Category Archives: Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes

Budget Meeting Minutes November 28, 2022, @ 6:00 PM

Budget Meeting Minutes November 28, 2022, @ 6:00 PM
In-Person & Zoom
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/97227911757#success
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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).

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Chair Angela Sanborn.

MEETING WARNING: Powling confirmed that the meeting was properly warned.

ADDITIONS/ AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA: Johnson-Aplin requested to add the auction information for the sale of the F-550 truck to OLD BUSINESS.

NEW BUSINESS: Capital Budget:  For the past several years, money for Town Office renovation needs has been budgeted; the account currently has $115,000. Over the years’ different options have been discussed. The final plan focuses on renovations to the meeting room, to add walls between the Treasurer, Zoning Administrator, and Administrative Assistant and to improve the heating system. The estimates include:

  • Contractor Randy Leavitt provided an estimate for the meeting room renovations ($ 23,750) which included the installation of new flooring.
  • Jeffers Plumbing & Heating provided an estimate to install six or seven energy-saving mini-splits for heating and air conditioning ($ 37,000).
  • Hiring an electrician to install new wiring and hook up was estimated between $ 8,000. -$ 10,000.
  • Additional upgrades and expanding security cameras for more detailed views of the building, parking lot, and Route 30 will also be added to the scope of work.

The total figures for the Town Office renovations will be discussed again on December 5th at the regular Selectboard meeting during the Administrative Assistants report.

Expenditures: 

  • Open Items from the November 14 meeting included a funding request from the Planning Commission; these figures have since been provided.
  • Information on unemployment insurance rates and worker’s compensation rates; will not be available until the employee reviews are completed and raises are determined. Sanborn asked if the evaluations could be completed in the next two weeks before the December 12th budget meeting.
  • Annual Town Report expense; Powling provided the two-year contract for Repo Publishing for $ 3,280. An additional $ 1,000.00 is going into postage for mailing the reports before Town Meeting Day.
  • Professional Audit expense – Brown provided the Auditor expense of $ 18,500.00.

OLD BUSINESS:
The following items were tabled until the next budget meeting on December 12th.

  • Articles including Social Appropriation Donations.
  • Salaries
  • Law Enforcement budget.
  • Warnings

Dedication – Recommendations were made, and an agreement was reached; work will begin on writing the dedication.

 Closing Bid at the Auction for F-550 Truck $25,400
Wilson said that the auction had closed at 5:00 pm on the truck. The final closing bid was more than they had anticipated; his recommendation was to accept the closing offer of $25,400. The winning bidder will pay the auction fees incurred with the listing. Wilson said he was impressed with the listing; they came to the garage and took all the necessary photos, and did an excellent job with the listing.
Golob made a motion to accept the offer of $25,400 for the F-550 truck. Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.

Follow-up items from 11/14/22 Budget Meeting:

  • Brown will confirm with VLCT (Vermont League of Cities and Towns) that 10-15% is still considered the correct percentage amount to maintain for a town surplus of our size.

Brown confirmed with VLCT (Vermont League of Cities and Towns) that 15% is considered the correct percentage amount to maintain for a town surplus of our operational budget size. This is equivalent to approximately $260,000.

Next step: The Selectboard will discuss this information at the December 5th regular meeting and determine if they should make a policy for maintaining 15% in a surplus budget account or ask for voter approval as an article at Town Meeting.

  • Powling will contact WCHS (Windham County Humane Society) to confirm whether Newfane still receives any of the fees from Newfane dogs that are impounded. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
  • Powling will ask Jay Wilson to follow up on the estimate for the Town Office renovations from Levitt and Litchfield. These renovations including the installation of mini-splits for heating and air conditioning will allow for the long-term conservation of energy and significant potential savings. CLOSED. See notes above.
  • Powling will contact Bahman Mandavi and get budget information for the redesign of the town website to make it more user-friendly.

Powling emailed Bahman Mandavi for information to redesign the town website to make it more user-friendly. Mandavi explained that he could not provide an estimate for a town website redesign without having a good idea of what was wanted. Golob mentioned that she could make time available in the new year to gather information from each department, including what forms, procedures, and supplementary information they would make open and available to the public. Once we have a more definite idea of the changes needed to improve the website, we can proceed with putting out an RFP for web designers to bid on implementing the changes.

Next step: Item to be added to Selectboard agenda in January 2023.

  • Powling will present the recommendations and budget information from Walter Hagedorn for the Town office gardens. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
  • Further information is needed from Road Foreman Jay Wilson on anticipated revenue from the sale of equipment, including the 550 one-ton truck. Powling will request this information. CLOSED. See notes above.
  • Several items were put on hold until Powling was available to provide further information. These included: funding request from the Planning Commission; updated information on unemployment insurance rates and worker’s compensation rates; annual report expense; professional audit expense. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
  • Sanborn and Wilson will talk to Judge Barnett about the possibility of moving the monument located on Jail Street further back to protect it from snow plows. Added 11/14/22. Open.
  • Johnson-Aplin brought up several suggestions for celebrations of Newfane’s 250th It was agreed that she would compile a list of potential expenses so we could evaluate how to include them in the budget or if a separate fundraising effort should be launched. Added 11/14/22.

No updates at this time but the Treasurer confirmed with VLCT that expenses for an event of this type can be added to the town’s budget.

Next step: Item to be added to Selectboard agenda for the December 5th meeting.

  • Treasurer Brown discussed the US Bond Bank where the town has a remaining $36,000. There was a discussion about how we could use these funds to repay the principal on the South Newfane bridge loan. Brown will discuss further with the Bond Bank and get back to the Selectboard to confirm that this can be done.

Brown discussed the US Bond Bank. Newfane has a remaining $36,000 balance on the South Newfane bridge loan. Brown suggested that for the next three years, they repay 12,500 to close this loan.  CLOSED.

No new items were added to the follow-up list at this meeting.

ADJOURN
Chevalier made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling
Administrative Assistant
AG/ALS

Regular Selectboard Minutes November 21st, 2022

Regular Selectboard Minutes November 21st, 2022
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/97227911757#success
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BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Angela Sanborn (Zoom), Ann Golob, Katy Johnson-Aplin, Jeffrey Chevalier, Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).

OTHERS PRESENT:
Jane Douglas (NewBrook News), Maia Segura, Daimian Lix (S.N. Community Assoc.) George Friend, Chris White, Austin Rice (Producer of BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

Zoom
Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Deborah Luskin (Moderator), Meg Gonzalez, Cina Friend, Mary Whether, Henriette Mantel, Russell Bradbury-Carlin (Youth Services), Joanna Bourbeau (WinDart), Kate Lamphere (HCRS), Diana Urbaska (Incorporated Village of Newfane).

CALL to ORDER:
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

CONFIRM PROPERLY WARNED:
Sanborn confirmed the meeting had been properly warned.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:  
None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
            November 7th, 2022, Regular Minutes.
Golob made a motion to approve the November 7th minutes. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0; Sanborn abstained.

            November 7th, 2022, Board of Liquor Control (B.L.C.) Minutes
Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve the November 7th B.L.C. minutes. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0; Sanborn abstained

November 14th, 2022, Budget Minutes.
Golob made a motion to approve the November 1st budget minutes. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The engineer is updating everything on the Depot Rd. box culvert and we are reviewing to make sure all the permits are in order.
  2. The Arch Bridge is hopefully getting line painting on Wednesday and will open in the afternoon.
  3. The sand/salt shed has nothing new to report.
  4. The repairs to Bridge #41 off Baker Brook Rd. have been completed.
  5. The Monroe Bridge cleaning and greasing has been completed.
  6. The Roy Brooks bridge replacement started this morning.
  7. FEMA came up with another piece of land located on Steep Way that they want pictures of, and I will do that this week.
  •  Additional information, on November 10th, a Penske Rental Truck damaged the covered bridge on the South Newfane side. Road Foreman Wilson is working to make a claim through the Penske insurance company for the $14,000 damage to the covered bridge. He will keep the Board informed.
  • The F 550 truck is listed on an auction site; the bidding will close on Monday, the 28th, the current bid is at $15,500, and the board will need to accept/ decline the closing offer at the next budget meeting.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:
None.

This is a reminder that the Town Clerk’s Office will be closed this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

COMMITTEE REPORT
Deborah Luskin (Town Moderator) Town Meeting Day

A letter was read from VLCT attorney Susan Senning explaining that there is currently no authority in Vermont Law for remote voting at an annual or special Town meeting. Hence, there is no option for a hybrid meeting option.

Golob made the motion to set Town Meeting for March 7th @ 9 a.m. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
To qualify for Social Appropriations funds, the following organizations presented at the Selectboard meeting. Each gave a brief explanation of how their organization has helped benefit and enrich Newfane’s residents. (This information is available at the Town Office.)

  1. Russell Bradbury-Carlin (Youth Services)
  2. Joanna Bourbeau (WinDart)
  3. Jane Douglas (NewBrook News)
  4. Kate Lamphere (HCRS)
  5. Diana Urbaska (Incorporated Village of Newfane)
  6. Maia Segura (S. Newfane Community Association)

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
George Friend wanted to bring to the attention of the Selectboard the feelings of members of the community that are being condemned and harassed for their cultural differences, feelings, and beliefs. (A letter that he had received was shown to the Selectboard.) The growing division in the community, he said, starts with leadership. You may not agree with someone this does not make them wrong. As a community, we must value each other’s opinions and acknowledge what is being said.

Johnson-Aplin responded to the letter that was shown; hate speech in any form is hate speech and should not be tolerated. Chevalier agreed.

White made the following statement “If you are no longer willing to hear the other voices, those voices will no longer be willing to speak up. Why should they?”

Fitzpatrick mentioned that it would have been great to have had White on the Selectboard; with all her family’s knowledge, it could have benefited all of us.

Golob made a motion, “The Selectboard strongly disagrees with all forms of hate speech against any member of our community.” Johnson-Aplin seconded.
The motion passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS
ARPA Updates – Golob presented information that was prepared to be added to the Town website for “ARPA Information and Funding Status.” The document includes links to the

  • Community Survey
  • Planning Commission Recommendations
  • Infrastructure project ideas
  • Letters of funding requests
  • Summary of approved expenses and balance.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve additional information to be added to the website. Chevalier seconded the motion.
Discussion ensued.
Sanborn called the vote. Motion passed 5/0

Cannabis Updates –Johnson- Aplin had received information from Wilmington on how the Selectboard set itself up as the local Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). Johnson-Aplin drafted a letter to the State Cannabis Control Board, which was read into the minutes and confirms the Newfane Selectboard’s decision to form a local CCC.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to sign the letter forming Newfane’s CCC. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0

Flood Hazard By-law Update
None

Traffic Calming, including finalizing membership of the new committee (Sanborn). Update: Six residents have volunteered to join the New Traffic Calming Committee. The Selectboard would like to offer any that have not come forward yet a chance to still participate; There will be an announcement posted on the Front Porch Forum.
Sanborn was hopeful to have at least two representatives from each village.

Town Beautification:  Chevalier is looking into creating flower pots that can be used to adorn various areas of the town. He plans to contact such organizations as Kindle Farm, Dutton Greenhouse, and other potential local business sponsors for support. He will also reach out to contact local artists that could help make hanging baskets or planters from the original Arch Bridge steel.
Discussion ensued.

Plans for the celebration of the Towns 250th Anniversary
This will be added for follow-up on future Selectboard agendas.

Arch Bridge Celebration,
Wilson will confirm with Chad Greenwood from VTrans on the grand re-opening of the Arch Bridge. Plans for a celebration are being organized; it is expected that the Brattleboro Reformer will cover the event. Members of the Selectboard are hopeful to open on Wednesday, November 23rd, with the time T.B.D.
Powling will post in the Front Porch Forum with news of the event and time.

NEW BUSINESS
None

CORRESPONDENCE
None

Chevalier made a motion to enter Executive Session; Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

At 7:32 p.m., the Selectboard entered Executive Session under 1 V.S.A. 313 of Vermont open meeting law to discuss a contract issue.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to leave Executive Session at 7:45 p.m.; Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

There was no decision of the Board at this meeting; the issue is still under review.

Sanborn and Fitzpatrick, who attended the meeting remotely, left at 7:46 p.m.

PAY ORDERS
Payroll Warrant No #11595                          Amount $         5,093.55
Payroll Warrant No #11596                          Amount $         4,805.07
Account Payable No # 23010                       Amount $   1,026,726.17 (resigned)
Account Payable No # 23011                       Amount $        121,205.41

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Chevalier seconded the motion.
Motion passed 3/0.

ADJOURN:  
Golob made a motion to adjourn. Johnson-Aplin seconded meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant
ALS/AG

 

 

 

 

Tuesday November1, 2022 Special Budget Meeting Minutes

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/97227911757#success
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BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Ann Golob, Jeffrey Chevalier, and Katy Johnson-Aplin; by phone: Mike Fitzpatrick. Absent: Angela Sanborn.

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jane Douglas (Planning Commissioner/ Town Representative for DV Fiber), Melissa Brown (Treasurer), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Vice-Chair Ann Golob.

ADDITIONS/ AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
None

NEW BUSINESS:

  • Town Report Design
    Discussion ensued:  Three ideas for the 2022 design of the Town Report cover were discussed; there will be further discussion at the next budget meeting on November 14th.

  • Dedication
    In order to maintain confidentiality, a request was made to email your nomination for the Town report dedication to the Administrative Assistant before the November 14th meeting.


General Fund
Revenue and Expenses:
Treasurer Melissa Brown explained that not all the FEMA reimbursements have been received, and it is not clear when to expect the funds. If you were to include them now as projected revenue, it could cause a shortfall in the budget. Golob made a recommendation for Brown to include a written statement in the financial reports explaining that the FEMA reimbursement is due the Town of Newfane but that it is unclear how long the process will take to receive the money.

Brown commented that it is a good accounting policy to maintain 10-15% of the operating budget in a surplus account for emergencies.

Discussion of salaries was postponed until the Selectboard has a chance to review VLCT’s Vermont Municipal Compensation and Benefits Report.

Follow-up items

  1.  Brown will confirm with VLCT (Vermont League of Cities and Towns) that 10-15% is still considered the correct percentage amount to maintain for a town surplus of our size.

  2. Powling will contact WCHS (Windham County Humane Society) to confirm whether Newfane still receives any of the fees from Newfane dogs that are impounded.
  3. Powling will ask Jay Wilson to follow up on the estimate for the Town Office renovations from Levitt and Litchfield. These renovations, including the installation of mini-splits for heating and air conditioning, will allow for the long-term conservation of energy and significant potential savings.
  4. Powling will contact Bahman Mandavi and get budget information for the redesign of the town website to make it more user-friendly.
  5. Powling will present the recommendations and budget information from Walter Hagedorn for the Town office gardens.
  6. Further information is needed from Road Foreman Jay Wilson on anticipated revenue from the sale of equipment, including the 550 one-ton truck. Powling will request this information.

Several issues were raised in the course of reviewing expenses, and it was agreed to defer discussion of them to a later date at a regular Selectboard meeting.

  • Review with WHC (Williamsville Hall Committee) the rental fees for residents and non-residents. Should there be any change in fees to cover the costs of cleaning the hall?
  • Does the Selectboard want to consider how to spend the $500 in the budget for board compensation? In the past, these funds typically did not get used. Last year we supported an organization raising funds for children’s services.
  • Evaluate whether we should put oil purchases for heating out to bid in order to lock in a lower price.


Tabled for future budget meetings

  • Capital Budget
  • Expenditures
  • Articles
  • Warnings
  • Social Appropriations Donations

OLD BUSINESS:
None.

 Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. Meeting Adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling
Administrative Assistant

 

Regular Meeting Monday, October 3rd, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Zoom Meeting   https//zoom. Us/join         Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757   Passcode:  352680

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Angela Sanborn, Katy Johnson-Aplin, and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).
Absent: Ann Golob and Jeffrey Chevalier.

OTHERS PRESENTIn-Person – Doris Knechtel, Beckley Gaudette (Listers), Edward Collins, Steve Levine (Chair of the Williamsville Hall Committee), Austin Rice (BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

Zoom –Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Jane Douglas (Planning Commission), Diana Urbaska, Andrea Seaton (Sr. Director of Development, Marketing – Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital), Samantha Prince (Executive Director – Windham County Safe Place) Henriette Mantel, Kate Gehring (Planning Commission), and Priscilla Cotton (Board of Civil Authority).

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

CONFIRM PROPERLY WARNED: Powling confirmed the meeting had been properly warned.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:  
Katy Johnson-Aplin asked to move the Listers up on the agenda due to a conflict with the time of another meeting.

Angela Sanborn asked to have the Williamsville Hall added to the “Committee Reports” on tonight’s agenda.

Lister
Doris Knechtel and Beckley Gaudette were present to discuss the Town-wide reappraisal bid. The Selectboard requested the Listers to follow the Purchasing Policy and to put the reappraisal out to bid. Tonight, the Selectboard has one proposal that was sent to the Administrative Assistant, it is from New England Municipal Consultants. This is the same company that did the earlier Town assessment work for Newfane in 2000, 2007, and 2013. Their bid is for $132,000. Currently, in the Reappraisal fund, there is $81,000.

The State of Vermont sends $11,500 annually to help with the cost of reappraisals; this is equal to $ 8.50 per parcel. Newfane may have all the money it will need for the reappraisal by the time the work starts in 2027.

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to accept the New England Municipal Consultants proposal in the amount of $132,000, Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

 The Lister’s budget request was prepared and discussed. Knechtel explained that there was an increase in the hourly wages and the expenses for supplies. The budget increase is in the amount of $3,637.

Sanborn thanked both Knechtel and Gaudette for their work and explained that the Selectboard is starting the budget meetings on Tuesday, November 1st at 6 PM; Lister’s budget would be one of the first items to be discussed.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. September 19th, 2022, Regular Meeting
    Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the September 19th regular minutes. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.   Motion passed 3/0
  2. September 19th, 2022, Board of Liquor Control (BLC) Meeting.
    Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve the September 6th BLC minutes. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
    Motion passed 3/0

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The update on 254 Depot Rd easement is its back with the engineer to make a small change.
  2. The Arch Bridge is making good progress now.
  3. We had our meeting with Ron Bell for the Sand/Salt shed and he was given all the updates that need to happen. The updated plans and specs were supposed to be completed by today.
  4. The roadside mowing is coming good; we have the mower for the rest of this week.
  5. I heard back from the dam inspector, and he is going to be in contact with Scott Jensen the state river engineer to go over the repair of the Kenny Pond spillway.
  6. We will need to send in the bridge inspection reports letters back to the state, they have the Town of Guilford on the letter, so we need to change that.

Sanborn asked if she could share a letter that was sent to the Selectboard from a resident of Railroad Lane. In the letter, it expressed concern for the residents trying to pull out of Railroad Lane onto Route 30. Mentioned in the letter was a large motor-home that was parked on the side of RT 30, making it difficult to see in either direction. They have requested a “NO Parking” sign be put up.

Wilson confirmed that he has seen the motor-home there on a number of occasions. Route 30 is part of the State Highway, and this would be a VTrans issue not the Town. Wilson agreed that he would relay the information to VTrans officials and report back to the Selectboard.

Follow up
Bridge #44 repair, The Town has received three bids for the repairs on #44 Roy Brook Bridge, off the South Wardsboro Road. Chair Sanborn opened the envelopes, and the following information was shared.

  • Cold River Bridge LLC from Walpole, NH, gave a sealed bid for $238,556.40 with a completion date of December 2nd.
  • Renaud Brothers Inc. from Vernon, VT, gave a sealed bid for $ 137,000 with a completion date of December 2nd.
  • Daniels Construction from Ascutney VT, gave a sealed bid for $197,500 with a completion date of November 18th.

Wilson recommended Renaud Brothers. Mike Renaud had said that payment could be made in two installments if needed.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the bid from Renaud Brothers for $ 137,000. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Wilson recommended Renaud Brothers. Mike Renaud had said that payment could be made in two installments if needed.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s Report. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  1. The Windham Regional Commission has announced a round of Grants for Municipal Road and Stormwater Mitigation with a 10/7/22 deadline.
  2. I was able to find a Bylaw Modernization Grant from the Department of Housing & Community Development; this application deadline is November 1st @ 6 PM. In Fiscal Year 2022, there were thirty-one applications requesting over $687,000. I have included this information for you to review.
  3. I have completed the renewal application for the Town’s insurance policy. The policy is for Town-owned property, vehicle, dam listing for liability coverage, and worker’s compensation (this was based on the estimated payroll worksheets for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023/ VLCT coverage currently costs the Town $43,991 annually. FY 2024 needs to plan for a slight increase for budget season.
  4. Later this week, I will start working on the figures for Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance. I will have this for the Board to review during budget season.

Follow up:

Doris was the only one to give me a referral for a cleaning service they are in Brattleboro. I called and left a voicemail message today. I am waiting for a call back from Tony.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistants Report. Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.

 Discussion ensued:

Sanborn recommended that Powling follow up with Jenna Wilson to see if she has a date to return to work.

 Sanborn called for the vote. Motion passed 3/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT
Williamsville Hall Chair Steve Levine reported that when he had the Preservation Trust inspect the Hall, one of the concerns was the need for roof repairs. Levine contacted two contractors that were able to give estimates on the needed repairs. Levine gave the following information concerning three projects.

Roof Repairs:

  • Melanson quoted $13,900.
  • Phoenix Roofers quoted $4,170; this would include an inspection of the slate roof and replacing any missing pieces. The asphalt shingles over the porch roof are in decent shape. Phoenix Roofers would need to clean them with a biologic cleaner to remove the moss and small trees. This would help keep the integrity of the roof and prevent further growth.

Levine recommended the Phoenix Roofers for the “reasonable estimate,” this work would not begin until the spring due to the amount of work the contractor has already scheduled.

Chimney:

The recommendation for dependable masons is limited; Ian Eddie, “The Chimney Doctor,” highly recommended Dan Newcomb– his estimate is as follows;

  1. Take the chimney down to just below the roof and repair the slate roof for $2,500.
    The base of the chimney is in the kitchen; this is where the clean-out door is. Clean and remove all the debris. Replace the stucco around the outside of the chimney. For a cost of $2,100.
  2. To re-point and repair, the chimney would be $1,000. Similar maintenance would need to be done again in 20-25 years.
  3. To rebuild the entire chimney, it would be an additional $5,000, added to the previously $2,100 to repair the damage in the kitchen, for $7,100.

Dan Newcomb and Levine both recommend taking the chimney down below the roof, repairing the slate roof and doing the cleanout, and replacing the stucco around the chimney for the $4,600. This was in the cost range that the Preservation Trust had estimated.

Outside Stairway Roof

  • Randy Clark stated he would build a roof over the outside stairway from the kitchen to the ground, replace the kitchen door sill and to pressure wash the front of the building and paint the front of the building. All the work is to start next week for the cost of $8,000.

Discussion ensued.

Levine has not been able to find any other general contractors with time available. The work that Clark has done for three hall committee members came with high recommendations.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Randy Clark for $8,000. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Phoenix Roofers for $4,170 for the roof repairs. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 3/0.

 Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Dan Newcomb for the chimney repairs in the amount of $4,600. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Mold issues are again a concern. A mold home test was performed by Breeze Verdant and Levine. Samples from three different areas in the Hall are as follows:

  1. Lower-level Emergency Fire stairway and the door to the outside.
  2. Behind the baseboard heating in the kitchen.
  3. The stairway from the main lobby to the lower kitchen area.

The slides were sent out for testing, and the mold was confirmed. Levine asked the Selectboard for their recommendations; what does this mean?

  • Professional cleaning by Serv-Pro,
  • Get a more professional test done,
  • Place a warning for those with an allergy to Mold as you enter the Hall.

Discussion:

Ed Collins made comments that in the areas where the foundation and interior wall meet, moisture or condensation is collected. The back of toilet areas is a perfect example of where condensation is obvious. Collins recommends a company from Georgia that use a product called “No More Mildew,” this is a Cleaner and a Preventer application that Collins has found to be highly effective. Levine will follow up and report back to the Selectboard on the progress.

Doris Knechtel asked if it was known when the slate roof at the Town Office had last been inspected.

Selectboard Chair Sanborn asked if Powling would research the information and let the Board know so that it could be taken into consideration.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Special Appropriations is an important part of the Newfane Town Meeting. Selectboard members and other Town employees during budget season gather information for the annual report. The procedure is for all organizations requesting funds to attend a Selectboard meeting to supply a statement explaining how the funds they receive have and will help the residents of Newfane.

  • Senior Director of Development, Marketing & Community Relations Andrea Seaton from Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital was the first to supply an overview of the program, plans, and services to the area.
  • Executive Director Samantha Price from Windham County Safe Place was the second guest to give information on the non-profit program that is in Brattleboro.

 UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC –
None

OLD
BUSINESS
ARPA updates – No updates.

Cannabis updates –   Reminder that Australian voting is on October 13th at the Town Office in Newfane from 9 AM -7 PM. Early voting is available now; please stop in to see the Town Clerk during her normal hours.

Financial Data Transparency Act – No updates.

