Monday, April 18, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Meeting   https//www.zoom.us/join         Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757   Passcode:  352680

BOARD MEMBERS:  Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Jeffrey Chevalier, and Katy Johnson-Aplin

Absent: Mike Fitzpatrick

OTHERS PRESENT:  (In-Person) Jane Douglas, Ken Estey, Julia Tadlock, Peter Kelleher B.C.T.V, and Wannetta Powling

(Zoom) Jay Wilson, Steven John, Edward Collins, Michael Mayer, Katy Gehring, and Nolan Edgar

CALL TO ORDER:   The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:    Angela Sanborn turned the first part over to Ann Golob to make an introduction for tonight’s guest speakers.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC (Guest Speaker) Jane Douglas – Newfane’s Representative to the DV Fiber

(These notes were provided by Jane Douglas.)

Thanks for appointing me as D.V. Fiber representative for another year.  I appreciate your faith in me, the under-qualified.  Fortunately, there are many on the board much more qualified to make an Internet provider municipality successful.

Ed Collins would like to be appointed as an alternate.

IN 1994, Tim Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium, and gave away, with no patent, and no royalties, the Internet to the world.  For Free!  What an incredible act of generosity, to give away billions of dollars of software.

Because of that generosity, the Internet is a necessity for today’s world, along with electricity, for business, and for school.

COVID showed how important it was to have fast, reliable internet connections to every house.  It made it possible to remote school and work from home.

My job worked from home, a good job, a good career, and a good salary.  For Vermont to be thriving in the future, we all need internet access.

The cooperative spirit of CUDs is alive in CUDs Vermont’s grand experiment.  Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come!

We need to ensure that Vermont will be a good place for our children to live and our senior citizens to get to Facebook each other.

 

Steven John provided information on the efforts of the DV FIBER (CUD) & partners in Biddeford, ME.  They are required by the State to reach more of the remote locations and underserved areas in 24 Towns. Although Newfane residents have limited service we are currently not as bad off as the areas in Marlboro or Halifax with more than 90%+ without any service.

Underserved areas will be the focus when 900 miles of fiber cable will get hung on the poles Green Mountain Power (GMP) is setting. The standard connection will allow 450’ from the poles; an underground conduit will be required for mobile homes to access this Broadband service.

 

There is currently 10.7 Million dollar construction grant for the installation of service. This may not cover all of the expenses and we could conceivably set up donation fund accounts with the CUD to defray the cost of those not able to pay for installation.  ARPA funds could be perfect places where the Selectboard may consider setting a percentage of funds aside to help cover the residents in Newfane with installation expenses as a one-time investment. The average cost to connect is expected to be $1,500.

(Brief Q & A followed.)

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  • April 4th, 2022, Regular Meeting

Katy Johnson- Aplin made a motion to approve the April 4th, regular meeting minutes. Ann Golob seconded the motion.  – Motion passed 4/0.

  • April 13th, 2022 Special Meeting

Ann Golob made a motion to approve the April 13thSpecial Meeting. Jeffrey Chevalier seconded the motion.  – Motion passed 3/0/1. Katy Johnson- Aplin abstained.

  •  April 15th, 2022, Condemnation Hearing.

  Katy Johnson- Aplin made a motion to approve the April 15th Condemnation Hearing. Jeffrey Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 3/0/1. Ann Golob abstained.

 ROAD FOREMAN’S REPORT:

  1. The Arch Bridge work is going well, and they have started to pour the cement for the footings.
  2. I had a meeting with Bill Jewell for the gravel pit and he is starting the process of gathering all the information needed for the Act 250 permit. He anticipates it to take 10-12 months to complete.
  3. I had a meeting today for the Newfane village sidewalk/crosswalk scoping study. We expect to have a contract for you to approve at the next meeting.
  4. The condemnation hearing went well, and I hope we can get that filed this week. We can then get the Box Culvert project moving forward again.
  5. We have money enough in traffic safety to order radar sign if you want to. If so, do you want it in South Newfane near Adams Hill (where the one failed last year) or at the south end of Newfane Village?

