Mar 102020

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
February 10, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Steve Schaefer
1. Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none.
3. Public Comment –
• Steve Schaefer: he is putting his hat in the ring for Mr. Haggett’s seat and is behind the proposal to increase the Board from 3 members to 5. He read in the Randolph Herald that Mr. Haggett won’t run again.
• Questions about meeting minutes and not meeting 5-day minimum, usually 10 days. This is unacceptable to Mr. Schaefer as a citizen in this Town. Why is the Town Clerk/Assistant not here and taking minutes? The Board explained that the Selectboard Assistant is unable to travel at night to take the minutes anymore. Mr. Schaefer asked about the Town Clerk and why she is not taking the minutes? The Board said she had wanted to stop, but if she is willing to do it again, the Board would welcome her back.
• Increasing Selectboard membership from 3 to 5 members: Mr. Benson commented that this would increase the level of bureaucracy related to the board. The Board believes the Board does a good job of operating with a lean group. The Board encouraged Town residents come to more meetings and see how the Board operates/conducts business.
• The Board was asked how many culverts they have. There is an inventory list of them, but Mr. Schaefer criticized the Board for not having the listing immediately at their fingertips.
• Why the delay in posting the roads, they were asked?
• First the Board needed to do research etc. with the state and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to set up the road management system, which is a process and set of procedures and that takes time. The Board is also working with the Public Safety Advisory Committee to understand and implement Vermont Agency of Transportation requirements. Without proper vetting, the Town of Brookfield could be open to litigation particularly in trying to enforce a road ordinance. Once we have an appropriate ordinance, it can be defensible once challenged.
• Has the Stone Road issue been solved? Yes – survey done, right-of-way/travel lane by surveyor. Public Safety Committee, Sheriff’s office, Selectboard and Owner, know where the lines are and if issues continue the Sherriff’s office will enforce.
• Truck at the Town Garage was for sale last fall. Who did the Town sell it to and for what amount? It was sold to a young couple in central Vermont for $8,000, after being on the market for about 2 months.
4. New Business:
A. Highway
1. Pike Bill – Ridge Road: Mr. Peck needed to get in touch with Chris Bump at VTrans to see how they recommend dealing with Pike. The invoice was submitted, but the Town has not paid as of yet. Mr. Peck met with a sales person and it will be about $20,000 to complete the paving fix. The surface course is pulling apart and they should grind off the top and then complete repairs. Mr. Benson commented that we need to push this along, as it has been 3 months and Pike does need to get paid and this needs to be resolved.
2. Other Highway:
 Mr. Peck observed that the prior Friday was a disaster with one truck down for the ½ the day due to water pump problems. The truck is now working again.
 Mr. Peck also brought up that in the next couple years sand will be harder to get; the Town should be looking at this issue now. One idea could be to go in with other Towns to get loads via rail. We should start discussing with neighboring Towns to see what they are planning as well.
B. Letter from Casella – no action required. Trash bill went up and is now $80 per ton effective February 3rd.
5. Old Business:
A. Tatro Assemblage Permit: Mr. Tatro needs to come in and address the Board. He needs to explain his plan and why the road needs to be closed for so long (7 hours).
B. Census Bureau Letter: Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson will review the information from them and check to see if it is accurate. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the Census information if it matches the Town’s Boundaries; Mr. Haggett seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
C. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel has verified the information and all the Board needs to sign. Mr. Haggett made a motion for the Board to sign as presented; Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
D. Personnel Policy Changes: Ms. Peterson has the latest version with changes to Overtime and Holiday policy. Still a work in progress.
E. Approve Minutes of January 13, 2020 meeting: tabled until next meeting.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $5,562.36 with large bills that include $1,875.00; Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. (fire dept. dispatch): $1,031.18; Sanel Napa (truck parts): $671.96; NEMRC (disaster recovery). Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none). 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business:
• Mr. Kimmel mentioned set-up and preparation for Town Meeting. Town Clerk Teresa Godfrey will be in charge. Mr. Haggett, Mr. Benson, and Mr. Kimmel will meet around 8:30 on Tuesday March 3 to help with set up.
• Mr. Benson talked with Guy Waldo and someone will be there regarding the Masons.
• Brookfield is one of last few Towns still mailing the Town Report before Town Meeting. The meeting would be a potential chance to have an informal non-binding discussion and poll about whether to continue with the mailings in the future, along with associated costs.
• Mr. Benson spoke with the Road Crew about a site on Old School House Road (Ralph Road); there is parking in the road again.
• Mr. Benson is going to try to reach out to Tucker’s and talk with them regarding trucking and road limits, instead of sending out a letter. It may be hard to get a hold of the firm, as they are not quarrying this time of year. Mr. Benson will continue to work on this over the Winter and hopefully get this resolved.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0.

Mar 102020

Town of Brookfield
Selectboard Meeting
January 27, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Foreman), Lew Stowell (Public Safety Advisory Committee), Dawn Conant. Public Present: Dennis Larocque, Eric Nielson, Mike McShane, Jon Binhammer, Justin Poulin
1. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.
2. Adjustments to Agenda:
• Mr. McShane sought permission from the Town Selectboard to put up a survey at Town Meeting. He has been approached by the State Chapter of the Lions International about starting a Lions Club in the Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield area. He wants to set up a box at Town Meeting to have people fill out and leave the survey. Mr. Haggett will talk with Theresa and find out what is required to do this. The Board recommends that the Lions have a representative there when people check in so they will see them and take a survey.
• Mr. Binhammer – Mr. Kimmel asked him to come, regarding a question on the warning he is proposing. He is asking for $200 from the Town Recreation/Conservation Fund for a Broomball Set to be used at the the annual Ice Harvest event. Does the Selectboard have the authority to use/donate the funds without going to the voters’ approval at Town Meeting? The money in that account was obtained from logging at the Town Forest.
The Board opined that it could not could not obligate money without going to voters first due to the nature of funding activities. The Board could put a warning for Town Meeting have the voters vote to approve spending/raising $200 via taxes. Since the event is over for this year, Mr. Binhammer does not need it to be on the warning this time. He will plan to get something together before next year and go from there. He also mentioned the event went well, there were quite a few people, and there was over 15 inches of ice (and no one fell through).
3. Public Comment –
• Justin Poulin is here regarding the Bear Hill issues regarding a pipe installation on the road. He is asking what the Town found out about what can be done.
• The Town consulted the Town Attorney, who recommend that the property owner remove the pipes. The Town does not have legal authority to remove the pipe, unless it takes the next step and goes to court. If the property owner places a potential obstruction by the road, the owner takes on the inherent responsibility if a person hits it or if it damages the Town’s equipment. The property owner is aware of the issues and responsibilities.
• Mr. Poulin has observed other road issues, like piles of material near the road, a driveway that is paved onto the Town portion of road, and a safety issued posed by a 6 foot culvert road hole. Mr. Poulin wants to make sure that all in the Town of Brookfield are treated fairly no matter who they are.
• Mr. Benson understands this, but the issue of the pipe/posts near the road was brought to the Board by other concerned community members. The Board does not pick certain property owners to give a hard time to.
• Mr. Benson will have Ray look into the issues of the rocks and pavement and culvert hole and report back to the Board. If we don’t know about things we cannot as a Board make a plan to take care of them.
• Mr. Poulin asked about the travel way issue with Stone Road. Mr. Benson reported that the Public Safety Committee, property owners, Sheriff’s Dept. and the Board met. Nothing is to be protruding into the travel way. Mr. Eric Nielson lives and travels that way and says the sight distance northbound is better than is heading south. The Board could establish more Sheriff patrols in that area to deter encroachment in the road. The property owner has agreed to move some of the items back from the road and has been informed by the Sheriff’s Dept. what the cost is if they are in violation. The Town had a survey done and at this time the Owner is content with the survey and not going to challenge.
• Regarding the Bear Hill Property Owner road issue: the Board is not going to move forward with litigation, but at a previous meeting it was discussed as an option. The Board does not need Town voter approval to litigate matters. The Board would report the proceedings, but have the legal authority to initiate litigation if necessary.
4. New Business:
A. Kate Forrer – Emerald Ash Borer Research: tabled for this meeting as she is not here.
B. Town Meeting Warning: Mr. Kimmel has compiled it for posting and inclusion in Town Report.
C. Highway
1. Highway & Bridge Weight Restriction Filings: Mr. Peck to look and work on tomorrow.
2. Certificate of Highway Mileage: Mr. Kimmel has the material, will review its accuracy, and submit it to the Town Clerk to send to the State Agency of Transportation.
3. Other Highway
