Apr 092020
 

INFORMATIONAL HANDOUT FOR REMOTE MEETINGS
 
Remote Public Meetings
All public body meetings for the Town of Brookfield will be conducted remotely via electronic means for the duration of Governor Scott’s State of Emergency declaration. Whenever feasible, the public will also be able to access and participate in the remote meetings by dialing in through telephone.
Accessing a Meeting
Please refer to each public body’s notice and agenda for information on how to access a remote meeting. Please note that whether you join by telephone, computer, or device, you may be put on hold or in a waiting “room” until granted access to the meeting. You also may be muted or restricted from using any chat function until the public comment portion of the meeting.
Participation
All meetings will be conducted in accordance with the respective “Rules of Procedure” of each public body, to the extent practicable. The public body will follow its agenda and allow public attendees to participate through voice (audio) means where feasible or alternatively using any chat function during the designated public comment periods on the agenda and at other applicable times as needed.
Initially, the meeting’s host/organizer will mute all participants that are not members of the public body. This is necessary to control background noise. The host/organizer will then unmute participants or allow participants to unmute themselves when invited to speak by the Chair of the public body.
Please review the following guidelines:
The Chair will invite comment:

during the time designated on the agenda for public comment;
after the public body discusses each agenda item;
before the public body takes action;
during any open public comment period, if applicable; and
other times as determined by the public body.
When a participant/attendee is unmuted, they must state their name before commenting.

If the public body successfully moves to enter an executive session, the meeting’s host/organizer will then place everyone that is not part of the executive session on hold or a virtual waiting “room.” This will prevent attendees from hearing or participating in the meeting during the duration of the executive session. When the public body exits executive session, the host/organizer will then grant access back to the remote meeting.
When the public body adjourns the meeting, the host/organizer will end the electronic meeting by turning off/closing the remote meeting software. Attendees will be automatically disconnected.
Minutes and other public records that were part of the meeting will be made available in accordance with VT’s Open Meeting and Public Records Laws.
 
To learn more about Remote Public Meetings and the Open Meeting Law, please visit the Secretary of State’s Municipal Assistance webpage at https://sos.vermont.gov/municipal-division/laws-resources/covid-19-response/.
 
 

Apr 032020
 

Town of Brookfield Selectboard
NOTICE
In recognition of the current National Health Emergency, along with State of Vermont and Centers for Disease Control guidelines, the Town of Brookfield Selectboard will adopt the following procedures in conducting Selectboard meetings starting with the April 13th 2020 meeting and continuing until further notice.

Meetings will be conducted by use of a conference call system. The Public may participate by dialing into the number provided in the meeting warning and then entering the associated access code. As Selectboard meetings will be conducted electronically, there will be no designated in-person physical site or participation.
The Selectboard will be limiting the meeting to only those items which the Board believes are essential to keeping the Town functioning and/or are considered time sensitive.
To bring an issue before the Board, the individual or group must submit the item in writing to the Town Administrative Assistant (e-mail: admin@brookfieldvt.org) on or before the Thursday preceding the meeting. The request must contain the name of the person(s) making the request, the subject, and how it meets the criteria outlined in item 2 above. If appropriate, it will be included in the warning and the person or group recognized when the item is ripe for discussion. If not deemed appropriate at that time, the item will be deferred to a later date.
Meetings will begin at 6:20 pm on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

We thank you for your cooperation as we all work together to minimize the spread of this potentially deadly virus and keep each other safe.
Dated: April 3, 2020

Apr 012020
 

Town of Brookfield, VT
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Cemetery Sexton
April 2020
The Town of Brookfield is requesting proposals from qualified contractors to perform sexton duties for the Brookfield Cemeteries. Responsibilities include:

Check on cemeteries twice each week throughout the Summer and once each week in the Fall, to aid in maintenance of fences and stones.
Sale of cemetery plots and production of cemetery deeds.
Maintenance of maps and card files located at the Town Office.
Install corner markers,  mark out foundations, and review and approve/disapprove stone designs to be installed.
Prepare a budget for the cemeteries.
Place flags before Memorial Day and remove them in November.