Motion made by Ann Golob and seconded by Katy Johnson-Aplin to approve replacing a radar sign in South Newfane Motion passed 4/0

 Ann Golob made a motion to accept the Road Forman’s Report. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/0

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  • Ken Estey and Ed Druke would like permission if it is required to place a granite bench in honor of his son (Joshua Druke) in the Newfane Cemetery (the 2nd one, next to his house). And to get permission to do some other clean-up tasks they wish to do around the stone wall near the road.

Ann Golob made a motion seconded by Katy Johnson-Aplin, to approve the placement of a memorial bench and do clean up at the cemetery on Newfane Hill. Motion passed 4/0

  • Greg Record asks the Selectboard to consider their nomination to appoint Martha Stitelman to the Conservation Committee. (Current members are Greg Record-Chairman., Michelle Mortimer-V.C., Carol Hesselbach-Sec., and Jeff Mortimer-Treasure)

Motion made by Katy Johnson- Aplin, was seconded by Jeffrey Chevalier to appoint Martha Stitelman as a commissioner to the Conservation Committee. Motion passed 4/0

  • Thursday, May 12th, will be the 5th annual Southern Vermont Economy Summ It is an all-day learning and networking event for community and business leaders to cultivate change in our community. Is this something that you would like me to register for you?

Selectboard members will review the information and check back with the Administrative Assistant

  • I would like to submit vacation time for May 23rd – 31

Ann Golob made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Jeffrey Chevalier seconded.

Motion passed 4/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT: Ken Estey. Planning Commission Chair gave an update on the energy audit. This will be useful information for when the Planning Commission updates the Town Plan. All Planning Commission members are attending the Southern Vermont Economy Summit in May.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:   None

OLD BUSINESS:

Be the Change Pollinator Project – Patrick Kitchens joined the meeting to help clarify the Selectboard’s concerns before granting approval to allow pollinator habitat along the Dover Road, in the areas that were affected by Hurricane Irene. The Town owned properties were part of the buyout after the flood and can never be developed with any type of permanent structures.

It has been suggested that this type of project could in enhance the beauty in the area, as well as provide an important Eco-investment to the natural pollinators in order to reproduce. These are insects like bees, butterflies, beetles, and flies as well as some hummingbirds.  A fear as global agriculture needs more pollinators every day to supply food: crops that depend on these animals are currently yielding 300% more than five decades ago. The extinction of pollinators could put our health at risk, as we lose the ability to grow vegetables, fruit, and seeds- food necessary for a healthy diet, it would also harm the development of medication material, biofuels, and fibers such as cotton and construction like wood.

The Selectboard wanted to clarify that there were residents that had expressed concerns that we could put people’s health at risk with those known to have allergies to bees who would bicycle and walk in these areas.

Patrick would like to have the opportunity to review the locations of these properties to make a determination.  Newfane would not incur any expense for the seeding or maintenance of the habitat.

Future meeting agenda

 

Julia Tadlock – Newfane Mkt.

Julia was present at the meeting to follow up with the Selectboard on her request for A.R.P.A funding to re-establish the (New) Newfane Flea Market.

Newfane Selectboard was not able to provide support to this request at this time.

The Selectboard would first need to develop a procedure and protocols for how to disperse funds.

NEW BUSINESS:  

Jeffrey Chevalier made a suggestion that the rebar taken from the Arch Bridge could be repurposed into art/benches/flower boxes, etc. by local artists. Anyone who is interested can get in touch with Jeffrey. Ann and Jeffrey would work together on a press release.

CORRESPONDENCE:   

None

 PAY ORDERS:

  1.     Payroll Warrant No #11563                          Amount $     4,556.79
  2.     Payroll Warrant No #11565                          Amount $    4,502.32
  3.     Account Payable No # 22022                       Amount $    54,804.44

 Ann Golob made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Jeffrey Chevalier seconded.   

Motion passed 4/0

 

ADJOURN:       Ann Golob made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm

Respectfully Submitted,

Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant