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.

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 142020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
June 22, 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), Jeff Baker, Keith LaCroix, Jon Binhammer, Will White
A. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: none
C. Public Comment:
Mr. Binhammer asked the Selectboard to authorize reappointment of members to the Brookfield Conservation Commission. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to reappoint Starr Strong and Kathy Kinter to 4 year terms to the Commission.
Mr. Binhammer reported that the bridge and boardwalk at the nature trail on Route 65 are deteriorating and in dire need of repair. Mr. Binhammer noted that the biggest issue will probably be figuring out how to reset the bridge. One option is to ask the local Boy Scouts troop to help with the work, as they had in the past. Also, there’s been an offer of donated spare telephone poles for the project. It would be helpful if the Road Crew could help move the poles.
D. Highway Report:
1) Gravel/Sand Pit: Mr. Peck has been discussing a proposed plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand for the Town; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand and/or gravel pit. Mr. Peck will be reviewing the site on June 23. Mr. Benson suggested that he also contact the Vermont River Management Section to confirm conditions and potential restrictions. Mr. Peck said that a bridge to the south of the site will likely need work.
2) Ridge Road: the Town received a report from Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) and other AoT personnel regarding degrading conditions on the road. Mr. Kimmel will forward a copy of the report to the Town Attorney, asking for his recommendations.
AoT addressed 3 sections of the road, the conditions they observed, and potential responses to the problems. Mr. Peck will re-mark the problematic sections for ease of identification.
3) Baker Access Permit: 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.
A neighboring property owner (Les Haskell) had expressed concerns about the proposed road work, including appropriate drainage and culvert construction, impact on local water resources, proper continuing maintenance on the improved portion, and the potential for increased traffic on TH14.
Mr. Baker reported to the Board about how he intended to proceed with the TH14 repairs and then access to the property. Mr. LaCroix and his wife currently own the subject parcel; he also offered a brief description of the site and their history with it. Mr. Peck noted that TH14 is a public right-of-way, and the Town remains concerned about drainage and water flow issues. Mr. Benson indicated that the Town will not plow the road, and that maintenance would occur every couple of years. Mr. Baker said that he has considerable construction experience, and would work with the Town on project configuration.
Mr. Benson said that the Town appreciated Mr. Baker’s coordination with the Road Crew and Board. He added that he believes the best approach is that the Town and Mr. Baker work towards a written agreement that would detail the specifications of the proposal along with Mr. Baker’s responsibilities and the Town’s conditions for the project. Mr. Peck will also participate in review of the proposal and conditions.
4) Other Highway Business: Mr. Peck reported that ECFiber seeks to install an 893 ft. cable along Old Cross Road. He reviewed the proposal, and has concerns that the cable placement may pose potential problems with Town highway maintenance work. Mr. Peck noted that there is also a lot of ledge in the area. ECFiber would need to provide proof of insurance and plans for appropriate safety measures. Mr. Benson suggested that ECFiber should pursue easement agreements with affected landowners; Mr. White indicated he and one other affected landowner had already reached such agreements. Mr. Peck will follow up with ECFiber about plans and precautions.
4) Personnel: On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 7:28 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 7:56 p.m.
E. New Business – Budget: the Board reviewed the budget summary and discussed remaining balances and expenditures for FY 2019-2020, along with planning for costs associated with developing proposals for the Town Garage.
F. Old Business – Personnel Policy: deferred.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of June 8, 2020; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $29,843.33 with large bills that include: Municipal Emergency Services (Fire Department): $15,024.00; Gorman Group LLC (Chloride): $4,173.12; and WRVA (Ambulance Service): $3,425.00; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: none
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:43 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.

