Selectboard Meeting Minutes – September 19, 2016




SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Gary Delius, Marion Dowling, Mike Fitzpatrick, Carol Hatcher, Todd Lawley

OTHERS PRESENT:   Karen Astley, Dennis Wiswall, Gary Katz, Rich Sanborn, Angela Sanborn, Ken Estey, Lynn Forrest, Frank Suponski, Ralph Meima, Lauri Miner, Chris Druke


The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Todd Lawley, Chair.


Marion asked to have Meeting Schedule added to New Business.


September 6, 2016:  A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Marion Dowling to approve the minutes. The motion carried unanimously.


Road Foreman’s & Road Commissioner’s Report:  See attached report.

A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Marion Dowling to accept the report.

Discussion: Dennis Wiswall and Gary Katz noted that the roadside mowing on Wiswall Hill Road and Bensch Road did not come out well. Todd will look into it.

The consensus of the Board was to hire Nick Lawley for brush cutting.

Regarding the Jones Hill Road culvert project, Todd will get three prices and have Shannon email the board with prices.

The motion to accept the report carried

with four in favor and Todd Lawley abstaining.


Ralph Meima, Green Lantern: gave an over view for the public and requested that the board sign the Option to Lease.  Carol read aloud the town attorney’s opinion.

A question and answer period ensued.  Ralph explained the Certificate of Public Good process and noted the lack of environmental impacts on these projects.

He also noted that the Certificate of Public Good requires that the site be restored to its original state when the solar array is decommissioned at the end of its life.

Discussion ensued regarding the financial merits of the lease as compared to other options as well as negotiation options.  The Board accepted comments and concerns from the public.

It was noted by the Board and Ralph Meima that signing the Option to Lease did not obligate the Board or Green Lantern to going forward with the project.  Ralph Meima confirmed that the Board could let Green Lantern do all of the leg work and research and then decide to bid out the project and pick someone else, noting that this happened to them recently. Contrarily, the Board could sign the option and Green Lantern could decide it wasn’t worth going forward. Either party can back out at any time.

A motion was made by Carol Hatcher to sign the Option to Lease with Green Lantern, as proposed, with the understanding that neither party is obligated to move forward with the project. The motion was seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick. The motion carried unanimously.

Planning Commission: At this point in the meeting, Gary Delius recused himself.

On behalf of the Planning Commission, Lynn Forrest recommended that the Selectboard appoint Angel Sanborn to the Planning Commission. A motion was made by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Carol Hatcher to appoint Angela Sanborn to the Planning Commission. The motion carried unanimously.

Lynn gave a presentation to the Board and the public regarding Lynn regarding Village Center Designation and presented the draft amendment to Town Plan.

A question and answer period ensued. Lynn confirmed that there is no cost to the town and as far as the Planning Commission can surmise, there are really no disadvantages to the program.

Lynn went on to explain the process, noting that there would be public meetings to gather information and answer questions.  There will also be public hearings for the amendment to the Town Plan.

Gary Katz asked whether it would it be possible to add a sentence that confirms that the amendment does not commit the Town of Newfane to any financial contributions by the town. Lynn will look into adding the sentence before formally presenting the amendment to the Board.

A motion was made by Marion Dowling to approve going forward with the public meetings for Village Designation.  The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously.


There were no unscheduled members of the public.


Meeting Schedule: Marion requested a change to the October 3 meeting date. Upon discussion, there were no other dates available and the October 3 meeting remained on schedule.

Loan Documents (New Truck):  The Board reviewed the loan documents from Peoples United Bank for a loan in the amount of $160,000 to pay for a 2016 Mack Truck.  A motion to sign the loan documents was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously.


Town Office Building Committee Membership: Discussion ensued regarding the configuration of Town Office Building Committee. The public voiced their opinions regarding the membership on the Committee.

Karen Astley spoke to the board about her interest in serving. She felt that she could offer some insight, having been present for Westminster’s renovation process.  She felt that information could have been communicated more.

A motion was made by Carol Hatcher to keep the remaining members (Doris Knechtel, Frank Suponski, Gary Delius and Carol Hatcher) and to add Karen Astley, Mel Martin and Meghan Monro.  The motion was seconded by Marion Dowling.  The motion carried unanimously.

Shannon noted that the Board needs to clearly communicate what they want the Committee to do. The time to debate a new building versus a renovation has passed and the Committee needs to know what they’re supposed to be doing.

