Jun 012021
 

The Board of Library Trustees will meet at the Brookfield Public Library on Thursday evening, June 3rd, 2021 at 6:30 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend.
LIBRARY AGENDA for Trustee Meeting, June 3, 2021
-Treasurer’s Report
-Librarian’s Report
-New Business
*Welcome Starr!
-Old Business
*Summer Programming
*Scholarship Fund
*other
-Anything else?

May 272021
 

Town of Brookfield 2021 Annual Meeting  (Approved as amended)
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 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:
Call to Order at 10:15 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.
John Benson, Selectboard Chair, spoke in remembrance of 2 Brookfield residents who passed in the last year and were a large part of the community.  Sam Dilcer was a Town Auditor for several years and worked diligently to have the Town Report completed for Town Meeting. Ray Peck, born and raised in Brookfield, was the Road Foreman for a number of years.
J. Benson welcomed the new Road Foreman, Tim Higgins. He thanked Rob Wheatley for stepping into the interim Road Foreman position until a new replacement was hired. He recognized Bonnie Fallon for her work as the “Green-Up Lady”, and acknowledged her stepping down.  The Conservation Commission has stepped up as the point of contact for Green-up Day.  Dan Childs and Stuart Edson were also thanked for their work in helping to get fast speed internet, ECFiber, into Brookfield.
J. Benson continued to thank all the Town Officials for keeping the Town running and Kasey Peterson, Administration Assistant, keeping people informed and setting up Zoom for Selectboard meetings during the pandemic. He acknowledged the great job the Road Crew is doing and that they completed major work on East Hill. The Town is having a town-wide reappraisal done. The Selectboard is working on setting the weight limits on the roads, and posting them.  The only agency who enforces the weight limits is the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Dennis LaRocque discussed the progress on the upgrading/rebuilding of the Town Garage.  The Committee was able to meet a few times to identify the garage concerns.  They found a 4 ½ bay would be the best fit. This would be 4 bays with ½ for an office and conference room.  If the Fire Department is included, it would be another 2 ½ bays.  They know the Town is not ready to move forward and is looking into more options.  He said if anyone is interested in joining the committee, to please contact the Selectboard.
Jeff Kimmel said the delay in the Town Reports were due to illness and the electronic version became available about a week before Town Meeting and the printed version became available Thursday.  He plans on sending the remaining copies by mail next week.  The Selectboard is looking at improving the process. The Town Report isn’t normally a Selectboard function, but a function of the town auditors.  Since S. Dilcer stepped down a few years ago, the Selectboard had to step up.  If there is anyone with publishing skills, they would like him/her to step forward to help. An option is to hire someone to create the Town Report.  One way to pay for it is to amend the line item in the Town Report adding money to the budget.
Lew Stowell discussed the current situation with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and said the Selectboard should appoint a committee to continue to monitor the EAB situation.  He recommended the Town Forester should be the ad hoc point of contact.  Kate Forrer, current Town Forester, stated Jon Jickling is on the ballot to replace her and wanted to confirm that everyone knew about EAB.  Currently there is no sign of them in Brookfield but they are showing up in 10 Vermont counties.  J. Jickling, a member of the Conservation Commission, stated they are spread by the transport of firewood.  They plan on having a monitoring system by setting up 16 traps strategically around town. It is a slow-moving infestation.  J. Benson said if you are interested in being a part of the ad hoc committee to contact J. Jickling.
Chris LaMonda, Barre Town EMS, stopped by to say hi and that is was nice to see everyone outside.  Some of the issues the EMS faced this year included the ambulance transporting service and the adjustment to income.  They have been helping with the Covid-19 testing and vaccines.  He stated that they are having a clinic today and Sunday for the vaccines.  They had 200 shots available each day.  He encouraged anyone with questions to stop by the Barre Town EMS office or call them.
Phyllis Humez, Lister, spoke about reappraisal and their progress.  She supports Sean Boyce, Vermont Appraisal Company, in scheduling site visits.  It is a 2-year process that started in October.  He has visited 350 properties and is focusing on structures.  He currently has a few left on the east side of town.  He should finish in that area by the end of summer.  She sends a letter out to property owners 2 weeks in advance.  Please contact her if you have a time restriction or any other concerns.
