Zoom Meeting https//zoom. Us/join Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757 Passcode: 352680
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Katy Johnson- Aplin, and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone)
Absent: Jeffrey Chevalier
In-Person – Sheriff Mark Anderson (Windham County Sheriff), Sergeant Chris Norton, Breeze Verdant, Christine White, Gayle Robertson, Nancy Rysz, Brian Bashaw (BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).
Zoom –Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Carol Hesselbach (Town Clerk), Jane Douglas (Planning Commissioner), Diana Urbaska, Lance Lindgren, Ann Landenberger.
CALL to ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn. It was confirmed that the meeting had been properly warned by Wannetta Powling.
ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
Katy Johnson-Aplin asked to add the proposed legislation impacting financial reporting of all municipalities currently in Congress as part of the new defense bill titled the “Financial Data Transparency Act of 2022.” It was agreed to move this into “New Business.”
Sheriff Mark Anderson and Sergeant Chris Norton from the Windham County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) were asked to join the discussion regarding traffic enforcement options.
WCSO averages the hours of patrol over multiple months rather than strictly providing the contracted 17.5 hours per month. Using this strategy helps to increase the patrols when and where they would best serve the Town. It was discussed that patrols schedule could be changed to cover increased traffic during ski season, for example, especially on Fridays and Sundays when traffic is moving through the villages going to and from the ski areas.
At the end of FY 2022, the contracted hours were reviewed; there was a credit of $500. This was discussed at the time and it was agreed to add it to the new 2023 FY providing a budget of $12,900
The question was asked about what strategies the Sheriff would recommend to address the increased speeding.
Anderson spoke of three legs of a stool: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement that need to work together to be the most effective. In the past three months, approximately 40 cars were stopped for speeding, and tickets were issued. Anderson said that of those individuals stopped and were only given a warning, they would tell three people. However, if a ticket is issued it is more likely that those individuals would end up telling ten other people, who in turn spread the word thus multiplying the number of people who now know that there are patrols in the area and speeding is being enforced.
Sheriff Anderson mentioned that he is working on a “Model” to offer a 24-hour service for other Towns that don’t have their own police force. If multiple towns are interested in discussing this approach, Anderson felt that an affordable plan could be put in place. He is planning to distribute an email with the “Model” outline and is willing to set up another meeting for those interested in hearing more about this approach.
Sanborn confirmed that members of VTrans would be invited to join the discussion of “Newfane Traffic Calming” discussions and we hope they will attend the October 17th meeting.
Please note: Traffic Calming will NOT be on the agenda for the October 3rd Selectboard meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
September 6th, 2022, Special Meeting
Golob made a motion to approve the September 6th Special meeting minutes. Johnson- Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/0.
ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:
- There is no update on 254 Depot Rd easement.
- The Arch Bridge drainage on the Depot Rd side is all in, one of the wing walls on the Williamsville side was poured this morning. The temporary bridge under the arch has been removed; work is progressing at this point.
- We had a meeting for the sand/salt shed last week and the plan is for Bell Engineering to update the plans and we would meet with Ron Bell the following week. The hopes are that we get everything corrected at the same time so they can be reviewed and put out to bid.
- We are looking for places to dump fill in the South Wardsboro Rd. area if anyone is looking for some fill, please contact the garage.
- I have reached out to the dam people at the state several times with no luck. At this point we will have to put off the spillway work until next year. I contacted Scott Jenson; it was mentioned that there is currently a delay on the repairs ETA 2023-2024 before repairs will begin.
- We have a problem on Bridge #44 that the bridge inspectors found while doing the biennial inspection. I have sent out a proposal for repair. We have currently closed it to any truck traffic until we can get it fixed. The bridge inspectors are tentatively coming tomorrow to look at the first bridge #41 off Baker Brook to do the inspection. Bridge #41 is in poor condition, and we have finally got it moved up on the state list for replacement, but we are still a bit off from getting money for it.
- NewBrook Fire Department would like permission to use the Town Office, again as we have before during the Columbus Day Coin-Drop.
#6 We have been given a quote from Renaud Bros. on the repairs to Roy Brook RD Bridge. It is necessary to have the work completed before winter. Currently, it has been restricted to car traffic only. Homeowners are being asked to have fuel deliveries delayed, until after repairs are completed. The Selectboard will be following the purchasing policy and are inviting contractors to submit their bids until 3 P.M on October 3rd, with the qualifying bids opened during the regular Selectboard meeting.
