when looking for a location for the new police department, they should look into a big enough piece of land to include the library. Another resident stated that we could wait for the police department, but what would we do with the old building. Work has to be done. The electrical work needs to be updated. Very little money has been spent on the library. Many residents agreed with the need, but felt they should vote with the committee on this. Another resident felt that the library is crucial to the town, as it is a positive feature for the town. George Corrette addressed the parking and he stated that the parking was not increased but moved to the side of the building. A question was asked if there are libraries in the school and Barbara Greenwood stated that there are, but they are only opened during the day. One resident felt the expansion could be supported if the price per foot was not so expensive. It was questioned on the cost to fix the electrical and building, but Mr. Corrette stated that they do not have the break down cost of the electrical because they wanted to look for a long-range solution.
Motion to end debate by Mark Chevalier and seconded by Donna Nashawaty. A voice vote was taken and passed.
Ballot vote taken with the following results:
YES 59 NO 113
Article 7 FAILED.
ARTICLE 8. To see if the Town of Bristol will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000) gross amount for the design and construction of Wastewater System Improvements to the oxidation ditches, clarifiers, laboratory and sludge handling, and to authorize the issuance of not more than the amount of Six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon. Furthermore to authorize the Selectmen to apply for, receive and expend federal and state grants which may at time to time become available and also to accept and expend money from any other governmental unit or private source to be used for the purposes of the Wastewater System Improvements. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until December 31, 2009. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17.
It is anticipated that the Town will receive a New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services State Aid Grant for 30 % of the project cost. The Town will pursue Community Block Grant and Rural Development funding for this purpose. (2/3 ballot vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee)
Moved by: Burt Williams Seconded by: Rick Alpers
Burt Williams spoke on the article. Last year we raised money for a report and an engineer came up with a figure to complete this project. The Commissioners felt the amount was too much and dropped it down to this amount. The users can not handle this amount alone. It was questioned as to why should people who are not on water and sewer pay for something they do not use and Mr. Williams stated this Town Hall, as well as all the town owned buildings, provide them with this service.
A motion was made to end debate by Archie Auger and seconded by John Bianchi. The motion moved.
Ballot vote taken with the following results:
YES 129 NO 43
Article 8 PASSED.
ARTICLE 9. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten thousand Dollars ($10,000) to support Homeland Cemetery. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Rick Alpers Seconded by: Ron Preble
Rick Alpers spoke on the article and stated that a few years ago the cemetery association ran into some financial trouble and they felt they needed assistance getting back on their feet. If they keep going into financial difficulty the Town will own it. One resident asked if they could explain about the cemetery and the problems. Mr. Preble stated that they are a private organization and a few years ago they had been embezzled from. They are looking at selling some land in order to raise money. Archie Auger stated that the Town has been required by the laws of the state of NH that we provide a place to rest. Jane Westfall, who is on the board for the cemetery, stated that they have been trying very hard to keep cost low and they need help to get them past the embezzlement. This is for planning for the future.
A voice vote was taken on Article 9 and the article PASSED.
ARTICLE 10. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Sixty-three thousand two hundred eighty-five Dollars ($63,285) to replace the Police Department computer system. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Barry Wingate Seconded by: Bill Phinney
Barry Wingate gave a history on their computer system, which is a DOS based system and they have had it 10 years. It crashes at least once a day. What they want is a windows based system called IMC, which will not only sustain a department, but link them to other agencies. They would like to purchase 3 computers and 2 lap tops with software. With the lap tops, the officers would be able to be seen more as they could do their paper work while in the vehicles. If they do not purchase the system this year, it will probably cost about 3,000 in repairs this year. Certified Computers did an evaluation of their computers, which stated the needs and options available to them. It was questioned if it would save space and it was stated that it would not save space but would allow the department to be more efficient and allow officers to be more visible. A breakdown of the price was given by the Chief.
A voice vote was taken and Article 10 and the article PASSED.
ARTICLE 11. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of twenty-one thousand dollars ($21,000) for the purpose of paying a portion of the annual principal and interest payment on the sewer system bond authorized under Article 3 of the 1989 Annual Town Meeting. This amount is in addition to amount appropriated for this same purpose from the Sewer Fund, as set forth in the operating budget. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. This article was requested by the Public Works Commission. (Majority vote required) (Not Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee)
Moved by: Bill Phinney Seconded by: Burt Williams
Bill Phinney, sewer commission, stated that they are coming to the town to help offset the sewer bond. They have come before the people in the past and hope they will do the same this year.
A voice vote was taken and was not clear. A show of hands was taken and Article 11 PASSED.
ARTICLE 12. To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One hundred fifty-five thousand dollars ($155,000) for the purpose of hiring consultants to study and make recommendations on the future of the Central Street Bridge. Eighty percent of the Town's costs are expected to be reimbursed by the State in the amount of One hundred twenty four thousand ($124,000). The balance of Thirty one thousand ($31,000) is to come from general taxation. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until December 31, 2006. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee)
Moved by: Susan Duncan Seconded by: Bob Curdie
Susan Duncan stated that this bridge issue has been going on for a long time and the Board of Selectmen have finally received a letter stating they did not have to refurbish the bridge. It has been a long road and we can finally be able to move into the next phase. New Hampton has been great about funding half the bill, which Bristol insisted on. A question was asked about the difference between this and the article from last year. Susan Duncan stated that last year was a different study. A clarification of the two articles was requested and Susan Duncan gave the details. Many questions surrounded what happened to last year’s money. Bob Curdie stated that there have been many steps, which they have had to go through, and this is the next step. Each step takes more money. It was questioned on when the bridge became ours and Moderator Gordon stated that he believes that it has always been the towns but when the dam was put in, the Engineers wanted to remove the bridge, but the 2 Towns did not want the bridge removed.
Mr. Hill moved the question and it was seconded by Mark Chevalier. All were in favor.
A voice vote was taken and was not clear. A show of hands was given and Article 12 PASSED.
The polls were closed for Articles 5, 6, 7, & 8 after being open for 1 hour at 10:12PM.
ARTICLE 13. (By Petition) To see if the Town will vote to increase the Veteran’s Tax Exemption (RSA 72:28 II) from Three hundred dollars ($300) to Five hundred dollars ($500). (Majority vote required) (Not Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Rick Alpers Seconded by: Eric Rottennecker
Rick Alpers stated that this was a petitioned article. Last year we increased it from $100 to $300 and now this year they would like to go to $500.00. It was questioned on why it was not recommended by the Selectmen and Rick Alpers stated that they were concerned about the financial impact and would rather see a smaller increment over the years. All the veterans present raised their hands and a round of applause was given. Donna Nashawaty stated that she felt that they should not have any recommendation as they are non money issues.
A voice vote was taken and Article 13 PASSED.
ARTICLE 14. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate One thousand dollars $1,000 to enhance and make more widespread public information by electronic means as follows:
Public information by electronic means; Purchase of video recording equipment; Taping of events/meetings/public service announcements; Posting on Public Access (Channel 26) Cable Television.
In the interest of more widespread and immediate public awareness of municipal matters, public safety matters, community activities, and issues of local concern, the Town of Bristol shall expand it’s provision of information to Public Access (Channel 26) Cable Television.
In addition to static community bulletin board postings, there shall be included videotaped coverage of public meetings, departmental updates, events resulting from public-private partnership efforts, and other municipal information which will enhance safety and security. Videotaping shall occur upon prior request with reasonable notice, and shall be approved if among the matters specified herein.
Procedures for approval, recording and transmittal of recorded information to Public Access Cable Television shall be developed by the Town Administrator for review and approval by the Select Board.
To accomplish the purpose of this warrant, the Select Board is authorized to purchase such equipment as it deems necessary, not to exceed One thousand dollars ($1,000), and is further authorized to negotiate an agreement with the cable provider which allows the posting of both static and videotaped information. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Not Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Les Dion Seconded by: Mark Chevalier
Les Dion spoke on the motion stating that this would allow people to watch the meeting from their home when they have the time. It was questioned on who was going to set up and maintain this equipment. Bruce Van Derven stated that the procedures would come from the Town Administrator. The purpose was to help the public become aware of what is happening in Town. This would be on a request only for public information. Some residents felt that they were in favor of this article, but a plan for implementation should be done. Monica Nagle stated that they already have the equipment at the community center and it was through a grant for the community. Les Dion stated that if the purpose of this is for sharing, she does not feel this would work. It’s a good idea but not on a sharing basis. Mr. Van Derven stated that this is just for information.
Burt Williams made a motion to move the question and Mr. Glassett seconded. The motion passed.
A voice vote was taken and it was unclear of the results. A show of hands was taken and Article 14 PASSED.
ARTICLE 15. To see if the voters of the Town of Bristol will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to seek grant monies and funding from all State and Federal agencies to continue our wastewater collection system to encompass the Bristol portion of Newfound Lake. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Recommended by the Budget Committee) (Requested by the Sewer and Water Commissioners)
Moved by: Burt Williams Seconded by: Rick Alpers
Burt Williams stated that in the past this body had voted to have the commissioners look into sewer to the lake. They would like to continue on this. There was not further discussion.
A voice vote was taken and Article 15 PASSED.
ARTICLE 16. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty thousand Dollars ($20,000) to hire an engineering firm to study the feasibility of where to place the new Police Station. This was the number one priority of the Long Range Study Committee. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. (Majority vote required) (Recommended by the Selectmen) (Not Recommended by the Budget Committee).
Moved by: Rick Alpers Seconded by: Bob Curdie
Susan Duncan made a motion, seconded by Bob Curdie, to amend Article 16 to read: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for the sole purpose of investigating a location for a new police station. The monies in this account would be used for either a deposit on land that may become available or could be expended for site testing and consultation to see if a particular parcel of land is suitable. Monies in this fund could be expended only upon the recommendation of the Police Station Planning Committee and with the approval of the members of the Select Board. A new police station was the number one priority of the Long Range Study Committee. The amount of this article is not included in the operating budget under Article 17. Majority vote required.
Susan Duncan stated that the amendment was made to clean the article up a bit. The Long Range Study Committee did state that the police station was the top priority. The Selectmen felt they were not ready and needed to look at what is out there. It does need to be addressed and this amendment will help them. One resident questioned why they can’t find volunteers to look into this instead of spending more money on a study. Another question raised was if this article would be the end of the study committee or would it be brought up again next year. It was questioned as to why the budget committee recommended it. Archie Auger spoke for the budget committee and stated that the article, as 1st presented, wasn’t clear as to what was being asked. He could not speak for the board on the amendment but he felt with the amendment it was clearer. Some of the other budget committee members stated that this amendment clarified this article. One resident stated that she had been on a committee in 1994 to do this same thing, so why do we need to do it again.
A voice vote was taken on the amendment to Article 16 and the amendment PASSED.
A voice vote was taken on Article 16 as amended and was unclear. A show of hands was taken and Article 16 as amended PASSED.
As the time was 11:00 the Moderator stated that we would need to continue the meeting until tomorrow night. He stated that if the body wanted to make sure the votes taken tonight were not changed tomorrow night, a motion to restrict reconsideration needed to be made.
A motion to restrict reconsideration was made by Archie Auger and seconded by Walter Waring. An explanation of the motion was given by the moderator. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed.
Ralph Ford made a motion to recess until tomorrow night at 7:00pm and it was seconded by Mark Chevalier. The motion passed.
March 10, 2005
The meeting reconvened at7:00pm. The pledge of allegiance was performed and Rev. Toutaint offered a prayer.
ARTICLE 17. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the budget committee recommended sum of ($ 3,886,156) for general municipal operations; the selectmen recommend the sum of ($ 3,940,456). This article does not include appropriations voted on in other warrant articles.
Moved by: Archie Auger Seconded by: Bruce Van Derven
Archie Auger, gave a history of when the budget committee met, as well as who they met with. Not all the votes taken had been unanimous but most had been one way or another. The budget committee has the department heads write a report of what has been happening in the past year, as well as what they would like for the upcoming year. It was also stated that there were no personal issues in dealing with the budget and individual departments or people. The budget and its increase from last year to this year were discussed on what the Selectmen requested to what the Budget Committee requested. One of the biggest parts of the budget is in salaries. A salary scale has been created and was explained how it works. Another big part of what employees get is insurance. The basic plan for a family is paid. The budget committee is proposing an 8% increase in the General Government lines. Public Safety was increased by 12%, Public Works is a 10% increase. The next section is Public Services and it is up 27%. All the following items are small increases. Water & Sewer is looking at 8.8% increase. Mr. Auger then went over the articles that were past last night and their effect on the budget. Our surplus is in the range of $800,000.00, which part of this amount could be used to lower tax rates, if the Selectmen decided to do this.
