Town of Brookfield
October 23, 2017 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Cory Haggett, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Lew Stowell, Dennis LaRocque, Eric Hord, Jon Binhammer, Susan Shea
- Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
- Adjustments to Agenda – the order of New Business will be shifted slightly to accommodate timing of presentations.
- Public Comment – none.
- New Business:
- Eric Hord (West Brookfield resident) inquired about the status of Blanchard Road (TH 43), and in particular what potential rights-of-way had been established. Mr. Hord reported that he and his ex-wife intended to subdivide their parcels, and wanted to ensure that there would be no access problems as a result. According to the VT Agency of Transportation’s Brookfield Highways Map, the road consists of a 0.06 mile portion designated as Class 3, and the remaining 0.64 mile is designated Class 4/Impassable or Untravelled. Mr. Benson indicated that the Town has not shown any interest in discontinuing the road, and if Mr. Hord felt that upgrading a portion would benefit his project, he could do so at his own cost. Mr. Benson and Mr. Kimmel recommended that Mr. Hord consult Town land records to determine what existing rights-of-way were established, and consider hiring a surveyor while planning the subdivisions. Mr. Hord will also need to seek a development permit and submit supporting documents to the Town’s Administrative Officer.
2.Conservation Commission: Jon Binhammer and Susan Shea have been researching the possibility of creating a Conservation Commission in Brookfield. They explained that the proposed Commission would be advisory, not regulatory, and would recommend projects for Selectboard approval. Possible examples include maintenance of the Town marsh and nature walk area off of VT Route 65, and recreational and natural projects in the area of the Brookfield Elementary School. Ms. Shea reported that there are approximately 100 such Commissions in other Vermont towns, and described some of the projects they’ve undertaken. Mr. Binhammer noted that the Town has existing conservation funds that could be applied to the proposed Commission’s efforts. Mr. Benson suggested that the proposed Commission could also coordinate with the Town’s Planning Commission in furtherance of the Town Plan. For now, Mr. Binhammer and Ms. Shea, along with the Selectboard, will research applicable VT law and charters/bylaws for existing commissions as background in determining the feasibility and operation of the proposal. This may also be an item that would be presented at Town Meeting 2018.
Mr. Binhammmer also mentioned other items for the Board’s consideration: 1) he inquired whether he has been formally appointed as the Town’s representative to the Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission; 2) while Mr. Binhammer is currently the Town Forester, he reported that the qualifications have changed and that may affect his eligibility. The Board will look into both items.
- Public Safety Committee:
- As an initial issue, Dennis LaRocque inquired about the status of parking enforcement in Brookfield, citing particular locations posing a travel hazard with vehicles in the Town’s right-of-way. Mr. Benson said that the Selectboard has previously met with landowners to advise them of the problem and that there is the potential for fines to be assessed for continued encroachment in the Town’s ROW. The Town has also been working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for follow-up on parking issues. In addition, the Selectboard is currently working with the PSC on revising the Town’s Traffic Ordinance, which includes provisions addressing parking restrictions.
- Lew Stowell (PSC member) and the Selectboard discussed revisions to the proposed Traffic Ordinance. Areas covered included:
- Identification of roads by both name and Town Highway number.
- Parking restrictions enforcement by qualified law enforcement personnel and the Town Road Crew Foreman.
- Establishing and posting load limits on local roads.
- Which Town ordinances might be repealed and replaced by the proposal.
Mr. Stowell also suggested that the Board and Highway Department prioritize actions (such as road signs) when the revised ordinance is implemented.
- Highway Department
- Stone Road Gate Access – on motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Haggett second, the Board unanimously approved and signed an agreement with the state addressing emergency services access and security measures for the gate.
- Personnel Matter – on motion of Mr. Hagget, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted unanimously to go into executive session (with Mr. Peck) at 8:20 p.m. The Board came out of the session at 8:30 p.m.
- TRORC/Rita Zeto – Mr. Peck reported that he met with Ms. Zeto on October 13 to discuss a $14,000 erosion control grant and the schedule for Highway Department activity. While the work can be scheduled for 2018, Mr. Peck and Ms. Zeto will be consulting on paperwork and grant process in the interim. The Board will also check with Stuart Edson on the road condition inventory for the Town.
- Miscellaneous Highway Items:
- Peck reported that Pike Industries should soon be performing work on the Northfield Road project.
- McReady Road has been resurfaced.
- Peck will work with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson on the continuing documentation for seeking FEMA reimbursement for the July 2017 storm event. This will include coordinating with FEMA, TRORC, and state authorities, along with identifying which repair projects and amounts are eligible.
- The Ford 1-ton truck has been repaired and is functioning well. The Road Crew is working on fitting a used sander to the truck in preparation for Winter.
- The backhoe needs new brakes, which Mr. Peck said the Road Crew could replace for about $1,500.
- The Town (Mrs. Peterson) needs to check with the state Agency of Transportation to confirm the status of the annual winter maintenance contract for VT Route 65.
- Old Business
- Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve (as amended) the minutes of the October 9, 2017 meeting, Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0
- Ambulance Services: discussions continue with Barre Town and White River Valley Ambulance as mapping and administrative tasks are being completed.
- Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $52,068.45. Large bills include Fothergill, Segale & Valley (accounting services): $8,600.00; NICOM Coatings (paving): $7,200.00; Formula Ford: $6,137.27. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0.
- Other Proper Business
- Benson reported that Town Attorney Pam Stafford is continuing work on the documents pertaining to the purchase and transfer of additional land for the Town Garage. The state has signed off on the lot line adjustment with the adjoining property to the west, and no state approval is necessary for the adjoining lot to the north.
- The Board will be looking into hiring an assistant to attend Selectboard meetings during the Winter to take and report minutes.
- Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 9:19 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0