 Town Garage building – the most recent cost estimate is approximately $1,000,000 for a structure to house everything. Mr. Peck would like to have a pit in the new building as well.
 An article will be in the Town Warning for the voters to approve construction of a new Town Garage Building up to $1,000,000, to be financed over a 25-30 year period.
 The Board will present the options: a) do nothing; b) 2 buildings; c) completely replace the existing building.
 Mr. Peck will contact Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission about the list of hazardous materials and chemicals stored in the garage and get help filling out the requisite form.
 Also will ask Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson to contact VTrans and get an answer regarding cost issues of paving on Ridge Road.
D. Reappraisal Contract Amendment: the contract will be the same amount as before, but will extend to a two-year period. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Reappraisal Contract Amendment, Mr. Haggett second; Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
E. Tatro Pubic Assemblage Permit: the event will be May 30 and feature the unveiling of a Morgan Horse history marker on Snow Road near Eaton Snow’s house. They plan to have a race, log rolling, food for sale etc. Approximately 100+/- people expected and they would like to close the road from 10-5 p.m.
Mr. Haggett indicated that he doesn’t think that will be a good idea. If for a couple of hours that is one thing. The permit request is not complete as to why for so long, and how the applicants would deal with property/home owners on the road.
The Board chose to table approval of the permit, until it is resubmitted with more information and clearer objectives. Ms. Peterson will notify Mr. Tatro and seek additional information about the permit conditions.
F. Town E911 Coordinator: the Board acknowledges the note received by Chuck Barnum indicating he is retiring from the 911 Coordinator position. The Board wants to recognize all his hard work and thank him for all the years he has done this position.
We have a community member who is willing to step in – Mr. George (Jack) Zebora. Mr. Haggett made a motion to accept the name of Mr. Zebora as the new 911 Coordinator for the Town of Brookfield, Mr. Haggett second; Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
Jack Zebora will reach out to Chuck Barnum and go over the information for the position and where things stand.
G. Census Bureau request for Brookfield Boundary Information: the Board will ask Ms. Peterson to check with the TRORC mapping site to confirm the boundaries of the Town, along with referring to the census CD for comparison and get back to the Board.
H. Town Meeting Warning:
• Randolph Area Mentoring Program request for new funding: Mr. Kimmel has their request and explanatory letter.
• There is a petition circulating to increase the Selectboard from 3 to 5 members and Australian ballot was requested as the way to vote for it. Brookfield does not vote such issues by Australian ballot. So It should be amended to include it on the Town Meeting Warning, to be voted from the floor. Mr. Benson will discuss with VLCT to confirm the method(s) to vote to potentially change Board structure and add 2 more Board members.
• Mr. Haggett’s seat is up this year and he is not running again. It is the only open Board seat for the upcoming election.
5. Old Business:
A. Personnel Policy Changes: Mr. Kimmel will return to this after completion of ongoing work on the Town Report and Warning.
B. Approve Minutes of January 13, 2020 meeting: Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of January 13, 2020 with an amendment to the Cargill item; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
6. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $13,138.17 with large bills that include $4,500.65; BCBSVT (healthcare): $3,425.00; White River Valley Ambulance (ambulance): $1,733.16; Cargill, Inc. (salt). Mr. Kimmel seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
7. Other Proper Business: the Board noted various Town Meeting items:
• Loader – need to indicate what the total cost is, including interest and period of loan.
• Town Garage – Dennis Laroque suggested that there be photos at the meeting of the trucks in the garage and what the addition would look like with trucks so the voters could see what the Board is trying to do.
• New Request – Randolph Mentoring Program.
• Remove Mr. Binhammer’s Broomball funding request.
• Amy Ingrassia went to the White River Valley Ambulance Board meeting. The Board is grateful to have an experienced volunteer working with the WRVA Board. Hard to get anyone to volunteer for the position. She hopes to see about getting some other Town members if possible.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:23 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded. 3-0-0.

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

Mar 012020

The sequence may be varied to accommodate members of the public and guests.
The following members attended: Stuart Edson, Michael Rutkovsky and Lew Stowell.  Member of the public: Gabe Freitag.

Review and Approve Minutes of January 15, 2020. Approved unanimously.
Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public. Gabe Freitag, a local logger, wanted to know where the town was going with vehicle weight limits.  He has no large trucks of his own but depends upon large logging trucks to get his logs to mills.  He urged that the town allow trucks up to the state special limits with local permits.  He complimented Ray Peck as being reasonable to work with on weight limit issues.  The committee explained that the 24,000 pound weight limit on town class 2, 3 & 4 roads is a State law and the progress the committee has made in understanding the laws surrounding weight limits.
Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills.  OCSD conducted 8 hours of patrols costing $376.00 and resulting in 2 speeding citations for 11 to 20 MPH over the limit.  S. Edson has not been able to contact VSP Royalton yet.
Road Maintenance and Right of Way Issues. No new issues reported.
Town Over Weight and Over Sized System Project Progress. The most recent results of continuing research into weight limits have been passed on to the Select Board Chair and were discussed by the committee.
E-911 Sign and Traffic Sign Status. T. Godfrey will take the un-picked-up E-911 House Number Signs to the Town Meeting in the hopes of getting some more home owners to pick their order up. S. Edson has received one estimate of the cost of installing traffic signs from Lafayette Highway Specialties.  The cost was $235.00 per sign with them providing all materials.  It is not known what the cost would be with the Town of Brookfield providing the materials (signs, posts, etc.).
Emerald Ash Borer Progress.  Additional “windshield” inventories of Ash trees have been conducted.  A draft request for information has been written.  L. Stowell to meet Tom Johnston of Trees Inc from Rutland this Friday morning to tour the five roads inventoried to get recommendations and a quote to remove Ash trees on these five roads
Town Meeting Preparation.  The Town Meeting Agenda appears full.  The Committee will be prepared to answer questions if they are asked.  K. Forrer to provide EAB maps and info.
Public Safety Advisory Committee Website Use.  S. Edson to continue working on website metrics.
March Public Safety Message. The draft message was approved with a little editing by L. Stowell to be done if needed.  This message will be on the website and Front Porch Forum.
Setting the Next Meeting.  March 25, 2020 at 5:30.
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting.  None to be invited.
Adjournment. At 7:08 PM.

Feb 272020

Brookfield Selectboard Meeting of February 24, 2020
Approved Minutes
Town Clerk’s office on Ralph Road
Selectboard:  Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel
Public Attendees:  Teresa Godfrey (Recorder), Ray Peck (Highway Foreman), Dennis LaRocque, Gabe Freitag, Dennis Tatro, Laura Tatro, Dennis Boggs, Justin Poulin, Sandy Vondrasek (The Herald), Steve Schaefer, Patricia Kennedy
1. Mr. Haggett called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m
2.  Adjustments to Agenda: No adjustments
3.  Public Comment-Dennis Boggs-Dirt Road Maintenance:
Mr. Boggs questioned if there is a published or written document on how we are maintaining the dirt roads, if there is a strategy or if we spend in certain spots.
Mr. Kimmel stated they discuss with Mr. Peck on what needs to be done.
Mr. Peck said he did an estimate and the amount of gravel/fill etc. needed to repair/restore a section of road is approximately $18,000/mile and that doesn’t include the hauling costs and man hours.
Mr. Boggs questioned if the State has more money to do the dirt roads for better drainage?
Mr. Peck said half the roads are built on top soil and require a lot product to bring them up to standard.
When Mr. Boggs asked what the strategy was, Mr. Haggett said Mr. Peck notes what roads need doing and he hits the worst spots and we do what we can afford to do.  Mr. Peck commented that paving is about $130,000 per mile.  Grants are used as they come in but they only cover portions of the cost.  The roads have to meet State specifications.  The Road Crew is working on finishing East Hill.  They have to work on drainage so the sediment doesn’t end up in the rivers and they only have one more section to do before June 30th.
4.  New Business:
A. Pre-town meeting Informational Session:
Ms. Vondrasek, Herald reporter, questioned how much of the loader purchase and garage build will impact the taxes and how much is saved for these items on the Warning. She also questioned why the proposed budget was not balanced for revenues and expenses.
Mr. Kimmel replied that John Benson, Selectboard Chair, has been working with an   outside firm and with the water quality at the garage, an expansion, and a sprinkler system, they are looking for financial approval at Town Meeting to build a needed garage.
Mrs. Godfrey stated there is approximately $60,000 in the garage fund from the last 2 tax years and $40,000 towards equipment purchases. She said that she also realized tonight the proposed budget wasn’t balanced and Mr. Kimmel said it will have to be amended at Town Meeting because the budget has been printed in the Town Report as it stands.
Mr. Poulin wanted to know what the options are for the garage, what is the goal and issues with the existing garage.
Mr. Haggett said we can raze the current one and start over, build a new shed where the current smaller one is that would have heat and electricity, or expand the current building.  Mr. Peck stated that there is no room in the current garage when working on equipment, the new $300k  grader sits out in the weather, OSHA requires that hazardous materials are stored in a separate room, diesel equipment won’t start if it is too cold so the vehicles need to be parked in a heated building, they need a welding hood and the current garage doesn’t have appropriate room for one.
Mr. Haggett stated the new Chelsea garage cost $1,000,000 and we are not ready to break ground.
Mr. Poulin would like to see paper hand-outs at Town Meeting so the voters can refer to them when asking questions.
Ms. Vondrasek asked the Board why they are opposed to a 5 member Selectboard per the Town Report.
Mr. Kimmel said we will see if it is approved and they cannot immediately appoint at Town Meeting.  The Selectboard would ask people to apply then appoint 2 new members.
B. Highway Report:
Mr. Peck reported that mud season is coming up.  When we get new vehicles, and we buy the extended warranty, why isn’t a wiper motor covered?
Mr. Haggett said to ask Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, to pursue it.
5. Old Business:
A. Tatro Public Assemblage:
The Selectboard was concerned with closing the road, Snow Road, off for 7 hours for the Justin Morgan Farm memorial sign races.  Mr. Tatro said the races will be from 1:00-3:00 or so and that is the only time needed to close the road.  It took 14 years to locate where the farm used to be.
Mr. Haggett suggested they contact the Town about a week before the event to have the road graded.
On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to approve the Application for Tatro’s Public Assemblage Permit for the Justin Morgan Memorial Day on May 30, 2020.  Vote 2-0-0.
B. Personnel Policy Changes:
The Board tabled this.  No forward progress.
C. Approve 27 January 2020 meeting Minutes:
The Board tabled this.  Minutes not received for approval.
6.  Payroll/AP Warrant:
On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to pay the warrants in the amount of $68,531.61.  This includes diesel purchase of $14,707.82 from Global Montello Group Corp, $38,120.54 for county tax to the Orange County Treasurer.  Vote 2-0-0
7.  Other Proper Business:
Mr. LaRocque questioned why the Fire Department budget went up this year.  Mr. Haggett replied that the Fire Station is in need of a new roof.
Mrs. Godfrey stated she needed to know what is up with the Town Report and where it is at.
Mr. Kimmel said it has been submitted to the printer and has come back with a proof.  The plan is to have them mailed out on Thursday, February 27th.  The electronic version will be available on the Town Website on Tuesday, February 25th.
8.  Adjournment:
On motion by Mr. Kimmel, seconded by Mr. Haggett, the Board voted to adjourn at 7:45 until the next meeting of March 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Godfrey, Recorder.

