Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of February 24, 2020
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.
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.
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder.