Dec 062018

Town of Brookfield

Selectboard Meeting

November 12, 2018 at 6:30 P.M.

Town Clerk’s Office



Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Curtis Koren, Jon Binhammer, Teresa Godfrey


  1. Call to Order – 6:32 p.m.


  1. Adjustments to Agenda: the Board shifted consideration of Village Designation and Highway issues to initial items. Mr. Binhammer will also be invited to speak earlier in the meeting.


  1. Public Comment – None


  1. New Business:


  1. Village Designation: Curtis Koren reported that a group of Brookfield residents had completed work on an application to have Pond Village regain eligibility as a Designated Village Center under the state program offered by the Agency of Commerce & Community Development, Department of Housing and Community Development. On motion of Mr. Haggett, Mr. Benson second, the Board unanimously approved the application and asked Ms. Koren to submit it. On motion of Mr. Haggett, Mr. Benson second, the Board also voted unanimously to approve Teresa Godfrey as Town Representative on the Village Designation project. The Board also thanked Ted Elzey for his participation in the project.
  2. Highway


  1. Witts Bridge Road repairs: Mr. Peck reported that he had requested bids from several contractors and had heard back from a couple of them. He commented that the work descriptions were comparable, but with differing pricing. Mr. Benson said that the Board and Highway Department should determine which proposal is most attractive, and then run it past the appropriate state officials to ensure that the project is eligible for grant funding. The Board and Mr. Peck agreed that, while we need to get the project underway as soon as possible, we need to clarify the Town’s responsibility for expenses. Ms. Godfrey (Town Treasurer) noted that there are funds available through a Town CD that is coming to maturity; Mr. Benson indicated that the Town will be responsible for projects costs, but will be reimbursed subsequently.
  2. Bear Hill Road drainage/culvert project – request for extension of time: Mr. Haggett made a motion that the Board sign a request to the state for an extension to December 16, 2019 to complete the work; Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.
  3. Annual Financial Plan: Mr. Benson will review the plan with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson, and then submit it to the state Agency of Transportation.
  4. Peck reported on Highway Department preparations for a looming snow storm.


  1. Binhammer inquired about the appropriate approach for creating a Town Conservation Committee, which would act as an advisory committee to the Selectboard and possibly the Planning Commission. After discussion, it was suggested that he draft an article for the upcoming Town Report/Meeting Warning proposing the creation of a committee.
  2. Town Health Officer:
  3. Ridge Road property: Ms. Godfrey reported that Starr Strong (Health Officer) had visited the property and asked the residents about their plans to address the trash problem. They indicated that they thought their property taxes covered removal services, which Mr. Benson commented was not true for either Vermont or Brookfield. Dan Mason (Town Constable) had previously visited the property, and was going to follow up. Mr. Haggett observed that the state Agency of Natural Resources is unlikely to become involved unless the site poses a nuisance, such as attracting vermin and other wildlife. There is also a possibility that the Town will end up filing a formal legal action, with the concurrence of the Health Officer, to spur a remedy at the property.
  4. Strong’s term is up at the end of the month; Mr. Benson will contact her to see if she is willing to continue her service.


  1. Town Attorney: The Board will continue its search.


  1. Reappraisal: Ms. Godfrey reported that the Listers, joined by Mr. Kimmel, met with representatives from the Vermont Appraisal Company on November 7 to discuss potential plans and scheduling for a Town-wide reappraisal beginning in July 2020. Issues covered included: pricing, VAC’s professional background and approach to conducting a reappraisal, coordination with the Town’s Listers, and technical (computer/software) aspects of the project. Mr. Benson suggested that the Listers verify pricing for the cost tables underlying the project, which would affect the Town’s budget planning. On motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Haggett second, the Board voted unanimously to have the Listers make a formal request to VAC to submit a proposal and draft contract for reappraisal services starting July 1, 2020.


  1. Cyber-Security: the Board would like to meet with a vendor to understand what measures and hardware/software items would likely be needed to protect the Town’s systems. Ms. Peterson can probably recommend an appropriate vendor for an initial consult.


  1. Old Business:


  1. Approve Minutes of October 22, 2018 Board meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the October 22 meeting minutes, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.


  1. Approve Minutes of October 27, 2018 special Board meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the October 27 meeting minutes, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.


  1. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $108,815.83, with large bills that include: MBFS USA LLC (Western Star – truck payment): $65,501.78; Caterpillar Financial Services (Loader lease): $13,678.98; R.E. Tucker (gravel & road reconstruction): $9,699.60. Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.


  1. Other Proper Business: the Board continues its review of the proposed Drug & Alcohol Policy.


  1. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:07 p.m., Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.