PRESENT: Chairman Paul Fraser, Jeff Shackett, Rick Alpers, Joe Denning, Don Milbrand; Town Manager Paul Weston; Executive Assistant Kelly Lacasse
At 6:02 PM Chairman Paul Fraser called the meeting to order.
Selectman Denning opened the meeting by discussing the plans for the Central Square Enhancement Plan, assisted by Steve Favorite. Bristol is in need of Central Square improvements for several reasons. Promoting the Town as a whole through development in the area must be appealing to incoming business owners and the public. As it stands now, the area is not appealing and many people overlook the potential of this area because of its current status. Selectmen Denning introduced Traffic Engineer Mike Vignale who has been working on the project for several months now. An overview of the project was discussed, outlining changes in the downtown area as well as the improvements proposed and how they would impact business owners. Very few parking spots would be lost in the project, but placement of parking would change. This is Warrant Article 11 to be decided upon next week at Town Meeting. Currently the project is estimated at $497,000 and would be 80% grant funded, with a 20% ($99,400) match from Bristol. This would be an approximate increase of $0.18 in the tax rate.
Mr. Favorite gave a presentation on the project, outlining further details on the costs associated with the project. He emphasized that this type of grant funding that is available now will not be available next year so it is important that Bristol uses this opportunity now. Questions from the public were taken. Many inquired on the changes to North Main Street becoming a one-way street and how that will affect Mayhew, Union and Cedar Street traffic flow. Mr. Vignale responded by explaining that none of these streets would become one-way and that improvements through narrowing could be done on current one-ways to prevent further traffic flow. Other questions focused on traffic lights and Police presence in the downtown area to assist in busy times. Traffic lights were not included in this project as the cost would be by the Town.
(The meeting broke at 7:00pm and resumed at 7:15pm.)
Town Manager Weston updated the Board on a recent change order received from CDM Engineering to complete the Treatment Plant project. The change order for further improvements to the plant are priced at $161,000, and have been forwarded to NH DES, USDA Rural Development, and Jeff Chartier at the plant for review and comment. This expenditure, which must be completed by June 1, will wrap up the plant improvements.
3. Selectmen Items
Selectman Shackett discussed the need for a crossing guard at the Middle School before and after school. Selectman Alpers commented on the need for officers to be present on foot or bike patrol in downtown during the busy times, especially on Saturdays. Now is the time to talk about this and make arrangements for the upcoming summer season. Chairman Fraser commented upon preparation for Town Meeting, completion and availability of the Annual Report, and posting the Ballots on the website.
Selectmen discussed warrant articles assignments for Town Meeting.
Kathleen Girona suggested having a biologist speak at Town Meeting on the effects of run-off into Newfound Lake.
Mark Chevalier commented on use of bikes for Police Department patrol, and thanked Kelly Lacasse for her work on the Annual Report this year. Everyone present gave Ms. Lacasse a warm round of applause for her fine efforts at compiling and editing the Annual Report.
Bob Gilbert suggested extending hours at the Transfer Station to include longer days on Saturday or Sunday’s.
As this was his last meeting upon completion his term, Selectman Alpers read a proclamation dedicated by the Board to Paul Fraser for his service over the last four years as Selectman and Chairman within this community. Chairman Fraser was thanked for his dedication and commitment to the Town.
Upon a roll call vote with all five Selectmen voting in favor, the Board of Selectmen went into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3 (A & C ).