Jan 192021
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
Selectboard Meeting
Held by Zoom
11 January 2021 at 6:30 PM

Those present: John Benson, Chair; (telephone conferencing) Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; Jeff Kimmel, Board Member; Kasey Peterson, Assistant Town Clerk; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, Betty Lord, Secretary; Jim Merriam, Kevin and Marie Dunwoody, Jose´ Luzardo, Gwynn Zakov (Brookfield Planning Commission Chair), Timothy Kirsher, Chris LaPointe, Scott Brock, Shawn Krisch, Wayne Fontanella, Will White, Zoe Newmarco, Jon Binhammer, Nancy Jacques, Don Dobeck, and Wayne Meginnes.

A. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chair John Benson at 6:41 p.m.

B. Adjustments to the Agenda
Mr. Benson acknowledged there were quite a number of people present who wished to speak to the Solar installation issue, as well as to the zoning requests, and the agenda was adjusted accordingly.

Sprague Sand Pit: Chris LaPointe asked for a clarification of where the Sprague sand pit is located. Mr. Benson stated the site is along Route 14, on the west side of the valley across from the Woodruff residence. Mr. Benson further stated the Town needed a source for winter sand as the source that is presently being used is only adequate for perhaps one more year. If terms can be reached with the Spragues, indications are the new site could be used for 15 to 20 years. As the sand is taken, the topsoil would be replaced on the site making the land available for agricultural use again.

Solar Array: Mr. Benson explained that Mr. Merriam of Norwich Solar Technologies attended the last Board meeting by Zoom to ask that the Chair of the Board, along with the Chair of the Planning Commission, sign a letter to the Public Service Board of Vermont in which the proposed site for a solar array on the old Smith Farm (on the Ridge Road), presently owned by Sprague Farms, be “deemed preferred.” Questions ensued by members of the community and especially those who own properties that abut the proposed project land.

Mr. Merriam was informed that at least four landowners whose properties abut the Sprague land have not been notified of the proposed plan. It was also pointed out that solar arrays should not affect historic sites and the land to be used abuts the property of the Marvin Newton House, owned and operated by the Brookfield Historical Society, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

It was also pointed out that in 2017 the Two Rivers-Ottaquechee Regional Commission prepared an Energy Plans Packet with a map of potential solar sites and the property in question did not appear on that map for the Town of Brookfield.

There was some question of whether or not approving the property as a “deemed preferred site” would be binding for the Town, or whether changes could be made subsequently, such as a vote “no” on the project, after these letters had been submitted.

Kevin and Marie Dunwoody expressed concerns as owners of property which would abut the solar array; i.e., the effect on property values, the land has been designated for residential and agricultural use, and with the panels being 10 feet high the array will be seen from the road and a deterrent to the view and the beauty of the landscape. Mr. Dunwoody further commented the project would “benefit a few people and affect many people.”

When asked about the need to have the letters to the Public Service Board by February 2, Mr. Merriam explained that new guidelines would go into effect on all applications filed after that date, so that the fee for filing a full application would increase by 15%. Up until February 2, the cost of filling a complete application is $30,000. These points will be further discussed on January 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Planning Commission Meeting.

Zoning Requests: Mr. Kimmel stated there were three cases awaiting decisions on requests for variances: (1) Mr. Krisch is requesting a variance on a three-acre lot to build a camp. The minimum required acreage in that zoning district is five acres; (2) Mr. Schmechel is requesting the building of a handicap access ramp from a porch that will be 25 ft from the road instead of the required 65 ft, and (3) Mr. Brock is requesting to build a shed which will be less than the minimum 50 ft from the property boundary.

Discussion ensued in which a request was made that a better process be put into place to handle these variance requests in a timely manner and that the names and email addresses of the members of the Selectboard, Board of Adjustment, and the Planning Commission be put on the Town website so that if there is no response from one member, another member could be contacted.

Mr. LaRocque made a motion to consider the three requests for variances to be deemed approved due to the amount of time that had transpired since the requests were made. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion.

The question arose as to whether the Selectboard had the authority to move that the request be “deemed approved.” After discussion, Mr. LaRocque withdrew his motion and the Board will refer this issue to the Town’s attorney for further information.

C. PUBLIC COMMENT: See above.

D. HIGHWAY

1. Gravel Pit: Mr. Higgins, Road Foreman, said the southern bridge across from the Woodruff driveway would be the best of two bridges to use to get into the gravel pit. He stated it would need to be widened and reinforced by another piece of steel.

Mr. Benson asked Mr. Higgins to give him further information about what the costs would be for buying sand on the open market. Mr. Higgins said that the Hebert operation would charge $6.00 a yard if the Town does the hauling. Mr. Higgins was also asked to call other vendors to get additional comparative pricing.

Mr. Higgins reported that Mr. Larry Brassard had contacted him about a post that had been knocked down in front of his house. The Town installed a new post off the travel way. Said post has now been moved into the travel way. Mrs. Peterson was asked to send a letter to Mr. Brassard asking him to move the post back out of the travel way. A copy of the letter is to be sent to the Town’s attorney.

With regard to people clearing snow out onto the road, Mr Kimmel will contact the Town’s attorney about the issue and Mr. Higgins will contact VTrans to see what action can be taken by the Town.

Mr. Higgins stated that a road signs inventory had been taken at the Town Garage. He has also talked with someone at WorkSafe about ordering Weight Limit signs for Northfield Road.

2. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel will review and confer with Mr. Higgins. Initial conclusion is that no changes have been made to road classifications during the past year.

E. NEW BUSINESS

1. Zoning requests: See above.

F. OLD BUSINESS

1. Solar Project: See above.

2. Budget and Town Meeting: Mr. Benson reported that he had updated the budget with all information received and had sent a copy to the Selectboard members.

There has been no final action yet by the legislature giving towns the option of changing the date of their Town Meetings to a later time in the year due to COVID-19 concerns. If permitted, Brookfield’s Town Meeting could potentially be moved to sometime in May.

Mr. Benson made a motion to hire Harmony Electric for $1,900 to upgrade the lighting in the Town Clerk’s office. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was carried unanimously: 3-0-0. Mrs. Peterson will contact Harmony Electric to schedule the work.

G. APPROVE MINUTES OF 28 DECEMBER MEETING

Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Mr. Benson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously: 3-0-0.

H. PAYROLL AND AP WARRANTS

Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the accounts payable/warrants in the amount of $16,131.43 with the largest amount being paid to Conniff’s Custom Builders in the amount of $9,000. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, which carried unanimously: 3-0-0.

I. OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Richard Cox notified the Board that he would be doing a heavy cut.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved (3-0-0) and the meeting was adjourned at 9:18 p.m.

Jan 042021
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
Selectboard Meeting
Held by Zoom
28 December 2020 at 6:30 PM
Those present: John Benson, Chair (by telephone); Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; and Jeff Kimmel, Board Member; Kasey Peterson, Assistant Town Clerk; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, Betty Lord, Secretary; Jim Merriam (all by Zoom) and Lew Stowell (by telephone).
A. Call to Order: the meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mr. Benson, at 6:30 pm.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – None
C. Public Comments – None
D. Highway
1. Internet Access at Town Garage
Ms. Peterson reported that she had looked into the internet problem at the Town garage and felt it was not a problem of speed but rather of distance. She felt the problem could be corrected by buying a small booster box which would make the service available around the garage property. Mr. Benson made a motion to allow Ms. Peterson to purchase a booster box for the Town Garage up to the amount of $50. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion was unanimously approved. 3-0-0.
Mr Higgins reported that he had talked with a couple of companies regarding the purchase of a new truck and was expecting to have pricing by the end of the week. Mr. Higgins was asked to provide the figures to the members the Board as soon as they are available.
Mr Higgins also related to the Board that Larry Hebert may not have enough sand for the Town’s use and if he found that he did have enough, the price would be increased by 25 cents per yard. Mr. Higgins was asked to check other sources and get their pricing for 5,000 to 6,000 yards of sand for the coming winter. He was also asked to contact Mr. Doug Haggett and see what he is charging for sand by the yard although Mr. Haggett’s sand pit is approved under Act 250 which limits the amount of sand that he can remove at any one time.
Mr Higgins reported that he had been getting pricing for stripping top soil on the Sprague property relating to the proposed sand pit project.
Mr. Kimmel asked about a nearby cherry tree that Mr. Bill Grady wishes to have removed that is across from his property. Mr. Higgins said he had talked with the landowner of the property on which the tree is located, who agreed with the Town taking whatever action is needed. Mr Higgins reported that the tree is in a precarious position and would require a professional tree company to remove it rather than having the Town Road Crew remove it. Mr. Benson said there is a line item in the budget for professional tree removal and there is a history of having done so before.
E. New Business
1. Public Safety Advisory Committee
a. FY 2022 Contract with Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD)
Mr. Lew Stowell met with the Board (by telephone) and spoke for the Public Safety Advisory Committee. Mr. Stowell presented a proposal from Orange County Sheriff Bohnyak regarding the contract with OCSD for patrolling in the Town of Brookfield. The Board reviewed the report and asked Mr. Stowell to contact OCSD and ask them to prepare a contract to be signed by the Board as follows:
Contract $15,000 annual: $49.00 per hour, 306 hours per year.
January, February, March, October, November, December: 17 hours per month.
April, May, June, July, August, September: 34 hours per month.
b. Town Over-Weight and Over-Sized Vehicles Signage/Permitting Project
Mr. Stowell was asked to prepare a draft outline of the proposal for changes of speed limit signs and Over-Weight and Over-Sized vehicle signage to be placed on Northfield Road. The information would be included in the next meeting agenda; anyone who wishes may join the Board Meeting by telephone conferencing or Zoom. There are five signs that will need to be installed by mud season of 2021. The Town will order the signs to have them ready for installation in the spring. The Board gave Mr. Higgins the authority to buy the equipment needed to install the signs.
c. Inter-Departmental and Committee Protocol Request
Mr. Stowell asked for clarification on whom PSAC members should contact when questions arise regarding the various areas of the Town’s business. The Board instructed the Committee to contact the person who would be most capable of answering the questions, i.e.: if questions occur regarding the roads, Mr. Higgins should be contacted. If Committee members are unsure as to whom they should direct their questions, Mr. Kimmel can be contacted to either answer their questions or direct them to the proper source.
d. Traffic Ordinance Final Review
Mr. Stowell reported that a final draft of the proposed traffic ordinance amendments will be presented to the Selectboard at the meeting of January 25, 2021. Mr. Benson stated that all changes to the ordinance must be warned and a public hearing held before any changes can be approved. A summary of the proposed changes will be posted in three places in Town as well in the Randolph Herald and on Front Porch Forum. The draft ordinance will include the highlighted changes in the document. It was requested that the proposed changes be sent to the members of the Selectboard at least two days before the meeting to allow time for the Selectmen to become familiar with the material. Mr. Higgins agreed to send any comments he may have to Mr. Stowell.
Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque, and Mr. Higgins will attend the next PSAC meeting on January 20, 2021. Ms. Peterson will set up Zoom training for anyone on the committee who needs help, and she will post the meeting on Zoom.
2. Solar Project on Ridge Road
Mr. Jim Merriam of Norwich Technologies came before the Board (by Zoom) to present information regarding a solar project being proposed by Sprague Farms on the old Smith property on Ridge Road. He asked that a letter be signed by the Chair of the Selectboard and the Chair of the Planning Commission to the Public Service Board of Vermont in which the site is “deemed preferred.” Mr. Benson said that the members of the Selectboard will review the proposal by the January 11, 2021 meeting and if finding the proposal in keeping with all Town rules and regulations, it will be signed and if not further information will be requested.
3. Mapping Contract with Cartographic Associates
This new contract was proposed by Mr. Stuart Edson at the Board Meeting on December 14. The proposal was reviewed by the Board and Mr. Benson signed the contract on behalf of the Town.
F. Old Business
1. Budget
Mr. Benson asked Mr. Higgins to get him the pricing on the proposed new Town Highway Department truck as soon as possible for the new budget. The on-going reappraisal costs will be split into two years. As the Town financial audit was limited this year, $9,500 will be paid at the end of the fiscal year and $18,000 will be budgeted for next year with an in-depth audit.
2. Town Meeting
The Board did not take any action as the Legislature will not be meeting until early January when they will vote on whether to allow towns to move Town Meeting Day due to COVID-19 precautions, along with the procedures for doing so.
G. Approval of Minutes from 14 December 2020 Board Meeting
In reviewing the minutes, Mr. LaRocque said he did not remember being asked by Mr. Benson to check the Traffic Ordinance to ascertain which roads need to be warned. There being no objection, the line was struck from the minutes. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the minutes as presented with one correction. Mr. Benson seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
H. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Accounts Payable report with a total of $10,075.88 and the highest payment being made to White River Valley Ambulance Service of $3,425.00 as presented. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business
Mr. Benson advised that several requests for zoning permit variances should be considered for “deemed approval” based on extensive delays in processing the requests. Mr. Kimmel will follow up with the applicants (Krisch, Schmeckel, and Brock).
J. Adjournment: there being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty T. Lord
Secretary

Dec 282020
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
Selectboard Meeting
Held by Zoom
14 December 2020 at 6:30 PM
Those present: John Benson, Chair – by telephone conferencing, and Jeff Kimmel, Board Mem-ber; Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; Kasey Peterson, Assistant Town Clerk; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, Betty Lord, Secretary; with Greg Wight, Town Moderator; Shawn Krisch, Alyce Brouillard, Dan Childs (all by Zoom) and Stuart Edson by telephone conferencing.
A. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mr. Benson, at 6:30 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda
As there were those waiting to make presentations to the Board, the Agenda was adjusted as folows:
D. 2. Mapping Proposal- Cartographic Associates—
Mr. Stuart Edson suggested changing mapping companies from Avatar/Terra Map to Cartograph-ic Associates. He said he had met with the owner of Cartographic Associates, Mr. Franco Rossi, and was impressed with what he was told. After the initial set-up cost of $5,350, which can be paid out of the reappraisal monies provided by the state (Mr. Edson will verify this with Barbara Schinger of PVR, the state advisor to Town Listers) and following this initial set-up/conversion of data cost, the budget for the April 1, 2021 update cycle would be $2,800, followed by $1,500 an-nually for the April 1, 2022 and April 1, 2023 updates. Mr. Edson proposed increasing the annual budgeted amounts accordingly, and would provide a new set of maps for the Town by April 2021.
Mr. Kimmel made a motion to use the monies in the reappraisal budget to pay for the set-up/conversion costs to work with Cartographic Associates and to raise the amount annually budgeted for mapping costs from $1,500 to $2,800 a year (as described above). Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
C. Public Comment
Mr. Dan Childs made a request to the Board to add the name of Dan O’Brien as a second repre-sentative to ECFiber for the Town of Brookfield. At present there is only one other alternate. Mr. Benson made a motion to add Mr. O’Brien as an alternate for ECFiber for the Town of Brookfield. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
Mr. Benson also asked Mr. Childs to provide him with a budget proposal for the Brookfield Public Library for the upcoming year. Mr. Childs agreed.
Mr. Shawn Krisch spoke to the Board asking why his request for a variance is taking so long. He stated that he had first applied for the variance on September 9 as the property on which he wants to build a camp is three acres instead of five acres. He pointed out that the current property owner had missed a tax opportunity by not closing on the property before the end of the year. The owner, Alyce Brouillard, was also present by Zoom to discuss her concerns about the time that it has taken to bring this variance request to fruition. Mr. Krisch stated that he had received a notice of meeting for January 4 at 6:30 p..m and that he would be ready and present for that meeting.
D. 3 – Town Meeting Guidelines
Mr. Greg Wight, Town Moderator, appeared by Zoom to discuss whether or not Town Meeting 2021 should be moved out from its regular meeting day on the first Tuesday in March. While the Vermont legislature has not yet authorized moving Town Meeting dates, it is reasonably certain that due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will be left to the Town to decide on the date of the meeting. Mr. Benson said that moving the meeting date out would not affect the financial year as the new budget would not come into effect until the first of July. He also stated that by May the chances of having the meeting at an outdoors venue would be much better than in March. Mr. LaRocque said he would be in favor of moving the meeting to May and holding the meeting outside with an ap-propriate audio/speaker system. Mr. Kimmel suggested waiting to see how the legislature will proceed and it was agreed that an initial approach would be proposed by the next Board meeting on December 28.
F. Highways
Mr. Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, said an inventory of the Town roads with erosion prob-lems amounted to about 13 miles of road that needed work. This number represents about 16% of the Town roads. Mr. Higgins was asked to contact Rita Seto at Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Re-gional Commission to ascertain when the erosion grants will be available.
Mr. Higgins reported that he had talked with Mr. Bill Grady about a tree with which Mr. Grady has concerns. Mr. Higgins stated the tree is on a neighbor’s property and he would be consulting with the landowner in the near future and would get back to Mr. Grady.
Mr. Higgins also reported that work would continue with ditching and culverts until the roads begin to freeze up. He met with Mr. Tucker concerning crushing stone. On the open market crushing is $9.50 a yard and $13.50 if they have to haul it. There is still a lot of work to do at the Sprague property and there is still another year to work with Mr. Larry Hebert. Mr. Higgins was asked to make sure Mr. Hebert knows the Town wants another 6,000 yards of sand priced ac-cordingly. Mr. Benson said he had met with Keith Sprague and had given him a copy of the plans. Mr. Sprague said he intended to work fairly with the Town and the supply of sand should last from 15 to 20 years.
It was reported that a car had gone off the Ridge Road and damaged some memorial stones in the Brookfield cemetery. Ms. Peterson said the Town’s insurance does not cover the cost of the stones but that the driver’s insurance should cover the cost.
Mr. Benson asked Ms. Peterson to check on the cost of including damage to memorial stones in the Town’s policy and also to see if there was flood insurance to cover the Fire Station.
Mr. Benson asked Ms. Peterson if all the compensation for Rob Wheatley’s work for the Town Highway Department had been settled and Ms. Peterson stated that it had been completed.
D. New Business
1. Public Safety Advisory Committee – Traffic Ordinance Review
The report of the Committee recommended several changes be made by putting up yield signs and MPH signs on various roads in Town. Some of the signs will have to be warned before they can be put up. Mr. LaRocque will check the ordinance to see which roads need to be warned. Mr. LaRocque will also ask the Sheriff about vehicles encroaching at a residence on Stone Road. Mr. Higgins will review the Committee’s report and report back at the next meeting.
2. Mapping Proposal – Cartographic Associates (See above)
3. Town Meeting Guidelines (See above)
4. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan – Mr. Benson signed on behalf of the Board.
F. Old Business – None
G. Approve Minutes from the 23 November 2020 Board Meeting
After a review of the minutes of November 23, Mr. LaRocque moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion and the minutes were unanimously approved. 3-0-0
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the payroll and accounts payable warrants as presented with the total amount being $72,711.90 and highest amount being paid to the Town of Barre Am-bulance Service in the amount of $31,536.90. Mr.Kimmel seconded the motion. There being no objection, the motion passed unanimously.
I. Other Proper Business
Ms. Peterson brought up the issue of the invoice for the Town Audit which included the amount for two years’ audit which will bring the amount to be paid over budget. Mr. Benson suggested the Town wait until June to pay the invoice. Mr. LaRocque and Mr. Kimmel agreed.
J. Adjournment – Mr. Benson asked if there was any further business. Everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas. There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Kimmel moved for adjournment. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty T. Lord, Secretary

Dec 012020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
23 November 2020 at 6:30 PM
Those present: John Benson, Chair – by telephone conferencing, and Jeff Kimmel, Board Member; Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman; Betty Lord, Secretary; and Shawn Krisch; all attending by Zoom.
A. Call To Order -The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mr Benson, at 6:37 pm.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – None
C. Public Comments – Mr. Krisch appeared before the Board with a request that someone from the Board of Adjustment respond to his request for a variance pertaining to his property. He requested a Zoning permit in September which was rejected due to the fact that his property, on which he wishes to build a camp, is only three acres instead of the required five acres. He said the property was under contract and he only had a limited amount of time to work things out with the seller. Mr. Kimmel stated that he was a member of the Board of Adjustment and would be in touch with Mr. Krisch to go over the steps necessary to finish the process. Mr. Kimmel will also provide information on the steps the seller needs to take.
D. New Business
1. COVID Guidelines – Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel, and Mr. LaRocque reported they had read the guidelines and had no questions. Mr. Benson said he would contact the Town Health Officer asking her to forward any updated material relating to the guidelines. In the meantime, he asked Mrs. Peterson to act as a second Health Officer until all the guidelines had been met. All other entities of the Town, i.e. the Library, Fire Department, Town Garage, and all Boards that represent the Town will have to be self-policing. Mr. Benson asked Mrs. Peterson to send a copy of the COVID guidelines to all the various boards and offices along with an acknowledgment form to be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office confirming that everyone included in each organization or board had read and will conform to the guidelines and has had the necessary training conforming to the Town’s policies.
The Board agreed that a plexiglass shield be placed in front of the Town Clerk’s desk. Mrs. Peterson was asked to be responsible for ordering the plexiglass. Also, beginning the next day of business following the Board Meeting, the Town Clerk’s office would be responsible for keeping a record of everyone entering the office for contact tracing. Anyone visiting the Town Clerk’s Office will sign in with their name, address, and phone number.
2. Cloud-based NEMRC – Mr. LaRocque made a motion to move to a “Cloud- based” NEMRC system in the amount of $600 annually. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously. (3-0-0)
3. MVP Health Care premiums – Mrs. Peterson reviewed the advantages of signing with MVP Health Care to provide health care coverage for employees of the Town. One of the main reasons for the change from BC/BS to MVP is a savings of $10,000 a year. Employees would continue to have basically the same coverage, as required by the Affordable Care Act.
Open enrollment for the MVP plan begins December 1, 2020. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to change the Town’s health care insurance to MVP. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was carried unanimously. (3-0-0)
4. Notice of Heavy Cut – Twombley and Benedict Property – Mr. LaRocque reported to the Board that the property in question is being cut according to Current Use guidelines and is being watched over by a forester.
E. Highway
1. Mr. Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, reported that work continues on clearing out ditches and culverts and preparing for winter. Discussion ensued regarding paid leave for employees who miss work due to COVID. The guidelines indicate that if an employee either has tested positive or is caring for a spouse who has tested positive, that employee will be paid during the time they are away from their job. If an employee is absent from work waiting for testing, that employee can take vacation time or sick time but will not be paid for the time away from the job.
Mr. Higgins said the new time sheet program was up and working and should make payroll operations much easier. Mrs. Peterson was asked to check with ECFiber to verify if the computers at the Town Garage could be connected to the network including computers at the Town Offices.
The Board asked Mr. Higgins to research the costs of purchasing a new Town truck minus the trade-in value on the old truck that is to be sold.
Mr. Higgins was also asked to contact Randolph and ask what they are paying for sand; this would help establish a fair market value for operations at the proposed Sprague Sand Pit. He was also asked to find out the cost of the bulldozer work to clear the site for procuring the sand and also site recovery after the sand has been gathered.
2. Mutual Aid Templates – COVID – Mrs. Peterson stated that Mr. Higgins and she will have a report for the Board by the first meeting in December.
It was suggested that a list needs to be made of people, who with their approval, would be willing to be on call in the event of a number of illnesses or other emergencies to fill in on the road crew. Mr. Higgins will reach out to neighboring towns to see if they would have any interest in a reciprocal agreement in supplying help in times of an emergency.
3. Wage paperwork and Interim Foreman compensation – The Board signed the paperwork and agreed upon compensation for Mr. Rob Wheatley, who served as Interim Foreman after the untimely passing of the Road Crew Foreman.
4. Highway Laptop Replacement – Mr. Higgins also reported that the laptop at the Town Garage needs to be replaced. The Board asked Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Higgins to research the replacement cost(s). Mr. LaRocque made a motion giving Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Higgins approval to purchase a new laptop in an amount up to $800.00. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. (3-0-0)
5. MRGP Amendment Form – the Board approved and Mr. Benson signed off on the Municipal Roads General Permit – Road Erosion Inventory form.
F. Old Business – None
G. Approve the Minutes of the 9 November 2020 Meeting – Mr. LaRocque noted that it was Mr. Kimmel who made the motion to appoint Mr. LaRocque as a temporary member of the Board of Adjustment, and Mr. Benson who seconded the motion (not the other way around). There being no further corrections, the minutes were unanimously approved as corrected. (3-0-0)
H. Payroll and AP Warrants – Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the list of Payroll Accounts in the amount of $77,852.30 with the largest payment being to Western Star (Highway Department truck) in the amount of $65,501.78. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. (3-0-0)
I. Other Proper Business – Mr. Kimmel reported the draft agreement between the Town and Sprague Farms regarding the proposed Sand Pit had been received and he asked the other Board Members to read the agreement and make their recommendations. Mr. Kimmel noted that the technical status of Sprague Farms (and its formal business entities) is incomplete and that the Board also needs to know who has the authority to sign for the sand pit.
Mr. Kimmel reported that a license agreement is still needed from ECFiber for an installation on East Street, along with a license for emergency work done by the Town at the north end of West Street.
Mrs. Peterson was asked provide the Selectboard with a list of grant funds the Town had received, including the grant for East Hill, to be included in the upcoming Town Report (2020).
Mrs. Peterson confirmed that at present the Town has only one auditor: Ginny Brees. Mrs. Peterson was also asked to list the positions open for employment by the Town and to post it in The Herald and on Front Porch Forum.
J. Adjournment – There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn, Mr. LaRocque seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:09 p.m. (3-0-0)
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Lord, Secretary

Nov 162020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
Town Clerk’s Office
9 November 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Those Present: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Board Member; Dennis LaRocque,
Board Member; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman; and Betty Lord, Secretary
A. Call to Order: the meeting was called to order by Mr. Benson at 6:32 p.m.
B. Adjustments to the Agenda: none
C. Public Comments: none
D. Audit Report: the Board reviewed the Town financial report prepared by Fothergill, Segale & Valley dated June 30, 2019. Mr. Benson made a motion to accept the report as presented. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the report was accepted unanimously.
E. Highway
1. Highway Report: Mr. Higgins reported the Road Crew has been busy clearing ditches and preparing the roads for winter. He also asked for a clarification on a number of roads as to their classification and maintenance.
2. Highway Department Debit Card: Mr. Higgins was advised to talk with Ms. Peterson in the Town Clerk’s Office to arrange for a debit card to be used mainly for the purchase of gasoline.
3. Highway Department Phone: Mr. Higgins was advised to arrange for a phone for his use in Town business. The phone should include access to weather reports and have a camera.
F. Old Business
LEMP Adoption Form: the Board members signed the adoption form for the Local Emergency Management Plan for the Town which had previously been updated by Mr. Richard Doolan, Director of Emergency Management for Brookfield, and approved by the Board.
The Board signed off on a utility license/work permit for Washington Electric Cooperative Inc. for activities on Old Cross Road. ECFiber has requested approval for a utility license for previous work on East Street. A West Street site is also under review for a utility license for previous work.
G. Approval of the Minutes from the 26 October 2020 Meeting: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the minutes were approved as presented.
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the Accounts Payable Warrants in the amount of $15,439.58 with the largest amount being payable to BCBS/VT in the amount of $8,819.83. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which was unanimously approved
I. Other Proper Business
Mr. Benson made a motion to appoint Mr. LaRocque, on a temporary basis, to work with the Brookfield Board of Adjustment to help with the workload of that Board. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which was unanimously approved.
Mr. Higgins was asked to contact the Town of Randolph to find out what they are paying for sand; the Board is investigating fair market rates for sand as part of planning for a potential sand pit operation at the Sprague Farm. Mr. Higgins was also asked to get a cost estimate for clearing an acre of land at the proposed Sprague pit and then recovering it after the sand is harvested.
J. There being no other business to come before the Board the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:56 p.m.

Oct 292020
 

Minutes of the Meeting of
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
SELECTBOARD
Town Clerk’s Office
October 26, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman; Betty Lord, Secretary
A. CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m.
B. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA: None
C: PUBLIC COMMENTS: None
D. NEW BUSINESS: None
E. HIGHWAY:
1. Access Permit – Mace: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the access permit for Aaron Mace as noted. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Aubuchon Credit Application – The Board approved the credit application as presented.
3. The new Road Crew Foreman, Mr. Higgins, reported his first week at work was positive. He met with some of the Town’s people and talked with them about various issues. Mr. Benson asked Mr. Higgins to start taking inventory of the equipment and materials at the Town Garage and to start putting together some numbers for purchases that need to be made in anticipation of the up-coming FY 2021/2022 budget. Mr. Higgins reported the road crew has been doing repairs and maintenance on the trucks and equipment in preparation for winter activities.
F. OLD BUSINESS:
Mr. Higgins was asked to follow up to determine where Randolph and other nearby towns are getting their sand and what they are paying for it. Mr. Benson will talk with Mr. Keith Sprague to discuss the draft lease agreement that has been drawn up between the Town and Mr. Sprague regarding a proposed Sand Pit. The draft lease agreement will be sent to the Town’s attorney for review.
G. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF 12 OCTOBER, 2020: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of October 12, 2020. Mr. LaRocque seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
H. PAYROLL AND A.P. WARRANTS: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Accounts Payable Warrants in the amount of $19,652.90, with the largest payment being made to Evans Group for diesel fuel in the amount of $10,982.25. Mr. Benson seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
I. OTHER PROPER BUSINESS: None
J. ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. LaRocque moved for adjournment. Mr. Benson seconded the motion and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:18 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Lord

Oct 262020
 

Minutes of the Meeting of
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
SELECTBOARD
Town Clerk’s Office
October 12, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Board members, Tim Higgins, Rob Wheatley, Scott Brock, Chris Bunt, Lew Stowell, Richard Doolan, Theresa Godfrey, Town Clerk; and Betty Lord, Secretary
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Chair, Mr. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:33.
B. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA: None
C. PUBLIC COMMENTS: Mr. Scott Brock appeared before the Board to ask his name be corrected in the minutes of September 14, 2020. His main purpose in appearing was to request that he be considered as a member on the Board of Adjustment. He agreed that he had read the by-laws of the Board. Mr. Benson made a motion to accept Mr. Brock as the fifth member of the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion and Mr. Brock was unanimously elected as a member of the Board of Adjustment.
D. NEW BUSINESS:
1. FY19 Audit. Ms. Theresa Godfrey, Town Clerk, reported to the Board that the paper work of the audit for 2019 was completed by the auditors after July 1st; therefore, the changes to the audit have to be put in the beginning of the 2020 audit. Payment for the 2019 audit will have to come out of the 2020 budget. Mr. Benson moved to accept these terms of a letter from the auditor, Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
2. Local Emergency Plan Update. Mr. Richard Doolan, Director of the Emergency Management Plan of the Town of Brookfield appeared before the Board to present changes he had made to the EMP. A copy of these changes is attached and have been made a part of these minutes. Mr. Benson introduced Mr. Lew Stowell to Mr. Doolan and stated that Mr. Stowell had considerable training in emergency management and might be of help to the committee. Mr. Benson moved to accept the emergency plan as outlined by Mr. Doolan. Mr Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
3. Public Safety Committee – Lee Stowell appeared before the Board to present a status report from the Brookfield Public Safely Advisory Committee. He reported there were fourteen roads in town with speed limits. He stated there was $6,500 in the budget that has not been used to-date. He suggested that $4,000 of the budget line item could be used to replace destroyed or stolen signs now and the additional monies be used in May to replace those destroyed over the winter. Mr. Rob Wheatley reported there are quite a few signs in the Town Garage but that many of the signs are also missing posts. Mr. Benson asked that a plan be made to include what is needed in the way of traffic signs, what is on hand, what is needed to be purchased, and the costs of what is needed to get the post in the ground. Mr. Wheatley said it would be more cost effective to rent the equipment for the post holes rather than buying it. Mr. Benson also said replacing signs that still have poles should not be a problem, but for those requiring poles, the road crew is busy preparing for winter and those signs may have to wait for installation.
Mr. Stowell also discussed the over-weight permit processing procedure. A copy of the report for (1) Traffic Sign Recommendations and (2) for Vehicle Over-weight Permit Processing Procedures is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Mr. Stowell also reported that although the threat of the Emerald Ash Bore is still prevalent, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused most efforts to be put aside this year. The Lure/Bait kits and the traps have been stored and there are plans for a more concentrated effort in 2021.
Mr. Stowell asked that a No Parking sign be placed at the turn-around on his property as people are parking in the space making it impossible to use the turn-around . He also talked about the contract that is made with the Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Benson said the contract was coming up again in the spring and he suggested that Mr. Stowell talk with the Sheriff or his second-in-command to discuss the fee schedule to see if an increase in the contract might be necessary or to ascertain that the Town is already getting the services set out in the present contract.
E. Highway – Mr. Rob Wheatley reported the East Hill grant has been paid off. The grant requires that photographs before and after the completed project be taken.
Mr. Aaron Mace on West Street is seeking to install a driveway. Mr. Wheatley will get in touch with him to start the process.
Bear Hill Road Culvert – Mr. Chris Bunt of the State of Vermont, Agency of Transportation attended the meeting to discuss ways in which the culvert on Bear Hill might be repaired. After much discussion, Mr,. Benson asked Mr. Bunt to prepare a report of the costs for having the State do the pilings, what the other costs and the timing of the project would be.
The Board approved two license agreements for ECFiber installations within the Town right of way: one is for Old Cross Road and the other is for Bear Hill Road. Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the license agreements. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously. Copies of both license agreements are to be held at the Town Garage and the Town Clerk’s office.
Washington Electric. A utility pole has been installed on Old Cross Road by Washington Electric. Mr. Benson stated they will be held to the same provisions as those of ECFiber, i.e., if the Town needs to have the pole moved for any reason, Washington Electric will move it and be responsible for the cost. Mr. Kimmel made a motion that it is the condition of this license that after working within the highway ROW, Washington Electric shall restore the surface of the highway ROW to its present condition, including removal of tree stump remnants created during the course of the construction . Once the utility is installed, Washington Electric shall install and maintain at the edge of the ROW on both sides of each underground line road crossing, permanent markers with the words “Underground Utility” on them denoting the utility crossing location. Mr. LaRoque seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Benson presented to the other members of the Board a draft of a lease agreement for the sand pit project. He asked Mr. Kimmel and Mr. LaRoque to review the draft and after any changes to forward a copy to the Town’s attorney.
Executive Session: Mr. Kimball moved that the Board go into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters at 8:30 pm. Mr. LaRoque seconded the motion. At 8:48 the Board voted unanimously to come out of Executive Session.
F. Old Business
1. Amendments to the 14 September Meeting Minutes The secretary was asked to
make the necessary adjustments of changing Mr. Brock’s first name to Scott.
2. Approve Minutes of the September 28 Minutes. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the Town of Brookfield, Selectboard minutes of September 28, 2020 as presented. Mr. Benson seconded the motion and the minutes were approved unanimously.
G. Payroll and AP Warrants. Mr. LaRoque moved to accept the Payroll and Accounts Payable Warrants in the amount of $13,913.70 with the largest payment being to Gorman Group in the amount of $4,107.80. Mr. Benson seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
H. Other Proper Business. Mr. LaRoque reminded everyone the Garage Committee would be holding an Open House at the Town Garage for the General Public on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. LaRoque moved for adjournment. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote at 9:10 pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Lord, Secretary

Oct 082020
 

Minutes of the Meeting of
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD SELECTBOARD
Town Clerk’s Office
September 28, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Richard Doolen, Will White, Tim Higgins, Rob Wheatley
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Chair, John Benson called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m.
B. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA: None
C: PUBLIC COMMENTS: Mr. Will White came before the Board providing an update on ECFiber’s plan to bring service to his home. He stated that it is possible a pending grant that could benefit Old Cross Road would end before the service poles could be installed. Mr. White asked if there was not enough time to get the poles in, if the Board would approved putting approximately 650 ft of line under the road. Mr. Benson stated that the Town would prefer poles but running the lines along the side of the road in conduit with ECFiber paying the $3,000 cost would be acceptable. He also stated that if there is an open cut, there should be a warning posted. The same conditions would continue to apply as when the project was first approved. ECFiber will have full responsibility and no cost to the Town. If the Town should need to move the lines in the future, it will be done at no cost to the Town.
Mr. Benson also asked that a folder be developed outlining all of these requirements and kept at the Town garage. The license agreement should be the same as the one used for a prior East Street project. Mr. Benson made a motion that the Board approve the lines being put completely underground, but that poles would be preferred if they can be installed before having to forfeit the grant. Mr, Kimmel seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
D. NEW BUSINESS:
1. Mr. Richard Doolen appeared before the Board to request that he be appointed Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Brookfield Mr. Doolen is currently working in a similar capacity for the towns of Randolph and Braintree. Mr. Benson stated he had held the position for years as Chief of the Fire Department. Mr. Benson said he would endorse Mr. Doolan as this position needs to be filled. Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the appointment of Mr. Doolen as Director of Emergency Management. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motions was unanimously approved. Mr. Kimmel was asked to forward Mr. Doolan a copy of the current Emergency Preparedness Plan.
2. Life Insurance: Topic tabled until the planning of the 2021 budget.
E. Highway
1. TA-66 and TA 65 for the Ridge Road Grant— The Board members signed these two forms for the grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Transportation in the total amount of $212,556.40 for the paving of the Ridge Road.
2. Tucker invoice—This invoice represented 56 yards of 1-1/4 plant mix and 28 yards of dense graded. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the invoice as is was presented by Tucker. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
3. Time Clock- The question before the Board was whether or not to have a time clock installed at the Town Garage. Mr. Higgins, who will be the new Road Foreman, favors a software system for time keeping. He said it makes payroll much easier as well being advantageous when planning a budget. The Board unanimously agreed with the idea of looking into software for time keeping and asked Mr. Higgins to check out software programs.
Mr. Rob Wheatley, Interim Road Foreman, reported they are finished with the project on East Hill. He has called Summit to get an estimate for seeding the area. Mr. Kimmel was asked to check with Mrs. Peterson at the Town Clerk’s Office, to ascertain how much of the grant has been used. Mr. Wheatley stated the last invoice has been received from Stanley Wheatley and there will be no more invoices for materials. The only expense left on the project is for the hydro seeds. Mr. Rob Wheatley will present Mrs. Peterson with records of time spent and materials used to put against the grant. If a final inspection is required to satisfy the grant, the inspection should be arranged for two weeks out, in order for to allow time for the seeding. Mr. Wheatley also reported that the final grading of roads will be done soon, followed by ditch digging before winter. Mr. Wheatley reported they had repaired a washout at Kibbee Road and Kibbee Road Extension and repaired a driveway.
Mr LaRocque made a motion to accept the application of Ms. Pat Mercier to move her driveway with notations as provided by the Mr. Wheatley, Interim Road Foreman. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
The Twin Pond Road culvert has been repaired.
Mr. Benson asked Mr. Higgins to do a report on Sprague sand pit, the proposed new sand source. One question arose about what will it cost to get a crusher to crush 5,000 yards a year for three years and a bulldozer to come in and strip the site about 1-1/2 acres each year and then re-cover the site? This will put the Town in a good position for next summer and this information will also be needed to plan the budget.
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy—The Personnel Policy has now been updated. Mr. Benson suggested one edit: ”fulltime employee is defined as working 32 hours” as opposed to the previous 40 hours. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was carried unanimously.
2. Local Hazard Emergency Plan Grant—Mr. Benson reported that he had met with two people from Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission who offered input in the writing of the last Emergency Plan. The grant is for $10,150 with the Town paying $2,500. Mr. Kimmel will get in touch with Ms. Gwynn Zakov, Chair of the Planning Commission, to inform her of the need to update the plan. Mr. Benson noted that the Commission has 12 months to update the plan and that not much has changed since the last update. He asked Mr. Kimmel to send copies of the present plan to Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Benson, and Ms. Zakov.
H. PAYROLL AND AP WARRANTS —Mr. LaRocque moved to accept the accounts payable report for a total of $28,140.55 with the largest expense being Caterpillar Financial Services for $19,753.91. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.
At 8:20 p.m. the Board went into executive session regarding a personnel review. At 8:24 Mr. Benson moved to come out of executive session. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion carried.
I. OTHER PROPER BUSINESS- Mr. Benson stated that he would complete an employment agreement for Mr. Tim Higgins, new Road Foreman, which would include the terms that were discussed at his interview and hiring.
Mr. Benson will also prepare a draft lease agreement for the proposed Sprague sand pit. Mr LaRocque said that he met with the Garage Committee on Tuesday, September 22 to discuss various objectives. There will be an Open House at the Town Garage on Saturday, October 17, 2020; the purpose of which is to acquaint the public with the equipment that is necessary to keep the roads of Brookfield in proper shape and to meet the new Road Crew Foreman.
ADJOURNMENT —There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.

Sep 212020
 

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

Aug 252020
 

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