Salem (N.H.).

Annual report of the Town of Salem, New Hampshire (Volume 2008) online

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flood mitigation as led by our resident Flood Mitigation Action Committee and our
Community Development Director Bill Scott; single-stream recycling to provide as easy of
a process for recycling as possible led by our DPW Director Rick Russell; design for the
replacement of three bridges that currently do not adequately meet today's traffic
standards as led by our Town Engineer Bob Puff; the beginning stages of a new town-wide
property revaluation as led by our Town Assessor Norm Pelletier; the transition to a new
town auditing firm as led by our Finance Director |ane Savastano; a reorganization of our
Collections Department as overseen and led by our Tax Collector Cheryl Bolouk and Town
Clerk Sue Wall; the continuing installation of a new town-wide computer software system
which will improve efficiency a; led by our IT Director Cynthia Crescenzi; an employee
benefits committee designed to upgrade our employee benefit system to better meet our
employee's individual needs as led by our MR Director Lynn Rapa; a Master Plan
development for improvements to Hedgehog Park as led by our Recreation Director Chris
Dillon; an iron fist within a velvet glove at our Human Services Department as led by
Kathy Walton; an addition to our fabulous Senior Center as led by our Senior Services
Director Patti Drelick; the continual provision of professional police services from an
outdated and inadequate police station as led by our Police Chief Paul Donovan; and an
equally professional delivery of fire and emergency medical services as led by our Fire
Chief Kevin Breen. All of these are just a sampling of the many on-going projects and
services provided by the many employees of the Town of Salem for the benefit of Salem
residents and visitors to Salem. It is an amazing group of people, and I'm very proud to be
a part of this organization.

The devastating Ice Storm in December 2008 was an example of the commitment all town
employees have to their jobs. Many employees worked for hours and days at their jobs to
ensure Salem residents were safe and well-cared for during the storm. It was a great
effort by all and one that is so gratifying to see in action. A great many thank you's to all
the employees involved in that event.

2009 will provide as many challenges as 2008. We've put fonvard a town budget for
2009 that keeps the town portion of the tax rate fiat in recognition of the very difficult
economic conditions that exist here and throughout the country. Thanks to all involved in
the budgetary process and the effort to keep taxes down for the taxpayers of Salem. And
thanks to all who participate in the Salem town government in whatever capacity you are
able to provide.

Did You Know?

llie I'own Manager is appointed bv
the Board of Selectmen and operates
under the audiorir\- of RS.\ i'i}

33 Geremontv Drive


Normand Pelleiicr
Chief Assessor

Cathy Arsenault
Dcpun,' Assessor

Mun, Ann Bell

Jiilian Tavlor

The Assessor's office continues to offer our assessment data on line at . This service has helped to give the public the opportunity of
doing research on our database at their convenience.

Over the past year we have seen a continued decline in residential new construction. In
2007 there were 42 new dwelling permits issued with 36 of those started and assessed for
the 2007 tax year. In 2008 the number of permits dropped to 24.

Propert}' values have declined over the last 12 months by about 15%. The Assessor's office
does not reduce property assessments based solely on the decline in the market. This drop
in value will be reflected in an increase in the town's ratio. There is the misconception that
due to this decrease in the market value of properties, we are now over assessing
properties and generating more revenue for the Town. The Town can only collect what is
approved at town meeting. This is the reverse of what happened after the 2000
revaluation. While property values increased dramatically over the next 5 years, we did not
raise assessments.

Our office offers several programs for the elderly, blind and veterans to help offset their
property tax bills. Further information is available on our website at
wvvw.townofsalemnh.ore and click on Assessing or by calling the Assessor's office.

In 2008, the Deputy Assessor Cathy Arsenault retired. We would like to thank her for her
33 years of service to the Town of Salem. She will continue to work for us as a seasonal
employee. Jiilian Taylor is now full-time and will be doing some of the field work to help
with the pickup work. She will also be working with Cathy as part of a measure and list
project. We have started at the south end of town and will be inspecting as many properties
as possible prior to our next valuation update in 2011. I would like to take this opportunity
to thank Cathy, Jiilian, along with MaryAnn Bell, for their hard work and dedication.




