Regular Meeting Monday, October 3rd, 2022, Selectboard Minutes

Zoom Meeting   https//zoom. Us/join         Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757   Passcode:  352680

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

OTHERS PRESENTIn-Person – Doris Knechtel, Beckley Gaudette (Listers), Edward Collins, Steve Levine (Chair of the Williamsville Hall Committee), Austin Rice (BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

Zoom –Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Jane Douglas (Planning Commission), Diana Urbaska, Andrea Seaton (Sr. Director of Development, Marketing – Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital), Samantha Prince (Executive Director – Windham County Safe Place) Henriette Mantel, Kate Gehring (Planning Commission), and Priscilla Cotton (Board of Civil Authority).

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.

Katy Johnson-Aplin asked to move the Listers up on the agenda due to a conflict with the time of another meeting.

Angela Sanborn asked to have the Williamsville Hall added to the “Committee Reports” on tonight’s agenda.

Doris Knechtel and Beckley Gaudette were present to discuss the Town-wide reappraisal bid. The Selectboard requested the Listers to follow the Purchasing Policy and to put the reappraisal out to bid. Tonight, the Selectboard has one proposal that was sent to the Administrative Assistant, it is from New England Municipal Consultants. This is the same company that did the earlier Town assessment work for Newfane in 2000, 2007, and 2013. Their bid is for $132,000. Currently, in the Reappraisal fund, there is $81,000.

The State of Vermont sends $11,500 annually to help with the cost of reappraisals; this is equal to $ 8.50 per parcel. Newfane may have all the money it will need for the reappraisal by the time the work starts in 2027.

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to accept the New England Municipal Consultants proposal in the amount of $132,000, Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

 The Lister’s budget request was prepared and discussed. Knechtel explained that there was an increase in the hourly wages and the expenses for supplies. The budget increase is in the amount of $3,637.

Sanborn thanked both Knechtel and Gaudette for their work and explained that the Selectboard is starting the budget meetings on Tuesday, November 1st at 6 PM; Lister’s budget would be one of the first items to be discussed.


  1. September 19th, 2022, Regular Meeting
    Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the September 19th regular minutes. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.   Motion passed 3/0
  2. September 19th, 2022, Board of Liquor Control (BLC) Meeting.
    Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve the September 6th BLC minutes. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
    Motion passed 3/0


  1. The update on 254 Depot Rd easement is its back with the engineer to make a small change.
  2. The Arch Bridge is making good progress now.
  3. We had our meeting with Ron Bell for the Sand/Salt shed and he was given all the updates that need to happen. The updated plans and specs were supposed to be completed by today.
  4. The roadside mowing is coming good; we have the mower for the rest of this week.
  5. I heard back from the dam inspector, and he is going to be in contact with Scott Jensen the state river engineer to go over the repair of the Kenny Pond spillway.
  6. We will need to send in the bridge inspection reports letters back to the state, they have the Town of Guilford on the letter, so we need to change that.

Sanborn asked if she could share a letter that was sent to the Selectboard from a resident of Railroad Lane. In the letter, it expressed concern for the residents trying to pull out of Railroad Lane onto Route 30. Mentioned in the letter was a large motor-home that was parked on the side of RT 30, making it difficult to see in either direction. They have requested a “NO Parking” sign be put up.

Wilson confirmed that he has seen the motor-home there on a number of occasions. Route 30 is part of the State Highway, and this would be a VTrans issue not the Town. Wilson agreed that he would relay the information to VTrans officials and report back to the Selectboard.

Follow up
Bridge #44 repair, The Town has received three bids for the repairs on #44 Roy Brook Bridge, off the South Wardsboro Road. Chair Sanborn opened the envelopes, and the following information was shared.

  • Cold River Bridge LLC from Walpole, NH, gave a sealed bid for $238,556.40 with a completion date of December 2nd.
  • Renaud Brothers Inc. from Vernon, VT, gave a sealed bid for $ 137,000 with a completion date of December 2nd.
  • Daniels Construction from Ascutney VT, gave a sealed bid for $197,500 with a completion date of November 18th.

Wilson recommended Renaud Brothers. Mike Renaud had said that payment could be made in two installments if needed.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the bid from Renaud Brothers for $ 137,000. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Wilson recommended Renaud Brothers. Mike Renaud had said that payment could be made in two installments if needed.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s Report. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.


  1. The Windham Regional Commission has announced a round of Grants for Municipal Road and Stormwater Mitigation with a 10/7/22 deadline.
  2. I was able to find a Bylaw Modernization Grant from the Department of Housing & Community Development; this application deadline is November 1st @ 6 PM. In Fiscal Year 2022, there were thirty-one applications requesting over $687,000. I have included this information for you to review.
  3. I have completed the renewal application for the Town’s insurance policy. The policy is for Town-owned property, vehicle, dam listing for liability coverage, and worker’s compensation (this was based on the estimated payroll worksheets for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023/ VLCT coverage currently costs the Town $43,991 annually. FY 2024 needs to plan for a slight increase for budget season.
  4. Later this week, I will start working on the figures for Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance. I will have this for the Board to review during budget season.

Follow up:

Doris was the only one to give me a referral for a cleaning service they are in Brattleboro. I called and left a voicemail message today. I am waiting for a call back from Tony.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistants Report. Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.

 Discussion ensued:

Sanborn recommended that Powling follow up with Jenna Wilson to see if she has a date to return to work.

 Sanborn called for the vote. Motion passed 3/0.

Williamsville Hall Chair Steve Levine reported that when he had the Preservation Trust inspect the Hall, one of the concerns was the need for roof repairs. Levine contacted two contractors that were able to give estimates on the needed repairs. Levine gave the following information concerning three projects.

Roof Repairs:

  • Melanson quoted $13,900.
  • Phoenix Roofers quoted $4,170; this would include an inspection of the slate roof and replacing any missing pieces. The asphalt shingles over the porch roof are in decent shape. Phoenix Roofers would need to clean them with a biologic cleaner to remove the moss and small trees. This would help keep the integrity of the roof and prevent further growth.

Levine recommended the Phoenix Roofers for the “reasonable estimate,” this work would not begin until the spring due to the amount of work the contractor has already scheduled.


The recommendation for dependable masons is limited; Ian Eddie, “The Chimney Doctor,” highly recommended Dan Newcomb– his estimate is as follows;

  1. Take the chimney down to just below the roof and repair the slate roof for $2,500.
    The base of the chimney is in the kitchen; this is where the clean-out door is. Clean and remove all the debris. Replace the stucco around the outside of the chimney. For a cost of $2,100.
  2. To re-point and repair, the chimney would be $1,000. Similar maintenance would need to be done again in 20-25 years.
  3. To rebuild the entire chimney, it would be an additional $5,000, added to the previously $2,100 to repair the damage in the kitchen, for $7,100.

Dan Newcomb and Levine both recommend taking the chimney down below the roof, repairing the slate roof and doing the cleanout, and replacing the stucco around the chimney for the $4,600. This was in the cost range that the Preservation Trust had estimated.

Outside Stairway Roof

  • Randy Clark stated he would build a roof over the outside stairway from the kitchen to the ground, replace the kitchen door sill and to pressure wash the front of the building and paint the front of the building. All the work is to start next week for the cost of $8,000.

Discussion ensued.

Levine has not been able to find any other general contractors with time available. The work that Clark has done for three hall committee members came with high recommendations.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Randy Clark for $8,000. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Phoenix Roofers for $4,170 for the roof repairs. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 3/0.

 Fitzpatrick made a motion to go with Dan Newcomb for the chimney repairs in the amount of $4,600. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Mold issues are again a concern. A mold home test was performed by Breeze Verdant and Levine. Samples from three different areas in the Hall are as follows:

  1. Lower-level Emergency Fire stairway and the door to the outside.
  2. Behind the baseboard heating in the kitchen.
  3. The stairway from the main lobby to the lower kitchen area.

The slides were sent out for testing, and the mold was confirmed. Levine asked the Selectboard for their recommendations; what does this mean?

  • Professional cleaning by Serv-Pro,
  • Get a more professional test done,
  • Place a warning for those with an allergy to Mold as you enter the Hall.


Ed Collins made comments that in the areas where the foundation and interior wall meet, moisture or condensation is collected. The back of toilet areas is a perfect example of where condensation is obvious. Collins recommends a company from Georgia that use a product called “No More Mildew,” this is a Cleaner and a Preventer application that Collins has found to be highly effective. Levine will follow up and report back to the Selectboard on the progress.

Doris Knechtel asked if it was known when the slate roof at the Town Office had last been inspected.

Selectboard Chair Sanborn asked if Powling would research the information and let the Board know so that it could be taken into consideration.

Special Appropriations is an important part of the Newfane Town Meeting. Selectboard members and other Town employees during budget season gather information for the annual report. The procedure is for all organizations requesting funds to attend a Selectboard meeting to supply a statement explaining how the funds they receive have and will help the residents of Newfane.

  • Senior Director of Development, Marketing & Community Relations Andrea Seaton from Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital was the first to supply an overview of the program, plans, and services to the area.
  • Executive Director Samantha Price from Windham County Safe Place was the second guest to give information on the non-profit program that is in Brattleboro.


ARPA updates – No updates.

Cannabis updates –   Reminder that Australian voting is on October 13th at the Town Office in Newfane from 9 AM -7 PM. Early voting is available now; please stop in to see the Town Clerk during her normal hours.

Financial Data Transparency Act – No updates.

VLCT supplied the following information to answer the question asked at the Special Town Meeting on September 20th, 2022.

  1. Can a Town change the date and time of the March annual town meeting?
    Yes, but the choices of when to hold the meeting are limited. The meeting can be on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, proceeding on the first Tuesday in March.
  2. What business can be conducted at a town meeting, which is held before the first Tuesday in March?
    The town could conduct any business on that day that does not require an Australian ballot vote. All voting by Australian ballot must be done on the first Tuesday in March.
  3. How does the Town change the date of the annual town meeting?
    The town can vote at either a duly warned special meeting or at an annual Town Meeting. The new date would go into effect at the next town meeting. This can also be voted on by Australian ballot; the VLCT offers a model article it reads, “Shall the Town change the date of its annual town meeting to the first, second or third day preceding the first Tuesday in March pursuant to 17 VSA sections 2640.”
  4. How does the time of the meeting get set?
    The time of the meeting can be selected by the Selectboard unless the town has voted otherwise.

Town Moderator Deborah Luskin raised the following concerns in her response dated September 30th, 2022.

  • Historically, a change to an evening meeting results in lower voter turnout.
  • Frank Brian, a professor at UVM is the author of the book, “All Those in Favor,” (copies available at the Town Office), gives a brief synopsis of the data and has suggestions for improving attendance at town meetings.
  • The date and time of the Town meeting has less to do with attendance than the importance of what is being decided. This was seen at the recent Special Town Meetings for the Gravel Pit and the correction to the tax bills but not for the hearings on the Gravel Pit and Cannabis.
  • The question is not just what would be a better time, but what would make Town Meeting more meaningful?
  • Voters turn out when they are asked to make specific decisions about what the Town should do.
  • A comprehensive consideration of all the barriers which prevent attendance needs to be addressed.

Ed Collins mentioned that research on said it is not important if the meetings are held at 2 PM or 6 PM. You need to encourage community involvement. Collins mentioned that one time Bernie Sanders had a meal served to those attending a Town Meeting in Landgrove, VT (Landgrove is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, and the population was 177 at the 2020 census.)

Doris Knechtel mentioned that she believes that the Board of Civil Authority (BCA) may have something to do with decisions about Town Meetings.

Priscilla Cotton (Chair BCA) was uncertain on what the actual decision for this matter.

Sanborn said further information would be researched and provided at the next Selectboard Meeting.


Sanborn asked for a motion to go into Executive Session.

  1. The evaluation of an employee, Title 1 V.S.A. § 313(a) (3).

Fitzpatrick made a motion to go into Executive Session. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.
Selectboard entered Executive Session at 7:22 PM.

 Selectboard left Executive Session at 7:44 PM.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to leave Executive Session. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Results:  The Chair will share with the employee a written letter on Tuesday (10.4.22) afternoon.


Laura Sibilia Director of Regional Economic Development Strategies – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC)
Sent a letter asking for support in their efforts on the ongoing work to become an Economic Development District (EDD). BDCC is a proposed multi-jurisdictional non-profit which will lead planning and development for the next five years in Southern Vermont.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to have Johnson-Aplin and Sanborn approve pay orders this week. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.

Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended by phone, withdrew and left the meeting.

  1. Payroll Warrant No #11587                          Amount $    4,588.56
  2. Payroll Warrant No #11588                          Amount $    4,967.3
  3. Payroll Warrant No #11589                          Amount $     5,322.90
  4. Account Payable No # 23008                       Amount $   98,281.22

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Sanborn seconded the motion.
Motion passed 2/0


 Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant