August 1st, 2022, Newfane Board of Liquor Control

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.

www.zoom.us/joinameeting                  ID: 972 2791 1757                 Passcode: 352680

CALLED TO ORDER:
Angela Sanborn called the BLC to order at 8:04 P.M

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Chair Angela Sanborn, Vice Chair Ann Golob, Katy Johnson-Aplin (by Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (by phone) Absent:  Jeffrey Chevalier

OTHERS PRESENT:
BCTV Producer Austin Rice and Administrative Assistant Wannetta Powling

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF LIQUOR LICENSES:
The Black Pearl LLC (Peter Havens) – Wedding Event / Caterer’s License

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the license request for a wedding event. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

 ADJOURN:
Golob made a motion to close the Board of Liquor Control at 8:05 P.M. 

 

Monday, August 1, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

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.

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

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Chair Angela Sanborn, Vice Chair Ann Golob, Katy Johnson-Aplin (by Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (by phone) Absent:  Jeffrey Chevalier

OTHERS PRESENT:

Planning Commission Chair Ken Estey, Lister Doris Knechtel, BCTV Producer Austin Rice, and Administrative Assistant Wannetta Powling

By Zoom: Road Foreman Jay Wilson, Treasurer Melissa Brown, Planning Commissioner Jane Douglas, Edward Collins, Town Clerk Carol Hesselbach, Town Moderator Deborah Luskin, Patty Johnson, and Henriette Mantel.

CALL TO ORDER:

Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M.

MEETING WARNED:

Wannetta Powling confirmed that she warned about tonight’s Selectboard meeting.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
None

 APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
July 18, 2022, Regular Meeting

Golob made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6th regular meeting. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0.

ROAD FOREMAN’S REPORT

  1. The town attorney sent the ROW (Right of Way) attorney certification on Friday. I have passed it along to VTRANS with the hope it’s the last piece we need.

  2. The roadside mowing is delayed until the end of August due to a broken windshield with the tractor.
  3. The Arch Bridge has work starting again today.
  4. The Sand/Salt shed plans are being revised to the new buy America standards in hopes it can go out to bid this fall.
  5. Last week I sent out the proposal from Hartgen about the archeological study for the gravel pit that needs to be approved. The small pond has been removed, and we are now ready to design the new intermittent stream bed.

    Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Hartgen Archeological Associates for the archeological study. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0.

  6. Vermont Protective Coating is working on Monroe Bridge.
  7. I have contacted Ben Green, the state dam inspector, about the dam’s repairs on the backside of Newfane Hill; we are waiting for his comments on the plan.
  8. I have the (MOU) Model of Understanding signed by Dover for our hydroseeder for you to sign.

    For the record, Sanborn read the Model of the Understanding agreement into the minutes. Golob made a motion to sign the Model of Understanding. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
    Motion passed 4/0

  9.  Access permits for the Jail Street property are complicated; it is unclear if the property line goes to the road. The Newfane Village will need to approve the sidewalk access.

Access permits will be tabled until the August 15 meeting.

 Golob made a motion to approve the Road Foreman’s report. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.

Motion passed 4/0

Traffic Control Issues:

Responding to a number of questions that had been raised by community members on Front Porch and at the recent Selectboard meeting, the Road Foreman reported on a number of topics.

  • Newfane Streetscape Study Scoping group met on Thursday, July 28; there will be a public meeting on September 8 at 6 P.M. to discuss residents’ issues and concerns further.
  • Our area has had an increased number of traffic patrols throughout the day, and studies have shown that increased enforcement will show a positive result.
  • A new speed sign will be going up in South Newfane. A large amount of data is available from these signs so we can create a wide range of possible reports.
  • With the strict limitations on Federal classed roads, it isn’t easy to know what needs to be done on Depot Road and along Dover Road.
  • Speed bumps are costly, about $5,000 for each one. They need to be ordered for a specific location because they are configured for the width of the road and the speed. Further, they must be removed between November and April when plowing may occur. Homes that are directly in front of the speed bumps often complain of the loud noise when trucks go over them.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT REPORT:

  1. Last Thursday (July 28) I was able to attend VLCT’s training “GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL OVERVIEW for SELECTBOARDS.” When I receive a copy of the training material, I will forward this to you.
  1. At the 7.18.2022 meeting, you asked me to contact the Attorney at VLCT for advice on the WinDart appropriation which had been accidentally left off the town voting as a separate article for funding. I have included the email for your review with three recommendations. How would the Selectboard like to proceed?

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to make the appropriation of an article for the Special Town Meeting on September 20. Golob seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4/0

  1. I received a letter from Max Vandervliet expressing an interest in the vacant seat on the Planning Commission. I have made copies of his letter for you.

Golob made a motion to appoint Max Vandervliet as a Planning Commissioner. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

Follow up

  1. I have a DRAFT of the WARNING for the SPECIAL TOWN MEETING for you tonight. Are there any changes?
  2. Several employees, members from the Planning Commission, and the Selectboard have already toured the Sheriff’s Department. If anyone has not had a tour and would like one, please let me know and I can schedule a time for you.

Discussion:

Discussion ensued about the use of the Newfane Sheriff’s office for the town. Several people spoke about the difficulties of the building including the fact that there are multiple levels making large areas inaccessible for the handicapped; it appears to need major renovations including possibly a new roof, and removal of lead paint. Overall, those who had already toured the building felt it would cost too much and take too long to renovate the building to meet the town’s needs for use as a town office. Further, there was concern that since the county does not want to consider a long-term lease, possibly no more than ten years, this was too big an investment for a potentially short lease.

 Mike Fitzpatrick raised several questions about how much of the repairs the county would cover. Sanborn recommended that Fitzpatrick arrange a time to speak with Judge Barnett to get more clarification on the building’s condition and that the Administrative Assistant could help set up the call.

The Newfane Inn was mentioned as another property for the Town to consider and it was agreed that Doris Knechtel would look into it and report back to the Board.

3.  Our webmaster Bahman Mahdavi has created the space on the town’s website for the ARPA information.

  1. Due to personal reasons, Jenna Wilson cannot accept the 90-day trial offer to clean for the Town Office.

The Board recommended that the Administrator follow up with the two cleaning services mentioned at the previous Selectboard meetings and report back at the next meeting.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT:

Planning Commission (P.C.) Chair Ken Estey thanked the Board for appointing Max Vandervliet to the P.C.  Estey expressed the commission’s continued support in working with the Selectboard with plans for the ARPA funds.

Estey wanted to know if the Selectboard would support the P.C. in reviewing the creation of a town by-law for the River Corridor and Flood Plain with assistance from Alyssa Sabetto at Windham Regional Commission. The Selectboard agreed with Estey to extend a special invitation to Sabetto to attend the August 15th Selectboard meeting and explain the process in more detail to the board.

This type of by-law is often controversial because it places building limitations on properties in the flood plain. The Zoning Administrator will need to be trained to navigate these additional requirements so the law is enforced.

The town is already engaged in updating our Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation plan and if the town moves forward with this by-law, it will be incorporated into the larger plan.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
None

OLD BUSINESS:
ARPA Funding Opportunities
No updates

Cannabis Law – Katy Johnson–Aplin discussed changing the Article for Cannabis into two separate questions to cover both retail cannabis sales and integrated licenses in town. Previously we had only one question about retail cannabis. Johnson-Aplin will get updated wording to the Administrative Assistant to include in the warning.

Meg Gonzalez, Director of the West River Thrives, will be available to answer questions and address any concerns regarding cannabis sales at the informational meeting to be held on August 23 at 6 P.M. at the Town Office and available on Zoom.

Gonzalez mentioned that Cindy Hayford, the director of Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, would be a good resource. She also recommended inviting Sue Westa from the Windham Regional Commission to the meeting to discuss the importance of the town setting up a cannabis control commission. Gonzalez stressed that her organization was non-partisan on whether a town votes for or against cannabis. If the town chooses to go forward, there are several steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk factors including the impact on youth and those in recovery, as well as the potential for increased traffic.

It was agreed that Gonzalez would share the contact information of the additional speakers that she recommended with the Administrative Assistant.

NEW BUSINESS:

Tax Rate – Lister Doris Knechtel explained that an error in the calculation of the tax rate had recently come to light. The municipal tax rate was set at 0.5501 instead of 0.6695. The impact of the error is that the town would collect $300,197 less than it needs to cover its expenses. Two possible solutions were discussed to resolve the problem: either send new tax bills with the corrected amount or use the town’s surplus to cover the shortfall. Discussion ensued covering the pros and cons of both options. Some of the points raised were:

  • Sending out new bills is both expensive and complicated for the Town Office and will result in a large number of confused residents calling for clarification.
  • If new bills were sent out the financial impact to homeowners would be an additional $120 annual taxes owed for every $100,000 of home value. Therefore, a home valued at $200,000 would owe an additional $240 (or $60 per quarter); a home valued at $400,000 would owe an additional $480 (or $120 per quarter).
  • The Town currently has approximately $500,000 in surplus funds which is a much larger surplus than we typically have due to the recent reimbursements from FEMA for expenses incurred during Tropical Storm Irene, over 10 years ago. If the Town wanted to use the surplus, we would need to vote to do so at the next Special Town Meeting.
  • Some spoke to the preference to maintain the surplus because we cannot predict what expenses might rise and having a cushion is a safety valve for the town’s finances. Inflation is running high right now and the surplus allows the town to absorb those increased costs more easily. If we were to have another flooding event similar to last July’s rain storm which incurred significant damage to our roads, we would have a cushion to cover those expenses more easily. Further, it would give us more options to spend money on items that the town has expressed interest in improving or expanding.

    Fitzpatrick made a motion not to change the tax bill that had been mailed and to use surplus funds for the expected shortage. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.

Discussion:

Brown spoke with the VLCT attorney; an article can be added for the September Special Town Meeting, asking the voters to allow for a “Rainy Day Fund” to be set up from surplus funds to be used to cover the potential deficit.

Sanborn stated the motion on the table and called for a vote.
Motion failed 1/3

Golob made a motion to table further discussion until the August 15 meeting so the town can be apprised of the issue and be given a chance to weigh in on their preference. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

Golob made a motion to write a press release with an explanation of the error and make it widely available on the town website, The Commons, Brattleboro Reformer, Front Porch Forum, and social media. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

Proposal to Address Traffic Control Issues

Selectboard Chair Sanborn read a proposal to address the issue of speeding into the meeting minutes. (The full proposal is available from the Administrative Assistant.) The proposal suggests that at the next 6 to 10 Selectboard meetings, we would dedicate 30 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to discuss traffic calming strategies (to make it easier for townspeople to join in the conversations) and make decisions on what we want to do. The goal is to bring in experts to discuss specific concerns and get their advice on possible options to pursue. Some of the experts would include VTrans to discuss Dover Road, in particular, the Sheriff’s office to discuss increased patrols, and Windham Regional Commission to discuss other traffic calming options including increased sidewalks. In addition to reviewing the minutes and notes from previous traffic calming work over the years to see which ideas should be re-evaluated, there were many suggestions from the discussion on Front Porch Forum that warrant further research. These will be included in the meeting agendas.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to add the traffic proposal discussions to the first meeting in September. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

Golob made a motion to move the first meeting in September from Monday the 5th (Labor Day) to Tuesday the 6th at 6:00 pm.

Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Ruck Up- Thank you for allowing the Coin Drop on July 16; this fundraiser is for all Veterans.
  2. Aids Project, Health Care & Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) and Brattleboro Area Hospice sent thank you letters for approving financial support.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to authorize Golob and Sanborn to approve pay orders. Golob seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4/0

Golob made a motion to suspend the Regular Selectboard Meeting to open the Board of Liquor Control. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4/0.

Regular Selectboard Meeting was suspended at 8:04 PM.
(See the Board of Liquor Control Minutes posted separately.)
Regular Selectboard Meeting resumed at 8:05 PM.

After the Selectboard meeting resumed, Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended via phone, and Katy Johnson-Aplin, who attended via Zoom, left the meeting at 8:07 P.M.

PAY ORDERS:

  1.    Payroll Warrant No# 11579                          Amount $    4,537.79
  2.    Payroll Warrant No# 11580                          Amount $    6,286.71
  3.    Accounts Payable No# 23003                        Amount $   64,145.61

ADJOURN:
Ann Golob made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:47 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,
Administrative Assistant
Wannetta Powling

 

 

 

Newfane Board of Liquor Control – August 1, 2022

 Please Note: Newfane will now require Zoom participants to remain muted and will need to raise their hand, the Chair will recognize them before being allowed to unmute.

www.zoom.us/joinameeting                     ID: 972 2791 1757                 Passcode: 352680

  •  Agenda
  • Call to Order
  • Review License

            The Black Pearl LLC (Peter Havens) – Wedding Event / Caterer’s License

  • Adjourn

 

 

Monday August 1st, 2022, @ 6 pm Newfane Selectboard Agenda

Please Note: Newfane will now require Zoom participants to remain muted and will need to raise their hand; the Chair will recognize them before being allowed to unmute.

www.zoom.us/joinameeting                   ID: 972 2791 1757                         Passcode: 352680

  • CALL TO ORDER
  • CONFIRM MEETING PROPERLY WARNED
  • ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
  •  APPROVAL OF MINUTES
      1.   July 18th, 2022, Regular Meeting
  • ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT                 
      1. Hydro Seeder Agreement
      2. Speed Bumps – Speed signs
      3. Act 250 Gravel Pit Project – proposal for Archeological Review of site     
      4. Update on Newfane Sidewalk Scoping Study                 
  • ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT   
  • COMMITTEE REPORT                      
  • SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC         
  • UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
  • OLD BUSINESS
      1. ARPA updates
      2. Plans for Town Special Meeting and Informational Meeting to address vote on whether to allow retail cannabis sales in Newfane
      3. County offer of lease of Sheriff’s office                                                                                                                                             
  • NEW BUSINESS
      1. Tax Rate – Listers/Treasurer
      2. Proposal to Address Traffic Control Issues
  • PAY ORDERS
      1. Payroll Warrant No #115**                             Amount $   ***
      2. Payroll Warrant No #115**                             Amount $   ***
      3. Account Payable No # 220**                            Amount $  ***
      4. Account Payable No # 220**                            Amount $   ***
  •  ADJOURN

Monday, July 18th, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Please Note: Newfane will now require Zoom participants to remain muted and will need to raise their hand, the Chair will recognize them before being allowed to unmute due to recent “Zoom Booming.”
https://zoom.us/joinameeting              Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757        Passcode: 352680
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Chair Angela Sanborn, Vice Chair Ann Golob, Jeffrey Chevalier, Katy Johnson-Aplin (by Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (by phone).

OTHERS PRESENT:
Planning Commission Chair Ken Estey, Town Moderator Deborah Luskin, Wendy Harrison, Planning Commissioner Katy Gehring, BCTV Producer Austin Rice, and Administrative Assistant Wannetta Powling.

By Zoom: Jay Wilson, Planning Commissioner Jane Douglas, Assistant Judge Lamont Barnett, Laura Wallingford-Bacon, Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) Executive Director Ted Brady.

CALL TO ORDER:
Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M.

MEETING WARNED:
Wannetta Powling confirmed that she warned about tonight’s Selectboard meeting.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
Chair Sanborn made a motion to move Judge Lamont Barnett and VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady to the top of the agenda.  Vice Chair Golob seconded.  Motion passed 5/0.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
Windham County Assistant Judge Lamont Barnett asked if the Town of Newfane would have any interest in leasing the current Sheriff’s building when the Sheriff moves to Brattleboro.  The existing covenant for the property requires that the building must be open for public use. The county is not looking for rent but would want someone to take over the operation and maintenance of the structure including upkeep, oil, and electric bills. The county does not have a firm idea of the length of the lease that they would consider. Thirty years felt too long to them; perhaps a ten-year lease would work. The length of the lease is negotiable.

Selectboard member Johnson-Aplin asked if renovations would be allowed.  Barnett replied that because it is a historically designated building, no renovations that would destroy the building’s historical integrity, including removing the bars from the windows or removing the historic jail cell would be allowed. Other renovations could be made including moving walls to create larger interior spaces.

Sanborn asked if a tour of the building was possible, and Barnett said yes and suggested that the board contact Sheriff Anderson to make arrangements. The Administrative Assistant will contact Anderson to get some possible times and she will let the members of the Selectboard, the Planning Commission, and interested staff at the Town Office know the options.

Selectboard Member Mike Fitzpatrick mentioned that he thought that this could make a great community center or senior center.

Sanborn thanked Judge Barnett for attending the meeting and informed him that the Selectboard would be in touch with a decision soon.

The Executive Director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) Ted Brady was introduced by Sanborn.  Brady was there to introduce himself to the Selectboard and provide them with additional knowledge of the services that VLCT provides.

Brady provided a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation, highlighting some of the services included in our membership with VLCT. A copy of the presentation is available from the Administrative Assistant, upon request.

Brady encouraged the town to consider applying for a Loss Control Grant which is made available as part of the Towns’ insurance coverage. These grants cover such options as installing security cameras for loss prevention and backup cameras on-highway trucks. There is no town match required for the grant.

[Note: Road Forman Jay Wilson noted that Newfane is currently applying for the Loss Control Grant, and we are eligible to receive $6,000 for this fiscal year.]

Brady noted that all municipalities that are VLCT members are offered additional insurance coverage at a lower group rate than other agencies can offer.

Town Fair is on October 6th and 7th, this annual event with guest speakers and various pieces of training for all the roles in municipal government.

Legal Assistance is one of VLCT’s most known and utilized resources.  Four attorneys are now available to advise on matters of importance.

Newfane Town Moderator Deborah Luskin wanted to know if they could offer additional assistance on training for Town Meetings, including helping towns offer and manage hybrid meetings.  Brady said he would look into it.

Golob asked Brady to explain VLCT’s recent position on changes to Act 250. Brady described the changes they were advocating to allow towns to increase density in their town center without having to trigger an Act 250 permit.

Sanborn thanked Brady for joining our meeting and for the services provided by VLCT.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
July 6th, 2022, Regular Meeting
Golob made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6th regular meeting. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

July 6th, 2022, Board of Liquor Control Minutes
Golob made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6th Board of Liquor Control meeting. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4/0. Fitzpatrick abstained.

ROAD FOREMAN’S REPORT:

  1. I spoke with the town lawyer today about 254 Depot Rd. He will have a clear easement statement in the next couple of days.  The State of Vermont requires a letter as proof the property is clear of any other easements.
  2. The painting of the crosswalks and stop bars won’t be done until late summer, and we had to go to the company that does our white lines after the new company backed out.
  3. The Arch Bridge has a small modification because the ledge on the south side is not really solid; they have come up with a new plan for that end. Construction is currently waiting for State and VTrans final approval before proceeding.
  4. Nothing for updates on the Sand/Salt shed project.
  5. The gravel pit is making slow progress; we have a preliminary design for the dry stream. The pond is dry, and we need to remove the remaining washed-out culvert while it’s empty.   We are working on plans for the stabilization of the bank.  The sound study will be approximately $1200 cheaper than quoted, and I am waiting to hear back from the archeological consultant with a price for the Level 1 Testing.  Installation of a gate will help keep the cars out of the gravel pit and avoid additional trespassing.

  6. I met with Kirk from Vermont Protective Coating on Friday at Monroe Bridge, and they expect to start the work on the steel very soon. There will be no distribution in traffic; this work will take place under the bridge.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Road Foreman’s report; Chevalier seconded the motion.

Discussion:
Golob asked for clarification on the email from Windham Regional Commission regarding the new dam safety regulations and whether they applied to Newfane. Wilson explained that the town has one dam on Kenny Pond, but it doesn’t hold back a lot of water. There is a plan to replace the dam by creating a spillway.  The estimated replacement cost is $30,000-40,000, and our current Dam Replacement account is roughly $20,000.  Since the State now requires that there must be an engineer on-site during the entire project the cost may vary.

Fitzpatrick recommended putting it out to bid now and see if anyone would bid on the job. Golob agreed that putting the Kenny Pond Dam replacement out to bid would be a good idea. Wilson agreed to get this project moving again.

Sanborn called a vote; the motion passed 5/0.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT REPORT:

  1. I attended the VLCT training on July 13th for “Transgender Inclusive Workplace – Legal Update.” This class helped me understand the workplace’s responsibilities and the state and federal legal developments.  They will consider doing additional training on this in the future.  I found this training to be helpful.

On Thursday, July 28thth, from 9A.M -Noon, VLCT has training for “GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL OVERVIEW for SELECTBOARDS.” Will there be Selectboard members able to attend this training?

Golob confirmed that she would attend the Zoom training.  The Administrative Assistant will complete the registration for Golob.

  1. The Treasurer has brought to my attention today that there is an oversight with Windam Disaster Animal Response Team’s (WinDart) special appropriation for a $250 request.  Joanne Bourbeau presented at the November 15th Selectboard meeting and made the request for the funding; I accidentally omitted WinDart in the lists of articles for the Town Meeting.  How would you like to proceed?

Selectboard requested the Administrative Assistant contact VLCT for their recommendation on this matter.

  1. I want to give you a month’s notice and request vacation time for August 25th thru September 2nd; this will be one of the last opportunities when there are 5 Mondays.

Selectboard agreed to the vacation request, provided the employee had vacation time available.

  1. I want to remind you that there is a social event this Thursday from 8 –10 A.M. at Williamsville Hall.  They will serve coffee, tea, juice, and assorted baked goods.  You can eat in or take out.  Donations are welcomed.
  2. Williamsville Hall Committee sent an email recommending Maureen Strickland’s appointment to the Hall Committee.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the appointment of Maureen Strickland. Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0. 

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT:
Planning Commission (P.C.) Chair Ken Estey stated that the commissioners were putting a procedure in place for prioritizing items to review this fall.  This includes finalizing the revisions for the tiny house Bylaw and setting up the necessary hearings.

Estey stated that Commissioner Lynn Forrest had submitted a letter of resignation from the Planning Commission.  After serving on the Planning Commission in various capacities since 2016, Estey praised Forrest by saying she was exceptionally genuinely dedicated and faithful; Estey said she would be missed.  Forrest stated in her letter that “she wanted to focus more on personal and family life” but will continue to serve the Town of Newfane as a member of the Development Review Board and Justice of the Peace.

Douglas wanted to see if the Selectboard had a procedure and application process for the ARPA funds; she is wondering if some funds could be available to help cover the installation cost for individuals who cannot otherwise afford high-speed internet access.  Golob asked if there was a date when the funds would be needed. Douglas responded to the question that money wouldn’t be needed until sometime next year. Golob said that we were working to clarify a process for handling ARPA funds that VLCT is developing and that we should know more in the fall, well before the DV Fiber project would need them.

Estey indicated that the Planning Commission is willing to assist the Town in efforts to move forward with spending the ARPA funds and would like to invite the Selectboard to attend the Planning Commission meetings.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
Deborah Luskin attended the Selectboard meeting to express her concern about the increased traffic coming through Grimes Hill and the village. Luskin assumed the cars were avoiding the construction on Route 9 and stated that a large number of vehicles also have a significant disregard for the posted speed limit.

Sanborn commented that the Selectboard is aware of the resident’s concerns about speeding in the area and have addressed these concerns several times with Sheriff Mark Anderson.  Sanborn suggested inviting Sheriff Anderson and Sargent Norton back and encouraging citizens to join in a discussion and share and express their concerns directly with the Sheriff’s Department.

Discussion ensued including the viability of using removable speed bumps and installing flashing speed limit signs.

Sanborn will send an email to the Windham Sheriff’s Department.

Golob asked if the Administrative Assistant would ask the road foreman to address the issue of removable speed bumps at the next meeting.

Since it was mentioned that the increase in traffic may be a result of people taking detours to avoid the work on Route 9. Wendy Harrison suggested contacting VTrans to see if they can do anything else to manage the traffic.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
Wendy Harrison who is a candidate for the Vermont State Senate representing Windham County was present to introduce herself to the Selectboard and to listen to concerns that Newfane may have.

OLD BUSINESS:
ARPA funding opportunities Golob explained that VLCT is putting together an option where ARPA funds can be “swapped” with other town funds so we can avoid going through the arduous federal approval process for each item we want to purchase or each contract we want to sign. The timeline to complete the guidelines is approximately three months.  I recommend that we maintain a list of ideas and projects that we want to use the ARPA funds for and wait until the guidelines are completed before making any expenditures.

At our last meeting, we discussed the request to replace the emergency generators.  Let’s keep this on our list of proposed expenditures and make a final decision once we have the bookkeeping guidelines finalized and the Selectboard has a chance to vote on them.

Golob made a motion to have the Administrative Assistant check with our web developer about having a page added to the Town website for ARPA information where we can list the various proposed expenditures, decisions, etc. Fitzpatrick seconded.

Discussion ensued. The question was raised about how we would decide what goes on the page and the agreement was made that it would be discussed and agreed upon at each Selectboard meeting.  Motion passed 5/0.

Cannabis Law– Katy Johnson–Aplin discussed what she has been learning about the rollout of the new Cannabis law. In particular given that as of October 1st, retail sales will become legal and possible in Vermont it was agreed that Newfane needs to make a decision about whether or not to allow sales in case there are businesses that want to open here. The alternative is to wait until the annual town meeting in March.

Discussion ensued on holding a Special Town Meeting.

After much reviewing of calendars and possible dates, Golob made a motion to hold an Information Meeting on August 23rd at 6 P.M. from the Town Office and via Zoom and a Special Town Meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 20th at 6 P.M. at a location to be determined; this is an in-person floor vote only. Sanborn added that she would check the Firehouse for their availability.   Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

NEW BUSINESS:
None

CORRESPONDENCE;
None

After correspondence, Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended via phone, left the meeting at 8:07 P.M. Katy Johnson-Aplin, attended by zoom left the meeting at 8:12 P.M.

PAY ORDERS:

  1.  Payroll Warrant No# 11577                         Amount $   8,433.36
  2. Payroll Warrant No# 11578                          Amount $   5,354.51
  3. Accounts Payable No# 23001                       Amount $   4,561.25
  4.  Accounts Payable No# 23002                       Amount $   62,450.21

    G
    olob made a motion to approve pay orders. Chevalier seconded the motion.

Motion Passed. 3/0

ADJOURN: 
Ann Golob made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:26 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,
Administrative Assistant
Wannetta Powling

 

July 18th, 2022, Selectboard Meeting Agenda

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 un-muted.

www.zoom.us/joinameeting                        ID: 972 2791 1757                        Passcode: 352680

  • CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                              
  • CONFIRM THAT THE MEETING IS PROPERLY WARNED
  • ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA                                                                                       
  • APPROVAL OF MINUTES 
    1. July 6th, 2022, Regular Meeting
    2. July 6th,2022  Board of Liquor Control
  •  ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT
  •  ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT   
  •  COMMITTEE REPORT                                                                                                                                      Planning Commission – Ken Estey
  • SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC                                                                                                       Windham County Assistant Judge Lamont Barnett – Building Lease
    Ted Brady Executive Director Vermont League of Cities & Towns                                                    Deborah Luskin – Speeding on Grimes Hill
  • UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC                                             
  • OLD BUSINESS 
    1. ARPA Funding Opportunities
    2. Cannabis Updates
  • NEW BUSINESS 
  • CORRESPONDENCE
  • PAY ORDERS
      1.  Payroll Warrant No #115**                             Amount $    ***
      2. Payroll Warrant No #115**                             Amount $   ***
      3. Payroll Warrant No #115**                             Amount $    ***
      4. Account Payable No # 220**                            Amount $    ***
      5. Account Payable No # 220**                            Amount $    ***
  • ADJOURN
Newfane Town Office 555 VT 30 Newfane, VT 05345    tnewfane@newfanevt.com 
To watch the meetings go to   www.brattleborotv.org
Rules of Procedure will be followed, for a review go to the Newfane website.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Selectboard Minutes

Newfane will now require Zoom participants to remain muted and will need to raise their hand, the Chair will recognize them before being allowed to unmute due to recent “Zoom Booming.”

