January 3, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Masks are required by those attending in-person / if unable to do so; please use the Zoom Link provided

Zoom Meeting   https://zoom.us/joinameeting     Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757   Passcode: 352680

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  

Angela Sanborn, with Katy Johnson- Aplin and Ann Golob (via Zoom), with Mike Fitzpatrick (on the phone)

Absent: Shelly Huber

OTHERS PRESENT:  (In-person) Steve Levine, Janine Rose, Bill Morse, Jesse Holden, David Cotton, Piet van Loon, Austin Rice – B.C.T.V., and Wannetta Powling

(Zoom) Jay Wilson, Jane Douglas, Ken Estey, Cris White, Steve Neratko, and Jeryl Julian Cisse

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:

  • December 20, 2021, Regular Meeting.

Ann Golob made a motion to approve the Minutes of December 6, a regular meeting.

 Mike Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.  – Motion passed 4/0.

 

  • December 27, 2021, Budget Meeting.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Minutes of December 27, a regular meeting.

 Katy Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.   Motion passed 4/0.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  • The meeting happened with the V.T.R.A.N.S. biologist, and two spots were located near the office trailer at the Arch Bridge for the bat houses. They should be installed this week.
  • The phone meeting with Bob Fisher for the Wiswall Hill beavers occurred, until it’s causing damage to the town road, we can’t do anything as the Town. Bob said the property owners who are experiencing damage can and should deal with this to stop the damage to their property.
  • The R.T. 30 radar sign has been positively affecting traffic speed. During the Christmas holiday, the traffic count was 9,251 cars going south from Thursday to Monday.
  • The bid for cleaning and greasing of the steel structure for Monroe Bridge is out and will be opened at the next Selectboard meeting on January 18.

*Ann Golob asked that we contact the neighbors on Wiswall Hill near the Beaver Pond and provide them with an update. *Covered Bridge in Williamsville seems to need additional signage, there are people not aware that the bridge is one lane. Currently, there is a stop sign at one end of the bridge, and vehicles are trying to enter the bridge at the same time.

*Jay mentioned that he would see if additional signage was available.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Road Foreman’s Report. Ann Golob seconded.

Motion Passed 4/0

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  • I have been working with Melissa on the figures that are in the draft for your review tonight.
  • I would like to suggest to the Selectboard that we hold one more budget meeting on Monday the 10th to go over and approve the articles, review the final numbers for the budget, and vote on them.
  • The Selectboard will need to consider how best to format the Town Meeting and what the legislature will allow the Town to do; I understand that on January 4, they will be deciding this issue in Montpelier. I will be attending the V.L.C.T. webinar and will provide you with an update.

Discussion:

*Selectboard will hold one more budget meeting on Monday the 10th

*January 17th is a Martin Luther King Federal Holiday – Board agreed to meet on Tuesday, January 18th.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Ann Golob seconded. Roll called -motion passed 4/0.

 COMMITTEE REPORT:

Williamsville Hall – Steve Levine provided the Selectboard with financial information about the Williamsville Hall for this year’s appropriations. Regarding completing an assessment of the building, the Hall committee has received two estimates

  •  “The Criterion” gave an estimate of $3,000 to complete an assessment of the building.
  • The Preservation Trust will find a qualified company to do a building assessment for approximately $500.  Of that total, they will foot $250 and they will provide a grant to the town to cover the balance. This can happen within the next couple of weeks.

In order to assess the state of the slate roof, Trevor Kemp who is a Williamsville resident and a licensed drone pilot is available to work with a roofing contractor to provide aerial views of the condition of the slate in order to avoid having to construct scaffolding to inspect it. Jim Brow from Slate and Brow Roofing (@ $100 per hour) was contacted; the two men have agreed to work together and use the photographs and video information from the drone; they would be able to do an initial inspection of the slate roof. Providing that all goes well, we would set aside funds for future needs.

The outside painting of the building has been estimated to cost between $25,000 and $30,000. Other needs of concern are the repairs to the balcony above the main floor. The condition of the chimney is unknown; does it only need attention in the kitchen where the plaster is coming off? Once the assessor inspects the building, we will better understand the work needed and we can prioritize it.

 

The committee is asking for 20,000 for the Capital fund, which would go towards the painting of the building now; if it is discovered that the roof has repair needs, we would postpone the painting to do necessary repairs to the roof.

Previously the Hall received funds in the following years in these amounts:

  •  FY 2018 -2019 = $12,000
  •  FY 2019 -2020= $15,000
  •  FY 2020-2021 = $ ZERO (waiting on building assessment)
  •  FY 2022 -2023 =$20,000  currently requesting

Currently, the Hall capital fund has a balance of $ 20,060.

The Selectboard will follow up with this request at the Monday, January 10, budget meeting.

Discussion ensued if the Hall should be closed for the remainder of January, February and reopen in March. The Selectboard recommends that it would be best to keep the Hall open – it helps promote the Town’s vibrancy in the village of Williamsville. Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn suggested coming back to the January 18 meeting with further information to determine if those who are scheduled to hold activities (such as the yoga group who is interested in booking classes for ten weeks), a film festival, etc. are still open to doing so.

DRB update on key issues – David Cotton with Piet van Loon

According to the Zoning Administrator, the DRB has held five (5) hearings during 2021. The DRB hearings included an AirB&B application and a subdivision on Route 30. There was also an informational meeting to consider if it would be feasible for a potential buyer to develop 105 acres near the Ollallie Day Lily Farm into a communal living complex.

David reviewed the process that is in place — the Planning Commission writes the Bylaws, the Zoning Commissioner gives zoning approval if the application meets the requirements of the bylaw. The Design Review Board (DRB) only considers applications if there is a need for a variance or waiver for situations that are unusual and fall outside the conditions covered by the Bylaws.

Typically it is commercial applications where the DRB gets involved, such as bed and breakfast, subdivisions, or the Inns. The committee currently has five regular members and two alternates all of whom are open-minded and work well together; all have studied the Bylaws and understand the scope of their responsibilities.

Ann Golob brought up the abandonment of properties that have fallen into disrepair. Other towns have created ordinances that define exactly what is meant by “disrepair.” Most recently Wilmington enacted such an ordinance. She asked if this would start with the Planning Commission or different ways to address this. Ken Estey who is chair of the Planning Commission addressed the question, stating that it would be under the Selectboard’s jurisdiction to create such an ordinance. But that the DRB and Planning Commission could undoubtedly be part of the discussion and would be very interested in participating.

Ann agreed to collect information from other towns to see what they have in place.

Mike mentioned that the Town would consider it if there was a health issue.

Bill Morse and Jesse Holden were present and considered mentioning their current application under review. David Cotton stated that it is inappropriate to discuss the information publicly with an application currently under consideration.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: 

Economic Development Consultant Candidate–Steve Neratko

Ann Golob asked if she could introduce Steve and discuss his experience in greater detail with the Selectboard. She reminded the Board that we are looking for a consultant to work with the town on how to spend our ARPA funds and to think through how we might complete longer-term projects that will require additional funding beyond that which is available through ARPA. Steve described his previous work experiences and his interest in this part-time consulting position. Below is a section from his resume:

Highly motivated, innovative, and versatile planner with an extensive background in municipal governance, planning, gis, data analysis, and community and economic development. Energetic self-starter with excellent research, analytical, communication, and creative skills. Able to envision alternatives to the physical and social environments in which we live. In-depth experience working with a wide range of municipal and governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, consultants, business and industry leaders, and the public. Adept at consensus building; able to communicate effectively and work with various people.

  • Proficient at reading plans and blueprints and comprehending complex codes, laws, and policies.
  • Background in transportation and utility corridor planning, permitting, design and development.
  • Broad background in actual property acquisition, development and management, housing and land development, land surveying, engineering, land design, planning, permitting, and construction.
  • Project management expertise includes initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure.
  • In-depth experience in public engagement and relations, social media, marketing, communications, and writing.
  • Developed, managed, and administered large budgets and capital improvement programs.
  • Competent in data science, analytics, math, statistics, and related programming such as python, r, SQL, M.A.T.L.A.B.
  • Superior research skills, including paper and digital researching, note-taking, and data collection and management. Experience searching courthouse, real estate, tax records, computer, network, and online research.
  • Personable, positive, calm, caring, considerate, and easy to work with

After answering questions from Selectboard members and others, Steve offered that he would be willing to come back to the next Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, January 18, to hear from the Planning Commission on ARPA recommendations collected from the recent surveys. Chair Angela Sanborn encouraged him to do so.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: 

None.

OLD BUSINESS:

Cannabis Issues a discussion concerning if an article to allow the sale of Cannabis in Newfane should be considered for this year’s town meeting.

Ann Golob recommended that V.L.C.T. needed to be consulted to see if there is a draft of a similar document already available and if other towns had already established precedence. Katy Johnson-Aplin recognized the importance of moving forward with the possibilities of forming Newfane’s C.C.C.  (Cannabis Control Commission) counsel and offered to do further research on the topic including contacting VLCT.

Review Articles for Town Meeting- Tabled until January 10, 2022 @6p.m.

NEW BUSINESS: 

None

CORRESPONDENCE:  

None

PAY ORDERS:

1.       Payroll Warrant No #11547                        Amount $    7,156.21

2.       Payroll Warrant No #11548                        Amount $    5,484.09

 Due to illness, Pay Orders are to be reviewed and signed separately (Ann Golob, Mike Fitzpatrick & Katy Johnson-Aplin had withdrawn from the meeting)

ADJOURN: 

Angela Sanborn made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Administrative Assistant

Wannetta Powling