#4 Golob asked for clarification on the “Dumping of Fill” and if there were any updates on the gravel pit.
Wilson explained that the “Fill” is from cleaning out the ditches along the roadways, with a combination of sticks, sand, and rocks. This is not considered quality road material and cannot be used in road repairs. It is fine to be used to fill in holes or depressions or other areas of lawns that will then be covered with sod. Wilson clarified that he maintains a list of homeowners that would like to receive available fill. If anyone else is interested they should contact the Road Foreman to be added to the list.
Regarding the gravel pit, Bill Jewell is still working on establishing a less costly stream bank to meet the Act 250 requirements since the pit is only expected to open for 3-4 months out of the year. Sound testing for noise outside of the pit has not yet been completed.
#7 Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve NBFD using the office as headquarters for the Coin-Drop. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/0.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Road Foreman’s Report. Golob seconded the motion.
Sanborn called the vote to approve the Road Foreman’s Report.
Motion passed 4/0.
Wilson had been asked to review the issues from the failed remediation following Hurricane Irene at the Rysz’s property. Newfane has agreed to be the sponsor for the project which includes managing the bidding process, overseeing the work, and receiving grant money from the government agency or FEMA.
Wilson had spoken with Bob Thompson State Conservation Engineer, USDA-NRCC. After getting additional facts clarified, it was recommended that the Selectboard proceed with sending a letter to NRCC agreeing to be the sponsor once again. NRCC will cover the cost of the project 100%. When the work is completed, the recommendation is to have the Town Attorney draw up an agreement to transfer the responsibility of maintenance to Mrs. Rysz, releasing the Town of any further obligation.
Design engineers from NRCC will plan to visit the location and draw up plans for remediation. They expect that the work will be done next year. River engineers only allow working in the water between the dates of June 15th through October 15th.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to send the Letter for Sponsor to NRCC and get things moving. Golob seconded the motion.
Mrs. Rysz was very appreciative of the efforts of Mr. Wilson and thanked everyone. Golob mentioned that she wanted to caution Rysz that she may need to temper her expectations, and that from information that was given the NRCC may not be planning to do as much work as she feels is required to safeguard her property.
(Chair Sanborn had to leave the room briefly; Vice Chair Golob took over.)
Golob called for the vote. Motion passed 3/0.
(Sanborn returned.) Sanborn asked for the Admin. to draft the letter and send to the chair for approval.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:
- I have spoken with Deborah Luskin today and provided her with the necessary information she requested – for tomorrow’s Special Town Meeting. I’m not aware of who will be presenting the Cannabis PowerPoint that Katie has created for informational purposes. I know that Ann had presented the information for the Gravel Pit, and it was very successful. Do you have any insight on this, so that we are prepared?
- Tuesday afternoon Sullivan, Powers completed the Town audit, for FY 2022 a copy of their report will be in the 2022 Town Report.
- Because we are not starting the Budget season until November 7th this will have an in- pact on the number of appointments for appropriations that need to be scheduled at our regular meetings. There were 28 appointments last year, the dates below are the Monday that we must start and complete the budget process. To get the Town Report to the printers ASAP and they need to be mailed to residents by February 15th.
Regular meetings Budget meetings
Green Mountain Cleaning toured our Office on Thursday and had scheduled Tuesday as the start date. The next morning, she emailed saying that she had overbooked and was no longer available to clean for us. Do you have any recommendations?
#1. Tomorrow will be the Special Town Meeting at the Fire Department; the Admin. was asked if she could run the PowerPoint presentation. Golob ask to clarify that the only articles that will be voted on will be, the transfer of the Surplus funds to cover the tax bill shortage and the WINDART appropriation.
Town Clerk Carol Hesselbach informed the Selectboard there would be members from the Board of Civil Authority (BCA) to check in registered voters and they would also be available if there was a call for a paper ballot during the voting.
#3 Discussion of the dates for budget season.
Golob made a motion to remove December 26th, because the November 1st date had been added to the schedule at the last meeting. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed. 4/0.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the Administrative Assistant’s Report. Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 4/0.
SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
ARPA Updates– Golob noted that she had been advised by VLCT to apply for various state grants to begin work on some of the issues that Newfane wants to pursue before using our ARPA funds. Therefore, she made a motion to ask for approval to begin working on a Municipal Planning Grant to focus on our need for more housing. If the Selectboard approves the motion, she will bring it to the Planning Commission for their approval as well. Both bodies are required to approve the grant before it is submitted.