NEW BUSINESS
VLCT supplied the following information to answer the question asked at the Special Town Meeting on September 20th, 2022.

  1. Can a Town change the date and time of the March annual town meeting?
    Yes, but the choices of when to hold the meeting are limited. The meeting can be on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, proceeding on the first Tuesday in March.
  2. What business can be conducted at a town meeting, which is held before the first Tuesday in March?
    The town could conduct any business on that day that does not require an Australian ballot vote. All voting by Australian ballot must be done on the first Tuesday in March.
  3. How does the Town change the date of the annual town meeting?
    The town can vote at either a duly warned special meeting or at an annual Town Meeting. The new date would go into effect at the next town meeting. This can also be voted on by Australian ballot; the VLCT offers a model article it reads, “Shall the Town change the date of its annual town meeting to the first, second or third day preceding the first Tuesday in March pursuant to 17 VSA sections 2640.”
  4. How does the time of the meeting get set?
    The time of the meeting can be selected by the Selectboard unless the town has voted otherwise.

Town Moderator Deborah Luskin raised the following concerns in her response dated September 30th, 2022.

  • Historically, a change to an evening meeting results in lower voter turnout.
  • Frank Brian, a professor at UVM is the author of the book, “All Those in Favor,” (copies available at the Town Office), gives a brief synopsis of the data and has suggestions for improving attendance at town meetings.
  • The date and time of the Town meeting has less to do with attendance than the importance of what is being decided. This was seen at the recent Special Town Meetings for the Gravel Pit and the correction to the tax bills but not for the hearings on the Gravel Pit and Cannabis.
  • The question is not just what would be a better time, but what would make Town Meeting more meaningful?
  • Voters turn out when they are asked to make specific decisions about what the Town should do.
  • A comprehensive consideration of all the barriers which prevent attendance needs to be addressed.

Ed Collins mentioned that research on www.vt.gov said it is not important if the meetings are held at 2 PM or 6 PM. You need to encourage community involvement. Collins mentioned that one time Bernie Sanders had a meal served to those attending a Town Meeting in Landgrove, VT (Landgrove is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, and the population was 177 at the 2020 census.)

Doris Knechtel mentioned that she believes that the Board of Civil Authority (BCA) may have something to do with decisions about Town Meetings.

Priscilla Cotton (Chair BCA) was uncertain on what the actual decision for this matter.

Sanborn said further information would be researched and provided at the next Selectboard Meeting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Sanborn asked for a motion to go into Executive Session.

  1. The evaluation of an employee, Title 1 V.S.A. § 313(a) (3).

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go into Executive Session. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.
Selectboard entered Executive Session at 7:22 PM.

 Selectboard left Executive Session at 7:44 PM.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to leave Executive Session. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Results:  The Chair will share with the employee a written letter on Tuesday (10.4.22) afternoon.


CORRESPONDENCE

Laura Sibilia Director of Regional Economic Development Strategies – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC)
Sent a letter asking for support in their efforts on the ongoing work to become an Economic Development District (EDD). BDCC is a proposed multi-jurisdictional non-profit which will lead planning and development for the next five years in Southern Vermont.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to have Johnson-Aplin and Sanborn approve pay orders this week. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended by phone, withdrew and left the meeting.
 PAY ORDERS

  1. Payroll Warrant No #11587                          Amount $    4,588.56
  2. Payroll Warrant No #11588                          Amount $    4,967.3
  3. Payroll Warrant No #11589                          Amount $     5,322.90
  4. Account Payable No # 23008                       Amount $   98,281.22

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Sanborn seconded the motion.
Motion passed 2/0

ADJOURN:

 Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant

 

 

Selectboard Minutes Special Meeting Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Zoom Meeting   https//zoom. Us/join         Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757   Passcode:  352680

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Angela Sanborn, Jeffrey Chevalier, Ann Golob (Zoom), Katy Johnson-Aplin (Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).

OTHERS PRESENT:
In-Person – Carol Hesselbach (Town Clerk), Jane Douglas (Planning Commissioner), Christine White, Margot Mayor, Archer Mayor, Chris Triebert, Carol Ross, Nancy Rysz, Austin Rice (BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

Zoom –Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Walter Dadik (DRB), Diana Urbaska, Lance Lindgren, Steve Levine, Lynn Forrest, Deborah Luskin, Phoebe Connelly, Henriette Mantel, Patricia Smith, Dale Stevens, Tony Leonard, Patty Johnson.

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

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:  
Ann Golob mentioned they needed to discuss Nancy Rysz’s property in “Old Business” or in the Unscheduled Members of the Public.

TRAFFIC CALMING-
Jay Wilson was the first person in the series to discuss the Traffic Calming options for the town. Wilson brought everyone up to date on the changes made in the past few years to update speed limits and adjust the size of signs to ensure that they meet regulations. Newfane currently has five electronic speed signs at various locations around Town. The signs can provide many report options; this information is collected and at a later time we can review reporting preferences.

Over the past years, speed bumps have been introduced in many locations around Vermont. Wilson had spoken with the Town of Manchester where they have tried inverted speed bumps; Golob had spoken with Brattleboro about their experience with regular speed bumps.  In Manchester, the public works manager did not feel the bumps were having a significant impact on reducing speeds. In Brattleboro, the public works manager reported that the noise had a strong impact on the quality of life of the nearby residents and the bumps were recently removed from around Memorial Park due to the complaints. They are looking at other traffic calming options.
In Newfane, we can decide to add speed bumps to a town-owned road, but Depot and Dover Road are federal corridors, and permission is required to pursue bumps on these roads. The plan is to request that VTrans give us a firm decision on whether this is an option for Dover Road.

Newfane Village has a meeting this Thursday evening, September 8, to discuss their plans for installing sidewalks and crosswalks along the Route 30 Corridor.
Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Golob noted that even if we can install bumps and we decide we want to, they are only usable in the non-winter months. We do not have time to get them installed before this winter. Therefore, we have some time to investigate this further, clarify if we can install them on Dover Road, and do some “testing” of the noise from the bumps at other locations around the county.

Sanborn confirmed that Sheriff Mark Anderson will be at the September 19 meeting to discuss Enforcement.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. August 15, 2022, Regular Meeting

Golob made a motion to approve the August 15 regular meeting minutes. Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.
Discussion
Golob asked for corrections and clarification on pages four and five.

  • Karen Astley’s comments should be amended to read, “Astley reviewed the funds owed to the town by FEMA from the July 2021 storm that has not yet been received as well as other funds the town has from ARPA and our capital funds.”
  • Dennis Wiswall – Correction to remove the double negative to properly reflect his intention “that this money should not be considered surplus.”
  • Golob – mentioned that BDCC – not WRC – is waiting to see if they would receive a Federal Fund to hire staff that would be able to assist Towns with Community Economic Development planning.
    Golob made a motion to approve the August 15 minutes as amended. Chevalier seconded the motion.  Motion passed 5/0.

 August 23, 2022, Informational Meeting.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the August 23 Informational minutes. Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.
Discussion:
Golob “I would recommend that more details be added to reflect a more informative account of the events of the meeting.”
Sanborn asked for assistance in revising the minutes.
Golob asked if the Admin could review the BCTV videotape of the meeting for editing the minutes.
Sanborn called the vote to approve the August 23 Informational Meeting.
Motion passed 5/0.

  1. August 29, 2022, Special Meeting
    Golob made a motion to approve the August 29 Special minutes. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
    Motion passed 4/1. Chevalier abstained.

 ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The easement statement for 254 Depot Rd is the hands of the state ROW people. We are waiting to see if they will approve it.
  2. The Arch Bridge had cement poured at both ends, and once cured, it will be backfilled further.
  3. The Sand/Salt shed is waiting for Bell Engineering to update the bid documents so it can go out to bid this fall.
  4. Hartgen has finished the Archeological study for the gravel pit.
  5. Everett Hammond engineer has looked at the seasonal streambed and going to make a recommendation for stabilizing the streambed.
  6. Vermont Protective Coating has one section ready for paint and grease and is cleaning the next two sections on Monroe Bridge.
  7. I am still awaiting Ben Green, the state Dam inspector, to comment on the plan we have for Kenny Pond dam. I’ve reached out to him again.
  8. We have an engineering proposal for the Loop Road box culvert; once we have the design and estimate, we can look for money to replace the culvert.
  9. I have a proposal for the Excavator to discuss with the board.

Golob made a motion to approve the Road Foreman’s Report. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0
Discussion:
 item #4: there are three mounds however they fall within the area that will be maintained for a berm and will not be disturbed by the gravel pit. Jewell will review and make a recommendation regarding the archaeological findings. 

 item #5: Wilson confirmed that funds were available in the Bridge account that can be used to cover the cost of the engineer. Since the culvert is a type of structure it is acceptable to use the Bridge account for these expenses. It was discussed whether we needed to do an RFP for bids, but Wilson explained that engineering services (and all professional service contracts) are exempt from the Purchasing Policy.
Golob made a motion to accept the recommendation of Hammond Engineer for $23,000. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

 item #9: Wilson had spoken with Caterpillar regarding the problems with our current excavator being too large to maneuver in and out of the roads with the current increased traffic. I smaller excavator would be preferable. Caterpillar has offered that they would exchange the large, wheeled excavator for a new smaller one and rewrite the lease to keep the same payment amounts spread over seven years (we currently have seven years left on our ten-year lease). the remaining seven-year lease keeping the payments the same. 

 Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the exchange for a new smaller excavator and rewrite the remaining seven-year lease. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Sanborn called the vote to approve the Road Foreman’s Report. Motion passed 5/0. 

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  1. The Town of Newfane is updating its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. As part of this process, the committee working on the plan has a short survey available for all our residents; you can stop in at the Town Office or go to the Town Website; the survey will be open until Friday, September 9, 2022.
  2. On Wednesday, September 14, there will be two-hour training for “Regulating Cannabis: What Vermont Municipal Officials Need to Know” and then on Thursday, September 22, “Municipal Budgeting and Capital Planning,” will be held. If you would like to attend, let me know after the meeting.
  3. Would you like to start the Budget planning on (Monday) October 24?

Follow up
The Town Office has not had a cleaning service since March. What would the Selectboard like to suggest?

