July 6, 2021 Selectboard Minutes

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BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Katy Johnson-Aplin, Shelly Huber (via Zoom), and Mike Fitzpatrick (via phone).

OTHERS PRESENT Jay Wilson, Gloria Cristelli, Doris Knechtel, Ken Estey, Dan Dewalt, Keats Dieffenbach, Kate Gehring,  David Cotton, Apple Gifford, Walter Dadik, Steve Levine, Burt Picard, Austin RiceBCTV, 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: 

Ann Golob recommended amending the June 21st Meeting Minutes Members of the Public comments to reflect the range of support, comments, and interest for anti-bias training.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. June 21, 2021, Regular Meeting (as Amended)

Ann Golob made a motion to accept the minutes as amended for the June 21, 2021, regular meeting.

Mike Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. Monroe Bridge is finished. I submitted the paperwork, and VTRANS has approved it for reimbursement, so we should be getting $175,000 back shortly.
  2. The Depot Rd Culvert update: Still awaiting easement.
  3. The Sand/Salt shed update: We are meeting next week to get updates on the status.
  4. We were finally able to get the ash trees removed from the Beetlestone Hill Cemetery by Wise Oak Tree Service, and they did an excellent job. I had them look at the Newfane Hill Cemetery. Also, that has three large dead ash and a large pine branch; they sent a quote for $3,925. Is that something you want to do?

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the quote for removing trees in the Newfane Hill Cemetery.

Ann Golob seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

  1. I have submitted the permit for the R.T. 30 radar signs. Windham Regional is doing a map to show the locations
  2. The Arch Bridge is currently scheduled to go out to bid on July 7, with the bid opening on July 30. The town is responsible for the detour sign package, and I will start planning for that. The posts will need to be installed this fall before the ground freezes and the signs put up in March.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:

  • Barrows & Fisher Oil recently notified the treasurer (Melissa) that Newfane had not recertified our Tax-Exempt Status. Due to new Legislation, towns now are required to file a Municipal Tax-Exempt form with Commercial Vehicles every two years to be Certified Tax Exempt. (This allows for fuel deliveries with no sales tax is charged.)
  • Friday, June 25, I sent a certified letter was to the Clarks @ Blueberry Circle; I also hand-delivered a copy to the Windham County Sheriff’s Office for their records. On Thursday, July 1, Animal Control Officer Ashley Pinger introduced herself and got more information on the Dog on Dog attack. I am impressed with the prompt response and look forward to working with Ashley as the new Regional Animal Control Officer.
  • George Legrace of the Veterans group RUCK –UP on July 10 will have their coin drop from 8 am -4:30 pm on Route 30 near the common. Would you please help show your support for our Veterans?
  • July 1, the Zoning Administrator, and I were delivered copies of the appeal Gordon & Jean Bristol filed in Environmental Court for the Natural Burial Grounds on Sun- Set Lake Road. Nothing more can happen until all of the legal appeals are determined.
  • For your reference, I have attached the email response I received back from one of the partners at Sullivan, Powers, regarding a contract for services request that I sent.
  • The last page is the wage increase F.Y. 2022, representing the budget discussion for pay increases that started on July 1. The treasurer needs this signed by the Selectboard for auditing purposes.

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

COMMITTEE REPORT

Development Review Board Chair David Cotton –provided an overview of the process that the DRB follows when they review applications. Most recently, the applications for Green Burial in a resource district, the Coffee Shop, and some other applications that have to deal with variances and setbacks.  The DRB is currently looking for additional members to fill the one vacancy to make up an entire board and four others as alternates. David Cotton stated that he has served on the Planning Commission and the DRB for the past twenty years, “I have seen concern about Zoning in Newfane.  There is value, meaning, and importance in having zoning, consequences that follow if zoning does not exist. ”

 Lister Doris Knechtel – F.Y. 2022 – TOWN OF NEWFANE MUNICIPAL TAX RATE 

  • Approved Expenditures   Article 5                              1,543,465
  • Capital Reserve Fund      Article 6                                  245,645
  • Capital Needs                  Article 7                                     28,653
  • Special Appropriations   Article 9-35                                37,683
  • Anticipated Revenue                                                           310,647
    • To Be Raised                                                               1,544,781
    • FY 2021 Grand List  $ 2,466,377 – 36,535
    • FY 2022 Grand List     $2,502,912                                                                                                                                                                                    

Newfane Municipal Tax Rate Estimate              0.6172                               

FY 2022 Municipal Tax                                                        FY 2021 Municipal Tax 

Homestead   / Non- Residential                            Homestead   / Non-Residential

0.6172         0.6172                                                        0.6172            0.6172

FY 2022 Education Tax               (set by the state)                F.Y. 2021 Education Tax

Homestead / Non- Residential                                               Homestead     / Non- Residential

1.8849          1.6719                                                                       1.9510              1.6808

___________________________________________________________________________________

Tax Rate FY 2022                                                                           Tax Rate FY 2021       

       2.5021 / 2.2891                                                                           2.6006 / 2.3304

Shelly Huber made a motion to accept the Municipal Tax Rate of 0.6172. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded.  Motion passed 5/0.

Williamsville Hall Committee Chair Steve Levine – provided the following information.

  • Capital Funds on Hand: $21,060.73
  • Work Needed: (all quotes are 3-5 years old)
  • Exterior painting: $25-30,000
  • Possible Work Needed:
    • Repair of Ceiling in Balcony: $5-7,000
    • Bolting down of benches and railing fixes in the balcony: $1,000.00
    • Chimney repair or removal?
    • Roofing repair?
  • Building Positives:
    • ADA compliant
    • Modern energy-efficient heating system
    • Updated electrical system to State code
    • Updated insulation
    • State-approved fire alarm and freeze alarm systems
    • All windows and doors rehabbed and weatherized for energy efficiency
    • Cellular shades (blackout where needed) on all windows
    • Wi-fi and landline phone connections

Last but not least, we have a beautiful 111-year-old building used and enjoyed by the entire community.

Discussion proceeded regarding the need for a professional building assessment to provide accurate descriptions of work needed and cost-effective labor and materials required to maintain the building properly.

Shelly Huber made a motion to have Mr. Levine contact some building inspectors to give the Board a few work estimates to compare. Mike Fitzpatrick seconded. Motion passed.

Shelly Huber, Thanked Mr. Levine and the Hall committee for their hard work to maintain the building.

There was a request to install an outdoor water faucet. This could be paid for out of the Donation Funds.

Ann Golob made a motion to approve the installation of an outdoor water faucet. Shelly Huber seconded. Motion passed 5/0

 Mr. Levine will contact the plumber to have the work done.

Angela Sanborn, on behalf of the entire Selectboard, Thanked Mr. Levine and the Hall committee for their hard work.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

None

OLD BUSINESS:  Japanese Knot Weed- Gloria Cristelli

Newfane has a significant Japanese knotweed problem. Here are a couple of ideas to use.

  1. Manual Cutting As the title suggests, someone should manually cut down the Japanese knotweed, initially in May, as it gets about a foot to eighteen inches. It needs to be put on pallets and Knotweed requires constant every two or three weeks, cutting weakens the rhizomes· and will, in three or more years, help· to control the patch.
  2. Mowing You have agreed to have Jay Wilson use his mower to mow down large Once mowed, the knotweed must be kept off the ground. Any tiny piece will start a new plant. It is necessary to clean off the mower after every use. An alternative would be to buy a push mower with a collection bag. The debris of the Japanese knotweed should then be placed in sturdy black construction bags or garbage cans on site and allowed to burn.

Shelly Huber made a motion to have the Town Office Leach field inspected by Brian Taylor of Dummerston V.T. if the estimated cost is in the Five Hundred dollar range. Mike Fitzpatrick second. Motion passed 5/0

Jay Wilson will follow up with these recommendations.

 Newfane COVID 19 Restrictions- Newfane has opened its doors to the public. The Town Clerk recommends appointments due to the limited space to do title work or research.  Masks are not required but are a personal choice.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) -Ann Golob

The treasurer has requested the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the Town of Newfane.  It was necessary to list a second person; this person will be getting duplicate informational emails. Ann Golob’s name was submitted for this purpose. She has been instrumental with Newfane getting available funds. She has been diligently sharing the process with other members of the Selectboard as they become known to her.

The Planning Commission will be scheduling three informational meetings for public input to discuss what the ARPA funds may be used to benefit residents of Newfane, South Newfane, Williamsville, and Brookside.

Shelly Huber made a motion to change the second person to the Administrative Assistant. The motion was not seconded.

 Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to leave the names as listed. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded.

Motion passed 4/1, Shelly Huber abstained.

NEW BUSINESS:

None

CORRESPONDENCE:

  • First Congregational Church –Requested permission to close off West Street & Church Street for the 50th Heritage Festival in October.

Selectboard approved unanimously. Notice of approval will be sent to the Church.

  • Town Pollinator Project – Request that Newfane dedicate a parcel of town land to promote the natural pollinate habitat.

Shelly Huber made a motion to use the section on Dover Road that is unusable after Hurricane Irene. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded.  Motion passed.

  • Native Plant Trust- Permission to survey/monitor the Orchid population on River Road.

Shelly Huber made a motion to allow permission to do the research. Ann Golob seconded. 

Motion passed

  • State of V.T. Agency of Human Services /Windham Regional Commission – Letter of Introduction to assist with Human Services if needed.
  • PAY ORDERS:
    1. Payroll Warrant No #11520                        Amount $ 4,070.34
    2. Payroll Warrant No #11521                        Amount $  6,969.55
    3. Account Payable No # 21027                       Amount $ 363,265.66

Ann Golob made a motion to approve pay orders. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion Passed.

ADJOURN: 

Katy Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm

Respectfully Submitted

Administrative Assistant

Wannetta Powling