Town of Brookfield
July 27, 2020 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, William White, Dan Mason (Town Constable), Rob Wheatley (Interim Road Crew Foreman), Charles and Theresa Taplin, Jeff Baker, Kevin LaRocque
A. Call to Order – 6:32 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda: the Harmony Electric topic will be moved up in the agenda.
C. Public Comment:
Mr. White described his efforts to get internet access provided to his residence on Old Cross Road. He has discussed plans with ECFiber, and reported that they are reluctant to run poles and lines down the road. One other option would be to run the line under the road; running parallel to the road seems unacceptable. Mr. Benson suggested that one goal would be to have service that wouldn’t be susceptible to future problems. Mr. White will continue discussing plans with ECFiber and the Road Crew Foreman.
Mr. Mason reported that there had been a dog bite incident in Brookfield, and a formal complaint had been submitted. He reviewed the pertinent state statute and VLCT guidelines, which provide that the Selectboard has the authority to decide whether to hold a hearing on the matter and decide on appropriate follow-up measures. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. D. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to move forward with the hearing process.
Mr. Baker reported that he met with the current owner of a property he is planning to purchase on TH14. A State wetlands specialist also attended and performed a site review. There was an initial determination that portions of the road and adjacent ditch qualified as wetlands. At this point, Brookfield apparently has limited authority over the road. Mr. Benson suggested that Mr. Baker consider other options or a workaround for his proposed driveway.
F. Old Business – 1) Harmony Electric Bill: while conducting maintenance work on West Street on July 13, the Road Crew reported that an underground electrical line was damaged. Harmony Electric was called to conduct repair work. The work was done within the Town’s Right-of-Way; Harmony has submitted a bill for the work. Town records show that there was an easement document filed in 2019. Mr. Taplin indicated that he and CVPS had installed the original line in 1993. Mr. Benson expressed concern about whether the line was installed and marked properly. He also suggested that the Taplins and Mr. K. LaRocque post a sign to mark the line location, along with providing a sketch/map describing the location.
2) Personnel Policy – the Board continued discussion on timekeeping and potential salary options for the Road Crew.
D. Highway – Bear Hill Road Culvert: Mr. Kimmel, Mr. Wheatley, and Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson met with VT Agency of Transportation representatives to review the site. AoT will report back to the Town with suggested culvert replacement options. In the meantime, AoT asked the Town Road Crew to do test diggings to determine the depth of the bedrock in the area.
Mr. D. LaRocque commented that he has a beaver dam behind his property, along with a culvert that is in danger of failing. The Board and Mr. Wheatley briefly discussed the issue.
Mr. Wheatley provided a summary of Highway Department activities:
• Witts Bridge is beginning to rot, so the Road Crew will need to determine if there is enough material to re-plank the bridge. The Crew should also have protective netting installed while doing work on the bridge.
• For the sake of next year’s planning, the Town will probably need to install a new bridge as part of the proposed Sprague sand/gravel pit project.
• The crew is planning to repair a drainage issue below Farnsworth Lane on East Hill.
• On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to appoint Mr. Wheatley as Interim Tree Warden for Brookfield. The appointment will end once the Board hires a new Road Crew Foreman.
• Mr. Wheatley will be ordering new tires for the 6-wheeler, along with a pair of steel rims. He will also be checking prices for new chains for vehicles.
• The Road Crew will review requirements and compliance measures for the Dig Safe program.
• Mr. Wheatley will also follow up on a report of roadwork activity on TH14.
E. New Business: (none)
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of July 27, 2020; Mr. D. LaRocque second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. D. LaRocque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $20,902.55 with large bills that include: Kirk Yard Services (Mowing): $2,000.00; R.E. Tucker (Gravel): $6,961.50; and Freightliner of NH (Equipment Repair): $1,797.10; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: Mr. Kimmel reported that a Brookfield resident was interested in preparing minutes of Selectboard meetings. He will follow up with the person.
J. Mr. D. LaRocque made a motion to adjourn at 8:45 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.