October 17, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Regular Meeting Monday, October 17th, 2022
 Zoom Meeting   https//zoom. Us/join         Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757   Passcode:  352680

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

OTHERS PRESENTPhoebe Connolly, Breeze Verdant, Austin Rice (Producer BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant). Zoom –Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Jane Douglas (Planning Commission), Lynn Forrest, Patty Johnson, and Meg Gonzalez (Director-West River Valley Thrives)

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

CONFIRM PROPERLY WARNED: Powling confirmed the meeting had been properly warned.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:  

None

 

TRAFFIC CALMING

VTrans was invited to the meeting, and they respectfully declined to attend and referenced two Road Safety Audits that were done on Dover Road in 2019 and Route 30 in Newfane in 2020. Marc Pickering from VTrans stated that it “may be premature to talk of additional safety measures when there are still recommendations to be implemented.”  Marc also stated that he would like to see things get explored and implemented, then evaluated for effectiveness. He stated that the radar speed feedback signs are effective, and it is possible to get permitted for additional signs within the Villages as proposed in the RSAR. Marc went on to say that in these discussions, with what we come up with in traffic calming ideas that we would like Vtrans to comment on, they would do that. He commends the Town on our approach to pedestrian safety and the commitment to implementing Vtrans recommendations.

 

Wilson went thru the points from the VTrans recommendation report;

  • Have Windham Regional conduct a speed study on Dover Road                 Pending
  • Consider the placement of speed limit signs on Dover Road                        Pending.
  • Replaced new larger signs on Dover Rd and Grimes Hill                               Completed
  • Have reduced speed signs by covered bridge                                                 Completed
  • Five Radar feedback Signs                                                                                  Completed
  • Placard Pavement Markings                                                          Completed/ to be reapplied
  • Do a sidewalk scoping study in Williamsville, like Newfane Village            Pending

Members of the public expressed their opinions, concerns, and experiences on both sides of the issue, having to deal with speeding in the villages. There was a lengthy discussion about the placement of several speed signs to include one 25mph zone in South Newfane.

Phoebe Connolly spoke of being stopped near the South Newfane General Store for speeding and receiving a traffic ticket, and she appreciates the efforts that are taking place. She also wanted to mention that a recent visit from members of her family from Wisconsin was unaware of the hazards of walking from the Four Columns Inn to the Fat Crow for dinner in the Village of Newfane.

Patty Johnson thought that it was previously recommended to have “Welcome to the Village” and “Thank you” signs in all the village locations, both as you are entering and leaving the villages.  Are they a part of the audit from Vtrans? This would be advantageous as people do not know where Villages begin and end. We need to work unanimously for all the Villages and residents in the Town.

Breeze Verdant spoke of the continued hazards residents face walking to along Dover Road in the Village of Williamsville. Verdant is really upset about not being able to walk to the Williamsville Post Office safely and that the situation is criminal. He states that smooth roads and smooth cars, speeding is a threat to people walking.

Chevalier mentioned the traffic he observes at the bus stop at the bottom of Timson Hill that intersects with Dover Road in the morning, how just two miles over the posted speed limit have a significant impact on those near the edge of the road.

Lynn Forrest mentioned moving the signs and put the 35MPD after her property for a longer stretch of 25 and 35 zones. She also mentioned to take personal responsibility to make sure you have the time to get where you need to go.

Fitzpatrick had brought up his previous idea for sidewalks and streetlamps in the Village of Williamsville to make it more apparent and obvious that you were in a residential area.

Golob commented that as a procedural matter to respond to Vtrans, since they sent us the reports and the recommendations if we could document each recommendation, whether or not we have completed them or if we have a reason why we are not going to do them. This is to demonstrate that we took their recommendations seriously and that this is our current status and that we would like to now discuss getting a scoping study. If they cannot do both South Newfane and Williamsville at the same time, Williamsville is a priority. In Brattleboro, there is a form that residents can fill out regarding issues and submit to a traffic committee, and Newfane would benefit from this. Sanborn offered to put something together with Wilson and submit it to FPF, the Town Website, and encourage community members to join a traffic committee. Johnson-Aplin also volunteered to help create documentation to help keep track of the process. The idea would be to have a few members of the community join members of the Selectboard, Road Foreman, and law enforcement to review concerns and future efforts for Traffic Control. A message will be developed and posted for those interested in joining the committee.