Barry Wingate made a motion to amend Article Number 17 to add $16,830.00 to the Police Department Budget. The $16,830.00 will be put back into the budget accounts to reflect the original amounts requested by the Police Department and recommended by the Board of Selectmen. The motion was seconded by Rick Alpers.
Barry Wingate stated that the commissioners knew it was going to be a tough year and put together a 2% increase over last year’s budget. This request is to reinstate what was taken out of the budget. Each item was discussed. The list included items as the payroll, outside detail (which was needed as Route 104 is going to be redone this year), uniforms, meetings and memberships, and the cruiser maintenance. This year they are not asking for a cruiser and this will mean more maintenance for the vehicles being used.
It was questioned of the Selectboard if the Board did not change the Police Department budget due to not being able to touch the budget because of legal reasons or because they felt it was a good budget. Bob Curdie stated that they were told by Town Council that because the Police Department has their own Commissioners, they set salaries and the Selectboard could not touch it. Rick Alpers stated that they also felt that this was an increase of only about 1% and that was reasonable compared to what the other departments were requesting. It was questioned what was the reason for the difference between the Selectmen’s budget and the Budget Committee’s. Archie Auger stated that it is due mainly to the salary increase scale that is now in place and that all the employees should be treated equal. RSA105C stated that the Police Commissions set salary, but it also states that the Budget Committee can set salary in the budget. Mr. Auger then went over the increases in the pays by line items. Chief Wingate stated that the police department not only has to stay competitive to lure police officers here, but they have to be able to keep them here. It was questioned as to whom this pay was affecting and the Chief stated that it would affect the 4 patrolman and the administrative assistant. It was noted by one resident that due to the cost of training a police officer, the money should be put back in. Another resident stated that the budget committee has done a good job and we should back the committee. A discussion then ensued as to how other employees will feel if one department gets more raises and they do not.
A voice vote was taken on the amendment to Article 17 and it was unclear. A show of hands was taken and the amendment to Article 17 PASSED.
A ballot vote was requested by 7 people standing.
The following is the results to the amendment to Article 17:
YES 42 NO 40
The amendment to Article 17 PASSED.
George Corrette made an amendment that the budget be increased by nine hundred thirty-five dollars ($935), and that amount be added to the social services section of the budget to fully fund the request from GENESIS for mental health services. It was seconded by Leslie Dion.
Mr. Corrette spoke on the amendment and stated that GENESIS should be fully funded for the mental health services it provides for the residents of Bristol, of which 86 residents used this service. He then gave a history of GENESIS. The budget committee stated at the public hearing that they could not change this line item without having another public hearing, so it could only be amended here. It was questioned how the budget committee came up with the figure and Bruce Van Derven stated that he cut one line item hoping to put it back in later into another line item, but it did not happen.
A voice vote was taken on the amendment to Article 17 and the amendment PASSED.
Doug Williams made a motion, seconded by Bob Patten, that Article 17 be increased by $41,244 to reflect the changes to the 2005 Fire Department budget requested by the Bristol Fire Commission.
Doug Williams went over the line items that were adjusted. What they would like to do is either amend this article to the Selectman’s request or the Fire Commissioners request. One issue is payroll and putting their employees onto the scale with the other employees of the Town. Another issue is a part time clerk, as it would streamline the department’s paper work. The Fire Alarm was the next issue, followed by training, both state and federal. Maintenance of the fire department building was discussed as necessary. Radio Equipment is replaced each year at 6 per year and it was cut. The next lines discussed were 663, 664,665,666 & 669, maintenance to the vehicles. The fire truck committee stated in their report that one problem with the Fire Department equipment is its lack of maintenance. They need this amount to maintain their equipment. The final two items are for tools, equipment, and protective clothing.
A resident felt the motion should be moved and it should be a ballot vote. David Carr, budget committee member, gave a history of the budget for the fire department. In five years the fire department has requested a 69.2% increase. Last year they overspent the bottom line of their budget. He felt this is a run away budget and went over several line items.
7 People stood to have a ballot vote on the amendment to Article 17.
The ballot count is as follows:
YES 17 NO 68
The amendment to article 17 was DEFEATED.
Catherine Pitari made a motion to amend article 17 by the following: Line 01-4320-292 Forestry Protective Clothing from $1. (one dollar) to $800. (eight hundred dollars). It was seconded by Mark Chevalier.
Catherine Pitari spoke on the motion giving a list and an explanation of what equipment is needed. One resident felt that the budget should have been submitted on time. Another resident stated that the person responsible for the budget does not live in town; therefore, did not submit the required budget.
A voice vote was taken to the amendment to article 17 and it was too close. A show of hands was taken and the amendment to article 17 PASSED.
Catherine Pitari made a motion to amend article 17 by the Following: Line 01-4801-812 Grant #3 from $1. (one dollar) to $2500. (twenty five hundred dollars) for the purchase of a high pressure floating pump, and to authorize that the purchase will be made with $1250. from the gross budget and a matching amount from a New Hampshire Division Forests and Lands grant. The motion was seconded by Mark Chevalier.
Catherine Pitari spoke on the motion and stated that the Town was awarded a grant for this purchase, but it will expire if not used. It is a 50% grant through the state of New Hampshire. A question was raised if this was again a problem with the fire warden not making a budget and it was stated that the line item had been dropped last year. One resident felt that this should have been addressed prior to this point. A question was raised to the line item in the Selectmen’s budget for grants. The 7400.00 grant listed in the Selectmen’s budget is for a trailer for all the departments use from a homeland security grant.
A voice vote was taken to the amendment to article 17 and the result was inconclusive. A show of hands was taken and the amendment to article 17 PASSED.
A question was raised about the water and sewer superintendent pay. One report shows a decrease and another shows and increase. Burt Williams stated that the superintendent pay is now split differently in the breakdown for water and sewer, but when added together, he is not getting a large raise.
There was no further discussions or amendments to article 17.
A voice vote was taken on Article 17 as amended, which makes the amount of the budget $3,907,220.00. Article 17, as amended PASSED.
ARTICLE 18. To see if the Town of Bristol will vote to establish an historic district commission in accordance with the provisions of RSA 672 - 677, and further to authorize the Board of Selectmen to appoint five (5) citizens as members of the historic district commission pursuant to the provisions of RSA 673:4 and 673:5 and to appoint not more than five (5) additional citizens as alternate members pursuant to the provisions of RSA 673:6, or take any other action relating thereto. Requested by the Planning Board.
Moved by: Dan Paradis Seconded by: Clay Dingman
Dan Paradis spoke on the motion. This came out of the 1982 master plan and the downtown area is already in the historic register. It is a 2 step process. This year it would create the members and next year they would need to come up with an ordinance, which would then go for a ballot vote at the next election. This was the results of the master plan and a survey that was sent out. The Planning Board felt this is an important step. One resident stated that yesterday we had a problem with a historic commission with the bridge and wanted to make sure this would not interfere with this bridge again. Mr. Paradis stated that this would be a local board and quite different. The only money he sees being spent in the future for this would be for a secretary to take the minutes. Sue Putnam questioned what would happen to the Baptist Church Parsonage if the Church decided to possibly do something with the building. Dan Paradis stated that this could possibly be a problem, depending on whether you would tear down a building or not. Some of the members of the downtown committee stated that without having a historic commission, a lot of funding (grants) could be lost. One resident would like the future ordinance to be brought before the town meeting before being put on the ballot. It would be looked into.
A voice vote was taken on Article 18 and the motion PASSED.
ARTICLE 19. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to establish the following limitation on service as a commissioner: Commissioners; limitations on town employment and/or service. No person shall serve as a commissioner of a department in which he/she is employed or otherwise performs duties under the supervision of the department head. (Majority vote required)
Moved by: Bruce Van Derven Seconded by: John Williams
The article was signed by 30 people who asked him to bring it to this meeting. There are 2 commissioners and they are also fire fighters, which they felt was a conflict of interest. One resident felt this was not researched enough and whether this was looked into thoroughly. Chief Skantze stated that the 2 commissioners this addresses are veterans and could be turned away through the ballot box. One resident felt that this could be dealt with in a department SOP and felt that this article, as well as the next few should be skipped over. The Moderator stated that anyone can make a motion to go over them or to discuss them. Another resident stated that it is hard to get volunteers to begin with and would like to see this article defeated. Bob Patten, commissioner involved, gave a history of the fire precinct/department.
A voice vote was taken on Article 19 and the article was DEFEATED.
Burt Williams made a motion to pass over Article 20 and was seconded by J.P. Morrison Jr.
A voice vote was taken and the motion PASSED. Article 20 was passed over.
ARTICLE 20. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to establish the following procedure for selection of Select Board and Commission Chairs:
Select Board and Commission Chairs; Election by ballot vote.
Select Board and Commission Chairs shall be elected by ballot vote of registered voters in the general election of town officials. For 2005, the Chairs shall be elected by ballot vote of registered voters present at town meeting, March 9, 2005. The candidate receiving the most votes for Select Board or Commission Chairmanship shall serve for one year, with subsequent terms determined by ballot vote as described herein. There shall be no limitation on the number of successive terms of duly elected Chairs. (Majority vote required)
A motion was made by J.P. Morrison Jr. and seconded by Mike Bannan to pass over Article 21.
A voice vote was taken and the motion PASSED. Article 21 was passed over.
ARTICLE 21. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to: direct the Select Board to investigate the adoption of RSA Chapter 37 (the town manager law); publish it’s findings for consideration at Town Meeting, 2006; and prepare a warrant article adopting RSA Chapter 37 if a majority of the Select Board deems it will improve the management and efficiency of municipal services. (Majority vote required).
A motion was made by J.P. Morrison Jr. and seconded by Skip Bowie to pass over Article 22.
A voice vote was taken and could not be determined. A show of hands was taken and the motion was DEFEATED.
ARTICLE 22. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to urge the Select Board to make implementation of the Master Plan a priority consideration, through: increased public information about the plan; establishment of public-private partnerships; analysis of how municipal departments might assist implementation; research and pursuit of grant funding; incentives to improve the downtown district; research and development of revenue producing projects; and quarterly public updates on the status of plan implementation. (Majority vote required)
Moved by: Steven Favorite Seconded by: Clay Dingman
Steven Favorite showed the master plan of 2002 and it has been put on the shelf, brought out, updated and the reason for this article is so the Selectboard will make sure this document is used as opposed to being put back on the shelf. A question was raised regarding the money and where it would come from to fund this as it is not in the budget. They are looking at grants and fund raisers.
A voice vote was taken and Article 22 PASSED.
ARTICLE 23. (By Petition) To see if the town will vote to adopt the following community and patriotic events as sponsored by the Town of Bristol, in public-private partnership with supporting organizations:
Old Home Day
Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day Ceremonies
Independence Day Ceremonies (including parade & fireworks)
Departmental services in support of these town-sponsored events shall be at no cost to supporting organizations in partnership with the Town of Bristol, and shall be considered part of the municipal participation in the specified community and patriotic events. (Majority vote required)
Moved by: Doug Williams Seconded by: John Williams
Doug Williams stated that if the Town of Bristol is supporting patriotic events, the various departments should not be charging for them. One question was raised as to why we need all these rules and laws. Another resident felt that it is too easy to forget about the volunteers.
A voice vote was taken and Article 23 PASSED.
ARTICLE 24. To transact any other business which may legally come before this meeting.
Doreen Powden wanted to thank the budget committee, selectman and Ned Gordon for all their hard work. Richard Walenda wanted to thank the police department for a job well done. Marsha Payne wanted to thank the ladies in the corner (the supervisors of the checklist) for a wonderful job.
As there was no further business, Rick Alpers made a motion to adjourn at 10:02pm. It was seconded by Burt Williams.
Patricia F. Woolsey, Town Clerk
All new officers have been duly sworn in.
Richard Walenda requested a recount of the Selectmen race on 03/11/05. It was held on March 16, 2005 at 7:00pm in the upstairs meeting room at the Municipal Building, 230 Lake St.
Attending: Edward “Ned” Gordon, Moderator; Patricia Woolsey, Town Clerk; Robert Curdie, Selectman; Susan Duncan, Selectperson; Richard Alpers, Selectman; Richard Walenda & Bruce Van Derven, Contenders for the position of Selectman.
The ballot box was examined and determined that it had not been touched or altered since the election. It was then opened and the ballots sorted into 4 separate piles. One for votes for Richard Walenda; one for votes for Bruce Van Derven; one for blank votes; one for write-ins or questioned ballots. After the ballots were tallied, the results were as follows:
356 Bruce Van Derven
133 Richard Walenda
10 Write In
Bruce Van Derven was the winner of the Selectmen’s race and was duly sworn in.