Teresa Godfrey

Sep 212017
 
  1. Call to Order
  2. Adjustments to the Agenda
  3. Public Comment
  4. New Business
    1. Highway
      1. Washington Electric Permit
      2. Job Applications
    2. Access Permit-Kirby
    3. Cemetery Deed
  5. Old Business
    1. Approve Minutes of 11 September Meeting
  6. Payroll/AP Warrant
    1. AP and Payroll Warrants
  7. Other Proper Business
  8. Adjournment
Jun 172017
 

2017 Lister’s Grievance Hearings

June 15, 2017

The Board of Listers met at 4:30 p. m. on June 15, 2017 to begin the process for 2017 grievances. In attendance were Stuart Edson, Teresa Godfrey and Phyllis Humez.  There were no property owners scheduled for a grievance hearing for today and there were no walk-in requests.

The Listers discussed a phone call received by the Town Clerk, Teresa Godfrey, concerning the combining of 2 parcels owned by Karl Weller which are contiguous. He was concerned with the property maintaining the 2 deeds in case he chose to sell one of the parcels.  He wanted to be sure there wouldn’t be an issue in dividing the tax bill.  Mrs. Godfrey was able to assure him that the combining was for tax purposes only and that the 2 parcels remained as 2 separate deeds.

The Board of Listers adjourned at 7:00 p. m. to meet again on June 17, 2017 at 9:00 a. m. until noon.

June 17, 2017

The Board of Listers met at 9:00 a. m. to hear grievances. In attendance were Stuart Edson, Phyllis Humez, and Teresa Godfrey.  There were no walk-ins or scheduled grievance hearings.

The Listers discussed the scheduling of a town-wide reappraisal. No decision was made on timing or funding. This will be discussed at a future scheduled date and time.

The Board of Listers adjourned at noon with no future dates set for grievance hearings.

Respectfully submitted,

Stuart Edson

Phyllis Humez

Teresa Godfrey

Apr 192017
 

Special Town Meeting                                                                                                               April 17, 2017

Attendees: Charles Keeler (Moderator), John Benson (Selectboard Chair), Jeff Kimmel (Selectboard member), Teresa Godfrey (Town Clerk, Recorder), Dale Benson, Clare Kimmel, Perry Kacik, Joy Kacik, Brenda Flint, Amy Ingrassia, George Zebora (observer)

C. Keeler called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

C. Keeler read the warning and notice of the Special Town Meeting as written and posted in the March 16, 2017 Herald of Randolph.

“The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned: the Town of Brookfield Selectboard will hold a joint special Selectboard Meeting and special Town Meeting on Monday April 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 40 Ralph Road, to allow public comment and a public vote on the following question:

Shall the actions taken at the Annual Meeting of this Town held on March 7, 2017, in spite of the fact that the Warning for that meeting was not published in the local paper of record, and any act or action of the municipal officers or agents pursuant thereto be readopted, ratified, and confirmed? (pursuant to 17 VSA 2662).”

Motion by J. Kacik, seconded by P. Kacik.

C. Keeler opened for debate or questions.

B. Flint, Town Auditor, asked if she could present an auditor’s report because the Auditors didn’t present one at Town Meeting on March 7, 2017 and they would like to have it included in the minutes.

C. Keeler agreed.

B. Flint said the Town had an outside audit covering FY15 that showed recommendations for making improvements. The Town Auditors are working with the Treasurer, Selectboard, and Administration Assistant to improve the records to meet these recommendations.

C. Keeler called the motion. Motion carried.

Motion by P. Kacik, seconded by C. Kimmel to adjourn at 6:45 p.m. Motion carried.

 

Respectfully submitted:

Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Mar 232017
 

Brookfield Selectboard

Warning and Notice of Special Town Meeting

 

The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned: the Town of Brookfield Selectboard will hold a joint special Selectboard Meeting and special Town Meeting on Monday, April 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 40 Ralph Road, to allow public comment and a public vote on the following question:

 

Shall the actions taken at the Annual Meeting of this Town held on March 7, 2017, in spite of the fact that the Warning for that meeting was not published in the local paper of record, and any act or action of the municipal officers or agents pursuant thereto be readopted, ratified, and confirmed? (pursuant to 17 VSA 2662)

 

 

Mar 132017
 

Town Meeting 2017

Call to Order at 10:00 a.m. The pledge was recited.

Moderator Charlie Keeler stated that due to the Town reports not being available at least 10 days prior to Town Meeting and the warning not being published in the newspaper 5 days prior to Town meeting, per 17 V.S.A. §2662, there will be a special Town Meeting in April, warned 30 days prior, with an article validating the actions taken at this Town Meeting of March 7, 2017.

Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot.  For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Article 2: To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.

John Benson, Selectboard Chair, recognized Aaron Adler for serving on the Planning Commission for 16 years.

J. Benson recognized Melanie LaRocque, Bonnie Fallon, and Mike Herold for all of their hard work on the Cemetery Commission. They did a great job restoring the cemeteries. There will be additional conversation concerning the Cemeteries later in the meeting.

J. Benson updated the EMS plan for the Town. We have gone to Barre Town with an agreement beginning on July 1st.

The Ridge Road paving was completed and the super elevation just south of the Pond Village Church was corrected. The grant from AOT for signage on the Ridge Road has not been completed.

The Selectboard and State are aware of the concerns about the quality and materials used for VT Route 65 reconstruction. In the Fall, there was a field inspection done and the whole road will be re-evaluated in the Spring on how to move forward.

The fire truck and the new plow truck were paid off.

The Town Office attic has new insulation and the front door and windows have all been replaced. The vault door needs either to be repaired or replaced. The tumblers are wearing out. In summer 2016 the water well almost ran dry, but recovered.

The Town Garage has had a room added for recordkeeping. The State is requiring more records and Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, will be spending part of her day doing the recordkeeping. The addition was constructed mainly by the Road Crew during their down times.

We have been working on updating the classification of several Town roads. Old Stage Road has been updated to retain a portion as Class 3, and a small western segment was downgraded to Class 4.

We expect to do a reappraisal in the next few years. We receive money from the state and currently have $68,000 saved up. There will be little impact to the Town budget for the cost of the reappraisal.

J. Binhammer, referring to the balance sheet on page 5, commented that the line for recreation/conservation was a negative and he wondered where the money went. T. Godfrey confirmed the money is there and that it’s an accounting error.

J. Benson said every year there is a list of projects put together to do with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and VT Routes 12 and 14 was not mentioned on the transportation plan for this year. There was a surface course overlay on route 14.

D. Montie said the Town should file a letter with the RPC to keep them on the plan. The resurfacing did not address the underlying issue.

Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.

Motion by D. Childs, seconded by L. Stowell to approve authorization. Motion carried.

Article 4: To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.

Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by D. Montie that the first payment of 2017/2018 property taxes due November 4, 2017; second payment due May 5, 2018. Motion carried.

Article 5: To see if the Town will authorize support of Big Heavy World for the sum of $250.00.

Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by L. Stowell, to authorize the support.

J. Kimmel said the Selectboard received a request in November for authorization to benefit the music community of Vermont. After adding the request to the warning, he tried to contact them several times to suggest that the group send a representative to speak at Town Meeting. The number was disconnected. He recommended forgoing the opportunity to donate.

E. Nielsen said it is a reputable organization and it is a group of volunteers. He understood a decision to not fund them because of no representation at Town Meeting. Call to vote. Motion denied.

Article 6: To see if the Town will vote to approve the discontinuance and disbanding of the Brookfield Cemetery Commission, with authority over the Town cemeteries to revert to the Selectboard (per 18 VSA 5381.

Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by M. Herold.

J. Kimmel said Melanie LaRocque, Mike Herold, and Bonnie Fallon have done an enormous amount of work while serving on the Commission. Since they are not running again it makes sense to revert the cemetery maintenance back to the Selectboard. They would then look for a warden or sexton to maintain the cemeteries and sell plots, arrange for burials, and maintain the paperwork. The sexton fees would be paid through plot purchases and burial fees.

Martina Rutkovsky acknowledged all who stepped up to the plate. It takes a lot of attention to do the work. She recommended not to put it on the Selectboard but to ask there to be a group to manage the 5 cemeteries. Call to vote. Motion carried.

