Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes – August 16, 2012



BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Jon Mack, Priscilla Cotton, Gloria Cristelli, Christine Druke, Todd Lawley

OTHERS PRESENT:  Gunther Garbe, Mike Faher, Patricia Grace, Joe Mandell, Phyllis Mandell, Christina Moore, Bill Moore, Jeff Nugent, Judith Perry, Meredith Perry, Piet Van Loon, Margot Zalkind

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Jon Mack, Chairman.


A motion was made by Todd Lawley and seconded by Priscilla Cotton to approve the meeting minutes of July 5, 2012 with an insert of Chris Triebert last name to be added as the Dover Road Parade contact. The motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Priscilla Cotton and seconded by Todd Lawley to approve the meeting minutes of August 2, 2012. The minutes were passed.  Todd obstained because he was not present at that meeting.

A motion was made by Chris Druke and seconded by Priscilla Cotton to approve the Special meeting minutes of August 8, 2012. The motion carried unanimously.


Road Foreman’s Report               

Todd Lawley gave the Road Foreman’s Report.

Truck Loan

A discussion ensued regarding the request of Dave Olson, from People’s Bank, to start the loan process.

A motion was made by Priscilla and seconded by Chris to have Dave start the truck loan. Motion passed unanimously.

Recent Storm Road Work

Gloria commented on how quickly the road was repaired by the road crew on Wiswall Hill Road.


Rock River/Commercial Leaflets

Albert D’Armand presented samples of commercial leaflets that were left on the town trail on the Rock River Preservation and the litter that it has created over the past six weeks with advertising from Frog Meadow and Rock River Lodge.  Rock River Preservation has previously obtained a permit to have the kiosk.  It was suggested that Merle Tessier, Newfane’s Acting Zoning Administrator, be contacted to check on the zoning by-laws for advertising on the town trail.  Jon suggested that Merle check the statutes and send a letter to the advertisers and request that they come to Merle’s office to discuss the advertising process.  Pat was asked to contact Merle.


Hunter Brook Bridge Footings/Dover Road Construction Debris

Frank Suponski has concerns about the footings for the new Hunter Brook bridge.  He would like to see piles driven.  The Selectboard does not have the plans yet.  A discussion ensued.

Frank also expressed concern of the debris, guardrails and culverts by the Lynch Bridge on the Monroe property.  The Basin Brothers left the damaged culverts amongst the trees are on Mr. Monroe’s property.

Frank also reported that there was a large amount of cable and plastic in the river on Dover Road by the Lynch Bridge that has been left by the FairPoint construction crew after the 2011 storm. Discussion ensued.

Jon requested that Gloria contact Connie Faircloth from FairPoint to discuss the debris left in the river and to contact Marie Caduto, Watershed Coordinator, to discuss the issues and process of the cleanup.

Federal Funding Availability for Beautification

Jon stated that he attended a meeting on March 30, in which he had spoken with a State senator about the re-beautification of Newfane and we need more help than we have been receiving since the flood for quality of life and beauty to this area.  Discussion ensued.  Jon will get back to the Board as to what is required for Federal funding and administered by the State.  There is $750,000 available to Windham County.

Jon received a call from Dana Rupert in that there is some money available to Windham County, through the Ecosystem Restoration Project for grant proposals.  There is an application deadline of August 15. Priscilla volunteered to work on the grant with Gloria.  A proposal will be drafted and presented to the Board to discuss the areas needing restoration of damages.  Gunther Garbe stated that he feels that Windham Regional would know which areas need the help and has written the proposals for the Planning Commissioners. Discussion ensued.

SelectBoard Issues

Gunther Garbe asked about the “summer Fridays off” schedule for the administrative assistant, as was the previous administrative assistant.

Gunther asked about compensation time for an (unnamed) Newfane elected official, without an employment contract or has set hours having accumulated a huge amount of compensation. How was the Selectboard going to decide how the compensation time was going to be handled if the town official does not get reelected.

Jon stated that elected officials are not responsible to the Selectboard and that they are responsible to the Town and not to the Selectboard.  Jon responded that the state regulations indicate that the Town does not have to re-elect them.

Accrued compensation and vacation time was explained.  Jon read the Personnel Policy in Section 2 in that the policy listed did not apply to elected officials, with the exception of sexual harassment.

Jon explained that the elected official did not have personal claim to the town if she was not re-elected.


Park City Realty Parcel

Gloria stated that they are still legally responsible for the back taxes. Marshall Glickman will be attempting to collect the delinquent taxes.

Fuel Service Quotes

A letter was recently received for Kearley Fuel Service announcing that they will no longer be providing heating fuel to the Town Offices in Newfane because they are going out of business.  Pat called for verbal quotes at three other fuel service businesses that provide service to Newfane.  Discussion ensued.  Jon and Pat will review the bidding policy before we can move forward for a recommendation to the Selectboard.

Parade Banner Request

Carol Ross requested permission to put up an 8-foot parade banner near the rubble pile on Dover Road by August 12.

A motion was passed to allow Carol to put up the banner.

Hurricane Irene Anniversary

Gloria received a request for assistance from the Rutland Herald for an article for the anniversary of Hurricane Irene.

A discussion ensued.  Jon and Gloria will be working on the article with the Rutland Herald.

Trash/Junk Ordinance Issues

Gloria reported that there are three locations across from WW and near Cotton Design on Route 30 which have an accumulation of trash building up. Katy Robinson, Zoning Administrator, was aware of the issue but it was not clear if any steps have been taken.  A discussion ensued.  Merle Tessier, Acting Zoning Administrator, will be asked to identify the problem and will be asked to write a letter to the land owners in question and get back to the Selectboard for an update on the land owners response(s).  The Selectboard will take action if needed.

Southeastern VT. Economic Strategy Meeting

Jon has asked for a Selectboard member for representation at the meeting to be held on September 11 in Bellows Falls, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.


Treasurer’s Answers to Selectboard Questions: 

This issue will be tabled for the August 16 meeting.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Gloria reported that all the Emergency Watershed projects went out to bid and they were received on Monday.  Michael Fitzpatrick was the lowest bid.  Gloria emailed Bill Van Vossen , Rob Allen and Drew Adams to find out when we can do the preconstruction visit on Eddy Road, Rock River, Hunter Brook and Baker Brook.  Gloria will print a copy of a letter for the Selectboard members to sign.

FEMA Training Session

Gloria reported on the telephone conference which took place on July 26 with FEMA representatives.  FEMA worked with Newfane other Vermont town representatives to find out what communities need for assistance on their flood issues.  Gloria stated that an audit will be required and that audit will need to go out for bid.  A discussion ensued. Jon will follow up on the audit requirement.

FEMA representatives will hold an open session for flood issues on August 6th at the Newbrook Fire Station at 10:00 a.m.  Coleen Krause,FEMA personnel, and Christina Moore will be coming to the Town Offices on August 7 at 9:30 a.m.  Christina worked on all the project worksheets for the Town of Halifax.  She volunteered to provide the processes that she used for required documentation to FEMA and the State.   Dan Hull will be working on the flood issues.

Community Assistance Program

Gloria reported that Julie Grauer, FEMA representative, will be coming to the Town Offices on August 23 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the National Flood Insurance Program.

Lynch Bridge Alternate Project:

A motion was made and seconded to authorize Jon to contact the town attorney to draft and send a letter to the landowner. The motion carried unanimously.  Priscilla added that we need to know why these issues are taking so long.

Town Office Improvements:

Priscilla received an assessment from Chad Farnum for the moisture and insulation.  Chad Farnum will be scheduled on the agenda for August 16 to discuss their proposal.  Priscilla has called two other builders to get bids on the partitions.  Chris suggested that the Selectboard work together on all of the improvement issues that need to be addressed.  A discussion ensued.  Issue will be tabled for the August 16 meeting.

Segregation of Duties

The auditors have suggested that we don’t have segregation of separation of duties.  Gloria had called Neil Pelsue and he agreed to do the reconciliation. Jon moved to have this postponed until the August 16 meeting.

Green Iron Bridge Loan

Jon stated that the Town needs to get the loan for the bridge repair in the amount of $567,529.94 to pay the State.  Jon will check with Maureen to get the loan in process.


Dan Hull is working with us on flood issues.  Tiffany Fortier, AOT Technician from VTrans, stopped in the office on July 31 to offer any assistance or questions on flood projects.  Dan, Tiffany and Pat took a tour of the flood sites.


Matt Mann, Windham Regional Commissioner,  was going to come to this meeting to discuss bridges and culvert inventory but will postpone his visit until August 16 meeting.

Speeding Issues:

Gloria reported that the Van Gelders came to the office to report the speeding issues on Route 30 near the Sears Road.  Gloria suggests that the board contact the Sheriff’s office and ask them to patrol the area. Jon volunteered to contact the Sheriff’s office.

Road Signs:

Gloria reported that Sargent Badgley, from the Windham Sheriff’s Department, came in to request to have the speed limit signs posted along the Dover Road.  He has had a number of speeding issues.  This issue was postponed for the August 16 meeting.


A motion was made by Priscilla and seconded by Chris to enter into executive session at 8:42 p.m.  The administrative assistant was invited to join the Board in their executive session.  The motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:  A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 9:25 p.m.  The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Grace

Administrative Assistant