Category Archives: Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes

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