Selectboard Regular Meeting Monday, February 5th, 2024

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

PRESENT:  Marion Dowling, Cris White, Austin Rice (BCTV), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).
Zoom:  Jay Wilson (Road Foreman). Phone: Melissa Brown (Treasurer),

CALL TO ORDER:  The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. by Selectboard Chair Angela Litchfield.

CONFIRM PROPERLY WARNED:  Powling confirmed the meeting had been properly warned.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA:  
Golob requested an update on the status agreement between the Town of Newfane and property owners Ross and Triebert. To follow the Road Foreman’s Report.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
(taken out of order)

  1. January 16th, 2024, Special Minutes
    Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the January 16, 2024, special minutes, and Golob seconded.
    Motion passed.
  2. January 22nd, 2024, Regular Minutes
    Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the January 22nd, 2024, regular minutes, and Golob seconded.
    Motion passed.

    ROAD FOREMAN’S & ROAD COMMISSIONER’S REPORT
  1.  I have not heard anything additional from the trucking companies’ insurance.
  2.  The town attorney is preparing the easement for the Loop Road box culvert.
  3.  We have a proposal from MSK Engineering for the gravel pit work.
  4.  We have been putting out cold patches as we get nice days to patch some holes in the pavement.
  5.  We have submitted the ‘Stream Alteration Permit’ to ANR for the Loop Rd. Culvert.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept Road Forman’s Report, and Golob seconded.

Discussion:
3.)  Ron Bell sent an email that he would work on the projects for Newfane this week.
Golob made a motion to approve the contract for MSK Engineering and hold it in case it is needed next week. Fitzpatrick seconded.
Motion passed.

Vote was called
Motion passed

NRCS contract- Litchfield will contact Attorney Fisher to follow up on the agreement between the Town of Newfane and property owners for the shared cost of the work and maintenance of the Rock River repairs.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT’S REPORT: 

  1. The Town Report is at the printers. I will review the proof on Friday, the 9th; the reports are expected to be delivered by Tuesday, February 20th.
  2. I attended the VLCT Legislative update last Monday; the current H-629 Delinquent Tax Bill is a concern we should follow closely. Attached is the Bill for your review.
  3. Carol’s memo regarding the renewal of the Liquor License for the Green Mountain Wine Shop.
  4. I have a memo for you to authorize the Treasurer to make this change, which was approved at the January 11th Budget meeting.
    Administrative Assistant: It was confirmed that Powling would be given an additional one dollar per hour and include back pay to be added to the current .45 cents raise to meet the 2024 Cost-of-living increase.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Administrative Assistant Report, and Golob seconded.

      1.) Litchfield will also review the proof of the Town Report as a second pair of eyes.
3.) Litchfield read the Memo from Town Clerk Carol Hesselbach.
4.) Memo regarding back pay

From Town Clerk:
January 24, 2024
I received an application from the Green Mountain Wine Shop for the renewal of a second-class liquor license. In accordance with your decision last May, I requested that the shop pay the town fee of $70, and I will approve the application when it is received.

 COMMITTEE REPORT:
Williamsville Hall – Steve Levine
Rescheduled

SCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
None

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
Marion Dowling came to the meeting to discuss her concerns regarding the addition of the citizen-backed article added to the Newfane warning regarding Gaza. Dowling quoted her research from the Vermont Secretary of State. “Not every petition or article must be included in the warning – the topic for discussion must be an issue that the voters have the power to decide.” The January 23, 2024, edition of the Brattleboro Reformer had an article about the addition of this article to be discussed at the town meeting. Dowling was concerned that a small group of residents that show up for floor votes on Articles will end up speaking for the entire Town of 1,700 residents and that the purpose of the Town meeting is to discuss civic Issues and local problems that concern residents, such as Roads, Budgets, and Schools.

Golob stated that the understanding of the Selectboard was that if the petition submitted had the correct number of signatures, it would need to be included in the Warning as an Article. She thanked Dowling for the information and will contact VLCT for more information.

NEW BUSINESS
None

OLD BUSINESS:

  1. Town Beautification (Chevalier)
    None
  2. FEMA buyout of South Newfane General Store (Golob)
    None
  3. ARPA Funds Updates (Golob)
    Resolution for ARPA Allocation

Golob shared information from her meeting with Katy Buckley (VLCT) and Melissa Brown (Treasurer) with recommendations for a resolution for the obligation of the remaining ARPA funds. (Brown was contacted on the phone.)

Discussion ensued:

Golob had a prepared resolution for Selectboard signature to allow the funds to be moved into a different account. Tabled: Until the full Selectboard was in attendance.

  1. Personnel Policy changes/ recommendation (Johnson-Aplin/Chevalier)
    None

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. DRB Membership Appointment Request David Brown
    Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve David Brown’s appointment to the Development Review Board. Golob seconded the motion.
    Motion passed. Powling will send a letter of appointment to Mr. Brown.
  2. The Newfane Inn and Wellness Center- Lori Damato – Formal request for ARPA funds.
    Golob noted that anyone can apply for the ARPA funds and that Damato was misinformed when she was told that was not the case. To date, the Selectboard has not made grants to businesses and has used the ARPA funds only for non-profit and town needs (such as emergency generators).
    The Selectboard agreed that the work to restore the Newfane Inn has made a meaningful impact on Newfane.
    Tabled: Until the full Selectboard was in attendance to vote.
  3. Bill Morse follows up on the previous letter submitted.
    Morse requested answers on why a specific DRB variance had been granted several years ago. He feels that not every resident application is given the same equal treatment.

Fitzpatrick made a motion for two present Selectboard members to approve Pay Orders. Golob seconded the motion.
Motion Passed
Golob, who was attending the meeting remotely, left at 7:25 p.m.

PAY ORDERS

    1. Payroll # 11663               $ 7,028.01
    2. Payroll # 11664               $ 6,279.31
    3. Payroll # 11665               $ 6,588.47
    4. AP # 24017                      $ 990,014.87

ADJOURN:

Fitzpatrick made a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling,
Administrative Assistant
AG/AL