https://zoom.us/joinameeting Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757 Passcode: 352680
Please Note: Newfane will now require Zoom participants to remain muted. If they wish to be recognized, they will need to raise their hand and the Chair will recognize them before being unmuted.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Jeffrey Chevalier, Katy Johnson-Aplin, and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone)
Doris Knechtel, Carol Hesselbach, Melissa Brown, Beckley Gaudette, George LeGace, David Cotton, Austin Rice from BCTV, & Wannetta Powling
Via Zoom: Jay Wilson, George Lombard, Elisha Underwood, Julia Tadlock, Henriette Mantel, Jake Marsh
CALL TO ORDER:
Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn called to order at 6:00 pm, and Angela Sanborn asked if the meeting had been warned. Wannetta Powling confirmed that it had been.
ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
The warning for the May 27th special Selectboard meeting had the incorrect day of the week (it said Monday instead of Friday) although the correct date was listed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
- May 16, 2022, Regular Selectboard Meeting
Ann Golob made a motion to approve the Minutes of the May 16 regular meeting. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.
- May 27, 2022, Special Selectboard Meeting
No vote was taken to approve the minutes since the warning had an error. Angela Sanborn to call VLCT to clarify. The vote is tabled until the July 6, 2022 meeting.
- June 1, 2022, Special Selectboard Meeting
No vote was taken because the meeting had not been properly warned. All of the items discussed on June 1st were added to the agenda for June 20th and were discussed later in this meeting.
Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn read a prepared statement dated June 14 (copies are available upon request) explaining the issue with the improperly warned meeting on June 1, 2022. The statement noted that on June 1, the Selectboard held a meeting that was not duly warned to the public, unbeknownst to the Selectboard members. VLCT advised the Selectboard that the items voted on at the June 1 meetings must be raised again in a properly warned meeting and re-voted. The re-vote will occur at the Selectboard meeting on June 20, 2022. The Selectboard has put in place remedial methods to ensure that the Chair and Vice-Chair can properly warn the meeting if the Administrative Assistant is unavailable. The Administrative Assistant will also inform the Chair and Vice-Chair when the meeting has been warned and the notices posted publicly. Finally, the Chair will begin each Selectboard meeting with the question, “Has this meeting been property warned?” If the answer is no, then the meeting will be canceled.
At the Special Selectboard Meeting on May 27th, the issue had been raised that a road crew member had been offered a new position in a neighboring town for more money. In order to protect the town’s staffing, it was decided to offer bonuses to the entire crew and to pay those bonuses from the town’s ARPA funds.
During the discussion, concerns were raised about using the ARPA funds and about setting a bad precedence if you counter-offer to keep an employee. It was explained that given how tight the job market is right now and that Newfane’s salaries are lower than other towns, the Selectboard felt this was the right approach to ensure we are not understaffed. Regarding using the ARPA funds, the Board asked the Treasurer, Melissa Brown, to discuss with the Auditor whether we can use excess town funds (if there are excess funds on June 30th, the end of the fiscal year). If we can and funds are available, it was agreed that we would take a vote at the next meeting and use town funds rather than ARPA funds.
Regarding a request made at an earlier meeting about the town supporting local businesses, the Chair shared that she is in the process of setting up a meeting with BDCC to learn more about best practices in establishing these types of grant programs.
There was a discussion about whether the extra monies for the road crew should be a bonus or a salary increase. Mike Fitzpatrick was strongly in favor of making it a salary increase but others felt we had proposed it as a bonus and said that when the Board has our annual budget discussions in November, we will discuss the issue at that time. In doing it that way, it allows the town to be a part of those discussions and be aware of the decisions being made.
Ann Golob made a motion for bonuses for the Road Crew (Steve Languerand, Mike Fontaine, and Mike Winot) to receive $6,000 each, to be paid out at $500 a month starting July 2022 and continuing through June 2023. Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 4/1. Mike Fitzpatrick opposed.
Ann Golob made a motion for Road Foreman Jay Wilson to receive $8,000 and to be paid out in monthly installments from July 2022 to June 2023. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/1. Mike Fitzpatrick opposed.
Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion for Administrative Assistant Wannetta Powling to receive $1,000 to be paid in one lump sum in July 2022. Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 4/1. Mike Fitzpatrick opposed.
Jeff Chevalier made a motion for Zoning Administrator Merle Tessier (a part-time position) to receive $500 to be paid in one lump sum in July 2022. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/1. Mike Fitzpatrick opposed.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to give $3,000 to the Town Clerk and Treasurer. There was not a second.
Ann Golob made a motion for the Town Clerk and Treasurer (both full-time positions) to receive $1,000 each in July 2022. And for the Listers & Data Clerk (part-time positions) to receive $500 each in July 2022. Jeff Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/1. Mike Fitzpatrick opposed.
Ann Golob made a motion to have Treasurer Melissa Brown check with auditors about whether to use excess Town funds or ARPA funds. Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0. Voting on where the funds should be taken from was tabled until the July 6 meeting.
ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:
- The Arch Bridge arches are in place, and the closure joint has had the cement poured, and it’s curing now. I believe the next step is to install the walls.
- We have had several meetings for the Gravel Pit ACT 250 permit. Bill Jewel received a proposal from RSG for the noise assessment of $14,700; there are several other sound engineers; however, this was the only one Mike Renaud would use again, so this was Bill Jewell’s recommendation. We have several other consultants/ engineers we will need to hire for the permit, and we are also working on a plan for the seasonal stream that runs through the property.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the proposal from RSG for the noise assessment. Ann Golob seconded. Motion passed 5/0
The Board agreed that we want to move quickly on all contracts for the Act 250 permit and asked the Road Foreman to contact the Board immediately when a contract comes up. If needed, the Board will schedule an Emergency or a Special meeting to approve the contract.
- I called two local smaller paving contractors to look at a small section of Dover Rd west of So. Newfane Village that the pavement had really deteriorated. One contractor came out and looked at it, and it is approximately 116′ long and 12′ wide and would require milling to a depth of 2″ and repaving. DMI was the contractor that came out, and the price was $9,900. Is that something you want to be done?
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to go forward with DMI to pave the section of Dover Road. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0
- We have the old F550 truck to be sold; how do you want to sell it? Many towns and the state are listing with an online auction site and having good luck.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion for the Foreman to go forward and sell the old F550 truck through the online auction site, and to see what a Local Dealership would offer. Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0
- The initial meeting for the Newfane Village Pedestrian Scoping study is Thursday at 11:00.
- I met with the person taking over the business doing the crosswalk and stop bar painting. The current person has decided to no longer do it and has put me in touch with Bill Harvey. I was hoping to have his price before tonight. The painting did not get done last year because of the shortage of paint, so hopefully, this can be done soon.
Knotweed and mowing will take place in areas now and the Roadside mowing will start July 27th.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept Road Foreman’s report, Katy Johnson-Aplin second. Motion passed 5/0.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:
- Juneteenth is a recently made Federal Holiday- We have not had this added to the Personnel Policy; would the Board consider making this a floating holiday for this year, and we can correct the Personal Policy for 2023 for board approval.
Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion to accept the holiday as a floating and for employees to use at their discretion this year. Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
- I have contacted several cleaning services and am in the process of setting up meetings with those who have shown interest, including washing windows a minim of twice a year.
Angela Sanborn asked if Wannetta Powling would provide the Selectboard with further information as it becomes available.
- We have several contracts to review and sign tonight. Current contracts expire on July 1. In tonight’s folder is a document for the Board to review and sign. It is from the Treasurer on the “Internal Control Checklist” for the Annual Audit. We have Sullivan, Powers P.C. coming this Wednesday for our annual audit.
Contracts will be reviewed and signed during pay orders.
- This afternoon I attended the meeting with Sheriff Mark Anderson and ACO (Animal Control Officer) Ashley Pinger. Since last year’s inception, they have added three additional towns (Guilford, Dummerston, and Grafton) to the municipalities funding the Animal Control position. We have seen a positive effect of having this contract. See the Town Clerk report for 2022, and the dog license report (attached.)
- The Building Committee members held a duly warned meeting on the morning of June 16 to discuss the renovations to the Town Office. They are suggesting three renovations:
- Refinish all the floors; this has not been done since 1984.
- Create more privacy and soundproofing for the offices using one of two options:
- Stick builds the cubical for a more effective & operational soundproofing method. We need to find a contractor able to give a cost estimate and time.
- Use prefabricated cubicles from Skutchi Designs. Prices for these materials were included in the Selectboard packet but are a year old. Additionally, there would be a cost to have someone install the materials.
- Change the Heating and Air Condition to install a new “Mini Split” for improved and effective energy usage.
