Teresa Godfrey

Apr 222020

On April 13, 2020 the Brookfield Selectboard voted to move the 2nd payment due date from May 2, 2020 to June 20, 2020.  I will have the office window open for June 19th from 4:30-7:00 p.m. and Saturday June 20th from 9:00-1:00 for those who prefer to pay in person.

Mar 262020

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 23, 2020

Draft Minutes

Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road

Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque

Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Steve Schaefer

  1. Call Meeting to Order: J. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
  2. Loader:

J. Kimmel reported that he had talked to Ray Peck, Road Foreman, concerning the bids and trade-in value for the loader. J. Kimmel provided a chart and information with the results of the 4 bids. R. Peck had previously reviewed the bids and tested some of what was offered with the Road Crew.  They were all in agreement that the loader presented by Milton CAT was the preferred purchase.  Quotes included the following:

A. Beauregard (CASE 621G Wheel Loader)-$166,075-Trade-in $38,600=$127,475 Payments of $21,039/7 yr. annual payment

B. Beauregard (CASE 721G Wheel Loader)-$196,175-Trade-in $38,600=$157,575 Payments of $25,852/7 yr. annual payment

C. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$197,900-Trade-in $49,000=$148,900  Payments range from $32,019.94-5 yrs. /$27,163.76-6 yrs. /$23,699.79-7 yrs. annual payment

D. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$215,900-Trade-in $49,000=$166,900 Payments range from $35,890.72-5 yrs. /$30,447.46-6 yrs. /$26,564.77-7 yrs. annual payment

E. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$193,338-Trade-in $39,500=$153,838 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.

F. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$213,619-Trade-in $39,500=$174,119 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.

G. Anderson Equipment (KOMATSU WA 270-8 Wheel Loader 3V)-$186,926-Trade-in $60,000=$126,926 Payments range from $33,397-4 yrs. / $27,144-5 yrs. / $22,979-6 yrs. annual payment

H. Milton CAT (CATERPILLAR 930M Wheel Loader)-$200,000-Trade-in $60,000=$140,000 Payments of $22,300/7 yr. annual payment

J. Benson said Milton CAT would not require any payment until after the July 1, 2020 fiscal year began. S. Schaefer questioned if the Highway Department was going to adjust hours or have lay-offs due to COVID-19. J. Benson said no, they will continue to operate.

T. Godfrey, Treasurer, presented to the Board the current financial balance of $1,069,635.49 in the checking accounts. Her concern was, with the financial difficulties families are having with the current situation, the balance would just cover the payment to OSSD for the May 22, 2020 school payment, leaving little in the accounts to run the Town. Other towns are also looking at this issue, Randolph included.

After further discussion, the Board decided they should delay the agreement with Milton CAT.

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to postpone actual enactment of the agreement as provided by Milton CAT until we have further information on the economy.   Vote 3-0-0

  1. Review and approval of Warrants:

On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to pay the warrants in the amount of $4,091.14.  This amount included the payment of $3,425.00 to White River Valley Ambulance.   Vote 3-0-0

  1. Review and approval of March 9, 2020 Selectboard meeting minutes:

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve the March 9, 2020 minutes with some minor amendments.   Vote 3-0-0

  1. Other business:

J. Benson said they have requested that Kasey Peterson, Admin. Asst. write a RFP for Cemetery Sexton and mowing for the upcoming year.

The Board each received additional information from both Jon Binhammer and Stuart Edson concerning the Conservation Commission purchasing the development rights from a portion of land owned by Theresa & Charlie Taplin as discussed in the March 9, 2020 Selectboard meeting minutes.

J. Benson received a call concerning 4-wheel ATV’s being driven on the Town roads. He said he suggested the concerned citizen try to get pictures of this and report it to the State Police for them to investigate.

The Board discussed the ever changing directives from the Governor’s Office and how we will proceed with future Selectboard meetings and Open Meeting Law concerns.

D. LaRocque submitted his resignation as Town Auditor dated March 23, 2020 due to being Selectboard member and being Auditor are not being compatible offices per State Statute.

    6. Adjournment:

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to adjourn at 7:00 p.m.   Vote 3-0-0

Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Godfrey, Recorder


Mar 172020

March 19th – The Brookfield Town Office will be open T-Th, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  HOWEVER, if you can conduct your business with the Town Office via the phone, online or through the mail (including dog renewals), please do so.

PLEASE continue to follow the recommended guidelines of the CDC and the VT Department of Health: wash your hands, practice “social distancing”; avoid large gatherings; and if feeling unwell with symptoms of the virus, stay home and call your primary care physician.   YOUR continued good health is the primary concern.  Stay healthy!

Mar 122020

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 9, 2020

Draft Minutes

Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road

Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque

Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Jon Jickling, Starr Strong, Kathy Kinter, Jon Binhammer, Theresa Taplin, Patty Kennedy, Amy Ingrassia, Jack Zebora, Dan Childs, Steve Schaefer

Prior to the opening of the meeting, Teresa Godfrey was sworn in as Town Clerk, Treasurer, Lister, and Delinquent Tax Collector.

Dennis LaRocque was sworn in as the newest member on the Selectboard by T. Godfrey.

1. Call to Order: J. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

2. Adjustments to Agenda: J. Benson moved the Selectboard Organization from New Business.

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted J. Benson as Chair.  Vote 3-0-0

J.Benson welcomed D. LaRocque to the Board. D. LaRocque will initially review the warrants with J. Kimmel reviewing for any additional changes needed. J. Benson asked D. LaRocque to request quarterly a budget status from either Kasey Peterson or T. Godfrey. J. Kimmel will be the Road Commissioner.

3. Public Comment:

P. Kennedy asked what type of lease was on the loader that was approved at Town Meeting to be replaced.

J. Benson said that we usually trade-in the equipment at the end of the lease to maintain the much needed loader and R. Peck stated the trade-in value is $60,000 toward a new one.

4. New Business:

A. Selectboard Organization was done as above.

B. Town Meeting Minutes:

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the Town Meeting Minutes of March 3, 2020 as amended.  Vote 3-0-0 as amended.

T. Godfrey wanted to comment that after Town Meeting, 2 different people came up to her to tell her they had witnessed voters putting in multiple slips of paper votes for Article 12. She was also told “they only had 50 signatures for the petition”, which is only the number required by State Statute to submit a petition for inclusion on the Warning.

C. ECFiber Representative Appointments: (switched for time management)

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board reappointed Dan Childs as Representative and Stuart Edson as Alternate.  Vote 3-0-0

When asked if they needed a second alternate, D. Childs stated that would only be if neither one could make ECFiber meetings.  J. Benson thanked both representatives for all of their work to get ECFiber in Brookfield.

D. Conservation Commission Funding: (Per Jon Binhammer, in an email he sent to the Town Clerk responding to publication of the minutes in the Herald, he would like to clarify in the paragraph below, that he would like to make it clear that  ” I had recognized a conflict of interest and disclosed it to the Board, and mitigated such conflict by stating that I would not be speaking on behalf of the Commission and that my presentation and comments were on behalf of The Nature Conservancy. Due to the COVID-19 concerns, this was not discussed during the subsequent Selectboard meeting.  Teresa Godfrey, Recorder)

J. Binhammer introduced S. Strong, J. Jickling, and K. Kinter as members of the Conservation Commission (CC) and T. Taplin as the property owner for the land that will be discussed. J. Binhammer spoke on behalf of the Nature Conservancy. Together with the VT Land Trust, they are trying to conserve farm lands in VT. On the Taplin property, the soil is high quality and there is a Fen on the land.  The area they are looking at is approx. 60 acres off West St.  They would establish a right-of-way to it and purchase the development rights.  They have received approval from the Brookfield Planning Commission and the Regional Commission.  Part of the Town Plan includes conserving critical areas for wetlands for water quality and this area concerns the water quality going into Sunset Lake and North Pond.  What the CC would like from the Town is a commitment of $5000 grant from the Recreational/Conservation account.  The approximate cost to purchase the development rights and recording it in a deed is $45,000.  They have applied for money from VT Housing & Conservation Board and the Nature Conservancy.

Per T. Godfrey, there is $25,906.10 currently in the R/C account.

J. Benson asked if there will be a right-of-way for public access and walking trails.

J. Binhammer replied that they are looking at purchasing the development rights, not ownership of the land. Taplins would maintain forest management outside of the wetland. There are logging trails that could be utilized by public.  They are not advertising it as a walking trail but would encourage groups to visit for educational purposes. Access could be through Nancy Lane but there would need to be a 50′ buffer from the wetland as far as if it was used for development.

S. Strong asked J. Binhammer to explain why it is a unique area. J. Binhammer replied that a Fen is a special wetland with rare plants in it and calcium rich. There is a second one located in Calais, VT. A Fen is different from a bog which is a basin that catches rain water.  The area surrounding the Fen is softwood but not a deer yard.  The Taplins would retain rights to the land but this would remove the right to develop or mine the land.  The forest would continue to be managed with an approved Forest Management Plan.

