Salem (N.H.).

Annual report of the Town of Salem, New Hampshire (Volume 2001) online

. (page 2 of 9)
Online LibrarySalem (N.H.)Annual report of the Town of Salem, New Hampshire (Volume 2001) → online text (page 2 of 9)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


$ 831,771,098


Buildings


$1,445,461,100


$1,499,932,300


Utilities


$ 23,691,400


$ 24,986,100


Total Gross Valuation


$2,305,007,900


$2,356,689,498


Elderly Exemptions


$ 14.353.500


$ 14,105,200


Blind Exemptions


$ 765.000


$ 810,000


Total Net Valuation


$2,289,889,400


$2,341,774,298


Taxes Before Exemptions


$ 43,208.038


$ 44,686,815


Minus Veterans Exemption


$ 184.400


$ 184,500


Net Property Tax Commitment


$ 43,023.638


$ 44,502,315


Tax Rate


$ 18.93


$ 19.15


Total Current Use Acreage


1,875


1,820


Total Taxable Properties


11,481


11,491


Total Exempt Properties


475


478



10



COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

Mission: 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 citizens.

Operations: In 1998 the Community Development Department was formed through a merger of
traditionally separate but functionally related departments into divisions under one management.
The divisions of the Community Development Department are: Building Inspection, Health, and
Planning. The Director also serves as a special projects coordinator for the Town Manager, and
facilitates the development of the Capital Improvements Plan.

Transformation

In January 2001 James Turse the Community Development Director, serving since 1998, left for
a position in Hawaii. The current Director William J. Scott, hired in mid-May of 2001 came
from the Town of North Andover, Massachusetts where he served as the Community
Development and Services Director for five years. Other experience in the City of Newburyport
and Town of Orange has provided Mr. Scott with sixteen years progressive experience in the
public sector. In North Andover his focus was implementation of key facilities and planning
projects, while managing a division of nine departments. In Salem, William Scott has continued
to progress on many of the projects begun by Mr. Turse while providing management oversight
for the above divisions.

First Quarter 2001 January through March

Many of the projects of the first quarter related to the work of Mr. Turse. Projects such as the
Westside Sewer Interceptor, Flood Management grants, the Senior Center, and the Lakes Areas
Infrastructure Plan (LAIP) came to decision points. The Westside Interceptor did not pass the
required 2/3rds ballot vote, however it did receive a majority of positive votes. The flood grants.
Hazard Mitigation Program, Flood Management Assistance Program and Project Impact, began
implementation with work on homes for flood proofing. LAIP did not proceed to Town Meeting
as originally planned. Town meeting provided the Senior Center approval for additional funds,
which began the final design process. Many of the Flood grants realized a more gradual
implementation in the absence of a Community Development Director during this quarter.

Second Quarter 2001 April through June

In the second month of this quarter Town Manager Jeffrey Towne, hired William Scott as
Community Development Director. Mr. Scott began immediately on reviewing status of Flood
Management grants, and the Senior Center. The flood management grants scope was realigned
to increase the allocation of funds to homeowners and reduce administrative costs. The result
was a reduction in administrative costs and an increase in the funds going to homeowners from
the originally planned amount of $78,000 to $11 0,000.

The Senior Center, in the capable hands of the Town Manager and Public Works Director,
shifted management to the newly hired Community Development Director as design
development, budgeting and the search for a construction management firm began. During the



month of June, working closely with Town Departments the Community De\ elopment Director
began organizing the Capital Improvements process.

A valued employee, Rosmarie Hartnett, retired from the Community Development Office after
twenty-four years of ser\'ice to the Town. Her knowledge and guidance to the residents of Salem
was a continual asset to the department. During this period Carolyn Maldonado was hired as the
Administrative Assistant to the Community Development Director. Mrs. Maldonado has been
with the department for four years in a support staff position. Her organizational and technical
skills were paramount in determining her positive fit for the position.

Third Quarter 2001 July through September

Capital Improvements Flan: This quarter experienced considerable project milestone
achievements. The Capital Improvements Program moved quickly through a new process. The
process was enhanced with a detailed rating system, a computerized database, and a series of
presentations and meetings. Progressively the CIP Committee reached conclusions that created
the current comprehensive plan.

Senior Center: Much of the design for the Senior Center was completed at this point. The
Building Committee beginning in July completed the process for hiring a construction
management firm. The firm. Fulcrum Associates of Amherst New Hampshire, began reviewing
the plans and made recommendations for design changes to stay within the budgeted amount.
The Planning Board, with the guidance of Ross Moldoff, Planning Director, approved the Senior
Center site plan and set the stage for the building pcmiit.

Project Impact: The Project Impact Flood management grant saw a considerable escalation in
activity as the Community Development Office sought contractors for homeowners who were
finding difficulty proceeding. During this period o\er 70% of the funds were spent as the
program reached its grant deadline.

Hazard Mitigation: Success continued with the Hazard Mitigation Project at Al's Trailer Park
thanks to the work of Shelly Hadfield the consultant hired to manage the Community
Development Block Grant. Her attention to detail saw through the completion of the relocation
of residents li\ing in nineteen mobile homes who, in the past, continually faced unbearable
flooding conditions.

Police Station: The police station feasibilil\' study began in earnest w ilh the distribution of a
request for proposal for an architect. After a lengthy process the Police Building Committee
selected, near the end of the quarter. Alien Lieb Associates for the architect. The analysis will
detemiine the facility and site needs for the Police Department. It is anticipated that the study
will be complete by January.

Fourth Quarter 2001 October to December

Capital Improvements Plan: During this quarter the Capital Improvements Plan was reviewed
and approved by the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen. The plan was well received by
both groups and proceeded onto the creation of warrant articles for the Town Meeting.



12



Senior Center: A ground breaking in September led to the construction start in early November.
Coordination through the Salem Department of Public Works ensured the completion of the
sewer and water line extensions along Veterans Memorial Parkway. The site construction began
and excavation and ledge removal was completed by the end of November. Foundations and
footings followed and are expected to be complete by the end of January. The project was
fortunate to face mild weather conditions as the warmer temperatures provided a better than
expected environment for setting the footings and foundations

Project Impact: During this period we began to closeout the grant and received over $78,000 in
reimbursements. Despite the intensive focus on issues relating to September 1 1' , the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Office in Boston was extremely professional and
helpful in obtaining the reimbursement funds and processing the grant administration.

Permit Communications: During this quarter the divisions began implementing methods to
communicate more effectively. Cell phones were purchased, cameras for site inspections and the
first stages of a new website began. The outcome of the project will include a computer for the
front counter and a website which will allow access to permit information over the Internet.

Engineering and Planning Library: To coordinate this information the Community
Development Department Library is being developed to create a single source of engineering and
planning information. This will ensure that studies of the past are part of future planning by
providing an organized access to information. The ability to accomplish this task is enhanced by
High School students who volunteer their time to create the database for the library.

Time Allocation: The allocation of time is a critical component to providing effective public
service. Toward understanding how we allocate our time the divisions within Community
Development we began tracking time based on seven categories related to common tasks. The
objective for this method is to provide us with a professional estimation of the allocation of our
time and provide us with a measurable means for setting time allocation objectives and
evaluating those objectives. The outcome will be an understanding of where we perform well
and where we could improve our use of time.

Police Station: By the end of this quarter the police station architect had completed the analysis
and established the basis for the development of a conceptual plan. Site investigations had
revealed five possibihties. At the end of the quarter the site investigations and building design
development were nearing completion.

Warrant Articles: The Community Development Department working with the Finance
Department developed a warrant articles database that created a process to easily communicate
and amend the warrant articles as they were developed. Sharing the database across the network
facilitated a team development approach, which made amendments and output a faster and more
reliable process.

Roadway Database: As part of the organizational efforts on the Capital Improvements Plan we
initiated the development of a roadways database. The database is used to detennine the proper
sequencing of roads and the resuUing annual costs of the road program. Carolyn Maldonado's



13



efforts to create and manage the roadway database project with the Town Engineer, Jim Brown
resulted in a more detailed and manageable method to plan and respond to the needs of the
residents and public officials.

Conclusions 2001; William J. Scott

The Town of Salem is fortunate to have a team of considerate and responsive employees in the
Building, Planning, Health and Planning Divisions; the attitude in Salem is about helping the
customer. We are fortunate to begin a process to increase our customer service with a baseline of
a positive customer attitude. Over the next year our changes will include assisting people by
providing them with the information they need in various forms; over the internet, at a computer
on the counter, and through various brochures on key topics. By supplementing the hands-on
customer service with sclf-ser\'ice tools we can provide more infomiation to a broader audience.

The second set of changes in the Community Development Department is the role we serve with
other departments and organizations. In the past year and throughout the coming years
Community Development will expand its role as a facilitator of the community vision. Often
implementation is just one organizational effort away from success. The Community
Development Department has been working with the Town Manager. Public Works, Senior
Services, Police, Fire, Finance and other departments to provide project management services,
and fill gaps in project implementation. We consider Community Development as an internal
consulting organization providing technical and organizational ser\'ices to fellow departments
toward implementing community projects. By serving in this role we are able to draw upon the
expertise of the departments and ensure that their needs and their client needs are met. A key
focus in any process is moving ahead \\ ilh projects identified in both the 2001 Master Plan and
the 2002-2007 Capital lmpro\cmenls Plan. Articulating the fact that projects are derived from a
comprehensive approach is a focal point to our project development.

Respectfully submiltcd.
Community De\ clopmcnl Director



BUILDING DIMSION

Activities during 2001 in the Building Division of the Community Development Department
were close to identical to activities in 2000. The amount of new homes has not slowed but
stabilized. Last year's numbers remain nearly identical with new home construction in 2001 .
There were 121 single- family home permits issued this year with 122 in year 2000.

Each year the Town of Salem becomes a more desirable place to live and raise a family, establish
a business, and invest in commercial/residential de\elopment. With such interest comes an
increase in residential and commercial additions and alterations. 2001 certainly reached a new
record.

With each and every new home, alteration, addition, commercial alteration or addition the
inspection process is such that three or more visits for inspections are done per unit/step.



14



Inspections are done by the building, electrical, plumbing & fire inspectors to ensure safety and
code regulations are met according to current standards. There were approximately 7,000
inspections made throughout Salem for the year 2001 .

Sam Zannini, Chief Building Official and Plumbing Inspector, Warren Winter, Building
Inspector, Ken Sherwood, Electrical Inspector, Dennis Covey, Fire Inspector, Paul Parisi,
Deputy Fire Chief, and our Administrative Assistant, Janet Thompson are a dedicated team of
individuals who see to it that the inspections are completed.



Building Permit Summary



Description


#of
Permits


Permit Fee


Deck


88


$1,741.94


Accessory Apartment


9


$90.00


Casual Sales


13


$285.00


Change of Use


4


$55.00


Chimney


51


$1,176.00


Church & Other Alt.


6


$2,484.24


Commercial


10


$27,456.35


Commercial Addition


10


$25,985.00


Commercial Alt.


99


$71,456.25


Commercial Raze


6


$892.50


Fence


61


$845.00


In-Law apartment


9


$100.00


Major Home Bus.


5


$250.00


Minor Home Bus.


98


$1,950.00


Miscellaneous


79


$7,222.68


Mobile Home


11


$736.70


Multi Family


2


$35.00


NED Tenant Fit-up


2


$680.00


Pool


76


$1,442.00


Permit Renewal


35


$539.48


Residential Additions


92


$5,368.22


Res. Alterations


148


$5,251.72


Residential Garage


20


$6,768.00


Residential Raze


19


$470.79


Shed


93


$1,334.74


Signs


67


$1,659.50


Single Family Home


127


$40,742.26


Tent Sale


3


$75.00


TOTAL


1,238


$207,093.36



15



This office serves the public with enforcement concerns and building issues. Any potential
violations go through the Building Division and are processed for compliance. The Department
also helps provide residents with the appropriate information to process applications tor the
Zoning Board of Adjustment that meets the first Tuesday of each month.

It is our goal to please all residents of Salem and provide you with an\' information that we have
available.

Respectfully submitted,
(^/a/rnu£l aCa/nrwni

Chief Building Official

HEALTH DIVISION

Issues that were environmental and public health concerns in 2000, escalated and continued to be
of major concern in 2001. The tragic events of September 1 1"' and the subsequent anthrax crisis
served to emphasize the vulnerability of our public health structure in the United States and
highlighted areas of concern thai many local, state and federal agencies are now reviewing.
Locally, the issues of 2001 included:

West Nile Virus: The West Nile Virus, first detected in the US in New York City in 1999, was
found in four birds in NH in 2000, none of which were in Salem. By the end of the 2001
mosquito season, 17 positive birds and two of the three NH positive mosquito traps were found
in Salem. The disease is transmitted by several strains of mosquitoes. Birds, primarily crows,
are used as sentinel indicators marking the spread of the virus atler the bird is stung by an
infected mosquito.

The West Nile Virus may produce only mild, flu-like symptoms in healthy adults however, the
disease may cause death in the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals. A Five Step
Public Education Program was developed in Salem afier the discovery of the first positive
mosquito trap. The program served to inform the public of the steps that can be taken to
minimize the mosquito population in their yards and to provide general disease information.

Dr. Jose Montero, Chief, Bureau of Communicable Disease, NH DHHS and Cecil Abel, NH
DHHS. WNV Specialist made several visits to Salem for public information sessions with the
Board of Selectmen and to tape an information segment for public television. Information cards
were distributed to all elementary school students to be used as home guides.

It is expected that the West Nile Virus Disease may be here for some time. At some point
wildlife and human populations may develop resistance to the virus, but until then, a surveillance
and larviciding program initiated by the Town may be necessary to diminish the mosquito
population and the probability of human cases.

Private Well Contaminants: Since February, 2000, when a revised Chapter 253, Salem
Disposal Systems and Wells, required more extensive private well testing, including a Volatile
Organic Compound (VOC) Screen, many contaminants have been discovered and required to



16



meet the Maximum Contaminant Levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The regulations have required the installation of appropriate filtration systems prior to the
issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.

The discovery of Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether (MtBE) in private wells in the Blake and Glenn
Road areas of North Salem brought further attention to the importance of drinking water quality.
MtBE, a gasoline additive used as an octane enhancer, was added to gasoline in 1979 to reduce
air pollution by increasing the gasoline's oxygen content; however, the chemical is extremely
soluble in water and a very small amount can cause considerable contamination to ground water
when spilled or improperly disposed. Local, state and federal officials, in a united, concerted
effort were successful in procuring funds to assist in offsetting the costs of bringing Town water
to those areas with contaminated wells. An effort is underway by officials to eventually limit
and/or prohibit the sale of gasoline with the MtBE additive in the State of NH.

Food Safety Initiatives: Food safety issues continue to be a primary function of the Health
Division. All food service establishments have two, unannounced food establishment
inspections per year. A procedure has been in place for nearly 15 years to address failed
inspections. Establishments that receive scores of below 70% on their inspection are issued a
pubhshed notice of violation, assessed a re-inspection fee of V2 their annual license fee and re-
inspected within 10 days. If they fail to pass the re-inspection, they are closed for a period of up
to 10 days. Additionally, the Town adopted the State Administrative Fine Schedule in 1998,
effective February 1, 1999 which allows the assessment of fines from $100-$ 1000 for issues
such as habitual non-compliance of critical items.

Most of the local food service establishment managers are concerned and conscientious
regarding the public health and subsequent liability issues associated with food production and
distribution. Many establishments have initiated food manager certification requirements within
their chains and/or establishments in spite of the fact, that New Hampshire has been unsuccessful
in obtaining legislative approval for statewide manager certification.

Groundwater Protection Program: This is an ongoing program designed to monitor and
inspect any commercial site that uses, produces and/or stores quantities of chemicals in facilities
within the Salem-Windham Wellhead and Watershed Protection Areas. The NH Department of
Environmental Services approved the Reclassification Program in December 1995. The purpose
of the program is to protect Salem's vital water resources. Since its adoption, hundreds of
commercial sites have been contacted to determine the nature of their businesses. Two rounds of
subsequent compliance inspections have been made to confirm that Best Management Practices
are followed. Commercial sites have demonstrated a commendable level of compliance and
those sites with non-compliance issues have developed programs approved by the state to bring
the issue into compliance. Concerns and public awareness of the environment insures that the
new year will be a busy one. As always, public input is welcomed.

Respectfully submitted,
QTuMO/ivrbe caj. ):x)oucette
Health Officer



17



PLANNING DIVISION

The Town of Salem's Planning Division consists of Planning Director Ross Moldoff and
Administrative Assistant Maureen Siilli\ an. Our primary responsibility is administering the
Town's land use controls, including subdivision, site plan, and zoning ordinances. This involves
extensive dealings with the public, reviewing plans and proposals, signing permits, inspecting
sites, and working with other Town staff, consultants, and applicants. We arrange Planning
Board and Conservation Commission meetings throughout the year, and serve as staff to these
citizen volunteers. Given Salem's population and development activity, the volume of this
administrative work takes up most of our a\ ailable time.

Our other major responsibility is long-range planning for the community. This invohes 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.

Planning Division highlights for 2001 as follows: '

Planning Board: Coordinated 21 meetings with 106 agenda items. Large projects approved in
2001 included a hotel and an office building on Keewaydin Drive, an office building on
Northwestern Drive, the Town's Senior Center on Veterans Parkway, and subdivisions on
Lamplighter Lane (14 lots). Meadow Lane (3 lots) and Ticklefancy Lane (5 lots).

Conservation Commission: Coordinated 12 meetings with 21 agenda items. Significant
projects included discussion of hunting in the Town Forest, the NH Department of
Transportation's plans for the expansion of Route 93, several requests to purchase Town land,
and requests to fill wetlands for new subdivision roads and commercial dri\ cways.

Master Plan: Organized 7 public meetings on the Master Plan, which was adopted on
November 13. Worked with consultants Doug Woodward. Bruce Mayberry, and the
Rockingham Planning Commission to collect background material, review chapters, prepare
draft document, solicit public input, and print and distribute final product. Hired consultant Clay
Mitchell to assist with implementation of Master Plan recommendations.

Zoning Amendments: Worked with the Planning Board to prepare 16 amendments to the
zoning ordinance and zoning map. including revisions to regulations on floodplains, prime
wetlands, signs, special exceptions, open space preservation, senior housing, and residential
growth limitation. Prepared legal notices and warrant/ballot articles and set up public hearings.

Economic Development: Served on Board of Directors of Rockingham Economic
Development Corporation, which offers various services to support economic development in
Salem and other communities in Rockingham County.

Fiscal Impact Model: Worked with consultant Bruce Mayberry to revise the Town's
computerized model for fiscal impact planning to include school department costs/revenues.



18



Road Improvements: Collected $68,000 in road impact fees for Pelham Road and Rt. 28 road
corridors as part of the Planning Board's site plan approval process. The major private road
improvement completed in 2001 was the Wal-Mart project to widen North Broadway and Rt.
1 1 1 and install a traffic signal at the North Broadway/Old Rockingham Road intersection.

Town Forest: Worked with Conservation Commission and student interns on various projects,
including hunting rules, signs and bulletin board, trail maintenance, and preparation of new
brochure.

Conservation Land: Worked with Conservation Commission and Board of Selectmen to accept


2 4 5 6 7 8 9

Online LibrarySalem (N.H.)Annual report of the Town of Salem, New Hampshire (Volume 2001) → online text (page 2 of 9)