Tina O’Donnell requested the candidates on the ballot, who were present, be identified for voters’ purposes.
Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
Motion by Erik Nielsen, seconded by Ray Mayer.
J. Benson said this is a safe-guard that was needed before changing tax collection to twice yearly, and adjusting to a fiscal year date. This is kept as an article in case we have an emergency and it allows us to request money if 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 Mike Stoddard, seconded by Dave Sanville that the first payment of 2021/2022 property taxes be due November 6th, 2021; the second payment due May 7th, 2022.
Discussion included sending out a tax bill for each installment, 2 copies, and emailing copies. No decision was made to change the current method of mailing tax bills.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 5:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 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 Rachel Rose, seconded by M. Stoddard.
Aaron Adler questioned the several large balances in the budget.  J. Benson confirmed there was money from the State being used for the current town-wide reappraisal with no increase in taxes.  There was money received from a FEMA grant for a West Street road reconstruction that is set aside.  The Town covers the initial cost, and grants go back into the budget as revenue.  We started the equipment fund which we tapped into for the grader.
Teresa Godfrey, Treasurer, stated any balances left at the end of the fiscal year for the general and highway funds are credited towards taxes in the following year.  Last year the credit was $95,000.
Charlie Keeler made the motion to amend the budget by $2000 for the Town Report to be contracted out and D. Childs seconded.
Called to vote on amendment.  Motion carried.
After no more discussion, original article with amendment was voted on.  Motion carried.
Article 6:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new Town dump truck, the cost not to exceed $198,000, and to be financed over a three-year period of 2021-2024.
J. Benson said he needed to amend the amount needed by $2500 due to pricing increase from vendors since the quote in December. The Town owns 3 dump trucks and trades one every three years (so the truck is 9 years old at trade-in). This maintains the reliability of the fleet. The new amount needed would then become $200,500.
Motion by Holly Dustin, seconded by Linda Runnion, to amend the amount by $2500.
R. Rose asked if the equipment fund could be used but J. Benson said that fund is usually used when other issues come into play. They have 3 quotes and they vary slightly. The quote includes finance fees and all the truck needs to be ready to run, i.e., plow and salt spreader hook-ups and radio installation.
Motion by Kelly Smith, seconded by R. Rose to amend that $2500 be taken from the equipment fund.
Called the question.  Motion failed.
Called to vote as amended, adding $2500 to purchase price.  Motion carried.
When asked about a 10-wheeler, J. Benson said it is a straight dump truck, trading in the 6-wheeler, for $205,000. To delay a year would push the schedule out, causing a ripple effect.  The cost could increase in the year.
Called the question.  Motion carried.
Article 7:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 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 M.Stoddard, seconded by Marylou Maeder.
The cost of the new truck is already included in the budget. It is not an addition to the budget.
Jack Zebora asked about Eagle Peak Road needing to be wider and J. Benson explained the cost of rebuilding sections of road, Mother Nature, and planning which roads need most attention.  We have a three person road crew with one part-time person to fill in when there is illness or vacation time taken. Northfield paved all their roads, and maintaining them is more costly than dirt roads. The Road Crew tries to repair a couple of “mud bog” areas in the roads a year unless we are hit by a major storm.
Dennis Boggs asked if there is a 5 year plan identifying these spots.
J. Benson said the Road Crew knows which spots need more attention, and they let the Board know.
Called the question.  Motion carried.
Article 8 A:  To see if the Town of Brookfield will vote to have 5 members on the Selectboard by floor vote at Town Meeting on May 22, 2021 (17 V.S.A. 2650(b)(1)).
Patty Kennedy stated this question was proposed last year, and that more members could spread the workload.
A. Adler, retired lawyer, looked up the Statute and found a technical concern. The warning is supposed to state the term as one, or two years.
