Selectboard Budget Meeting Monday, December 11th, 2023

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

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

OTHER PRESENT:
Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Melissa Brown (Treasurer), Lance Lindgren (Traffic Calming Committee), Sue Berg (TCC), Greg Record (Conservation Commission), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).

ZOOM:
Henriette Mantel (TCC)

CALL TO ORDER and MEETING WARNING:
The meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m. by Chair Angela Litchfield. Litchfield asked if the meeting was properly warned. Powling confirmed that it was.

ADDITIONS/ AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
None

REPORTS:
Traffic Calming Committee (TCC)
Lance Lindgren presented a letter to the Selectboard that represented the “months of research, exploration, and discussion we have come up with the following information we would like to present to you so we can solve this problem together. We just want people to slow down, stop speeding, and make our roads safer.”

The letter acknowledges the number of hours currently contracted with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department, including the frustration with the limited number of stops resulting in tickets being issued. Traffic Committee members suggest that the WCSD target specific locations with reduced speed limits. They are asking for the WCSD to be more accountable for time spent in Newfane and the Villages; they would like to see improvements in the next six months before recommending renewing the contract or increasing the number of hours in the agreement.

Discussion ensued.
Litchfield recommended that Committee Chair Katy Johnson-Aplin send the letter to Sheriff Anderson to see if there is any response.
Golob recommended creating an article for the votes to decide whether to increase the Law Enforcement Budget.

Johnson-Aplin, along with Wilson, has reviewed the Newfane Traffic Ordinance and has recommendations for the Selectboard to consider and re-adopt. VLCT will be consulted on the proposed changes, and a New (Amended) Traffic Ordinance will be considered after the Town Meeting when other policies are re-adopted.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
Conservation Committee member Greg Record asked the Selectboard if they could offer financial support to do some tree cutting on the trails by the Town Garage. The Conservation Committee was first started in 1998, “there is a beautiful view on what is known as “Laura’s landing.” Over the years, it has obstructed the view; if something is not done, we will lose it. 2010 was the last time cutting was done, costing $800.

If the Committee were to provide estimates for the needed cutting, would the Selectboard consider adding this to the budget? Record asked. Litchfield mentioned the possibility of using ARPA funds.

Record agreed to get quotes for the work and contact the Board again.

OLD BUSINESS:
Town Report Design– Johnson-Aplin will go over to the Wardsboro Town Office and retrieve three good-quality options for the cover.

NEW BUSINESS:

Expenditures:
Wilson provided additional figures for capital improvements.
 
Follow-up items:

  1. Employee reviews will be completed by the end of December to determine pay raises for the final budget figures. Litchfield and Fitzpatrick, with Christopher Williams, will complete Highway Department reviews. Johnson-Aplin and Chevalier will conduct the Administrative Assistant and the Zoning Administrator reviews.
    The Highway Depart is completed.

2.  Powling was asked to provide the Selectboard with a wage comparison from other towns.
They are done / Tabled until a future meeting when reviews are done.

3.  Powling and Brown will work on a wage and benefit package and overtime for a potential new employee for the road crew.
They are done / Tabled until a future meeting when reviews are done.

Articles:  Powling confirmed that she had started working on the articles.

Warnings: Deborah Luskin and Powling will review the warning before the meeting on December 18.

Social Appropriations: There are currently two more meetings to hear from agencies asking for appropriation funding; the last appointment is scheduled for Tuesday, January 2nd.

ADJOURN:

Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling,
Administrative Assistant
AL