A motion was made by Gary Delius to give the Town Office Building Committee the mission to develop a plan for updating and maintenance of the Town Hall. The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously.

Bond Vote Issues: Todd noted that a petition had been received by the deadline, with enough signatures and the Board has sought legal advice on the petition based on the complaints they had received.

The public voiced their concern regarding the validity of the petition, as there appeared to be some level of coercion.  Discussion ensued.

The Board reiterated that the question has been presented to the attorney, and the attorney has weighed in.

A motion was made to go into Executive Session to discuss a public officer under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313(a) 3 and to invite Shannon Meckle as the Administrative Assistant, in order to hand the Board items which were presented to her by the Town Clerk.  The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher.  The motion carried unanimously.

The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:49 p.m.

A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick to read the town attorney’s response and respond to the citizen’s concerns. The motion carried unanimously. (For a copy of the attorney’s response, please see the Administrative Assistant.)

The Board noted for the record that the Town Clerk was invited to the meeting for the Executive Session but was not present.

As a petition with enough signatures was handed in before the deadline, a motion was made by Gary Delius to accept the petition and to hold a revote on the day of the General Election, November 8, 2016, to be posted within 30 days, advertised three times in the newspaper, and to hold a public meeting within 10 days of the vote.  The motion was seconded by Mike Fitzpatrick. The motion carried with four in favor and one opposed.

A motion was made by Marion Dowling to follow the suggestions that the town attorney gave the Board, to speak to the Town Clerk regarding transactions for copies, to develop and enact a written policy prohibiting use of town equipment and supplies for personal use, and to develop and enact a written  policy prohibiting petitions or campaigning on town property. The motion was seconded by Gary Delius. The motion carried unanimously.

Gary and Marion will speak to the Town Clerk.

Building Security/Partitions:

Shannon presented a sketch, measurements and a list of materials with costs to the Board for partitions.  Discussion ensued and the consensus of the Board was to give this to the Town Office Committee for their research and recommendation to the Board.

Investment & Banking Policy Adoption:  A motion was made by Gary Delius to table this discussion until the next meeting. The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously.


The following correspondence was received:

  • BCTV – 40 years of serving – annual members’ meeting and anniversary party.
  • VLCT News


The pay orders were reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Carol Hatcher to approve the pay orders as follows:

  • Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17009 in the amount of $790,742.37
  • Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17008 in the amount of $217,547.24
  • Payroll Warrant No. 09/21/16 in the amount of $3,914.54
  • Payroll Warrant No. 09/14/16 in the amount of $4,640.25

The motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Marion Dowling and seconded by Gary Delius to adjourn at 9:35  pm. The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Shannon Meckle



SEPTEMBER 19, 2016


[1] Roads; The roads are in good shape. Some have some wash board on them due to the dry conditions. We are grading those roads now.  The crew has been out with the back hoe cleaning culverts and ditches.

[2] Equipment; We had to replace the air compressor on the 2009 Sterling, Matt Coleman did that work. The chloride truck had some electrical issues and we fixed it at the garage. We have changed the york rake teeth on the front mount york rake. We will be changing the carbide blade on the grader.

[3] New Truck; The new truck is in and it is at Tenco waiting to have the plow, wing and dump body put on. Right now it sounds like it should be ready by the end of October.

[4] Kenny pond; Kevin Shrader will be here on Wednesday to cut some big trees at the Kenny pond retaining wall, so we can fill in the wall.

[5] Road Side mowing; The road side mowing is done. I had him cut some grass and brush around the garage wood line and he had to do a short section on Baker Brook rd. He is done and it came out good.

[6] Brush cutting; I would like to see the town have Nick come in and work with one of the guys cutting brush around intersections and on some of the back roads. A lot of back roads need to be trimmed back. We don’t have time to do much cutting during the summer with all the rest of the work that needs to be done. This would be a good way to get some done before winter. He already works for the town plowing roads and if there is a tree down or flood. So we would not have to hire anybody else to do it.

[7] White lines; I am expecting to see the contractor come in anytime now. I will see if I can get a hold of them.

[8] Culvert project Jones hill; I have asked two contractors to give us an estimate on replacing an 80 ft long, three ft diameter culvert. I will ask one more so we have at least three contractors. I would like to get started on this as soon as possible. I would like to be able to except a quote if we get three before the next meeting. The entire bottom of the culvert is rotted out and the water is running under the culvert.

Thank you,

Todd Lawley, Road Foreman

Christopher Williams, Road Commissioner