Town of Brookfield
August 27, 2018 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Dawn Conant
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – None
3. Public Comment – None
4. New Business:
• Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman) was not in attendance at the meeting, but Mr. Haggett spoke with him about what the Crew is working on. The Bear Hill project (culvert repair/replacement and drainage improvements) is ongoing, including discussions with state officials. Mr. Haggett had asked that Mr. Peck remind the crew about safety measures and the need for appropriate signage. They will keep one sign in the grader and roll up additional signs in another truck, with attached brackets. Work continues on ditching and starting resurfacing on roads. Everything else at the garage is going well.
• Mr. Haggett made a motion that the Board go into Executive Session at 7:06 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0. The Board returned from the session at 7:11 p.m.
1. Access Permit – Cameron: Mr. Haggett suggested that they defer this permit until Mr. Peck can contact and discuss the access with Ms. Cameron.
2. Access Permit – Edson: Mr. Peck has looked at this access on 301 Ralph Road for William and Theresa Edson. Mr. Haggett made a motion that they approve the permit for 301 Ralph Road, Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
3. Grants in Aid Watershed Letter: Notice of Intent that we will be covered under the Statewide Permit – New Program. Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson will be asked to follow up with the required forms.
B. Public Assemblage Permit – Brookfield Community Partnership: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the wedding reception on September 8 at the Town Hall as written, Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.
C. Gillespie Fuels Contracts: There are three options. Mr. Haggett recommended that the Pre-Buy was the best option in terms of potential savings and regular delivery. Mr. Haggett made a motion that the Board approve the Option 2 – Pre-Buy plan and pay for the fuel up front, Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
5. Old Business:
• Fence – Joe Mangan (Cemetery Sexton) attended the meeting to discuss work proposed on the East Hill Cemetery. The cost for the fencing project is $12,600 (painting included) to do all the work. Half the project would be about $6,300.
• He wants to use money from the cemetery savings account, if not earmarked for any other project, so the fence project on East Hill can be done in one season and not use all of this fiscal year’s budget money for just the fence project. Mr Mangan observed that there is a lot of repair work remaining in the other Town Cemeteries.
• Mr. Mangan and the Board talked about whether this type of fence project would be used at the other cemeteries and the consensus was they each had different needs and that different fence styles would be appropriate. The East Hill project appeared to have more interest from residents in retaining a white picket fence.
• Mr. Kimmel made a motion to fund the replacement of the fence at the East Hill Cemetery through the existing cemetery savings account for $12,600 and not use money from the fiscal year budget, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.
• Ginny Brees (Town Auditor) was at the meeting to discuss what the Town Auditors thought about the cost/services proposed by the accounting firm for the Town’s audit this year. The cost of plans submitted was different than what was quoted previously.
• Basic audit to cost $7,500, which represents a lesser level of scrutiny and results in a summary of annual activity; a full audit the following year would not have to cover as much material as a full bi/tri-ennial period of coverage.
• Mr. Benson expressed concern that if we use the basic audit it might adversely affect us when we go to purchase equipment as we usually need an outside audit every three years for those types of purchases.
• The Board inquired about seeking a bid from another accounting firm. Ms. Brees noted that we had worked with the current audit firm for a few years; although they had a recent change in staffing, continuing the relationship would probably be more efficient for the upcoming cycle.
• Mr. Benson suggested that we pursue an intermediate level of review for this year, which would provide some security should the Town need to tap external financial resources, while also reducing the level of audit resources and effort triggered in the future.
• Mr. Haggett made a motion to spend $9,000 for the intermediate level of audit review, Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
C. Purchasing Policy
• The Town needs to set guidelines and limits for various levels of purchases, including indicating what levels of items need to go out for bids. The Board discussed various options, based on a VLCT model version.
• Mr. Benson made a motion that the Town establish a Purchasing Policy with the following graduated levels: Incidental purchases (up to $5,000), Minor purchases $5,000 to $200,000), and Major purchases (anything above $200,000); Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.
• Mr. Kimmel will finalize the policy draft with Ms. Peterson.
D. Conflict of Interest Policy:
• Mr. Kimmel reviewed the proposed policy with the Board, based on a VLCT model. In addition to covering various examples of potential situations giving rise to conflicts of interest involving Town officials and employees, the proposed policy also delegates to the Selectboard Chair the authority to oversee/decide COI matters as they arise.
• Mr. Haggett made a motion to adopt the proposed Conflict of Interest Policy as revised, Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
E. Approve Minutes of August 13, 2018 Meeting: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the August 13th minutes, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $28,034.15 with large bills to include: R.E. Tucker (Gravel): $12,555.20; Tenco New England, Inc. (grader blades): $2,100.00; Community Bank (Credit Card): $1,556.61; Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
• Mr. Kimmel asked the Board Members about potential dates to meet with the Randolph Recreation Committee about Brookfield and Braintree possible providing financial support. Mr. Benson cannot attend the proposed September 7th meeting.
• Mr. Benson chatted with the DuBois & King’s IT Department about power failure protection strategies. They indicated a generator would not provide instant recovery for electronics, although if the power was out for an extended period it would work to keep the Town office going, but not in the moment of power surge. The best bet for electronics is a surge protector/uninterruptable power supply.
• The Board is going to ask Town Clerk Teresa Godfrey about her experiences with power failures at the Town Offices, including brief and extended outages.
• Mr. Benson said that he has contacted Dan Mason regarding the continual trash issue on Ridge Road, but has not heard back from him. Mr. Benson talked to Starr Strong, who indicated that continued action should come from the ANR Solid Waste Division. Either Mr. Benson or Mr. Haggett will contact them.
• The Town Public Safety Committee and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission are going to do a study later this week, gathering information (cost etc.) about obtaining the Sherriff’s speed cart instead of pole-mounted speed monitors, so it will be easier track different roads.
• Mr. Haggett reported that he will not be at the next Selectboard meeting, as he has a business trip.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:09 p.m., Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.