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

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Angela Sanborn, Jeffrey Chevalier (arrived at 6:06 PM), Katy Johnson- Aplin, Ann Golob (Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).

OTHERS PRESENT:

Doris Knechtel, Beckley Gaudette, Ken Estey, Brian Bashaw from BCTV, & Wannetta Powling, Jay Wilson (phone). By Zoom: Henriette Mantel, Meg Gonzalez, Jane Douglas.

CALL TO ORDER:

Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn called to order at 6:00 P.M., and Angela Sanborn asked if tonight’s meeting had been warned. Wannetta Powling confirmed that it had been.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:    None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

May 27, special meeting. The minutes were not approved because the meeting had been improperly warned (the wrong day had been inadvertently listed).

June 20, Regular Meeting. Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept June 20, Regular Meeting, and Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/0.

Selectboard member Jeff Chevalier arrived at 6:06 PM.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The Arch Bridge walls are being set starting today.
  2. Not much for changes on the Gravel Pit. We are working on finding a design for the stream bed.
  3. I am still waiting on the town attorney for #254 Depot Road to clear the easement certification. We removed some trees for Green Mountain Power to relocate the power lines for construction last week.
  4. The Newfane Hill Cemetery tree cutting has been completed. It looks much better now with the dead ash trees removed.
  5. The meeting for the Newfane Village Pedestrian Scoping study group was held two weeks ago and will continue monthly.
  6. Nothing for updates on the Sand/Salt shed project.

 Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept Road Foreman’s report; Ann Golob seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

Emergency Management Letter

Discussion ensued regarding the request from the Emergency Management Coordinator (Jay Wilson) to upgrade the town’s emergency power generators which would include the following items:

  • NewBrook Fire Department Cost: $ 36,415
  • Town Garage Cost: $ 29,345
  • AED 4-5 Units at $ 1,800 each for Town Office, Williamsville Hall, Garage, NewBrook Fire Department meeting room, and Union Hall.

Replacement of the two Emergency Generators at the two Emergency Shelters (Town Garage and the NewBrook Fire Department) is necessary since the current ones are old and were second-hand when Newfane obtained them.

There is a considerable wait time to receive the generators; the vendors anticipate a 44-week wait until delivery can be made.

Ann Golob made a motion to approve the cost of replacing both Emergency Generators.

Jeff Chevalier seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

The funding source that will be used needs to be tabled until the July 18 meeting, when Treasurer Melissa Brown can attend to add additional clarification.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  • I have met with Jenna Wilson to review the Town Office cleaning needs; she is very pleasant and does the cleaning for other local businesses. Jenna mentioned that her husband has a pressure washer and would be willing and capable of cleaning the outside of the building and doing the windows at least twice a year.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to offer Jenna Wilson the cleaning job with a 90-day trial period. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

  • I want to thank Walter Hagedorn for looking after our flower gardens here at the Town Office. He stopped in on Thursday the 30th before the Holiday weekend to make things look tended and well cared for.
  • VLCT will be offering training on July 13 at 10 A.M., and I have made copies for you to review. I have registered to explore and understand the responsibilities of our workplace, along with the state and federal legal developments.

Ann Golob asked what type of training was being offered. It is: “Creating a Transgender Inclusive Workplace” with legal updates.

  • In 2024 Newfane will be celebrating its 250th Anniversary. It is a perfect time to start getting the word out about “WONDERFUL NEWFANE.” I want to ask the Selectboard to consider doing a summer series for the community. I understand that this is something Newfane Anew used to do, with music on the common. Some other ideas or suggestions could include
  1. Acknowledge a Town Volunteers/Employee or Business in the Media, Posters, and Town website.
  2. Advertise “Friendly Newfane offers Free Ice Cream” for a few hours/ using a Southern VT Vendor like the Blueberry House.
  3. Face Painting/ Clowns / Jugglers
  4. Mystery Shopper’s / Customer Service, with donated gift certificates as prizes.

Discussion ensued.

The recommendation from the Board was to create a committee and present to the Selectboard plans for promoting the Town of Newfane and the villages of Brookside, South Newfane, Newfane, and Williamsville. Selectboard members Katy Johnson-Aplin and Jeff Chevalier volunteered to get the committee started and look for other residents to join them.

Jeff Chevalier made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistants’ report. Mike Fitzpatrick seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT

Listers- Doris Knechtel and Beckley Gaudette presented the Selectboard with the information to set the 2023 FY Municipal Tax Rate.

                                                                  Homestead                                   Non-Residential

FY 2023                 Municipal Tax                  0.5501                                        0.5501                      Education Tax Rate  (Set by State)              1.9191                                         1.5957
TOTAL TAX RATE -FY-2023                        2.4692                                          2.1458
FY 2022 – Municipal Tax                           0.6172                                          0.6172    CL 91.87%
FY 2022 – Education Tax                            1.8849                                         1.6719
TOTAL-FY 2022 Tax Rate                             2.5021                                            2.2891  COD 16.10%

Discussion ensued.

Ann Golob made a motion to accept the 2023 Municipal Tax Rate of 0.5501 %. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

Planning Commission Chair – Ken Estey provided the Board and those present with an update on what the Commissioners have been working on.

  • Estey said he has been working on additional information for the Newfane Energy Audit and will provide details at a future meeting. An Enhanced Energy Plan needs to be further revised and adopted. This revision was started by Bob McCandless and preempted by COVID.
  • The Tiny House Bylaw amendments are still a big concern for the Planning Commission, and we will seek expert advice to review the plan before presenting it to the Selectboard and the public.
  • Jane Douglas noted that DV Fiber is making significant progress in the Stamford and Whitingham areas, and they will start hanging wire soon. Newfane will not receive fiber cable until the least served regions are connected
  • Ken Estey talked about new rules impacting state funding reimbursement to match FEMA public assistance after a federally-declared disaster. (See addendum at the end of the minutes with more information that was provided by Estey.) The advantage of the change would be to allow a higher rate of reimbursement to the town after a disaster. But to be eligible for the higher rate, the town must agree to certain building restrictions in flood plains as a way to decrease the likelihood of more damage in the future. The building restrictions would not impact existing structures but would limit the future building of some types of structures. Estey plans to investigate the issue more and will then discuss the issue again with the Selectboard to see if this is something the Town wants to move forward with. The Windham Regional Commission is available to work with the Town if we are interested.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:   None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: None

OLD BUSINESS: 

ARPA funding opportunities:

Angela Sanborn and Ann Golob met with consultants from BDCC to discuss the steps that would be involved in setting up a business grant process for Newfane. BDCC recommended looking at the work that has been done in Wilmington with their revolving loan and Dover on their business grant. Sanborn and Golob are following up with people in both towns to get more information and will bring the information back to the Selectboard.

BDCC is hoping to receive a federal grant to work with towns on business development strategies. They should know in about three months and will keep us updated.

One point that was made in the meeting with BDCC was that if the town is looking at how to improve its economic viability, the most important thing we could do is develop our infrastructure, specifically, water treatment, septic, and housing. It is the presence of these three pieces of infrastructure that will do the most to ensure future growth and greater viability.

Golob said she is continuing to work on pulling together information on the next steps for investigating sewers and housing options for the Town. She had a meeting with VLCT in which they shared a wealth of information, people to contact, and additional grants that can be applied for. She will continue working on pulling this information together and will keep the Selectboard updated.

The question came up whether the Town would use ARPA funds to pay bonuses for the town staff.  Golob related a conversation she had with the Treasurer, Melissa Brown, that we have sufficient funds to pay the bonuses from the town’s operating funds and we do not need to use the ARPA funds. We have the excess funds due to receiving a FEMA reimbursement recently. The Treasurer will attend our next meeting and explain this in further detail.

Mike Fitzpatrick raised the issue that he felt strongly that we should not be paying bonuses but rather making pay raises to the road crew in order to ensure that their overtime pay is increased on an hourly basis (paying a bonus would have no impact on their hourly overtime pay). Golob made the point that she had discussed this issue with VLCT and they suggested that in the interest of transparency, it was more appropriate to make a bonus now if that is what we wanted to do and to address pay raises as part of our budget cycle so that any town members who would like to be part of the discussion can do so. Doing it as part of the town budget process also allows us to evaluate the overall impact of the raises on the entire budget as well as to research the prevailing salaries being paid in neighboring towns for other Town staff including listers, treasurer, clerk, zoning administrator, and administrative assistant.

Mike Fitzpatrick left the meeting at 7:42 P.M

Cannabis Law – Katy Johnson–Aplin discussed the key items raised at a recent VLCT meeting on the cannabis legislation and how far the state has progressed in setting up the Cannabis Control Board, and filling open positions at the state level, etc. One issue that had been of concern to her was the safe space required between a retail cannabis business and a school/church. She was surprised to learn that it was only 500 feet.

She then focused on what the town needs to do including establishing our own Town Cannabis Control Board to approve/disapprove any requests for retail sales (which can be in homes or in commercial spaces). Requests for approvals will need to be made by October when the State allows that process to begin. To get ready for this, Katy Johnson-Aplin will figure out the timing when the town can hold an informational session and then a town vote on whether or not to allow the sale of cannabis in Newfane. This will need to be done before October 1st. Johnson-Aplin will also investigate a possible speaker for the informational event who can answer questions more fully.

The question was raised whether we anyone has heard if people in Newfane are interested in establishing retail sales. One Board member was aware of residents who are planning to apply.

The Board discussed having the Selectboard function as the town’s Cannabis Control Board as we do for the Board of Liquor Control.

Katy Johnson-Aplin will bring more information back to the next Selectboard meeting so we can move forward with preparing for the opening of retail sales.

 Williamsville Hall – no updates.

NEW BUSINESS:  None

CORRESPONDENCE:

 Assistant Judge Lamont Barnett – Sent an e-mail asking if the Town of Newfane had any interest in a long-term lease of the Sheriff’s office.

The Selectboard asked the Administrative Assistant to contact Assistant Judge Barnett and invite him to a Selectboard meeting for further discussion.

 Heather Blunk – Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District sent a letter offering,

“We have received a grant to provide outreach and education programming aimed at providing invasive species assessments to Windham County in town forests, public parks, and other public green spaces. I am wondering if Newfane would be interested in working with us to provide invasive support to your town-owned land.”

The Administrative Assistant will contact Blunk and find the time when Katy Johnson-Aplin and Jeff Chevalier would be able to meet and gather additional information to bring back to the other Board members. Gloria Cristelli and Jay Wilson will also be copied to see if they would like to attend.

Elizabeth Devane sent an email requesting a letter of support from Newfane. She wrote, “My name is Lizzie Devane – my husband Jon and I own a small gourmet mushroom farm in Newfane. We applied for CIP funds to support the expansion of our workspace to produce more mushrooms. The state agency of commerce and community development has requested more information before determining if we are eligible for funding.” As part of her application, a letter of support from the town is required. Unfortunately, the request was received too late for the town to provide the letter.

It was agreed that the Administrative Assistant will contact Devane to see if she was able to get more time from the state to provide the letter of support.

Ann Golob made a motion that if there is time to submit a letter then to give the Selectboard Chair permission to go ahead and provide the letter. The motion was seconded by Katy. Motion passed 4/0.

 Ann Golob made a motion to suspend the Selectboard meeting and to open the Board of Liquor Control. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/0. Selectboard suspended at 7:56 P.M.

BOARD OF LIQUOR CONTROL:  See posted minutes

 Katy Johnson –Aplin made a motion to re-open the Selectboard Meeting at 8:00 P.M.  Ann Golob seconded.

After the Board of Liquor Control closed, Ann Golob, who attended remotely, left the meeting at 8:00 P.M. 

PAY ORDERS:

1.       Payroll Warrant No# 11575                         Amount $   4,239.10
2.       Payroll Warrant No# 11576                          Amount $   6,468.63
3.       Accounts Payable No# 22028                       Amount $   27,368.11

Angela Sanborn made a motion to approve pay orders. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

ADJOURN:   Jeff Chevalier made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:10 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,
Administrative Assistant
Wannetta Powling

ADDENDA

Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF) provides State funding to match FEMA Public Assistance after federally-declared disasters.  Federal taxpayers reimburse eligible public costs at 75%.  The State typically contributes half the required 25% non-federal match for approved projects. Under the new ERAF rule, which went into effect October 23, 2014, Towns have 24 months to adopt the required mitigation measures to maintain the State cost-share for FEMA Public Assistance grants. Towns that adopt higher standards can achieve a higher percentage of state funding for post-disaster repair projects – from 12.5% to 17.5%. Towns that have not adopted the basic set of measures will see a decrease in the State match, from 12.5% to 7.5%. Thus, the State contribution toward the local match requirement will vary from 7.5% to 17.5% of the total project costs, depending on the recommended mitigation measures’ adoption level.

Needed for ERAF compliance:

  1. Adopt or take steps toward the adoption of a flood hazard bylaw adequate to secure participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  2.  Adopt the most recent Agency of Transportation Town Road and Bridge Standards (annually certify adopted standards that meet or exceed the current standards);
  3. Adopt and maintain a Local Emergency Operations Plan (adopt annually after town meeting); AND
  4. Adopt a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan – Adopt a FEMA- approved local plan (valid for five years).
    Or, a draft plan has been submitted to FEMA Region 1 for review. 17.5% – eligible communities also:
  5. Adopt a river corridor protection bylaw that meets or exceeds state model regulations and guidelines; OR
  6. Maintain an active rate classification under FEMA’s NFIP Community Rating System (CRS), including activities that prohibit new structures in mapped flood hazard areas.

After a declared disaster, the damage to public infrastructure, including roads and culverts, may approach a million dollars.  Here is how the cost of damage will be carried by federal, State, and municipal taxpayers:

7.5% ERAF Rate 12.5% ERAF Rate 17.5% ERAF Rate
Federal Share $750,000 $750,000 $750,000
State Share $75,000 $125,000 $175,000
Municipal Share $175,000 $125,000 $75,000
100% of $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000

Why Change the Rule?

According to state officials, implementing the new rule will result in long-term savings to both the State and municipalities. After a natural disaster, many municipalities fail to implement much-needed hazard mitigation measures that would minimize or eliminate future damages when rebuilding or repairing roads, bridges, culverts, and public buildings. Consequently, the municipality increases its exposure to future flooding, which may result in recurring and higher repair and maintenance costs. The intent of the mitigation measures required by the new ERAF rule is to minimize economic losses during floods by improving local resilience to future flooding. Additional advantages may include enhanced public safety, floodplain and river corridor protection, and improved water quality.

 

Newfane Selectboard Agenda Special Meeting Wednesday July 6th, 2022, @ 6 pm

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 un-muted.

www.zoom.us/joinameeting              ID: 972 2791 1757                                    Passcode: 352680

  •   CALL TO ORDER
  • ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA                                             
  • APPROVAL OF MINUTES                
    1. May 27th, 2022 Special Meeting
    2. June 20t 2022, Regular Meeting
  • ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT       
    1.  Emergency Management Letter – Follow Up                                         
  • ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT                                                                                           
  • COMMITTEE REPORT     
    1.    Listers – Setting the Municipal Tax Rate
    2. Ken Estey – Planning Commission Updates
  • SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC                             
  • UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC 
  • OLD BUSINESS 
    1. ARPA Funding Opportunities
    2. Cannabis Law
    3. Town Office Upgrades – Building Committee             
  • NEW BUSINESS 
  • CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District – Heather Blunk
    2. Small Business Letter of Support – Elizabeth Devane
  • PAY ORDERS
    1.   Payroll Warrant No #11575                             Amount $    4,239.10
    2.  Payroll Warrant No #11576                             Amount $    N/A
    3. Account Payable No # 22028                            Amount $    27,368.11
    4. Account Payable No # 22030                            Amount $    N/A
  • ADJOURN

 To follow the Selectbaord

BOARD OF LIQUOR CONTROL-  

  1. Deerfield Beverage Concepts LLC – Wedding Event / Caterer’s License

Monday, June 20, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

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)

OTHERS PRESENT:

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Proposed Bonuses

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:
  1. Refinish all the floors; this has not been done since 1984.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

OLD BUSINESS:

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

CORRESPONDENCE:

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

PAY ORDERS:

  1. Payroll Warrant No# 11570                          Amount $   4,669.88
  2.  Payroll Warrant No# 11571                          Amount $   4,736.14
  3.   Payroll Warrant No # 11572                        Amount $   6,573.23
  4.  Payroll Warrant No # 11573                         Amount $   4,464.28
  5.  Payroll Warrant No # 11574                         Amount $   5,344.30
  6.  Accounts Payable No# 22025                       Amount $   116,910.78
  7.  Accounts Payable No# 22026                       Amount $   56,800.64
  8.   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.

Respectfully Submitted,
Administrative Assistant
Wannetta Powling