Sep 152022
 

BCA Hearing

Brookfield Town Office

Saturday, September 10, 2022

9:00 a.m.

Subject property:  1757 East St, Brookfield VT

Attendees:

BCA members: Beth DeForge, J. Keith Sprague III, Linda Runnion, C. Curtis Koren, Stuart Edson, Betty Lord, John Benson

Listers: Phyllis Humez, Ted Nelson, Vermont Appraisal Company Owner, Sean Boyce, Appraiser

Public: Amy Ingrassia, Michael Garbitelli

Appellant:  Max Ferris

Town Clerk:  Teresa Godfrey

The meeting opened with the Town Clerk swearing in the BCA members, Listers, and Appellants.

At the prior meeting held Monday, August 22nd at 6:15 p.m. the Board appointed C. Curtis Koren as Chair of the Board.

Teresa Godfrey recused herself from presenting testimony due to also being a Lister.

The following documents were presented by Ted Nelson and numbered as Lister 1, 2, etc.:

  1. Cover Sheet explaining the documents enclosed
  2. Cost sheet dated 10/20/2015 with sketch
  3. Cost sheet dated 06/01/2022 with sketch
  4. Cost sheet dated 8/11/2022 with sketch
  5. Cost sheet comparable 396 Rand Road, Randolph
  6. Cost sheet comparable 566 Thayer Brook Road, Randolph
  7. Cost sheet comparable 60 O’Donnell Road, Chelsea
  8. Cost sheet comparable 1086 Salt Box Road, Randolph
  9. Cost sheet comparable 15 East Randolph Road, Chelsea
  10. Cost sheet comparable 459 Riford Brook Road, Braintree

Mr. Nelson presented the parcel as a house & 3 Acres on East Street and that it had been transformed since the last reappraisal.  He understood Mr. Ferris was concerned with a porch and living area measurement.  When Mr. Ferris requested a grievance hearing, it was agreed Sean Boyce would re-measure the home.

Mr. Ferris presented one document.  A-1: Lister’s sketch of his parcel indicating the porch 2 should not be there and the garage sq. ft. wasn’t accurate.  Mr. Ferris said his biggest concern was the huge value difference.  When he came in for grievance there was an adjustment made stating there wasn’t a 3rd floor.  The home was built out of pallets and there wasn’t a porch on the front door but was only used as a window.

Mr. Boyce questioned if there was a slab or cement pad in front of the door being labeled as “open porch deck” (OPD) and the 2nd floor deck did not have a value since it was only a frame.

Mr. Nelson stated the last value was set 15 years ago and the Listers set policies and follow them.  Other Towns knock on doors but Brookfield Listers wait until reappraisal. This causes the sticker shock that the value doubled.  Vermont Appraisal Company (VAC) uses the MLS access with 85 sales in Orange County for comparable properties.

Betty Lord noted the value from purchase to the current value that he was paying the same tax amount for all those years.

Mr. Boyce said he went and did measure the interior of the garage sq. ft.

Mr. Edson stated the Listers use the measure of the exterior for footprint.

John Benson asked Mrs. Godfrey what the Grand List percent of increase was from prior values to reappraisal.  Mrs. Godfrey said when comparing last year to the current year it increased about 20%.  He suggested a site visit date and time.

Mrs. Koren asked if there were any other questions.

Beth DeForge, Mrs. Koren, Mr. Benson, and Mrs. Lord will set up a time with Mr. Ferris to do a site visit.

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The BCA then met with Justin Poulin at 9:40.

Subject property: 3302 West Street, Brookfield, VT

Attendees included all listed above except Max Ferris who left.

Public: John Parker, Tom Garbitelli, Amy Ingrassia, Michael Garbitelli

The following documents were presented by Ted Nelson and numbered as L-1:

  1. Cover Sheet explaining the documents enclosed
  2. Cost sheet dated 05/16/2021 with sketch
  3. Cost sheet dated 06/24/2022 with sketch
  4. Cost sheet dated 8/10/2022 with sketch
  5. Cost sheet comparable 457 VT RT 110, Tunbridge
  6. Cost sheet comparable 1462 Weir Road, Williamstown
  7. Cost sheet comparable 144 Summit Road, Braintree
  8. Cost sheet comparable 40 Fletcher Road, Braintree
  9. Cost sheet comparable 226 Chelsea Road, Brookfield
  10. Cost sheet comparable 0 West Corinth Road, Washington
  11. Cost sheet comparable 455 Valliant Place, Corinth
  12. Cost sheet comparable 127 Bobbinshop Road, Chelsea
  13. Cost sheet comparable 00 North Colby Road, Thetford
  14. Cost sheet comparable 0 Warsley Road, Orange

Mr. Nelson presented the parcel as 140 Acres and dwelling at 3302 West Street.

Mr. Poulin approved the changes made from grievance hearings with the outbuilding adjustments but felt the value of the house had no adjustment to its value with replacement cost less depreciation.

Mr. Poulin presented the following documents and were labeled as A-1:

  1. Price quote from Renewal by Anderson at $19,887
  2. Price quote from Kyle Horton
  3. 2 Photos of siding rot and window rot
  4. Photo of gutters with rust and holes

Mr. Poulin felt the 3 major issues with his home were beyond normal depreciation.  The 2 windows have the casing rotting and it will cost $20 thousand to replace.  The siding is peeling from the sun deterioration and the gutters were rusted and full of holes.  The windows are 8′ x 4′ picture windows.

He feels there should be a reduction based on those costs and it is hard to get replacements.  They will have to be custom made.

Linda Runnion asked if they were living there or in Randolph and he said in Brookfield.

Ms. DeForge asked what just the house value was currently.

Mr. Nelson said $198,400.

Mr. Edson asked if 25% physical depreciation for a 1975 home is a consistent value. Mr. Nelson said yes.

Mr. Poulin asked why it went from Average to Fair/Average and Mr. Nelson said it is a descriptor only.

Mr. Nelson said when Mr. Boyce did the reappraisal and the Poulins elected not to have him enter the home. There is often confusion between quality and condition issues.  High end is $70k in value with kitchens and bath bumping the quality. Normal maintenance is not adjusted between reappraisals and the south end of the home is hit by the sun.  It’s challenging for farm values since sales are not necessarily to Farmers.  The condition of the wall should be addressed and it might be corrected later.

Mrs. Koren asked if there were any other questions or comments.

Mr. Poulin stated that they were not doing the windows right off and would use spray foam to seal.  You can’t get contractors for 8-10 months out.  The gutters might be replaced in the next 5 years or so.

BCA members set the exterior site visit for September 13th at 2:00 p.m.  Mrs. Koren, Ms. Runnion, Ms. DeForge, and Mr. Benson plan on doing the site visit.

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The BCA then met with John Parker at 10:15.

Subject property: 6332 VT Route 14

Attendees included all listed above except Justin Poulin who left.

Public: Tom Garbitelli, Amy Ingrassia, Michael Garbitelli

The following documents were presented by Ted Nelson and numbered as L-1:

  1. Cover Sheet explaining the documents enclosed
  2. Cost sheet dated 03/02/2013 with sketch
  3. Cost sheet dated 07/06/2022 with sketch
  4. Cost sheet dated 8/11/2022 with sketch
  5. Cost sheet comparable 313 VT Route 14, Randolph
  6. Cost sheet comparable 94 Water Street, Northfield
  7. Cost sheet comparable 272 Morrison Road, Barre
  8. Cost sheet comparable 1881 Sheldon Rd, St. Albans

Mr. Nelson presented the parcel as 2.17 Acres & dwelling & 2 commercial buildings.

John Parker didn’t have any documents to present.  He stated he bought the property in 2008 before the house was going to be torn down paying $25k for the house and garage and $10k for the church. The property was a complete disaster.  They put a new roof on the garage and house and some on the church.  The 2nd floor collapsed on the 1st floor in the house.  There is dry rot on 1 wall of the church and floor by the cellar.  They installed support beams and the garage was supported.  He was surprised the comparables were not just in Brookfield and he owns several properties in Vermont.  The house next door sold for $165k and it is a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home that is livable.  The house he owns is not livable.  It is a challenge to restore and will not be doing it if the value is at $200k.

Mr. Nelson labeled the church as cold storage and that part of the roof was fixed. He acknowledged the back of the house needs repair and that Mr. Boyce went through after grievance.  He felt the value of $220k-$225k was an accurate value. He also knew the value $100k-$150k was what Mr. Parker felt the parcel should be valued at. The church has serious structural damage.  He felt the sale of the house next door was not a valid sale because the keys were surrendered in lieu of foreclosure and it was sold after being on the market.

BCA members set the site visit for September 13th at 3:00 p.m.  Mrs. Koren, Ms. Runnion, Ms. DeForge, Mrs. Lord and Mr. Benson plan on doing the site visit.

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The BCA then met with Michael Garbitelli at 10:30.

Subject property: 6332 VT Route 14

Attendees included all listed above except John Parker who left.

Public: Tom Garbitelli, Amy Ingrassia

The following documents were presented by Ted Nelson and numbered as L-1:

  1. Cover Sheet explaining the documents enclosed
  2. Cost sheet dated 07/02/2016 with sketch
  3. Cost sheet dated 06/01/2022 with sketch
  4. Cost sheet dated 8/11/2022 with sketch
  5. Cost sheet comparable 564 VT Route 66, Randolph
  6. Cost sheet comparable 2800 Bear Hill Road, Brookfield
  7. Cost sheet comparable 232 Garden Street, Williamstown
  8. Cost sheet comparable 1155 VT Route 66, Randolph
  9. Cost sheet comparable 1146 Hebert Road, Williamstown
  10. Cost sheet comparable 6062 VT Route 66, Randolph
  11. Cost sheet comparable 407/433 Lavender Road, Brookfield

Mr. Nelson presented the parcel as 2 acres & dwelling, 1506 West Street

Mr. Garbitelli feels the property is overvalued and the quality of fair-average is too high.  The house is 35 years old and the roof almost collapsed.  The original owner built it himself and the roof has a low pitch.  Typically there is 8′-12′ of snow fall a year.

Mr. Garbitelli presented the following documents listed as A-1 and A-2.

  1. Introductory letter written by Mr. Garbitelli dated Sept 2022
  2. Pages 6 & 8 from the VAC Reappraisal Introduction & Guidelines
  3. Cost sheet dated 7/16/2022

He feels it should be graded as poor quality with 6′-7′ ceilings and depreciation of 30 is low.  The 88% complete is too high.  The home needs massive reconstruction and a new roof needs to be added.  The land is rocky ledge and the waterline freezes every year because it isn’t deep enough.  The land drops off to the old town road.  The comparables presented are livable homes and not in Town.  This is not a livable home.

Mr. Nelson said Mr. Boyce went through and is very familiar with quality construction as a builder.  Quality is about the construction of a building and condition is wear & tear of a building.  The roof quality is condition.  He wondered if the roof had an expert look into it.  With the age of the house from 1987 it is still standing. The value of $175k-$225k with the Brookfield school system there are not a lot of houses for sale in Brookfield.  Can it be lowered is for the BCA to decide.

Mr. Garbitelli said the snow has been shoveled off for the last 20 years.  The hole for the pool was put in professionally.  He feels the heat and electric are substandard and way below the quality.

Mrs. Godfrey asked when the house was last lived in.

Mr. Garbitelli said a couple of years ago.  The last tenant left in 2019.  He mentioned 1681 West Street sold for $130k. No one is currently living in the home.

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Subject property: 1680 West Street

Attendees included all listed.

Public: Tom Garbitelli, Amy Ingrassia

The following documents were presented by Ted Nelson and numbered as L-1:

  1. Cover Sheet explaining the documents enclosed
  2. Cost sheet dated 07/02/2016 with sketch
  3. Cost sheet dated 06/29/2022 with sketch
  4. Cost sheet dated 8/11/2022 with sketch
  5. Cost sheet comparable 706 Dearborn Hill Road, Corinth
  6. Cost sheet comparable 271 Whitney Hill Road, Tunbridge
  7. Cost sheet comparable 189 Jackson Brook Road, Thetford
  8. Cost sheet comparable 171 Gould Hill Road, Worcester

Mr. Nelson presented the parcel as 59.8 acres & dwelling, 1680 West Street.

Mr. Garbitelli presented a packet with the following labeled as A-1, 2 & 3:

  1. Front photo of the home
  2. Letter of grievance challenge dated Sept 2022
  3. Letter of grievance to the Brookfield Listers dated July 12, 2022
  4. Pages 5-10, 12, 14, & 18 of VAC Reappraisal Introduction and Guidelines
  5. Sale listing of 2034/2069 Old Post Road (A-2)
  6. Tax bill for 2021-2022 for parcel with value listed as $809,100 (A-3)

Mr. Garbitelli stated it is a big house but it is a plain, large, simple house. The quality rating was 6 but is now a 5.75 after grievance hearings.  It is not a luxury house. Mr. Garbitelli considers it a 4 quality from page 5 of the VAC Reappraisal Introduction and Guidelines.  It is 22 years old with vinyl siding & plastic shutters.  There is no garage and any home in Vermont this size would include a large garage.  The land is rocky ledge and to build, they had to blow up ledge.

Phyllis Humez asked if he had South Pond access.

Mr. Garbitelli said you can walk down to it but you can’t build anything over 250′ from edge.

Mr. Nelson said the 2016 quality was a 7.0.  Banks use 1-6 qualities and Towns can go up to a 14.

When did the quality change to a 6.0?  There is a missing cost sheet of the change.

There is a lot of privacy and building the house where it is causes a sense of protection.  Mr. Nelson spoke of the applied functional and physical depreciation due to oversize and speaking to 2 different appraisers they agreed with the value.  There is a difference between quality and condition.  Training someone to value property, there is a left/right brain for this. The quality grade shouldn’t relate to its size.  We don’t add or subtract for whether there is a garage.  Luxury homes are between 7-14.

Mr. Benson questioned the higher qualities and how does this home fall into a 5.75.

BCA members set the site visit for September 24th at 1:00 p.m.  Mr. Edson, Ms. DeForge, Ms. Runnion, Mrs. Lord, and Mr. Sprague plan on doing the site visit.

On motion by Mr. Edson and seconded by Mr. Sprague, the Board voted to recess the hearings at 12:00 p.m.

After the site visits listed above, the Board will reconvene on Saturday, October 1st at 9:00 a.m. at the Brookfield Town Office.

Respectively,

Teresa Godfrey, Brookfield Town Clerk

 

Sep 012021
 

Town of Brookfield
Board of Civil Authority
Voter Checklist Review
August 29, 2021 9:00 a.m.
The Brookfield Board of Civil Authority (BCA) met on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. at the Brookfield Town Office.  The meeting was called to order.  In attendance was Beth DeForge-JP, C. Curtis Koren-JP, Brenda Flint-Selectboard Member, Kate Threlkeld- Selectboard Member, Jeff Kimmel-Selectboard Member, Bonnie Fallon-JP, and Teresa Godfrey-Town Clerk.
The Board was given the Active Voter checklist, New Voter List from 9/1/2019-current, and the currently challenged list.  It was broken up into packets so everyone was able to review each of the 10 packet lists.  The lists included voter name, address, birth date, the date each voter registered and last voted.  This was an effective way to question if the person should be challenged.
After everyone was done with all of the lists, we reviewed the ones that were questioned as a whole.  In the end there were 22 registered voters that everyone agreed should have a letter sent to them.  Mrs. Godfrey will send the challenge letters out in the next week.
Discussion also included up-coming elections and where we might be able to have them and whether the Town will be required to purchase a vote tabulator in the future with over 1000 registered voters.  No decisions were made.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
Submitted by Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Sep 232020
 

Quick BCA Meeting
September 17, 2020 @ 1:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Town Office
Attendees:  Jeff Kimmel, Phyllis Humez, Robert “Jake” Stewart, C. Curtis Koren, Bonnie Fallon, Linda Runnion, Teresa Godfrey
The meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m.
The Board of Civil Authority met at the Brookfield Town Office to move the voting location for the November 3, 2020 General Election due to the Brookfield Elementary School not being available because of COVID 19.
On motion by Curtis, seconded by Jeff, the BCA voted to move the voting location to the Old Town Hall at 93 Stone Road for the November 3, 2020 General Election.
Motion carried.
On motion by Jeff, seconded by Linda, the meeting adjourned at 1:35.
 
Recorded by Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk
 

Jul 252018
 

BCA Hearing
Brookfield Town Office
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
6:00 p.m.
Subject property: 932 East Hill Road, Brookfield, VT
Attendees:
BCA members: Robert “Jake” Stewart, Beth DeForge, Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Bonnie Fallon
Listers: Phyllis Humez, Stuart Edson
Appellants: Allison Belisle, David VonHolden
Town Clerk: Teresa Godfrey
The meeting opened with the Town Clerk swearing in the BCA members, Listers, and Appellants.
The Board appointed Jeff Kimmel as Chair of the Board.
Teresa Godfrey recused herself from presenting testimony due to also being a Lister.
Mr. Kimmel explained the process of the BCA hearing.
He then asked the Listers to present their documents and testimony.
The following documents were presented by Stuart Edson and numbered as Lister 1, 2, etc.:

Cost sheet dated 11/16/2017
Cost sheet dated 06/19/2018
Letter to Brookfield Listers from the Appellants dated 6/7/2018
Property tax assessment review dated 3/2018 from Appellants
Result of grievance day appeal dated 6/27/2018
Special circumstances codes for non-valid sales dated 7/28/2016
Cost sheet comparable Parcel ID 01-016.000 1138 East Hill Road, Brookfield
Cost sheet comparable Parcel ID 03-039.000 320 Cross Brook Lane Ext., Brookfield
MLS cost sheet for 482 Royalton Hill Road, Bethel sold 12/1/2016

Mr. Edson explained the process the Listers had taken since the property was purchased on October 25, 2017. He explained the above documents and the result of the grievance.  The final result being the property value went from $955,900 down to $578,000.  The Appellants were not satisfied with the result and requested a BCA hearing.
Mr. Kimmel asked the Appellants to present their documents and testimony.
The following documents were presented by Allison Belisle and numbered as App. I, II, etc

Letter to Board of Civil Authority dated 7/2018
Email printout from Terry Owen (auctioneer) dated 7/10/2018
Page 4 & 5 of Attorneys Report and Opinion on Title (number App. III-A) Email printout complete Attorneys Report and Opinion on Title (numbered App. III-B) submitted with permission of Board and Listers on 7/19/2018.
Sale & Purchase agreement dated 10/12/2017
Home Details printout dated 6/27/2018

Ms. Belisle stated they maintain the value of their home at $415,000 and the auction was properly advertised and warned. They consider this an “arms-length transaction” and this was not a bankruptcy auction.  She presented an email from Terry Owen with the final listings and auction.  The property was on the market to sell for 2 years at $675,000 and there was no sale.  Only one offer of $400,000 was not accepted.  Ms. Belisle said the former Mayor of Barre stopped bidding at $410,000.  There were no banks involved.  All liens were from family.  There was no transfer of ownership.
Mr. Kimmel requested the full Attorneys report to be submitted to the Board via email the following day. (This was done through the Town Clerk’s email and sent to all involved.  Numbered as App. III-B above).
Ms. DeForge asked what the definition of “arms-length transaction”.
Ms. Belisle answered with it being an agreement between 2 parties making it a “fair market value” transaction.
Mr. Edson wanted to inform all that when the annual sales study is done by the State, they do not consider an auction a valid sale. The State will not consider this sale as valid per our District Advisor.
Mr. Kimmel said that without documentation for this, we won’t consider this for this hearing.
Mr. Edson conceded that the sales study has not been done for this property. The Listers presented a listing numbered #6 as a document supporting his statement of non-valid sales.
Ms. DeForge asked the Listers if the items on Listers #4 and not checked were addressed in the revaluation. Mr. Edson said yes.
Ms. DeForge asked the Appellants if during the 2 hour open house, if they attended. They said yes and twice before.  They made their own determination of what they would pay as a high end.
Ms. Fallon asked why they bought the home when they had all these concerns. Ms. Belisle said it was worth what they paid.
Mr. Haggett asked what they meant about “creative selling”. Mr. VonHolden said that Mr. Lacerte put the property into a LLC to declare bankruptcy with it protecting his other properties.
When asked who the attorney was for the sale, Ms. Belisle replied with Ray O’Buchowski.
Mr. Haggett asked if they had an appraisal done and Ms. Belisle replied that they didn’t see a reason to at this point.
Mr. Kimmel asked if either side had any comparables for recent sales. The Listers presented 3 different ones. The Appellants did not have any.
Mr. Haggett asked if there were mortgages totaling $540,000 why they didn’t consider this a distressed sale. Mr. VonHolden said the mortgages were with Mr. Lacerte’s family members and so the Appellants did not feel this would make is a distressed sale.
Mr. Haggett said the Board of Abatement did abate some of his taxes for financial trouble and it is now public record. Mr. VonHolden felt it was an assumption.
Mr. Haggett questioned the difference between housesite and homestead. At the Town Clerks suggestion, Mr. Edson explained the breakdown of the cost sheet and what the different depreciations meant.
Mr. Kimmel asked if there was any rebuttals from the Listers.
Mr. VonHolden stated they would like to reach common ground and Mr. Edson asked if they felt the Listers were not looking for a common ground. Ms. Belisle said the first pass, not really but the 2nd pass it was closer.
Mr. Kimmel asked for at least 3 volunteers for the house inspection. Ms. Fallon, Ms. DeForge, and Mr. Haggett volunteered.
July 21st at 9:00 a.m. is the set date and time for them to see the house.
Mr. Kimmel set the follow-up hearing with a report back from the inspection for August 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the Brookfield Town Office.
On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett the meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.