Jul 242022

WEDNESDAY JULY 27, 2022 5:30 PM
5:30 PM: Call to Order:

Additions or deletions to the agenda
Review, revise or approve the June 22, 2022 meeting minutes.
Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public-
Speed Cart and Patrol Deployments: OCSD & VSP
Review and Discussion of OCSD Activities including Patrol Hours, Reports and Bills-
VSP “Survivermont” Status
Upcoming Events Involving Brookfield:
E-911 House Number Signs Project
Traffic Sign Deployment Status
Vehicle, Pedestrian, Horse, and Bicycle Safety
Town Website Update Status
Traffic Ordinance Status-
Front Porch Forum Posting Limits
Parking Issues & Improvements in Brookfield-
August Public Safety Message-
Setting the Next Meeting-
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting-
Final Public Comment-

Entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Jul 162022

Present and Voting: Amy Borgman, Dan Childs, Emily Noyes, Susan O’Brien, Starr Strong
Present and Not Voting: Laura Rochat, Librarian
-Welcome to our Board’s 5th member, Susan O’Brien, duly elected and sworn in, bringing us up to full membership. So glad to have you with us!
-Treasurer’s Report: We are beginning our new fiscal year as of July 1, 2022. Per Dan we are on track with our records showing most of our 2021 expenditures went for books and other resources. Our latest phone contract has saved a considerable amount of money for us and the Town.
-Librarian’s Report: Summer numbers are picking up a bit as school has let out and Summer visitors are arriving. Laura reports that the BFPL is again collaborating with the Brookfield Elementary School on the annual Vermont Library reading program. Transitioning folks to the new Overdrive platform for ListenUp VT is still in progress and is going well.
Info on ARPA Funds and recent programming noted in Minutes below.
-OLD Business: We recently hosted 2 programs, as noted below
*An educator from VINS presented a wildlife program at the BES as a precursor to the Summer Reading Program. Despite the attractiveness of the accompanying hawk and box turtle, this program was disappointing in its ability to engage with the young audience.
*Christina Swann’s petting zoo returned to the OTH. We attracted another great crowd of 22 adults and 23 children, spread out over the time she was here. If she had arrived at the scheduled time there would have been more time for the children to interact with the wonderful animals she provided.
*Recent Library ARPA Funds were spent on outdoor furniture from LL Bean. This was assembled by Jon Jickling and family (many thanks for that) and is now attractively sitting on the front lawn of the Library.
*Another box of discarded children’s books has been donated to DCF to be distributed to Foster families, a box of discarded adult books was donated to the Gifford Thrift Shop.
NEW Business: There is still time for the Library to provide more Summer programming. Board Members are asked to consider options and notify Laura of any thoughts or possibilities on this.
Laura has contacted The Bird Diva, Bridget Butler, who is currently booking into next year, to present a program when available. Starr will contact The Bear Guy in NH about a presentation. We all agree that we will hold another Deconstruction Day, probably in the Fall.
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday September 7, 2022 @ 6:30pm.

Jul 132022

Minutes DRAFT Brookfield Planning Commission
Date: July 12th, 2022
Present: Gwynn Zakov (Chair), Martha Judy, Keven Ring, Will White
Public present: Amy Ingressia, Jack Zebora, David Christensen, Stu Edson (Select Board)
Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Will White & Martha Judy moved to approve minutes from the May 24th meeting. The minutes passed unanimously.
Stu Edson came to talk about current and potential cannabis regulations for Brookfield and how it applies to the current and future bylaws. Amy Ingressia and Jack Zebora had questions on a potential wholesale/retail operation.
David Christensen presented more information to the commission about his planned wind turbine installation on Old Post Rd. David Christensen will provide the Planning Commission with more information on his request for a preferred site designation at next meeting.
Commission then reviewed Development Districts and Current Use in town bylaws. Gwynn (Chair) will contact TRORC on campgrounds and retail definitions in surrounding towns
No other new/old business
Date of next meeting set for Tuesday Sept 13th, 2022
Chair Zakov adjourned the meeting at 8:33 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Keven Ring

Jul 092022

The Brookfield Library trustees will be meeting on Monday July 11th at 6:30 pm in the library. Members of the public are welcome to attend. On the agenda will be programming, and planning for an outdoor patio or reading space.

Jul 082022

Location: Virtual ZOOM Meeting and in-person at the Town Offices at 40 Ralph Road (link below)
MEETING: Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 TIME: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Public to be heard
Approve minutes of 5/24/2022 meeting
Meet with Stu Edson from the Selectboard to talk about current and potential cannabis regulations as they may apply to Brookfield bylaws.
Meet with David Christensen to discuss preferred siting designation for a potential wind turbine(s) on his Brookfield property.
If time permits begin review of Sections 2 in Brookfield bylaws.
Any other new/old business
Set date of next meeting – tentatively Tuesday September 13th, 2022

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Topic: Brookfield Planning Commission
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Jun 272022

Meeting Minutes of the Brookfield Conservation Commission         6-20-22
Present: Sue Shea, Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling   Absent: Starr Strong
Zoom meeting came to order at 7:09 PM

Review Agenda
Public Comment: There was no one from the public in attendance.
Approval of Minutes of the May 2022 meeting:  May minutes pending – to be reviewed at July meeting.
Membership:  Sue, Jon and Kathy contacted possible candidates who declined.  Holly Dustin, Beth Urie, and East Hill folks who went on hikes are other potential candidates. Jon B. will contact them. In July, we will decide whether to advertise on FPF.
Field Trips:  Proposed visit to Town Forest September 24 or 25 with County Forester AJ Follensbee to introduce forest managment plan and discuss other activities.

Hikes on Class 4 roads are other possible field trips. Potential locations are Cram Hill Road or Class 4 road between East St. and Rt. 65.

Presentation of Community Values Mapping:  Jens Hilke sent Jon B. a link to download all the data, a bit challenging technically.   Jon will ask Jens if he is willing to present the findings to the community.
Solar Preferred Site Discussion:  Should we develop criteria for preferred sites for solar projects? We should find out if the Planning Commission is working on this.  Jon B. will reach out to Gwynn Z.
Schoolyard Habitat: Jon B. sent an e-mail to Brookfield School principal regarding the new outdoor classroom and opportunities for restoration work.  There doesn’t seem to be much interest from them in  collaboration but if we can find a motivated teacher we may continue to pursue.
Town Forest Plan: Reviewed map and preliminary harvest schedule prepared by AJ Follensbee.  Discussed desire that AJ participate in next CC meeting in July to review full draft plan and to discuss possible September public hike in the Town Forest.
I-89 Underpass Wildlife Corridor Update: Jens Hilke was supposed to do a site inspection with VTRANS, no word yet whether it happened and result. Jens was interested that Williamstown had land adjacent to Brookfield which would improve wildlife corridor in northern part of town.
 Adjourn: Meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

Next meeting:  July 25, with focus to review Town Forest Plan with AJ Follensbee.
Respectfully submitted,
Jon Jickling

Jun 192022

WEDNESDAY JUNE 22, 2022 5:30 PM
5:30 PM: Call to Order:

Additions or deletions to the agenda
Review, revise or approve the May 11, 2022 meeting minutes.
Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public-
Hippo Park Needle Status: OCSD
Speed Cart and Patrol Deployments: OCSD & VSP
Review and Discussion of OCSD Activities including Patrol Hours, Reports and Bills-
VSP “Survivermont” Status
Upcoming Events Involving Brookfield:
Traffic Sign Deployment
Vehicle, Pedestrian, Horse and Bicycle Safety
Town Website Update
Traffic Ordinance Status-
Parking Issues in Brookfield-
June Public Safety Message-
Setting the Next Meeting-
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting-
Final Public Comment-
Entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Jun 182022

Present and Voting: Amy Borgman, Dan Childs, Emily Noyes, Starr Strong
Present and Not Voting: Laura Rochat, Librarian
-Minutes were accepted
-Treasurer’s Report: Dan and Emily reviewed the Financials in April, all are in order. We are up to date in Town reimbursements to the Library. Dan will be reimbursed $322.47 for payment to Baker and Taylor for books purchased by the Library.
-Librarian’s Report: Laura reports that the audio-book/E-Book platform offered by the State is transferring to a new platform as of May 25. This is trickier than it sounds and Laura will attempt to contact users of the current program to get them new Passwords to access LIBBY, the new program.
-Laura is partnering with the Brookfield Elementary School to introduce the annual Summer Reading Program to the students. She is continuing to update the Library collection.
-The remaining Library ARPA Funds will be used to purchase outdoor furniture for the use of Brookfieldians. Laura will research whether a local furniture builder or LL Bean will be the better option for this. Amy will attend a Select Board Meeting on May 9 to inform the Board and the Town Clerk of the plans for this.
-We will soon be notified by the RUHS on who the chosen recipient for the Library Scholarship will be. The School has requested that someone from the Library will be at the Award Ceremony to present this to the lucky recipient.
-The BFPL will be sponsoring 2 events. The first is a VINS program to be held at the Elementary School as a lead-in to this Summer’s Reading Program on June 16. The second is a return of the Petting Zoo that was a blockbuster success last year. This will be held at the OTH on June 19.
-The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held Tuesday July 5 @ 6:30 pm.

May 262022

The legal voters of the Town of Brookfield met for the annual Town Meeting behind the Brookfield Elementary School at 1725 Ridge Road, Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:
Call to Order at 10:05 a.m.
Moderator, Gregory Wight, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
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.
Lew Stowell, Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Chair, recognized the current members, Mike Stoddard, Dan Mason, Stuart Edson, and Mike Rutkovsky.  PSAC meets on issues concerning the Town and recommends to the Selectboard a course of action.  They invite guests i.e. Law Enforcement.  Recent issues included traffic through the Village, needles at Hippo Park, walking on roads.
Amy Borgman asked how concerning is the needle situation at Hippo Park.  L. Stowell stated they are not sure when the needles appeared, whether it was during the winter or recently.  Starr Strong attended the meeting as Health Officer and they are waiting to see if it continues.
John Benson, Selectboard Chair, spoke about having Town Meeting outside in May again.  It has been a challenging year with COVID and with the increase to a 5 member board they welcomed Kate Threlkeld and Brenda Flint last July.  With Brenda’s life taken too early, Betty Lord stepped in.  J. Benson recognized Kasey Peterson moving on and D. Vicki Blanchard stepping in.  David Flint moved on after being on the road crew for around 20 years.  The Selectboard hired a replacement for a short time but the road crew is back down to 2.  Rob Wheatley has pitched in to help.  They have advertised but there have been no responses but it is the same in surrounding Towns.  If anyone knows anyone that is interested, let us know.  Kate Threlkeld has decided not to run again and we are going to miss her.  Jeff Kimmel is also not running after 19+ years on the Board.   S. Strong, Green-Up Day Coordinator, wasn’t available to report so J. Benson reported that Green-Up Day was successful with 115 green-up bags turned in and 40 cars came through to deposit trash so there were about 100 people participating through-out the day.  There were 620 cans recycled for $31 that was contributed to the Conservation Commission.  There were only 13 tires picked up.
Charlie Keeler asked what the timeline is for reappraisal completion.
Phyllis Humez, Lister, stated the Lister’s have applied for a 60 day extension through the State because of everything like mud-season and COVID.  The notices should go out by July and we just went through office computer issues.
Dennis Boggs asked if we expected taxes to go down and if there was any concern with taxes and the million found from the audit.
No other reports were presented.
Representative P. Jay Hooper spoke about this being his 3rd term and being on the House Education Committee. Rep. Hooper spoke about the Clean Heat Standard not passing with a veto override but feels that they can make a cleaner & stronger bill for the next session.  The Education Committee had 3 strong victories with universal school meals for breakfast and lunch; there is a $100 million surplus and they are updating the per pupil spending and considering income based education funding.
Kathleen Newbrough asked if there are still incentives for buying “green” cars and is there a replenishment of the funds.  Rep. Hooper said yes.  There will be gathering at the Old Town Hall on June 16th at 7:00 p.m. for a Legislative update for those who would like to attend. Rep. Larry Satcowitz introduced himself.
Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
Motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by C. Keeler.
J. Benson stated that in the last 5-6 years we have not needed to borrow money since collecting taxes twice a year. This is put in as a precaution, in case it is needed.
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 Ted Elzey, seconded by L. Runnion.
No discussion.
Call to vote.  Motion carried.
On motion by Perry Kacik seconded by Kym Anderson, the Voters voted to have the first installment for 2022/2023 due Nov. 5, 2022 and second installment due May 6, 2023.  Motion carried.
Article 5:  To see if the Town will authorize the contribution of $100.00 to support the Child Advocacy Center for Orange County.
Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by Betsy Hale.
L. Runnion asked if there was anyone from Child Advocacy Center in the audience to speak about what they do.
K. Anderson said she isn’t from there but works with them and can comment. The Center works with and helps kids with issues such as trauma or abuse. There has been an escalation in the number of kids with trauma.  It is based in Tunbridge and covers all of Orange County and she hoped the voters would support it for such a small amount.
Call to vote.  Motion carried.
Article 6:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by L. Runnion, seconded by B. Hale.
Call for discussion and there was none.
Call to vote.  Motion carried.
Article 7:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 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 A. Borgman, seconded by Joy Kacik.
Susan Shea asked about the budget for bridges, located on page 21 of the Town Report, if there was a plan for ones to be replaced.
J. Benson stated there wasn’t a plan to replace bridges but inspections had been done by the State requested by Tim Higgins, Road Foreman. There are concerns with 4 smaller bridges; Parker Road, Lower Maloney, Witts Bridge, and Eagle Peak. S. Shea asked if West Brookfield residents could give input and be updated concerning the Eagle Peak Road Bridge. She would like to have it maintain the current character for the neighborhood.
Bonnie Fallon stated the road sign on Lamson Pond Road was stolen and needs to be replaced.
J. Benson replied that every year a number of signs are taken and the road crew has tried several different things to prevent this. PSAC did a complete inventory and listed missing yield, stop, and street signs. The State requirements include the size of the signs along with the sign post needs to break off if it is hit.
Beth Flint questioned why the increase in Highway wages went up only $3,000 last year but increased $25,000 this year.
J. Benson explained the wages are going up and several other Towns are also looking for road crews. We have to be competitive for hiring. The last 4 candidates they interviewed were asking for more than the current crew is making per hour.
After no more discussion, there was a call to vote.  Motion carried.
Article 8:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to expend excess revenues from the July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 financial year in the following manner:  Purchase and installation of radio repeaters for the Town Highway and Fire Department at the Brookfield Elementary School, approx. 10%; Fracking of the well at the Town Office and installation of a well at the Town Garage, approx. 16%; Brookfield’s portion of the upgrade to the Dispatch Center radio equipment, approx. 8%; cold Climate Heat Pump System for Town Office & Library, approx. 6%; Roadway improvements, approx. 20 %; First phase of Road Side Swale stabilization work as required under the State General Permit, approx. 20%; Reduction in revenues to be raised by taxes in 2022-2023 financial year, 20%; for a total of $250,000.
Motion by L. Runnion, seconded by Marylou Maeder.
J. Kacik asked for an explanation of each of the above recommendations.
J. Benson said that when they were getting the budget together in December, the Auditor said there was $250,000 unencumbered funds from the previous year. The Selectboard discussed how it would be best spent.

