Town of Brookfield
July 27, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Les Haskell, Laurel McEwen, Jeff Baker
A. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: (none).
C. Public Comment: (none).
1) Access Permits: On motion of Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the requests for access permits submitted by Joseph Twombley and Jennifer Benedict (758 West Brookfield Road), Kyle Doda (1102 Stone Road), and William R. Lund (Halfway Brook Road).
2) Amendment to Grant BR0650 – East Hill Road Ditching: on motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the amendment.
3) Harmony Electric Bill: while conducting maintenance work on West Street on July 13, the Road Crew reported that an underground electrical line was damaged. Harmony Electric was called to conduct repair work. The work was done within the Town’s Right-of-Way; the Board discussed whether the property owner remained responsible for the repair work. The Board will follow up with the owner and research what easements may have existed for the affected area.
4) Green Mountain Power – Kibbee Road Power Project: on motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the request of Green Mountain Power Corp. to conduct service work (locate poles, guys, and wires within the highway limits of Kibbee Road). The Board attached standard conditions for utility operations within the Town’s ROW.
E. New Business
1) Haskell/McEwen Spring: Mr. Haskell and Ms. McEwen had previously raised concerns about a proposed access permit for a property on TH14. Jeff Baker had requested the approval, and the Board was working with him to develop conditions for permit approval. Mr. Haskell and Ms. McEwen raised additional concerns at this meeting:
• Continued work on TH14 is likely to contribute to water resource issues in the area, including impacting their spring. Other problems include loss of habitat, potential damage to wetlands, and the probable impact on their property value and enjoyment. They reported that they have hired an attorney, and that a state wetlands review person would be inspecting the site. Mr. Benson suggested that they have their attorney notify Mr. Baker about the subsequent findings.
• They suggested that the Town look into whether it made more sense to have people enter from the North end of TH14. Mr. Benson noted that the option was not part of the permit request, and that TH14 remains a Class 4 road.
(Note: Mr. Baker arrived at the meeting at 8:11 p.m.; his comments are included here as part of the related discussion.)
Mr. Baker expressed frustration with the process for both obtaining an access permit and moving forward with site planning. He also noted that his surveyor (Chase & Chase) found that TH14 was identified as having a 6-rods ROW in 1793. Mr. Benson indicated that Mr. Baker may end up hiring a wetlands specialist to review the site’s hydrology, vegetation, and delineation as part of the permit process.
2) Planning Commission – Zoom Account: Gwynn Zakov (PC Chair) asked the Board about accessing PC funds to sign up for a ZOOM account for remote meetings. The Board agreed that the proposal was acceptable. Mr. Kimmel suggested that Ms. Zakov have a discussion with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson: the Town already has a Zoom account, and the PC might want to operate through that.
F. Old Business – Personnel Policy: Ms. Peterson provided copies of policy versions. One of the remaining issues is the potential use of a Time Clock for Crew check-in and check-out and how that would work for snow and other emergency conditions.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of July 13, 2020; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $34,957.13 with large bills that include: Brandon Stevens Mowing (Roadside Mowing): $8,500.00; R.E. Tucker (Road Reconstruction): $6,247.50; and BCBS VT (Health Insurance): $4,500.65; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: Mr. Baker inquired about the activities of the Town Garage Committee, reporting that he had been invited to join the group. Mr. Benson and Mr. LaRocque provided a brief description of the Committee’s history, along with the various plans that have been discussed. The Committee will need to reach consensus on what approaches are feasible and affordable, which will then be submitted for inclusion on the warning for Town Meeting 2021. Town voters will ultimately decide whether to approve the measure.
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 9:15 p.m., Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.