J. Zebora was concerned with using Town money to buy a piece of property, but not own it, and lowering the value if it was deemed as not developable it would lower our tax base, and the Taplins would still own it and utilize it.

J. Benson asked if the Listers had come up with a value for the 60 acres. J. Binhammer said Stuart Edson was working with him but didn’t have a final amount because the Listers don’t typically take conservation into valuation in Brookfield. One parcel, after a Board of Civil Authority hearing in 2010, was reduced by $40,000 due to being in the VT Land Trust.  This amounts to about $800 a year tax reduction.

J. Jickling, also on the Planning Commission, said the intent and scope of the proposal is consistent with the Town Plan biologic feature and worth protecting.

K. Kinter said when they met with the State concerning how wildlife moves to other states, the wildlife goes through VT and there are no prime forests, 1000 acres, in Brookfield. We need to protect from more fragmentation of the lands because with development, there is habitat loss and with climate change it is more vital to protect the eco systems.

J. Benson questioned when they anticipated to hear back for the other grants and J. Binhammer said March 19th.

J. Benson recommended this be tabled until next meeting so the Listers can get back to the Selectboard on what the tax ramifications would be and maybe check with VT Appraisal Company since they will be working with the Listers for the town-wide reappraisal.

Item was tabled.

J. Benson gave a copy of a letter from FEMA concerning flood plain mapping updates to J. Jickling for the Planning Commission to review.

5. Highway:

A. Pike update:

J. Benson filled in D. LaRocque concerning the paving that was done in the fall by Pike Industries on Ridge Road and the issues R. Peck found when examining the work done. The Pike paving specialist agreed there were issues that were most likely caused from heating and rerolling and the temp not being hot enough to seal correctly.  The District Engineer for Brookfield’s primary contact will meet with the Town in the spring to discuss and examine the area.  No payment has been made to Pike and the paving grant Brookfield is eligible for has a deadline of December 2021.

R. Peck also spoke with Chris Bump, from VTrans, on Thursday and he will be coming up in a couple of weeks to do a site visit about a culvert on Bear Hill Road that keeps popping up out of the ground.

B. Lighting in the garage:

R. Peck spoke about the lighting in the garage. There was an energy grant that was used in the garage a few years ago to replace the lights with LED lights and half no longer work. Harmony Electric can’t fix the lights and have a 30 day quote of $3200 to replace them.

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to accept the quote from Harmony Electric with the understanding the quote might be slightly higher with the 30 day window from December.  Vote 3-0-0

C. Loader Sales Order:

The purchase of a loader was approved at Town Meeting.  R. Peck received 4 quotes from different companies.  Milton CAT was the preferred submission.  With the approval to purchase for the budget starting July 1, 2020, CAT proposed delivery of the new loader and removing the old one as deposit.  The first payment would not be due until November 2020.

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board authorized R. Peck to sign off on the agreement with CAT.

S. Schaefer asked to see the quotes and what the specifications were for the purchase.

R. Peck said he requested quotes from Case, Komatsu, John Deere, and CAT. All the companies came out and gave him a value for the trade-in. The quotes were at the garage and he was willing to get them for S. Schaefer to look at them. S. Schaefer said he was looking for transparency for the purchase.

J. Kimmel withdrew his motion so the loader purchase is tabled until the next Selectboard meeting on March 23rd.

R. Peck said he has posted the roads for mud season and it needs to be approved at the Selectboard meeting.

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve posting the Town roads for mud season going from March 5th – May 15th with the standard limits to be 2 axle up to 15k lbs., 3 axle up to 18k lbs., and tractor trailers up to 20k lbs.  Vote 3-0-0

The Board will have K. Peterson post to the DMV website for the mud season weight limits.

R. Peck has received the signs for posting the 6 wood deck bridges in town. They are for Witts Bridge, Eagle Peak, Mahoney, McKeage, Old Post, and Parker/Gilbert bridges. They all will be posted at 16,000 lbs. per VT State law.

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to post the 6 bridges listed above at the legal load limit of 16k lbs. This will have to be renewed annually. Vote 3-0-0

6. Old Business:

A. Personnel Policy Changes: No forward motion. Tabled.

B. Approve 27 January 2020 Meeting Minutes:

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the January 27, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1

C. Approve 10 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:

On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the February 10, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1

D. Approve 24 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve the February 24, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1

7. Payroll/AP Warrant:

On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve paying the warrants in the amount of $3,846.19 which included payments for truck parts to multiple companies and the Town Meeting warning publication in The Herald.  Vote 3-0-0

8. Other Proper Business:

J. Kimmel will go over the Emergency Response Plan with K. Peterson and update for the next meeting.

The Randolph Area Food Shelf submitted an assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m.  to noon.

On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the request from the Randolph Area Food Shelf assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m. to noon.   Vote 3-0-0

9. Adjournment:

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by J. Benson, the Board voted to adjourn at 8:40 p.m. Vote 3-0-0

Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Godfrey, Recorder











Mar 112020



Location: Town Office, Ralph Road, Brookfield

MEETING: Wednesday, March 18th 2020 TIME: 7:00 p.m.

Rescheduled from cancelled meeting Tuesday, March 11th.


  1. Public to be heard
  2. Approve minutes of 2/11/2020 meeting
  3. Review progress on zoning bylaw update
  4. Continue review of bylaws
  5. Any other new/old business.
Mar 112020

Brookfield Conservation Commission

March 16, 2020 7:00 pm

Brookfield Public Library

Meeting Agenda

  1. Review Agenda
  1. Public Comment
  1. Approval of Minutes of the January meeting (February meeting cancelled due to weather)
  1. Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project update
  1. Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation discuss next steps
  1. Brookfield  town website update
  1. Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update
  1. Green-Up Day report by Starr
  1. Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020
  1. Other business
  1. Adjourn
Mar 072020

Town of Brookfield 2020 Annual Meeting

The legal voters of the Town of Brookfield met for the annual Town Meeting, at the Brookfield Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday March 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:

Call to Order at 10:00 a.m.

Moderator, Gregory Wight, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lunch will be served supporting the Brookfield School Club with donations.

Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot.  For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Article 2: To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.

John Benson, Selectboard Chair, thanked Cory Haggett for his service on the Selectboard.  He also recognized Chuck Barnum for the several offices he has held over the many years he served the Town. Ruth Goodale was also thanked for helping to beautify the different areas in the Village with the flowers she had planted.  She had written a letter to the Board stating she will not be able to continue this and would like to see someone take on the task.

J. Benson asked for those currently or previously holding a position in Town to stand and be recognized. He then asked for those who had served or are serving in the Armed Services to stand and be recognized. He thanked all for their Town and Country services.

J. Benson then discussed the survey that was done for a portion of Stone Road. At Town Meeting 2019, it was approved to hire a survey company to establish the right-of-way and travel portion of a section of Stone Road. American Survey Company was then hired and at a warned Selectboard meeting and at a warned site meeting, the results were presented to the Property owners, the Selectboard, the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept., and the public.  All parties involved are now aware of where the travel lane and ROW are located.

The Board was recently presented a request for a public assemblage permit by Dennis Tatro.  He has done extensive research of the location of the Justin Morgan homestead.  He found it to be at the Brookfield & Randolph Town line near Snow Road.  There will be a dedication of a Historical Marker in May 2020.

The Board was also presented with a request from VT Transportation Board to dedicate a portion of VT Route 14, at the Williamstown side coming into Brookfield, to Major Ira Day. The VT Transportation Board will be holding a public meeting in June and it will be posted on the Town website for those interested in attending.

Braintree no longer has a Zoning Administrator and is interested in having one that would cover Braintree, Randolph, and Brookfield.  Dee Monte stepped down for Brookfield and Mike Fiorillo is now the ZA for Brookfield.

Ray Peck, Road Foreman, has informed the Board that the sand we are purchasing from Larry Hebert in Williamstown will only be available for a few more years before he runs out.  The Board and R. Peck are looking for a reasonable source for sand along with other towns he supplies.

J. Benson mentioned there are several positions available in Town and we never turn down volunteers.

Dan Childs, ECFiber Town Representative, wanted to thank all who have signed up in Brookfield.  There is a raffle for getting the fast speed at a low price if anyone is interested in purchasing tickets.  ECFiber is town owned.

J.Benson thanked D. Childs and Stuart Edson for getting the Town moved up on the list for us to receive it quicker.

Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.

Motion by Erik Nielson, seconded by Marylou Maeder.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 4:  To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.

Motion by D. Childs, seconded by Billie Gosh that the first payment of 2020/2021 property taxes to be due November 7, 2020; the second payment due May 1, 2021.  Motion carried.

Article 5:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to engage the firm of Vermont Appraisal Company to complete a Town-wide reappraisal of all properties within the Town.  The cost for which shall not exceed $81,000; the funds for which are already in place.

Motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by S. Edson.

