Town of Brookfield
February 10, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Steve Schaefer
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none.
3. Public Comment –
• Steve Schaefer: he is putting his hat in the ring for Mr. Haggett’s seat and is behind the proposal to increase the Board from 3 members to 5. He read in the Randolph Herald that Mr. Haggett won’t run again.
• Questions about meeting minutes and not meeting 5-day minimum, usually 10 days. This is unacceptable to Mr. Schaefer as a citizen in this Town. Why is the Town Clerk/Assistant not here and taking minutes? The Board explained that the Selectboard Assistant is unable to travel at night to take the minutes anymore. Mr. Schaefer asked about the Town Clerk and why she is not taking the minutes? The Board said she had wanted to stop, but if she is willing to do it again, the Board would welcome her back.
• Increasing Selectboard membership from 3 to 5 members: Mr. Benson commented that this would increase the level of bureaucracy related to the board. The Board believes the Board does a good job of operating with a lean group. The Board encouraged Town residents come to more meetings and see how the Board operates/conducts business.
• The Board was asked how many culverts they have. There is an inventory list of them, but Mr. Schaefer criticized the Board for not having the listing immediately at their fingertips.
• Why the delay in posting the roads, they were asked?
• First the Board needed to do research etc. with the state and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to set up the road management system, which is a process and set of procedures and that takes time. The Board is also working with the Public Safety Advisory Committee to understand and implement Vermont Agency of Transportation requirements. Without proper vetting, the Town of Brookfield could be open to litigation particularly in trying to enforce a road ordinance. Once we have an appropriate ordinance, it can be defensible once challenged.
• Has the Stone Road issue been solved? Yes – survey done, right-of-way/travel lane by surveyor. Public Safety Committee, Sheriff’s office, Selectboard and Owner, know where the lines are and if issues continue the Sherriff’s office will enforce.
• Truck at the Town Garage was for sale last fall. Who did the Town sell it to and for what amount? It was sold to a young couple in central Vermont for $8,000, after being on the market for about 2 months.
4. New Business:
1. Pike Bill – Ridge Road: Mr. Peck needed to get in touch with Chris Bump at VTrans to see how they recommend dealing with Pike. The invoice was submitted, but the Town has not paid as of yet. Mr. Peck met with a sales person and it will be about $20,000 to complete the paving fix. The surface course is pulling apart and they should grind off the top and then complete repairs. Mr. Benson commented that we need to push this along, as it has been 3 months and Pike does need to get paid and this needs to be resolved.
2. Other Highway:
Mr. Peck observed that the prior Friday was a disaster with one truck down for the ½ the day due to water pump problems. The truck is now working again.
Mr. Peck also brought up that in the next couple years sand will be harder to get; the Town should be looking at this issue now. One idea could be to go in with other Towns to get loads via rail. We should start discussing with neighboring Towns to see what they are planning as well.
B. Letter from Casella – no action required. Trash bill went up and is now $80 per ton effective February 3rd.
5. Old Business:
A. Tatro Assemblage Permit: Mr. Tatro needs to come in and address the Board. He needs to explain his plan and why the road needs to be closed for so long (7 hours).
B. Census Bureau Letter: Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson will review the information from them and check to see if it is accurate. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the Census information if it matches the Town’s Boundaries; Mr. Haggett seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
C. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel has verified the information and all the Board needs to sign. Mr. Haggett made a motion for the Board to sign as presented; Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
D. Personnel Policy Changes: Ms. Peterson has the latest version with changes to Overtime and Holiday policy. Still a work in progress.
E. Approve Minutes of January 13, 2020 meeting: tabled until next meeting.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $5,562.36 with large bills that include $1,875.00; Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. (fire dept. dispatch): $1,031.18; Sanel Napa (truck parts): $671.96; NEMRC (disaster recovery). Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
• Mr. Kimmel mentioned set-up and preparation for Town Meeting. Town Clerk Teresa Godfrey will be in charge. Mr. Haggett, Mr. Benson, and Mr. Kimmel will meet around 8:30 on Tuesday March 3 to help with set up.
• Mr. Benson talked with Guy Waldo and someone will be there regarding the Masons.
• Brookfield is one of last few Towns still mailing the Town Report before Town Meeting. The meeting would be a potential chance to have an informal non-binding discussion and poll about whether to continue with the mailings in the future, along with associated costs.
• Mr. Benson spoke with the Road Crew about a site on Old School House Road (Ralph Road); there is parking in the road again.
• Mr. Benson is going to try to reach out to Tucker’s and talk with them regarding trucking and road limits, instead of sending out a letter. It may be hard to get a hold of the firm, as they are not quarrying this time of year. Mr. Benson will continue to work on this over the Winter and hopefully get this resolved.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0.