Selectboard Meeting Minutes – May 15, 2017




MAY 15, 2017

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:   Gary Delius, Marion Dowling, Mike Fitzpatrick, Carol Hatcher, Christopher Williams

OTHERS PRESENT:   Todd Lawley, Ken Estey, Steve Levine, Lynn Forrest


The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Carol Hatcher, Chair.


Employee Appreciation Day discussion was added to Old Business.

A report on the annual meeting of the Incorporated Village of Newfane was added to Old Business.


May 1, 2017:   The minutes were reviewed.  A motion was made by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Marion Dowling to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion carried with four in favor and one abstention. 


Road Foreman’s/Road Commissioner’s Report: See attached report.

Christopher Williams made a motion to purchase the york rake for $4,199 from Brown Enterprises, pending availability in the budget.  The motion was seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick.  Shannon reviewed the budget and noted that the funds were available. The motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Marion Dowling and seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick to accept the report. The motion carried with four in favor and Christopher Williams abstaining. 


See attached report.

A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick to accept the Administrative Assistant’s  Report. The motion carried unanimously. 

A motion was made by Gary Delius and Marion Dowling to put the Interim Auditor’s Report on the website. The motion carried unanimously.


Williamsville Hall Committee: Steve Levine was present to update the Board on the projects at the Hall. He noted that the Hall Committee reapplied for a grant from the Vermont Arts Council, which was  denied last year.  He noted a letter of support was sent by Shannon.  They should hear by August 1 whether the grant was approved.

Steve reported on work being done to the Hall currently and plans for further work to be done. He noted that they are planning on painting the dining hall a more pleasant color.

Steve requested that the Board consider utilizing the $27,471 in the Capital Reserve Fund for insulating the building, if the grant is not approved.  The Board was amenable to discussing the idea.  Steve will notify the Board of the results of the grant application.

Planning Commission:  Lynn Forrest was present on behalf of the Planning Commission to request the that the Board sign and submit the application for Village Center Designation.

At this point in the meeting, Gary Delius recused himself and left the room.

Lynn read the resolution into the record and requested the Board sign the resolution and required notifications.

A motion was made by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Marion Dowling to sign the resolution to apply for Village Center Designation. The motion carried unanimously of the members remaining. 

Lynn went over the next steps in the process for the Board’s information.

A motion was made by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Marion Dowling to sign the required letters. The motion carried unanimously of the remaining members. 

The Board commended the Planning Commission for their hard work.

At this time, Gary Delius rejoined the meeting.


Suggested Amendment to the Personnel Policy: Shannon presented a draft of an amendment to the Personnel Policy, adding the sentence  “The employee shall be afforded the opportunity to respond to the evaluation.” on Page Six. Discussion ensued and “and employee’s response” was added to the next paragraph.

Gary Delius made a motion to take items out of order and to discuss 2017 Personnel Evaluation Schedule next.  Mike Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Gary Delius to accept the amendment to the Personnel Policy “The employee shall be afforded the opportunity to respond to the evaluation” and also to include “and employee’s response” to the last paragraph.  The motion was seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick. The motion carried unanimously.

2017 Personnel Evaluation Schedule:   Carol noted in the Personnel Policy where it states that evaluations are supposed to be done each year. She noted that they haven’t been done for several years.  The current evaluation form was reviewed by the Board.  Discussion ensued regarding content and the process for evaluating employees.

The Board set the end of the calendar year as a goal for having evaluations done.  The Board will take the evaluation forms home for review and suggestions to discuss at the next meeting.

Required FEMA Training – ICS 100:  Shannon updated the Board on the setup of the class. Christopher, Mike, and Gary will take the course next week online.

July Meeting Schedule:  Carol explained that there are 5 Mondays in July and the first meeting date is July 3, the day before Independence Day.  The Board discussed moving the meeting to July 10.  Shannon noted that the tax rate needs to be set the first meeting in July and felt that the 10th wouldn’t leave enough time to get the tax bills ready for mailing.  The consensus of the Board was to hold a short meeting on July 3, with only the tax rate and pay orders on the agenda.


Further Updates to Highway Crew Job Description: Shannon went over recommended changes, to be in agreement with the Personnel Policy.   The Board was in agreement with the changes.  It will be ready for signature at next meeting.

Recycling Committee:   Carol read the proposed charge for the recycling committee: “The charge of the Recycling Committee is to research the feasibility and cost of all viable alternatives available for continued recycling in the Town of Newfane, and to bring findings and recommendations to the Selectboard for their consideration.”  

A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Marion Dowling to approve the charge of the Committee. The motion carried with four in favor and Mike Fitzpatrick abstaining.

Telephone Bill/Hacking:   Shannon updated the Board, noting that VLCT reversed their denial of coverage, paying all but the $1,000 deductible; however the same day, the attorney for Fairpoint offered the Town Attorney a one-time settlement for their cost, totaling about $900. The consensus of the Board was to accept Fairpoint’s offer.  Gary Delius explained details about the voice mail system and why the Town is responsible for the security of their system. Shannon confirmed that numerous measures were taken to secure the system.  The Board thanked Shannon for her work on this issue.

Employee Appreciation Date:  Carol recapped the prior discussion regarding holding an Employee Appreciation Day. She asked each board member to step in and help. The consensus of the Board was to hold it on September 16, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Incorporated Village of Newfane Report of Meeting: Marion updated the board on the meeting held on May 10.  Ken Estey asked whether the Incorporated Village has their own planning process.  Marion did not think there was a separate planning process.


The following correspondence was received:

  • A letter was received from the Blake Prescott regarding dumping on South Wardsboro Road. Discussion ensued regarding signage. Shannon will respond to Dr. Prescott, thanking him for contacting the Board and explaining the Board’s position; and also to post on the website and Front Porch Forum notifying residents of the $500.00 fine for illegal dumping. The Board will also look into sign costs, just for information.
  • VLCT Newsletter


A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Marion Dowling to approve the pay orders as follows:

  • Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17026 in the amount of $175,807.98
  • Payroll Warrant No. 05/03/17 in the amount of $5,540.90
  • Payroll Warrant No. 05/10/17 in the amount of $4,703.13

The motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Marion Dowling to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Shannon Meckle


MAY 15, 2017

  1. Roads: It has been tough to keep up with the roads as far as grading them, we have had so many rain storms they just keep getting rough again. The crew replaced a 2 ft culvert on Baker Brook rd. It started to collapse. They have started cleaning off bridges as well. We have been hauling some gravel as well. We will be grading the again now that it sounds like we may get some good weather.


  1. Equipment: The equipment is running OK at this time. We put a new carbide blade on the grader so that should be good for the summer and fall.


  1. York Rake: we have rebuilt the frame on our york rake several times but it is pretty well worn out. I did get three prices as follows: York Rake Co: $4,854.00; Fairfields: $4,950.00; Brown Enterprises: $4,199.00. They rake we have now needs all new teeth which is about $850.00. If we took that 850.00 out of the york rake budget it would only cost the town $3,300.00 roughly. We need to do something with it. We rake every day with that and if it doesn’t rake the way it is supposed to then the roads don’t come out right.


  1. Roadside Mowing Bids: Shannon has the road side mowing bids out.


  1. Green Up Day: We took all the trash from green up day down to Triple T and it worked much better for us. Down there you can dump the entire load out and they separate it. Tires were $5.00 per piece which is what WSWM charges. With everything it was $179.85. It saves a lot of time by not having to separate the entire load by hand. It is also safer the guys don’t have to climb in and out of the dump body.


  1. State Police: I did talk to Sargent Buckley about speeding issues on some of the roads . They have been running radar on them quite a bit. He said to let them know when and where the town would like things done and they will try to do it when they can.


  1. Road Crew: The crew went to the municipal show in Barre last week and had a good time and saw a lot of new equipment. They said it was a good show.


  1. Paving Bid: Shannon is working on the paving bid. I would like to see this board make a place in capital for paving. We have a surplus from this year’s budget and I would like to see it in capital so that we can use it in next year’s (2017 July 1st) budget. If we can get it into the capital plan then we would have close to $200,000.00 dollars for paving which we need. The following roads need paving Grimes hill from Newfane hill rd. to Rte 30/ Brooks Street, Radway Hill Road and Depot Hill Road. I am planning on using next year’s budget on everything except Depot Hill. If we could keep the surplus and use it this year we could get some done on Depot Hill Road as well. All the rain and ice we had this past winter really took its toll on the black top. Depot Hill Road is really getting pretty bad as well.

Thank You

Todd Lawley,  Road Foreman



MAY 15, 2017

LOCAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN:  The Emergency Management Committee met and drafted this year’s Local Emergency Operations Plan. I finalized it and sent it to Windham Regional Commission  for their review and submittal to the State of Vermont for final approval.  It often takes a while to hear back from the State, but we were able to get the plan submitted before the deadline.

HIGHWAY CREW OPENING:  The Highway Crew job opening was advertised in the Brattleboro Reformer, the Commons, VLCT’s Newsletter, as well as VLCT’s website and ours.  Applications will be accepted until June 1.

TELEPHONE BILL: Since WCAX’s report on our telephone system being hacked, there’s been a flurry of activity.  I have been talking to the town attorney, area legislators, other towns, and several other small, non-profit organizations (mostly government related). I’ll report further when this topic comes up in the agenda.

BIDS: Roadside mowing and the one-ton truck bids have both been sent out and advertised.  Both sets of bids will be due June 5 and will be opened  at the next meeting.

HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM:  Mike Fitzpatrick and I attended a final site visit at 246 Dover Road with FEMA and the State of Vermont.  This is our last Hazard Mitigation project.  They were impressed with the condition of the site and we can expect payment within a few weeks.

WINDHAM SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT: I attended my first meeting as Newfane’s representative on the Board of Supervisors at Windham Solid Waste Management District.  A motion passed to raise the annual Access Permit fee from $25.00 to $35.00, the Day Pass from $5.00 to $10.00, and the cost of a load of brush from a minimum of $5.00 to $10.00.  These prices will take effect July 1, 2017.  We also discussed food scrap collection and how towns will be affected by that.

VTRANS/ARCH BRIDGE: Some time back in the winter, we talked about having VTrans come back and talk about the Arch Bridge project for people who weren’t able to see the last presentations.  Carolyn Carlson, the Project Manager, will be a the next meeting to give out information.

INTERIM AUDIT: The auditing firm did a quick audit to cover the end of Maureen’s tenure as Treasurer and the beginning of Melissa’s term.  Nothing out of the ordinary was noted and there were no unusual findings.