Mar 072020
 

Town of Brookfield 2020 Annual Meeting

The legal voters of the Town of Brookfield met for the annual Town Meeting, at the Brookfield Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday March 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:

Call to Order at 10:00 a.m.

Moderator, Gregory Wight, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lunch will be served supporting the Brookfield School Club with donations.

Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot.  For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Article 2: To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.

John Benson, Selectboard Chair, thanked Cory Haggett for his service on the Selectboard.  He also recognized Chuck Barnum for the several offices he has held over the many years he served the Town. Ruth Goodale was also thanked for helping to beautify the different areas in the Village with the flowers she had planted.  She had written a letter to the Board stating she will not be able to continue this and would like to see someone take on the task.

J. Benson asked for those currently or previously holding a position in Town to stand and be recognized. He then asked for those who had served or are serving in the Armed Services to stand and be recognized. He thanked all for their Town and Country services.

J. Benson then discussed the survey that was done for a portion of Stone Road. At Town Meeting 2019, it was approved to hire a survey company to establish the right-of-way and travel portion of a section of Stone Road. American Survey Company was then hired and at a warned Selectboard meeting and at a warned site meeting, the results were presented to the Property owners, the Selectboard, the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept., and the public.  All parties involved are now aware of where the travel lane and ROW are located.

The Board was recently presented a request for a public assemblage permit by Dennis Tatro.  He has done extensive research of the location of the Justin Morgan homestead.  He found it to be at the Brookfield & Randolph Town line near Snow Road.  There will be a dedication of a Historical Marker in May 2020.

The Board was also presented with a request from VT Transportation Board to dedicate a portion of VT Route 14, at the Williamstown side coming into Brookfield, to Major Ira Day. The VT Transportation Board will be holding a public meeting in June and it will be posted on the Town website for those interested in attending.

Braintree no longer has a Zoning Administrator and is interested in having one that would cover Braintree, Randolph, and Brookfield.  Dee Monte stepped down for Brookfield and Mike Fiorillo is now the ZA for Brookfield.

Ray Peck, Road Foreman, has informed the Board that the sand we are purchasing from Larry Hebert in Williamstown will only be available for a few more years before he runs out.  The Board and R. Peck are looking for a reasonable source for sand along with other towns he supplies.

J. Benson mentioned there are several positions available in Town and we never turn down volunteers.

Dan Childs, ECFiber Town Representative, wanted to thank all who have signed up in Brookfield.  There is a raffle for getting the fast speed at a low price if anyone is interested in purchasing tickets.  ECFiber is town owned.

J.Benson thanked D. Childs and Stuart Edson for getting the Town moved up on the list for us to receive it quicker.

Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.

Motion by Erik Nielson, seconded by Marylou Maeder.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 4:  To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.

Motion by D. Childs, seconded by Billie Gosh that the first payment of 2020/2021 property taxes to be due November 7, 2020; the second payment due May 1, 2021.  Motion carried.

Article 5:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to engage the firm of Vermont Appraisal Company to complete a Town-wide reappraisal of all properties within the Town.  The cost for which shall not exceed $81,000; the funds for which are already in place.

Motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by S. Edson.

Patty Kennedy questioned if this was put out to bid.  S. Edson, with help from Teresa Godfrey, both Listers, said it was put out to all appraisal companies that the Vermont Property Valuation and Review Board approves as appraisers.  Only VT Appraisal Company put in a bid.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

J. Benson also let the voters know this will be a 2-year process.

Article 6:  To see if the Town will vote to contribute $300.00 to the Randolph Area Mentoring Program (RAMP), a community-based mentoring program serving the communities of Brookfield, Braintree, and Randolph.

Motion by Laura Rochat, seconded by Kym Anderson.

L. Rochat reported this program has been underway for a year. It is a program for grades 4-7. An adult is paired up with a student for the student to have the opportunity to experience new things and to have meaningful relationship with another adult. Currently there are 6 students utilizing the program. If you are interested in participating in RAMP, student or adult, to let her know.  They have received a grant from Mentoring Vermont and need to match the amount.  This money covers background checks and as the Leader, her salary for the program.  When asked about the amount of time required to be a mentor, L. Rochat said it is once a week and about 6-8 hours per month commitment of at least 1 year.

Richard Hayward, Brookfield Elementary School teacher, said they have seen an enormous impact for the students involved. They are in need of mentors.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 7:  To see if the Town will vote to contribute $250.00 to the Vermont Family Network, to provide services for families of children with special needs.

Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by Ray Mayer.

Jeff Kimmel, Selectboard member, stated information concerning VFN is located on page 52 of the Town Report.  No representative was available to answer questions concerning this request.  It was noted by a voter that this appears to primarily serve Chittenden County per the information.

Call to vote.  Motion failed.

G. Wight turned the meeting over to VT House Representatives Jay Hooper and Peter Reed.

Rep. Reed stated he was from Braintree and was appointed in January by Governor Scott due to the resignation of Rep. Ben Jickling.  He reported the major bills he is involved with are Act 250, the minimum wage increase, to tax & regulate cannabis, Health care improvement and prescription drug prices.  He was previously working as a banker before being appointed.

Rep. Hooper said he represents 5 towns and this is his 4th session.  He has found the Education Committee to be fast paced.  There are 3 bills currently being worked on.  Universal Pre-K, Literacy, and school construction.  They are working on disentangling dual oversite rules.  It is noted that 32% of 5th graders are not proficient readers.  School construction has had a deferred maintenance moratorium since 2007.  It is believed it will cost $565 million for impending building needs.  Beth Pearce, State Treasurer, is going to assess the costs and communicate with other States to see what they have done.   They are also starting to look at a universal after school program.

There were no questions from the voters.

J. Benson suggested the 2 Selectboard candidates, on the Town ballot, introduce themselves.

Steve Schaefer introduced himself as Irene Schaefer’s son and he lives in the log house where the sliding took place during the Ice Harvest. He said he is running for Selectboard because he has found some irregularities and that he is in favor of increasing the Board to a 5-member Board.

Dennis LaRocque said he is a life-long resident of Brookfield, has been one of the Town Auditors for 4 or 5 years.  He has 2 boys in the school system and wants to help the Town.

Article 8:  To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion by L. Runnion, seconded by K. Anderson.

J. Benson stated there was a correction for the property taxes raised. It should by $311,080 (increasing the proposed budget of $310,980 by $100) to balance the projected expenses. Beth Godin questioned if that was what was noted in the SB meeting minutes of February 24, 2020 and J. Benson said yes.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 9:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to approve the construction of a new Town Garage building (or another option as presented and discussed at Town Meeting).  The cost not to exceed $1,075,000 to be financed over a 25 to 30-year period.

Motion by B. Gosh, seconded by Dove Cogen.

J. Benson said that at Town Meeting last year, the voters agreed to have the Board look into garage options and a Request for Quote (RFQ) design. Connor Construction and Black River Design both responded, working together with designs and current construction codes.

The Board attempted to show pictures of the existing garage, the shed, and a sketch of the plans.  Due to the lack of a screen, the slides were not very easy to see presented on the back wall.  The designers measured all the equipment and reviewed any spatial requirements the Town has. Currently the plows have to be removed to fit in the existing garage and diesels are hard to start in the cold.

3 options are:

– Add on existing building-not to exceed 5000 sq. ft. or a sprinkler system would have to be installed due to wood construction.

-2nd bldg. for shed storage and minor renovations to existing garage. Current roof leaks and with VOSHA and VLCT insurance there is no separate room for combustibles among other issues.

– A completely new building.

The amounts range from $600,000-$1 million for the above.  The research includes all metal or wood frames.

Aaron Adler questioned if the cost includes the cost of financing.

J. Benson said no. They looked at the Bond Bank and Northfield Savings which is willing to finance for us at 3-3.5% for 10 years and then see where the market rate is after that.

Additional comments and questions included if there is a ball park figure and with the interest, the cost can double.  The voters would like hand-outs to look at.  The cost of heating, steel vs wood construction and amount of heated space would be tripled, existing building not energy efficient.  The cost didn’t include fixing the existing building that needs better lighting at an estimated cost of $2300-$2500.

J. Benson said as far as we know there are no brown field issues but if they find there are, then we will have to address them then.

Joy Kacik thanked the Board for their information and felt there are too many variables and questions to go forward.

J. Kacik made an amendment to the motion on the floor to request the Selectboard put together 3 options with the pros & cons, cost for financing and to have one or more meeting at least a month prior to next year’s Town Meeting and then amended it to say:

The Selectboard provide the Town with 3 or more options with pros and cons, full cost including financing, and objectives be presented for discussion at a least a month before Town Meeting 2021.

Motion seconded by K. Anderson.

Continued discussion included what the objectives are, the smallest amount approach, renewable energy options, overhead costs, grant opportunities and an energy audit of the current building.  Gabe Freitag would like a committee formed, besides the Selectboard, so they can help with the decision making.

J. Benson said they had discussed with Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) and there are no current grant opportunities but they usually come with strings attached.

The voters would like to be informed the time and place of the garage information meetings.  There is concern on why we need 2 10-wheel trucks.

Call to vote on amendment. There was a lot of confusion on what the amendments were and the 2 motions are now contradictory. After a lot of needed clarification, the following amendment was then called:

To see if the Town will form a Committee with a minimum of 3 building options, energy efficiency, pros and cons with objectives, grant research, meetings and communication to the Town at least through Front Porch Forum, and the cost including financing and renewable energy options.  An initial meeting will take suggestions from Town Residents.  An informational meeting, at least one month before Town Meeting, will be held.

Motion by J. Kacik, seconded by Jackie Smith-Nielson to amend the original motion. Motion carried.

Motion by Justin Poulin, seconded by Angie Poulin to amend the cap in Article 9 to be $500,000.

Discussion by J. Poulin included setting a limit that is realistic with realistic options. Something that fits our town.

J. Benson said we need some expertise to get the info needed and $25k-$30k gives us options to work with developing and pricing. We have to retain services to get answers.  The 2 companies we have used have not charged anything but by not moving forward, we owe them some amount. There is no written contract.

Motion to amend failed.

After more amendment considerations, confusion, and conversation Article 9 was again in question.

A. Adler made a motion to further amend Article 9 to read:

To See if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to investigate another option as presented and discussed at Town Meeting for the Town Garage Building including forming a Committee with a minimum of 3 building options, energy efficiency, pros and cons with objectives, grant research, meetings and communication to the Town at least through Front Porch Forum, and the cost including financing and renewable energy options.  The cost for the research not to exceed $25,000.

Seconded by E. Nielson. This motion to amend Article 9 passed.

Back to the main motion for vote.  As amended several times, motion carried.

Article 10:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to enter into a lease/purchase Agreement to replace the Town Highway Department Loader.  The cost, allowing for the trade-in value for the current Loader, not to exceed $140,000 (plus finance charges) to be paid for over a 7-year period.

Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by R. Mayer.

P. Kennedy questioned what was wrong with the current loader.

J. Benson said the loader is a critical piece of equipment. We trade them every so many years and the current one is now paid for and on a 7-year replacement cycle.

R. Hayward questioned if this is a typical time frame and how does it compare to what other Towns do?

Francis Preston asked if we reached out to 3 major manufacturers?

J. Benson replied it is what we have done in the past and it is the same size. Cory Haggett confirmed with R. Peck that we reached out to CAT, J. Deere, and Case for bids.

Call to vote.  Motion carried with a few nays.

Article 11: To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

Motion by B. Gosh, seconded by A. Poulin.

J. Benson stated there was a correction for the property taxes raised. It should be $628,332 (increasing the proposed budget of $605,232 by $23,100) to balance the projected expenses.

J. Benson read a letter the Board had received from a UPS driver commending the Brookfield Town Road Crew and the roads are the best maintained roads he has been driving in the 33 years as a UPS driver. They are not a typical road crew.

Call to vote.  Motion carried.

Article 12:  To see if the Town will vote to have 5 members on the Selectboard by floor vote at Town Meeting. (17VSA Sec. 2650(b)(1)).

Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by M. Maeder.

J. Benson stated the Selectboard will do what the voters want. The petitioner never came to the Board. The Board had to step up to take care of the cemeteries when the Commission dissolved.  They have been doing the Town Report that used to be done by the Auditors. When the Board does pick up what others used to do, it is an administrative issue.  We don’t need a Town Manager.  We have increased the Administrative Assistant hours.

James Godfrey, petition originator, said he moved here at 16 and was in the Navy for 30 years.  I have tried to get problems resolved and didn’t get anywhere.  I started the petition because I feel it isn’t an administrative problem but a leadership problem.

John Klar questioned the Board on what reasons they resist 5 members.  There would be more people for a quorum.

J. Benson said they have functioned at 3 since before he was voted on the Board. It is rare there isn’t a quorum.

M. Maeder stated that as a mother of 3, decision making is hard and it’s 2 against 1. The number 5 would make a difference.

Richard Pecor has been to different meetings and several times there were only 2 at the meeting.

Martina Rutkovsky stated as a former Board member, you have to have the integrity of the people managing the tasks.

P. Kennedy pointed out that Selectboard members have other lives and it wouldn’t be as critical to miss a meeting if there were 5 members. It would help with the work load.

Call to vote.  With a hand count 35 yes and 39 no.  Motion failed.

S. Schaefer requested a paper ballot count. Papers were dispersed to write yes for 5, no for remaining at 3 members on the Selectboard.

Article 13:  To transact any other proper business.

Senator Mark MacDonald spoke briefly about the energy issues and heating homes.

Bonnie Fallon spoke about Green Up day being on May 2nd this year.  She would like help and would like someone to take over as the leader.

The results of the paper ballot were 37 yes votes and 48 no votes.  Motion for 5 member Selectboard failed.

Sam Dilcer and Steve Allen discussed the Mason’s Lodge impact on the Community.  They help promote Little League and the Fish Fry, which provides the Girl & Boy Scouts with money and the Scouts did an excellent job helping with the Fish Fry.

J. Benson asked the remaining voters if they would like to still receive a printed copy of the Town Report in the mail because only a few towns still mail them. Most have it electronically on their website and the reports available at different pick-up locations.

J. Benson began discussing setting weight limits on Town roads. The Town needs to hold information meetings for direction. The Selectboard has been approached about truck traffic and agriculture. We have to find out what authority we have for setting the weight limits.  The DMV is the sole State agency for setting weight limits by Statute at 24,000 lbs.  This only covers up to a UPS size truck.  The Town can disburse overweight permits.  We can’t discriminate between vendors.  The DMV is the only agency to enforce the weight limits.  Lew Stowell has done a lot of research and gets different information frequently.  Brookfield has a number of bridges that are below the 24,000 lb. limit and they need to be approved at a Board meeting for a lower weight then posted as such.

When we post the roads during mud season, it needs to be recorded on the DMV website.

(Because this forum was not warned as a decision-making conversation, there could be no decision on whether to continue researching whether to post legal load limits on Brookfield town roads. -Recorder notation)

On motion by E. Nielson, seconded by M. Maeder, the meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m.

Motion carried

Respectfully submitted:  Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Feb 022020
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
ANNUAL MEETING

        WARNING

The legal voters of Brookfield
are hereby warned to meet for the annual Town Meeting at the Brookfield
Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at
10:00 A.M. to transact the following business:

Article:

To
elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian
ballot. For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.To
hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.To
see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation
of revenues.To
see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided
by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.To
see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to engage the firm of Vermont
Appraisal Company to complete a Town-wide reappraisal of all properties within
the Town. The cost for which shall not exceed $81,000; the funds for which are
already in place.To
see if the Town will vote to contribute $300.00 to the Randolph Area Mentoring
Program (RAMP), a community-based mentoring program serving the communities of
Brookfield, Braintree, and Randolph.To
see if the Town will vote to contribute $250.00 to the Vermont Family Network,
to provide services for families of children with special needs.To
approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30,
2021 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to
authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.To
see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to approve the construction of a
new Town Garage building (or another option as presented and discussed at Town
Meeting). The cost not to exceed $1,075,000, to be financed over a 25 to 30 year
period.

10. To see if the Town will
authorize the Selectboard to enter into a lease/purchase Agreement to replace
the Town Highway Department Loader. The cost, allowing for the trade-in value
for the current Loader, not to exceed $140,000 (plus finance charges), to be
paid for over a 7-year period.

11. To approve a 12 month budget
for the financial year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 to meet the expenses
and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to
set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.

12. To see if the Town will vote
to have 5 members on the Selectboard by floor vote at Town Meeting. (17 VSA
Sec. 2650(b)(1))

13. To transact any other proper
business.

Dated at Brookfield, Vermont, this 30th day of January
2020.

Attest: Teresa Godfrey, Town
Clerk: _______________________________

There will be an informational
meeting about the Town Budget on Monday evening, February 24, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
at the Town Clerk’s Office

Mar 142019
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD 2019 ANNUAL MEETING
The legal voters of the Town of Brookfield met for the annual Town Meeting, at the Brookfield Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:
Call to Order at 10:00 a.m.
Moderator, Gregory Wight, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Lunch will be served supporting the Brookfield School Club with donations.
Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot. For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Article 2:  To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.
John Benson, Selectboard Chair, recognized that Charlie Keeler and Dee Montie have both stepped down from their respective town offices and thanked them both for their years of service. He also thanked the current town officers for the work they are doing. J. Benson remarked that because Stuart Edson, Zoning Administrator, was stepping down that the office is open if anyone is interested in filling the position.
J.Benson commended the Road Crew for their work this winter keeping the roads clear and that it hasn’t been an easy winter. They have had to “dip” into the new budget for sand. He also commended Ray Peck, Road Foreman, for looking after the Town with a quick response to the Witts Bridge dam repair. 90% of the repair will be refunded through emergency grants.
J.Benson informed the Town that new town trucks will need to be ordered a year in advance so they can be built to the Town specifications. Currently, Brookfield replaces a truck every 3 years so the age of each truck at trade-in is 9 years.
J.Benson stated that the Town will be starting a town wide reappraisal July 1, 2020. With the money the Town receives from the State, we have 100% of the financing so it won’t add to our tax burden.
Lew Stowell, Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), showed an example of the e-911 signs available for purchase at $5.02 each. Forms are available in the back room. They are looking for volunteers who might be interested in joining the committee.
 
Dan Childs spoke about ECFiber being strung along the Brookfield roads. He wasn’t able to specify when it would be turned on.  ECFiber is aware of mud season coming up and will work around it.  The Hub has a stand-by generator that has a 6-hour battery.
G. Wight brought to everyone’s attention the dedication in the Town Report recognizing Elinor Gray for her love of Brookfield and her knowledge of the history of the Town.
Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
Motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by L. Stowell.
J. Benson stated that since collecting twice a year, we haven’t had to borrow in anticipation of taxes.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 4:  To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.
Motion by L. Stowell, seconded by Marylou Maeder that the first payment of 2019/2020 property taxes to be due November 2, 2019; the second payment due May 2, 2020. Motion carried.
Article 5:   To see if the Town will vote to allocate $5000 for ash tree removal from Town Highway rights-of-way.
Motion by L. Stowell, seconded by Mike Stoddard.
Kate Forrer, UVM Community Forester Specialist, presented a map showing at least 5 counties in VT have an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and the infestation is moving through-out VT. There are 3 choices in dealing with the EAB. (1) Proactive by removing ash trees is cheaper. After the trees become infested, it becomes a safety issue and the utility companies won’t send employees out for tree removal.  (2) Treatment with insecticides for home owners becomes expensive.  (3) Or we can do nothing but it will be more expensive.  K. Forrer, R. Peck, and the PSAC members have identified over 700, larger than 10” in diameter, ash trees in the public right-of-way. The logging community is interested in harvesting trees but they would also want to harvest other species of trees at the same time.
Eric Nielson stated the Town has the right to cut but the land owner owns the tree. It the tree is felled and not cleaned up, the pest will remain.
The discussion then included the State being in a quarantine, a possible replanting plan, huge loss of canopy over the roads, hanging traps, not cutting around homes, and not knowing where the insects will show up next. The $5000 will not cover the cost.  The general concession is to be proactive and there will need to be additional public hearings concerning the cutting of trees.  The Road Crew is not a logging crew and not trained to be.  The trees along some of the roads prevent the roads from sliding down embankments. A snapshot of roads show it will cost between $100-$350/tree.
The discussion turned to possibly amending the motion to vote on the 3 options of proactive, treatment, or do nothing and after much more discussion, it was decided that the current motion shows proactive with the dollar amount. The $5000 is just an amount for resources.
Perry Kacik requested a call to question. Motion carried.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 6: To see if the Town will vote to allocate $5000 for a survey of a portion of Stone Road to establish the road center-line and Town right-of-way.
Motion by L. Stowell, seconded by Billie Gosh.
J. Benson reviewed the history of the area in question. A number of individuals came to the Selectboard concerning vehicles encroaching the Town right-of-way (ROW) and the Board had the Orange County Sheriff check into it. They said the 4 tires are out of the travel lane and according to the property owners, they did not have any vehicles in the road way. The survey is to show if the travel lane has shifted and where the center line is actually located.  Al Wilder remembered, that before the garage was built, a meeting was held for the permit and the agreement was that there would be no parking between the garage and Town ROW.  The Sheriff cannot take any action until a survey is done which will establish a travel lane and the width of the road.
Call to vote. Motion carried with a few nays.
Article 7: To see if the Town will vote to establish a Conservation Committee, as an advisory committee to the Selectboard.
Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by Kym Anderson.
Jon Binhammer made a motion to amend the article to state “establish a Conservation Commission.”. This was seconded by Susan Shay.
S. Shay stated that with a Commission vs. a Committee, they would be able to apply for grants. Over 100 towns have a Conservation Commission. Call to vote on the amendment. Motion carried as amended.
Article 8: To see if the Town will vote to contribute $100 to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts-Rural Fire Protection Program.
Motion by Charlie Keeler, seconded by L. Runnion.
J. Kimmel reported that these are dedicated technicians for management of rural dry hydrants etc. for municipalities. They award grants up to $5000. Brookfield received grants for an Old Post Road project and the dry hydrant at the Floating Bridge.
With no more discussion, there was a call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 9: To see if the Town will vote to stabilize the Municipal tax rate at 50% of normal for the Mystic Star Lodge No. 97 for a period of five (5) years.
Motion by Julie Benedict, seconded by Sam Dilcer.
Brian Locke, former Master of the Free Masons, said there are only 50 members and the number is declining. He explained it is a men’s group and there is the Eastern Star for women. The Masons recently supported the Girl Scouts with 2 dozen scouts camping in the building.  They support local ball teams but are struggling with dues to keep the taxes paid.  J. Benson reminded the voters that prior to the addition to the school, Town Meeting was held at the Masonic Temple.
Call to vote. Motion carried with a few nays.
Article 10: To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by Dan Childs, seconded by E. Nielson.
(The budget will include an additional $10,100 from articles 5, 6, & 8 being approved)
With no discussion, call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 11(a): To see if the Town will vote to establish a new line item in the Highway Department budget to allocate the remainder Highway Department funds from the FY2018/2019 budget to provide a continuing capital fund for major structural repairs and/or replacement at the Town Garage.
Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by M. Stoddard.
J. Benson discussed the garage has issues with fitting all the equipment in it and there is no room for making repairs. The grader, one-ton truck, and bucket loader are stored in the shed but are not completely covered.
With no more discussion, motion carried.
Article 11(b): To see if the Town will vote to set aside $25,000 in the FY2019/2020 budget to provide a continuing capital fund for major structural repairs and/or replacement at the Town Garage.
Motion by M. Stoddard, seconded by E. Koren
With no discussion, motion carried.
Article 12:   To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by Dennis LaRocque.
(The budget will have $25,000 added due to article 11(b) being approved)
With no discussion, motion carried.
G. Wight turned the meeting over to Representatives Ben Jickling and Jay Hooper.
Rep. Jickling is part of the House Health Care Committee. He reported the Committee is following market stability and how the insurance markets are affecting the cost share limits until age 26 and also the State mandate of insurance/penalty where reform is needed.  They are being proactive in supporting the struggling rural hospitals.
Rep. Hooper is part of the Education Committee. He reported that Act 46 consolidation final year is approaching in July and there are 40 Towns suing the State concerning the requirement of consolidation. They are hoping to see the expected savings in the next few years.  There are 17 members representing minority groups for diversity in education streamlining standards for ethnic studies.  Also, they are following up on lead testing in school drinking water.
Reps. Jickling and Hooper are co-chairing the Youth Caucus this year.
Article 13:  To see if the Town will vote to expand the term of office for Town Clerk from the existing 1 year to a proposed 3 years (17V.S.A §2646(2)), effective as of Town Meeting/Election 2020.
Motion by S. Edson, seconded by M. Maeder.
E. Nielson questioned why the Town would do this.
Teresa Godfrey, current Town Clerk and Treasurer, explained that it takes longer than 1 year to learn the job, continuity of the work being done, and some requirements are only an annual job, i.e. elections, Town Meeting, so it takes multiple years to be successful in the position.
Paul Flint questioned what if the person in office doesn’t work out. T. Godfrey replied you can vote them out or if it is something egregious, then through attorney’s you can have them removed from office.
Motion carried.
Article 14:   To see if the Town will vote to expand the term of office for the Town Treasurer from the existing 1 year to a proposed 3 years (17 V.S.A §2646(3)), effective as of Town Meeting/Election 2020.
Motion by L. Stowell, seconded by M. Maeder.
With no discussion, motion carried.
Article 15:  To transact any other proper business.
J. Benson said the Town of Braintree is looking for a Committee of the 3 Towns to work on locating a shelter in the event of a disaster. Currently VTC is the designated shelter but the need might not rise to what the Red Cross sees as a need during a disaster.
 With S. Edson stepping down as the Zoning Administrator, the Town is looking for someone to step up.
Gail from the Clara Martin Center wanted to thank the Town for their continued support.
L. Runnion as a representative for Safeline thanked the voters for their continued support.
P. Kacik, Brookfield Historical Society, stated the lake is frozen and they are selling a chance to win part of the money from tickets for guessing when Dunkin will sink into the lake.
Laura Rochat is now the coordinator for a Mentoring program. They are looking for volunteers to commit to spending time with kids ranging from 5th – 7th grade.  They would like a year long commitment of investing in a young person with common interests.
J. Binhammer asked for volunteers to serve on the new Conservation Commission.
Ed Koren asked for volunteers for the Fire Department as they are looking for new members.
Kristina Emmons, 4 Winds Program at the school, is also looking for volunteers wanting to share their knowledge of the outdoors.
Kym Anderson thanked the voters for contributing to the diversion program.
M. Maeder, Orange County Parent/Child Center, thanked the voters for support and commented that a lot of parents use the playgroup.
Betsy Hale, Old Town Hall, said they are working on events to consider for this year.
D. Childs, Old Town Hall, wanted to let everyone know that the South and North sides of the hall will be painted this summer thanks to a donation from Dee Montie and Murray Evans which will complete the painting of the whole building. There will be a celebration when they come up.
Bonnie Fallon, Green-Up Day representative, said when we get through mud season, she would like to get more people to participate. Richard Hayward, History teacher at Brookfield Elementary School, is encouraging the kids to get out for Green-Up and he and Bonnie are working on an incentive for the kids.
J.Benedict, representative for Brookfield for White River Valley Ambulance (WRVA), stated that at a recent meeting Randolph was requesting they pay a lower rate per capita than the other towns covered by WRVA.
Motion by M. Maeder, seconded by M. Stoddard to adjourn at 1:00 p.m.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted:
Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Mar 212018
 

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD 2018 ANNUAL MEETING
The legal voters of the Town of Brookfield met for the annual Town Meeting, at the Brookfield Elementary School auditorium at 1725 Ridge Road, Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to transact the following business:
Call to Order at 10:00 a.m. The pledge was recited.
Moderator Charlie Keeler stated the Orange Southwest School District met Monday, March 5, 2018.
Lunch will be served supporting the Brookfield School Club with donations.
Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot. For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Article 2:  To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.
John Benson, Selectboard Chair, thanked the voters for the purchase of the new grader last year. The week of Town Meeting 2017, the motor went in the old grader and CAT provided the new grader early less the trade-in value.

EMS in Brookfield, as of January 1, 2018, is now been split with most northern residents covered by Barre Town and southern residents covered by White River Valley Ambulance.
The lot line adjustments at the town garage, which were approved last year have been moving forward. The first section has been completed. A partial release from the bank for the other portion has been approved.
Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) has been doing a great deal of work. They have inventoried the signs creating a data base. They have recommended updates for the traffic ordinances and enforcement has started.
The condition of VT RT 65 did not hold up well so VTrans resurfaced the gravel portion this past October.
VTrans and Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) have grants available for erosion control. This will require sediment transport from cleaning ditches and water quality issues are a concern. A culvert will be replaced on West Street.
A storm in July took out a portion of the newly paved section of Northfield Road leaving a crater. Some of the cost will be covered by FEMA funding.

J. Benson thanked C. Keeler for his years as Moderator. C. Keeler did not run for office this year. He has done a great job.
Aaron Adler questioned the Auditors report stating an “adverse opinion” from the auditing firm Fothergill Segale & Valley. He stated it is the worst opinion you can receive and asked if one of the Town Auditors can address this concern.
Ginny Brees, Town Auditor, said this has been for a number of years and it is primarily about the Pension Plan and we would have to revise the report adding about 4 pages. We are in compliance and always contribute the amount needed. This would increase the audit cost and we are not exposed to any loss. The office has improved a number of the procedures. We will be having full audits every 2 or 3 years with minimal audits in the off years.
Dan Childs, ECFiber representative for Brookfield, stated a lot of residents signed up for ECFiber after last year’s Town Meeting and Brookfield will be receiving fiber in October or November. The process takes time to get the lines on poles and hooking up each home. His cost for TV, telephone, and internet is roughly $100/month. There is a $90 installation fee if you are 400’ from the pole or you pay by the foot if you are greater than 400’. The cost for underground is different. West Brookfield will have fiber installed during the same time period. If you are “off grid”, that is a different issue.
Article 3: To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.Motion by Marylou Maeder, seconded by Lew Stowell to approve authorization.
A Adler questioned if the adverse opinion from the audit will affect borrowing.
J. Benson said this is in case we need to borrow but haven’t had to since we went to collecting taxes twice a year. We put this in, because a few years ago, we didn’t have the money to pay the vendors.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 4:  To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.
Motion by Linda Runnion, seconded by Eric Nielson that the first payment of 2018/2019 property taxes to be due November 3, 2018; the second payment due May 4, 2019. Motion carried.
Article 5:  To see if the Town will vote to contribute five hundred ($500) to Central Vermont Adult Basic Education (CVABE).
Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by C. Curtis Koren to contribute $500 to CVABE.
Joanne Fitzgerald, representative for CVABE, said they cover Washington, Orange, and Lamoille Counties. There are at least 4 Brookfield residents per year ages 16 and up using this service.  It is used for high school completion, receiving a diploma or GED, English as a second language, literacy education, changing jobs, financial and computer training.  The classes are free of charge and confidential.  It costs about $3100/year/student which is paid through contributions, grants, Rotary Clubs, and individuals.  There are paid educators who train and manage volunteers. Classes held are individualized depending on what is needed.
Call to vote. Motion carried with one “no” vote.
Article 6:  To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by Billie Gosh, seconded by L. Stowell.
C. Keeler opened for discussion. There was none so the motion was called.
Motion carried.
C. Keeler turned the discussion over to Senator Mark MacDonald.
Sen. MacDonald discussed the energy issues that are being discussed within the Energy Committee in Montpelier. He discussed that Vermont has one of the highest electric rates in the country.  Efficiency Vermont is helping to improve energy efficiency for Vermonters.  Because of this, Vermont has the lowest bills in New England. The Energy Committee plans on copying the Efficiency Vermont model keeping the money in Vermont by employing Vermonters to do the work.  There is a surcharge on electric bills that goes to support Efficiency Vermont.
Article 7:  To see if the Town will vote to approve purchase of a new Highway Department truck for up to $198,000, to be financed and paid for over a term of up to three (3) years.
Motion by L. Runnion, seconded by M. Maeder.
J. Benson said every 3 years we replace one of the trucks. We run it for 9 years then retire them. This is the last of the Internationals. It has been a problem since we bought it.  They are too light for the work needed in Town.  The tandems hold a lot of material and covers the route with 1 load vs 2 saving time and retains its value.  L. Stowell asked if there was difficulty on the narrow roads and J. Benson replied that has not been a problem.
Some of the West Brookfield residents were concerned with the size of the trucks and the weight of them. They have hit the signs and mailboxes.  The roads are narrow and so they have trouble when they meet the trucks.  There are no pull over areas when they do meet them.  The ditches are deep.
J. Benson said the tandem trucks are the same plow width as the single axle trucks. There is no demand for single axle per truck companies.
Ben Hickin asked if the $15,000 trade-in was a set amount or if the Town had checked into the State vehicle auctions.
J. Benson said with trading in the vehicle, we are never down a truck. The first payment is included in the budget presented on page 22.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 8:  To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by E. Nielson, seconded by Beth Urie.
Brenda Flint questioned the $25,000 budget for paving and if we had any paving left.
J. Benson said we own a small section (9/10ths mile) on Chelsea Mountain Road and we have an aggressive crack sealing process on the paved roads.
Dennis LaRocque wondered if there is a benefit to pave when Randolph or Chelsea pave their sections but both have paved recently. Northfield tore up one of their roads and non-paved roads are cheaper to maintain.  You can’t salt unpaved roads.
Authorization for posting the roads for mud season was approved in February at a Selectboard meeting.
Discussion turned to road sign theft and how to prevent it. The road through town needs grading.  We are one truck down.  It was suggested the Town look into putting crushed ledge rock down to help with draining and the sun heats it so it melts ice off quicker.  The Road Crew is working on segments of road throughout the year.
Call to vote. Motion carried.
C. Keeler turned the meeting over to Chris LaMonda, Barre Town EMS Director.
C. LaMonda confirmed that Barre Town is now covering most of VT RT 65 North due to reduced response times. They have paramedics on staff Monday-Friday 95% of the time. There are 18 new personnel due to the additional towns using their services. There are 2 providers on the truck per response. You have choice of hospital depending on the emergency.
C. Keeler turned the meeting over to Representatives Ben Jickling and Jay Hooper.
Rep. Jickling is part of the House Health Care Committee. He reported they have several measures to pass to keep up with the Federal actions on health care.  Concerns included mental health care, inpatient beds, health care insurance, and rate increases. There was a discussion about treatment options for Vermont children and Medicaid such as the Brattleboro Retreat.
Rep. Hooper is part of the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee. He reported milk prices are in a decline.  There are pilot programs to help farmers with regenerative or organic programs.  Discussions included protecting the pollinators, untreated seeds being available, inspections for amusement rides at State Fairs, Emerald Ash Borer, and other Vermont invasive species (both plant & insect) and how to eliminate them.
Article 9:  To transact any other proper business.
Bonnie Fallon promoted Green-Up Day. She stated we are losing volunteers and to bring the kids. Don’t touch the needles.
L. Stowell, member of PSAC, said they are losing one member. They hold one meeting a month and advise the Selectboard in public safety. They are working on less expensive ways for law enforcement. They meet with Orange County Sheriff.  They are working on the missing highway signs because if there are no signs, we can’t enforce speeds.  We have helped rewrite the traffic ordinance.
D. LaRocque was concerned about parking in the town right-of-way.
J. Benson said this has been brought attention to the Sheriff’s department. We had to be sure the Town ordinances are the same as requirements that the State has.
Perry Kacik informed the voters that the Brookfield Historical Society is selling “ice-out” tickets and Floating Bridge pamphlets.
Martina O’Donnell said the West Brookfield Village Trust is putting together programing. They are selling tickets for a quilt Alice Wakefield made to help off-set costs of building maintenance.
Jon Binhammer is looking into forming a conservation commission. He is looking for volunteers interested in being a part of the commission.
Motion by L. Stowell, seconded by Julie Benedict to adjourn at 12:15.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted:
Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk
 
 
 
 

Apr 192017
 

Special Town Meeting                                                                                                               April 17, 2017
Attendees: Charles Keeler (Moderator), John Benson (Selectboard Chair), Jeff Kimmel (Selectboard member), Teresa Godfrey (Town Clerk, Recorder), Dale Benson, Clare Kimmel, Perry Kacik, Joy Kacik, Brenda Flint, Amy Ingrassia, George Zebora (observer)
C. Keeler called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
C. Keeler read the warning and notice of the Special Town Meeting as written and posted in the March 16, 2017 Herald of Randolph.
“The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned: the Town of Brookfield Selectboard will hold a joint special Selectboard Meeting and special Town Meeting on Monday April 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 40 Ralph Road, to allow public comment and a public vote on the following question:
Shall the actions taken at the Annual Meeting of this Town held on March 7, 2017, in spite of the fact that the Warning for that meeting was not published in the local paper of record, and any act or action of the municipal officers or agents pursuant thereto be readopted, ratified, and confirmed? (pursuant to 17 VSA 2662).”
Motion by J. Kacik, seconded by P. Kacik.
C. Keeler opened for debate or questions.
B. Flint, Town Auditor, asked if she could present an auditor’s report because the Auditors didn’t present one at Town Meeting on March 7, 2017 and they would like to have it included in the minutes.
C. Keeler agreed.
B. Flint said the Town had an outside audit covering FY15 that showed recommendations for making improvements. The Town Auditors are working with the Treasurer, Selectboard, and Administration Assistant to improve the records to meet these recommendations.
C. Keeler called the motion. Motion carried.
Motion by P. Kacik, seconded by C. Kimmel to adjourn at 6:45 p.m. Motion carried.
 
Respectfully submitted:
Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Mar 232017
 

Brookfield Selectboard
Warning and Notice of Special Town Meeting
 
The legal voters of Brookfield are hereby warned: the Town of Brookfield Selectboard will hold a joint special Selectboard Meeting and special Town Meeting on Monday, April 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 40 Ralph Road, to allow public comment and a public vote on the following question:
 
Shall the actions taken at the Annual Meeting of this Town held on March 7, 2017, in spite of the fact that the Warning for that meeting was not published in the local paper of record, and any act or action of the municipal officers or agents pursuant thereto be readopted, ratified, and confirmed? (pursuant to 17 VSA 2662)
 
 

Mar 132017
 

Town Meeting 2017
Call to Order at 10:00 a.m. The pledge was recited.
Moderator Charlie Keeler stated that due to the Town reports not being available at least 10 days prior to Town Meeting and the warning not being published in the newspaper 5 days prior to Town meeting, per 17 V.S.A. §2662, there will be a special Town Meeting in April, warned 30 days prior, with an article validating the actions taken at this Town Meeting of March 7, 2017.
Article 1: To elect all officers as required by law for the ensuing year by Australian ballot.  For this purpose, the polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Article 2: To hear and act on reports of the Town Officers.
John Benson, Selectboard Chair, recognized Aaron Adler for serving on the Planning Commission for 16 years.
J. Benson recognized Melanie LaRocque, Bonnie Fallon, and Mike Herold for all of their hard work on the Cemetery Commission. They did a great job restoring the cemeteries. There will be additional conversation concerning the Cemeteries later in the meeting.
J. Benson updated the EMS plan for the Town. We have gone to Barre Town with an agreement beginning on July 1st.
The Ridge Road paving was completed and the super elevation just south of the Pond Village Church was corrected. The grant from AOT for signage on the Ridge Road has not been completed.
The Selectboard and State are aware of the concerns about the quality and materials used for VT Route 65 reconstruction. In the Fall, there was a field inspection done and the whole road will be re-evaluated in the Spring on how to move forward.
The fire truck and the new plow truck were paid off.
The Town Office attic has new insulation and the front door and windows have all been replaced. The vault door needs either to be repaired or replaced. The tumblers are wearing out. In summer 2016 the water well almost ran dry, but recovered.
The Town Garage has had a room added for recordkeeping. The State is requiring more records and Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, will be spending part of her day doing the recordkeeping. The addition was constructed mainly by the Road Crew during their down times.
We have been working on updating the classification of several Town roads. Old Stage Road has been updated to retain a portion as Class 3, and a small western segment was downgraded to Class 4.
We expect to do a reappraisal in the next few years. We receive money from the state and currently have $68,000 saved up. There will be little impact to the Town budget for the cost of the reappraisal.
J. Binhammer, referring to the balance sheet on page 5, commented that the line for recreation/conservation was a negative and he wondered where the money went. T. Godfrey confirmed the money is there and that it’s an accounting error.
J. Benson said every year there is a list of projects put together to do with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and VT Routes 12 and 14 was not mentioned on the transportation plan for this year. There was a surface course overlay on route 14.
D. Montie said the Town should file a letter with the RPC to keep them on the plan. The resurfacing did not address the underlying issue.
Article 3:  To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to borrow money in anticipation of revenues.
Motion by D. Childs, seconded by L. Stowell to approve authorization. Motion carried.
Article 4: To see if the Town will vote to have all taxes paid into the Treasury as provided by law in two installments, and if so, to set the dates.
Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by D. Montie that the first payment of 2017/2018 property taxes due November 4, 2017; second payment due May 5, 2018. Motion carried.
Article 5: To see if the Town will authorize support of Big Heavy World for the sum of $250.00.
Motion by K. Anderson, seconded by L. Stowell, to authorize the support.
J. Kimmel said the Selectboard received a request in November for authorization to benefit the music community of Vermont. After adding the request to the warning, he tried to contact them several times to suggest that the group send a representative to speak at Town Meeting. The number was disconnected. He recommended forgoing the opportunity to donate.
E. Nielsen said it is a reputable organization and it is a group of volunteers. He understood a decision to not fund them because of no representation at Town Meeting. Call to vote. Motion denied.
Article 6: To see if the Town will vote to approve the discontinuance and disbanding of the Brookfield Cemetery Commission, with authority over the Town cemeteries to revert to the Selectboard (per 18 VSA 5381.
Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by M. Herold.
J. Kimmel said Melanie LaRocque, Mike Herold, and Bonnie Fallon have done an enormous amount of work while serving on the Commission. Since they are not running again it makes sense to revert the cemetery maintenance back to the Selectboard. They would then look for a warden or sexton to maintain the cemeteries and sell plots, arrange for burials, and maintain the paperwork. The sexton fees would be paid through plot purchases and burial fees.
Martina Rutkovsky acknowledged all who stepped up to the plate. It takes a lot of attention to do the work. She recommended not to put it on the Selectboard but to ask there to be a group to manage the 5 cemeteries. Call to vote. Motion carried.
Article 7: To approve a 12-month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town General Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion by D. Montie, seconded by L. Stowell.
C. Keeler opened for discussion. There was none so the motion was called. Motion carried.
Article 8: To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to complete a property line adjustment with the property owners adjacent to the Town Garage property, consisting of the following:

Transfer of ____ acres from adjoining parcel 89 to the Town Parcel 88.
Transfer of ____ acres from adjoining parcel 90.1 to the Town Parcel 88 in exchange for an access easement for Parcel 90.1, across Parcel 88 along the western boundary of Parcel 88 to its intersect with VT Route 65 Right-of-Way.
Payment to be either in cash or an adjustment of property taxes for the adjoining landowners.

Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by L. Stowell.
J. Benson explained, with the aid of a sketch, the plan for purchasing approximately 0.8 acres of land from parcel 90.1 and approximately 0.15 acres from parcel 89, which would create a 35’ right-of-way. He estimates it might be around $3,000 using an abatement of taxes or an actual payment for the purchases. The larger gets steep as you go back further.
A. Adler questioned why Bullet 3 refers to “owners.”
J. Benson stated if we can’t close a deal with the owner for parcel 89 then we would have to do something else with 90.1.
Discussion centered mainly around erosion control and a drainage plan.
J. Benson suggested that those concerns might be addressed by creating a slight retaining wall. The shed needs to be moved back for additional space for expanding the garage.
J. Binhammer made a motion as part of the purchase to direct the Selectboard to put together a plan to fix the drainage first. This was seconded by T. Anderson.
J. Benson said the Selectboard would develop a stormwater run-off plan.
G. Brees was concerned about project “creep”: should the Town buy the land, before it has a plan for the garage? Is that all the Town needs for land?
J. Benson commented that we don’t yet know what the needs are for 20 years. There is absolutely no room for material storage and garage expansion right now. Rebuilding the shed by moving it back is planning ahead for additional space. At this point, the grader sticks out of the shed. If the property owners request an excessive price, the Board would come back to the Town for a vote.
The amendment was withdrawn by J. Binhammer and T. Anderson.
Motion to call the question with no amendments. Motion carried.
C. Keeler turned the discussion to Senator Mark MacDonald, Representative Jay Hooper, and Representative Ben Jickling.
Sen. MacDonald complimented Jay Hooper and Ben Jickling on being elected as the new State Representatives and showing how to finish a campaign.
Sen. MacDonald said there are few surprises for this legislation. There is a $30 million budget gap. The new Governor has taken a pause on creating new revenue.
Rep. Jickling is working on the Health Care Committee. A big concern is changes by the federal government with health care, and how it will affect health care for Vermonters. There isn’t enough money for mental health and there is a backlog in the ER’s. Prescription drugs are a major driver of health care costs.
Rep. Hooper is working on the House Agriculture & Forestry Committee. They have been dealing with how to pay for cleanup of waterways (i.e. Lake Champlain), the new immigration laws affecting the dairy workers, and a stagnant milk market. The Representatives are working on the cross-over of bills going from Senate to House and vice versa.
J. Benson asked to have the Senator and Representatives raise two issues with Montpelier.

For a single proprietor, the Department of Labor is requiring workman’s compensation. The Town either has to hire them as employees or hire larger companies who carry workman’s comp. He is requesting they don’t “backdoor” hiring requirements. We are being forced to pay workman’s comp for independent contractors or pay more for the larger companies.
Health care coverage for Town employees. When a town wants to sign up an employee, a Town representative has to use their own personal information to log in. The Town should be able to use its Tax ID number verses using an individual person’s information.

L. Churchill would like to see the State repair VT Routes 12 and 14 instead of just surface coating them.
A. Borgman, Guardian Ad litem for children’s services, would like to see someone take a broader view on social services. B. Gassner agreed that there should be more information on services available. There should be a better understanding on the impact on early childhood trauma (i.e. PTSD).
Rep. Jickling stated he would bring the concerns back to Montpelier.
Rep. Hooper said a bill was passed to expunge felon status inquiries if a job applicant was a felon after 3 years instead of 8-10 years. This goes into effect July 1st.  They have already banned questioning on an initial application if you were a felon.
Article 9: To see if the Town will authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new grader for up to $290,000, and to determine whether the terms for such purchase shall be payment in full in the first year, installments over a term of years, or leasing the equipment.
Motion by E. Nielsen, seconded by S. Dilcer.
J. Benson said they have been researching with Ray Peck, Road Foreman, the cost of a new grader comparing one from CAT and John Deere. CAT has a new 2016, never used, at a cost of $357,000. To purchase it, the cost would be $305,000.
There are 3 options to purchase: 1. Outright 2. Lease/purchase; 3. Loan for 5 or 8 years.
The outright option is to be paid for through $90,000 (budget), $85,000 (equipment savings fund), and $130,000 (delinquent tax collections from prior years).
The Selectboard recommends option 1.
Benson said a backhoe is planned on being purchased next in 2022. Every three years we replace one of the plow trucks. He stated bank interest is at 3% which is a better rate than the equipment loan fund through the State would be.
A. Adler asked if option 1 meant there would be no change to the budget and that Article 9 states $290,000.
J. Benson said it would need to be amended. Purchasing the 2016 grader from CAT is a step-up because of the placement of the blade being in front of the driver vs behind. There would be no change to the proposed budget.
Motion to amend from $290,000 to $305,000 by A. Adler, seconded by M. Maeder
Call to vote to see if the town will approve the amendment of Article 9 to read $305,000.
Amendment carried.
New Motion by M. Stoddard, seconded by S. Dilcer to authorize the Selectboard to purchase a new grader for up to $305,000 with making the payment in full (Option 1) using the funds listed above.
Motion carried.
J. Benson said we will make a payment with the equipment fund as a deposit to hold the grader until the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2017.
Article 10: To approve a 12 month budget for the financial year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 to meet the expenses and liabilities of the Town Highway Fund and to authorize the Selectboard to set a tax rate sufficient to provide the same.
Motion made by E. Nielsen, seconded by L. Stowell.
C. Keeler opened for discussion. There wasn’t any so the motion was called. Motion carried.
Article 11: To transact any other proper business.
D. Childs spoke about EC Fiber. There have been 2 incursions in Brookfield: on Kibbee Road and in West Brookfield. They’re working on covering 24 towns. He encouraged everyone to sign up so Brookfield will move up on the list.
L. Stowell wanted to let everyone know there would be a Public Safety Community event open to individuals and families on March 11th at the Brookfield Elementary School.
B. Fallon encouraged everyone to take part in Green Up Day the 1st Saturday in May.
P. Kacik said there are Ice Out tickets available in the Teachers’ work room for $2/guess or 3 for $5. 25% goes to the winner and 75% is for the Historical Society.
Motion by A. Haggett, seconded by L. Stowell to adjourn the meeting at 12:30 p.m.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted:
Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk

Mar 172016
 

BROOKFIELD TOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT
ANNUAL SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETING, BROOKFIELD, VERMONT
TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2016
Charlie Keeler called the meeting called to order at 12:53 p.m.
Article I:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following Town School District Officers:
-Moderator for a term of one year.
-SCHOOL DIRECTOR for a term of three years.
Charlie Keeler was elected as Moderator.
Kristin Husher was elected School Director.
(Due to there being no contested votes on the Official Town Officers’ Ballot, and pursuant to 17 VSA Chapter 55 Subchapter 003 §2682(f): “When the same number of persons are nominated for any town office as there are positions to be filled, the presiding officer may declare the whole slate of candidates elected without making individual tallies, provided each person on the slate has more votes than the largest number of write-in votes for any one write-in candidate. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 111; 2007, No. 54, § 14; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 53.)
There were a total of 450 ballots cast. Write-in candidates were counted and none of them reached the minimum number of votes required to qualify for office. All listed candidates had vote totals exceeding those of write-in candidates for each respective position.
Article II:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:
-Shall the voters of the Brookfield Town School District approve the school board to expend $1,153,770, which is the amount the school board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year?  This represents a .22% decrease from the previous year.  It is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in education spending of $13,545 per equalized pupil.  This projected spending per equalized pupil is 2.33% lower than spending for the current year.
YES – 273     NO – 164     BLANK – 13
Article III:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:
-Shall the legal voters of the Brookfield Town School District appropriate the sum
of $80,883 for the support of the Building Maintenance Fund, which will come
from surplus funds from the 2014-2015 school year?
YES – 346     NO – 95     BLANK – 9
M. Maeder asked what the reasoning is behind applying the previous year’s surplus to the Building Maintenance Fund.
K. Husher said it allows us to maintain expenditures within the budget vs. having to go to a bond vote for a needed repair.
M. Maeder asked why it doesn’t go into curriculum development instead.
J. Merriam said if there is revenue, it is voted to go into school bus maintenance, unanticipated legal fund, or building maintenance. The Board reviews what potential financial risks exist for this school, in an attempt to prevent a subsequent catastrophic issue for the taxpayers. The revenue cannot cross lines on where it is spent.
K. Husher stated if we vote no for the surplus, it goes back to the State.
Article IV:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:
Shall the Town school district of Brookfield, which the State Board of Education has found necessary to include in the proposed Orange Southwest Unified District (OSUD), join with the school districts of Braintree, Randolph, and Randolph union High School, which the State Board of Education has found necessary to include in the proposed Orange Southwest Unified District (OSUD), for the purpose of forming a unified district, as provided in Title 16, Vermont Statutes Annotated?
YES – 310   No – 125   BLANK – 15
K. Anderson asked for an update of what has been done for/at the school in the last year.
J. Merriam said the sewer lines have been replaced. The school is up to code on fire safety. Any health & safety violations have been resolved. With the OSUD, there is one maintenance crew for all 3 towns. There are 5 levels of maintenance, 5 being the highest. With the water/sewer issues corrected, they are working on level 3 issues. Heat has been installed in the garage to help maintain equipment.
C. Hryshko stated it isn’t easy going to a school board meeting because there is never a consistent time it actually starts.
K. Anderson said there is a meeting coming up about transportation on March 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the school. A letter went out to families concerning changes in transportation beginning next fall.
J. Merriam said there are 3 buses used in Brookfield for 52 students; 10 years ago, there were 115 students. Randolph uses 2 buses as does Braintree. There was discussion concerning the bus route changes.
K. Joyal stated that he has seen buses driven home and suggested that they should be stored at the garage to save transportation costs.
J. Merriam stated there will be a net gain of 6 students in Fall 2016 with 12 students starting kindergarten and 6 graduating this June. The school receives $85,000 for the small school grant, which would continue should Brookfield and the other local towns vote in favor of the consolidated OSUD.
With the unification the tax rate will be 1.26% and without it, the rate will be 1.46%.
Article IV (B): To vote by Australian ballot for the Board of School Directors if the OSUD passes.
For results of commingle of ballots for Board of School Directors (with Randolph and Braintree), contact the Town Clerk at any of the 3 Town Offices.
Article V: To see whether the Town School District will authorize the school board to borrow money in
anticipation of taxes for the ensuing school year.
Motion by Dove Cogen, seconded by B. Hale. Motion carried
Article VI:   To do any other business proper to come before this meeting.
Principal S. McKelvie stated the kids in town are why we have the school and the outcome from the Brookfield kids is impressive. Brookfield came in 2nd for the State annual assessment test. She noted that BES teachers have been meeting with teachers from the other local schools, and working as a team in identifying issues, approaches, and solutions.
Due to there being no more discussion, C. Keeler entertained a motion to adjourn. On motion by Dove Cogen, seconded by David Cogen, the motion carried to adjourn at 1:48 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey
Brookfield Town Clerk