Fitzpatrick made such a motion. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Jane Douglas (Planning Commission) was in favor of this effort. Golob agreed to be the contact person for the process.
Sanborn called the vote. Motion passed 4/0.
Additionally, VLCT will be announcing this week the procedures to allow ARPA funds to be transferred into a Town General account allowing the Town to use our own procurement policies rather than the ones dictated by the Federal Government. When the procedures are received, they will be reviewed with the Treasurer and Golob will bring it to the next Selectboard meeting to be approved.
Regarding business development grants, BDCC is still waiting on the application process to hire additional staffing for municipal support of business plans that was spoken about in previous meetings.
Cannabis Updates – Johnson-Aplin mentioned that there will be notes from two recent Cannabis Trainings and they will be shared as soon as they are compiled. The meetings focused on the relationship of the Town Cannabis Control Board and the Zoning.
The Administrator was asked to contact VLCT to determine if there is a specific time frame for when an “Informational Meeting” before the vote by Australian Ballot is held. Or, can it be included as an item on the Agenda at a Regular Selectboard meeting? Selectboard asked to be notified ASAP with their response.
Flood Hazard By-law Update – No updates.
(Remove until Planning Commission is ready to present.)
IDEAL Program offered by Vermont’s Office of Racial Equity– Ann Golob attended the informational meeting, The purpose is to bring members of municipalities together to work on similar issues they are facing related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Each municipality was asked to propose the issue they would like to focus their work on, such as housing inequities, policing, or creating greater inclusivity. The program requires a long-term commitment and a great deal of work on a monthly basis from at least 2-3 members of the town government. To Golob, the degree of commitment felt more than what she could commit to. The IDEAL program has no end date; participants who are accepted into the program are expected to continue to be part of the work for multiple years. On the other hand, a similar program offered by VLCT is six months in duration and covers similar materials, and has similar aims. The application process for the VLCT program has ended but Golob suggested that we review the application the next time it becomes available.
Nancy Rysz property- previously discussed in Road Forman’s Report.
NEW BUSINESS – Johnson-Aplin wanted the Selectboard to be aware of the “Financial Data Transparency Act of 2022;” information about the act was included in a recent National League of Cities email. It is a new piece of legislation to fix a problem that many feels does not exist. According to the article, it would require local governments to come into compliance with new financial reports standards by 2027 which could cause the loss of older information. Additionally, the expense would be paid by each Municipality to cover the resources, software, and consultants.
The article asks readers to contact our Senators and urge them to remove this mandate from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) Golob suggested that Johnson-Aplin reach out to our two Senators and VLCT to clarify whether this particular piece of legislation impacts Vermont since we have a statewide system, Nemric, that is used for financial reporting.
Updates on this item will be added to Old Business on future agendas.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: The evaluation of an employee, Title 1 V.S.A. § 313(a)(3).
Golob made a motion to go into Executive Session at 8:03 P.M. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously 3/0.
The connection was lost and re-established with Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to come out of the Executive Session at 8:21 P.M. Golob seconded the motion.
Motion passed unanimously 4/0.
A plan will be put in place to discuss with the employee the decision of the Board.
Before going into Pay orders – Chair Sanborn asked to suspend the Selectboard meeting at 8:29 P.M to open the Board of Liquor Control.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to open the Board of Liquor Control (BLC) at 8:29 P.M. Golob seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/0.
See the BLC Minutes.
Golob made a motion to close the BLC at 8:31 P.M. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed 4/0.
Johnson-Aplin made a motion to return to the Regular Selectboard Meeting at 8:31 P.M Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/0.
Sanborn noted that a resident had raised a question about how pay orders are handled by the Selectboard and asked why we did not stay on camera to discuss them. A discussion followed explaining that this has been the habit of the Board going back as many years as anyone could remember. Unlike some Boards, Newfane’s Selectboard divides up into teams and reviews the payroll and the accounts payable. We do not review and discuss each item as a whole Board. The Board checked with VLCT and confirmed that there is no legal requirement to stay on camera. The question was also asked whether the Selectboard was going into Executive Session to discuss pay orders and it was clarified that we do not.
Sanborn added that is any resident has a question about our process, please reach out to our Administrative Assistant with your concerns.
(Attending remotely, Mike Fitzpatrick withdrew and left the meeting at 8:32 P.M.)
1. Payroll Warrant No. #11586 Amount $ 6,963.89
2. Account Payable No. #23007 Amount $ 52,917.95
Golob made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 3/0.
Golob made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant