Oct 012021

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of the
Town  Office
September 27, 2021
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Brenda Flint, and Kate Threlkeld, Members; Amy Ingrassia, Assistant Town Clerk; Jack Zebora, Beth Flint, and Betty Lord, Secretary
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Chair, Mr. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
1. Equipment Shed: In the absence of Mr. Higgins (Road Crew Foreman), Mr. LaRocque reported that the equipment shed at the garage is not in good shape, i.e. the wiring is loose, walls are shaky and it is in need of a lot of work. He called Bob Conniff to stop by and take a look at what it would take to get it stabilized, and then give a rough estimate of the cost for making it safe and usable.
Mr. LaRocque also reported that the work on Twin Pond Road has begun and it is evident the cost for the job will exceed the $17,000 grant award by the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission for the project. Mr. LaRocque will talk with Rita Zeto at TRORC to see if the grant can be increased. One of the main reasons for the cost increase is the substantial rise in the cost of culverts. Mr. LaRocque also stated the grader is still being repaired and therefore the roads have not been graded.
2. Flint Performance Review: No action was taken as Mr. Higgins is on vacation and the review was tabled until the next meeting of the Board.
1. Time Clock: Mr. LaRocque discussed the benefits of using a time clock, and Mrs. Flint concurred with his findings. After some discussion, Mr. LaRocque said he would install the time clock at the garage. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to establish the use of the time clock at the beginning of the next pay period. Mrs.Threlkeld seconded the motion which was approved unanimously. (5-0-0)
2. Municipal Employee Retirement: Mrs. Beth Flint appeared before the Board to explain The State and Municipal 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. This plan is designed for employees to be able to contribute up to the amount of their full salary each year with no cost to the Town. The requirements to the Town would be to notify people who are eligible for the plan, meet with the plan representative and set up payroll deductions. This plan would be in addition to the retirement plan the Town has in place at present. Mr. Benson recommended tabling the decision, giving Board members time to review the plan and to vote at the next Board Meeting on Monday, October 11, 2021.
1. Audit Report: Mrs. Brenda Flint reviewed the work she had done in contacting other auditing firms to question the advisability of changing from the Town’s existing auditing firm. She found that making a change would result in considerable cost to the Town, that the change could not be made until 2023, and other towns who maintain their books as Brookfield does do not consider their Board members to have a liability risk. Therefore, with all of these considerations, Mrs. Flint recommended signing the audit report presented by Fothergill, Segale and Valley and continuing to work with them as auditors for the Town. Mr. Benson made a motion to sign the contract as presented. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which was carried unanimously. (5-0-0)
2. Harmony Electric: As it was not clear if a previous proposal presented by Harmony Electric included the electrical work for the shed at the garage; a new proposal was received, which included the shed, in the amount of $5,000. Mr. Zebora commented he had been in construction and that $5,000 was too high for the work being done. The Board agreed to contact other electricians before accepting Harmony Electric’s estimate.
3. Administrative Assistant Job Posting: Mrs. Peterson has resigned her position as Administrative Assistant to the Board of Selectmen and her position is being posted. Mr. Kimmel will contact The Herald to submit said posting for the upcoming Thursday edition. The ad in The Herald will refer interested applicants to the Town website page that will include further information about the position. Any resume and cover letter submissions must reach the Brookfield Town Clerk’s Office on or before Noon, Friday, October 15, 2021.
4. Halfway Brook Road: Mr. Benson stated that he had talked with Ms. Zeto at TRORC about the application for a grant for the Halfway Brook Road project. Rita asked that a letter be sent to accompany the application. Mr. Benson gave members of the Board a copy of a letter that he had composed to go with the application. The letter met with the Board members’ approval and will be sent out to accompany the application.
5. Dry Fire Hydrant: the Brookfield Fire Department is seeking a permit to replace the non-working hydrant located at the East end of the Floating Bridge. With the help of Ms. Trini Brassard, the fire department is submitting a Lake Encroachment Permit Application to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation – Watershed Management Division for review and approval. Mr. Kimmel signed and initialed the application on behalf of the Board. He will send along a check to cover associated application fees. Mr. Benson also asked if, based on time and weather constraints, the proposed permit timeline can be extended into Spring 2022; this will be verified with the DEC.
1. September 13 Board Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 13 Board meeting as presented. Mrs.Threlkeld seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. (5-0-0)
2. Special Meeting of September 22 Board Minutes: Mrs. Threlkeld made a motion to accept the minutes of the Special Board meeting of September 22 as presented. Mrs. Flint seconded and the motion carried unanimously. (5-0-0)
Mrs. Flint made a motion to approve the accounts payable report as presented with the total amount of $16,440.41 with the largest amount being paid to R. E. Tucker in the amount of $5,267.00 for gravel. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. (5-0-0)
Mr. Benson had asked Mr. Kimmel to go through the new cemetery ordinance to identify items which might be delegated to the sexton and/or other Town officials. Mr. Kimmel confirmed the draft suggested items had been included and Mr. Benson asked the members of the Board to review the items offered by Mr. Kimmel.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn. Mrs. Threlkeld seconded the motion and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:07 p.m. (5-0-0)
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Lord, Secretary