Further discussion of the building committee recommendations was tabled until the next meeting so the Selectboard members would have an opportunity to review the proposals.
Angela Sanborn asked if they could move the remaining contracts for Rescue, Humane Society, and Sullivan, Powers P.C. to do along with Pay Orders. Motion approved.
Ann Golob made a motion to approve the Windham County Sheriff’s Department – Law Enforcement Contract July 2022-June 2023, and Mike Fitzpatrick seconded. Motion passed 4/1; Katy Johnson-Aplin opposed.
Ann Golob made a motion to approve the Windham County Sheriff’s Department – Animal Control Contract, and Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistants’ report. Ann Golob seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
RUCK-UP -George LeGace is a volunteer Veteran that works with other Veterans to help sponsor, support, and hold fundraisers to benefit programs for all Veterans in the area. Ruck-Up has requested permission from the Selectboard to hold a Coin-Drop on Saturday, July 16, with a rain date of Sunday, July 17. Last year in Newfane, the Coin-Drop raised just over $ 4,500.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve and send a letter of Support for RUCK–UP to hold a Coin-Drop in Newfane. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
Development Review Board – David Cotton Nothing new has been presented for consideration. The DRB is looking at the town’s Short Term Rental policy. There was a short discussion about the severe housing shortage and the need to be open to considering new options such as tiny houses and other ideas.
UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: None
ARPA funding opportunities: Angela Sanborn & Ann Golob will meet with consultants from BDCC to develop a plan for individuals to fill out an application and apply for a business grant.
Ann Golob will be talking with VLCT to clarify how we can follow up on the meetings held in May regarding the sewer and housing development opportunities for Newfane. We should have more to report at the next meeting.
Henriette Mantel – asked whether the ARPA funds would be used to pay bonuses and to clarify who makes the final decision on how these funds are spent? The Selectboard explained that the Board is empowered to make the final decision on ARPA spending and will keep the public involved and informed.
Cannabis Law – Katy Johnson–Aplin asked to table the discussion to the next meeting.
Williamsville Hall – Steve Levine; no updates.
Rescue Inc. contract – Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the proposed contract for Rescue Inc. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
Bee the Change (Patrick Kitchen) – The Administrative Assistant is expecting an email from Kitchen with the preferred property location.
Energy Efficiency (Ken Estey) – to be discussed at the July 18th meeting.
Windham County Humane Society (WCHS) Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the WCHS contract; Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
NEW BUSINESS: None
Emergency Management Coordinator, Jay Wilson requested that the town upgrade our emergency power generators for the Newbrook Fire Department ($36,415), and the Town Garage ($29,415). Additionally, he recommended AED units be installed at the Town Office, Williamsville Hall, Town Garage, the Newbrook Fire Department meeting room, and possibly Union Hall. The cost for the units is $1,800. Discussion of this item is to be held at the July 6th meeting.
Katherine Hall – sent an email requesting permission to recognize a recently discovered Revolutionary Patriot at Newfane Hill Cemetery. This would include adding a site marker and updating the signboard.
Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to refer this to the Cemetery Committee and its chair, Charlie Merchant, with the Selectboard’s approval. Ann Golob seconded. Motion passed 5/0
Due to an incident during the meeting when an individual “zoom bombed” the meeting, Ann Golob made a motion that we will now require Zoom participants to remain muted and to raise their hands to be recognized. The Chair will recognize them before being allowed to unmute. Angela Sanborn seconded. Motion passed 5/0
This requirement will be announced at the beginning of each Selectboard meeting and included in the future warnings and minutes.
After correspondence, Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended via the phone, left the meeting at 8:00 pm
- Payroll Warrant No# 11570 Amount $ 4,669.88
- Payroll Warrant No# 11571 Amount $ 4,736.14
- Payroll Warrant No # 11572 Amount $ 6,573.23
- Payroll Warrant No # 11573 Amount $ 4,464.28
- Payroll Warrant No # 11574 Amount $ 5,344.30
- Accounts Payable No# 22025 Amount $ 116,910.78
- Accounts Payable No# 22026 Amount $ 56,800.64
- Accounts Payable No# 22027 Amount $ 1,997.01
Ann Golob made a motion to approve 2022-2023 contracts for Rescue INC, and Sullivan, Powers P.C. Jeff Chevalier seconded. The motion passed 4/0
Ann Golob made a motion to approve pay orders. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0.
ADJOURN: Ann Golob made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:48 pm.