Previous efforts & information

  • Integrity Cleaning (Christine Cloutier) from Wardsboro no longer has time.
  • On August 12, Green Mountain Cleaning was willing to clean for $50 per hour, with no window washing.
  • Masteller Cleaning will not give a rate until after (Jenna Wilson’s) maternity leave is over.

Johnson- Aplin made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Chevalier seconded the motion.

 Discussion:
item #3 Fitzpatrick made a motion to start the Budget season on Tuesday, November 1. Chevalier seconded the motion.
Motion passed 5/0.
 Fitzpatrick made a motion to offer the Town Office cleaning to Green Mountain cleaning with 90-day probation. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

item #1 Chris White asked for an extension for the Emergency Management survey.
Chair Sanborn asked Powling to contact Margo Ghia at Windham Regional for additional time to be given to complete the survey requests.

 Sanborn called the vote to approve the Administrative Assistants Report. Motion passed 5/0.

 COMMITTEE REPORT
Planning Commissioner Jane Douglas asked if the Selectboard had considered moving forward with developing the Flood Hazard By-Laws for Newfane. At the August 15 meeting, Windham Regional Commission planner Alyssa Sabetto and Planning Commission Chair Estey had given reasons and benefits for Newfane to adopt FEMA-recommended mitigation measures. Golob mentioned that it was a step toward protecting our future.

Golob made a motion to permit the Planning Commission to move forward with developing the Flood Hazard By-Laws. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Douglas asked if the Selectboard had completed ARPA procedures yet and if funding would be available for the DV Fiber to assist with installation costs for Newfane residents. Golob asked Douglas if she knew the amount of DV Fiber’s request. Douglas responded that it was in the $5,000 range. Douglas will write a proposal for requesting funds and submit this to Selectboard for future consideration.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Town Clerk – Carol Hesselbach provided the Selectboard with recent changes from the Montpelier Board of Liquor Control (BLC). New applicants or those needing to renew their Liquor License; will need to use a portal set up directly with BLC. Montpelier will notify local officials when these applications are up for renewal. There would no longer be a need to sign applications approving the renewals. Municipalities still need to warn a BLC hearing and approve or deny an application. Minutes from the hearing would serve as a record of the process.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Nancy Rysz, who resides at 65 Baker Brook Road, needed to get clarification from Selectboard regarding work on her property. She followed up on communication from (USDA-NRCS) United States Department of Agriculture /Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Selectboard members reviewed minutes from September 2021, where a motion was made and voted on to act as the Sponsor for the project for 65 Baker Brook roads.

Discussion ensued:
Golob recommended Jay Wilson review the information and determine a process for the Selectboard to follow. Wilson agreed to contact Ms. Rysz and follow up with the Selectboard.

OLD BUSINESS
ARPA updates – No updates

Cannabis updates – No updates

 Warning for Special Town Meeting –
Discussion
The Retail Cannabis Article I and Integrated Retail Cannabis Article II votes had been incorrectly warned. As such, the Town cannot do a floor vote to approve or deny retail cannabis in Newfane. Voting must happen by Australian ballot, and residents will have normal early voting privileges. Sanborn presented three options for consideration,

  1. Hold the September 20th Special Town Meeting as warned to discuss the two budget-related articles (tax shortage and WINDART appropriation), present the PowerPoint information about the Cannabis articles, and inform the residents that there will be voting by Australian Ballot on the two Cannabis Articles with early voting and date to be determined.
  2. Reschedule the September 20 Special Town Meeting to a new date in October.
  3. Wait until the March Town Meeting.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to keep the September 20 Special Town Meeting as warned, to resolve the tax shortage and the WINDART appropriation and provide the voters with the information on voting by Australian Ballot for the two Cannabis Articles. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/1.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to hold the voting by Australian ballot on October 13 and to allow early voting. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

 Chevalier made a motion to send new flyers to all Newfane residents outlining the changes for Special Town Meeting, with voting by Australian ballot to take place on October 13 at the Town Office. Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

NEW BUSINESS-
 None

CORRESPONDENCE

  1. The First Congregational Church of Newfane requests West Street and Church Street to be closed during Heritage Festival on Columbus Day weekend.                                                         Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the request to close the road for Heritage Festival. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

  2. Erica Walch – Asked for clarification on the wording /meaning of the Cannabis questions and the effect of the yes or no vote.
  3. Breeze Verdant – Regarding traffic calming situations and realistic solutions
  4. Windham Central Supervisor Union – Superintendent candidate interview

Golob made a motion to have Chevalier and Sanborn approve pay orders this week. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

 (Attending remotely, Golob, Johnson-Aplin, and  Fitzpatrick withdrew and left the meeting.)

 PAY ORDERS

  1.  Payroll Warrant No #11583                               Amount $    4,632.24
  2.   Payroll Warrant No #11584                               Amount $    5,006.68
  3.   Payroll Warrant No #11585                               Amount $     5,795.21
  4.   Account Payable No # 23005                            Amount $        163.44
  5.   Account Payable No # 23006                            Amount $    935,978.20

 Chevalier made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Sanborn seconded the motion.
Motion passed 2/0.

ADJOURN:
 Chevalier made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:44 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling
Administrative Assistant