The radio repeaters help with truck to truck and fire truck to dispatch communications. Currently there are a number of dead spots and if the Town is plowing and a truck gets stuck, it might take a while to get help.  The system picks up from 1 truck to the repeater to the 2nd truck.  It magnifies the signal.
About 4-5 years ago the well at the office was not doing very well and because the office doesn’t get used as a normal household, it was able to recover between the dry spells. It was recommended that we have hydrofracking done to “open” the veins of water. The Town Garage water is not potable so they use bottled water.  We should have potable water at the garage.
The Dispatch Center radio equipment is jointly owned with Randolph. The equipment is getting old and has been repaired but replacement is needed.  1/4 of the cost would be covered by Brookfield.
The installation of a heat pump is due to the price of fuel going up and we want to do our part to reduce greenhouse gas. An option is heat pump split using oil during the middle of winter. We could also use AC if needed.
Additional money into highway improvements would be used on Eagle Peak for this year.
The State passed a law a number of years ago concerning run-off erosion on the side of roads. Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) identified roads needing swale and it will take a number of years to complete.
Put some towards the tax burden for this coming year.

The reason the numbers are in percent is because we couldn’t get a firm cost until we are ready to sign.
J. Kacik asked, with the issue with the radios, is there a system that would address the dead spots.
J. Benson said an analysis of radio coverage would most likely be more than needed. They would have to approach land owners and install a tower with a small building to house equipment. Currently they send someone from the site to where they have signal to pass information to dispatch and back.
Aaron Adler, in the case of the cold climate heat pump, asked if we were looking at “green star” heat pumps and if Efficiency VT or Green Mountain Power had incentives.
J. Benson said yes but we need approval first then we can have one installed. We would contact Efficiency VT to see if there was anything available.
Ginny Brees asked about the tax portion of the money being set aside.
Teresa Godfrey, Treasurer, answered that with the balance left from 2020-2021 was in excess of $378,000 and we credited $128,000 towards the 2021-2022 tax year but didn’t want to apply it all unless the voters wanted us to.  It affects escrow accounts.  The 20% was not part of the $128,000 already credited towards taxes.
D. Boggs asked if there was money set aside for working on the Town website.
J. Benson said the Board discussed at the last meeting to make it more user friendly and planned to talk to the provider so if anyone has input to let the Board know. They would like to have folders for different parts of Town committees.
D. Boggs questioned if it is part of this funding.
J. Benson said it would be out of the ARPA funds.
D. Boggs stated it really needs to be a tool to outbound information to let everyone know what is going on similarly to Front Porch Forum. We could use 1% of the $250,000.
A. Borgman agreed communication needs improvement and in using ARPA money.
Chris White suggested using “Mailchimp” and that it is free to create an account and everyone could sign up for it.
G. Wight said we can’t discuss more without an amendment.
L. Runnion called the question, 2nd by M. Maeder.
G. Wight re-read the article.
Call to vote.  Motion carried.
Article 9:  To transact any other proper business.
Dan Mason, State Environmental Officer, wanted to let the residents know that the State has ARPA money available for owner occupied homes that have a failed water/wastewater system.  It is based on different income brackets. Most of the money this year has been allocated though.  He gave his work email for anyone who might need assistance. Dan.mason@vermont.gov.
T. Elzey raised the concern that the “stump dump” is no longer available for residents to bring yard debris.
J. Benson said the road crew approached the Selectboard a while ago with concern of lack of space and recommended a gate be put up.
T. Elzey said the mowing at Hippo Park left tree brush that needs to be cleaned up and J. Benson said the Town will clean up that debris.
J. Benson discussed how ARPA funds are coming in and there were no rules on how to spend. The 1st allocation of $200,000 has come in but they haven’t been able to get on line to report how they intend to use it so they sent a letter to the Senators and Representatives that the portal will not accept their log-in.
The Selectboard has discussed how to use the money: updating the town website, storm water management, and shore up the shed at the town garage.  Until we can file the paperwork, we are stuck.
Jack Zebora asked about what happened to the plan that was discussed 2 years ago for presenting to the town options for a new garage.  Now we are spending for a new shed.  The road crew needs to put the grader in the garage to be able to start it in the winter. Where are we with the garage?
J. Benson said there was a committee set up and met on a regular basis and identified the needs. They went to work with options and had a meeting at the garage then COVID hit. When they met with the committee the price tag was over $1.2 million and that was a year and half ago.  Now it is over $1.5 million.  The Selectboard is trying to affect the immediate concerns with the shed.
J. Zebora asked if the Fire Department was part of the $1.2 million.
J. Benson said not part of it but asked what could be done. They are not pursuing a garage at this time due to cost.
Amy Ingrassia recommended they re-measure for the equipment to be worked on vs the vehicles.  The equipment is not going to fit in the shed.
Perry Kacik, Historical Society, wanted to recognize the contributions Bonnie Fallon has made to the Community.  She has relocation plans and will be moving.  He recognized her dedication to being a poll officer, working with the Historical Society, and Green-Up Day.  She is always cheerful and a welcoming smile.  She always has challenging questions. He wished her God-Speed with her next journey.
T. Godfrey announced that she and her husband will be moving after her terms are up next March 2023. S. Edson will be stepping down as a Lister when town-wide reappraisal is complete. So we would really like to get someone trained to take both Lister positions for an easier transition when we step down.  If anyone is interested in the position, please let us know.
Motion by M. Stoddard, seconded by L. Runnion, the meeting adjourned at 11:50 p.m.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

May 252022

Minutes DRAFT Brookfield Planning Commission
Date: May 24, 2022
Present: Gwynn Zakov, Chair, Martha Judy, Keven Ring, Christina Harlow, Will White, Tim Gershon
Public present: Michael Fiorillo Administrative Officer, David Christensen
Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.
Judy/Ring moved to approve minutes from the May 10th meeting. The minutes passed unanimously.
The commission met with Michael Fiorillo, Brookfield Zoning Administrative Officer, to discuss current development bylaws, suggestions for future development bylaw revisions, any current or pending applications or development review issues and any other topic related to the work of the Planning Commission and Zoning Administrative Officer.
David Christensen presented information to the commission about his planned wind turbine installation on Old Post Rd. The commission discussed the rules and regulations that apply to an installation of this type. David Christensen will submit a request for preferred site designation which will be discussed in the next warned commission meeting.
No other new/old business
Date of next meeting set for Tuesday July 12th, 2022
Chair Zakov adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Will White