The Town of Brookfield
11 July 2016 at 7:00 PM
Town Clerk’s Office
Draft Board Meeting Minutes
Present: John Benson, Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Ray Peck, Mike Herold, Jessica Kelley, Beth Godin, Joseph Mangan, Kasey Peterson
1. Call to Order – 7:00
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none
3. Public Presentation or Comment –
A. Beth Godin and Jessica Kelly were present to discuss illegally parked cars in Pond Village. Ms. Godin presented photographs showing cars parked on Stone Road and VT Route 65. She cited safety issues regarding town trucks and fire trucks. Ms. Godin also pointed out that while there are “No Parking” signs posted on Stone Road, the signs do not include a penalty or warning regarding towing or ticketing. According to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT), the Town of Brookfield can only enforce the signs if there is an ordinance passed by the legal voters.
Mr. Benson explained to Ms. Godin that this is not a new issue and steps have been taken over the years to alleviate some of the problem. The Town installed the signs on Stone Road, but people park right next to them. The owner of Ariel’s agreed to create a two spot parking space in front of the restaurant but that has not been maintained. Expanding the responsibilities of the Constable to include issuing parking tickets has also been discussed. Giving the Constable that authority would be an issue for the voters of Brookfield. Mr. Benson did say that an ordinance has not been created to address this particular issue, although assemblage permits for events in town must include appropriate traffic control and parking plans to be approved by the Selectboard.
Ms. Godin expressed her concern as a homeowner regarding fire access through the village.
Mr. Benson referred Ms. Godin to the Public Safety Committee. Members of this Committee include Lewis Stowell, Stuart Edson, Joy Kacick and Kevin Joyal. The Safety Committee is reviewing traffic safety on roads throughout town. However, the Town of Brookfield has no jurisdiction on Route 65.
Ms. Godin suggested expanding parking availability in the village. Her suggestions included moving the Hippo Park fence back a couple of feet to provide a few spaces there, and excavating some of the space in the “parking circle” across the road from the Old Town Hall.
Mr. Benson explained that building spaces along the park fence for people to park ‘nose in’ would be technically illegal, because drivers are prohibited from backing out onto a state highway, and while Hippo Park does belong to the town there may be restrictions concerning its use. The Town does not own the “circle” across from Town Hall and cannot make changes to that space. Ms. Godin requested that the use conditions of the Hippo Park, and information regarding ownership of the “circle” be made available for the next Selectboard Meeting.
In addition, while the state provided a widened public space on the west side of the Floating Bridge, it cannot be posted or designated as parking due to the illegality of backing out onto a state highway.
Ms. Godin asked what the steps are to get a town parking ordinance. Mr. Benson explained the process by which a petition is made and an item is added to the Annual Town Meeting Warning, or in rare cases a Special Town Meeting for a specific vote.
Ms. Kelley has contacted the Orange County Sherriff’s Department and they have advised people who notice illegally parked cars in the Village to call the Sherriff’s office or the South Royalton State Police Barracks. Mr. Benson also suggested that law enforcement can use license plate information to follow up.
Mr. Haggett asked Ms. Godin what her expectations were regarding enforcement once a town ordinance was passed. Ms. Godin felt that signs citing towing or ticketing might at least have a psychological effect and discourage the practice. Mr. Benson pointed out that people often park directly in front of the fire hydrant, and a sign may not have the intended effect.
B. Mr. Herold was present to thank the Board for paying for the cemetery work in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
4. Old Business
A. Mr. Benson moved to approve the minutes of the 27 June Selectboard Meeting as amended. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 2-0-0
B. Young Property – Mr. Peck had nothing to report yet, as he has been away on vacation. He will take a look and see how much of that property might be used by the town at which time a proposal will be sent to Mr. Young.
5. New Business
A. Mr. Benson moved to appoint Mardee Sanchez to the Brookfield Planning Commission. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0
B. Highway Report – Mr. Peck reported that Pike Industries will be in town starting on the 21st or 22nd of July to begin the paving projects on Ridge Road and Northfield Road. The Brookfield Highway Department will be responsible for replacing some of the culverts for that project. Stan Wheatley and Michael Merrill will be contracted for help with those projects once they have completed the required paperwork to comply with new state Workman’s Compensation guidelines.
1. Old Stage Road – Public hearing date – tabled
2. Culvert Policy – A policy will be drafted regarding the ownership of driveway culverts after the initial purchase by the property owner. In addition, language will be added to the Access Permit to make property owners aware of the policy.
3. Mr. Benson made a motion to install Internet service at the Town Garage. A connection rate of up to 7MB will cost $45.99 per month and be paid from the budget for the Highway Department phone. Mr. Kimmel seconded. 3-0-0
4. The roadside mowing is finished for this year. Mrs. Peterson will contact the state regarding the mowing on state highways.
5. Expanding Role of the Administrative Assistant – Mrs. Peterson will be assisting the Highway Department with safety policies, procedures, and paperwork. In that capacity she will be spending more time at the garage and will require office space that can be kept dust free. Mr. Peck suggested an addition to the back of the building creating an approximately 12×24 space.
6. Mrs. Peterson raised a question that Highway Crewman Richard Hamblin had asked regarding replacement of broken reading glasses. The glasses in question are not safety glasses and are therefore not covered by the town.
C. Joseph Mangan – Kirkyard Contract: Mr. Mangan presented a quote for cemetery services ranging from mowing through stone repair and replacement. Mr. Benson explained that the Cemetery Commission is an elected body. Mr. Mangan would be ineligible for election in Brookfield because he is a resident of Cabot. If the voters of Brookfield dissolved the Cemetery Commission the Selectboard would have the authority to hire an individual as Cemetery Sexton. Currently Jason’s Handiworks mowing contract extends through October 2017. Mrs. Peterson will contact him regarding Workman’s Compensation guidelines and establish his eligibility to maintain the contract. The Selectboard will contact Mr. Mangan at that time in regards to the needs of the cemeteries.
D. The Selectboard signed the Financial Management Questionnaire provided by the State Treasurer’s Office.
6. Policy And Ordinance Review
A. Drug and Alcohol Policy – tabled
B. Jobs for Bid – tabled
7. Payroll/AP Warrant
A. Motion made by Mr. Kimmel to approve AP Warrant in the amount of $15,103.09 including invoices for WRVA – $6457.85, Powerplan – $2908.65 and VLCT dues of $2371.00 Seconded by Mr. Haggett.
B. Payroll Warrants for 06/30/16 and 07/07/2016