Town of Brookfield
June 22, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Jeff Baker, Keith LaCroix, Jon Binhammer, Will White
A. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: none
C. Public Comment:
Mr. Binhammer asked the Selectboard to authorize reappointment of members to the Brookfield Conservation Commission. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to reappoint Starr Strong and Kathy Kinter to 4 year terms to the Commission.
Mr. Binhammer reported that the bridge and boardwalk at the nature trail on Route 65 are deteriorating and in dire need of repair. Mr. Binhammer noted that the biggest issue will probably be figuring out how to reset the bridge. One option is to ask the local Boy Scouts troop to help with the work, as they had in the past. Also, there’s been an offer of donated spare telephone poles for the project. It would be helpful if the Road Crew could help move the poles.
D. Highway Report:
1) Gravel/Sand Pit: Mr. Peck has been discussing a proposed plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand for the Town; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand and/or gravel pit. Mr. Peck will be reviewing the site on June 23. Mr. Benson suggested that he also contact the Vermont River Management Section to confirm conditions and potential restrictions. Mr. Peck said that a bridge to the south of the site will likely need work.
2) Ridge Road: the Town received a report from Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) and other AoT personnel regarding degrading conditions on the road. Mr. Kimmel will forward a copy of the report to the Town Attorney, asking for his recommendations.
AoT addressed 3 sections of the road, the conditions they observed, and potential responses to the problems. Mr. Peck will re-mark the problematic sections for ease of identification.
3) Baker Access Permit: Baker Access Permit: Jeff Baker submitted an application for an Access Permit to upgrade a 700 feet portion of TH14 (starting at the junction with Twin Pond Road) along with creating a driveway off of TH14 into a parcel that Mr. Baker intends to develop.
A neighboring property owner (Les Haskell) had expressed concerns about the proposed road work, including appropriate drainage and culvert construction, impact on local water resources, proper continuing maintenance on the improved portion, and the potential for increased traffic on TH14.
Mr. Baker reported to the Board about how he intended to proceed with the TH14 repairs and then access to the property. Mr. LaCroix and his wife currently own the subject parcel; he also offered a brief description of the site and their history with it. Mr. Peck noted that TH14 is a public right-of-way, and the Town remains concerned about drainage and water flow issues. Mr. Benson indicated that the Town will not plow the road, and that maintenance would occur every couple of years. Mr. Baker said that he has considerable construction experience, and would work with the Town on project configuration.
Mr. Benson said that the Town appreciated Mr. Baker’s coordination with the Road Crew and Board. He added that he believes the best approach is that the Town and Mr. Baker work towards a written agreement that would detail the specifications of the proposal along with Mr. Baker’s responsibilities and the Town’s conditions for the project. Mr. Peck will also participate in review of the proposal and conditions.
4) Other Highway Business: Mr. Peck reported that ECFiber seeks to install an 893 ft. cable along Old Cross Road. He reviewed the proposal, and has concerns that the cable placement may pose potential problems with Town highway maintenance work. Mr. Peck noted that there is also a lot of ledge in the area. ECFiber would need to provide proof of insurance and plans for appropriate safety measures. Mr. Benson suggested that ECFiber should pursue easement agreements with affected landowners; Mr. White indicated he and one other affected landowner had already reached such agreements. Mr. Peck will follow up with ECFiber about plans and precautions.
4) Personnel: On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 7:28 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 7:56 p.m.
E. New Business – Budget: the Board reviewed the budget summary and discussed remaining balances and expenditures for FY 2019-2020, along with planning for costs associated with developing proposals for the Town Garage.
F. Old Business – Personnel Policy: deferred.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of June 8, 2020; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $29,843.33 with large bills that include: Municipal Emergency Services (Fire Department): $15,024.00; Gorman Group LLC (Chloride): $4,173.12; and WRVA (Ambulance Service): $3,425.00; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: none
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:43 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.