Oct 212020

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes


Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter Absent: Star Strong

Zoom Meeting to order at 7:08 PM

Public Comment: none.

Motion to approve August minutes as presented was made by Jon J, seconded by Sue. No comments, all approved.

Forest fragmentation: Sue received tools from Jens that VTrans uses to assess location and condition of bridges and culverts. She looked at the maps as they pertained to interstate 89 and Brookfield. There are 3 sets of bridges: Cross Over Rd, rte. 65 and Lamson Pond Rd. There are 2 culverts under 89: one off of Northfield Rd where we visited on our summer field trip and the other just south of crossing of 65 west of Pond Village. While the culverts looked big, they don’t appear friendly to wildlife as they are very long and the bottoms are ridged metal. Might they be improved and how? Sue explained that platforms can be put inside for animals to walk on. Riprap of stone can be covered with native soil so larger mammals are more comfortable walking on it. Jon B suggested we might focus on the passage under the bridges near Lamson Pond Rd. We would need to find out about whether the Taplains still use the fence for the cattle. Discussion followed concerning the viability of this. It was determined that more information is needed before we commit to attempting to monitor wildlife this winter with tracks and a game cam. Kathy and Sue will do some research and report back next meeting.

Emerald Ash Borer update was not possible as Kate Forrer, Town Forester could not make this meeting. Jon B. will be in touch with her prior to the next meeting for an update to share with us at November’s meeting.

Schoolyard Habitat: Jon B will send draft proposal to us prior to next meeting so we can ratify it then. He recapped the general idea—to plant native trees near forested areas behind windbreak and a native wildflower meadow in center of same area or perhaps next to road where soils aren’t as rich. Kathy asked about maintenance, and that will need to get worked out. Jon J. stressed the importance of a trail to help delineate the planted areas so they are not inadvertently mowed. There are grants for school habitat creation. Maybe do small wetland habitat in future.

Sunset Natural Area Bridge: Jon B ordered 2x10x10s for walkway. Still plan to lift bridge out of water and to get the phone poles Nancy offered several months ago. Town road crew had agreed to move them. Nancy may have someone to do it. Jon B. will contact her again. He hopes to work on the project in Nov.

Surficial Geology Mapping by Norwich University: George Springston, a geology professor, wants to map the Brookfield quadrangle which would include peatlands, cliffs, rock outcroppings and surface deposits like glacial till, sand and gravel. He needs a letter of support from the Commission. Jon J moved to support the request and Sue seconded the motion. Jon B will write the letter. These findings could be included in our natural resources inventory. Kathy suggested they produce a map overlay that can be used with the Biofinder maps of the area. It was suggested to ask George to lead a geology walk next year.

Allis State Park field trip: Jon J reported that he, Jon B and Starr co-led about 15 people through the park to engage in tree ID and discuss the CCC’s contribution to the infrastructure. There was much interest in trees and we decided to offer a tree program in the future. We will come to the next meeting with additional ideas for winter field trips.

Other Business: Laurel McEwen brought us up to date on what has transpired thus far on the proposed Baker development near Twin Ponds on town highway 14. The McEwens hired a wetlands specialist who identified a class 2 wetland on both sides of the road, and the State wetlands staff concurred. A permit will be required to build.

Next meeting will be on zoom on the 16th of November.

Adjourned meeting at 8:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Kinter

Oct 212020

Board of Abatement Hearing October 1, 2020

Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Town Clerk), Linda Runnion, Phyllis Humez, John Benson, Dennis LaRocque, Robert Jake Stewart, C. Curtis Koren

Mrs. Godfrey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Godfrey explained the reason for a request of abatement of a portion of taxes for Richard and Alice Kempe.  On February 15, 2020 the Kempe’s house burned to the ground.  They requested a portion of their taxes for the balance of the year be abated.  Mrs. Godfrey, as a Lister, was able to calculate the portion relating to the house.  Replacement cost new less depreciation value: $156,500 X tax rate 1.9689 equals total taxes paid for home and garage at $3,081.33.  Per Diem rate $3,081.33/365 = $8.442/day

Balance of year from Feb 15th: February 14 days, March 31 days, April 30 days, May 31 days, June 30 days =136 days.  $8.442 X 136 = $1,148.11 requested abatement amount to be applied to the new tax year.

On motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by John Benson, the Board voted to abate $1,148.11 from the 2019-2020 tax year allowing the Kempe’s to apply to the new tax year.

Motion carried.


The second Board of Abatement concerned a Lister’s error.  While the Lister’s were preparing for a State Appraisal Hearing, they used the property sale value of Ronald Halterman and Jill Irvine as a comparable.  They inadvertently left the land acreage at 147 acres vs the 30 the Halterman’s owned. This error was not discovered when the Grand List for 2019-2020 was “frozen”.  This caused an over payment of $2,688.76 in taxes for the Halterman’s.

On motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by John Benson, the Board voted to refund the owners $2,688.76.  Due to their taxes being paid by escrow, it didn’t make sense to credit them forward.

Motion carried.

On motion by C. Curtis Koren, seconded by Linda Runnion, the Board of Abatement adjourned at 6:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted

Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Oct 212020

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
26 October 2020 at 6:30 PM
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. New Business
E. Highway
1. Access Permit – Mace
2. Aubuchon Credit Application
F. Old Business
G. Approve Minutes from the 12 October 2020 Meeting
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
I. Other Proper Business
J. Adjournment

Oct 212020

Minutes DRAFT
Brookfield Planning Commission
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Gwynn Zakov, Chair, Tim Gershon, Nancy Jacques, Martha Judy, Will White
Public Present:  None
Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
White/Jacques moved to approve minutes from the 9/8/2020 meeting.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
The planning commission considered updates to the Development Bylaws sections 4.2 thru 4.4.
For the next meeting the commission will review Sections 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9.  As before members will review these sections before the next meeting in November.
Next meeting will be November 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners White/Gershon moved for adjournment and the motion passed unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Martha Judy

Oct 152020

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Agenda
October 19, 2020 7:00 pm
Via Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88686741760?pwd=a2JSTHl2WDgwNmZFanR2V1NjdkZ3QT09
1. Review Agenda
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes of the June meeting
4. Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation update
5. Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update
6. Working with the Brookfield School on schoolyard habitat enhancement – proposal
7. Sunset Brook Natural Area boardwalk/bridge/trail update
8. Surficial Geology Mapping in the Brookfield Quadrangle – request for support
9. Other business
10. Adjourn
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Oct 082020

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
12 Octoberr 2020 at 6:30 PM
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. New Business
1. Fy19 Audit
2. Local Emergency Plan Update
3. Public Safety Committee – Lee Stowell
E. Highway
1. Highway Report
2. BC1818 – Bear Hill Road Culvert – VTrans Representative may attend
3. Washington Electric Permits
3. East Hill Road Grant BR0650
4. Twin Pond Road Grant – please sign
5. Employee Performance Review – Robert Wheatley
F. Old Business
1. Amendments to the 14 September Meeting Minutes
G. Approve Minutes from the 28 September 2020 Meeting
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
I. Other Proper Business
J. Adjournment

Oct 082020

Minutes of the Meeting of
Town Clerk’s Office
September 28, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Richard Doolen, Will White, Tim Higgins, Rob Wheatley
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Chair, John Benson called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m.
C: PUBLIC COMMENTS: Mr. Will White came before the Board providing an update on ECFiber’s plan to bring service to his home. He stated that it is possible a pending grant that could benefit Old Cross Road would end before the service poles could be installed. Mr. White asked if there was not enough time to get the poles in, if the Board would approved putting approximately 650 ft of line under the road. Mr. Benson stated that the Town would prefer poles but running the lines along the side of the road in conduit with ECFiber paying the $3,000 cost would be acceptable. He also stated that if there is an open cut, there should be a warning posted. The same conditions would continue to apply as when the project was first approved. ECFiber will have full responsibility and no cost to the Town. If the Town should need to move the lines in the future, it will be done at no cost to the Town.
Mr. Benson also asked that a folder be developed outlining all of these requirements and kept at the Town garage. The license agreement should be the same as the one used for a prior East Street project. Mr. Benson made a motion that the Board approve the lines being put completely underground, but that poles would be preferred if they can be installed before having to forfeit the grant. Mr, Kimmel seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
1. Mr. Richard Doolen appeared before the Board to request that he be appointed Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Brookfield Mr. Doolen is currently working in a similar capacity for the towns of Randolph and Braintree. Mr. Benson stated he had held the position for years as Chief of the Fire Department. Mr. Benson said he would endorse Mr. Doolan as this position needs to be filled. Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the appointment of Mr. Doolen as Director of Emergency Management. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motions was unanimously approved. Mr. Kimmel was asked to forward Mr. Doolan a copy of the current Emergency Preparedness Plan.
2. Life Insurance: Topic tabled until the planning of the 2021 budget.
E. Highway
1. TA-66 and TA 65 for the Ridge Road Grant— The Board members signed these two forms for the grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Transportation in the total amount of $212,556.40 for the paving of the Ridge Road.
2. Tucker invoice—This invoice represented 56 yards of 1-1/4 plant mix and 28 yards of dense graded. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the invoice as is was presented by Tucker. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
3. Time Clock- The question before the Board was whether or not to have a time clock installed at the Town Garage. Mr. Higgins, who will be the new Road Foreman, favors a software system for time keeping. He said it makes payroll much easier as well being advantageous when planning a budget. The Board unanimously agreed with the idea of looking into software for time keeping and asked Mr. Higgins to check out software programs.
Mr. Rob Wheatley, Interim Road Foreman, reported they are finished with the project on East Hill. He has called Summit to get an estimate for seeding the area. Mr. Kimmel was asked to check with Mrs. Peterson at the Town Clerk’s Office, to ascertain how much of the grant has been used. Mr. Wheatley stated the last invoice has been received from Stanley Wheatley and there will be no more invoices for materials. The only expense left on the project is for the hydro seeds. Mr. Rob Wheatley will present Mrs. Peterson with records of time spent and materials used to put against the grant. If a final inspection is required to satisfy the grant, the inspection should be arranged for two weeks out, in order for to allow time for the seeding. Mr. Wheatley also reported that the final grading of roads will be done soon, followed by ditch digging before winter. Mr. Wheatley reported they had repaired a washout at Kibbee Road and Kibbee Road Extension and repaired a driveway.
Mr LaRocque made a motion to accept the application of Ms. Pat Mercier to move her driveway with notations as provided by the Mr. Wheatley, Interim Road Foreman. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
The Twin Pond Road culvert has been repaired.
Mr. Benson asked Mr. Higgins to do a report on Sprague sand pit, the proposed new sand source. One question arose about what will it cost to get a crusher to crush 5,000 yards a year for three years and a bulldozer to come in and strip the site about 1-1/2 acres each year and then re-cover the site? This will put the Town in a good position for next summer and this information will also be needed to plan the budget.
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy—The Personnel Policy has now been updated. Mr. Benson suggested one edit: ”fulltime employee is defined as working 32 hours” as opposed to the previous 40 hours. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was carried unanimously.
2. Local Hazard Emergency Plan Grant—Mr. Benson reported that he had met with two people from Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission who offered input in the writing of the last Emergency Plan. The grant is for $10,150 with the Town paying $2,500. Mr. Kimmel will get in touch with Ms. Gwynn Zakov, Chair of the Planning Commission, to inform her of the need to update the plan. Mr. Benson noted that the Commission has 12 months to update the plan and that not much has changed since the last update. He asked Mr. Kimmel to send copies of the present plan to Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Benson, and Ms. Zakov.
H. PAYROLL AND AP WARRANTS —Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the accounts payable report for a total of $28,140.55 with the largest expense being Caterpillar Financial Services for $19,753.91. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
At 8:20 p.m. the Board went into executive session regarding a personnel review. At 8:24 Mr. Benson moved to come out of executive session. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion carried.
I. OTHER PROPER BUSINESS- Mr. Benson stated that he would complete an employment agreement for Mr. Tim Higgins, new Road Foreman, which would include the terms that were discussed at his interview and hiring.
Mr. Benson will also prepare a draft lease agreement for the proposed Sprague sand pit. Mr LaRocque said that he met with the Garage Committee on Tuesday, September 22 to discuss various objectives. There will be an Open House at the Town Garage on Saturday, October 17, 2020; the purpose of which is to acquaint the public with the equipment that is necessary to keep the roads of Brookfield in proper shape and to meet the new Road Crew Foreman.
ADJOURNMENT —There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.

Oct 052020

BROOKFIELD CONGREGATION CHURCH (Corner of RT 65 and Ridge Rd, Basement)
The following members attended: Stuart Edson, Michael Rutkovsky, Mike Stoddard and Lew Stowell.

5:30 PM: Call to Order -No additions or deletions were made to the agenda
Review and approve of Unapproved Minutes August 26, 2020 meeting. -Approved 4-0.
Open public comment period- No members of the public attended.
Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills to include:

Patrol Hours and Budget-12.5 hours of patrols in August costing $600.00, $11,216 remaining in budget. Committee to look at different language in FY 22 OCSD contract that might provide higher priority to patrols in months requested.
Speed Cart Results-1deployment completed and 1 in progress this month in West Brookfield. A total of 9 deployments have been completed in 2020 with another one underway.  If possible, this Fall, Ralph Rd. East bound may have a deployment as speeding has been reported there.

Parking in Pond Village- No change.
Town Traffic Enforcement Capability:

Over Weight and Over Sized Status- L Stowell to complete recommendations and provide to Select Board.
Traffic Sign Status- Recommendations approved and will be sent to Select Board-4-0.
Traffic Studies- Recommend new Traffic Study of Northfield Rd by TRORC in 2021-4-0. TRORC results on East St., West St. and Stone Rd. being reviewed.
Ordinance Review- underway with models from VLCT and Local Roads provided to committee members with recommendations due at November meeting.

E-911 Sign Status- Some are still not picked up by out-of-state property owners because of the pandemic, maybe in 2021. Rutkovsky to make calls to be sure.
Emerald Ash Borer Progress- EAB Test Kits stored.
Public Safety Advisory Committee Website and Email Use- Caveats to be drafted by S. Edson warning users to use E-911 or other means to report emergencies.
October Public Safety Message- L. Stowell to prepare a Fire Safety Message.
Setting the Next Meeting- 5:30 PM on October 28, 2020 at the Brookfield Congregational Church.
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting- None to be invited, public welcome.
Entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting- Adjourned at 6:55 PM. 4-0.

Sep 272020

BROOKFIELD CONGREGATION CHURCH (Corner of RT 65 and Ridge Rd, Basement)
All Members and Guests will wear face masks and observe social distancing.
Meeting progress will depend upon the amount of public participation and committee discussion.

5:30 PM: Call to Order
Additions or deletions to the agenda
Review and approve of Unapproved Minutes August 26, 2020 meeting.
Open public comment period
Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills to include:

Patrol Hours and Budget-
Speed Cart Results

Parking in Pond Village
Town Traffic Enforcement Capability

Over Weight and Over Sized Status
Traffic Sign Status
Traffic Studies
Ordinance Review

E-911 Sign Status
Emerald Ash Borer Progress
Public Safety Advisory Committee Website and Email Use
October Public Safety Message
Setting the Next Meeting
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting
Entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting