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.

Aug 122020
 

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

Jul 282020
 

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

Jul 142020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
June 22, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Jeff Baker, Keith LaCroix, Jon Binhammer, Will White
A. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: none
C. Public Comment:
Mr. Binhammer asked the Selectboard to authorize reappointment of members to the Brookfield Conservation Commission. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to reappoint Starr Strong and Kathy Kinter to 4 year terms to the Commission.
Mr. Binhammer reported that the bridge and boardwalk at the nature trail on Route 65 are deteriorating and in dire need of repair. Mr. Binhammer noted that the biggest issue will probably be figuring out how to reset the bridge. One option is to ask the local Boy Scouts troop to help with the work, as they had in the past. Also, there’s been an offer of donated spare telephone poles for the project. It would be helpful if the Road Crew could help move the poles.
D. Highway Report:
1) Gravel/Sand Pit: Mr. Peck has been discussing a proposed plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand for the Town; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand and/or gravel pit. Mr. Peck will be reviewing the site on June 23. Mr. Benson suggested that he also contact the Vermont River Management Section to confirm conditions and potential restrictions. Mr. Peck said that a bridge to the south of the site will likely need work.
2) Ridge Road: the Town received a report from Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) and other AoT personnel regarding degrading conditions on the road. Mr. Kimmel will forward a copy of the report to the Town Attorney, asking for his recommendations.
AoT addressed 3 sections of the road, the conditions they observed, and potential responses to the problems. Mr. Peck will re-mark the problematic sections for ease of identification.
3) Baker Access Permit: Baker Access Permit: Jeff Baker submitted an application for an Access Permit to upgrade a 700 feet portion of TH14 (starting at the junction with Twin Pond Road) along with creating a driveway off of TH14 into a parcel that Mr. Baker intends to develop.
A neighboring property owner (Les Haskell) had expressed concerns about the proposed road work, including appropriate drainage and culvert construction, impact on local water resources, proper continuing maintenance on the improved portion, and the potential for increased traffic on TH14.
Mr. Baker reported to the Board about how he intended to proceed with the TH14 repairs and then access to the property. Mr. LaCroix and his wife currently own the subject parcel; he also offered a brief description of the site and their history with it. Mr. Peck noted that TH14 is a public right-of-way, and the Town remains concerned about drainage and water flow issues. Mr. Benson indicated that the Town will not plow the road, and that maintenance would occur every couple of years. Mr. Baker said that he has considerable construction experience, and would work with the Town on project configuration.
Mr. Benson said that the Town appreciated Mr. Baker’s coordination with the Road Crew and Board. He added that he believes the best approach is that the Town and Mr. Baker work towards a written agreement that would detail the specifications of the proposal along with Mr. Baker’s responsibilities and the Town’s conditions for the project. Mr. Peck will also participate in review of the proposal and conditions.
4) Other Highway Business: Mr. Peck reported that ECFiber seeks to install an 893 ft. cable along Old Cross Road. He reviewed the proposal, and has concerns that the cable placement may pose potential problems with Town highway maintenance work. Mr. Peck noted that there is also a lot of ledge in the area. ECFiber would need to provide proof of insurance and plans for appropriate safety measures. Mr. Benson suggested that ECFiber should pursue easement agreements with affected landowners; Mr. White indicated he and one other affected landowner had already reached such agreements. Mr. Peck will follow up with ECFiber about plans and precautions.
4) Personnel: On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Benson second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 7:28 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 7:56 p.m.
E. New Business – Budget: the Board reviewed the budget summary and discussed remaining balances and expenditures for FY 2019-2020, along with planning for costs associated with developing proposals for the Town Garage.
F. Old Business – Personnel Policy: deferred.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of June 8, 2020; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $29,843.33 with large bills that include: Municipal Emergency Services (Fire Department): $15,024.00; Gorman Group LLC (Chloride): $4,173.12; and WRVA (Ambulance Service): $3,425.00; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: none
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:43 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.

Jun 232020
 

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
June 8, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Minutes
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant)
A. Call to Order – 6:36 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: A personnel issue recently arose; on motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to go into Executive Session at 6:37 p.m., for a personnel discussion. The Board exited the session at 7:05 p.m.
C. Public Comment: (none)
D. Highway Report:
1) Ridge Road: the Town received a report from Chris Bump (VT Agency of Transportation) and other AoT personnel regarding degrading conditions on the road. Mr. Bump had visited Brookfield on May 14 to review the situation. At that meeting, Road Crew Foreman Ray Peck had identified several issues with the paving work performed by Pike Industries in Fall 2019.
AoT addressed 3 sections of the road, the conditions they observed, and potential responses to the problems. The Board will forward a copy of the report to the Town Attorney, asking for his recommendations on how to proceed.
2) Baker Access Permit: Baker Access Permit: Jeff Baker submitted an application for an Access Permit to upgrade a 700 feet portion of TH14 (starting at the junction with Twin Pond Road) along with creating a driveway off of TH14 into a parcel that Mr. Baker intends to develop.
A neighboring property owner (Les Haskell) had expressed concerns about the proposed road work, including appropriate drainage and culvert construction, impact on local water resources, proper continuing maintenance on the improved portion, and the potential for increased traffic on TH14.
The Board would like to have Mr. Baker provide additional information and documents, including Subdivision and Development Permit applications that would help describe plans for the site. Town Administrative Officer (Zoning) Mike Fiorillo is aware of the proposal development, and will also need additional information regarding the zoning permits. Mr. Fiorillo has indicated he believes Mr. Baker wants to complete the Access Permit process before proceeding to the zoning items.
3) Gravel/Sand Pit: Road Crew Foreman Ray Peck has been discussing a proposed plan with Keith Sprague to obtain sand for the Town; Mr. Sprague may have a site that could be opened up as a sand and/or gravel pit.
Mr. Benson said he will contact Mr. Sprague and follow up regarding potential test pit borings to begin to assess the quality of the material and potential area it covers.
4) Hay Bale Shredder – Grant Paperwork: Ms. Peterson asked that the Road Crew provide photos and additional shredder usage information in support of the grant.
5) Road-side Mowing Contract: On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the Contract for Services with Brandon Stevens Mowing LLC for the annual Town mowing work.
E. New Business
1. Vermont Local Government Resolution: no action.
2. Contract for Stan Wheatley: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the contract for services with Stan Wheatley; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0. Mr. Wheatley has provided contractor work and equipment for various Brookfield Highway Department projects for many years.
F. Old Business
1. Personnel Policy – deferred.
G. Approve Selecboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of May 26, 2020; Mr. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $79,787.93 with large bills that include: Hebert Excavation (Sand): $60,045.00; Everett J. Prescott (Culverts): $7,320.00; and BCBS VT (Health Insurance): $4,500.65; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business:
An item was addressed in Road-side Mowing above.
The Board proposed an initial meeting of the Town Garage Committee to be held June 16 at the Town Clerk’s Office, at 6:30 p.m. Board members will notify people who have expressed an interest in participating in the committee.
The Board is looking for a person to help prepare minutes for Selectboard meetings. The position will be paid, and involve approximately 2 hours to take notes at each meeting and approximately 3 hours to draft the minutes.
J. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:33 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.