Selectboard Special Meeting Friday, January 6, 2023
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https//zoom. Us/join      Meeting ID:  972 2791 1757        Passcode:  352680

(Zoom) Angela Sanborn, Jeffrey Chevalier, Ann Golob, and Mike Fitzpatrick (phone).

Carol Hesselbach and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant) (Zoom) Doris Knechtel.

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 am by Selectboard Chair Angela Sanborn.

Powling confirmed the meeting had been properly warned.


FEMA Buy-Out
Golob wanted to clarify that the purpose of the meeting was only to discuss sending the documents to the Virgin Islands to allow the owner of the South Newfane General Store to sign the FEMA documents. This would give him time to receive and consider the proposal for the FEMA buy-out. Golob confirmed that this would in no way cause or commit the Town of Newfane to any obligation. The only purpose is if the owner accepts the proposal to provide enough time to submit before the February 1st, 2023, deadline.

Johnson –Aplin read into the minutes a letter that was submitted by the Board of Listers.
January 5, 2023

Newfane Select Board
PO Box 36
Newfane, VT 05345

 Re: Action to pursue a buyout for the South Newfane Store & Residence (parcels E93 and E93.1)
Dear Board Members:

The Newfane Board of Listers requests that this memo be read as part of the Selectboard’s deliberations on the question of whether to pursue the buyout of parcels #E93 and #E93.1 (the South Newfane Store and attached residence). Please include this memo in the minutes for the meeting.

The Board of Listers continues to be concerned about the Selectboard’s action on this matter.

From our point of view, this property does not stand out as unique.  There are other properties in Newfane that neighbors may consider dilapidated and an eyesore. Our concern is that this action sets a precedent that may result in numerous requests for buyout and/or exemption in the future.  This may significantly lower the total taxable value of the Grand List. 

Although removing one property may have an insignificant effect on how much each Newfane household pays in taxes, the cumulative impact is worth noting. Properties that are moved from taxable to exempt on the Grand List have a negative effect on the CLA.  And, each parcel we remove or exempt in town reduces the State’s contribution towards the town’s fund for re-appraisal.    

The Listers’ office is where the public goes for explanations and concerns about property values. It is our obligation to the residents of Newfane that values be set in a fair and consistent manner.  When the Selectboard takes, what may appear as an arbitrary action, it weakens the trust the public has in our office. 

Newfane Board of Listers

Windham Regional Commission would be available to attend the January 17th Selectboard meeting.

Golob made a motion to send the FEMA Buy-out paperwork to the Virgin Islands. Johnson-Aplin seconded the motion.
Motion passed 4/1.

Johnson-Aplin requested to preview a cover letter prior to the information being sent to the property owner. Golob said she would send it in the next few hours.

Fitzpatrick made a motion to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 9:27 am.

Respectfully Submitted,
Wannetta Powling, Administrative Assistant