Jun 232020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
June 8, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant)
A. Call to Order – 6:36 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: A personnel issue recently arose; on motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 6:37 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 7:05 p.m.
C. Public Comment: (none)
D. Highway Report:
1) Ridge Road: the Town received a report from Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) and other AoT personnel regarding degrading conditions on the road. Mr. Bump had visited Brookfield on May 14 to review the situation. At that meeting, Road Crew Foreman Ray Peck had identified several issues with the paving work performed by Pike Industries in Fall 2019.
AoT addressed 3 sections of the road, the conditions they observed, and potential responses to the problems. The Board will forward a copy of the report to the Town Attorney, asking for his recommendations on how to proceed.
2) Baker Access Permit: 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.
A neighboring property owner (Les Haskell) had expressed concerns about the proposed road work, including appropriate drainage and culvert construction, impact on local water resources, proper continuing maintenance on the improved portion, and the potential for increased traffic on TH14.
The Board would like to have Mr. Baker provide additional information and documents, including Subdivision and Development Permit applications that would help describe plans for the site. Town Administrative Officer (Zoning) Mike Fiorillo is aware of the proposal development, and will also need additional information regarding the zoning permits. Mr. Fiorillo has indicated he believes Mr. Baker wants to complete the Access Permit process before proceeding to the zoning items.
3) Gravel/Sand Pit: Road Crew Foreman Ray Peck has been discussing a proposed plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand for the Town; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand and/or gravel pit.
Mr. Benson said he will contact Mr. Sprague and follow up regarding potential test pit borings to begin to assess the quality of the material and potential area it covers.
4) Hay Bale Shredder – Grant Paperwork: Ms. Peterson asked that the Road Crew provide photos and additional shredder usage information in support of the grant.
5) Road-side Mowing Contract: On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the Contract for Services with Brandon Stevens Mowing LLC for the annual Town mowing work.
E. New Business
1. Vermont Local Government Resolution: no action.
2. Contract for Stan Wheatley: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the contract for services with Stan Wheatley; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0. Mr. Wheatley has provided contractor work and equipment for various Brookfield Highway Department projects for many years.
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy – deferred.
G. Approve Selecboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of May 26, 2020; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $79,787.93 with large bills that include: Hebert Excavation (Sand): $60,045.00; Everett J. Prescott (Culverts): $7,320.00; and BCBS VT (Health Insurance): $4,500.65; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business:
An item was addressed in Road-side Mowing above.
The Board proposed an initial meeting of the Town Garage Committee to be held June 16 at the Town Clerk’s Office, at 6:30 p.m. Board members will notify people who have expressed an interest in participating in the committee.
The Board is looking for a person to help prepare minutes for Selectboard meetings. The position will be paid, and involve approximately 2 hours to take notes at each meeting and approximately 3 hours to draft the minutes.
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:33 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.

May 212020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
May 11, 2020 at 6:20 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office & Remote Locations
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman); Lew Stowell and Michael Rutkovsky (Public Safety Advisory Committee)
A. Call to Order – 6:22 p.m.: Mr. Benson offered initial comments about the change in Board meeting format, based on introduction of teleconferencing technology.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – Personnel review is moved to the end of the meeting.
C. Public Comment: Mr. Stowell offered several reports produced by the PSAC addressing on-going review of potential standards for Town road and bridge weight limits, highway speed limits, highway sign updating and costs, and emerald ash borer impacts and response.
In a follow-up to the April 27 Board discussion of activities at the Floating Bridge, Ms. Peterson reported that the portable toilet had been ordered and set up on the West side of the bridge. Mr. Benson reported that he had contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and they had increased patrols at the bridge and park area. Mr. Stowell suggested that the Board should inquire with the VT State Police about monitoring activities. Concerns were also raised about increased traffic as Summer activities escalate. One perennial issue is that, technically, diving/jumping off the bridge violates State restrictions: this is commonly ignored. Mr. Rutkovsky noted that the Town has been through this discussion before, such as when the new bridge opened in May 2015.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for May 25, which is Memorial Day. After a verbal poll, the Board agreed to move the meeting date to Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. Depending on State guidance, the meeting will hopefully be held at the Town Clerk’s Office.
D. Highway Report:
1) Loader: Mr. Peck reported that Milton Cat submitted a revised price for a new loader, which was $15,000 lower than the prior quote. Ms. Peterson noted that property tax receipts seemed to be in good shape; Town Treasurer Teresa Godfrey submitted budget status reports indicating that Town finances are doing well.
On motion of Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the lease/purchase of a Caterpillar Model 930M Loader, payable over a 7-year period with annual payments of $19,953. Mr. Benson will sign the agreement on behalf of the Town, and Mr. Peck will deliver the signed contract to Milton Cat.
2) Grading: Mr. Peck reported that the Road Crew is trying to catch up with grading Town-wide, particularly after the previous week of rain and snow conditions. The Crew proceeded from West Brookfield eastward, and is planning to be on East Hill later this week.
3) Other Highway Business: Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) is planning a site visit this week to review conditions on the Ridge Road; he expects additional AoT personnel will also attend. Mr. Peck indicated that there were several problems with the paving work performed by Pike Industries last Fall, so the Town will need help assessing what remedies are available and associated costs. Mr. Kimmel will contact the Town Attorney about the situation.
Mr. Peck also reported the following activities:
Bear Hill Road needs more surfacing material, and there is a culvert on Cemetery Street that is undermined and needs to be repaired. Mr. LaRocque inquired about gravel and sand supplies, along with budget status. Current amounts are: Gravel – $3,340.62; Sand – $60,000.00; Road Reconstruction – $34,880.31. The Crew is currently hauling sand from a local supplier. Ms. Peterson noted that the Town will be eligible for further grant reimbursements in the next fiscal year.
There is also a long-term issue with a degrading culvert on Bear Hill Road; when Mr. Bump is visiting, he will review the culvert and offer suggestions for replacement. That issue is part of a State grant, as is reconstruction work along Taylor Hill Road. Ms. Peterson would like to get confirmation on plans for the projects from AoT.
Mr. Peck has been discussing a potential plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand pit. That would be subject to cost analysis for opening and operating the site. Mr. Benson said that the site would be subject to VT Agency of Natural Resources regulation, and that Mr. Sprague (and possibly the Town) would have to develop site plans and project descriptions. Ms. Peterson suggested that Mr. Peck and Mr. Sprague consult with the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission about the proposal. The location would be near the second branch of the White River in the East Brookfield valley. Mr. LaRocque noted that the site could offer relatively easy materials transport.
All Road Crew members have completed State-mandated COVID-19 training. Due to high demand, Mr. Peck is having some problems getting cleaning supplies. He will continue checking local sources. In the meantime: he has some masks, and the Crew is practicing social distancing.
E. New Business
1. Gillespie Fuels Contract: Gillespie submitted 3 sets of proposed agreements for providing propane and heating fuel for Brookfield Town buildings. After review and discussion, the consensus was that the Fixed Plan (Option 2) offered in each contract appeared to be the best deal for the Town’s purposes. On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approved signing the contracts, using Option 2. Ms. Peterson observed that fuel usage at the Town Offices seemed to be high; the main culprit appears to be the dated insulation used in the aging building.
2. Town Garage Committee: the Board discussed potential candidates for the committee. Several people have expressed interest, and Board members will follow up. In addition, it would probably be wise to include a member from the Road Crew and one of the Town’s financial personnel.
Mr. Benson said that he had contacted several banks about potential financing scenarios. As an example, he requested rates on approximate financing of $1 million over a 30 year period. The Town would need to consider several factors including initial costs, subsequent fees, and interest rates (including adjustable rates). This information will also be essential for the committee’s review.
Mr. Benson mentioned that he had contacted Connor Construction, which had prepared several versions of plans for the garage project. Connor has not requested payment for the work they’ve already done; Mr. Benson indicated that they are interested in the construction phase of the project, which would be paid.
F. Old Business
1. Cemetery Mowing: On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the hiring of Joseph Magnan (Kirkyard Service) for the annual contract for mowing at the Town Cemeteries.
2. Cemetery Sexton: On motion of Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the hiring of Joseph Magnan (Kirkyard Service) for the annual contract for Town Cemeteries Sexton services.
G. Approve Selecboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of April 27, 2020; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $12,759.36 with large bills that include: BCBS VT (Health Insurance): $4,500.65; White River Valley Ambulance (May Ambulance): $3,425.00; Orange County Sheriff Department (Sheriff): $1,551.00. Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: Employee Performance Review. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 7:43 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 8:25 p.m.
J. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:28 p.m., Mr. LaRocque second: 3-0-0.

May 112020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
April 27, 2020 at 6:20 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office & Remote Locations
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Jeff Marshall, Nina Gaby, Jeff Doerfer
A. Call to Order – 6:21 p.m.: Mr. Benson offered initial comments about the change in Board meeting format, based on introduction of teleconferencing technology.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – if Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman) is able to join the teleconference, the agenda may be adjusted to fit him in.
C. Public Comment: Mr. Marshall reported that the State recently reopened the Floating Bridge, and Sunset Pond was restocked just prior to that. As a result, there are a lot of vehicles and people in the bridge area. However, the crowds are causing concerns about traffic, parking, and the emerging issue of compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures (such as social distancing and face masks). Mr. Marshall noted that he already has had to put up a sawhorse and “No Parking” signs along the front of his property, which borders the pond. He also observed people wandering and “relieving themselves” around the parking area on the West side of the bridge. Mr. Marshall contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and VT State Police, asking them to help monitor activities at the bridge. Mr. Benson said that he will also follow up with OCSD and State Police.
Ms. Peterson will contact the company that provides the portable toilet on the West side of the bridge.
Ms. Gaby confirmed that she had seen the same problematic activities around the bridge, adding that sometimes people start arriving around 5:00 a.m. She also wondered whether economic circumstances were spurring the increased fishing.
Mr. Benson noted that the Town’s right-of-way is 3 rods (49.5 feet), which includes the travel-way for vehicles. He added that vehicles should be parked with all wheels outside of the travel-way. The State would be involved with determining compliance within the VT Route 65 sector, which includes the Floating Bridge itself. The Town does maintenance along VT 65, under a contract with the State.
D. Highway Report:
Mr. Kimmel reported that Road Crew will be undergoing COVID-19 training, in compliance with current VT emergency guidelines.
Mr. Benson commented that the Board needs to confirm the status of Vermont Agency of Transportation and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission grants: Ms. Peterson said that she would follow up, noting that projects on the Ridge Road and Bear Hill are dragging on. Mr. Benson observed that project delays would also affect the Crew’s upcoming schedule. Mr. LaRocque also mentioned there are grant-related projects ongoing on East Hill and Taylor Hill Road, which are supposed to be completed by June 30, 2020.
E. New Business
1. TRORC Transportation Advisory Committee Representative(s): On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the appointment of Jon Binhammer as Brookfield’s representative to the Committee, with Gwynn Zakov as alternate.
2. Cemetery Maintenance Bids – Mowing and Sexton Services: Ms. Peterson reported that the mowing contract has already expired, and that the Sexton contract ends on June 30. Two sets of bids were submitted for the next round of contracts. Ms. Peterson will follow up with the bidders to request references.
3. Extension for Submission of Grand List: the VT Department of Taxes sent a notice providing that:
Due to the COVID-19 impacts on operations, an extension of all towns to August 15, 2020, is hereby granted and applies to all acts mentioned in 12 V.S.A. §4341. The requirements of 32 V.S.A. §5404(b) for transmission to the Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review (PVR) are also extended to September 15, 2020. The electronic grand list and 411 must be transmitted to the Director on or before this date.
On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 approving the extension for the 2020 grand list filing. Mr. Benson signed the request form on behalf of the Board.
F. Old Business
1. Tax Date Change – Interest on Delinquent Payments: on motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve an interest rate on delinquent tax payments of 1 percent for the first 3 months after June 20, 2020, and then 1.5 percent for the remainder of the delinquency. Teresa Godfrey, the Town’s Delinquent Tax Collector, reported that she is foregoing the 8% delinquent tax penalty for this year.
2. Tatro Permit – Morgan Horse Race Date Change: on motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve Mr. Tatro’s request to shift the race date from May 30, 2020 to August 29, 2020. The Public Assemblage Permit already submitted for the event is amended accordingly.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of April 13, 2020; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRoacque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $4,204.01 with large bills that include: Harmony Electric PC (Town Garage lighting): $2,904.43; VLCT/PACIF (Workman’s Comp. Adjustment): $1.022.00. Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: (None)
J. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.

Apr 162020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
April 13, 2020 at 6:20 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Tim Caulfield
1. Call to Order – 6:20 p.m.: Mr. Benson offered some initial comments about the change in Board meeting format, based on introduction of teleconferencing technology.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none.
3. Public Comment: Mr. Caulfield requested funding help on behalf of the Randolph Area Mutual Aid Network that has formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. RAMAN also requested permission to post notices in Brookfield about its activities and resources, along with seeking $82.00 in funds to pay for Brookfield’s pro rata share of the postage for sending an informational postcard to all residents in Brookfield/Randolph/Braintree/East Granville. The Board determined that the funding could come from the Town’s existing budget for postage expenses. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve both the request for posting notices and the funding.
4. Highway Report
A) Highway Department Status – Mr. Peck reported on various items:
• Following the rain showers during the day, the Road Crew will head out tomorrow to do some grading
• There are grant-related projects ongoing on East Hill and Taylor Hill Road, which will need about $15,000 worth of culverts. Both projects are supposed to be completed by June 30, 2020. Mr. Benson inquired whether the deadline(s) might be extended due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency; Mrs. Peterson will verify with the appropriate agencies.
• The Crew usually starts hauling and storing winter sand supplies at this time of year. Mr. Peck said that he hadn’t heard yet from Hebert Construction about scheduling. The cost for the sand supply is in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. The Board discussed the current budget status, including concerns about cash flow; non-essential items can be deferred, but the Town should try to get the sand supply resolved within 3-4 weeks. Additional delay would further complicate the Road Crew’s project schedule.
• Town trucks are due for seasonal tire-changeover, which could be up to 25 tires. The Crew will need to prioritize safety measures (including proper numbers of workers for various projects), while trying to comply with the evolving state guidance and limitations issued for Road Crew activities.
• Mr. Benson also recommended that the Crew take care of vehicle maintenance issues for now, so that the equipment will be ready to go for both immediate problems and more extensive operation once state of emergency restrictions are reduced and/or lifted.
B) New Loader Order – Will remain on hold until the Town budget and cash flow status is clarified.
5. New Business:
A) Tax Date – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve shifting the due date for the current 2nd Payment of Property Taxes from May 2, 2020 to June 20, 2020.
B) Forest Fire Warden – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the appointment of Jeff Brassard to the position of Forest Fire Warden for the Town of Brookfield.
C) Resolution Regarding Accounts Payable – On motion of Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to authorize Mr. LaRocque to review and approve payments for Accounts Payable on behalf of the Brookfield Selectboard; the authorization to continue until termination of the on-going state of emergency by the State of Vermont.
6. Old Business:
A) Brookfield Conservation Commission Request for Funds – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve a grant in the amount of $4,000 to the Nature Conservancy for the acquisition of a Grant of Development Rights, Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Easement on 60 acres of the Taplin tract. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to authorize Mr. Kimmel to sign the grant agreement on behalf of the Brookfield Selectboard.
B) Local Emergency Management Plan – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve updates/revisions to the LEMP.
7. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes –
• March 23, 2020 Board meeting: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of March 23, 2020; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
• March 9, 2020 Board meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve an amendment to the Meeting Minutes of March 9, 2020 to address a potential conflict of interest identified in the proposed Town of Brookfield/Nature Conservancy grant agreement; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
8. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $17,941.17 with large bills that include: White River Valley Ambulance (ambulance services): 3,425.00; R.E. Tucker (gravel): $3,391.50; NORTRAX Inc. (equipment parts/service): $2,941.57. Mr. Benson seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
9. Other Proper Business: (None)
10. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:14 p.m., Mr. LaRocque seconded. 3-0-0.

Mar 262020
 

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 23, 2020
Draft Minutes
Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road
Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque
Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Steve Schaefer

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

J. Kimmel reported that he had talked to Ray Peck, Road Foreman, concerning the bids and trade-in value for the loader. J. Kimmel provided a chart and information with the results of the 4 bids. R. Peck had previously reviewed the bids and tested some of what was offered with the Road Crew.  They were all in agreement that the loader presented by Milton CAT was the preferred purchase.  Quotes included the following:
A. Beauregard (CASE 621G Wheel Loader)-$166,075-Trade-in $38,600=$127,475 Payments of $21,039/7 yr. annual payment
B. Beauregard (CASE 721G Wheel Loader)-$196,175-Trade-in $38,600=$157,575 Payments of $25,852/7 yr. annual payment
C. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$197,900-Trade-in $49,000=$148,900  Payments range from $32,019.94-5 yrs. /$27,163.76-6 yrs. /$23,699.79-7 yrs. annual payment
D. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$215,900-Trade-in $49,000=$166,900 Payments range from $35,890.72-5 yrs. /$30,447.46-6 yrs. /$26,564.77-7 yrs. annual payment
E. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$193,338-Trade-in $39,500=$153,838 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.
F. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$213,619-Trade-in $39,500=$174,119 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.
G. Anderson Equipment (KOMATSU WA 270-8 Wheel Loader 3V)-$186,926-Trade-in $60,000=$126,926 Payments range from $33,397-4 yrs. / $27,144-5 yrs. / $22,979-6 yrs. annual payment
H. Milton CAT (CATERPILLAR 930M Wheel Loader)-$200,000-Trade-in $60,000=$140,000 Payments of $22,300/7 yr. annual payment
J. Benson said Milton CAT would not require any payment until after the July 1, 2020 fiscal year began. S. Schaefer questioned if the Highway Department was going to adjust hours or have lay-offs due to COVID-19. J. Benson said no, they will continue to operate.
T. Godfrey, Treasurer, presented to the Board the current financial balance of $1,069,635.49 in the checking accounts. Her concern was, with the financial difficulties families are having with the current situation, the balance would just cover the payment to OSSD for the May 22, 2020 school payment, leaving little in the accounts to run the Town. Other towns are also looking at this issue, Randolph included.
After further discussion, the Board decided they should delay the agreement with Milton CAT.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to postpone actual enactment of the agreement as provided by Milton CAT until we have further information on the economy.   Vote 3-0-0

Review and approval of Warrants:

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

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

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

Other business:

J. Benson said they have requested that Kasey Peterson, Admin. Asst. write a RFP for Cemetery Sexton and mowing for the upcoming year.
The Board each received additional information from both Jon Binhammer and Stuart Edson concerning the Conservation Commission purchasing the development rights from a portion of land owned by Theresa & Charlie Taplin as discussed in the March 9, 2020 Selectboard meeting minutes.
J. Benson received a call concerning 4-wheel ATV’s being driven on the Town roads. He said he suggested the concerned citizen try to get pictures of this and report it to the State Police for them to investigate.
The Board discussed the ever changing directives from the Governor’s Office and how we will proceed with future Selectboard meetings and Open Meeting Law concerns.
D. LaRocque submitted his resignation as Town Auditor dated March 23, 2020 due to being Selectboard member and being Auditor are not being compatible offices per State Statute.
    6. Adjournment:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to adjourn at 7:00 p.m.   Vote 3-0-0
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder
 

Mar 122020
 

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 9, 2020
Draft Minutes
Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road
Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque
Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Jon Jickling, Starr Strong, Kathy Kinter, Jon Binhammer, Theresa Taplin, Patty Kennedy, Amy Ingrassia, Jack Zebora, Dan Childs, Steve Schaefer
Prior to the opening of the meeting, Teresa Godfrey was sworn in as Town Clerk, Treasurer, Lister, and Delinquent Tax Collector.
Dennis LaRocque was sworn in as the newest member on the Selectboard by T. Godfrey.
1. Call to Order: J. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda: J. Benson moved the Selectboard Organization from New Business.
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted J. Benson as Chair.  Vote 3-0-0
J.Benson welcomed D. LaRocque to the Board. D. LaRocque will initially review the warrants with J. Kimmel reviewing for any additional changes needed. J. Benson asked D. LaRocque to request quarterly a budget status from either Kasey Peterson or T. Godfrey. J. Kimmel will be the Road Commissioner.
3. Public Comment:
P. Kennedy asked what type of lease was on the loader that was approved at Town Meeting to be replaced.
J. Benson said that we usually trade-in the equipment at the end of the lease to maintain the much needed loader and R. Peck stated the trade-in value is $60,000 toward a new one.
4. New Business:
A. Selectboard Organization was done as above.
B. Town Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the Town Meeting Minutes of March 3, 2020 as amended.  Vote 3-0-0 as amended.
T. Godfrey wanted to comment that after Town Meeting, 2 different people came up to her to tell her they had witnessed voters putting in multiple slips of paper votes for Article 12. She was also told “they only had 50 signatures for the petition”, which is only the number required by State Statute to submit a petition for inclusion on the Warning.
C. ECFiber Representative Appointments: (switched for time management)
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board reappointed Dan Childs as Representative and Stuart Edson as Alternate.  Vote 3-0-0
When asked if they needed a second alternate, D. Childs stated that would only be if neither one could make ECFiber meetings.  J. Benson thanked both representatives for all of their work to get ECFiber in Brookfield.
D. Conservation Commission Funding: (Per Jon Binhammer, in an email he sent to the Town Clerk responding to publication of the minutes in the Herald, he would like to clarify in the paragraph below, that he would like to make it clear that  ” I had recognized a conflict of interest and disclosed it to the Board, and mitigated such conflict by stating that I would not be speaking on behalf of the Commission and that my presentation and comments were on behalf of The Nature Conservancy. Due to the COVID-19 concerns, this was not discussed during the subsequent Selectboard meeting.  Teresa Godfrey, Recorder)
J. Binhammer introduced S. Strong, J. Jickling, and K. Kinter as members of the Conservation Commission (CC) and T. Taplin as the property owner for the land that will be discussed. J. Binhammer spoke on behalf of the Nature Conservancy. Together with the VT Land Trust, they are trying to conserve farm lands in VT. On the Taplin property, the soil is high quality and there is a Fen on the land.  The area they are looking at is approx. 60 acres off West St.  They would establish a right-of-way to it and purchase the development rights.  They have received approval from the Brookfield Planning Commission and the Regional Commission.  Part of the Town Plan includes conserving critical areas for wetlands for water quality and this area concerns the water quality going into Sunset Lake and North Pond.  What the CC would like from the Town is a commitment of $5000 grant from the Recreational/Conservation account.  The approximate cost to purchase the development rights and recording it in a deed is $45,000.  They have applied for money from VT Housing & Conservation Board and the Nature Conservancy.
Per T. Godfrey, there is $25,906.10 currently in the R/C account.
J. Benson asked if there will be a right-of-way for public access and walking trails.
J. Binhammer replied that they are looking at purchasing the development rights, not ownership of the land. Taplins would maintain forest management outside of the wetland. There are logging trails that could be utilized by public.  They are not advertising it as a walking trail but would encourage groups to visit for educational purposes. Access could be through Nancy Lane but there would need to be a 50′ buffer from the wetland as far as if it was used for development.
S. Strong asked J. Binhammer to explain why it is a unique area. J. Binhammer replied that a Fen is a special wetland with rare plants in it and calcium rich. There is a second one located in Calais, VT. A Fen is different from a bog which is a basin that catches rain water.  The area surrounding the Fen is softwood but not a deer yard.  The Taplins would retain rights to the land but this would remove the right to develop or mine the land.  The forest would continue to be managed with an approved Forest Management Plan.
J. Zebora was concerned with using Town money to buy a piece of property, but not own it, and lowering the value if it was deemed as not developable it would lower our tax base, and the Taplins would still own it and utilize it.
J. Benson asked if the Listers had come up with a value for the 60 acres. J. Binhammer said Stuart Edson was working with him but didn’t have a final amount because the Listers don’t typically take conservation into valuation in Brookfield. One parcel, after a Board of Civil Authority hearing in 2010, was reduced by $40,000 due to being in the VT Land Trust.  This amounts to about $800 a year tax reduction.
J. Jickling, also on the Planning Commission, said the intent and scope of the proposal is consistent with the Town Plan biologic feature and worth protecting.
K. Kinter said when they met with the State concerning how wildlife moves to other states, the wildlife goes through VT and there are no prime forests, 1000 acres, in Brookfield. We need to protect from more fragmentation of the lands because with development, there is habitat loss and with climate change it is more vital to protect the eco systems.
J. Benson questioned when they anticipated to hear back for the other grants and J. Binhammer said March 19th.
J. Benson recommended this be tabled until next meeting so the Listers can get back to the Selectboard on what the tax ramifications would be and maybe check with VT Appraisal Company since they will be working with the Listers for the town-wide reappraisal.
Item was tabled.
J. Benson gave a copy of a letter from FEMA concerning flood plain mapping updates to J. Jickling for the Planning Commission to review.
5. Highway:
A. Pike update:
J. Benson filled in D. LaRocque concerning the paving that was done in the fall by Pike Industries on Ridge Road and the issues R. Peck found when examining the work done. The Pike paving specialist agreed there were issues that were most likely caused from heating and rerolling and the temp not being hot enough to seal correctly.  The District Engineer for Brookfield’s primary contact will meet with the Town in the spring to discuss and examine the area.  No payment has been made to Pike and the paving grant Brookfield is eligible for has a deadline of December 2021.
R. Peck also spoke with Chris Bump, from VTrans, on Thursday and he will be coming up in a couple of weeks to do a site visit about a culvert on Bear Hill Road that keeps popping up out of the ground.
B. Lighting in the garage:
R. Peck spoke about the lighting in the garage. There was an energy grant that was used in the garage a few years ago to replace the lights with LED lights and half no longer work. Harmony Electric can’t fix the lights and have a 30 day quote of $3200 to replace them.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to accept the quote from Harmony Electric with the understanding the quote might be slightly higher with the 30 day window from December.  Vote 3-0-0
C. Loader Sales Order:
The purchase of a loader was approved at Town Meeting.  R. Peck received 4 quotes from different companies.  Milton CAT was the preferred submission.  With the approval to purchase for the budget starting July 1, 2020, CAT proposed delivery of the new loader and removing the old one as deposit.  The first payment would not be due until November 2020.
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board authorized R. Peck to sign off on the agreement with CAT.
S. Schaefer asked to see the quotes and what the specifications were for the purchase.
R. Peck said he requested quotes from Case, Komatsu, John Deere, and CAT. All the companies came out and gave him a value for the trade-in. The quotes were at the garage and he was willing to get them for S. Schaefer to look at them. S. Schaefer said he was looking for transparency for the purchase.
J. Kimmel withdrew his motion so the loader purchase is tabled until the next Selectboard meeting on March 23rd.
R. Peck said he has posted the roads for mud season and it needs to be approved at the Selectboard meeting.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve posting the Town roads for mud season going from March 5th – May 15th with the standard limits to be 2 axle up to 15k lbs., 3 axle up to 18k lbs., and tractor trailers up to 20k lbs.  Vote 3-0-0
The Board will have K. Peterson post to the DMV website for the mud season weight limits.
R. Peck has received the signs for posting the 6 wood deck bridges in town. They are for Witts Bridge, Eagle Peak, Mahoney, McKeage, Old Post, and Parker/Gilbert bridges. They all will be posted at 16,000 lbs. per VT State law.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to post the 6 bridges listed above at the legal load limit of 16k lbs. This will have to be renewed annually. Vote 3-0-0
6. Old Business:
A. Personnel Policy Changes: No forward motion. Tabled.
B. Approve 27 January 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the January 27, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
C. Approve 10 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the February 10, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
D. Approve 24 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve the February 24, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
7. Payroll/AP Warrant:
On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve paying the warrants in the amount of $3,846.19 which included payments for truck parts to multiple companies and the Town Meeting warning publication in The Herald.  Vote 3-0-0
8. Other Proper Business:
J. Kimmel will go over the Emergency Response Plan with K. Peterson and update for the next meeting.
The Randolph Area Food Shelf submitted an assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m.  to noon.
On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the request from the Randolph Area Food Shelf assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m. to noon.   Vote 3-0-0
9. Adjournment:
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by J. Benson, the Board voted to adjourn at 8:40 p.m. Vote 3-0-0
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mar 102020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
February 10, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Steve Schaefer
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none.
3. Public Comment –
• Steve Schaefer: he is putting his hat in the ring for Mr. Haggett’s seat and is behind the proposal to increase the Board from 3 members to 5. He read in the Randolph Herald that Mr. Haggett won’t run again.
• Questions about meeting minutes and not meeting 5-day minimum, usually 10 days. This is unacceptable to Mr. Schaefer as a citizen in this Town. Why is the Town Clerk/Assistant not here and taking minutes? The Board explained that the Selectboard Assistant is unable to travel at night to take the minutes anymore. Mr. Schaefer asked about the Town Clerk and why she is not taking the minutes? The Board said she had wanted to stop, but if she is willing to do it again, the Board would welcome her back.
• Increasing Selectboard membership from 3 to 5 members: Mr. Benson commented that this would increase the level of bureaucracy related to the board. The Board believes the Board does a good job of operating with a lean group. The Board encouraged Town residents come to more meetings and see how the Board operates/conducts business.
• The Board was asked how many culverts they have. There is an inventory list of them, but Mr. Schaefer criticized the Board for not having the listing immediately at their fingertips.
• Why the delay in posting the roads, they were asked?
• First the Board needed to do research etc. with the state and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to set up the road management system, which is a process and set of procedures and that takes time. The Board is also working with the Public Safety Advisory Committee to understand and implement Vermont Agency of Transportation requirements. Without proper vetting, the Town of Brookfield could be open to litigation particularly in trying to enforce a road ordinance. Once we have an appropriate ordinance, it can be defensible once challenged.
• Has the Stone Road issue been solved? Yes – survey done, right-of-way/travel lane by surveyor. Public Safety Committee, Sheriff’s office, Selectboard and Owner, know where the lines are and if issues continue the Sherriff’s office will enforce.
• Truck at the Town Garage was for sale last fall. Who did the Town sell it to and for what amount? It was sold to a young couple in central Vermont for $8,000, after being on the market for about 2 months.
4. New Business:
A. Highway
1. Pike Bill – Ridge Road: Mr. Peck needed to get in touch with Chris Bump at VTrans to see how they recommend dealing with Pike. The invoice was submitted, but the Town has not paid as of yet. Mr. Peck met with a sales person and it will be about $20,000 to complete the paving fix. The surface course is pulling apart and they should grind off the top and then complete repairs. Mr. Benson commented that we need to push this along, as it has been 3 months and Pike does need to get paid and this needs to be resolved.
2. Other Highway:
 Mr. Peck observed that the prior Friday was a disaster with one truck down for the ½ the day due to water pump problems. The truck is now working again.
 Mr. Peck also brought up that in the next couple years sand will be harder to get; the Town should be looking at this issue now. One idea could be to go in with other Towns to get loads via rail. We should start discussing with neighboring Towns to see what they are planning as well.
B. Letter from Casella – no action required. Trash bill went up and is now $80 per ton effective February 3rd.
5. Old Business:
A. Tatro Assemblage Permit: Mr. Tatro needs to come in and address the Board. He needs to explain his plan and why the road needs to be closed for so long (7 hours).
B. Census Bureau Letter: Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson will review the information from them and check to see if it is accurate. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the Census information if it matches the Town’s Boundaries; Mr. Haggett seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
C. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel has verified the information and all the Board needs to sign. Mr. Haggett made a motion for the Board to sign as presented; Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
D. Personnel Policy Changes: Ms. Peterson has the latest version with changes to Overtime and Holiday policy. Still a work in progress.
E. Approve Minutes of January 13, 2020 meeting: tabled until next meeting.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $5,562.36 with large bills that include $1,875.00; Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. (fire dept. dispatch): $1,031.18; Sanel Napa (truck parts): $671.96; NEMRC (disaster recovery). Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
• Mr. Kimmel mentioned set-up and preparation for Town Meeting. Town Clerk Teresa Godfrey will be in charge. Mr. Haggett, Mr. Benson, and Mr. Kimmel will meet around 8:30 on Tuesday March 3 to help with set up.
• Mr. Benson talked with Guy Waldo and someone will be there regarding the Masons.
• Brookfield is one of last few Towns still mailing the Town Report before Town Meeting. The meeting would be a potential chance to have an informal non-binding discussion and poll about whether to continue with the mailings in the future, along with associated costs.
• Mr. Benson spoke with the Road Crew about a site on Old School House Road (Ralph Road); there is parking in the road again.
• Mr. Benson is going to try to reach out to Tucker’s and talk with them regarding trucking and road limits, instead of sending out a letter. It may be hard to get a hold of the firm, as they are not quarrying this time of year. Mr. Benson will continue to work on this over the Winter and hopefully get this resolved.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0.