TOWN OF NEWFANE
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Gary Delius, Marion Dowling, Mike Fitzpatrick, Carol Hatcher, Todd Lawley
OTHERS PRESENT: Shannon Meckle, Doris Knechtel, Cina Friend, Meghan Munro, Ken Estey, Carl Lindgren, Angela Sanborn, Cris White, Wayne White, Lauri Miner, Polly Casanova, Christine Druke, Em Richards
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Todd Lawley, Chair.
August 15, 2016: The minutes were reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Carol Hatcher 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 Carol Hatcher to accept the report. The motion carried unanimously.
It was mentioned that there is a sign down on Adams Hill Road.
UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Laurie Miner voiced her concerns regarding the Shannon Meckle, the Administrative Assistant speaking to the Commons reporter. She noted that Shannon does not live in town and should not voice her opinion. Laurie also voiced her concerns regarding the Town Clerk’s office becoming more politicized in recent years, and noted the Clerk’s behavior at the polling place after the votes were counted. She added that a re-vote petition is on the counter in the Town Clerk’s office and asked what could be done about these issues.
Cina Friend asked whether it’s normal for bond votes to be re-voted, citing the school’s recent revote and the petition circulating for a revote of the town office building bond. She expressed her frustration with the process, noting that it starts to feel like a waste of time to vote if everything is re-voted.
Doris Knechtel noted that the Town Garage bond was voted three times before it passed and Jamaica just went through a re-vote as well. She noted that re-votes happen for various reasons and it’s not unusual.
Discussion ensued regarding the petition and the appropriateness of having it at the Town Office. Carol noted that she’d contacted the Secretary of State’s office, who stated that it’s a gray area. They recommended that the town write an ethics policy that applies to all elected officials. Members of the public felt that the office needs to remain apolitical and that people should be able come in the office without feeling pressured. Discussion also ensued regarding appropriateness of the letter the Town Clerk sent out before the vote.
Regarding the vote process in general, Wayne White stated it felt like the public meetings showed that 13 people wanted a new town office. Gary Delius noted that 226 people voted for a new town office. Cris White clarified that Wayne felt that the only people speaking at the public meetings were town officials who work in the building, seemingly giving a sales pitch.
Discussion ensued regarding membership on the Town Office Committee. Members of the public urged the Board to appoint only townspeople and not town officials. It was also suggested that the Committee visit other town offices to see various set ups.
Further discussion ensued regarding the merits of a new building versus a renovation/addition, or just repairing the current space.
Loan Renewal Docs: Renewal documents for the 2013 Mack Truck loan were reviewed. A motion was made by Marion Dowling and seconded by Carol Hatcher to sign the documents. The motion carried unanimously.
Town Office Building – Bond Vote Issues: A motion was made by Marion Dowling to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a public official, under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313(a)(3). The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:16 p.m.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 7:49 p.m.
A motion was made by Carol Hatcher and seconded by Gary Delius to refer the matter to the town attorney. The motion carried unanimously.
Several letters regarding the bond vote and the re-vote petition were read into the record. (Please contact the Administrative Assistant for copies of the letters.)
Building Security: Shannon updated the Board on obtaining a quote for a camera system and the grant application. The total cost of the system is $3,043.00. The grant would pay for half of the system.
Town Office Building Committee Membership: The Board will revisit membership of the Committee at the next meeting.
990 Dover Road Clean Up: Shannon noted that the property is cleaned up. They are continuing with some earth work, but the property is no longer in violation of the Junk Ordinance. A motion was made by Gary Delius to send a letter of thanks. The motion was seconded by Carol Hatcher. The motion carried unanimously.
Investment & Banking Policy Adoption: This was tabled until the next meeting.
The following correspondence was received:
- VLCT Municipal Budgeting Workshop Notice – September 27, 2016
- Request from Ted Colligan to close West Street on October 8 and October 9 for the Heritage Festival. A motion was made by Gary Delius to close West Street for the Heritage Festival. The motion was seconded by Marion Dowling. The motion carried unanimously.
- Letter from VLCT regarding Voting Delegates.
- VLCT Newsletter
The pay orders were reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Delius and seconded by Carol Hatcher to approve the pay orders as follows:
- Payroll Warrant No. 08/31/16 – $3,927.13
- Payroll Warrant No. 08/17/16 – $3,932.39
- Payroll Warrant No. 08/24/16 – $3,917.55
- Payroll Warrant No. 09/07/16 – $5,663.10
- Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17005 – $77,624.54
- Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17006 – $10,322.00
- Accounts Payable Warrant No. 17007 – $18,632.60
The motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Marion Dowling and seconded by Gary Delius to adjourn at 8:20 pm. The motion carried unanimously.
ROAD FOREMAN’S AND ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
- Roads: The roads are in good shape. We have hauled a lot of gravel on New Road and the upper end of Baker Brook Road. They have been ditched and had a culvert replaced. Both roads were in pretty rough shape but now are in good shape. We have been grading almost every day as well. The crew has been out with the back hoe cleaning culverts as well.
- Equipment: The F550 truck has been back to Tenco and they rewired the plow lights and it seems to be fine now. The 2013 Mack had to have a new clutch put in at State line. The clutch had rusted up so it had to have another one put in. I have ordered grader blades and york rake teeth.
- Paving: Paving is done including the shoulders. They had to come back and redo a very small section that the black top was too dry in. It is now done and it looks very good.
- Line Painting: VTrans is having the line painting crew come back and paint the yellow lines on the new black top. I have also heard back from the company that does the white lines. They plan on painting the white lines on Dover Road, Depot Hill Road, Grimes Hill Road, South Wardsboro Road, and Radway Hill Road. It is somewhere around 12 miles of black top. The money will have to come out of the paving budget this year. I think when we do the budget we need a separate line item for this expense.
- Winter Sand Bids: Winter sand bids are ready to go out. Shannon will be doing that soon.
- Kenny Pond: I have Kevin Shrader coming in the middle of September to cut some trees down so we can back fill a retaining wall that is starting to fall down. After he cuts the trees then we can get permission to back fill the wall.
- Roadside Mowing: The road side mowing is almost complete. They cut a lot of brush back when they mowed this year. We need to do some work behind the band rail to get rid of some brush. The state sprays behind the rail and I think I am going to check with them and see what it involves.
- Williamsville Hall: I had Jeff Russ do some plumbing work on the toilets so that is done.
Todd Lawley, Road Foreman
Christopher Williams, Road Commissioner