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BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Mike Fitzpatrick (phone), Jeffrey Chevalier, and Katy Johnson-Aplin.
OTHERS PRESENT: Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Melissa Brown (Treasurer), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant). Sheriff Mark Anderson (phone)
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:02 p.m. by Chair Angela Sanborn.
MEETING WARNING: Powling confirmed that the meeting was properly warned.
ADDITIONS/ AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
Golob requested an addition to Old Business – Property Update
Budget – Melissa Brown stated that there were only two items that needed to be finished in the Capital section; the first one is for Law Enforcement (Page 5), and the second one is to move Retreatment and Sealing from the Road Maintenance into Capital.
- Open Items from the November 28 budget meeting included the amount of funding needed for Law Enforcement.
Sheriff Mark Anderson was contacted by phone to address the questions the Selectboard members had regarding whether there would be available officers to patrol the town if the budget was to be increased. Sheriff Anderson stated that the Department was now overstaffed and he would be willing to put those towns that are currently under contract on the priority list to get increased coverage.
The current funding is $13,500 for law enforcement. The Board discussed increasing it to either $25,000 or $30,000 for the year. If the Town chose $30,000 it would mean 9 hours of coverage per week.
- Brown explained that the tax rate for this tax year, 2022-2023, was supposed to have been $0.67 per $1,000, but due to the billing error, everyone was billed at $0.55. In September of 2022, there was a Special Town meeting where the Town voted to use the surplus funds to make up for the shortfall in the tax revenue rather than raise taxes.
Recognizing that Town would experience a jump from what was billed at $0.55 to what the current ESTIMATE of $0.73 per $1,000 as excessive and painful, there was much discussion about how to handle the budget.
It was agreed that the Treasurer would compile the budget, update the current Grand List, put in the monies for law enforcement at $25,000 for the fiscal year, ask the Town to draw down on our surplus by $150,000 to cover the cost of road sealing and then calculate the final tax increase. A final vote on the budget will take place at the next Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd.
- Anthony Knox – Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire. A request was made for $4,500 which is level-funding compared to last year.
- Chelset Johns – Timson Hill Preschool. A request was made for $1,000 to support the local preschool.
The organizations listed below did not keep their appointments and voluntarily withdrew from appropriations funding for FY 2024.
- Linda J. Meleady- Vermont Center for Independent Living
- Gloria Cristelli – West River Valley Mutual Aid
- TBD – American Red Cross
Powling will contact Moderator and discuss the Town Meeting Warning (draft); corrections will be made and available at the January 3rd meeting.
Property Update: Golob reported that homeowner David Livingston is interested in submitting an application to the State of Vermont to request that his property be bought out due to its location in the floodplain and the substantial damage it has sustained in the past 12 years with no one living in the home or operating the store. It was agreed that Golob will work with Alyssa Sabetto at the WRC to complete the application.
- Johnson-Aplin and Sanborn agreed to work on plans for the celebrations of Newfane’s 250th
- Annual Reviews Chevalier and Road Commissioner Chris Williams will complete the review for Road Foreman Wilson. Sanborn and Golob will complete the review for Administrative Assistant Powling. Open 11/14/2022
Fitzpatrick made a motion to adjourn. Meeting Adjourned at 8:04 p.m.