Minutes of the Meeting of
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD SELECTBOARD
Town Clerk’s Office
August 9, 2021
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kate Threlkeld, and Brenda Flint, Board Members; Teresa Godfrey, Town Clerk; Tim Higgins, Road Foreman; Betty Lord, Secretary; and Kasey Peterson, Administration Assistant to the Board (by teleconferencing); and Ben Koren.
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Chair, John Benson called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.
B. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA: None.
C. PUBLIC COMMENTS: Mr. Ben Koren appeared before the Board to discuss the closing of some Brookfield roads for a 5k road race. The race is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 9, in conjunction with the Oktoberfest being held at the Old Town Hall on the same date. Mr. Koren requested that portions of Northfield Road, West Street, Stone Road, and Route 65 be closed. Permission has been granted by the State for the closure of a portion of state highway Route 65. The Sheriff’s Department has offered two patrol cars and two officers to help with the race. The named roads would be closed from 9 a.m. until 11a.m., with the race starting at 10 am and lasting approximately one and one half hours. The Board requested that Mr. Koren return to the Board with a complete plan showing the route of the race. He was also advised that proper signage should be placed at the beginning of the roads to prevent people from driving up to the race and having to turn around. Mr. Koren agreed to return to the Board with a complete plan and a Request for Permit(s).
D. HIGHWAY REPORT:
Grants in Aid Agreement for summer of 2022 – This is an award from the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the amount of $14,800 to be used mainly for culverts, ditching, and water quality improvements. The amount to be contributed by the Town for this project will be $3,700. Mr. Higgins will go over the plan with Rita Seto of Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to determine which projects will be included in the plan. Mr LaRocque made a motion, which was seconded by Mrs. Flint, to accept the Agreement as stated above. The motion was unanimously approved. 5-0-0.
Mr. Higgins reported all roads have been checked for repairs following the recent storm. He will contact VTrans to get an idea of time and materials for road repairs. He also reported that there are approximately 1,500 yds of sand remaining to be moved. The paving of cracks on the Ridge Road is complete. Mr. Higgins said that he continues to look for reasonable pricing for a new pump.
E. NEW BUSINESS:
1. Ben Koren – Oktoberfest (See above)
2. Covid-19 Memorial Service – On Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 3 p.m. there will be a statewide memorial service to honor Vermonters lost to COVID-19. All Vermonters are invited to attend and to bring their healing spirits. For other information regarding the event, contact Vermont Interfaith Action at 802-651-8889.
3. Teresa Godfrey -Town Clerk/Treasurer
a. Tax Rate – Mrs. Godfrey met with the Board to discuss the tax rate for the coming year. Mr. Benson moved to accept the tax rate based on the Fiscal Year Adjustment (credit) amount of $128,450.51 at the recommendation of the Town Treasurer, Mrs. Godfrey. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which passed unanimously. 5-0-0.
b. Town Report – Mr. Benson reported that Mrs. Godfrey had volunteered to prepare the Town Report for the coming year of 2021-2022 at no cost to the Town. The Board thanked Mrs. Godfrey for her generous offer.
4. Audit Letter – Mrs. Flint was asked to review the audit letter sent by Fothergill, Segale, and Valley. It was the decision of the Board to table the audit letter until the next meeting, allowing time for any questions by the members of the Board to be raised.
5. Purchase of the New Truck – Mr. Benson stated that payment for the chassis and cab would be due by January while the completed truck will not be delivered until the end of March 2022. The amount needed in January is $137,000. He reported that Mrs. Godfrey had suggested this money be taken out of the $250,00 surplus that is on the books. This way the financing for the total truck could be activated by the bank at the end of the March when the truck is delivered. The amount of $137,000 would be repaid to the surplus account when the total loan is issued, thereby saving the interest on same from January to March.
Mr. Benson made a motion to go into Executive Session for a personnel issue. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously (5-0-0) and the Board went into Executive Session at 7:25 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to come out of Executive Session. Mrs. Threlkeld seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 5-0-0. The nature of the session was informational, and no decisions were made.
6. Cyber-Security – VLCT has sent out a survey to ascertain the risk of towns in a cyberattack. Board members were reminded to back up data and secure information that comes in and goes out of their computers to the Town Clerk’s Office. All employees who have not done so must take a training course which outlines the steps to secure personal computers. Mrs. Peterson was asked to prepare a letter to come from the Board making it clear that if the course is not taken and computers are not backed up properly, VLCT may not pay the insurance covering the costs of a loss to the Town; this could result in a great expense to the Town. Mrs. Peterson was also asked to set up a training schedule.
7. Assemblage Permit – Mr. Dennis Tatro submitted a public assemblage permit application for the Morgan Mile Trotting Races to be held on September 25, 2021. Snow Road is to be closed from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the trotting races. Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the assemblage permit as presented by Mr. Tatro. Mr. LaRocque seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 5-0-0.
F. OLD BUSINESS:
1. ARPA – (American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion Federal stimulus package)
a. Public Meeting – The Town is slated to receive from the State of Vermont $70,000 per year for two years towards public health measures. A public meeting is to be held to give constituents an opportunity to address their wishes as to how the money should be used. There will be specific rules of how the money can be used and the public meeting will not be held until the rules have been issued and the Town has the opportunity to prepare the required documents.
b. Payment – The ARPA payment of $70,193.00 was received August 9.
G. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF JULY 26 – Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Selectboard minutes of July 26, 2021 as presented. Mrs. Threlkeld seconded the motion which was approved unanimously. 5-0-0.
H, PAYROLL AND AP WARRANTS – Mrs. Flint moved to accept the accounts payable report for a total of $37,963.70 with the largest expense being payable to the Town of Barre Ambulance Service in the amount of $33,116.76. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion was unanimously approved. 5-0-0.
I. OTHER PROPER BUSINESS:
Mr. Benson stated that he had the following items to bring before the Board.
1. The draft for the Cemetery Ordinance is now posted for public review. The draft will be warned for the next Board Meeting for consideration.
2. A letter had been received from TRORC thanking the Town for payment of the annual dues.
3. Mr. Kimmel will contact the Town Attorney to ask about the progress of payment from the insurance company insuring the individual who damaged the grave markers in the Ridge Road cemetery in November 2020.
4. Mr. Mangan presented a plan for the work he intended to do in the Town cemeteries this fiscal year. The Board agreed that Mr. Mangan could move forward with repair and maintenance work at the West Brookfield Cemetery.
5. Capital Plan – Mr. LaRocque will coordinate with Mr. Higgins in reviewing the equipment at the garage, what payments are being made, and an estimate of time and cost for replacements.
Mr. Benson made a motion to go into Executive Session for a personnel/salary question. Mr Kimmel seconded the motion which was unanimously approved (5-0-0) and the Board went into Executive Session at 9:35 p.m. Mr. Benson made a motion to come out of Executive Session. Mrs. Threlkeld seconded the motion which was unanimously approved (5-0-0) and the Board came out of Executive Session at 9:40 p.m. The nature of the session was informational; no decisions were made.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn. Mrs. Flint seconded the motion which was unanimously approved (5-0-0) and the meeting was adjourned at 9:41 p.m.
Betty Lord, Secretary