Fitzpatrick had brought up his previous idea for sidewalks and streetlamps in the Village of Williamsville to make it more apparent and obvious that you were in a residential area.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

  1. October 3rd, 2022, Regular Meeting.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the October 3rd regular minutes. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0. Golob and Chevalier abstained.

ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:

  1. The easement appears to be all complete for 254 Depot Rd. This should be able to go out to bid soon.
  2. The Arch Bridge work is focused on rebuilding the road on the Dover Rd. side of the bridge.
  3. The sand/salt shed is progressing and may possibly go out to bid late this fall.
  4. The repairs to Bridge #41 off Baker Brook Rd. can be completed this fall through a combination of a couple of contractors. Vermont Protective coatings can do the lead removal for $2,500-$3,500 and $800-$1,000 for permits and waste disposal. Renaud Bros. can jack up the bridge and weld in a plate to reinforce the crushed beam not to exceed $6,500. I have attached both quotes.
  5. Nothing new from the dam inspector for the Kenny Pond spillway.
  6. We had a Newfane Village sidewalk scoping study check-in last Thursday. We went over the results of the survey, and Debois & King will begin design work.
  7. The Monroe Bridge project is going well, with two of the three sections being primed.

Discussion

Review of the temporary bridge repair for # 41 Baker Brook Road submitted by Renaud Brothers of Vernon, VT. Splice plate reinforcement on one end of beam, not to exceed $6,500. In addition, Catamount Environmental submitted an estimate to do the lead paint removal and disposal fees for $4,500.

Bidding policy was discussed and is deemed not necessary due to this being an emergency repair.

Bridge closed for repairs signs will be posted.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to proceed with the Emergency Work on bridge #41. Golob seconded the motion.

Motion passed 5/0.

Wilson said that permits for lead removal will take ten days before the work can begin.

Fitzpatrick made a motion for Chair Sanborn to sign the signature page for bridge repairs. Johnson-Aplin seconded.

Motion passed 5/0.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s Report. Golob seconded the motion.

Motion passed 5/0.

 

Bridge Inspector will be in Town on Thursday this week and will be looking at the four bridges that are less than twenty foot in length (these are not required by the State of VT for regular inspection) Wilson will have the Green Iron Bridge looked at while the Inspector is available, to move that bridge up on the State list for repair or replacement.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  1. I would like to remind everyone that the Budget season will be starting on Tuesday, November 2nd (Correction November 1st) at 6 pm. I have received budget request forms from the Listers, the Town Clerk, and Planning Commission. If you could please work on getting these to me before the 1st of November
  2. There is a contract from New England Municipal Consultants for the Town re-appraisal, the Selectboard will need to sign this evening.
  3. I was selected to receive the “2022 Municipal Partner Award” from BCTV. The award will be presented at BCTV’s Producers Awards on Wednesday, November 9th, at 6 PM at the Stone Church in Brattleboro.
  4. Traditionally Town meeting days- information from (page#674) the Secretary of State’s “Book of Opinions” information was read into the minutes.
    (See the attachment at the end of this report).

 

Follow up

The Town Office is still looking for a Cleaning Service to clean at least twice a month.

Discussion ensued: The Selectboard would like to see a “Scope of Work” for the cleaning service and put it out to bid. Williamsville Hall Chair Levine will determine if additional time is needed to clean the Hall, are they satisfied with their current cleaning person, or can we include with Town Office.

Chevalier made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistants Report. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.

Motion passed 5/0.

COMMITTEE REPORT
None

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None
OLD BUSINESS
ARPA Updates
– Golob and Sanborn
None

Cannabis Updates – Johnson-Aplin
Results were reported from the October 13, 2022, Cannabis Vote.

Article One to allow retail cannabis                                                          Yes: 100               No: seventy-seven,
Article 1 passes
Article 2 to allow retail portion of integrated licenses                      Yes: 83                 No: ninety-three,
Article 2 fails

Discussion:
After the Town vote the State was notified of the results, the Newfane Selectboard will consider setting up a Cannabis Control Commission to still maintain the ability to oversee the process and maintain local control for applications and to following Newfane Zoning. This process would be similar to the Liquor Control Board. Newfane Town Clerk is the point of contact. The Selectboard needs to stay on top of this issue of setting up the Town CCC so that don’t lose the ability to oversee. Johnson-Aplin to work on a declaration for Newfane and to reach out to other Towns and their processes.

Meg Gonzalez from WRVT (West River Valley Thrives) is a nonprofit agency that promotes healthy lifestyle choices with an emphasis on the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use by young people) was present to offer her support and resources from the West River Valley Thrives (WRVT). They are offering themselves as a free service to make sure best practices are followed. They received a grant to hire a parttime parent and caring adult engagement specialist to help them to get resources out to parents for best practices and will be happening in all seven Towns.

Financial Data Transparency Act– Johnson-Aplin

None

Bylaw Modernization Grant Request Update-Golob

Ann Golob has been working on the application with Ken Estey (Planning Commission), and Susan Westa from WRC (Windham Regional Commission). There is a draft of the application completed but is not finalized yet. They are applying for a grant in the amount of $25,000, from the State to allow us to hire either WRC or a consultant, or both, to work with us on reviewing our Zoning Bylaws to look at ways to update them to encourage the building of more housing in Newfane. It is a requirement of the Grant that the Town put up 10% of the grant request, this would mean Newfane would be responsible for $2,500. (This amount be reimbursed by the State if within a year of completing the grant we had enacted some of the recommendations from the report). There is a form that has to be completed that signs off the Selectboard and Planning Commission approve applying for this grant.

Sue Westa (WRC), stated that to enhance the application, Town’s would often contribute more towards the cost of the grant. Golob recommended the Town contribute an additional $1,000 towards the Bylaw Modernization Grant. Golob made a recommendation to use the ARPA money for the Town share for the grant.

Fitzpatrick made a motion for Sanborn to sign off on the application. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve the Town share of $2,575(Town’s match). Golob seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Chevalier made a motion to enhance the application process to contribute an additional $1,000. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve using the ARPA funds of $3575 for the Grant process. Chevalier seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.

Town Meeting Day Update
Discussion:  Golob asked if there was an interest from anyone in changing Town meeting time/date.

What other changes could be made to encourage more attendance and to make it easier to promote attendance?

Could we offer childcare, serve food, or have a potluck, can we offer rides to people who need them? Great ideas to look into. An idea was suggested to approach Williamsville Hall Committee and West River Mutual Aid to volunteer to help organize the efforts and ideas to make Town Meeting more engaging and to increase attendance. It was suggested to ask Principal Bob Thibault at Leland and Gray High School if here are high school students who Community Service would be interested in assisting with childcare during Town Meeting, Powling was asked to contact Principal Bob Thibault. Powling was asked to check with the Moderator if we can offer a “Coffee Social Hour” before the meeting at 9a.m. and have the meeting start at 10 a.m.


NEW BUSINESS
None

CORRESPONDENCE
None

Ann Golob and Mike Fitzpatrick who attended remotely withdrew and left the meeting at 7:51 p.m.
 PAY ORDERS

  1.    Payroll Warrant No #11590                          Amount $    5,322.90
  2.     Payroll Warrant No #11591                          Amount $    4,721.60
  3.     Account Payable No # 23008A                    Amount $         31.76
  4.     Account Payable No # 23009                       Amount $   52,802.13

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Chevalier seconded the motion.
Motion passed 3/0.

ADJOURN:

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant