Selectboard Meeting – August 4, 2011
August 4, 2011
Board Members Present: Dennis Wiswall, Gloria Cristelli, Todd Lawley, Jon Mack, Christopher Williams
Others Present: Gunther Garbe, Kelsang Jamkar, Richard Hickey, Ed Druke, Linda Walker, Jon Walker, Phyllis Mandell, Joe Mandell
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Dennis Wiswall, Chair.
The minutes of July 21, 2011 were reviewed. A motion was made by Christopher Williams and seconded by Gloria Cristelli to approve the minutes.
Discussion: The following changes were made:
- On page 2, Gloria noted that the Dover applicants are not attempting to close down any portion of Newfane’s Carroll Trail. Dennis reported that Shannon had called him to let him know that the Dover resident had called her and stated that the applicants did, in fact, want to close down a portion of Newfane’s trail.
- The minutes show that Jon Mack made a motion and also seconded it. This needs to be corrected.
Discussion ensued regarding the emailed version of the minutes as compared to the ones in the mailboxes. Dennis will talk with Shannon about the confusion.
The motion carried with four in favor and Todd Lawley abstained as he was not present at the meeting.
Todd Lawley gave his Road Foreman’s Report.
Adams Hill Road Bridge: After discussion, a motion was made by Jon Mack and seconded by Gloria Cristelli to take the Adams Hill Bridge out and replace it with a culvert. The motion carried with four in favor and Christopher Williams abstained, as he works for the company that’s doing the work.
Bridge 14: Dennis updated the board on the status of Bridge 14, as he’d been in contact with Carolyn Carlson. Dennis reported that bid opening should be at the beginning of September and noted that the estimated cost is coming out lower than expected. Carolyn Carlson advised sticking with the original bond amount for the vote. The board was in agreement with this.
Bridge 14/South Newfane Store Septic: Todd noted that Carolyn Carlson said that the town needs to write a letter to the owner of the S. Newfane Store regarding the easement for the septic pipe that is currently attached to the bridge. It will be taken out and capped at each end. It is the responsibility of the landowner to pay to have it reinstalled. Jon noted that it may not concern the owner, but does concern the residents of South Newfane. Discussion ensued regarding research to be done on the easement deed and permits. The board will ask Shannon to research before drafting the letter.
Gloria noted that the letter will have to be through Fred Jenness, the realtor, as she does not have public contact information. The board tabled the discussion until Shannon can review the agreements and deeds with regards to the easement.
SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
1. John Walker was present to discuss parking on Grist Mill Road where people are using the town swimming hole. He noted that there is often only room for one vehicle to travel the road and that the swimming hole is often filled beyond capacity.
“No Parking” signs were suggested. Discussion ensued regarding overflow from the other swimming holes. In addition to this issue, Dennis noted that he’d received two emails in the last week regarding the Rock River swimming holes.
One letter read into the record was a copy of the letter to the “swimming hole” website operators, asking them to remove the swimming hole from the website. Discussion ensued. Jon Mack suggested that the Town should be involved with discussions of taking the town swimming hole off the website and perhaps meet with the website operator. John Walker noted he’s also a landowner and would like to be involved.
Joe Mandell noted that it might be possible to restrict the swimming hole to residents only. Discussion ensued.
The board will ask Shannon to check with VLCT and see if we can post a swimming hole, “Residents Only.”
2. Keith Clark was present to discuss a proposed Animal Control program through the Windham County Sheriff’s Department. He noted that many towns are finding it hard to find an Animal Control Officer. He is checking towns for a level of interest. A question and answer period ensued, after which the board noted that they’d be interested in participating in the program.
UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
There were no unscheduled members of the public.
Audit 2011 Scope of Services: The Scope of Services from Sullivan Powers & Co. was reviewed. Dennis mentioned that the budget for the audit is less than their estimate, and that the budget line item was well over for the previous fiscal year. Discussion ensued regarding overages in general for the year ending June 30, 2011. A motion was made by Jon Mack to contract with Sullivan Powers, and to sign the Scope of Services, with a comment that the board is concerned with the delay last year. The motion was seconded by Gloria Cristelli. There being no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously. Dennis signed the Scope of Services.
Rock River – Building in Trail: – Dennis reported that he and Jon Mack had walked about a mile and a half on the trail down to the swimming holes. He noted that they’d found a dilapidated building on the trail/right-of- way. He noted it’s very run down and could be dangerous for people using the trail, and that it needs to be removed. He recommended pursuing legal remedies to have it removed. Gloria will get the owner information and the board will discuss it at the next meeting.
Animal Control: Gloria reported that there are only 5 known dogs remaining without tags. Discussion ensued regarding the process for fining people for animal control ordinance violations. Shannon will contact the Judicial Bureau for more information.
Town Plan Adoption: Dennis reported that Shannon has asked the board to hold off on any hearing dates, as the Planning Commission has had to restart their process. Discussion ensued regarding updates needed in the Plan.
Town Office Improvements: Dennis reported that the weatherization has been put on hold due to rotted sills and joists under the town office. Dennis also noted that he felt that with all the unanticipated expenses this year, the best idea for the heating system is to go with the original proposal to fix the existing heating system, rather than install a new system.
Names were discussed for possible contractors to replace the rotted sills and joists. The following names were discussed: Mike Fontaine, Dave Parker, and Guy Wachtel.
A motion was made by Jon Mack to put the town office repairs out to bid.
Discussion ensued regarding specifications needed to put it out to bid, and whether it needs to be put out to bid if it’s under a certain dollar amount. There was no second to the motion. Dennis will contact Mike Fontaine to look at it.
A motion was made by Todd Lawley to contact W2D Heating and Plumbing to fix the current heating system as quoted in his original bid. The motion was seconded by Christopher Williams. The motion carried unanimously.
Carroll Trail: Discussion ensued regarding a letter to the Town of Dover the board had voted to send. Jon Mack stated that it’s a timeliness issue and because a motion was passed, it should have been sent. Discussion ensued regarding whether “Carroll Trail” is a Class 4 road or a legal trail. Todd noted he thought it was a Class 4 trail. Dennis noted that he’d get together with Shannon on Monday to get the letter out. It was noted that the implications of having a Class 4 Road closed is different than having a trail, as it entails a longer hearing process.
State Grant: Jon Mack reported that he’d been asked to look into a grant possibility. He found that it probably wasn’t anything the town could benefit from.
River Road/Radway Hill: Todd reported that he’d been approached by Nick Mercede regarding the deed work in relation to the River Road/Radway Hill land swap. Dennis will follow up with Shannon to find out the status.
Rock River Preservation: Gloria asked whether the board had decided to support the Rock River Preservation in their request to the state regarding traffic control. The consensus of the board was it would be wise to meet with the Dummerston Selectboard before any decision is made.
Homestead Penalties: Dennis reported for Shannon that the Listers agree with the board’s inclination to assess the penalties for false Homestead filings. A motion was made by Gloria Cristelli to assess the penalties for declaring a homestead that is not a homestead and for not filing a property that is a homestead. The motion was seconded by Jon Mack. The motion carried unanimously.
A letter was received from the State of Vermont requesting nominations of someone 80 years old or older for a successful aging award. Discussion ensued. Gloria will nominate the names mentioned.
A letter was received from Nancy Rysz regarding the possibility of saving money by road privatization, noting dissatisfaction of how the roads are being maintained. No further action was taken.
A letter was received from Melissa Brown and Leon Knapp regarding the culverts on Sunset Lake Road that have caved in. Todd noted that they should be put in some time in the next week. Dennis will ask Shannon to let Melissa know that it will get done.
A copy of a letter was received from the State of Vermont Board of Liquor Control, to notify the board that they conducted an alcohol purchase survey at the Newfane Market. The results show that a 19 year old was unable to purchase alcohol. Newfane Market was commended for their adherence to the law. Letter for informational purposes only, no action was taken.
A motion was made by Todd Lawley and seconded by Gloria Cristelli to approve the pay orders. The board will check on Twin State and find out if it was in error. The motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Todd Lawley and seconded by Christopher Williams to adjourn at 8:42 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.