Meeting began at 6:00 pm.  Present were Selectmen Cloutier, Stohl and Campbell.  Members of the public present:  Michael Collins (Columbia’s representative to the 45th Parallel EMS Board).

Michael Collins entered the meeting at 6:05 pm.  Mr. Collins came to the meeting at the request of the Selectboard to give them information about the increase in the 2023 appropriation for the ambulance.  Mr. Collins explained that there were many reasons including:

  1.  Cost of fuel – proposed fuel budget for 2022 was $40,000 and they have spent approximately $60,000.
  2. Cost of medical supplies has increased.
  3. Salaries – raising wages to attract new people and keep the present employees from leaving for more money.
  4. Number of runs increased for Columbia from 2021 to 2022.
  5. Transfers have become more expensive since the hospital which they normally use (Dartmouth) doesn’t have open beds.  Transfers have been going to Portsmouth and/or Manchester which costs more.
  6. Medicare Reimbursement – Medicare only pays $2,000 for an ambulance run, regardless of the total bill.  Most calls in our area are Medicare.

Mr. Collins left the Board paperwork regarding the budget for them to review and said that he would be present at Town Meeting to help answer questions.  Mr. Collins left the meeting at 7:10 pm.

Checks and manifests were reviewed and signed.

An Intent to Cut was approved for Lumberjack, LLC.

Don Dawson from Netafy was supposed to attend the meeting to give the Board an update on the broadband project.  Mr. Dawson had sent an e-mail stating that they suffered quite a bit of damage in the weekend storm and that he had been working out in the field.  He sent his apologies and said that he would attend the next meeting on January 11th.

Marcia gave the Board members a “draft” copy of the Selectmen’s Report for the Town Report for them to review, add to, etc.

Marcia told the Board that she had started working on the Town Report and has scheduled the following:

  1.  Budget review at the next meeting on January 11th.
  2. Budget hearing on February 11th @ 7:00.
  3. Filing period for Town Officers opens  on January 25th and runs through February 3rd.  A notice will be in the newspaper.

The Board discussed what positions are open this year. 

The Board reviewed a letter from the State of NH-DOT informing the Town that we would be receiving a one-time payment of $47,654.49 to be used for town-owned bridges (repairs, replacement, etc).  A public hearing must be held to accept the funds.  Marcia has scheduled the hearing for January 11th at 7:00 and will put a notice in the newspaper.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Marcia Parkhurst, Secretary

Board of Selectmen