Summary of Inventory


S 2,046,736,104
S 2,521,815,500
S 35,511,500


S 2,049,622,545
S 2,559,905,100
S 37,840,000

Total Gross Valuation

S 4,604,063,104

S 4,647,367,645

Elderly Exemptions
Blind Exemptions



Total Net Valuation
Equalized Tax Base



S 4,623,083,845
Est. 110% S 4,202,803,490

Did You Know?

Tlie Town of Salem sriU has a resident
tax. You must sign up as a resident
prior to registering a car.

Taxes before Exemptions
Minus Veterans Exemption
Net Property Tax Commitment

Tax Rate

Total Current Use Acreage
Total Taxable Properties
Total Exempt Properties

















Town Hall I 33 Geremouty Drive

(603) 890-200'/

Mission: The mission of the Community Development Department is to provide information,
technical expertise and services to the community to plan, manage, and coordinate the natural,
constructed, and economic environment of Salem in order to provide a better quality of life for its

Operations: The Community Development Department staff consists of William ]. Scott, Director
and Donna Mae D'Agata, Administrative Assistant. The divisions managed by the Community
Development Department are as follows: Building Inspection, Health, and Planning.

Capital Improvements Program: Each year the Community Development Office manages the
development of the Capital Improvements Program process to create a ten-year plan. In 2009, a
primary focus of the plan will be the establishment of a bridge program as proposed by the
Engineering Department.

Intelligent Transportation Systems: This project is funded by a $750,000 grant from the Federal
Highway Administration and local traffic impact fees. The project will integrate coordinated traffic
signal controls, traffic monitoring, emergency and incident response support, and communications.
The project has completed design and contractor selection. Contracting will occur in early 2009 with
construction throughout the spring and summer of 2009.

Fiber Network: The Institutional Network, or I-Net, is represented by communication network
assets and infrastructure to serve the public benefit in all facilities such as municipal, public safety,
schools and utilities. In the process of planning a fiber network for the above ITS project, the
Community Development Department has initiated the first phase of the fiber project in the primary
municipal and school core facilities.

Salem Bike-Ped Corridor: The Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, encapsulating Route 28, along the
abandoned Boston and Maine Railroad Manchester to Lawrence Branch will form the primary non-
motorized transportation path from the Methuen town line at Hampshire Road to the existing
Windham Rail Trail at Route 111. Connections to businesses, residential areas, schools, recreation
areas, and Park-N-Ride locations will provide economic growth, more convenience, less traffic
congestion, higher property values, and promote active lifestyles. The Community Development
Department completed an online survey of over 2,500 households adjacent to the Bike Ped route.
With over 240 surveys returned, the surveys provided positive ideas, comments, and support A
website wwniv.bwanh/sbpc developed by volunteers provides a venue for information.

Depot intersection: The Depot area is a well known congestion point in the community. Despite
high traffic counts, congestion has been identified by businesses in the area as limiting
opportunities. The solution will involve traffic improvements; however moving traffic is only a part
of the solution, land use planning can present opportunities beyond traffic improvements. Currently,
meetings with immediate abutters have provided an outline of options. In 2009, those options will
be reviewed through public meetings.

Pelham and Stiles Intersection and Exit 2 Coordination: The Community Development office is
managing the initial scoping and design for this project. The project entails the reconstruction and
adding of lanes to the Pelham, Stiles, and Manor Parkway intersection. This project is in conjunction
with State DOT 1-93 project and continues the work from Exit 2. The design is in conjunction with
the State DOT design work and is currently at a preliminary stage.

Flood Management: In conjunction with the Engineering Department, the Community
Development office coordinated project development and engineering procurement to begin the
drainage infrastructure assessment project. The department has been working on several strategies
with the Flood Mitigation Action (FMAC) Committee, principally working to develop flood
management outcomes with each department As a result of FMAC recommendations the catch basin
cleaning program has been completed by the Public Works Department, and the 2009 Town Meeting
will consider a culvert cleaning program. The intent of this approach is establishing programs to
maintain drainage infrastructure prior to major capital investments.

Depot Train Station: The vacancy of the Depot Train Station has initiated a volunteer and Historic
District Commission effort to restore the building and create opportunities for its reuse. The
Community Development Department has facilitated these efforts by acquiring two grants for
$10,000 each from the Festival of Trees. Further the Department has received approval for $200,000
in State tax credits for the purpose of fundraising for the project.

William J. Scott

Donna Mae D'Agata
Administrative Assistant

Did You Know?

The State Department of
Transportation proindes project
updates for the 1-93 project
@http : / /www. rebuilding]

Town Hall | 33 Geremonty Drive

(603) 890-2020

Samuel Zannini
Chief Building Official

John Maglio
Code Enforcemcni Officer

Mike DiBartolomeo
Building Inspector

Ken Sherwood
Electrical Inspector

Pamela Rochon Russell
Administrative Secrctar\'

Did You Know?

You can dowTiload building
applications at our web site. Tlien
bring a completed application in
during office hours 8:30-9:30 and
4:00-5:00. Simply go to our website at and click on
the building department link.

Our Inspectors are available at Town Hall, Building Department, during the following
hours: Monday - Friday 8:30-9:30 and 4:00-5:00. Our Building Permit Applications are
available on line at .

The Tovm continues to use the following Codes:

• International Residential Code (IRC) 2006

• International Building Code (IBC) 2006

• International Plumbing Code (IPC) 2006

• International Mechanical Code (IMC) 2006

• National Electric Code (NFPA70) 2008

The Building Department has a staff of the Chief Building Official, Building Inspector,
Electrical Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer, and an Administrative Secretai^. The
Building Department is responsible for three major areas of community' development;

1. All permits necessary for construction, enlarging, or alterations to residential and
commercial properties in the Town of Salem are reviewed and issued by the Building

2. All code enforcement issues must be investigated and brought into compliance.

3. All zoning issues related to the Zoning Board of Adjustment are coordinated through
the Building Department

The Building Department issued 875 building permits for an estimated construction cost
of 526,323,458 for the year 2008. We also issued 588 electrical permits and 428
plumbing/gas permits.

Some ofthe major issues of 2008:

• Commercial tenant fit up at 236 North Broadway

• Commercial tenant fit up at 294 North Broadway

• Redevelopment of the Frost Star Cold Storage Facility on Kelly Road to Ashley

• Revision/update of building, electrical and plumbing permit fees

• Revision/update of Zoning Board of Adjustment tees

Code Enforcement is the enforcement arm of the Community Development Department
and responsible for gaining compliance with the Town of Salem's Zoning, Building and
Site plan regulations and ordinances. This past year Code Enforcement has continued a
regular patrol program pro-actively enforcing code violations throughout the community.
Code Enforcement continues to record, investigate and resolve complaints associated
with the department Also the continued commitment to customer service and assistance
to inspectors and personnel remains a high priority. If you have any questions or concerns
regarding codes or complaints please contact John Maglio direct at603-890-2086 or e-
mail imaglio(n'

We in the Building Department continue to be dedicated to enforcing all provisions ofthe
building codes in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare as well as the
enforcement of the Zoning regulations which ensure orderly development within the
Town of Salem. It is our pleasure to assist you with construction projects, zoning, and as
a source of information.

Summary of Issued Permits



Fees 2006



Permit Fees


Fees 2008






















Licenses /Inspections /Food Safety Initiatives:

The primary function of the Health Officer involves the inspection and licensing of
regulated facilities in Salem. These regulated facilities are depicted in Figure 1. The major
portion of the inspectional activities is devoted to food establishments. Complaints
received by the Health Officer include nuisances such as improper storage of trash, illegal
dumping and odors. Beaches are tested during the summer months to ensure safe
swimming conditions.

Mosquito Control Program:

The comprehensive mosquito control
program was conducted for the eighth
straight year. In addition to larvaciding
and surveillance activities, spraying
occurred at the athletic fields prior to
the 4* of July events. Fortunately, no
positive mosquitoes or birds were
detected in Salem for either EEE or
West Nile Virus.


', Number of Facilities by Type

Contaminant Day Care
Sites, 55 Centers, 41


Body Art, 8-^^___ ■


- Establishments,


Ttierapy, 14

Septic Systems /Housing:

An additional duty assumed by the Health Division at the end of the year included the
permitting and inspection of septic systems. A part-time inspector was contracted to
perform the inspectional and plan review duties for 2009. Dilapidated housing along
with trash and debris violations were significant issues this year, possibly due to the
economic downturn. Three homes were condemned due to unsanitary conditions.

2008 Highlights:

• Received Certification from the US FDA as a Certified Inspection/Training Officer.

• No EEE or WNV positive mosquitoes or birds found in Salem for third straight year.

• Conducted 624 food establishment inspections.

• Collected 41 samples from 10 beaches during the summer months.

Brian Lockard
Health Officer

-.^iH of S4/ »,

Did You Know?

The KlI Department of En\'U'onmental
Sen'ices continues to alert all citizens on
the importance of having a
compreliensive water qualitj' test done on
their private wells. Residents may refer to
the State's website for more infoi-mation:

Town Hall | 33 Gercmont>' Drive

(603) 890-2080


The primary responsibility of the Planning Division is administering the Town's land use
controls, including subdivision and site plan regulations. This involves reviewing plans
and proposals to make sure they comply with the Town's regulations, signing permits,
inspecting sites, answering questions from the public, and working with other Town staff,
consultants, and applicants. We arrange Planning Board and Conservation Commission
meetings throughout the year, preparing agendas and information packets, attending the
meetings, and working to implement their decisions.

Our other major responsibility is long-range planning for the community. This involves
updating and implementing the Town's Master Plan, proposing new regulations to control
land development, preparing planning studies and working on a variety of miscellaneous
projects for the betterment of the Town.

Ross A. Moldoff
Planning Director

Maureen Sullivan
Administrative Secretarv

Planning Division highlights for 2008 include:

• Coordinated 26 Planning Board meetings with 80 agenda items (down from 110 in
2007). Large projects approved in 2008 included 2 office buildings on Keewaydin
Drive, a 53-unit apartment project on Hampshire Road, and the redevelopment of the
Statellne Shopping Plaza, which includes a Lowe's Home Improvement store.

• Coordinated 12 Conservation Commission meetings with 20 agenda items (down from
29 in 2007). Major pro)ects included acquisition of 114 Lawrence Road and the
Hawkins Farm on Town Farm Road, wetland impacts for a variety of projects, and
review of several variance requests.

• Prepared 12 amendments to the zoning ordinance, including revisions dealing with
sign regulations, taller office buildings, large-scale redevelopment projects, and
floodplain regulations. Prepared legal notices and warrant/ballot articles and set up
public hearings.

• Reviewed permit applications for new single family dwellings, commercial
buildings/alterations, in-law and accessory apartments, signs, and occupancy requests.

• Investigated complaints and inspected sites for compliance with approved plans.

• Collected 5206,000 in impact fees for roads, 599,000 for schools, 522,000 for
recreation, and 549,000 for public safety.

• Collected and processed escrow funds for plan reviews by consultants and
performance guarantees.

We urge citizens to participate in planning for Salem's future by reading the Master Plan
and Land Use Controls, attending meetings or watching them on Cable Channel 23,
volunteering for subcommittees or Board openings, writing letters, visiting the Planning
Office, and viewing the Town's web page at .

Did You Know?

Ill 1962. 1^% of the land area in
Salem was classified as open (non-
developed). B>' 2000, the amount of
open land had shrunk to less than

33 Geremontv' Drive

(603) 890-2033

The Engineering Department provides technical assistance to the Town of Salem and its
residents, businesses, development community, construction community, staff, Boards
and Commissions on matters related to municipal engineering, planning, and
development. The Engineering Department is also responsible for the planning and
implementation of various capital improvement projects.

