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.

Mar 102020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
January 27, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Lew Stowell (Public Safety Advisory Committee), Dawn Conant. Public Present: Dennis Larocque, Eric Nielson, Mike McShane, Jon Binhammer, Justin Poulin
1. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda:
• Mr. McShane sought permission from the Town Selectboard to put up a survey at Town Meeting. He has been approached by the State Chapter of the Lions International about starting a Lions Club in the Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield area. He wants to set up a box at Town Meeting to have people fill out and leave the survey. Mr. Haggett will talk with Theresa and find out what is required to do this. The Board recommends that the Lions have a representative there when people check in so they will see them and take a survey.
• Mr. Binhammer – Mr. Kimmel asked him to come, regarding a question on the warning he is proposing. He is asking for $200 from the Town Recreation/Conservation Fund for a Broomball Set to be used at the the annual Ice Harvest event. Does the Selectboard have the authority to use/donate the funds without going to the voters’ approval at Town Meeting? The money in that account was obtained from logging at the Town Forest.
The Board opined that it could not could not obligate money without going to voters first due to the nature of funding activities. The Board could put a warning for Town Meeting have the voters vote to approve spending/raising $200 via taxes. Since the event is over for this year, Mr. Binhammer does not need it to be on the warning this time. He will plan to get something together before next year and go from there. He also mentioned the event went well, there were quite a few people, and there was over 15 inches of ice (and no one fell through).
3. Public Comment –
• Justin Poulin is here regarding the Bear Hill issues regarding a pipe installation on the road. He is asking what the Town found out about what can be done.
• The Town consulted the Town Attorney, who recommend that the property owner remove the pipes. The Town does not have legal authority to remove the pipe, unless it takes the next step and goes to court. If the property owner places a potential obstruction by the road, the owner takes on the inherent responsibility if a person hits it or if it damages the Town’s equipment. The property owner is aware of the issues and responsibilities.
• Mr. Poulin has observed other road issues, like piles of material near the road, a driveway that is paved onto the Town portion of road, and a safety issued posed by a 6 foot culvert road hole. Mr. Poulin wants to make sure that all in the Town of Brookfield are treated fairly no matter who they are.
• Mr. Benson understands this, but the issue of the pipe/posts near the road was brought to the Board by other concerned community members. The Board does not pick certain property owners to give a hard time to.
• Mr. Benson will have Ray look into the issues of the rocks and pavement and culvert hole and report back to the Board. If we don’t know about things we cannot as a Board make a plan to take care of them.
• Mr. Poulin asked about the travel way issue with Stone Road. Mr. Benson reported that the Public Safety Committee, property owners, Sheriff’s Dept. and the Board met. Nothing is to be protruding into the travel way. Mr. Eric Nielson lives and travels that way and says the sight distance northbound is better than is heading south. The Board could establish more Sheriff patrols in that area to deter encroachment in the road. The property owner has agreed to move some of the items back from the road and has been informed by the Sheriff’s Dept. what the cost is if they are in violation. The Town had a survey done and at this time the Owner is content with the survey and not going to challenge.
• Regarding the Bear Hill Property Owner road issue: the Board is not going to move forward with litigation, but at a previous meeting it was discussed as an option. The Board does not need Town voter approval to litigate matters. The Board would report the proceedings, but have the legal authority to initiate litigation if necessary.
4. New Business:
A. Kate Forrer – Emerald Ash Borer Research: tabled for this meeting as she is not here.
B. Town Meeting Warning: Mr. Kimmel has compiled it for posting and inclusion in Town Report.
C. Highway
1. Highway & Bridge Weight Restriction Filings: Mr. Peck to look and work on tomorrow.
2. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel has the material, will review its accuracy, and submit it to the Town Clerk to send to the State Agency of Transportation.
3. Other Highway
 Town Garage building – the most recent cost estimate is approximately $1,000,000 for a structure to house everything. Mr. Peck would like to have a pit in the new building as well.
 An article will be in the Town Warning for the voters to approve construction of a new Town Garage Building up to $1,000,000, to be financed over a 25-30 year period.
 The Board will present the options: a) do nothing; b) 2 buildings; c) completely replace the existing building.
 Mr. Peck will contact Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission about the list of hazardous materials and chemicals stored in the garage and get help filling out the requisite form.
 Also will ask Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson to contact VTrans and get an answer regarding cost issues of paving on Ridge Road.
D. Reappraisal Contract Amendment: the contract will be the same amount as before, but will extend to a two-year period. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Reappraisal Contract Amendment, Mr. Haggett second; Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
E. Tatro Pubic Assemblage Permit: the event will be May 30 and feature the unveiling of a Morgan Horse history marker on Snow Road near Eaton Snow’s house. They plan to have a race, log rolling, food for sale etc. Approximately 100+/- people expected and they would like to close the road from 10-5 p.m.
Mr. Haggett indicated that he doesn’t think that will be a good idea. If for a couple of hours that is one thing. The permit request is not complete as to why for so long, and how the applicants would deal with property/home owners on the road.
The Board chose to table approval of the permit, until it is resubmitted with more information and clearer objectives. Ms. Peterson will notify Mr. Tatro and seek additional information about the permit conditions.
F. Town E911 Coordinator: the Board acknowledges the note received by Chuck Barnum indicating he is retiring from the 911 Coordinator position. The Board wants to recognize all his hard work and thank him for all the years he has done this position.
We have a community member who is willing to step in – Mr. George (Jack) Zebora. Mr. Haggett made a motion to accept the name of Mr. Zebora as the new 911 Coordinator for the Town of Brookfield, Mr. Haggett second; Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
Jack Zebora will reach out to Chuck Barnum and go over the information for the position and where things stand.
G. Census Bureau request for Brookfield Boundary Information: the Board will ask Ms. Peterson to check with the TRORC mapping site to confirm the boundaries of the Town, along with referring to the census CD for comparison and get back to the Board.
H. Town Meeting Warning:
• Randolph Area Mentoring Program request for new funding: Mr. Kimmel has their request and explanatory letter.
• There is a petition circulating to increase the Selectboard from 3 to 5 members and Australian ballot was requested as the way to vote for it. Brookfield does not vote such issues by Australian ballot. So It should be amended to include it on the Town Meeting Warning, to be voted from the floor. Mr. Benson will discuss with VLCT to confirm the method(s) to vote to potentially change Board structure and add 2 more Board members.
• Mr. Haggett’s seat is up this year and he is not running again. It is the only open Board seat for the upcoming election.
5. Old Business:
A. Personnel Policy Changes: Mr. Kimmel will return to this after completion of ongoing work on the Town Report and Warning.
B. Approve Minutes of January 13, 2020 meeting: Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of January 13, 2020 with an amendment to the Cargill item; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $13,138.17 with large bills that include $4,500.65; BCBSVT (healthcare): $3,425.00; White River Valley Ambulance (ambulance): $1,733.16; Cargill, Inc. (salt). Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business: the Board noted various Town Meeting items:
• Loader – need to indicate what the total cost is, including interest and period of loan.
• Town Garage – Dennis Laroque suggested that there be photos at the meeting of the trucks in the garage and what the addition would look like with trucks so the voters could see what the Board is trying to do.
• New Request – Randolph Mentoring Program.
• Remove Mr. Binhammer’s Broomball funding request.
• Amy Ingrassia went to the White River Valley Ambulance Board meeting. The Board is grateful to have an experienced volunteer working with the WRVA Board. Hard to get anyone to volunteer for the position. She hopes to see about getting some other Town members if possible.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:23 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0.
 

Feb 272020
 

 
Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of February 24, 2020
Approved Minutes
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.
8.  Adjournment:
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.
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder.
 
 
 

Jan 282020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
January 13, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Lew Stowell (Public Safety Advisory Committee), Dawn Conant; Public Present: Dennis Larocque, Amy Ingrassia, Jack Zebora
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda –
 Ms. Ingrassia is interested in the open WRVA Brookfield Representative position. Mr. Haggett explained that the meeting is the 3rd Monday of the month and it would entail going to the meetings, and reporting back to the Selectboard on their budget and vision. The position has limited authority, but would be the eyes and ears for the Town.
 Mr. Haggett made a motion to appoint Ms. Ingrassia as the WRVA Representative for the Town of Brookfield, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
 Mr. Haggett will obtain Ms. Ingrassia’s e-mail and he will forward information to WRVA about her being the representative.
3. Public Comment – None
4. New Business:
A. Public Safety Advisory Committee
1. Mr. Stowell presented information that the Public Safety PSAC learned regarding Enforceable Weight Limits. Enforceable Weight Limit Summary
2. Bridges are assessed by the State periodically and Mr. Peck has information on those limits.
3. Some higher weight vehicles cannot go on some of our roads. The Town will need to determine which weight limits apply to each road, and how are the limits derived.
4. If the roads/bridges are not posted, it cannot be enforced and the Town cannot seek compensation for damage to roads or bridges.
5. Mr. Peck will get the bridges posted (2 signs on each – 1 for each approach). As usual, we hope that sign pilferage is minimal. There is a liability if not posted.
6. It is the Town’s responsibility to post the roads and signs on each end of each road. This will take a lot of signs and expense. The Town will also need to prioritize the process.
7. The signs have to be up before posting road status on the State’s website. Mud Season signs also need to be posted before inclusion on the website.
8. Mud Season is a different situation as the roads can be posted to 16,000 pounds which is different than the normal 24,000 pounds.
9. The Town has no authority to limit agricultural vehicles on roads.
10. Farm traffic on some roads is only for short periods of time and not every day. Mr. Peck and/or the Board could meet with relevant farm operators to discuss speed and weight concerns.
11. Mr. Stowell and Mr. Peck noted that the number of signs for this and other postings is rapidly increasing. When the crew is doing this, they are not working on other Town projects. The Town could consider hiring a contractor for the work; the Town would purchase the signs. Mr. Benson mentioned that it is late to do for this year’s budget, but suggested that PSAC and Mr. Peck work on it and get costs to propose to the voters next year.
12. Mr. Benson suggested that the Crew get the bridges done first and get listed on the State VTrans site.
13. PSAC will develop a list of the signs needed for posting the roads and they will work on getting pricing information from a contractor to install them (weight limit signs).
14. Mr. Benson asked Mr. Peck to have the drivers take an inventory when they are on the roads daily of signs that are missing.
B. Town Meeting Warning
1. Randolph Area Mentoring petition: Mr. Kimmel has the information.
2. A petition is circulating proposing to increase Brookfield Selectboard membership from the current 3 persons to 5 persons. While the Board has not discussed the proposal with the proponents, the Board will review the proposal and confirm the language with the proponents to verify consistency with statutory requirements for articles on the Town Meeting Warning.
3. Mr. Haggett reported that he would not be running for another Board term this year.
C. Highway
1. Ridge Road Paving
 Mr. Peck talked with VTrans (paving personnel). The paving company (Pike)  did the prior work when it was cold, which apparently contributed to the surface degrading. Mr. Peck discussed the problem with Pike, which has indicated that they would work on a couple of spots.
 Mr. Peck wants to figure out what the Town can do legally to get it all fixed correctly. He will speak with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson about coordinating with VTrans and determine what the overall cost would be to fix all of it.
2. Loader Quote: Mr. Peck obtained a quote.
3. Lighting at the Town Garage: Mr. Peck will get a pricing estimate from Harmony Electric to replace the lighting, separate from the garage addition. In addition, the pricing might also be submitted to the voters as part of budget discussion during the upcoming 2020 Town Meeting. Mr. Haggett suggested that the Board table the lighting issue for the time being.
4. Certificate of Highway Mileage: this is an annual request from the State. Mr. Kimmel will review the material. Mr. Benson made a motion that once Mr. Kimmel compares it to last year’s version and makes any corrections necessary that he signs it and returns it to VTrans. Mr. Haggett second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
5. Other Highway
 Truck is all set; the Town would normally vote during Town Meeting, order after, and take delivery in Spring. At this point, the dealers don’t keep an inventory.
 Get approval(s) to place an order and pay for next fiscal year, which would secure a place in the fleet in 2020 instead of Spring 2021-2022.
 Mr. Kimmel will take the potential truck article out of the warning for the 2020 Town Meeting.
 Mr. Peck is hoping to slow down on sand consumption, as they have gone through about ½ the pile so far this year.
D. Budget: the Town Garage (and potential improvements) will be in the budget this year for Town Meeting. Finishing on getting the numbers for the building, etc. Plan to have the cost include a water well/filtration system, as they bring in bottled water now.
E. Town Report Status: Mr. Kimmel is collecting reports and requests to include in this year’s version. Target date is going to be the end of January for the warning, etc. The Board noted that voters will also have an opportunity at Town Meeting to amend budget items up/down during the course of the meeting.
F. 2019 Equalization Study: the Board reviewed the information. The State’s figures are a factor in determining the Town’s tax rates.
5. Old Business:
A. Request by Town of Roxbury to join Mt. Alliance: This was previously approved by the Brookfield Board.
B. Braintree and Randolph are having trouble finding a Zoning Administrator; they arelooking to reach out to Brookfield and have a joint venture. There is a meeting on January 14th, which Mr. Benson will attend. The Town of Brookfield wants to retain Mike Fiorillo as ZA; in comparison to Randolph, we don’t have as much zoning work as they do.
C. Personnel Policy Changes: Mr. Kimmel has more changes to incorporate. Mr. Benson gave a brief summary of the Personnel Policy and why changes are still happening.
D. Approve Minutes of December 9, 2019 meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of December 9, 2019 with a change for the budgeting of ambulance services, which is up this year compared to last year. Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
E. Approve Minutes of December 23, 2019 meeting: Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of December 23, 2019 with minor typos fixes. Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 2-0-0.
6. AP and Payroll Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $11,100.50 with large bills that include: $4,185.00, American Consulting Engineers (stone road survey); $1,769.82, Cargill, Inc. (salt); $1,306.80, Rouse Tire Sales (tires). Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
 Mr. Larocque asked (on behalf of the Town Auditors) how the budget was coming along. The Board has drafted one and is waiting for 6-month costs from Town Treasurer Teresa Godfrey. Mr. Benson left additional information on her desk tonight and will let the Auditors know when he knows.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 9:07 p.m., Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.

Jan 142020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
December 9, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Minutes
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Highway Dept.), Dawn Conant, Jon Binhammer, Curtis Koren
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – None
3. Public Comment
 Mr. Binhammer spoke, representing the Town’s Conservation Commission. The Commission is discussing and finalizing their Bylaws at their next meeting and plan to approve them. The Commission would like the Selectboard to take a look at the proposal and let the Commission know of any edits.
 They have included statutory requirements for public meetings and what the Commission would be doing; these items incorporated approaches by other Commissions in Vermont.
 Mr. Binhammer inquired whether the Commission needed the Selectboard to sign off, as they are an advisory board to the Selectboard and would need Board approval to carry out plans.
 Mr. Benson mentioned that any funds raised/donations established by the Town, should be maintained in the Town bookkeeping system. The Board will continue the discussion with the Commission at the next meeting.
4. New Business:
A. Public Assemblage Permit – Ice Harvest
 Same preparation and activities as in past years.
 Bathroom at the Town Offices for use, while the library is open, then the Town Hall after that.
 Need to make sure there is help for parking/police to keep traffic moving and avoid parking on both sides of the road in Pond Village.
 Mr. Benson asked Mr. Binhammer to include in advertising for the event that there will be help with parking and it will be restricted to one side.
 Mr. Binhammer is hoping to have broomball at the event and asked if the Board (Town) could donate $200 for equipment. Mr. Benson needs to call VLCT to see if there is a liability risk for the Town if we buy/donate (provide funding) money for the equipment. Would there also need to be a certificate of insurance for the event? Mr. Kimmel will contact the Town’s attorney to check as well.
 Mr. Haggett made a motion to grant the Ice Harvest assemblage permit, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
B. Curtis Koren – Grant for Economic Development
 The Working Communities Challenge grant would qualify the Town to participate in the program and potentially qualify for funding. The White River Consortium of towns would like to apply for it and see where it goes. The Consortium is looking for representatives from all towns: at this point they are asking Brookfield’s Board to approve a resolution from the Town to pursue the process.
 Mr. Haggett made a motion to sign up for the preliminary step, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
C. Highway
1. Highway Credit Card Limit: after discussion, Mr. Benson made a motion that the Board approve a $3,000 limit on the Highway Credit Card, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
2. Road Erosion and Highway Grant: Mr. Benson made a motion that the Town apply for the culvert inventory and road erosion inventory grant through Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
3. Other Highway
 Mr. Benson stated that the latest garage proposal can fit up to 3 pieces of
large equipment without changing the physical layout. He will contact the
designer and get the changes/differences to them and get pricing numbers to the Selectboard.
 Tomorrow morning a Pike paving person will review the Ridge Road
conditions. The Board concurs with Mr. Peck that we need to have some
guidance from the paving person, Vtrans, etc. to figure out how to proceed
with fixing it and costs. Mr. Peck will ask questions and take notes; the Town will follow up with a letter to Pike regarding this matter. The Board and Mr. Peck will also look into reimbursement from the State for the continued repair.
 Mr. Benson made a motion to execute a grant request for culvert
repair/replacement on Bear Hill and Taylor Hill, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr.
Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
 Issues have arisen with a Bear Hill landowner and stakes (metal) in the Town right-of-way that could be an impediment and safety problem for plowing or travel. The Board agreed to send the landowner a letter and will copy the Town’s Attorney for review. The Town proposes allowing the landowner 2 weeks to repair the problem; if it is still not remedied, the Board will ask the Town Attorney to commence formal proceedings.
D. Barre Town Ambulance Contract: the Contract is up this year from last year to $29,474.64. Mr. Benson made a motion that the Board approve/execute the Emergency Medical Services Contract with Barre Town Ambulance, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
5. Old Business:
A. Personnel Policy Changes – Holiday Overtime/Summer Hours: the Board had noted that Summer Hours for the Road Crew are over now. The Board needs to establish a set period for when the hours shift from 5-day work weeks to 4-day weeks. Mr. Kimmel will incorporate this into the revised Policy as appropriate.
B. Approve Amended Meeting Minutes of October 28, 2019 Board meeting: Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the October 28, 2019 meeting minutes, Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 2-0-0.
C. Approve Meeting Minutes of November 25, 2019 Board meeting: Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the November 25, 2019 meeting minutes, Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $41,668.97 with large bills that include VLCT PACIF (insurance): $26,501.00; Brookfield Public Library (library budget): $4,795.71; Town of Randolph (radio rental): $700.00. Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked if there was any discussion (none). 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
Kevin Wheatley, Brookfield Fire Chief, came and dropped off the Fire Department numbers for the budget. They need to replace the roof at the Fire Department building as the roof is leaking and screws are coming out; a standing seam roof would be preferred. The Department has some new recruits, so up to 15/16 members. Mr. Benson reminded him that the Board needs the Department’s report for the upcoming Town Report.
8. Mr. Benson made a motion to adjourn at 7:51 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second. 3-0-0.