Town of Brookfield Selectboard Meeting
25 April 2022
Those Present: John Benson, Chair; Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque (via zoom), Betty Lord (via zoom), Kate Threlkeld (via zoom) Members; Vicki Blanchard, Administrative Assistant, Amy Ingrassia, Assistant Town Clerk
A. Call To Order – Mr. Benson called the Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – Move Warrants to after the Highway Report.
C. Public Comments – none
D. Highway Report
1. Mr. Benson and Mr. Higgins will meet with Rich Tatro (VT AoT) – the Town Bridges Engineer, on May 6th in regards to work on Eagle Peak Road to scope out the work details for a grant application to be prepared. Mr. Kimmel can then work on the contract.
2. Mr. Benson asked the Board about thoughts on how to pursue a new hire for the Road Crew. They talked about offering a bonus to start and the possibility of offering $500.00 upon hire, a $500.00 bonus after 3 months of work, and then an additional $500.00 at 6 months, pending performance review. Ms. Threlkeld suggested that Mr. Benson write a letter to the Governor’s Office in hopes that office might be able to help. Ms. Threlkeld is going to look into finding potential places to advertise and post the job opening. Ms. Ingrassia also mentioned going onto the State website to advertise. Mr. Kimmel is going to look into The World and Seven Days weekly papers.
3. Contract MU0227 (Seasonal Maintenance on VT 65 Time/Pay Agreement with the Town of Brookfield). Mr. LaRocque suggested increasing rates for both equipment and labor by $20.00 per hour.
4. Mr. LaRocque reported that Mr. Higgins said they have been trying to get around roads and smooth them up and put material where it is needed. Since we are over on the gravel budget we are limited as to what we can cover. Last week we took Truck 2 down to ATG and got the lights fixed. It turned out there were broken wires in the wire harness. They changed tires last week in preparation for summer hauling activities. The new truck is out of the factory waiting to be shipped to the dealership; more to come soon.
This week Mr. Higgins graded when weather permitted and plowed when it didn’t. As it was just Mr. Wheatley and Mr. Higgins this week, the crew worked a summer schedule of 4 10-hour days and will continue this schedule through the fall. Mr. Higgins ordered chloride as the price will most likely be going up at the end of the month. On another note, Mr. Hamblin reported that his mom had passed away, and he will be out on bereavement Monday and Tuesday of this week. Board members offered their condolences.
H. Payroll and AP Warrants – Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the AP Warrants as presented with a total of $23,781.05 with the highest payment being made to R.E. Tucker for Plant Mix and Stone in the amount of $10,850.00. Mr. Benson seconded the motion which carried unanimously: 5-0-0.
E. New Business
1. Planning Town Meeting – The Brookfield Elementary School has been reserved along with other equipment for the day.
2. Kirkyard – An updated copy of the Mowing Contract and the Sexton Contract for the next two years of 2022 and 2023 has been received. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Kirkyard Cemetery mowing services contract from April until October of 2022 and 2023; Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, which carried unanimously: 5-0-0. Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Kirkyard Sexton services contract for July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 as presented; Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously: 5-0-0.
3. Discussion on computers – There is a concern about the age of the server and a replacement computer is needed. Presently the Town is waiting for a quote on both but this purchase will have to wait until next budget year unless circumstances allow activity sooner. Mr. Benson did make a motion to authorize the Listers to replace their computer as soon as possible. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously: 5-0-0.
F. Old Business
1. ARPA – We are still waiting for information from the Treasury to complete the registration process. Ms. Lord made a motion that The Town of Brookfield make the one-time irrevocable decision to elect the “Standard Allowance” approach for our ARPA award in the amount of $400,859.82, to spend on the provision of government services throughout the period of performance of the grant. Ms. Threlkeld seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously: 5-0-0.
2. ARPA Funds
A. Based on the review of the published information and communications with VLCT, the ARPA funds received are attributed to lost revenues.
B. The lost revenues shall be allocated to the following tasks:
a. Replacement of the deteriorating shed at the Town Garage with a new, fully enclosed and heated structure.
b. Update of the Town Website to be more inclusive and user friendly.
c. Stormwater management improvements at the Town Office and adjacent segment of Ralph Road. Improvements may include: grading, swale improvements/stabilization, installing a stormwater garden, removal of the steep, eroding, connector road between Ralph Road and Stone Road, and improvement of the Stone Rd./Ralph Rd. intersection.
d. Down payment on a replacement backhoe or excavator for Town Highway maintenance.
3. Hippo Park – Nothing has happened yet, and won’t until May. Ms. Threlkeld will contact Lew Stowell to see if the Public Safety Advisory Committee (with the Town) would plan to purchase a camera for the park. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is also going to do more patrols of the area. Mr. LaRocque suggested that a sign be put up and Mr. Benson said that Mr. Kimmel will look into the legal side of this.
G. Meeting Minutes
1. 11 April 2020 – A correction was offered under the Public Comments section. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to accept the minutes as amended, Ms. Threlkeld seconded the motion, which carried unanimously: 5-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business – None
J. Adjournment – Mr. Benson made a motion to adjourn at 8:12 p.m., Mr. LaRocque seconded the motion, and there being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was unanimously adjourned.