The 2008 calendar year was once again a busy and productive one for the Engineering
Department, and included our involvement in the following areas:

• Haverhill Road Bridge Replacement Project - The reconstruction of the Haverhill
Road Bridge over the Spicket River marked the first bridge construction conducted on
a NHDOT Municipally Owned Bridge in Salem since the 1980s. The existing bridge,
which was originally constructed in 1930, was on the NHDOT 'red list' and was
replaced with a new precast concrete structure during the fall months. Since the
structure replacement was approved through the NHDOT Municipally Managed
Bridge Program, the Town will be reimbursed for 80% of the bridge construction

• Design of Lawrence Road and Cluff Crossing Bridge Replacements - Weight
restrictions of 13 tons and 10 tons respectively on the Lawrence Road Bridge over
Spicket River and Cluff Crossing Road Bridge over Policy Brook spurred action
towards replacing the existing structures with new bridges capable of withstanding
greater commercial loads. Both of these structures are currently on the NHDOT 'red
list' due to structural deficiencies. The Engineering Department worked with the
Town's consultant to develop design plans for new replacement structures in
anticipation of a proposed 2009 construction. Similar to the Haverhill Road Bridge
Project, the design effort for these structures was undertaken through the NHDOT
Municipally Managed Bridge Program, and consequently, 80% of eligible costs
associated with these projects will be reimbursed to the Town through this program.

• Design of Pelham Road Culvert Replacement - The Engineering Department, along
with the Town's consultant continued working on the design of a replacement
structure for the culvert on Pelham Road over Porcupine Brook. The existing
structure is hydraulically undersized and structurally deficient, thereby creating a
need for a replacement structure. The project was not initially eligible for the NHDOT
Municipally Managed Bridge Program since the existing culvert size did not warrant
the structure being designated as a bridge. However, hydrologic and hydraulic
studies put forward by the Town demonstrated that the replacement structure size
should be significantly increased in order to accommodate the drainage generated by
the upstream watershed. NHDOT accepted these studies, and agreed to designate the
replacement structure as a municipally owned bridge. This designation was
significant in that the construction costs associated with the replacement structure
would now be eligible for 80% reimbursement to the Town through the NHDOT
Municipally Managed Bridge Program. Design work continues to progress on this
project, in anticipation of a proposed 2009 construction.

• Shore Drive Roadway Improvement Program - This project involved the
reconstruction of approximately 3.3 miles of road along the southerly side of
Arlington Pond on Shore Drive, Wheeler Dam Road, and Hoyt Street, including various
drainage improvements. Reconstruction is about 75% complete at the close of this
year's construction season and the remaining work will be completed in the spring of

• Mary Ann & Elsie Avenue Roadway Improvement Program - This project involved the
reconstruction of approximately 0.8 miles of road on Mary Ann and Elsie Avenues,
which included upgrading both of these gravel roads to a paved surface. Various
drainage improvements were also conducted.

• Wheeler Dam Gate Replacement - The Engineering Department continued with the
contract administration of repairs to the Wheeler Dam at Arlington Pond. This year's
projectinvolved work associated with the replacement of the east and west gates
within the gatehouse of the dam.

Robert E. Puff, Jt.

James Brown
Senior Engineer

James Danis
Engineer in Training

Joseph Chamberlain (retired)
Engineering Technician

Did You Ejiow?

The cost of engineering and construction
associated with replacement of tlic
Town's municipally owned bridges are
eligible for SO^o reimbursement tlirough
the New Hampshire Department of
Transportation, Municipally Managed
Bridge Programr The Town has 16
municipally owned bndges that are ehgible
for this program.

Town Hall | 33 Geremonty Drive | (603)890-2033

RobcnE. Puff,Jr.

James Brown
Senior Engineer

James Danis
Engineer in Training

Joseph Chamberlain (retired)
Engineering Technician

North Main Street Arterial Road Program - This year marked the second year of road

construction with funds from an Arterial Road Bond authorized in 2006.

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Online LibrarySalem (N.H.)Annual report of the Town of Salem, New Hampshire (Volume 2008) → online text (page 2 of 14)