Town of Brookfield
September 23, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson, Jeff Kimmel, Jack Zebora, Lew Stowell (Public Safety Advisory Committee), Robert Godfrey, James Godfrey, Sidney Cushing, Sidney Cushing Jr., Rob Townsend, Bill Bohnyak (OCSD Sheriff), Scott Clouatre (OCSD), Richard Pecor Jr., Gene Parent, Van Parent, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman)
1. Call to Order – 6:31 p.m.; Mr. Kimmel agreed to take minutes.
2. Adjustments to Agenda: initial items will be 4) B) Stone Road Survey and 3) Public Comment – Northfield Road discussion.
3. Public Comment: (see below).
3. New Business
B. Stone Road Survey
At the request of the Town, Mr. Townsend conducted a survey of a portion of Stone Road including the Cushing property, and appeared at this meeting to present his findings and associated documents.
He reported that his investigation included a search of property records, including Right-of-Way records and surveys for adjoining properties. He also did an on-site search for iron and stone physical boundary markers. These items provided evidence for determining the RoW. Mr. Townsend noted that the RoW area included one iron pipe that was 6 feet off the “travel portion” on the East side of the property, and is identified on the survey document. He said the travel portion is closest to the RoW on that East side.
Mr. Cushing commented that the road has shifted over the years, that a well is now closer to the road, and that the Town has not taken action to remove encroaching ledge.
Mr. Benson said that the next step is to have Mr. Townsend return to the site and physically mark the RoW and the associated roadway and travel lane. The Board will then schedule a site visit.
Mr. Townsend noted that the travel lane is independent of the RoW, based on physical marking. Mr. Benson observed that the Town should determine both the RoW and travel lane for the sake of clarity. Mr. Townsend added that, based on his research, the travel lane is consistently within the RoW.
Mr. Benson inquired whether OCSD would have enough information to identify the travel lane. Mr. Bohnyak indicated that the issue is whether people are parking within the travel way. Mr. Cushing reported that he had placed a white barrel to discourage people from parking improperly. It also appears that Mr. Cushing’s garage is outside of the RoW.
3. Public comment – Northfield Road
Mr. Benson said that the Board has been reviewing VT statutes and rules, along with contacting relevant agencies regarding what the process is for revising, implementing, and enforcing speed limits and weight limits. Specific issues included:
Placing vehicle counting equipment on Northfield Road to help assess vehicle quantity, speed, and number of axles.
As for vehicle weight regulation, Mr. Bohnyak reported that OCSD doesn’t have scales. This would likely be an item that VT DMV would monitor. Mr. Peck inquired as to how the Town might deal with heavier vehicles (85,000+ lbs.), and would they be covered under the regulatory and permit system. Mr. J. Godfrey asked whether the Town can decline to issue permits or withdraw permits. Mr. Stowell reported that the Town should be able to pull a permit if there is a violation; Mr. Benson indicated that it isn’t clear what authority the Town has to stop vehicles. Mr. Pecor said that, when he was driving the school bus, he could be stopped from driving on Town roads during mud season. Mr. Benson said these are items the Board will need to address in working with the State to develop an acceptable system.
Ms. Parent reported that Northfield Road is now properly posted at 35 mph; this should allow OCSD to start monitoring the area. Mr. Stowell commented that positioning an OCSD speed cart at various points on the road may help drivers be more aware of the proper speed.
Mr. J Godfrey asked about repairs to Horner Road; Mr. Peck is following up with the State.
3. Public Comment – Other items
Mr. Zebora asked about what authority is exercised by the Town Conservation Commission. Mr. Kimmel said that the commission advises the Planning Commission and Selectboard. Mr. Zebora also inquired about plans for the Town Garage, and suggested that the Board look into creating a volunteer committee for the design project. Mr. Benson noted that the Board has already issued an RFP for the design/build stage. Lastly, Mr. Zebora reminded Mr. Peck about potential problems with local culverts in West Brookfield.
4. New Business
A – Flint Performance Review: the Board completed the required personnel form.
Highway Other :
Mr. Peck is researching a potential replacement for the 1-ton truck. He is looking at both diesel and gas vehicles, and will report back to the Board.
Town Garage: Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant) reported that there was no response to the RFP request. Mr. Benson said that he would contact additional architects for the design/build RFP, noting that the potential bid price is within the parameters of the Town’s bidding policy.
C. VLCT PACIF Building Schedule: the Board reviewed the schedule, and will follow up with PACIF about property/building valuations.
5. Old Business:
A. Approve Minutes of August 26, 2019 meeting: deferred.
B. Approve Minutes of September 9, 2019 meeting: deferred.
C. Personnel Policy Changes: deferred.
6. Payroll/ AP Warrants: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $31,328.12, with large bills that include McCullough Crushing (Gravel)): $6,916.00; Gorman Group LLC (Summer Calcium): $4,140.00; BCBS VT (Health Insurance): $3.934.00; Mr. Benson second: 2-0-0
7. Other Proper Business Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the appointment of Timothy Gershon to the Planning Commission, Mr. Benson second: 2-0-0.
8. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m., Mr. Benson second: 2-0-0.