Article 7: To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion by D. Montie, seconded by L. Stowell.

C. Keeler opened for discussion. There was none so the motion was called. Motion carried.

Article 8: To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to complete a property line adjustment with the property owners adjacent to the Town Garage property, consisting of the following:

  • Transfer of ____ acres from adjoining parcel 89 to the Town Parcel 88.
  • Transfer of ____ acres from adjoining parcel 90.1 to the Town Parcel 88 in exchange for an access easement for Parcel 90.1, across Parcel 88 along the western boundary of Parcel 88 to its intersect with VT Route 65 Right-of-Way.
  • Payment to be either in cash or an adjustment of property taxes for the adjoining landowners.

Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by L. Stowell.

J. Benson explained, with the aid of a sketch, the plan for purchasing approximately 0.8 acres of land from parcel 90.1 and approximately 0.15 acres from parcel 89, which would create a 35’ right-of-way. He estimates it might be around $3,000 using an abatement of taxes or an actual payment for the purchases. The larger gets steep as you go back further.

A. Adler questioned why Bullet 3 refers to “owners.”

J. Benson stated if we can’t close a deal with the owner for parcel 89 then we would have to do something else with 90.1.

Discussion centered mainly around erosion control and a drainage plan.

J. Benson suggested that those concerns might be addressed by creating a slight retaining wall. The shed needs to be moved back for additional space for expanding the garage.

J. Binhammer made a motion as part of the purchase to direct the Selectboard to put together a plan to fix the drainage first. This was seconded by T. Anderson.

J. Benson said the Selectboard would develop a stormwater run-off plan.

G. Brees was concerned about project “creep”: should the Town buy the land, before it has a plan for the garage? Is that all the Town needs for land?

J. Benson commented that we don’t yet know what the needs are for 20 years. There is absolutely no room for material storage and garage expansion right now. Rebuilding the shed by moving it back is planning ahead for additional space. At this point, the grader sticks out of the shed. If the property owners request an excessive price, the Board would come back to the Town for a vote.

The amendment was withdrawn by J. Binhammer and T. Anderson.

Motion to call the question with no amendments. Motion carried.

C. Keeler turned the discussion to Senator Mark MacDonald, Representative Jay Hooper, and Representative Ben Jickling.

Sen. MacDonald complimented Jay Hooper and Ben Jickling on being elected as the new State Representatives and showing how to finish a campaign.

Sen. MacDonald said there are few surprises for this legislation. There is a $30 million budget gap. The new Governor has taken a pause on creating new revenue.

Rep. Jickling is working on the Health Care Committee. A big concern is changes by the federal government with health care, and how it will affect health care for Vermonters. There isn’t enough money for mental health and there is a backlog in the ER’s. Prescription drugs are a major driver of health care costs.

Rep. Hooper is working on the House Agriculture & Forestry Committee. They have been dealing with how to pay for cleanup of waterways (i.e. Lake Champlain), the new immigration laws affecting the dairy workers, and a stagnant milk market. The Representatives are working on the cross-over of bills going from Senate to House and vice versa.

J. Benson asked to have the Senator and Representatives raise two issues with Montpelier.

  1. For a single proprietor, the Department of Labor is requiring workman’s compensation. The Town either has to hire them as employees or hire larger companies who carry workman’s comp. He is requesting they don’t “backdoor” hiring requirements. We are being forced to pay workman’s comp for independent contractors or pay more for the larger companies.
  2. Health care coverage for Town employees. When a town wants to sign up an employee, a Town representative has to use their own personal information to log in. The Town should be able to use its Tax ID number verses using an individual person’s information.

L. Churchill would like to see the State repair VT Routes 12 and 14 instead of just surface coating them.

A. Borgman, Guardian Ad litem for children’s services, would like to see someone take a broader view on social services. B. Gassner agreed that there should be more information on services available. There should be a better understanding on the impact on early childhood trauma (i.e. PTSD).

Rep. Jickling stated he would bring the concerns back to Montpelier.

Rep. Hooper said a bill was passed to expunge felon status inquiries if a job applicant was a felon after 3 years instead of 8-10 years. This goes into effect July 1st.  They have already banned questioning on an initial application if you were a felon.

Article 9: To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new grader for up to $290,000, and to determine whether the terms for such purchase shall be payment in full in the first year, installments over a term of years, or leasing the equipment.

Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by S. Dilcer.

J. Benson said they have been researching with Ray Peck, Road Foreman, the cost of a new grader comparing one from CAT and John Deere. CAT has a new 2016, never used, at a cost of $357,000. To purchase it, the cost would be $305,000.

There are 3 options to purchase: 1. Outright 2. Lease/purchase; 3. Loan for 5 or 8 years.

The outright option is to be paid for through $90,000 (budget), $85,000 (equipment savings fund), and $130,000 (delinquent tax collections from prior years).

The Selectboard recommends option 1.

Benson said a backhoe is planned on being purchased next in 2022. Every three years we replace one of the plow trucks. He stated bank interest is at 3% which is a better rate than the equipment loan fund through the State would be.

A. Adler asked if option 1 meant there would be no change to the budget and that Article 9 states $290,000.

J. Benson said it would need to be amended. Purchasing the 2016 grader from CAT is a step-up because of the placement of the blade being in front of the driver vs behind. There would be no change to the proposed budget.

Motion to amend from $290,000 to $305,000 by A. Adler, seconded by M. Maeder

Call to vote to see if the town will approve the amendment of Article 9 to read $305,000.

Amendment carried.

New Motion by M. Stoddard, seconded by S. Dilcer to authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new grader for up to $305,000 with making the payment in full (Option 1) using the funds listed above.

Motion carried.

J. Benson said we will make a payment with the equipment fund as a deposit to hold the grader until the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2017.

Article 10: To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion made by E. Nielsen, seconded by L. Stowell.

C. Keeler opened for discussion. There wasn’t any so the motion was called. Motion carried.

Article 11: To transact any other proper business.

D. Childs spoke about EC Fiber. There have been 2 incursions in Brookfield: on Kibbee Road and in West Brookfield. They’re working on covering 24 towns. He encouraged everyone to sign up so Brookfield will move up on the list.

L. Stowell wanted to let everyone know there would be a Public Safety Community event open to individuals and families on March 11th at the Brookfield Elementary School.

B. Fallon encouraged everyone to take part in Green Up Day the 1st Saturday in May.

P. Kacik said there are Ice Out tickets available in the Teachers’ work room for $2/guess or 3 for $5. 25% goes to the winner and 75% is for the Historical Society.

Motion by A. Haggett, seconded by L. Stowell to adjourn the meeting at 12:30 p.m.

Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted:

Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Feb 282017
 

The Brookfield Town Report has been delayed at the printers and will not be delivered to the Town until Friday, March 3rd.  The electronic version is available on this website.  The Town Office will be open Saturday, March 4th from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. for anyone who would like to pick up their copy.  (one per household please).

Feb 072017
 

 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD

Warned Annual Meeting of Auditors                       2 PM  February 5th, 2017

Attendees: Ginny Brees, Brenda Flint and Mary Waldo

Discussed Outside Audit* report and recommendations

Will make a Point List of those items in the report that we feel could be addressed this coming year. Then address remaining issues after we have completed/corrected those deficiencies.

Plan to schedule a meeting with Treasurer, Assistant and SelectBoard to discuss our recommendations after Town Meeting

Discussed and wrote annual Auditors report for the Town Report/Meeting.

* Prepared by Fothergill, Seagale and Valley 2105

Feb 052017
 

 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD ANNUAL MEETING

WARNING

 The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned to meet for the annual Town Meeting at the Brookfield Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. to transact the following business:

Article:

  1. To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot. For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
  2. To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.
  3. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
  4. To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.
  5. To see if the Town will authorize support of Big Heavy World for the sum of $250.00.
  6. To see if the Town will vote to approve the discontinuance and disbanding of the Brookfield Cemetery Commission, with authority over the Town cemeteries to revert to the Selectboard (per 18 VSA 5381).
  7. To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
  8. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to complete a property line adjustment with the property owners adjacent to the Town Garage property, consisting of the following:
  • Transfer of ____ acres from adjoining parcel 89 to the Town Parcel 88.
  • Transfer of ______ acres from adjoining parcel 90.1 to the Town Parcel 88 in exchange for an access easement for Parcel 90.1, across Parcel 88 along the western boundary of Parcel 88 to its intersect with the VT Route 65 Right-of-Way.
  • Payment to be either in cash or an adjustment of property taxes for the adjoining landowners.

9.  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new Grader for up to 290,000, and  to determine whether the terms for such purchase shall be payment in full in the first year, installments over a term of years, or leasing the equipment.

10.  To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

        11.  To transact any other proper business.

Dated at Brookfield, Vermont, this 4th day of February 2017.

Attest: Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk__

There will be an informational meeting about the Town Budget on Monday evening, February 27, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Clerk’s Office

Jan 242017
 

Registration Fees:

On or before April 1st  spayed/neutered dog  $ 9.00     unaltered dog  $13.00

After April 1st               spayed/neutered dog     11.00      unaltered dog    17.00

2017 Rabies Clinic

You will be able to register your dog(s) at the clinic. The rabies clinic will be held at the Brookfield Elementary School on March 25th from 9-11 with Dr. William Barry.

Oct 132016
 

Brookfield Board of Abatement

Minutes of September 29, 2016 Meeting

Town Clerk’s Office – Brookfield

Present for the Board of Abatement: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel (Secretary), Cory Haggett, Phyllis Humez, Bonnie Fallon, Dan Bohnyak, Beth DeForge

Petitioner: Marc Lacerte

Attendees: Pauline Lacerte, Henri Rousseau, Teresa Godfrey (Town Clerk, Delinquent Tax Collector)

Meeting convened at 6:30 p.m.; Mr. Benson agreed to chair, Mr. Kimmel agreed to take minutes.

Ms. Godfrey provided a brief description of the property, which is located at 932 East Hill Road and consists of 147.4 acres and a dwelling. The Housesite Value is $727,700. Delinquent taxes and fees are:

 

Year Principal Interest Penalty Other Total
2014-2015 12,933.43 3,589.02 1,034.68 0.00 17,557.13
2015-2016 13,545.92 1,388.42 1,083.68 0.00 16,018.02

 

Mr. Lacerte also faces a property tax bill of $6,785.58 that will be due by November 5, 2016.

Ms. Godfrey then swore in Mr. Lacerte.

Mr. Lacerte testified that he obtained the property in 2014 as the result of a divorce agreement. The property had previously been owned by MDL-PRL, LLC, Mr. Lacerte’s former company. He testified that he has since lost his business. His wife was removed from the land records as of January 2015, and the divorce became final in March 2016. Mr. Lacerte moved to Brookfield in June 2016. He has a mortgage through his ex-wife, which will be finished in January 2017.

Mr. Lacerte testified that he has been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last eight years. To describe his health conditions, he provided the following documents:

  • An October 23, 2015 prescription from Dr. Alan S. Dejarnette (of Pompano Beach, FL) describing his condition and limited ability to sit or stand.
  • A December 7, 2015 letter from Dr. Ivan R. Zendejas-Ruiz (of UFHealth Physicians, Gainesville, FL) regarding a surgical admission scheduled for December 17, 2015.
  • A January 26, 2016 letter from Dr. Thomas J. George Jr. (of University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL) describing his cancer and treatment history.
  • A July 2, 2016 letter from Joy Mello, MSW (of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) regarding Mr. Lacerte’s hospitalization there.

Mr. Lacerte also presented a June 30, 2015 letter from the Social Security Administration with findings that he became disabled (under SSA rules) as of September 17, 2014, and would be eligible to receive benefits as of March 2015. Monthly benefits would be $2,486.00.

The last document provided by Mr. Lacerte was a September 6, 2016 letter from his attorney, Christopher W. Blanchard (of Facey Goss & McPhee, P.C., of Rutland, VT) briefly describing Mr. Lacerte’s current circumstances and supporting his request for an abatement of delinquent taxes. Mr. Blanchard indicated that Mr. Lacerte’s mother (Pauline Lacerte) is also willing to provide financial help, which Mr. Lacerte and Ms. Lacerte confirmed.

Mr. Lacerte reported that he has been trying to sell the property, and has had only one viewing, with no contract; the property remains up for sale. He noted that he currently has $1,200 cash on hand. However, Mr. Lacerte indicated that he would henceforth agree to pay at least $100 to $200 monthly towards his outstanding taxes.

After reviewing the state statute addressing abatement (24 VSA 1535), the Board asked Mr. Lacerte about which provision he might invoke for the request. Mr. Lacerte cited subsection 3 (“taxes of persons who are unable to pay their taxes, interest, and collection fees”), based on his current and foreseeable financial and health circumstances.

At 7:00 p.m., with no further testimony being offered, the Board moved into deliberation. The Board reviewed the presentation and materials offered by Mr. Lecerte and initiated discussion of the state statute, Mr. Lecerte’s financial condition, his continuing health issues, and the status of his property taxes. In addition to considering various payment and abatement scenarios, the Board voted 6-1 to leave his ex-wife out of the financial considerations, as she had relinquished her ownership interest in the property.

At 7:30 p.m., the Board came out of deliberation and voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

 

Brookfield Board of Abatement

Ruling on Petition of Marc Lacerte

September 29, 2016

Town Clerk’s Office – Brookfield

Present for the Board of Abatement: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel (Secretary), Cory Haggett, Phyllis Humez, Bonnie Fallon, Dan Bohnyak, Beth DeForge

Petitioner: Marc Lacerte

The Board met to review Mr. Lacerte’s petition for abatement of property taxes (including principal, interest, and penalty) assessed for his property, which is located at 932 East Hill Road and consists of 147.4 acres and a dwelling. Delinquent taxes (and associated interest and penalties) are:

 

Year Principal Interest Penalty Other Total
2014-2015 12,933.43 3,589.02 1,034.68 0.00 17,557.13
2015-2016 13,545.92 1,388.42 1,083.68 0.00 16,018.02

 

Mr. Lacerte also faces a property tax bill of $6,785.58 that will be due November 5, 2016.

Finding of Fact:

  • Mr. Lacerte became sole owner of the property in 2014, following divorce proceedings. Mr. Lacerte’s ex-wife retains a mortgage on the property, which ends in January 2017.
  • The property was formerly held by Mr. Lacerte’s company MDL-PRL, LLC. He has since lost that business.
  • For the last eight years Mr. Lacerte has been receiving treatment for cancer. He has limited mobility and has been declared “disabled” by the Social Security Administration.
  • Mr. Lacerte is receiving monthly SSA payments of $2,486.00. He also is receiving some financial help from his mother (Ms. Pauline Lacerte). Otherwise, his financial resources are minimal unless he sells the property.
  • Mr. Lacerte has attempted to sell the property, with no success so far. He is continuing to keep the property on the market.

Board of Abatement Ruling:

Mr. Lacerte has requested relief under 24 VSA 1535:

  1. The board may abate in whole or part taxes, interest, or collections fees, other than those arising out a corrected classification of homestead or nonresidential property, accruing to the town in the following cases:
  2. (3) taxes of persons who are unable to pay their taxes, interest, and collection fees;

The Board acknowledges that outside of SSA disability payments and potentially some family help, Mr. Lacerte has limited ability to work and earn an income. Mr. Lacerte is focused on his ongoing cancer treatments and recovery process. At this point, he is unable to afford the entire amount of delinquent taxes and associated fees.

Based on 24 VSA 1535(a)(3), the Board rules that the delinquent taxes (principal, interest, and penalty) for the tax year 2014-2015 (total: $17,557.13) are abated. This is also consistent with the requirements stated in 24 VSA 1535(b): “The board’s abatement of an amount of tax shall automatically abate any uncollected interest and fees relating to that amount.”

Remaining (tax year 2015-2016) and upcoming property taxes are unaffected. Mr. Lacerte is also expected to make monthly payments towards his tax debt, as he indicated during the Board’s hearing. If Mr. Lacerte’s financial situation does not improve during the next year, he may request another hearing by the Board to review his circumstances.

For the Board:

John Benson (Chair)

Dan Bohnyak

Bonnie Fallon

Jeff Kimmel