BERLIN — Interim City Manager Pam Laflamme said there is no reason to investigate further the issue of Councilor Lucie Remillard’s relationship with Kevin Lacasse of New England Family Housing relating to the sale by the city of the former Brown School building.
Laflamme also said based upon her review of the city’s conflict of interest ordinance, the relationship between Remillard and Laflamme is not a close family relationship.
The issue of Remillard’s familial connection to Lacasse was raised recently at a city council meeting during the discussion of the sale of the Brown School.
In Monday’s city council meeting, Remillard said her brother Denis married Pauline Leveille and that Leveille has a sister, Arlene, who married Roger Lacasse. Arlene and Roger have a son, Kevin, who is the chief executive officer of New England Family Housing.
Laflamme provided a copy of the ordinance to the council during the meeting. Section 2-3(a)(i) defines a conflict of interest as existing “when a person takes an action or makes a decision that would affect his or her financial interest, the financial interests of the person’s immediate family member, or the interests of any entity or organization in which the person is a member.
Section 2-3(a)(ii) further defines an immediate family member as “a person who is related to a City Official or Employee in one of the following ways: spouse, mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, foster mother, foster father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, sister, brother, child, stepchild, foster child, or any other person living in the same household as the City Official or Employee.”
In other business, the council continued its discussion of the possibility of the city entering into an agreement regarding net metering.
Laflamme said she did not realize until after last week’s presentation from Freedom Energy Logistics that there are other potential options the city could consider regarding net metering.
Laflamme said in discussions with the city’s interim public works director supplied by Municipal Resources Inc., she was made aware of Standard Power of America. She told the council that the proposed agreement with Standard Power would be for two years, instead of five with Freedom Energy and that Standard Power would be paying seven-10ths of a percent instead of the five-10ths to be paid by Freedom Energy.
She said Standard Power is also willing to take all of the city’s accounts for net metering calculation purposes, not just the city’s three highest accounts.
Remillard asked to have Standard Power present its proposal to the council before making a final decision.
Laflamme also told the council that the Fire Chief James Watkins would be bringing resolutions before the council next week regarding two donations to the department, one in the amount of $5,000 from Jericho Power and one in the amount of $1,000 from Capone Iron.
Under the “other” portion of the meeting, Laflamme presented a change order on the fire department’s boiler project. She said during the project it was discovered that a line needed to be replaced, which was not part of the original bid. The original contract price was $74,470. With the change, the new total will be $87,615.
Laflamme also told the council that the city had updated COVID-19 guidelines for quarantining and isolation. In response to a question from Mayor Paul Grenier, Laflamme said the city currently has six employees out due to COVID in public works, a couple in the fire department, a couple in the police department and one at city hall.
At the close of the meeting, Grenier said the city has a maintenance agreement with Majestic Maintenance and that he wanted to see how much had been spent with them over the past three years to see if the city had been following its procurement policy.