Feb 232020

The sequence may be varied to accommodate members of the public and guests.

Review and Approve Minutes of January 15, 2020. [1/15/20 Minutes]
Questions or Issues Brought by Members of the Public.
Continuing Review of OCSD Activities, Reports and Bills. [OCSD Patrol Hours]
Road Maintenance and Right of Way Issues.
Town Over Weight and Over Sized System Project Progress.
E-911 Sign and Traffic Sign Status.
Emerald Ash Borer Progress.
Town Meeting Preparation.
Public Safety Advisory Committee Website Use.
March Public Safety Message. [Draft Message]
Setting the Next Meeting.
Inviting Guests to the Next Meeting.

Feb 182020

Minutes DRAFT
Brookfield Planning Commission Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 DRAFT
Present: Gwynn Zakov, Chair, Timothy Gershon, Jon Jickling, Martha Judy, William White
Chair Zakov called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m.
Inquired about public to be heard.  No public attended.
Approved letter of support for the Charles and Theresa Taplin conservation project to be submitted to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
The Planning Commission continued to work on revisions to the Development bylaws.
White/Jickling moved to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Martha Judy

Feb 122020

Brookfield Conservation Commission
February 18, 2019 7:00 pm
Brookfield Public Library
Meeting Agenda

Review Agenda

Public Comment

Approval of Minutes of the January meeting

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

Prepare for Town Meeting

Brainstorm session continuation – projects for 2020

March 11 presentation by Rudy Rudell of White River Partnership about the watershed – proposal to co-sponsor this presentation with Braintree and Randolph CCs.

Other business


Feb 022020

A statewide Presidential Primary will be held on TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020 to vote for candidates for the following offices:
The polls will open at a.m. and will close at 7:00 p.m. The polling place(s) is/are located at:

Town (or City) Clerk
EARLY or ABSENTEE BALLOTS: You can request early/absentee ballots at any time during the election year. The latest a ballot can be requested
in _ is
(Town) (date and time office closes prior to election)
You or a family member can request early ballots in person, in writing, by telephone, or on your My Voter Page at An authorized person can request ballots for you in person or in writing.
CHECKLIST: posted at town clerk’s office by Sunday, February 2, 2020. If your name is not on it, then you must register to vote.
SAMPLE BALLOTS POSTED: Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
REGISTER TO VOTE: There is no deadline to register to vote. You will be able to register to vote on the day of the election. Please register early by visiting the town clerk’s office or going online to
Methods of voting early/absentee in the 45 days before the election (ballots available by January 17, 2020):

Vote in the town clerk’s office prior to the election.Voter may take the ballots out of the clerk’s office and return in the same manner as if the ballots were received by mail.Have ballot mailed to you and return it to clerk’s office before Election Day or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on Election Day.If you are in the military, live overseas, or are ill or disabled you may receive your ballot electronically and utilize our accessible online ballot marking tool, but you must print your ballot and return it by mail.If you are ill or disabled, you may ask the town clerk, on or before the deadline to request an absentee ballot, to have two justices of the peace bring a ballot to you at your home on any day preceding the day of the election (once ballots are prepared) or the day of election.
Identification Required for First Time Registrants by Mail: If you are registering individually for the first time by mail or online, you must provide a copy of identification along with your registration: current valid photo I.D., or a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing your name and current address. If you do not provide I.D. or other documentation with your registration and do not have it when you come to the polls, you will be offered a provisional ballot.
CASTING A PROVISIONAL BALLOT: If you accept the offer to vote a provisional ballot, you must complete a sworn affidavit on the provisional ballot envelope swearing that you are qualified to vote in Vermont and in the polling place where you are, and that you submitted an application to register to vote before the deadline. You will be given a card explaining how you can find out if your ballot was counted one week after the election by calling the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-439-8683.
If your name was dropped from the checklist in error or has not been added even though you submitted an application: Explain the situation to your town clerk or presiding officer and ask that your name be added to the checklist. The town clerk or presiding officer will investigate the situation and then either have you complete a registration form and then add your name to the checklist or explain why you cannot be added.
If the town clerk or presiding officer and BCA members present cannot determine that you are entitled to be added to the checklist on Election Day, you may appeal to a superior court judge, who will give you a decision on Election Day OR you may vote a provisional ballot.
Any voter who wants assistance for any reason may bring the person of their choice into the voting booth to help or may ask for assistance from two election officials.
Voters who cannot get from the car into the polling place may have a ballot brought to a car outside the polls by two election officials.
Any U. S. citizen and resident of a Vermont town or city who submitted an application to register to vote on or before election day is entitled to vote regardless of race or physical ability.
• Vote more than once per election, either in the same town or in different towns.
• Mislead the board of civil authority about your own or another person’s eligibility to vote.
• Socialize in a manner that will disturb other voters.
• Offer a bribe, threaten, or intimidate a person to vote for a candidate.
• Hinder or interfere with the progress of a voter going into or out of a polling place. Vermont law provides that a person cannot campaign within a polling place but does NOT specify any number of feet that campaigners need to be away from the polls outside. The presiding officer will set reasonable rules for where campaigners can stand.
The Election Officials at the polling place are here to serve you.
If you have any questions, or need assistance while voting, ask your town clerk or any election official for help.
If you do not understand something, or you believe a mistake has been made that has not been corrected, or you have a question that cannot be answered to your satisfaction at the polling place:
Call the Elections Division, Office of the Secretary of State
1-800-439-VOTE (439-8683)
(Accessible by TDD)
If you believe that any of your voting rights have been violated, you may call the Elections Division at 800-439-8683 or (802) 828-2363. You may also file an Administrative Complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office, 128 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05633-1101.
If you believe you have witnessed efforts to commit any kind of fraud or corruption in the voting process, you may report this to your local United States Attorney’s Office, the County State’s Attorney or the Vermont Attorney General.
If you have witnessed actual or attempted acts of discrimination or intimidation in the voting process, you may report this to the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931.
• Go to the entrance checklist table, give your name, and if asked, your street address to the election official in a loud voice.
• Wait until your name is repeated and checked off by the official.
• If you want to use the accessible voting system tell the entrance checklist official at this time. An election official will take you to the accessible ballot marking device, enter a security code, and then leave you to mark and print your ballot privately. More details about our new accessible ballot marking device are available on our website at Click on Elections>Voters>Accessibility.
• You must ask for a major party ballot (Democratic or Republican). This is required by Vermont law for the Presidential Primary. (17 V.S.A. §2704.)
• Take the ballot from the election official and enter a voting booth. Once inside the voting booth, mark your ballot for each race.
• To vote for a candidate, fill in the oval to the right of the name of the candidate. Do not vote for more candidates than the “Vote for not more than #” for each office. If you vote for more than the “Vote for not more than #,” your vote will not count for that race.
• WRITE-IN candidate(s). To vote for someone whose name is not
printed on the ballot, use the blank “write-in” line on the ballot and either write in the name or paste on a sticker, then fill in the oval.
• If you make a mistake or change your mind, DO NOT try to erase. Return your ballot and ASK an election official for a new ballot. If you make a mistake again, you may ask for another ballot. Each voter may have up to 3 ballots.
• To cast your voted ballot: either insert your voted ballot into the tabulator machine, or in a hand count town, insert it into the ballot box.
• Go to the exit checklist table, if any, and state your name. Wait until your name is repeated and checked off by the official.
• Leave the voting area immediately by passing outside the guardrail.
All voters who are in line at the polling place at 7p.m. will be permitted to vote. No voter can enter the polling place to vote after 7p.m.