The Town of Brookfield
August 8, 2016, 7:00 PM
Town Clerk’s Office
DRAFT Meeting Minutes
Present: John Benson (Selectboard Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Starr Strong (Health Officer), Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Kevin Joyal (Town Constable and Public Safety Committee), Teresa Godfrey (Treasurer), Dennis LaRocque (Public Safety Committee), Justin Poulin
1. Call to Order – 6:59
2. Adjustments to Agenda – Mr. Benson invited Starr Strong to speak first.
3. Public Presentation or Comment – Dennis LaRocque had some general questions regarding the paving on Ridge Road and Northfield Road. He noted that there is quite an issue with dust on the paved part of Northfield road under the interstate and on the small paved portion of Stone Road. Sweeping was discussed. Mr. Peck will look into options for sweeping in those areas.
4. Old Business
A. Approve Minutes of 25 July Meeting – Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the meeting minutes as amended. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0
B. Young property – Prior to the meeting, Mr. Peck, Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel, and Mr. Haggett met with Mr. Young at the Town Garage to discuss a possible boundary line adjustment. Mr. Peck will make a few more measurements and draw a sketch to present to Mr. Young.
C. Constable/parking ordinance – Kevin Joyal and Dennis LaRocque discussed parking in the village and on Stone Road near Syd Cushing’s property. The Public Safety Committee will draft a letter to Ariel’s restaurant informing the owners that the Sherriff’s Department will be issuing first offense warnings to the drivers of Illegally parked vehicles. These warning will be followed, for second and repeat offenders, by ticketing or towing if they are blocking the road enough to prevent access to emergency vehicles or plows. There is an understanding that not all of the illegally parked cars are patrons of Ariel’s. The Public Safety committee will present the Selectboard with a draft of the letter so the Board may make changes if necessary. The Selectboard would also like to meet with Ariel’s owner(s) to discuss the parking issues and potential remedies.
5. New Business
A. Floating Bridge Safety – A citizen called the Town Office with concerns regarding the lack of flotation devices on the floating bridge. There are a number of reasons that the town cannot provide safety equipment on the bridge, most notably that the bridge belongs to the State. In addition, the Floating Bridge is not a recreational structure and the town cannot condone or encourage swimming off the bridge.
B. Highway Report –
1. Mr. Benson has contacted VTrans regarding curling of the decking on the Floating Bridge. Vtrans is aware of the problem and repairs will be done.
2. The Town Crew is done with the culverts on Ridge Road. They will finish the ditch work on 9 August. On 10 August they will be ditching on Northfield road to prepare for paving.
3. There is a place on Northfield Road that turns to a mud hole in the spring. The Road Crew will be doing preventative maintenance on approximately 500’ of Northfield Road which will include digging down approximately 3 feet to install fabric and stone for drainage. The road will need to be closed for 2 days. This project needs to be coordinated with the closure of the section of VT Route 65 between West Street and Bear Hill so both roads are not closed at the same time. The first day of school and school bus routes must also be considered.
4. Davis Acres Road: there is a question as to whether the part of the road where Mr. Wakefield crosses his cattle is Class 3 or 4. The road is badly damaged by the twice daily travel of cattle. Ray is going to measure the road to establish where the road turns from Class 3 to Class 4. The Selectboard will establish which landowners would be affected by changes to the road.
5. FY 2016-2017 Tax Rate: Mrs. Godfrey presented budget numbers to aid in setting the tax rate. Discussion included expenditures for the cemetery, town buildings and grounds, and FEMA. Future purchase of a grader and existing town funds were also considered. Mr. Benson made a motion to set the municipal tax rate at .4899. Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0
6. Starr Strong – Rental Code Violation: Ms. Strong was present to discuss an issue with a property on VT Route 14 owned by Douglas and Diane Haggett. The tenant made a complaint against the Haggetts in June. The tenant was supposed to receive reduced rent if they would renovate with materials and supplies provided by the landlord. The relationship with the landlord deteriorated soon after the tenants moved in and work on renovation stopped. It is Ms. Starr’s understanding that rent is being held in escrow until safety issues are addressed.
Upon inspection Ms. Starr found issues with ventilation, heating, plumbing, and fire safety. An Assistant State Fire Marshal, Patrick McLaughlin, completed a fire inspection on 27 June 2016 and found multiple violations. Ms. Strong sent a letter of violation to the landlord which was received on 3 July. Mr. and Mrs. Haggett were informed in that letter that there would be another inspection on 8 August. That inspection was performed on 8 August and no changes have been made.
According to Ms. Strong, the tenant received an eviction notice in June prior to the complaint that was filed with the Health Officer, and a second eviction notice since then.
Mr. Haggett recused himself from the discussion.
Upon contacting the State Ms. Strong was advised to bring the issue to the Board. The Board is unclear as to its authority in a dispute between tenant and landlord. Mr. Benson told Ms. Strong that the Board will contact VLCT to discuss what possible action can or should be taken.
7. Mr. Benson made a motion to accept the final audit report from Fothergill, Segale and Valley. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0
8. Contract plowing paperwork was signed for James Godfrey to do the plowing for Witts Bridge Road and the Town Office parking lot.
6. Policy And Ordinance Review
A. Drug and Alcohol Policy – Tabled
B. Jobs for Bid – Tabled
7. Payroll/AP Warrant
A. Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the AP Warrant in the amount of $14,207.23 including invoices for Southworth Miltion Cat in the amount of $4,917.12, Wheatley & Sons in the amount of $2,800.00, And Michael Merrill in the amount of $2,760.00
B. Payroll Warrants for 07/28/2016 and 08/04/2016
8. Other Proper Business – Justin Poulin asked for the road crew to dump a couple loads of the material they are removing during culvert replacement on Ridge Road at the bottom of his hayfield access on West Street. The access has been inadvertently built up at that spot due to road work on West Street. Mr. Poulin will smooth the material himself, taking care to keep the area well-drained.
9. Adjournment: 8:55 p.m.