August 2, 2021 Selectboard Minutes

Zoom Meeting   https://zoom.us/j/97227911757?pwd=TEd4YmdKMzJUd3NaTERhVUFOWWsydz09

Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757   Passcode: 352680 (Expires Sept.20th)

One tap mobile +13017158592, 97227911757#, *352680# US (Washington D.C)

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Angela Sanborn, Mike Fitzpatrick, Shelly Huber, Katy Johnson-Aplin, and Ann Golob.

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jay Wilson, Doris Knechtel, Ken Estey, Thomas Abbotts, Nancy Ryzs, Melissa Brown, Paul H.  Mike Fontaine, Henriette Mantel, Austin Rice -BCTV, and Wannetta Powling.

CALL TO ORDER:

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA: 

None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. July 19, 2021, Regular Meeting

Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion to accept. Ann Golob seconded the motion. Mike Fitzpatrick abstained.  Motion passed 4/1.

 ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  • The storm on Thursday night did a fair amount of damage around Town. It affected approximately 28 roads. We worked through the weekend, so every house is accessible by car.  As of now, only one bridge needs some rip rap work on one abutment. We will continue to look at all the bridges for other problems.  We have had two meetings with VTRANS to assess the damage and a dollar figure is not available yet. We have several projects that need to be put out to bid. Can we do a quick turnaround to get the work started?

Discussion: There are 26 sites with flood damage, each of these will need to be separated into its own FEMA tracking and documentation projects.  There is significant damage on Dover Rd with pavement undermining, and the road has been reduced to one lane near the Fire station in Williamsville. VTrans has advised us that this will need to go out to bid.

  • This week, I want to get the Selectboard’s permission to implement Emergency procedures and get immediate bids for the repair on Grout Road so we can start immediately with the restoration work. Would the Board be available to open bids Thursday or Friday?

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to allow the Implementation of Emergency Procedures. Shelly Huber seconded. Motion passed 5/0

  • I would like to publicly acknowledge the Dover Highway Department for assisting us following the storm and the Dispatchers with the Vermont State Police for their constant contact with updating information.
  • The Depot Rd Culvert update: Nothing to report.
  • The Sand/Salt shed update: Nothing to report.
  • I was disappointed to read the article in the commons regarding the work that’s being done in Newfane Village to help with speed. It seems like things have progressed fairly well. VTRANS was quick to get the signage in place, we have the permit to install the radar signs, and we have purchased one radar sign. On Friday, we were awarded the grant for the pedestrian scoping study for sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • The Arch Bridge bids were due Friday; it looks like there were two bidders listed so far, one for 3.4 million and one for 4.9 million

Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s Report. Shelly Huber seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

  •  The Selectboard reviewed the access permit for Rebecca Mayer – Mayer Road.

 Discussion with Jay Wilson for application approval which should include his recommendation to the landowner is to install a 10’-12′ ditch to direct water runoff in a direction that would not endanger the town road.     

 Michael Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the access permit with the Road Foreman’s recommendation. Ann Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:

  • I have put together information, including emails from 2019. The photographs that were taken then showing Baker Brook behind the home of Nancy Ryzs.
  • There are emails from Michael Lapointe, a Civil Engineer with the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service. USDA- NDRCS. On July 27, in an email, he suggested, ‘Having an outside consultant do analysis this may have a better chance of being accepted by Mrs. Ryzs than our analysis.

Discussion – Katy Johnson- Aplin and Mike Fitzpatrick will work together to find information to resolve the possible flooding concerns at 65 Baker Brook Road.  They will report back to the Selectboard at the August 16th meeting. Plans to schedule a site visit with Scott Jensen and other Environment Agency officials to review the recommendation needed.

  • We have received a refund of $1,379.00. From the recent workers’ comp audit of This is from our VLCT insurance.
  • Friday afternoon Angela & I took photos of the flooding damage: this will document FEMA reimbursements. Anyone wishing to share the pictures that they have is welcome to send them to a tnewfane@newfanevt.com

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistant’s report. Katy Johnson- Aplin seconded.  Motion passed 5/0.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

  • This past month has been extremely busy with the end-of-the fiscal year tasks that need to be calculated and entered into the system. I have been forwarding the end of the year reports to everyone as they are At this point, I only have to complete the property tax reconciliation and the deferred revenue for taxes and grants, but this can’t be done until just before the auditors come. The auditors will be coming on August 23 and 24th•. I have completed the extremely long list of items to gather and calculate for the audit. The next few weeks, I will continue to go through every account and make sure it’s balanced and correct before the auditors arrive.
  • The end-of-the-year budget looks great, and we stayed well within budget for expenses, slightly below budget, The revenues were higher than anticipated due to various grants and a few other line items going over along with reimbursements.
  • Tax bills were successfully mailed out on time, and payments have already been coming
  • I still haven’t heard from Attorney Bob Fisher in regards to when the tax sales will be, but all the information has been forwarded to There are only four properties in the tax sale. All other property owners that were in jeopardy of going into tax sale either paid in full or are on payment plans. So far, nobody has missed any payments. There are currently eight people on payment plans. Most of them have already paid at least 1-2 years of back taxes on their properties.
  • I still have not received any money for I will notify you all as soon as I do receive the money.
  • A section on the Internal Control Audit checklist needs to be completed by the Selectboard, and a signature is required.

Shelly Huber made a motion to authorize the Chair to sign. Mike Fitzpatrick seconded. 

Motion passed 5/0

 Shelly Huber made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report. Mike Fitzpatrick seconded.

Motion passed 5/0

COMMITTEE REPORT:

 Lister Doris Knechtel – Errors and Omissions

  • Southern VT Cable B 149.1 tax bill is for a shed that used to be used by Southern VT Cable when they were in existence. Now that the company has closed and all cable TV and equipment dishes and antenna have been removed from the shed, the bill should be corrected (removing $11,000) to reflect zero due.
  • The Listers will add the storage shed to Neil Pelsue – B-151; the shed is on his land.

Shelly Huber made a motion to approve the correction. Ann Golob seconded.  Motion passed 5/0

  • There is a state statute that allows towns to assess a Penalty for Late filed Homestead In the past, the Town has NOT assessed a penalty of 8% on the Homestead Education taxes. However, the box did not get checked before printing the tax bills. So far, it has affected four (4) taxpayers who may have not have filed for an extension, which was due May 15. In one case, both of the property owners are deceased. There is another date of October 15 for those filing for an extension. In double-checking, the information reported from the state at least one was filed by the correct date. The penalty money goes to the education fund. The Town DOES NOT receive any of the funds.

My recommendation is that the Town NOT assess a penalty of 8% on the late-filed Homestead Declarations, in keeping with past practices.

Shelly Huber made a motion not to assess the 8% Tax penalty. Ann Golob seconded.  

Motion Passed 5/0

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

  • Thomas Abbotts, a resident of Eddy Road, requested consideration from the Highway Department to find an alternative way to divert the water from the road so it does not flow onto personal property. In years past, the rain has caused the gravel to wash across his yard, increasing the level against the building and steps, causing additional damage to the structures of the buildings.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to do a site visit with Jay Wilson and Chris Williams to look at the water channeling. Shelly Huber seconded.  Motion passed 5/0

  • Henriette Mantel, a resident of Cemetery Hill Road, was concerned with work done on Cemetery Road before the storm and asked where the (5-7) five to seven truckloads of dirt were removed before the storm on Thursday (July 29) went. Henriette Mantel is concerned that the muddy mess is more than 16′ from the center of the road and around the corner. There is a large tree that now has its roots exposed that will fall; she also has concerns with the start of Dewitt Road which could be affected because of the work that has been done.

Jay Wilson explained that this work was from cleaning out the ditches and the runouts. Regulations now require us to have (4) four-foot ditches with a swell back from the road rather than have it filled with stone.  The Highway foreman and Christopher Williams will review this concern with the property owners.

OLD BUSINESS:

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) -Ann Golob & Ken Estey Planning Commission  

  • Ken Estey Planning Commission reported that there would not be in-person meetings to hear from residents at a planning party/celebration to collect information for spending the ARPA money. The Planning Commission made this decision due to concerns with the insurgent of the new Delta Variant. Perhaps a future outdoor event could keep the fires burning and not lose sight of our plans.
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) -Ann Golob, discussion of the job description for a business consultant – tabled until August 16. As more information comes in, we may want to consider other job responsibilities to add to the job description. I welcome your feedback
  • Ann Golob reported on a recent DRB informational meeting that, there is interest from a potential buyer in creating an Eco Village on Augur Hole Road.

Discussion ensued.

 Office Renovations Plans –Tabled until a future meeting

NEW BUSINESS:

Annual Employee Evaluation – Tabled until September 20

Discussion about moving September 6th meeting to Tuesday, September 7th (Holiday – Labor Day)

CORRESPONDENCE

  • RUCK-UP – Thank you for allowing the Coin Drop. This helps all the Veterans to receive their service.
  • Brattleboro Area Hospice- Thank you for supporting us with your generous appropriation.
  • Aids Project of Southern Vermont – Honored by Newfane’s support with your generous appropriation.
  • American Red Cross- Grateful for generous gift/ appropriation.
  • Windham County Humane Society – Thank you for generous support.
  • Statewide Memorial Service – To honor Vermonters lost to COVID 19.

Development Review Board (DRB) Appointment:

  • Email from Erica Walsh requesting that she be considered as an alternate to the DRB.

 Shelly Huber made a motion to appoint Erica Walsh as an alternate. Mike Fitzpatrick seconded.

Motion passed 5/0

 PAY ORDERS:

  1.  Payroll Warrant No #11524    Amount $ 4,489.69
  2. Payroll Warrant No #11525     Amount $  7,136.08
  3. Account Payable No # 22003  Amount $ 94,252.03

Ann Golob made a motion to approve pay orders. Shelly Huber seconded the motion.     Motion Passed.5/0

ADJOURN:

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm

Respectfully Submitted

Administrative Assistant

Wannetta Powling