Sep 042014
 

Brookfield is a town in Orange County, Vermont, United States. It was created by Vermont charter on August 5, 1781. Brookfield is best known for its floating bridge which spans Sunset Lake buoyed by pontoons. The bridge, which is the only floating bridge east of the Mississippi River, was originally built in 1820 by Luther Adams and his neighbors. Sunset Lake is also the site of an annual ice harvesting festival. Brookfield boasts that it has Vermont’s oldest continually operating library dating back to 1791.

Brookfield Town Offices

Brookfield Town Offices

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Phone: 802-276-3352
Mailing address: P. O. Box 463, Brookfield, VT 05036

townclerk@brookfieldvt.org

Jun 252019
 

Meeting Minutes of the Brookfield Conservation Commission   May 20, 2019

Present: Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling, Starr Strong, Susan Shea, Kathy Kinter

Jon Binhammer reviewed terms of office for newly appointed commission as approved by the Select Board at their April 8 meeting:

Jon Jickling: 3 yrs.   Sue Shea: 2 yrs.   Starr Strong: 1 yr.   Jon Binhammer: 4 yrs.   Kathy Kinter: 1 yr.

Open meeting law was discussed concerning the agenda, public attendance and minutes.

State statutes were briefly reviewed regarding jurisdiction of the commission. The Statute language:

“administer the lands, properties and other rights which have been acquired by the municipality for the purposes of this chapter” appears to imply that the Sunset Brook Natural Area on Rt. 65 and the town forest fall under our purview. Any financial commitment or receipt of land interest needs to be approved by the Selectboard.   Members are encouraged to familiarize ourselves with the statute – Title 24, Chapter 118.

Finances:  Jon B will ask Select Board for the account balance of the town Conservation and Recreation Fund.

Officers are as follows:

Jon B Chair

Sue S Vice Chair

Jon J Treasurer

Kathy K Secretary

Bylaws: Sue, Starr and Jon J. will review bylaws from other towns of similar size and email samples and recommendations for us to consider at the next meeting. All agreed to not reinvent the wheel.  Key is understanding principal functions.

Assessment:  It was agreed that we assess the information already compiled by the town that would be relevant to our charge, then identify what information is still needed.  A natural resource inventory was suggested, along with use of Bio Finder and VT Conservation Design sites.

Meetings: Will be held when possible the 3rd Monday of each month in the library from 7-8:30 PM.  Three are needed for a quorum.  Next meeting is June 17th.

Projects: Jon B is waiting for confirmation from the school regarding tree planting on June 4 with 34 3rd-6th graders.  Hardwood volunteers will be dug in advance to be planted by teams of 2 kids.  It was suggested that the kids be given information about the conservation commission to take home and or ask that something run in the school newsletter, if there is one.

Randolph and Braintree commissions have been in touch with Sue and asked if we want to join them in a poison parsnip removal project in the coming weeks. She will be in touch with them and report back.

The Commission will be presenting at the Old Town Hall in September. Content to be decided.

Several ideas were shared, as was the importance of educating the community, not only about our existence as a commission, but the importance of the mission. Building an inclusive constituency early is important.  It was agreed that we would try to do an activity each season, along with projects.  It was suggested that we get clear on our purpose and vision for the organization as a means of guiding future decisions.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Kinter

Jun 252019
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission
June 17, 2019
Meeting Minutes draft
Susan Shea, Starr Strong and Jon Binhammer in attendance

Review Agenda – Sue Shea wanted to talk about a possible potential project for the Commission
Approval of Minutes of the May 20 meeting – minutes approved
Review of by-laws of Conservation Commission: Commissioners reviewed bylaws from Randolph Conservation Commission, Hartland Conservation Commission, and Montgomery Conservation Commission. All agreed that the Montgomery Conservation Commission bylaws were the best model to follow with changes. Suggested changes were made, and Jon said he would put together a final draft for approval at the next meeting.
Plan for schedule of events, how to advertise, etc.: Commissioners decided to schedule a guided paddle on Rood Pond on August 25th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and a guided walk on the Brookfield Town Forest on October 6, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. It was decided to advertise these events on the town calendar, on Front Porch Forum, and in the Herald.
Other business:

Sue suggested that we might want to sponsor a program about gardening for wildlife, and a program about gardening for pollinators. Jon suggested that rain gardens for water quality could also be a topic.
Starr suggested that the Conservation Commission could work with Bonnie Fallon to help with Green-Up Day; if a tech-savvy volunteer could be found, the town roads could be divided into sections that people could sign up to clean up on the day,
It was discussed that sometimes large items like couches are sometimes dumped into streams and over banks where they are difficult or impossible to retrieve. Jon said that towns in the NEK and some towns in the Adirondacks have a “bulky day” in the spring, during which residents can put out bulky items that are picked up by the town to go to the transfer station, paid by taxpayers. Selectboard approval would be necessary for such an idea. No action taken.
Emerald Ash borer was discussed, esp. the proposals from the Public Safety Committee and Town Meeting. Commissioners agreed that EAB is of concern but not a crisis, and suggested that while there may be some need for proactive work to remove dangerous ash from rights of way, trees of other species die all the time (and sometimes fall into roads and are removed when that happens), and we have been through a similar experience with American elm and Dutch Elm disease, and there may be lessons to be learned from that experience. Also, all ash trees will be unlikely to die all at one time, so while there may be a continuing need for some tax revenues to take down ash trees in the ROWs, it could be that this activity could be spread out over time, and warned that a wholesale clearing of ROWs in town would probably not be met favorably by residents, would compromise the scenic nature of our town roads, and would likely grow early successional species that would more likely fall into roads. Jon said he would attend the Public Safety meeting, but then found that he had a previous commitment, so could not attend.

Submitted by Jon Binhammer, Chair

Jun 202019
 

2019 Lister’s Grievance Hearings
(unapproved minutes)
June 11, 2019
The Board of Listers grievance hearing was brought to order at 4:45 p. m. on June 11, 2019. In attendance were Listers Stuart Edson, Teresa Godfrey and Phyllis Humez. There were three scheduled hearings for June 11th and a fourth on June 12, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
The first property owner, Roberta Carrier, 56 Old Cross Rd, presented her concerns regarding the value of her property. Ms. Carrier stated the garage roof had been taken off, the interior of the house has been torn out. She would like the assessment decreased to $70-$75 thousand from the $95,600 it is currently at. The Listers and Ms. Carrier agreed to a site visit on June 18th at 5:00 p.m. so the Listers could see the interior of the house.
The second property owners, Jim and Katrina Lumbra, 3025 Ridge Road, felt the property should have been put in as salvage. They purchased this adjoining lot with the intent to remove most of the house/mobile home. When the Listers went on the site visit in October, they recognized the home as not being habitable. The Lumbras are planning on retaining the red barn and possibly the garage. The Listers are in agreement that the home should be put in as salvage and will adjust the value accordingly.
The third property owner, John Sprague, 5254 VT RT 14, wanted to understand where the values for their new home and property came from. The Listers reviewed the cost sheet with Mr. Sprague. The number of fixtures was put in with the wrong count and the quality of the home was a little high. The Listers agreed to review this and would send an updated value to Mr. Sprague.
The fourth property owner, David VonHolden, 932 East Hill Road, brought a copy of a bank appraisal for us to review and let him know what we decided to do for his value.
There were no other scheduled hearings nor were there any walk-in requests for hearings.
The Board of Listers 2019 grievance hearing adjourned at 6:45 p. m. on June 12, 2019.
Respectfully submitted,
Stuart Edson
Teresa Godfrey
Phyllis Humez

Jun 182019
 

BROOKFIELD PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY JUNE 19, 2019, 5:30 PM
BROOKFIELD TOWN OFFICE,
40 RALPH ROAD, BROOKFIELD, VT
The sequence may be varied to accommodate members of the public and guests.
AGENDA
1. Review and Approve Minutes of May 22, 2019. [05/22/19 Minutes]
2. Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public or Guests.
3. GUEST: Russ Barrett-Developing and implementing the Draft Emerald Ash Borer Threat Plan.
4. Select Board Meeting of June 10, 2019. [Status Report]
5. Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills. [OCSD Patrol Hours]
6. Continuing Review of Parking and Law Enforcement on Brookfield Roads.
7. Review of Radar Speed Cart Deployments in 2019. [Speed Cart Plan 2019]
8. E-911 Sign and Traffic Sign Status.
9. Public Safety Advisory Committee Website Use.
10. July Public Safety Message. [Draft Message]
11. Setting the Next Meeting.
12. Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting.
13. Adjournment.

Jun 032019
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
May 27, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Present: Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel
1. Call to Order – 6:45 p.m. (Note: On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Haggett second, Mr. Hagget agreed to act as Chair for this meeting.)
2. Adjustments to Agenda – None
3. Public Comment – None
4. New Business:
A. Highway – Bear Hill Road Culvert Project: Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson contacted the state Agency of Transportation regarding the status of the project and the agency’s timelines, along with inquiring about the effect of the multiple storms on the agency’s schedule. AoT offered to amend the grant to allow the Town to hire an engineering firm. Board members indicated a preference to have AoT continue to provide management and engineering for the project. The project deadline is October 31, 2019.
B. Public Assemblage Permits – Brookfield Community Partnership: the Board reviewed the 14 applications for upcoming events at the Old Town Hall; Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve them, Mr. Kimmel second: 2-0-0. All applications were signed and dated, and will be posted at the Town Offices.
C. Proposed Changes to the Personnel Policy – Ms. Peterson has marked up proposed changes to the existing policy, which Board members reviewed. Action will be deferred until the next meeting, when Chair John Benson is expected to be present.
D. Administrative Assistant Paperwork: on motion of Mr. Haggett, Mr. Kimmel second (2-0-0), the Board approved a revision to the pay schedule for the AA, effective June 1, 2019.
5. Old Business: Approve Minutes of May 13, 2019 meeting: Mr. Hagett made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of May 13, 2019; Mr. Kimmel second: 2-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $17,369.12 with large bills that include Kirk Yard Services (East Hill Cemetery fence): $6,500.00; BCBS – VT (Health Insurance): $3,934.30; McCullough Crushing (April 15, 2019 Storm): $1,733.00. Mr. Kimmel second: 2-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business – None
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:20 p.m., Mr. Haggett second: 2-0-0.

May 292019
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
May 13, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Dawn Conant, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman); Public Present: Dan Mason, Kathleen Sauer, Laura Tatro, Dennis Tatro, Kyle Doda
1. Call to Order – 6:33 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – None
3. Public Comment
• Dan Mason reported on travel conditions on Taylor Hill Road. There are drainage issues posing a challenge; Mr. Mason said he can access his property reasonably well, but some of the other neighbors are having issues. He asked Mr. Peck what steps can be taken to make the road more passable, such as new/additional culverts and grading to help with the flow, which has contributed to driveways being washed out. Mr. Mason inquired whether he also needs to purchase culverts and contact a contractor to install them. He will be there working at his father’s property. While Taylor Hill Road is a Class 4 road, he expressed discouragement that it is getting minimal maintenance while other Town roads appear to be getting much more attention.
• Mr. Benson will discuss with Mr. Peck what strategy the Road Crew wants to pursue about drainage and road conditions on Taylor Hill. Mr. Haggett noted that recent storms have contributed to the problems in the area, undermining culverts and taking out trees. Mr. Mason thanked Mr. Peck for his continued efforts to address the problems.
• Kyle Doda (Thousand Stone Farm) inquired about the status of a proposed subdivision of the Taplin property; Mr. Kimmel will review it and send along the requisite documentation.
4. New Business:
A. Dennis Tatro – Historical Sign: Mr. Tatro gave a brief history of the home site for Justin Morgan and where a proposed historic marker might be placed; Ethan Snow is willing to have the marker on his property. Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the application and the language on the sign with a couple of minor edits. Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for any discussion (none). 3-0-0. Mr. Tatro will next submit the request for State approval.
B. Administrative Assistant: Mr. Haggett made a motion at 7:08 p.m. to go into Executive Session regarding a personnel discussion, Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0. The Board came out at 7:28 p.m. Ms. Peterson subsequently mentioned a Municipal Employment Seminar in Stowe and suggested she go to it on June 5, 2019.
C. Highway
1. Kathleen Sauer – Eagle Peak
• Eagle Peak ditching: a 100 foot stretch in front of their house has been damaged. Spring runoff has gone around near the foundation and the basement. Ms. Sauer provided a sketch and described the water management system that they had in place. She would like to have the grading changed and be able to put back in place their water management system. Ms. Sauer also indicated that they will try to work more closely with the Road Crew in remedying the issue.
• Mr. Benson to have Mr. Peck go up and meet with Ms. Sauer to see the plan in person and figure out what they can do.
2. Overtime Policy: discussion will continue at the next Board meeting.
3. Salt Bid: Mr. Peck to investigate and figure out the quantity needed and costs. Mr. Haggett made a motion to have Mr. Peck enter into an agreement for the number of tons they need as long as it does not exceed the budgeted amount; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
4. Route 65 Contract: Mr. Haggett made a motion to have Mr. Benson sign the VTrans Maintenance Contract CA#MU0227 for VT Route 65 for the period of July 14, 2019 through July 13, 2021; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
5. Witts Bridge Grant
• Project is done as far as the Contractor is concerned and VTrans. Paperwork needs to be filed and the Town will get reimbursement.
• Resident Walt Garner doesn’t believe the project site is quite done yet and has asked Mr. Peck and the Board to follow up on further remedial work, including on the Garner’s property. In addition, he spoke with White River Partnership and they will work with him to put in trees etc. after the contractor cleans up the site.
• Mr. Peck mentioned that Jaron Borg from ANR has been out to the site a couple of times to see the job. Mr. Peck will visit the site and meet with Mr. Garner, along with review the situation with ANR.
6. Bear Hill Road Culvert: Ms. Peterson sent an e-mail to Chris Bump (AoT) about the project to see where they are with it. The State has been very busy with all the storm damage etc. right now. The Town can consult with an engineer it if they want the work done faster.
7. Other Highway Issues
• Grant for East Hill ditching work from last year: work needs to be done by June 30, 2019. The Town pays for it and then gets reimbursed subsequently. If needed the Town can use emergency funds to pay for current work, while waiting for money from the Witts Bridge project and this grant to come in. Mr. Peck will proceed accordingly.
• Mr. Peck wants to order the sand. If we have the Road Crew haul the sand it will be cheaper.
• Make sure all invoices (for sand etc.) are in the Thursday prior to the last Selectboard Meeting (June 20, 2019) for this fiscal year.
• Taylor Hill is still wet, but will be addressed as conditions improve.
D. Budget: addressed above, and review will continue as the Board moves to the conclusion of FR 2018/2019.
E. Public Assemblage Permits – Brookfield Community Partnership: Mr. Kimmel made a motion that we approve the Public Assemblage Permit for the Morgan Mile Road horse event on September 7, 2019, a Brookfield Community Partnership event on June 8, 2019, and an Old Town Hall event on July 25, 2019. Mr. Haggett second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
5. Old Business:
Approve Minutes of April 22, 2019 meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of April 22, 2019; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $35,559.79 with large bills that include R.E. Tucker (gravel): $10,785.85; R.E. Tucker (gravel): $7,333.95; Kirk Yard Services, (fence down payment): $6,500.00. Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
• Ridge Road Property: a dumpster appears to be at the property. The timeframe is for dumpster pickup on May 16, followed by 2 week cycles of trash removal.
• Mr. Benson has not made any progress regarding an RFP draft for the Town Garage project yet.
• Mr. Benson will follow up with Ms. Peterson regarding finding surveyors for the Stone Road ROW review.
• Mr. Benson talked with a contractor, who indicated that Ash wood is usually not used in building construction; it is more common in furniture making. A resident had suggested the Board investigate the issue for the potential Town Garage project.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m., Mr. Haggett second. 3-0-0.

May 282019
 

Agreeably to the provisions of Title 32 VSA, Sec. 4111, notice is hereby given that the undersigned Listers within and for the Town of Brookfield have completed the abstract of individual lists of persons, co-partnerships, associations or corporations owning taxable property in said town on April 1st 2019, and that they have lodged the same in the office of the clerk of said town for the inspection of taxpayers.
The undersigned Listers will meet from 4:45pm to 6:45pm on Tuesday, June 11th and Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 at the town office to hear grievances of persons, co-partnerships, associations or corporations aggrieved by any of their appraisals or by any of their acts as such Listers. Any person who feels aggrieved by the actions of the Listers and desires to be heard by them, shall on or before noon June 11th, file with them his/her objections in writing as prescribed by statutes.
Please call the Lister’s office at 802-276-3352 to arrange an appointment time for your grievance hearing.
Dated May 28th, 2019
Listers: Stuart Edson, Teresa Godfrey, Phyllis Humez

May 282019
 

Beginning on 3 June and ending no later than 20 June, the Brookfield Highway Dept will be replacing culverts and doing ditch work on East Hill Road in Brookfield. The crew will do their best to keep traffic moving but please be advised, that this road maintenance will inevitably lead to delays and temporary road closures during the Road Crew’s regular summer hours: Monday – Thursday between 6AM – 4 PM.

May 282019
 

BROOKFIELD PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY MAY 22, 2019, 5:30 PM
BROOKFIELD TOWN OFFICE,
40 RALPH ROAD, BROOKFIELD, VT
UNAPPROVED MINUTES
The following members attended: Mike Stoddard, Stuart Edson, Michael Rutkovsky and Lew Stowell with Kate Forrer, Town Forester.
1. Review and Approve Minutes of April 24, 2019. Approved
2. Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public. None Attended.
3. Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills. As of April 30, OCSD has 138 patrol hours (53%) remaining in the contract. L Stowell spoke with LT Clouatre on 5/20/19 whether there was a new policy about charging for meeting attendance. LT Clouatre is to check with Sherriff Bohnyak and get back to L Stowell. L Stowell to attend the next Select Board meeting to request that any unspent OCSD contract monies be used to purchase additional traffic signs and discuss other issues.
4. Continuing Review of Parking and Speed Enforcement on Brookfield Roads.
There were two written traffic citations and two written Warnings issued in April 2019. R Peck completed a reconnaissance of the Town Office parking lot. It can be nearly doubled in size. More planning to include possible parking lot layouts is needed.
5. Review of Radar Speed Cart Deployments in 2019. LT Clouatre stated on 5/20/19 that the Speed Cart data from 2018 had been lost in downloading. He said that the schedule is achievable. He will deploy the cart as soon as he gets a trailer hitch on his cruiser. He will be in charge of the cart this year. There will be no charge for moving the speed cart.
6. Developing and implementing the Draft Emerald Ash Borer Threat Plan. L Stowell reported that R Peck, Town Tree Warden is willing to assist with Ash tree removal efforts but would prefer to not be involved in meetings and decision-making efforts. K Forrer recommended having Russ Barrett be a guest at the next committee meeting. Russ, a retired County Forrester, has been in charge of Northfield’s ROW tree removal. It was decided to complete inventories of roads with likely high numbers of Ash trees in June. S Shaffer and P Mercier will be asked to assist. Other committee members may also assist.
7. E-911 Sign Status. Only a few signs remain to be picked up. M Rutkovsky to call to remind the property owners who ordered signs to pick them up. L Stowell to contact R Peck and K Wheatley about putting the signs on the Town Garage and the Town Fire Station respectively.
8. Traffic Sign Status. R Peck will inventory and install the remaining traffic signs as soon as the East Hill Project is completed.
9. Public Safety Advisory Committee Website Use. S Edson reported that Google Analytics will be installed on the Town Website soon to improve the data about usage of the site.
10. June Public Safety Message. Reviewed and approved as revised.
11. Setting the Next Meeting. June 19, 2019.
12. Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting. Russ Barrett, Washington County Forester, Retired.
13. Adjournment. At 7:00 PM

May 202019
 

BROOKFIELD PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY MAY 22, 2019, 5:30 PM
BROOKFIELD TOWN OFFICE,
40 RALPH ROAD, BROOKFIELD, VT
AGENDA
1. Review and Approve Minutes of April 24, 2019. [04/24/19 Minutes]
2. Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public or Guests.
3. Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills. [OCSD Patrol Hours]
4. Continuing Review of Parking and Law Enforcement on Brookfield Roads.
5. Review of Radar Speed Cart Deployments in 2019. [Speed Cart Plan 2019]
6. Developing and implementing the Draft Emerald Ash Borer Threat Plan.
7. E-911 Sign Status.
8. Traffic Sign Status.
9. Public Safety Advisory Committee Website Use.
10. June Public Safety Message. [Draft Message]
11. Setting the Next Meeting.
12. Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting.
13. Adjournment.