This document is a DRAFT of the Selectboard minutes
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https//zoom. Us/join Meeting ID: 972 2791 1757 Passcode: 352680
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Angela Sanborn, Katy Johnson-Aplin, Jeffrey Chevalier, Ann Golob, and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).
OTHERS PRESENT: Austin Rice (Producer BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).
Zoom: Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Carol Hesselbach, Jane Douglas, Paul Hansen, Katy Gehring.
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.
ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:
Johnson-Aplin asked to add the purchase of an Owl 3 to New Business.
Golob asked to add the letter received from Nancy Rysz to the Road Foreman’s report.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
- January 17, Special Meeting minutes.
Golob made a motion to approve the January 17 minutes. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion. Motion passed 5/0.
ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT:
- The South Wardsboro Road repair is out to bid, and the bids are due Monday, the 13th. Is it possible to do a 5-minute zoom meeting that day after 3:00 pm to award the repair work?
- The sand/salt shed group had a meeting recently to go over the costs which are very high, if the Selectboard is ok with it we would like to pursue changing the structure to a fabric covered dome and see if we can get that structure done with the money we have. It would still have to meet all the requirements because we would be using grant money but hopefully it would be more affordable.
- I emailed you all the information on the Depot Rd box culvert project.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Road Foreman’s report. Golob seconded the motion. Discussion ensued:
- Meeting to open sealed bids for the W. Wardsboro Bank Slide Repair. Selectboard agreed to meet on Monday, February 13th, at 5 pm.
- Selectboard agreed to the recommended changes for the sand /salt shed (using fabric covered dome) to lower the cost of construction. Wilson said he would give updates as they come in from the engineer.
- Depot Rd Box Culvert project estimate is expected to cost $83,000 more than the Town had budgeted. Tabled until the February 21st meeting to allow for further review of the engineer plans.
Golob asked for an update on the Town Office Repair. Wilson responded that the heating and cooling was already on site and work should begin in March. Carpenters had planned to start late February. Wilson will confirm the dates and give updates at future meetings.
Sanborn called the vote to accept the Road Forman’s Report.
Motion passed 5/0.
Nancy Rysz, property owner from 65 Baker Brook Road, sent a letter to the Selectboard regarding the damage from Hurricane Irene and the response from NERC regarding the repairs that she felt were inadequately installed.
- Sanborn asked if, after Wilson had reviewed the documentation, could he give his recommendation.
Wilson’s response to Mrs. Rysz’s letter and her reference to Scott Jensen was that Jensen was no longer on this project. After having numerous conversations with the others involved from NERC Department, it appears that all efforts have been exhausted. Designs for the work would likely be permitted; the issue going forward is the funds to pay for the estimated $10,000 or $12,000. The only recommendation for the work on private property would be for the owner to pay for the expense of the repairs.
Sanborn recommended resending the letter that the Selectboard had previously sent to Mrs. Rysz.
Wilson asked Golob if she would give the report on the progress of the Gravel Pit.
- Golob mentioned that a sound report had been received and appears to be positive. There were recommended suggestions to manage the sound; all are reasonable and easily doable.
- Wilson added that the other tests have been completed included the archeological study of the site, sound, and the actual phased site plan.
- A traffic study may be the next required step. Engineer Bill Jewell will be able to advise us on what needs to be done next.
Sanborn asked Wilson to keep this on his report as a monthly follow-up item.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT:
- Sheriff Mark Anderson has sent an invitation to the Board or its representative to attend a discussion about how to provide regional policing service. This meeting is on February 9th, from 10-12, at the VT EMS Academy at 1096 VT RT 30. There is an option for Zoom. This information is attached to this report.
- As of January 25th, Hendrik van Loon has submitted his letter of resignation effective immediately from the (DRB) Development Review Board.
- Chair of the DRB David Cotton has submitted Erica Walch for the remainder of Mr. van Loon’s term. He is asking the Selectboard to appoint Geoff van Kirk as an alternate.
- The Selectboard will make reappointments at the organizational meeting following Town Meeting. However, Selectboard has received a letter from Maxwell Vandervliet expressing his interest in continuing as a member of the PC.
You were aware that Ken Estey would not be willing to accept a reappointment to the Planning Commission (PC).
- The draft of the 2022 Town Report was proofed by members of the Town Office before I sent it to the printers.
- February 20th is a federal holiday; would you like to meet on Tuesday, February 21st?
- Tuesday, February 7th, is the DRB Hearing to consider a change of use permit for the former “Ricks Tavern” property.
- Wednesday, February 8th at 9 am, VLCT is providing training for Moderator/ Town Meeting Tune-Up.
- Thursday, February 9th at 6 pm, the Planning Commission meeting has scheduled guest speakers to discuss housing issues.
- Thursday, February 23rd, at 6 pm, the Planning Commission will hold its Public Hearing for the Proposed By-Law changes to the Floodplain- River Corridor.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistants report. Golob seconded the motion.
- Golob and Sanborn expressed interest in attending the regional policing service on Thursday, February 9th.
Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the recommendations to the DRB. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 5/0.
- Powling will send out the acceptance letters for Appointment to the DRB for Walch and Van Kirk.
- The selectboard meeting will be on February 21st at 6 pm.
A motion to approve the Administrative Assistants Report was called.
Motion passed 5/0.
Traffic Calming Committee update (Johnson-Aplin).
There are no detailed updates. The Traffic Calming Committee held its second meeting; the discussion went well. The next scheduled meeting is on Tuesday, February 28th, at 6 pm.
Planning Commission Update (Jane Douglas).
Jane Douglas indicated that she would like to extend her appointment on the Planning Commission.
- Douglas mentioned that she had attended a recent BDCC (Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation) meeting that discussed available ARPA Grants that can be applied for through the State of Vermont. A recommendation is to explore this with Windham Regional Commission for possible transportation grants, floodplain money, or any other needs Newfane has.
- DV Fiber now has paying customers. Things are moving along.
- Douglas asked what the Selectboard plans are for Newfane ARPA the money not yet spent. Golob mentioned that she is giving an update during Old Business.
SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Cannabis Updates: (Johnson-Aplin)
No updates for cannabis. The DRB will be holding a public hearing on February 7th to review the first application for a Cannabis establishment (formerly Rick’s Tavern).
Johnson-Aplin, Sanborn, and Chevalier discussed attending the DRB hearing Tuesday evening.
Town Beautification (Chevalier)
Jeff Chevalier discussed several potential projects to help beautify the town, including the installation of:
- Six benches around town created by local artists.
- An archway near the Town Forest with detailed maps.
- To create a community garden space on the vacant lots on Dover Road including raised garden beds and picnic tables.
Chevalier mentioned that to accomplish these ideas, volunteers will be needed. A volunteer workday could be something to think of doing.
Sanborn recommends that if there is anyone wishing to volunteer, please contact our Administrative Assistant at the Town Office.
Discuss ideas for a 250-year celebration of Newfane’s founding. (Johnson-Aplin)
FEMA Buy-Out of the South Newfane General Store – (Golob)
The signed documents from David Livingston, the property owner, have been sent to the State. The State has signed off on the matching letter for the amount not covered by FEMA. FEMA will review the paperwork, and this process could take up to six months.
Golob- There were questions raised from the last meeting regarding the retaining wall and the tanks.
Alyssa Sabetto from the WRC set up a meeting with Jay Wilson, VT Emergency Management, and Golob for Monday, February 13, in the morning. We will report back at the next Selectboard meeting.
Newfane received a total of $ 441,000. To date, four approved expenditures have been made.
- By-Law Modernization application fee and matching funds
- DV Fiber
- New Emergency Generators
- Newfane Anew
To date we have approved the spending of $90,000, leaving approximately $331,000. All this information has been placed on the Town website. In addition, three other projects have been discussed.
- Moore Free Library
- Historical Society Windham County
- Business Grants
Sanborn and Golob have researched what other Towns in the area have done to address business support. This can be discussed in more detail at the next meeting of the Selectboard.
Golob discussed that last April, we had several presentations at the Selectboard meetings. To address housing, we applied for and received a bylaw modernization grant from the state. This will enable us to hire a consultant to help work with Newfane on tweaking the Zoning By- laws to make them more hospitable to building more housing. The other big issue would be related to wastewater management. Obviously, Newfane can’t afford to put sewers in the whole town. Newfane may need to consider doing a study to learn what would be possible. We also can look into what funds might be available for wastewater planning from the State.
Golob made a recommendation to research what the options might be. Golob offered to do this research and talk with WRC.
Johnson- Aplin asked if the State ARPA funds are available for the pedestrian friendly streets program that the village of Newfane is discussed. Sanborn said she would bring this up at the next meeting.
Golob mentioned that the Town Beautification projects could be a future use for the Town’s ARPA funds.
Johnson-Aplin made a recommendation to purchase the Owl 3 [the Owl 3 (Next Gen) 360-Degree, 1080p HD Smart Video Conference Camera, Microphone, and Speaker (Automatic Speaker Focus & Smart Zooming] for Zoom meetings and for when BCTV is not covering the meetings.
Fitzpatrick agreed, stating that anything that will help to make an improvement for these Zoom meetings is worth it.
Golob made the motion to purchase Owl 3. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
Motion passed 5/0.
Powling agreed to make the purchase.
Mike McConnell Windham Regional is seeking a primary contact for Act 172 Municipal Energy Resiliency Project to ensure that information gets out to people in a timely manner.
Powling provided her information as a contact person. Golob asked that Ken Estey be contacted to see if he was involved with this Municipal Energy Project and to let Jay Wilson know that the Selectboard was volunteering him as another contact person. Sanborn volunteered as a Board member to receive the email information too.
Moore Free Library. Thank you letter from Board member Marie Tattersall for the appropriation funds.
- Executive Session to discuss a disciplinary or dismissal action against a public officer or employee under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313, Subsection (a) (4) of the Vermont Statutes.
Golob made a motion to move into Executive Session. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
Motion passed 5/0.
Selectboard entered Executive Session at 7:05 pm.
At 7:25, Sanborn asked Administrative Assistant Powling to join the meeting.
Chevalier made a motion to leave Executive Session. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion.
Motion passed 5/0.
Selectboard exited Executive Session at 7:30 pm.
The decision of the Selectboard: Was to table further discussion until February 21 meeting.
Mike Fitzpatrick, who attended remotely, withdrew and left the meeting at 7:30 pm.
- Payroll Warrant # 11605 Amount $ 5,949.18
- Payroll Warrant # 11606 Amount $ 7,062.26
- Payroll Warrant # 11607 Amount $ 5,006.74
- Account Payable # 23015 Amount $ 2,500.00
- Account Payable # 23017 Amount $ 976,116.60
Chevalier made a motion to approve Pay Orders. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/0.
Johnson-Aplin made a motion to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm.
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant