Sep 242020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
28 September 2020 at 6:30 PM
AGENDA

A. Call To Order

B. Adjustments to Agenda

C. Public Comments

D. New Business
1. Richard Doolen – request to be Emergency Management Director
2. Life Insurance

E. Highway
1. TA – 66 and TA – 65 for the Ridge Road Grant – please sign
2. Tucker Bill
3. Time clock

F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy
2. Local Hazard Emergency Plan Grant – Contractor or volunteer

G. Approve Minutes from the 14 September 2020 Meeting

H. Payroll and AP Warrants

I. Other Proper Business

J. Adjournment

Sep 212020
 

Minutes of the
Meeting of
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
SELECTBOARD
Town Clerk’s Office
September 14, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Dennis LaRocque, Jeff Kimmel and Betty Lord, Secretary; Rob Wheatley, Jack Zebora, Julie Benedict, John Brock, Will White, Al Wilder, Jon Binhammer, and Tim Higgins
The meeting was called to order at 6:31 p.m. by the Chair, Mr. Benson.
The Board agreed to begin with Item C: Public Comments on the agenda.
Mr. Al Wilder requested that the street sign at the end of his driveway, which had been knocked down by the road crew, be reinstalled. Mr. Benson said it would be put on the Highway agenda.
ECFiber – Mr. Will White came to the Board to discuss the laying of a fiber line on Old Cross Road. Mr. Benson requested a sketch map of the whole project and that the original plan be updated if necessary. The question was asked who would own the line; the answer being ECFiber. Mr. Benson pointed out that an easement will need to be made for utilities in the public right-of-way. Mr. Dan Childs was asked to check to see if the work done on the hub on East Street was done with an easement or a license and if it was it done with an actual document in the land records. If there is a document, Mr. Childs will provide a copy to the Board. The Board approved the proposal, with the requirements that ECFiber report to the Board on the project’s progress and inform the Board of any revisions/adjustments to the proposal.
Mr. Scott Brock and Ms. Julie Benedict came to discuss the process for a variance. Mr. Kimmel will send them a copy of the Development By-Laws. They asked about the timing of the process and were told they would hear something in a minimum of 15 days from the date of filing. The application would go to Board of Adjustment for approval.
Mr. Benson welcomed Mr. Tim Higgins as the new Town Road Foreman and thanked him for accepting the position. Mr. Higgins will start around late October and one of his first duties, in addition to becoming familiar with the work of the road crew, will be to begin reviewing the FY 2020/2021 budget and starting planning for the FY 2021/2022 budget.
Highway and Storm Grant Program – The Town applied for and was awarded a grant to cover the costs of making an inventory the Town’s culverts. A motion was made by Mr. LaRocque to contract with Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to do the inventory. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
FICA Tax Deferral – After some discussion noting that the employees of the Town were working and receiving their full pay, Mr. Benson moved and Mr. Kimmel seconded a motion that the Town not make use of the FICA Tax deferral; the motion carried unanimously.
LHMP – Every three to five years the Town is required to update its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Town’s current plan will expire in April 2021. This topic was tabled until the Board receives copies of all the materials needed to start the project.
Personnel Policy – The Board agreed to meet Tuesday, September 22, to finalize the Policy.
Jon Binhammer requested that the two telephone poles down in front of the McCall’s house
on Route 65 be moved by the road crew to the “pull out” on Route 65 so they could be used
in the Sunset Brook Nature Area. He also requested use of the railings from the old Floating
Bridge which are now located on the property of the Town Garage. Mr. Binhammer said the
expenses incurred to-date in working on the marsh project amounted to approximately $100
which funds would come out of the Conservation budget. Hearing that the expenses had been
recommended by the Conservation Committee, the Board also gave its approval.
Highway and Roads – Mr. Rob Wheatley reported that work would be completed on the project
on East Hill within the next two weeks. Ms. Pat Mercier on Lavender Road wants to move her
driveway. Mr. Wheatley will meet with her. Ms. Mercier will need an access permit for
moving a driveway from one place to another.
Ms. Linda Mullenstein has asked if the Town Road Crew could make a new place to turn around at
the end of Woods Road on East Hill, rather than using her driveway. Someone from the Highway Department will look it over and see if it can done before the end of the season.
Mr. Wheatley said that work was done on a culvert on Twin Ponds Road. Water is now flowing
through the culvert but another piece of culvert is needed to complete the job. Mr. Wheatley reported that the Town name was being painted on the new loader and that new tires were being ordered for some of the Town vehicles. Mr. Wheatley was asked by the Board to proceed with buying a jackhammer.
Proposed Sprague Property Sand Pit – The District Coordinator from the Agency of Natural Resources has asked for a copy of the draft of the agreement between the Town and the Spragues. She asked if the Town would have control over the site for an extended period. The Town will ask for a period
of 20 to 25 years. Ms. Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, will be asked to give the Board a
summary of the cost of the project to-date.
Minutes of the Meeting of August 24, 2020 – Mr. Dennis LaRocque requested that his given
name be added to the section on Harmony Electric as there were two people named LaRocque
at the meeting. Under the Highway section, the name of the street where the washout
occurred was West Street, not Churchill Road. With these amendments, the minutes were
approved as read.
Payroll and Warrants—Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Accounts Payable Warrants
in the amount of $19,498.48 with the largest payment being to Stan Wheatley in the amount of
$8,562.60. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Kimmel made a motion for
adjournment. Mr. Benson seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Lord, Secretary

Sep 162020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
22 September 2020 at 6:30 PM
AGENDA
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. New Business
1. Life Insurance
2. Rate of pay for Recorder at meetings
3. Authorize Drug Test for New Hire
4. Personnel Policy
E. Other Proper Business
F. Adjournment

Sep 102020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
14 September 2020 at 6:30 PM
AGENDA
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. New Business
1. Scott Brock and Julie Benedict – variance process
2. Highway and Stormwater Grant Program
3. LHMP Grant Award
4. FICA Tax Deferral
E. Highway
1. Culvert Inventory Grant – please sign
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy
G. Approve Minutes from the 24 August 2020 Meeting
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
I. Other Proper Business
J. Adjournment

Aug 252020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
July 27, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, William White, Dan Mason (Town Constable), Rob Wheatley (Interim Road Crew Foreman), Charles and Theresa Taplin, Jeff Baker, Kevin LaRocque
A. Call to Order – 6:32 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: the Harmony Electric topic will be moved up in the agenda.
C. Public Comment:
Mr. White described his efforts to get internet access provided to his residence on Old Cross Road. He has discussed plans with ECFiber, and reported that they are reluctant to run poles and lines down the road. One other option would be to run the line under the road; running parallel to the road seems unacceptable. Mr. Benson suggested that one goal would be to have service that wouldn’t be susceptible to future problems. Mr. White will continue discussing plans with ECFiber and the Road Crew Foreman.
Mr. Mason reported that there had been a dog bite incident in Brookfield, and a formal complaint had been submitted. He reviewed the pertinent state statute and VLCT guidelines, which provide that the Selectboard has the authority to decide whether to hold a hearing on the matter and decide on appropriate follow-up measures. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. D. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to move forward with the hearing process.
Mr. Baker reported that he met with the current owner of a property he is planning to purchase on TH14. A State wetlands specialist also attended and performed a site review. There was an initial determination that portions of the road and adjacent ditch qualified as wetlands. At this point, Brookfield apparently has limited authority over the road. Mr. Benson suggested that Mr. Baker consider other options or a workaround for his proposed driveway.
F. Old Business – 1) Harmony Electric Bill: while conducting maintenance work on West Street on July 13, the Road Crew reported that an underground electrical line was damaged. Harmony Electric was called to conduct repair work. The work was done within the Town’s Right-of-Way; Harmony has submitted a bill for the work. Town records show that there was an easement document filed in 2019. Mr. Taplin indicated that he and CVPS had installed the original line in 1993. Mr. Benson expressed concern about whether the line was installed and marked properly. He also suggested that the Taplins and Mr. K. LaRocque post a sign to mark the line location, along with providing a sketch/map describing the location.
2) Personnel Policy – the Board continued discussion on timekeeping and potential salary options for the Road Crew.
D. Highway – Bear Hill Road Culvert: Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Wheatley, and Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson met with VT Agency of Transportation representatives to review the site. AoT will report back to the Town with suggested culvert replacement options. In the meantime, AoT asked the Town Road Crew to do test diggings to determine the depth of the bedrock in the area.
Mr. D. LaRocque commented that he has a beaver dam behind his property, along with a culvert that is in danger of failing. The Board and Mr. Wheatley briefly discussed the issue.
Mr. Wheatley provided a summary of Highway Department activities:
• Witts Bridge is beginning to rot, so the Road Crew will need to determine if there is enough material to re-plank the bridge. The Crew should also have protective netting installed while doing work on the bridge.
• For the sake of next year’s planning, the Town will probably need to install a new bridge as part of the proposed Sprague sand/gravel pit project.
• The crew is planning to repair a drainage issue below Farnsworth Lane on East Hill.
• On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to appoint Mr. Wheatley as Interim Tree Warden for Brookfield. The appointment will end once the Board hires a new Road Crew Foreman.
• Mr. Wheatley will be ordering new tires for the 6-wheeler, along with a pair of steel rims. He will also be checking prices for new chains for vehicles.
• The Road Crew will review requirements and compliance measures for the Dig Safe program.
• Mr. Wheatley will also follow up on a report of roadwork activity on TH14.
E. New Business: (none)
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of July 27, 2020; Mr. D. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. D. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $20,902.55 with large bills that include: Kirk Yard Services (Mowing): $2,000.00; R.E. Tucker (Gravel): $6,961.50; and Freightliner of NH (Equipment Repair): $1,797.10; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: Mr. Kimmel reported that a Brookfield resident was interested in preparing minutes of Selectboard meetings. He will follow up with the person.
J. Mr. D. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:45 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.

Aug 122020
 

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

Aug 062020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
10 August 2020 at 6:30 PM
AGENDA
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. Highway
1. Bear Hill Road Culvert
E. New Business
F. Old Business
1. Harmony Electric Bill
2. Personnel Policy
G. Approve Minutes from the 27 July 2020 Meeting
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
I. Other Proper Business
J. Adjournment

Jul 282020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
July 13, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Caleb Connor (Pike Industries)
A. Call to Order – 6:39 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: Mr. Connor called in to participate in the meeting. He will be included in Public Comment (below).
C. Public Comment:
Mr. Connor reported on Pike’s response to prior concerns raised by the Town of Brookfield and the VT Agency of Transportation regarding degrading pavement conditions on the Ridge Road. Mr. Peck had previously marked a series of problem areas on the road. Mr. Connor acknowledged there are issues with the work that was performed in Fall 2019, and wanted to work with the Town on a mutual resolution. By late Fall and early Winter, the weather conditions were poor for addressing the problem, and further delays occurred with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early Spring 2020.
Mr. Benson noted that the Town still owes money to Pike, and that the current discussion about potential repairs and follow-up by the Town and Pike would help with determining appropriate financial measures. The Board and Mr. Connor agreed that it would be best if Mr. Peck, Board members, and Pike representatives re-walked the affected Ridge Road portions and address each of the problem areas. The tentative dates for the review would be July 21 or July 22, weather permitting.
D. Highway:
1) Highway Report – Bear Hill Road Resurfacing: Mr. Peck said that the Town would need at least 2 more trucks to take on the resurfacing with gravel from the R.E. Tucker pit. Stan Wheatley had helped with trucking material in the past, but has recently retired.
2) Ridge Road: (see above)
3) Kibbee Road Power Line Relocation: Mr. Peck will work with Green Mountain Power on pole(s) location and potential issues within the Town’s right-of-way. Any plans and/or agreement on the line and pole locations should also include stipulations on GMP’s need to provide notice and get Town approval for ROW activities.
4) Vehicle Maintenance Report: the Board and Mr. Peck reviewed the report on costs associated with various repairs and maintenance activities with Town vehicles. The Board will consult with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson regarding questions and/or clarifications on the numbers.
5) Town Garage – Time Clock: Mr. Peck and Ms. Peterson had discussed use of a time clock to keep track of Road Crew employees’ hours and job times. Other aspects for consideration include how to account for employees’ check-in times and subsequent time for on-site arrival. Time accounting issues would also occur responding to heavy snow conditions during the middle of the night, or emergencies such as trees blocking road access. The Board and Crew would need to figure out a fair and equitable way to address these situations. Mr. Peck also suggested that he (and possibly other Crew members) could be paid a salary rather than hourly wages.
6) Other Highway Business:
• Bear Hill Culvert – Mr. Peck will confer with Chris Bump (AoT) on plans and funding for the proposed repair/replacement of the culvert.
• Sprague Sand Pit Proposal – Mr. Peck checked with the State River Management Office, which indicated that there was no issue or conflict with the initial pit proposal and a river nearby. Mr. Benson suggested that Mr. Peck follow up with the State and get written confirmation. Mr. Benson also submitted a draft agreement between the Town and DuBois & King for the company to prepare a Base Map of the site for a cost not to exceed $1,000. On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 2-0-1 to approve the proposal.
• Baker Access Permit: Jeff Baker submitted an application for an Access Permit to upgrade a 700 feet portion of TH14 (starting at the junction with Twin Pond Road) along with creating a driveway off of TH14 into a parcel that Mr. Baker intends to develop. The Board indicated that it would prepare a written agreement memorandum that would detail the specifications of the proposal along with Mr. Baker’s responsibilities and the Town’s conditions for the project. The proposed agreement was presented at this meeting: on motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board authorized Mr. Kimmel to sign the agreement on behalf of the Board (2-0-1). Mr. Kimmel will mail the proposal to Mr. Baker for his signature (and return of the document to the Town Clerk’s Office).
E. New Business – Budget FY2020
a. Audit: after some delay, the outside accounting firm is ready to begin the review process.
b. Garage Fund Question: Ms. Peterson inquired about where to post funding requests by the Town Garage Committee in the budget: the Board suggested that the Highway Building and Grounds account would be appropriate.
c. Lister Update on Reappraisal: deferred.
F. Old Business – Personnel Policy: Ms. Peterson will circulate an annotated recent version of the proposed policy for review and comment by Board members.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of June 22, 2020; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made motions to pay the FY2020 and FY2021 warrants totaling $40,356.39 with large bills that include: R.E Tucker (Gravel): $29,997.00; Simply Ford Auto & Tire (Vehicle Equipment): $2,711.80; and R.E. Tucker (Road Reconstruction): $2,320.50; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: none
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:26 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.

Jul 232020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
28 July 2020 at 6:30 PM
AGENDA
A. Call To Order
B. Adjustments to Agenda
C. Public Comments
D. Highway
1. Access Permits
a. Lund
b. Doda
c. Twombly/Benedict
2. Amendment to Grant BR0650 – East Hill Road Ditching
3. Harmony Electric Bill
4. Green Mountain Power – Kibbee Road Project
E. New Business
1. Haskell/McEwen Spring
2. Planning Commission – Zoom Account
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy
G. Approve Minutes from the 13 July 2020 Meeting
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
I. Other Proper Business
J. Adjournment