The Town of Brookfield encourages bids from women/minority/economically disadvantaged businesses
Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required. Contract to run: 1 July 2020 through 30 June 2021. The Town reserves the right to negotiate a fee adjustment and extension of the contract for up to an additional 2 years.
Bids may be submitted by mail to: Brookfield Town Office, PO Box 463, Brookfield, VT 05036; or by e-mail at admin@brookfieldvt.org and must be received by April 23, 2020.

Apr 012020
 

Town of Brookfield, VT
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Cemetery Maintenance
April 2020
The Town of Brookfield is requesting proposals from qualified contractors to mow, trim weeds, remove/sweep grass clippings from headstones, and seasonal cleanup – once in the Spring and again in the Fall –  at the Town of Brookfield Cemeteries and other public spaces as follows:

West Brookfield Cemetery
Both Brookfield Center Cemeteries
East Brookfield Cemetery
Cemetery Street Cemetery
Hippo Park
The War Memorial Monument area on Stone Road
The Town Clerk’s Office

The Town of Brookfield encourages bids from women/minority/economically disadvantaged businesses.
Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required. The proposed contract will run from 1 May 2020 through 30 November 2021. The Town reserves the right to negotiate a fee adjustment and extension of the contract for up to an additional 2 years.
Bids may be submitted by mail to: Brookfield Town Office, PO Box 463, Brookfield, VT 05036; or by e-mail at admin@brookfieldvt.org and must be received by April 23, 2020.

Mar 262020
 

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 23, 2020
Draft Minutes
Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road
Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque
Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Steve Schaefer

Call Meeting to Order: J. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Loader:

J. Kimmel reported that he had talked to Ray Peck, Road Foreman, concerning the bids and trade-in value for the loader. J. Kimmel provided a chart and information with the results of the 4 bids. R. Peck had previously reviewed the bids and tested some of what was offered with the Road Crew.  They were all in agreement that the loader presented by Milton CAT was the preferred purchase.  Quotes included the following:
A. Beauregard (CASE 621G Wheel Loader)-$166,075-Trade-in $38,600=$127,475 Payments of $21,039/7 yr. annual payment
B. Beauregard (CASE 721G Wheel Loader)-$196,175-Trade-in $38,600=$157,575 Payments of $25,852/7 yr. annual payment
C. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$197,900-Trade-in $49,000=$148,900  Payments range from $32,019.94-5 yrs. /$27,163.76-6 yrs. /$23,699.79-7 yrs. annual payment
D. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$215,900-Trade-in $49,000=$166,900 Payments range from $35,890.72-5 yrs. /$30,447.46-6 yrs. /$26,564.77-7 yrs. annual payment
E. NORTRAX (John Deere 544L Wheel Loader)-$193,338-Trade-in $39,500=$153,838 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.
F. NORTRAX (John Deere 624L Wheel Loader)-$213,619-Trade-in $39,500=$174,119 Extended Warranty + Preventative Maintenance Options Inc.
G. Anderson Equipment (KOMATSU WA 270-8 Wheel Loader 3V)-$186,926-Trade-in $60,000=$126,926 Payments range from $33,397-4 yrs. / $27,144-5 yrs. / $22,979-6 yrs. annual payment
H. Milton CAT (CATERPILLAR 930M Wheel Loader)-$200,000-Trade-in $60,000=$140,000 Payments of $22,300/7 yr. annual payment
J. Benson said Milton CAT would not require any payment until after the July 1, 2020 fiscal year began. S. Schaefer questioned if the Highway Department was going to adjust hours or have lay-offs due to COVID-19. J. Benson said no, they will continue to operate.
T. Godfrey, Treasurer, presented to the Board the current financial balance of $1,069,635.49 in the checking accounts. Her concern was, with the financial difficulties families are having with the current situation, the balance would just cover the payment to OSSD for the May 22, 2020 school payment, leaving little in the accounts to run the Town. Other towns are also looking at this issue, Randolph included.
After further discussion, the Board decided they should delay the agreement with Milton CAT.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to postpone actual enactment of the agreement as provided by Milton CAT until we have further information on the economy.   Vote 3-0-0

Review and approval of Warrants:

On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to pay the warrants in the amount of $4,091.14.  This amount included the payment of $3,425.00 to White River Valley Ambulance.   Vote 3-0-0

Review and approval of March 9, 2020 Selectboard meeting minutes:

On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve the March 9, 2020 minutes with some minor amendments.   Vote 3-0-0

Other business:

J. Benson said they have requested that Kasey Peterson, Admin. Asst. write a RFP for Cemetery Sexton and mowing for the upcoming year.
The Board each received additional information from both Jon Binhammer and Stuart Edson concerning the Conservation Commission purchasing the development rights from a portion of land owned by Theresa & Charlie Taplin as discussed in the March 9, 2020 Selectboard meeting minutes.
J. Benson received a call concerning 4-wheel ATV’s being driven on the Town roads. He said he suggested the concerned citizen try to get pictures of this and report it to the State Police for them to investigate.
The Board discussed the ever changing directives from the Governor’s Office and how we will proceed with future Selectboard meetings and Open Meeting Law concerns.
D. LaRocque submitted his resignation as Town Auditor dated March 23, 2020 due to being Selectboard member and being Auditor are not being compatible offices per State Statute.
    6. Adjournment:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to adjourn at 7:00 p.m.   Vote 3-0-0
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder
 

Mar 192020
 

In response to the recommendations of the CDC and the Department of Health, the Selectboard meetings will be limited in scope to those essential functions necessary to the operation of the Town. We greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding in limiting the exposure by human interaction in support of our nations efforts to curtail the spread of this potentially deadly virus. We will adjust our proceeding moving forward based on the directives and guidelines received from the State and Federal government.
The agenda for the 23 March 2020 meeting is available on the calendar.

Mar 172020
 

March 19th – The Brookfield Town Office will be open T-Th, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  HOWEVER, if you can conduct your business with the Town Office via the phone, online or through the mail (including dog renewals), please do so.
PLEASE continue to follow the recommended guidelines of the CDC and the VT Department of Health: wash your hands, practice “social distancing”; avoid large gatherings; and if feeling unwell with symptoms of the virus, stay home and call your primary care physician.   YOUR continued good health is the primary concern.  Stay healthy!

Mar 122020
 

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of March 9, 2020
Draft Minutes
Town Clerk’s Office on Ralph Road
Selectboard:  John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque
Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Jon Jickling, Starr Strong, Kathy Kinter, Jon Binhammer, Theresa Taplin, Patty Kennedy, Amy Ingrassia, Jack Zebora, Dan Childs, Steve Schaefer
Prior to the opening of the meeting, Teresa Godfrey was sworn in as Town Clerk, Treasurer, Lister, and Delinquent Tax Collector.
Dennis LaRocque was sworn in as the newest member on the Selectboard by T. Godfrey.
1. Call to Order: J. Benson called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda: J. Benson moved the Selectboard Organization from New Business.
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted J. Benson as Chair.  Vote 3-0-0
J.Benson welcomed D. LaRocque to the Board. D. LaRocque will initially review the warrants with J. Kimmel reviewing for any additional changes needed. J. Benson asked D. LaRocque to request quarterly a budget status from either Kasey Peterson or T. Godfrey. J. Kimmel will be the Road Commissioner.
3. Public Comment:
P. Kennedy asked what type of lease was on the loader that was approved at Town Meeting to be replaced.
J. Benson said that we usually trade-in the equipment at the end of the lease to maintain the much needed loader and R. Peck stated the trade-in value is $60,000 toward a new one.
4. New Business:
A. Selectboard Organization was done as above.
B. Town Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the Town Meeting Minutes of March 3, 2020 as amended.  Vote 3-0-0 as amended.
T. Godfrey wanted to comment that after Town Meeting, 2 different people came up to her to tell her they had witnessed voters putting in multiple slips of paper votes for Article 12. She was also told “they only had 50 signatures for the petition”, which is only the number required by State Statute to submit a petition for inclusion on the Warning.
C. ECFiber Representative Appointments: (switched for time management)
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board reappointed Dan Childs as Representative and Stuart Edson as Alternate.  Vote 3-0-0
When asked if they needed a second alternate, D. Childs stated that would only be if neither one could make ECFiber meetings.  J. Benson thanked both representatives for all of their work to get ECFiber in Brookfield.
D. Conservation Commission Funding: (Per Jon Binhammer, in an email he sent to the Town Clerk responding to publication of the minutes in the Herald, he would like to clarify in the paragraph below, that he would like to make it clear that  ” I had recognized a conflict of interest and disclosed it to the Board, and mitigated such conflict by stating that I would not be speaking on behalf of the Commission and that my presentation and comments were on behalf of The Nature Conservancy. Due to the COVID-19 concerns, this was not discussed during the subsequent Selectboard meeting.  Teresa Godfrey, Recorder)
J. Binhammer introduced S. Strong, J. Jickling, and K. Kinter as members of the Conservation Commission (CC) and T. Taplin as the property owner for the land that will be discussed. J. Binhammer spoke on behalf of the Nature Conservancy. Together with the VT Land Trust, they are trying to conserve farm lands in VT. On the Taplin property, the soil is high quality and there is a Fen on the land.  The area they are looking at is approx. 60 acres off West St.  They would establish a right-of-way to it and purchase the development rights.  They have received approval from the Brookfield Planning Commission and the Regional Commission.  Part of the Town Plan includes conserving critical areas for wetlands for water quality and this area concerns the water quality going into Sunset Lake and North Pond.  What the CC would like from the Town is a commitment of $5000 grant from the Recreational/Conservation account.  The approximate cost to purchase the development rights and recording it in a deed is $45,000.  They have applied for money from VT Housing & Conservation Board and the Nature Conservancy.
Per T. Godfrey, there is $25,906.10 currently in the R/C account.
J. Benson asked if there will be a right-of-way for public access and walking trails.
J. Binhammer replied that they are looking at purchasing the development rights, not ownership of the land. Taplins would maintain forest management outside of the wetland. There are logging trails that could be utilized by public.  They are not advertising it as a walking trail but would encourage groups to visit for educational purposes. Access could be through Nancy Lane but there would need to be a 50′ buffer from the wetland as far as if it was used for development.
S. Strong asked J. Binhammer to explain why it is a unique area. J. Binhammer replied that a Fen is a special wetland with rare plants in it and calcium rich. There is a second one located in Calais, VT. A Fen is different from a bog which is a basin that catches rain water.  The area surrounding the Fen is softwood but not a deer yard.  The Taplins would retain rights to the land but this would remove the right to develop or mine the land.  The forest would continue to be managed with an approved Forest Management Plan.
J. Zebora was concerned with using Town money to buy a piece of property, but not own it, and lowering the value if it was deemed as not developable it would lower our tax base, and the Taplins would still own it and utilize it.
J. Benson asked if the Listers had come up with a value for the 60 acres. J. Binhammer said Stuart Edson was working with him but didn’t have a final amount because the Listers don’t typically take conservation into valuation in Brookfield. One parcel, after a Board of Civil Authority hearing in 2010, was reduced by $40,000 due to being in the VT Land Trust.  This amounts to about $800 a year tax reduction.
J. Jickling, also on the Planning Commission, said the intent and scope of the proposal is consistent with the Town Plan biologic feature and worth protecting.
K. Kinter said when they met with the State concerning how wildlife moves to other states, the wildlife goes through VT and there are no prime forests, 1000 acres, in Brookfield. We need to protect from more fragmentation of the lands because with development, there is habitat loss and with climate change it is more vital to protect the eco systems.
J. Benson questioned when they anticipated to hear back for the other grants and J. Binhammer said March 19th.
J. Benson recommended this be tabled until next meeting so the Listers can get back to the Selectboard on what the tax ramifications would be and maybe check with VT Appraisal Company since they will be working with the Listers for the town-wide reappraisal.
Item was tabled.
J. Benson gave a copy of a letter from FEMA concerning flood plain mapping updates to J. Jickling for the Planning Commission to review.
5. Highway:
A. Pike update:
J. Benson filled in D. LaRocque concerning the paving that was done in the fall by Pike Industries on Ridge Road and the issues R. Peck found when examining the work done. The Pike paving specialist agreed there were issues that were most likely caused from heating and rerolling and the temp not being hot enough to seal correctly.  The District Engineer for Brookfield’s primary contact will meet with the Town in the spring to discuss and examine the area.  No payment has been made to Pike and the paving grant Brookfield is eligible for has a deadline of December 2021.
R. Peck also spoke with Chris Bump, from VTrans, on Thursday and he will be coming up in a couple of weeks to do a site visit about a culvert on Bear Hill Road that keeps popping up out of the ground.
B. Lighting in the garage:
R. Peck spoke about the lighting in the garage. There was an energy grant that was used in the garage a few years ago to replace the lights with LED lights and half no longer work. Harmony Electric can’t fix the lights and have a 30 day quote of $3200 to replace them.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to accept the quote from Harmony Electric with the understanding the quote might be slightly higher with the 30 day window from December.  Vote 3-0-0
C. Loader Sales Order:
The purchase of a loader was approved at Town Meeting.  R. Peck received 4 quotes from different companies.  Milton CAT was the preferred submission.  With the approval to purchase for the budget starting July 1, 2020, CAT proposed delivery of the new loader and removing the old one as deposit.  The first payment would not be due until November 2020.
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board authorized R. Peck to sign off on the agreement with CAT.
S. Schaefer asked to see the quotes and what the specifications were for the purchase.
R. Peck said he requested quotes from Case, Komatsu, John Deere, and CAT. All the companies came out and gave him a value for the trade-in. The quotes were at the garage and he was willing to get them for S. Schaefer to look at them. S. Schaefer said he was looking for transparency for the purchase.
J. Kimmel withdrew his motion so the loader purchase is tabled until the next Selectboard meeting on March 23rd.
R. Peck said he has posted the roads for mud season and it needs to be approved at the Selectboard meeting.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve posting the Town roads for mud season going from March 5th – May 15th with the standard limits to be 2 axle up to 15k lbs., 3 axle up to 18k lbs., and tractor trailers up to 20k lbs.  Vote 3-0-0
The Board will have K. Peterson post to the DMV website for the mud season weight limits.
R. Peck has received the signs for posting the 6 wood deck bridges in town. They are for Witts Bridge, Eagle Peak, Mahoney, McKeage, Old Post, and Parker/Gilbert bridges. They all will be posted at 16,000 lbs. per VT State law.
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to post the 6 bridges listed above at the legal load limit of 16k lbs. This will have to be renewed annually. Vote 3-0-0
6. Old Business:
A. Personnel Policy Changes: No forward motion. Tabled.
B. Approve 27 January 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the January 27, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
C. Approve 10 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Benson, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the February 10, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
D. Approve 24 February 2020 Meeting Minutes:
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by D. LaRocque, the Board voted to approve the February 24, 2020 meeting minutes as presented.  Vote 2-0-1
7. Payroll/AP Warrant:
On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve paying the warrants in the amount of $3,846.19 which included payments for truck parts to multiple companies and the Town Meeting warning publication in The Herald.  Vote 3-0-0
8. Other Proper Business:
J. Kimmel will go over the Emergency Response Plan with K. Peterson and update for the next meeting.
The Randolph Area Food Shelf submitted an assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m.  to noon.
On motion by D. LaRocque, seconded by J. Kimmel, the Board voted to approve the request from the Randolph Area Food Shelf assemblage permit for their annual walk-a-thon for May 16th from 7:00 a.m. to noon.   Vote 3-0-0
9. Adjournment:
On motion by J. Kimmel, seconded by J. Benson, the Board voted to adjourn at 8:40 p.m. Vote 3-0-0
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mar 112020
 

 
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA
Location: Town Office, Ralph Road, Brookfield
MEETING: Wednesday, March 18th 2020 TIME: 7:00 p.m.
Rescheduled from cancelled meeting Tuesday, March 11th.
TOPICS:

Public to be heard
Approve minutes of 2/11/2020 meeting
Review progress on zoning bylaw update
Continue review of bylaws
Any other new/old business.

Mar 112020
 

Brookfield Conservation Commission
March 16, 2020 7:00 pm
Brookfield Public Library
Meeting Agenda

Review Agenda

Public Comment

Approval of Minutes of the January meeting (February meeting cancelled due to weather)

Lamson Pond Fen Conservation Project update

Planning Commission collaboration re: Forest Fragmentation discuss next steps

Brookfield  town website update

Emerald Ash Borer and Brookfield PSC – Town Forester update

Green-Up Day report by Starr

Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020

Other business

Adjourn