May 18, 2020 Selectboard Minutes


BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Marion Dowling, Shelly Huber, and Angela Sanborn.

ABSENT:   Michael Fitzpatrick and Christopher Williams,

OTHERS PRESENT: Jay Wilson, Melissa Brown, BCTV (zoom) and Wannetta Powling.

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chair Marion Dowling.


Following the Executive meeting on May 12th 2020 (Evaluation of a public officer or employee) it was discussed that the best thing for the town would be to move forward with the town business and to put personal difference aside.


A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to approve the March 27, 2020 minutes, Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to “Table until amended” the May 4, 2020 minutes Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.



  1. As I mentioned at the last meeting, we have set the pre-bid meeting for Monroe Bridge on May 26th at 9:00.
  2. We started replacing culverts in addition to the normal grading and graveling.
  3. The guard rail work is to begin Monday.
  4. Carr tree service is going to be setting a crane up on the top of Newfane Hill to remove a tree; it is scheduled for May 28th.
  5. The access permit for Brown’s Road has been reviewed and can be approved.
  6. I received two prices for crack sealing the pavement to extend the life of the pavement until we can resurface. The first was Nicom at $4,250.00 per day and they estimate they can cover 2 miles of road per day. The other was Gorman Brothers at $14,250.00- 19,950.00 they estimate 3-4.5 miles per day. Both included traffic control in the prices. I would recommend Nicom for up to 3 days of sealing.
  7. I have a meeting with Northeast Municipal scheduled for Wednesday to go over a plan for the Hazmat and Safety procedures for the town garage.
  8. Storm on Friday night caused a few trees to come down
  9. The work on stone wall at Cemetery Hill road is near completion. It is a recommendation to evacuate the walls every few years to repair them as needed.
  10. The cracks on the front steps of Town hall were repaired. This was a recommendation of VLCT Loss Control agent.

Discussion ensued.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to approve using Nicom for pavement sealing. Ms. Huber seconded.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to approve access permit for Browns Road. Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.


CD’s – Last week I had mentioned the five CD’s that are with Brattleboro Savings & Loan. I received the interest for the CD’s; they totaled $2,034.31 for all of them. They have been allocated accordingly. I also completed the rollover of the CD’s with Brattleboro Savings and Loan for 91-days.

Town Owned Property – Last year there was a tax sale held on February 28, 2019. One of the properties was bid on by the town, and is now town owned as of March 3, 2020. The owner of the property was unable to redeem the property within the 1-year time frame from the actual tax sale date. This property is located on Glebe Road in Williamsville. This is not the first time this property has gone into tax sale but usually the mother pays for the taxes so the owner doesn’t lose it.

I have had a couple of calls from people asking when this property will be going up for sale by the town because they are interested in buying it. I have also just recently had a call from the previous owner’s mother. She is interested in buying the property back for her son.

I have spoken with Bob Fisher in regards to this matter briefly. He said that we have three options as to what we can do.

  • If the mother wants, she can write a letter to the Selectboard letting them know she is willing to bring the property current. The board would then have to decide whether they want to sell it to her. If it was decided to sell to her, it would have to be advertised in the papers before it could be finalized in case someone wanted to challenge it.
  • We can advertise and set a date to auction the property off.
  • We can advertise and set a date to bid the property off by silent auction. Everyone would send in sealed bids.

With all of these options I would calculate what is owed currently on the property along with what went into tax sale so the town can re-coop all the taxes and attorney fees. If you auction the property, the starting bid would be for what is owed which is $3,543.71. Anything above that amount would be sent back to the original owner.

If you decide to auction off this property, I would like to add two other properties to sell also. We have two other properties over the past couple of years that went into tax sale and were also unredeemed due to both owners passing. Neither of the families are interest in the properties.

FEMA Property – I have received a phone call from a gentleman who is interested in leasing property on the Dover Road. This property is in the flood zone and was part of the buyback program from the state during Tropical Storm Irene. I have asked him to write the Selectboard with his proposal as to what he is looking to do. He stated that he is an “Energy Healer” and wants the property to have a quiet place to sit. He also mentioned that he wants to put up a TP or tent there.

I also spoke briefly with Bob Fisher in regards to this and he advised me to look in the land records to see what stipulations may be for these properties. I will search it out and see what I can’t find.

Other than that, all else is the same. I’m continuing to process payroll, accounts payable, taxes and soon I will complete all my monthly reporting.

Special Appropriations – I have done some calculating on the Special Appropriations that were redone and approved at the Town Meeting this past March. According to my calculations I am $2,000.00 short for what we need to reset everything back to the way they were last year along with the increase to the Moore Free Library. I have attached a spreadsheet showing how I arrived at this difference.


Discussion ensued on the FEMA property at #236 & #246 Dover Road. Selectboard asked that the Administrative assistant reply to letter when received, that the property has restrictions from the State of Vermont, and not available for lease.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to approve the treasurer’s report. Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.


  • I have completed 5 Highway overweight application permits, and mailed them out to the respective businesses. Updated insurance certificates have been coming in to be added to the files.
  • I have answered 4 different Animal control calls since last week.
  1. With the owners approval I choose to keep one dog overnight at my house the owner had been transported to DHMC, from GCH. (Reunited Friday night).
  2. WCHS – wanted a check up on an elder couple that might need assistance with caring for animals in a rabbit hutch / cage.
  3. Missing small dog on Baker Brook Rd. (still missing)
  4. Golden Retriever had been reported Lost. (Came home on her own)
  • There has been a complaint of someone picking up firewood off other people’s property along the New Road. (phone call was made to the individual – to avoid sending the VT ST Troopers)
  • American Legion will not be holding Memorial Day Celebrations on the Newfane Common, due to their elderly ages and current COVID 19 conditions.
  • Fax machine in the Town Clerk’s office is old. I have not been able to find replacement ink cartridge.  We have moved an additional machine that was in the clerk’s office. That one will not receive or send faxes based on the test we have made.  Would like to order a replacement Machine from Staples.
  • In addition to all of my other duties, I have been cleaning the Town Hall while our building is still closed to the public.

It was recommended to replace the fax machine with a compatible less expensive machine from Staples.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to approve the administrative assistants report. Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.




State of Vermont sent a request of reappointment of Town Forest Fire Warden; this is a four year appointment.

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to reappoint Todd Lawley as Town Forest Fire Warden. Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.

VLCT Procedures for COVID 19 Safety & Health Work Plan;

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to adopt the new procedures for COVID 19 Safety & Health Work Plan.

Ms. Huber seconded.

Motion Passed.


State of Vermont Troopers Contract expires June 30th. The Selectboard asked the Administrative Assistant to send a letter of request to the VT State Troopers and the Windham County Sheriff’s office to meet before the end of June, and discuss the options of shared patrolling the Town of Newfane and the Villages of Williamsville, South Newfane and Brookside.

Town Office Building Permit for the building committee to move forward with plans for the Town Hall addition.  There have been meetings with David Cotton, of Cotton Design to review the proposed plans.  The services of Cotton Designs would file the permits necessary as well as making sure the  state regulations are followed.    There is a business contract to sign, and services will cost fifteen thousand dollars.    Having a qualified company handle these ensures that any technicalities are dealt with by a knowledgeable professional.

A motion was made by Ms. Huber to put this expense of hiring an Engineer out to bid. Ms. Sanborn seconded.

Motion Passed.


Rare Plant Survey – River Road

Newfane Garden Club – Town Office

Christopher May – Email

Nancy Rysz’s – Letter


  • Accounts Payable 20024 in the amount of $40,207.23
  • Accounts Payroll 11451 in the amount of $ 5,465.97
  • Accounts Payroll 11452 in the amount of $ 5,483.40

A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn and seconded by Ms. Dowling to approve the pay orders.

The motion carried.


A motion was made by Ms. Sanborn to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted, Wannetta Powling

**We want to stay committed to the mandate issued by the Government regarding COVID 19 – Please let’s remember to Stay Safe