J. Benson said no one in the group supporting 5 members came and talked to them or the Admin. Asst. about what the Board objectives are. One statement in the flier states that two could work outside the Board, which is technically correct but Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) doesn’t feel that is good practice. It should be in an open forum. As far as the possibility of too many unanimous votes isn’t a bad tribute. The philosophy is that an item comes to the Board, they discuss it, and for the good of the Community show cohesiveness. They take a kitchen table approach.
Amy Ingrassia questioned their communication skills.  As a Representative for the White River Valley Ambulance (WRVA), she has asked the Board several times for the written agreement between the Board and WRVA but never received it.  There was an issue on Eagle Peak Road that took four years to fix it.
D. Boggs felt some ideas were often dismissed, and that there is a lack of openness. More members means more diversity and a wider group of people to pull from. The trend in Vermont is to go to 5-member boards. Brookfield and Tunbridge, in the local area, are 3-member, but Randolph, Chelsea, and Braintree all have 5 members.  A quorum is 2 with a 3 member Board and 3 with a 5 member Board. More minds solve more problems.
Call the vote.  Motion carried.
A request was made to “divide the house”.  The ayes stood; Perry Kacik and A. Ingrassia counted and compared the count.  68 ayes. The nays stood, were also counted, and the counts compared.  27 nays.
Motion carried.
     B:  If the above passed, per Brookfield Town Meeting standards, set the date of a Special Election by Australian ballot, not less than 60 days from this vote for adding 2 new Selectboard Members.  Anyone interested in being elected will need to submit a “Candidate Consent” form to the Town Clerk 30 days from the date of this vote (17 V.S.A. 2650(b)(2)(A)). Special Election date will be determined by the actual Town Meeting 2021 adjusted date.
Motion by Alishia Drury, seconded by Jon Binhammer.
It was stated that there needs to be clarification of 1 or 2-year terms.  The method of voting will be the same, as absentee or in person.
T. O’Donnell would like the results of this current election posted on Front Porch Forum and have those running for office put something on FPF so we know for whom we are voting.
Motion by D. Boggs, seconded by William White, to amend the motion to be for 2-year terms.
The stipulation is to be confirmed with the Secretary of State’s office and VLCT for the proper method of voting.
Motion carried.
Motion by K. Smith, seconded by A. Drury, to have the vote on Saturday, July 24th, with the Consent of Candidate forms due to the Town Clerk by June 21st.
Motion carried.
     C:   To see if the voters of Brookfield will increase the budget by $1,200 for the 2 additional Selectboard Member stipend, if section A of this article is approved.
Motion by Linda Garrett, seconded by R. Mayer.
With no discussion, motion carried.
Senator Mark McDonald stopped by to share in the gathering, and appreciated the fact that we were not all in Hollywood Squares TV screens.
Article 9:  To transact any other proper business.
S. Edson wanted to comment that as an elected official, a Lister, he has dealt with ire of unhappy citizens and he voted to go to 5 members, but wanted to give the Selectboard a thank you for all the work they do.
A. Drury said that while visiting the Floating Bridge, her family realized that the 5-sided bench in the park is in need of repairs. If someone would find the wood, they would be willing to do the repairs and paint. (Notation by recorder: Al Wilker, original builder of the bench, presented A. Drury with some money as a contribution to help purchase wood.)
Amy Borgman, Library Trustee with a lot of other wonderful members, wanted to let everyone know about the 2 little Libraries in Town.  One is across from the Old Town Hall and the other is in West Brookfield.
Starr Strong, a member of the Conservation Commission, said they have taken up B. Fallon’s position for Green-up Day, and hopes support and enthusiasm for Green-up Day will continue.  The members are planning on sorting returnable and recyclables differently in the future.
Tim Schroeder commented that the East Hill, Farnsworth Lane, and Woods Road signs are all missing.  By messing up the bolts, the culprits wrap a chain around the signs and pull the post out.  The Public Safety Advisory Committee did a complete inventory a few years ago, more signs have been ordered.
J. Benson thanked the school for the use of the tent.
Motion by R. Mayer, seconded by Vance Smith, the meeting adjourned at 12:49 p.m.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted:  Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk
 
 
 
 

May 172021
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting
May 17, 2021
7:00 pm

Via Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87015147740?pwd=NmRvaTVGTGFKdGJRdFlIVjJzdnpvZz09
Meeting Agenda
1. Review Agenda
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes of the April 16, 2021 meeting
4. Annual meeting – officers etc.
5. Green Up Day wrap-up, ideas for next year
6. Planning Commission, and zoning bylaw
7. Values mapping and strategic planning
8. Brookfield Elementary Schoolyard habitat project update
9. Other business
10. Adjourn

May 172021
 

NOTICE AND AGENDA FOR REMOTE MEETING
The Public Safety Advisory Committee for the Town of Brookfield, VT will meet remotely by electronic means on May 19, 2021 at 5:35 PM
Information on how to access the remote meeting:
By telephone: Dial [(701) 802-5217].
When prompted, enter the meeting Access Code]. 3053801
 
Please review our “Informational Handout for Remote Public Meetings” to understand how these electronic meetings will be managed. If you wish to make a public comment but do not have the ability to comment remotely during the meeting, please email your comment(s) to Brookfield Public Safety Advisory Committee at publicsafety@brookfieldvt.org
 
To ensure smooth access, we recommend that you test your remote meeting software in advance of the meeting. If you have difficultly accessing the meeting, please email publicsafety@brookfieldvt.org
 
BROOKFIELD PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY May 21, 2021, 5:35 PM
All times will depend upon the amount of public participation and committee discussion.
REMOTE MEETING AGENDA
By telephone: Dial [(1-701) 802-5217]. when prompted, enter the meeting Access Code]. 3053801
 

5:35 PM: Call to Order
5:36 PM: Additions or deletions to the agenda
Public comment
5:38 PM: Review and approve the April 21, 2021 meeting minutes
: Open public comment
5:42 PM: Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Update
Public comment
6:05 PM: Review and Discussion of OCSD Activities including Patrol Hours, Reports and Bills.
Public comment
6:10 PM: 2021 Speed Cart Deployments-
Public comment
6:15: Traffic and Weight Limit Sign Status
Public comment
6:20 PM: Traffic Ordinance Status
Public comment
6:25 PM Parking in Pond Village
Public comment
6:35 PM Stone Road Parking Issues
Public Comment
6:45 PM
Public Comment
7:00 PM: June Public Safety Message
Public comment
7:05 PM Setting the Next Meeting
7:10 PM Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting
Final Public Comment
7:15: PM Entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting.

INFORMATIONAL HANDOUT FOR REMOTE MEETINGS
Remote Public Meetings
All public body meetings for the [insert name of municipality] will be conducted remotely via electronic means for the duration of Governor Scott’s State of Emergency declaration. Whenever feasible, the public will also be able to access and participate in the remote meetings by dialing in through telephone.
Accessing a Meeting
Please refer to each public body’s notice and agenda for information on how to access a remote meeting. Please note that whether you join by telephone, computer, or device, you may be put on hold or in a waiting “room” until granted access to the meeting. You also may be muted or restricted from using any chat function until the public comment portion of the meeting.
Participation
All meetings will be conducted in accordance with the respective “Rules of Procedure” of each public body, to the extent practicable. The public body will follow its agenda and allow public attendees to participate through voice (audio) means where feasible or alternatively using any chat function during the designated public comment periods on the agenda and at other applicable times as needed.
Initially, the meeting’s host/organizer will mute all participants that are not members of the public body. This is necessary to control background noise. The host/organizer will then unmute participants or allow participants to unmute themselves when invited to speak by the Chair of the public body.
Please review the following guidelines:

The Chair will invite comment:

during the time designated on the agenda for public comment;
after the public body discusses each agenda item;
before the public body takes action;
during any open public comment period, if applicable; and
other times as determined by the public body.

When a participant/attendee is unmuted, they must state their name before commenting.

If the public body successfully moves to enter an executive session, the meeting’s host/organizer will then place everyone that is not part of the executive session on hold or a virtual waiting “room.” This will prevent attendees from hearing or participating in the meeting during the duration of the executive session. When the public body exits executive session, the host/organizer will then grant access back to the remote meeting.
When the public body adjourns the meeting, the host/organizer will end the electronic meeting by turning off/closing the remote meeting software. Attendees will be automatically disconnected.
Minutes and other public records that were part of the meeting will be made available in accordance with VT’s Open Meeting and Public Records Laws.
 