Patty Kennedy questioned if this was put out to bid.  S. Edson, with help from Teresa Godfrey, both Listers, said it was put out to all appraisal companies that the Vermont Property Valuation and Review Board approves as appraisers.  Only VT Appraisal Company put in a bid.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

J. Benson also let the voters know this will be a 2-year process.

Article 6:  To see if the Town will vote to contribute $300.00 to the Randolph Area Mentoring Program (RAMP), a community-based mentoring program serving the communities of Brookfield, Braintree, and Randolph.

Motion by Laura Rochat, seconded by Kym Anderson.

L. Rochat reported this program has been underway for a year. It is a program for grades 4-7. An adult is paired up with a student for the student to have the opportunity to experience new things and to have meaningful relationship with another adult. Currently there are 6 students utilizing the program. If you are interested in participating in RAMP, student or adult, to let her know.  They have received a grant from Mentoring Vermont and need to match the amount.  This money covers background checks and as the Leader, her salary for the program.  When asked about the amount of time required to be a mentor, L. Rochat said it is once a week and about 6-8 hours per month commitment of at least 1 year.

Richard Hayward, Brookfield Elementary School teacher, said they have seen an enormous impact for the students involved. They are in need of mentors.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 7:  To see if the Town will vote to contribute $250.00 to the Vermont Family Network, to provide services for families of children with special needs.

Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by Ray Mayer.

Jeff Kimmel, Selectboard member, stated information concerning VFN is located on page 52 of the Town Report.  No representative was available to answer questions concerning this request.  It was noted by a voter that this appears to primarily serve Chittenden County per the information.

Call to vote.  Motion failed.

G. Wight turned the meeting over to VT House Representatives Jay Hooper and Peter Reed.

Rep. Reed stated he was from Braintree and was appointed in January by Governor Scott due to the resignation of Rep. Ben Jickling.  He reported the major bills he is involved with are Act 250, the minimum wage increase, to tax & regulate cannabis, Health care improvement and prescription drug prices.  He was previously working as a banker before being appointed.

Rep. Hooper said he represents 5 towns and this is his 4th session.  He has found the Education Committee to be fast paced.  There are 3 bills currently being worked on.  Universal Pre-K, Literacy, and school construction.  They are working on disentangling dual oversite rules.  It is noted that 32% of 5th graders are not proficient readers.  School construction has had a deferred maintenance moratorium since 2007.  It is believed it will cost $565 million for impending building needs.  Beth Pearce, State Treasurer, is going to assess the costs and communicate with other States to see what they have done.   They are also starting to look at a universal after school program.

There were no questions from the voters.

J. Benson suggested the 2 Selectboard candidates, on the Town ballot, introduce themselves.

Steve Schaefer introduced himself as Irene Schaefer’s son and he lives in the log house where the sliding took place during the Ice Harvest. He said he is running for Selectboard because he has found some irregularities and that he is in favor of increasing the Board to a 5-member Board.

Dennis LaRocque said he is a life-long resident of Brookfield, has been one of the Town Auditors for 4 or 5 years.  He has 2 boys in the school system and wants to help the Town.

Article 8:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion by L. Runnion, seconded by K. Anderson.

J. Benson stated there was a correction for the property taxes raised. It should by $311,080 (increasing the proposed budget of $310,980 by $100) to balance the projected expenses. Beth Godin questioned if that was what was noted in the SB meeting minutes of February 24, 2020 and J. Benson said yes.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 9:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to approve the construction of a new Town Garage building (or another option as presented and discussed at Town Meeting).  The cost not to exceed $1,075,000 to be financed over a 25 to 30-year period.

Motion by B. Gosh, seconded by Dove Cogen.

J. Benson said that at Town Meeting last year, the voters agreed to have the Board look into garage options and a Request for Quote (RFQ) design. Connor Construction and Black River Design both responded, working together with designs and current construction codes.

The Board attempted to show pictures of the existing garage, the shed, and a sketch of the plans.  Due to the lack of a screen, the slides were not very easy to see presented on the back wall.  The designers measured all the equipment and reviewed any spatial requirements the Town has. Currently the plows have to be removed to fit in the existing garage and diesels are hard to start in the cold.

3 options are:

– Add on existing building-not to exceed 5000 sq. ft. or a sprinkler system would have to be installed due to wood construction.

-2nd bldg. for shed storage and minor renovations to existing garage. Current roof leaks and with VOSHA and VLCT insurance there is no separate room for combustibles among other issues.

– A completely new building.

The amounts range from $600,000-$1 million for the above.  The research includes all metal or wood frames.

Aaron Adler questioned if the cost includes the cost of financing.

J. Benson said no. They looked at the Bond Bank and Northfield Savings which is willing to finance for us at 3-3.5% for 10 years and then see where the market rate is after that.

Additional comments and questions included if there is a ball park figure and with the interest, the cost can double.  The voters would like hand-outs to look at.  The cost of heating, steel vs wood construction and amount of heated space would be tripled, existing building not energy efficient.  The cost didn’t include fixing the existing building that needs better lighting at an estimated cost of $2300-$2500.

J. Benson said as far as we know there are no brown field issues but if they find there are, then we will have to address them then.

Joy Kacik thanked the Board for their information and felt there are too many variables and questions to go forward.

J. Kacik made an amendment to the motion on the floor to request the Selectboard put together 3 options with the pros & cons, cost for financing and to have one or more meeting at least a month prior to next year’s Town Meeting and then amended it to say:

The Selectboard provide the Town with 3 or more options with pros and cons, full cost including financing, and objectives be presented for discussion at a least a month before Town Meeting 2021.

Motion seconded by K. Anderson.

Continued discussion included what the objectives are, the smallest amount approach, renewable energy options, overhead costs, grant opportunities and an energy audit of the current building.  Gabe Freitag would like a committee formed, besides the Selectboard, so they can help with the decision making.

J. Benson said they had discussed with Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) and there are no current grant opportunities but they usually come with strings attached.

The voters would like to be informed the time and place of the garage information meetings.  There is concern on why we need 2 10-wheel trucks.

Call to vote on amendment. There was a lot of confusion on what the amendments were and the 2 motions are now contradictory. After a lot of needed clarification, the following amendment was then called:

To see if the Town will form a Committee with a minimum of 3 building options, energy efficiency, pros and cons with objectives, grant research, meetings and communication to the Town at least through Front Porch Forum, and the cost including financing and renewable energy options.  An initial meeting will take suggestions from Town Residents.  An informational meeting, at least one month before Town Meeting, will be held.

Motion by J. Kacik, seconded by Jackie Smith-Nielson to amend the original motion. Motion carried.

Motion by Justin Poulin, seconded by Angie Poulin to amend the cap in Article 9 to be $500,000.

Discussion by J. Poulin included setting a limit that is realistic with realistic options. Something that fits our town.

J. Benson said we need some expertise to get the info needed and $25k-$30k gives us options to work with developing and pricing. We have to retain services to get answers.  The 2 companies we have used have not charged anything but by not moving forward, we owe them some amount. There is no written contract.

Motion to amend failed.

After more amendment considerations, confusion, and conversation Article 9 was again in question.

A. Adler made a motion to further amend Article 9 to read:

To See if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to investigate another option as presented and discussed at Town Meeting for the Town Garage Building including forming a Committee with a minimum of 3 building options, energy efficiency, pros and cons with objectives, grant research, meetings and communication to the Town at least through Front Porch Forum, and the cost including financing and renewable energy options.  The cost for the research not to exceed $25,000.

Seconded by E. Nielson. This motion to amend Article 9 passed.

Back to the main motion for vote.  As amended several times, motion carried.

Article 10:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to enter into a lease/purchase Agreement to replace the Town Highway Department Loader.  The cost, allowing for the trade-in value for the current Loader, not to exceed $140,000 (plus finance charges) to be paid for over a 7-year period.

Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by R. Mayer.

P. Kennedy questioned what was wrong with the current loader.

J. Benson said the loader is a critical piece of equipment. We trade them every so many years and the current one is now paid for and on a 7-year replacement cycle.

R. Hayward questioned if this is a typical time frame and how does it compare to what other Towns do?

Francis Preston asked if we reached out to 3 major manufacturers?

J. Benson replied it is what we have done in the past and it is the same size. Cory Haggett confirmed with R. Peck that we reached out to CAT, J. Deere, and Case for bids.

Call to vote.  Motion carried with a few nays.

Article 11: To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion by B. Gosh, seconded by A. Poulin.

J. Benson stated there was a correction for the property taxes raised. It should be $628,332 (increasing the proposed budget of $605,232 by $23,100) to balance the projected expenses.

J. Benson read a letter the Board had received from a UPS driver commending the Brookfield Town Road Crew and the roads are the best maintained roads he has been driving in the 33 years as a UPS driver. They are not a typical road crew.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 12:  To see if the Town will vote to have 5 members on the Selectboard by floor vote at Town Meeting. (17VSA Sec. 2650(b)(1)).

Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by M. Maeder.

J. Benson stated the Selectboard will do what the voters want. The petitioner never came to the Board. The Board had to step up to take care of the cemeteries when the Commission dissolved.  They have been doing the Town Report that used to be done by the Auditors. When the Board does pick up what others used to do, it is an administrative issue.  We don’t need a Town Manager.  We have increased the Administrative Assistant hours.

James Godfrey, petition originator, said he moved here at 16 and was in the Navy for 30 years.  I have tried to get problems resolved and didn’t get anywhere.  I started the petition because I feel it isn’t an administrative problem but a leadership problem.

John Klar questioned the Board on what reasons they resist 5 members.  There would be more people for a quorum.

J. Benson said they have functioned at 3 since before he was voted on the Board. It is rare there isn’t a quorum.

M. Maeder stated that as a mother of 3, decision making is hard and it’s 2 against 1. The number 5 would make a difference.

Richard Pecor has been to different meetings and several times there were only 2 at the meeting.

Martina Rutkovsky stated as a former Board member, you have to have the integrity of the people managing the tasks.

P. Kennedy pointed out that Selectboard members have other lives and it wouldn’t be as critical to miss a meeting if there were 5 members. It would help with the work load.

Call to vote.  With a hand count 35 yes and 39 no.  Motion failed.

S. Schaefer requested a paper ballot count. Papers were dispersed to write yes for 5, no for remaining at 3 members on the Selectboard.

Article 13:  To transact any other proper business.

Senator Mark MacDonald spoke briefly about the energy issues and heating homes.

Bonnie Fallon spoke about Green Up day being on May 2nd this year.  She would like help and would like someone to take over as the leader.

The results of the paper ballot were 37 yes votes and 48 no votes.  Motion for 5 member Selectboard failed.

Sam Dilcer and Steve Allen discussed the Mason’s Lodge impact on the Community.  They help promote Little League and the Fish Fry, which provides the Girl & Boy Scouts with money and the Scouts did an excellent job helping with the Fish Fry.

J. Benson asked the remaining voters if they would like to still receive a printed copy of the Town Report in the mail because only a few towns still mail them. Most have it electronically on their website and the reports available at different pick-up locations.

J. Benson began discussing setting weight limits on Town roads. The Town needs to hold information meetings for direction. The Selectboard has been approached about truck traffic and agriculture. We have to find out what authority we have for setting the weight limits.  The DMV is the sole State agency for setting weight limits by Statute at 24,000 lbs.  This only covers up to a UPS size truck.  The Town can disburse overweight permits.  We can’t discriminate between vendors.  The DMV is the only agency to enforce the weight limits.  Lew Stowell has done a lot of research and gets different information frequently.  Brookfield has a number of bridges that are below the 24,000 lb. limit and they need to be approved at a Board meeting for a lower weight then posted as such.

When we post the roads during mud season, it needs to be recorded on the DMV website.

(Because this forum was not warned as a decision-making conversation, there could be no decision on whether to continue researching whether to post legal load limits on Brookfield town roads. -Recorder notation)

On motion by E. Nielson, seconded by M. Maeder, the meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m.

Motion carried

Respectfully submitted:  Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Feb 272020


Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of February 24, 2020

Approved Minutes

Town Clerk’s office on Ralph Road

Selectboard:  Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel

Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Ray Peck (Highway Foreman), Dennis LaRocque, Gabe Freitag, Dennis Tatro, Laura Tatro, Dennis Boggs, Justin Poulin, Sandy Vondrasek (The Herald), Steve Schaefer, Patricia Kennedy

1. Mr. Haggett called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m

2.  Adjustments to Agenda: No adjustments

3.  Public Comment-Dennis Boggs-Dirt Road Maintenance:

Mr. Boggs questioned if there is a published or written document on how we are maintaining the dirt roads, if there is a strategy or if we spend in certain spots.

Mr. Kimmel stated they discuss with Mr. Peck on what needs to be done.

Mr. Peck said he did an estimate and the amount of gravel/fill etc. needed to repair/restore a section of road is approximately $18,000/mile and that doesn’t include the hauling costs and man hours.

Mr. Boggs questioned if the State has more money to do the dirt roads for better drainage?

Mr. Peck said half the roads are built on top soil and require a lot product to bring them up to standard.

When Mr. Boggs asked what the strategy was, Mr. Haggett said Mr. Peck notes what roads need doing and he hits the worst spots and we do what we can afford to do.  Mr. Peck commented that paving is about $130,000 per mile.  Grants are used as they come in but they only cover portions of the cost.  The roads have to meet State specifications.  The Road Crew is working on finishing East Hill.  They have to work on drainage so the sediment doesn’t end up in the rivers and they only have one more section to do before June 30th.

4.  New Business:

A. Pre-town meeting Informational Session:

Ms. Vondrasek, Herald reporter, questioned how much of the loader purchase and garage build will impact the taxes and how much is saved for these items on the Warning. She also questioned why the proposed budget was not balanced for revenues and expenses.

Mr. Kimmel replied that John Benson, Selectboard Chair, has been working with an   outside firm and with the water quality at the garage, an expansion, and a sprinkler system, they are looking for financial approval at Town Meeting to build a needed garage.

Mrs. Godfrey stated there is approximately $60,000 in the garage fund from the last 2 tax years and $40,000 towards equipment purchases. She said that she also realized tonight the proposed budget wasn’t balanced and Mr. Kimmel said it will have to be amended at Town Meeting because the budget has been printed in the Town Report as it stands.

Mr. Poulin wanted to know what the options are for the garage, what is the goal and issues with the existing garage.

Mr. Haggett said we can raze the current one and start over, build a new shed where the current smaller one is that would have heat and electricity, or expand the current building.  Mr. Peck stated that there is no room in the current garage when working on equipment, the new $300k  grader sits out in the weather, OSHA requires that hazardous materials are stored in a separate room, diesel equipment won’t start if it is too cold so the vehicles need to be parked in a heated building, they need a welding hood and the current garage doesn’t have appropriate room for one.

Mr. Haggett stated the new Chelsea garage cost $1,000,000 and we are not ready to break ground.

Mr. Poulin would like to see paper hand-outs at Town Meeting so the voters can refer to them when asking questions.

Ms. Vondrasek asked the Board why they are opposed to a 5 member Selectboard per the Town Report.

Mr. Kimmel said we will see if it is approved and they cannot immediately appoint at Town Meeting.  The Selectboard would ask people to apply then appoint 2 new members.

B. Highway Report:

Mr. Peck reported that mud season is coming up.  When we get new vehicles, and we buy the extended warranty, why isn’t a wiper motor covered?

Mr. Haggett said to ask Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, to pursue it.

5. Old Business:

A. Tatro Public Assemblage:

The Selectboard was concerned with closing the road, Snow Road, off for 7 hours for the Justin Morgan Farm memorial sign races.  Mr. Tatro said the races will be from 1:00-3:00 or so and that is the only time needed to close the road.  It took 14 years to locate where the farm used to be.

Mr. Haggett suggested they contact the Town about a week before the event to have the road graded.

On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to approve the Application for Tatro’s Public Assemblage Permit for the Justin Morgan Memorial Day on May 30, 2020.  Vote 2-0-0.

B. Personnel Policy Changes:

The Board tabled this.  No forward progress.

C. Approve 27 January 2020 meeting Minutes:

The Board tabled this.  Minutes not received for approval.

6.  Payroll/AP Warrant:

On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to pay the warrants in the amount of $68,531.61.  This includes diesel purchase of $14,707.82 from Global Montello Group Corp, $38,120.54 for county tax to the Orange County Treasurer.  Vote 2-0-0

7.  Other Proper Business:

Mr. LaRocque questioned why the Fire Department budget went up this year.  Mr. Haggett replied that the Fire Station is in need of a new roof.

Mrs. Godfrey stated she needed to know what is up with the Town Report and where it is at.

Mr. Kimmel said it has been submitted to the printer and has come back with a proof.  The plan is to have them mailed out on Thursday, February 27th.  The electronic version will be available on the Town Website on Tuesday, February 25th.

8.  Adjournment:

On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to adjourn at 7:45 until the next meeting of March 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Godfrey, Recorder.




Feb 182020

Minutes DRAFT

Brookfield Planning Commission Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 DRAFT

Present: Gwynn Zakov, Chair, Timothy Gershon, Jon Jickling, Martha Judy, William White

Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m.

Inquired about public to be heard.  No public attended.

Approved letter of support for the Charles and Theresa Taplin conservation project to be submitted to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

The Planning Commission continued to work on revisions to the Development bylaws.

White/Jickling moved to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Judy

Feb 122020

Brookfield Conservation Commission

February 18, 2019 7:00 pm

Brookfield Public Library

Meeting Agenda

  1. Review Agenda
  1. Public Comment
  1. Approval of Minutes of the January meeting
  1. Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project update
  1. Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation discuss next steps
  1. Brookfield  town website update
  1. Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update
  1. Green-Up Day report
  1. Prepare for Town Meeting
  1. Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020
  1. March 11 presentation by Rudy Rudell of White River Partnership about the watershed – proposal to co-sponsor this presentation with Braintree and Randolph CCs.
  1. Other business
  1. Adjourn