Monday April 5th, 2021 Selectboard Meeting

 To join (Zoom) information https://zoom.us/j/2642477645?pwd=MTVUZGRMSFJ4MXpMcFhNN0JBNk0yZz09  

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Angela Sanborn, Shelly Huber, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ann Golob and Katy Johnson-Aplin

OTHERS PRESENT:

Jay Wilson, Melissa Brown, Jane Douglas, Lynn Forrest, Henry & Juliette Carr, Peter Novak, Walter & Emily Hagedorn, Kate Gehring, Austin Rice -BCTV and Wannetta Powling

CALL TO ORDER:

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

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:

Angela Sanborn made a motion to move the Correspondence to Old Business with Dog complaint.

 APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. January 18, 2021 Regular Meeting

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 18, 2021 Regular meeting. Shelly Huber seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  1. February 28, 2021 Public Hearing

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the minutes of the February 28, 2021 Public Hearing. Angela Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  1. February 28, 2021 Board of Liquor Control

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the minutes of the February 28, 2021 Board of Liquor Control. Angela Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  1. March 1, 2021 Informational Meeting

Shelly Huber made a motion to accept the minutes of the March 1, 2021 Informational Meeting.

Mike Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  1. March 15, 2021 Regular Meeting

Ann Golob made a motion to accept the minutes of the March 15, 2021 Regular Meeting.  Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed (Mike Fitzpatrick Abstained.)Discussion ** Lister Vacancy was omitted from previous Administrative Assistant report, from the March 15th minutes.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The bridge work on Monroe Bridge is continuing, they have removed pavement on almost half the bridge. Daniels is scheduled to pour concrete for the joint repair tomorrow. We will be meeting there with VTRANS on Wednesday to jack hammer a couple of spots to check the concrete on the existing deck. If we find spots that need repair, I will ask for a special meeting to discuss it with the board.
  2. The Depot Rd Culvert update: Nothing new to report.
  3. Mud season is starting to improve on all but a couple roads.
  4. The Sand/Salt shed update: Nothing new to report.
  5. You should have the VTRANS Annual Financial Plan to sign and the Certificate of Compliance to sign.
  6. River Rd. bridge is having the approaches redone by Daniels Construction at no cost to the town. That work should start soon.
  7. This is the year we re-paint the white line on the blacktop. We have pricing from Poirier Line Stripping $.065 per foot. And L&D Safety marking for $.07 per foot. I would recommend Poirier they are a little less expensive and seem to do a far better job.

Shelly Huber made a motion to have Poirier Line help stripping @$0.065 cents per foot. Katy Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  1. We have 3 prices on our crushed gravel Fitzpatrick Excavating was the low price at $16.00 per yd. delivered. We have been getting that gravel and the quality is very good.

Discussion ensued.

Shelly Huber made a motion use Fitzpatrick Excavating for gravel, Ann Golob seconded the motion.

Angela Sanborn asked if Fitzpatrick Excavating has turned in all paperwork required. Per Wannetta, the Subcontracting Agreement has not been received. Our current insurance does not expire until the end of April 2021. Since the Town of Newfane is listed as an additional insured party, when the policy is renewed the town will automatically be maintained as an insured party.

Motion passed (Mike Fitzpatrick Abstained).

  1. The Selectboard needs to write a letter to VTRANS requesting the implementation of the recommendations from “The Traffic Safety Audit” for RT 30 in Newfane village. Dynamic stripping at the entrances to the Village. Request locations for Radar feedback signs at each end of the village. Additional 30 mph sign in the village south bound opposite the existing 30 mph at mile 3.296 Evaluate “Hidden Drive” signs for 631-638 VT RT 30. The next two were discussed at the safety audit meeting but are not included in the report. Establish a “No Passing Zone” for Newfane village Addition of “Pedestrian Caution” signs. Newfane will be applying for a pedestrian scoping study grant to assist us with locating cross walks and developing a plan for sidewalk improvements.
  2. I had written to Pam Thurber from VTRANS with concerns from the bridge inspection report about the Green Iron Bridge in So. Newfane. The state had assumed responsibility for major repairs after Irene and the town does routine maintenance.  I have copied her response below.  This bridge is the truck detour because of the covered bridge, I have asked Windham Regional Commission to look at this bridge to see if it can be moved up in ranking.

Good afternoon Jay, 

Based on the last inspection, done in 2020, the bridge’s superstructure continues to corrode with heavy rust scale, pitting, and perforations and was rated in an overall fair (5) condition.  The bridge’s load rating has been re-evaluated, taking into account the extent and location of deterioration, and determined to not significantly affect or require reduction of the 24,000 pound legal load limit.

With input from towns and regional planning commissions (RPCs), bridges located on town highways are prioritized for programming and funding based on many factors and it is important that the town continue to voice their desire to rank this bridge high in priority for consideration.  Upon selection, as per the agreement and its conditions, the Agency would be responsible for all necessary rehabilitation or restoration costs for the bridge.  With over 1,600 town bridges competing for resources when this might happen cannot be determined.

Until the bridge’s priority becomes such that a project is selected, the town should continue to perform preservation treatments such as sweeping, cleaning, and washing the bridge of any deposits or debris, maintaining smooth approach transitions to reduce impact, maintaining approach and bridge rails for safety, trimming back trees and brush, enforcing the posting to not overstress the bridge, and sealing cracks to slow or prevent salt laden water and moisture from getting to the superstructure members and bridge seats accelerating deterioration.

 Please let me know if you have additional questions.  Regards, Pam

 When does the letter need to go to VTrans?  No deadline stated. Discussion ensued on the study for the Village of Newfane area and the Grant. The Selectboard has approved to apply for the Grant, this would happen in April per Jay.

Across from the S. Newfane General Store the guardrail has come up out of the ground. This happened when the snow was pushed back. The company that does the guardrail work will fix this during this summer.

 Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s Report. Shelly Huber seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

 ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:

  • The Hazard Mitigation Zoom information for the two upcoming meetings April 12th & April 21st have been added to the website and placed on Front Porch Forum as well as the information on the Ash Borer Infestation.
  • Training: I have enrolled in a series of financial trainings sponsored by the Vermont State Auditor’s Office. These trainings are offered free to municipalities. The first Zoom class is Tuesday April 6th and the series will conclude in November.
  • I am taking an on-line class to improve my writing skills. You will continue to see improvements in this area.
  • I have been asked by the DRB to create the zoom link for the public hearing on April 28th for the By-Law Amendment for the Natural Burial Ground on Sunset Lake Road. This information is available on the Town website.
  • There was a complaint of illegal dumping of trash on Loop Road.  Jay was able to place a sign within a short period of time; no other dumping has been reported.
  • I have completed this year’s registration for System for Award Management (SAM) this qualifies Newfane to apply for federal grants and emergency funding.

 There is a requested for a change in (health & dental) insurance coverage. I need to get a clarification from the Board in order to process this change. Will the Board agree to the current 80% -20% split on the insurance regardless of the type of plans chosen? (Family, Single, Adult & Spouse, Adult & Child)

 Treasure confirmed this information was on dental only. The amount per monthly paid by employee

 Employee 20%                                                                        Employer 80%

Family plan $ 33.15                                                                   Family plan $ 132.62 

Two-person plan $ 18.84                                                        Two-person plan $ 75.32       

Single person plan   $ 9.82                                                     Single person plan $ 39.30

 There was discussion about the cost and breakdown for monthly costs. The two-person plan has never been used by Town Employees.

 Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the 80/20 split for dental on any plan regardless of plan chosen. Shelly Huber seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

 Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistant’s report. Shelly Huber seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

 TREASURERS REPORT / DELINQUENT TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT

  • Payroll Audit is complete. I am still waiting to hear back from VLCT with the results. VTrans requested a Sub-recipient Monitoring Report. They emailed me the list of paperwork that was needed from 2018-2021. This is a monitoring review for grants that the Town of Newfane has received from VTrans in which they received the funds from the Federal Government. This is completed and we received the exit letter with excellent with no findings or concerns.
  • Vermont Bond Bank (US Bank) requested an Annual Financial Reporting and an Annual Post Issuance Compliance Checklist. Both have been completed. This is in regards to the Bond we have taken out for Bridge 14.
  • Town Properties – Walter Hagedorn is interested in purchasing two town owned properties. These two properties were previously advertised to bid on and nobody purchased them. He dropped the letter off to me and I forwarded it to Wannetta. If you decide to accept his offer we will have to contact Attorney Bob Fisher to do a Purchase and Sales Agreement and advertise the sale for 30 days. We do not need to go through the bid process again. If nobody objects to the sale of the two properties, we can sell them.

Angela Sanborn read the letter written to the Selectboard from Walter Hagedorn indicating what he would like to do with the properties.

Shelly Huber made a motion to accept the offer made for both Town owned properties from Walter Hagedorn. Ann Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  • Tax Sales – I will begin processing tax sales in April. I will provide the board with a list of properties going into tax sale at the April 20th meeting. I have one from Kenolie Village Campground that has not been paid since 2013. I would like to put that camper into tax sale if the board agrees. We would have to purchase a tire boot for this tax sale, to purchase tire boot $35-$75.

Shelly Huber made a motion to do tax sale on the camper at Kenolie Village Campground. Ann Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Purchase of tire boot is below required minimum for needing approval. Consensus is to purchase the piece of equipment, and to work with road crew or State of Vermont Police on installation.  

  • I also have two properties (Located on Railroad Lane and at Grimes Hill Road) that the owners have passed away and the families don’t want them. If I sell them at tax sale, the Town of Newfane would have to pay for the attorney fees due to the fact that they don’t owe that much in taxes. One property is five years behind but only owes $200 approximately. Both properties are small and don’t pay a lot per year in taxes. Is this something the board would like to go through with or wait another five years or more?

Discussion ensued about the Town Attorney’s fees for tax sales. Board asked for clarity on billing and to look at the contract with the Attorney. Katy Johnson-Aplin asked if neighbors would be interested in property.  

Further information will be provided regarding tax sales on April 19th meeting.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Treasures Report. Ann Golob seconded the motion.

Motion passed.

COMMITTEE REPORT:

Planning Commission

Jane Douglas was present to introduce Peter Novick for a one (1)-year appointment as the Town of Newfane’s second (2nd) alternate representative to the DVFiber board.  Peter currently lives on Daniels Hill Road having moved here from Washington DC.  Having to rely mostly on ADSL as the current internet source, he is willing to help achieve getting more Broadband.

Mike Fitzpatrick made a motion to appoint Peter Novick as the second (2nd) representative alternate for the Town of Newfane to the DVFiber. Shelly Huber seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Jane Douglas questioned what best serves Newfane’s interest when a vote is called.  “Affordable Service” or “Faster Installation” timeline information could possibly be three (3) to four (4) years out before homes would have Broadband service. The board has received many bids from companies.  It would seem that a balance is needed to be achieved between these two alternatives and to be sure that we are achieving the most effective process which would allow for success and meeting everyone’s expectations.

Shelly Huber asked Lynn Forrest from the Planning Commission if she had any information from the survey that was done a few years ago. Lynn said that question was not asked but there was a survey done by another group and she would try to get that information for the Selectboard.

Windham Regional Commission may have additional survey information available. More information is needed for the Board to make an informed decision.  This will be a future agenda item.

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

Walter Hagedorn –Offer to Purchase 2 pieces of Town Owned Property

 Action was taken in the Treasurers Report.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

None

OLD BUSINESS:

Status of Animal Control Complaint – Mr. Fitzpatrick Reporting; He was provided by the dog owner the photographic proof that the three dogs were on leashes. The dogs are on runs and do not leave the property right now and that this Spring would have a fence.

Angela Sanborn read Henry Carr’s letter from March 21st, 2021 “despite our repeated requests for safety from vicious dogs repeatedly running at large and attacking people in their own yards.”  “This is not the sort of relationship that we expect to have with our neighbors or with our Town Government, but you leave us no choice, as you inexplicably have not made arrangements to have an Animal Control Officer(ACO) from somewhere cover the town.”

There was discussion about previous aggressive behavior of the dogs. Wannetta mentioned that one of the dogs that went after a small child in a neighboring home had bit the child, but it did not break skin since the child was wearing a snowsuit. On another occasion, the dog went after the neighbor’s husband in an aggressive manner but there was no physical contact. The Board is looking for documentation confirming an emergency room /doctor’s visit for Gordon (Bummy) Turner Sr. of Marlboro and his account of the incident of the alleged dog bite. 

To be fair to the owners of the dogs, and the Carr family, the Town has a need for a professional ACO to mediate the process of complying and maintaining the safety of the dogs and the neighbors. Ann Golob asked for more information on where we are with the Animal Officer. Wannetta stated that the program with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department will not start until July 1. Board discussed using an ACO from neighboring Towns. The Board requested that the Administrative Assistant contact Dover to see if their Animal Control Officer was available to help Newfane until July 1st, 2021 when the Regional Animal Control (ACO) contract with Windham County Sheriff’s Department could be in place. 

It was discussed whether written notice should be sent to residents of Beech Tree Lane, Stratton Hill Road and Dover Road advising neighbors to be aware of the dogs, note the location where they were seen and to please notify the Administrative Assistant at the Town office of any dogs being unattended or roaming freely.  The Board will send a second letter to Stephanie Leis & Jason Gechter requesting them to perform measures that are outlined in Newfane’s Animal Control Ordinance. 

Henry and Juliette Carr had constructed 100’s of feet of welded fence in an effort to prevent the dogs from coming directly on their property; it does not prevent the dogs from coming around the end of the fence.  The Carr family thanked the Board for taking this issue seriously and being willing to take enforcement action.

 

Re-Adopt- or -Amend

Personnel Policy, Selectboard Rules of Procedure, Financial Policy and Conflict of Interest Policy   Shelly Huber made a request to table Reviewing the Policy’s until April 19th meeting.  The Board was in full agreement.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Discuss Ideas in the Town Plan –Ann Golob

After reviewing the 2018 Town Plan, Ann Golob was impressed with the proposed plan, and would like to see what funds are available to start working on the goals in the Town Plan. Also interested in attracting commercial business to help revitalize the community and to stimulate the Economic Development of the area villages and Town of Newfane.  Ann Golob will plan on attending the April 8th Planning Commission meeting and report back to the Selectboard on a process to begin defining our short term/long term development goals.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1.      Carr Family expressing concerns for following up with dog complaint.

Amendment was made to move this to Old Business.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Executive Session under Title 1 V.S.A. 313(a) (3) the evaluation of an employee

Angela Sanborn made a motion to enter executive session under Title 1 V.S.A. 313(a) (3) the evaluation of an employee. Ann Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

The Board entered Executive Session 8:21pm

Ann Golob made motion to leave executive session and Shelly Huber seconded at 8:21.

Result is that no decision made.

 

PAY ORDERS:

  1. Payroll Warrant No. #11506          Amount $ 3,951.55
  2. Payroll Warrant No. #11507          Amount $ 4,108.02
  3. Payroll Warrant No. #11508          Amount $ 5,685.75
  4. Account Payable No. # 21020 Amount $ 54,315.80
  5. Account Payable No. # 21020 A Amount $       71

ADJOURN:

Shelly Huber made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:46 pm.

Respectfully Submitted

Administrative Assistant

Wannetta Powling