To learn more about Remote Public Meetings and the Open Meeting Law, please visit the Secretary of State’s Municipal Assistance webpage at https://sos.vermont.gov/municipal-division/laws-resources/covid-19-response/.

May 122021
 

Minutes DRAFT
Brookfield Planning Commission
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Present:
Gwynn Zakov, Chair, Tim Gershon, Christina Harlow, Jon Jickling, Will White
Absent:
Nancy Jacques, Martha Judy
Public Present:  None
Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.
White/Jickling moved to approve minutes from the 4/13/21 meeting as submitted by Martha Judy.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
The planning commission discussed short-term camping (“Hipcamps”), gun ranges, and considered updates to the Development Bylaws section 4.15.
Any other new/old business; discussed obtaining feedback on bylaw update from conservation commission and/or TRORC.
For the next meeting the commission will review Section 4.17, 4.18, and start on the definition section. Commissioners will find definition examples from two other towns for reference during the definition discussion. As before members will review these sections before the next meeting.
Next meeting will be June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Chair Zakov adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Will White

May 062021
 

 
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD ANNUAL MEETING WARNING
The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned to meet for the annual Town Meeting at the Brookfield Elementary School (1725 Ridge Road), on May 22, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. to transact the following business:
Article:

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.
To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.
To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
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.
To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 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.
To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new Town Dump Truck. The cost not to exceed $198,000 and to be financed over a three-year period of 2021 to 2023.
To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 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.
A. To see if the Town of Brookfield will vote to have 5 members on the Selectboard by floor vote at Town Meeting on May 22, 2021 (17 V.S.A. 2650(b)(1)).

B. If the above is passed, per Brookfield Town Meeting standards, set the date of a Special Election by Australian Ballot, not less than 60 days from this vote for adding 2 new Selectboard Members. Anyone interested in being elected will need to submit a “Candidate Consent” form to the Town Clerk 30 days from the date of this vote (17 V.S.A. 2650(b)(2)(A)). Special Election date will be determined by the actual Town Meeting 2021 adjusted date.
C. To see if the voters of Brookfield will increase the budget by $1,200 for the 2 additional Selectboard Member stipend, if section A of this article is approved.
     9.  To transact any other proper business.
Dated at Brookfield, Vermont, this 12th day of April 2021.
Attest: Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk
Note: the Brookfield Selectboard respectfully requests that Town Meeting attendees please bring their own chairs and wear COVID protection (masks).
There will be an informational meeting about the Town Budget at the regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting (May 10, 2021, 6:30 p.m., Brookfield Town Office) preceding the Town Meeting.

May 062021
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA
Location: Virtual ZOOM Meeting (see below)
MEETING: Tuesday, May 11th 2021 TIME: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
TOPICS:

Public to be heard
Approve minutes of 4/13/2020 meeting
Review progress on zoning bylaw update and continue review of bylaws of sections 4.15, potential regulation of guns ranges and “Hipcamps” and short-term camping arrangements. Will go as far as time permits.
Any other new/old business
Set date of next meeting

Town of Brookfield is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Brookfield Planning Commission
Time: May 11, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82452472465
Meeting ID: 824 5247 2465
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May 052021
 

SPECIAL MEETING of Brookfield Conservation Commission
Draft Minutes
April 27, 2021
 
Zoom meeting to order: 7:05 PM

Present: Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea and Starr Strong
Public Comment – Jon Jickling said there has been a flurry of activity regarding Emerald Ash Borer in town. He and Town Forester Kate Forrer are planning to put up 16 traps in several locations in town to monitor presence of the borer.  The town plans to create an ad hoc committee for EAB in town, because the Public Safety Committee is no longer interested in being involved.
Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2021 meeting – moved by Kathy Kinter, seconded by Jon Jickling.  All voted in favor.
Green Up Day preparations – Starr reported that Green Up is from 9 – 4, and that there will be a dumpster set up for trash and an area for metal and tires. She has put a sign up by the Church in Pond Village.  Jon B. has informed the teachers and encouraged them to have the students take bags, put up signs around Pond Village, and put out an announcement on Front Porch Forum.  Sue reported that West Brookfield cleanup is organized by the West Brookfield meeting house group – they will collect trash bags in a trailer in West Brookfield village and then truck them over to the town garage.  Starr will person the garage from 9 to noon, Jon J. from noon to 2, and Jon B. from 2 to 4.
Values mapping – Kathy said this is an effort promoted by Jens Hilke of VT Fish and Wildlife Dept., in order to engage community members in envisioning what they would like to see in the future for the town, esp. regarding conservation. Commission members discussed the goals and objectives of this proposal, and how to sequence it with ongoing projects, such as the Town Plan rewrite by 2024.  Kathy will speak with Jens to discuss timing.  No action was taken.
Natural Resources Inventory – Sue reported on the webinar she and Kathy attended.  Should we want to do an inventory of natural resources in town, it would entail hiring a consultant to do the work. The expense could be around $20,000, so Sue spoke about possible fundraising options.  The inventory, which would entail natural resources at three scales (landscape, natural community, and species) could be used to help with town planning and zoning as well as targeting conservation projects in those areas that have greater biodiversity.  She suggested creating a Steering Committee so that there is buy-in in the community. No action was taken
How to engage with the Planning Commission – Commissioners discussed how to engage with the Planning Commission on wildlife issues and Act 171 requirements for planning of forest blocks.  All agreed that the PC is working on a rewrite of the zoning bylaw and they don’t have the time to deal with these issues until the town plan rewrite is imminent.
I-89 Wildlife Crossing- debrief from Jens Hilke field visit – Commissioners met with Jens Hilke of VTF&W on April 14 at the three crossings of I-89 to evaluate how well they would serve as corridors for wildlife going east to west or vice-versa without crossing the traveled way.  Jens suggested that the best opportunity was where the Northfield Road underpass is.  Some minor modifications could be made to allow for more area for wildlife to cross under the highway, including taking out the chain link fence that is no longer needed and creating a smooth shelf at the base of the rip-rap under the bridge so that hooved animals can cross more easily.  The other two sites – Rte. 65 overpass and Crossover Road over and underpass were too open, noisy, and dangerous for wildlife to use, although there could be some use in the middle of the night, esp. Rt. 65, which is closed in the winter due to the Floating Bridge, so there is little traffic.  The next step would be to look into game cameras for pre and post monitoring – Jens can lend us some, but we would need to hire a consultant to install.  And then to call the VTRANS District Administrator to see if the improvements outlined above could be scheduled at some point when they are doing work around the bridges.  Sue will contact the VTRANS biologist, and then the District Administrator.  Further discussion at a future meeting.
Other business – none

Next meeting is May 17
Adjourned meeting at 8:51 PM.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
Jon Binhammer
Draft Minutes
April 27, 2021 7:00 pm
Zoom meeting to order: 7:05 PM

Present: Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea and Starr Strong
Public Comment – Jon Jickling said there has been a flurry of activity regarding Emerald Ash Borer in town. He and Town Forester Kate Forrer are planning to put up 16 traps in several locations in town to monitor presence of the borer.  The town plans to create an ad hoc committee for EAB in town, because the Public Safety Committee is no longer interested in being involved.
Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2021 meeting – moved by Kathy Kinter, seconded by Jon Jickling.  All voted in favor.
Green Up Day preparations – Starr reported that Green Up is from 9 – 4, and that there will be a dumpster set up for trash and an area for metal and tires. She has put a sign up by the Church in Pond Village.  Jon B. has informed the teachers and encouraged them to have the students take bags, put up signs around Pond Village, and put out an announcement on Front Porch Forum.  Sue reported that West Brookfield cleanup is organized by the West Brookfield meeting house group – they will collect trash bags in a trailer in West Brookfield village and then truck them over to the town garage.  Starr will person the garage from 9 to noon, Jon J. from noon to 2, and Jon B. from 2 to 4.
Values mapping – Kathy said this is an effort promoted by Jens Hilke of VT Fish and Wildlife Dept., in order to engage community members in envisioning what they would like to see in the future for the town, esp. regarding conservation. Commission members discussed the goals and objectives of this proposal, and how to sequence it with ongoing projects, such as the Town Plan rewrite by 2024.  Kathy will speak with Jens to discuss timing.  No action was taken.
Natural Resources Inventory – Sue suggested that we consider conducting an inventory of natural resources in town, which would entail hiring a consultant to do the work. The expense could be around $20,000, so Sue spoke about possible fundraising options.  The inventory, which would entail natural resources at three scales (landscape, natural community, and species) could be used to help with town planning and zoning as well as targeting conservation projects in those areas that have greater biodiversity.  She suggested creating a Steering Committee so that there is buy-in in the community. No action was taken
How to engage with the Planning Commission – Commissioners discussed how to engage with the Planning Commission on wildlife issues and Act 171 requirements for planning of forest blocks.  All agreed that the PC is working on a rewrite of the zoning bylaw and they don’t have the time to deal with these issues until the town plan rewrite is imminent.
I-89 Wildlife Crossing- debrief from Jens Hilke field visit – Commissioners met with Jens Hilke of VTF&W on April 14 at the three crossings of I-89 to evaluate how well they would serve as corridors for wildlife going east to west or vice-versa without crossing the traveled way.  Jens suggested that the best opportunity was where the Northfield Road underpass is.  Some minor modifications could be made to allow for more area for wildlife to cross under the highway, including taking out the chain link fence that is no longer needed and creating a smooth shelf at the base of the rip-rap under the bridge so that hooved animals can cross more easily.  The other two sites – Rte. 65 overpass and Crossover Road over and underpass were too open, noisy, and dangerous for wildlife to use, although there could be some use in the middle of the night, esp. Rt. 65, which is closed in the winter due to the Floating Bridge, so there is little traffic.  The next step would be to look into game cameras for pre and post monitoring – Jens can lend us some, but we would need to hire a consultant to install.  And then to call the VTRANS District Administrator to see if the improvements outlined above could be scheduled at some point when they are doing work around the bridges.  Sue will contact the VTRANS biologist, and then the District Administrator.  Further discussion at a future meeting.
Other business – none

Next meeting is May 17
Adjourned meeting at 8:51 PM.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
Jon Binhammer

Apr 152021
 

Present and Voting: Kym Anderson, Amy Borgman, Dan Childs, Emily Noyes
Present and Not Voting: Laura Rochat, librarian
-Minutes were accepted
-Treasurer’s Report: Financials are good, no news to report.
-Librarian’s Report: Library patronage has been good as new families have moved into Brookfield and are discovering the Library. Lots of Inter-library loans are requested so despite decreased hours our Library is busy. No current plans to open more hours at this time.
-New Business: The Board has agreed to move forward with summer programming by contacting both the Southern Vermont Museum of Natural History and a more local person to set up 2 separate live animal presentations this summer for our Brookfield population, time and place to be decided. Other programming sponsored by the Library may be possible as well, to be decided at a future date as life under the Covid pandemic continues to adapt. 2 boxes of books discarded by our Library for children and teens have been delivered to a grateful Department of Children and Families in Barre. These will be distributed to Foster Families.
-Old Business: Dan has installed a new OOMA phone system to replace the more expensive ECFiber line. This seems to be working well. The West Brookfield Library Book Shuttle is running on schedule. Amy will contact Tina to ask her to remind W Brookfield residents of our time frame for pick up of books on the first and third Saturday of the month. The Brookfield Scholarship fund is designated for Brookfield HS Grads heading off as first generation College attendees. Kym Anderson, in her swan song for the Library, has agreed to contact the person who is responsible for coordinating Scholarships offered through RUHS, about this new opportunity.
-Anything Else?
THANK YOU KYM ANDERSON FOR YOUR TIME, ENERGY, WISDOM AND AMAZING HAIR in your years of service to our community. You will be missed. Now go read a book.
Next Meeting is scheduled for June 2, 2021 @ 6:30pm. Stay well.