Town of Brookfield
June 11, 2018 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Dawn Conant, Lew Stowell (PSAC), Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman)
- Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
- Adjustments to Agenda – None
- Public Comment – None
- New Business:
- Stone Road Right-of-Way: (see sign-in sheet for attendance)
- Benson stated that the discussion will be limited to ½ hour, and that all attendees will have an opportunity to speak. He cited the Board’s need to devote time to end-of-the-fiscal year tasks. Mr. Benson also invited people to attend additional meetings to discuss this matter if they still feel things are not moving in a positive direction after tonight. He asked for a spokesperson to start first and then others can comment.
- Beth Godin asked if possibly the Board (Mr. Benson) could give a brief history of the issue being discussed to help those who might not understand.
- Benson explained the history that there are two complaints from the Village up to through the Stone Road to the Williamstown line. Driving too fast and vehicles identified as parking/obstructing the travel lane.
- Driving too fast – signs have been installed and the Town needs to notify the Orange County Sherriff’s Department (at this meeting) to start enforcing the speed limit. The Department has installed a mobile speed indicator sign to motivate people to pay closer attention.
- Parking/Obstructing the Travel Lane – The Town met with both of the affected property owners previously, and they have been asked to stop parking/storing vehicles that encroach on the traveled lane. One property owner (Ariel’s) has closed, so that source is gone. The other property owner has indicated they are working on reducing the problem.
- Benson asked Capt. Kyle Kapitanski, Orange County Sherriff’s Department, to report what they have been doing in response to the problem. Capt. Kapitanski reviewed state statutory requirements, along with mentioning the Town’s current traffic and parking ordinance, and discussed OCSD’s ability to issue warnings, citations, and penalties for various speed and parking infractions.
- Sid Cushing Sr. and Sid Cushing Jr. (property owners) both spoke during the meeting about the following:
- They measured the travel portion of the road as 18 feet in width.
- When customers stop in to see about making appointments or picking up their vehicles etc. they can sometimes intrude in the roadway.
- Cushing Sr. stated that he believes he can have as many vehicles as he wants and there is no time period to move them as he has owned the property and business long enough to be “grandfathered” in, and thus not subject to enforcement measures. He suggested that people just slow down when they are travelling his section of Stone Road.
- The Cushings said they cannot adjust for drivers and driving styles. They have a fence and steel barrel in place as a guideline to help their customers.
- Nancy McCall spoke and asked if the vehicles could be moved from that area near the road as she was almost hit/forced into the ditch by another vehicle during foggy conditions. Dennis LaRocque suggested a barrier there would help with that.
- Benson has gotten complaints that folks think it is narrow through there which creates unsafe conditions. The Cushings have made an attempt to clear the area and think they are currently in compliance with clearance requirements. Capt. Kapitanski said that the conditions do not appear to violate state laws at this time.
- Kimmel asked about what measures the Cushings could take to keep the property frontage clearer during winter and Town plowing periods. The Cushings reported that they try to move the snow and vehicles and keep the area clear. They moved the mailbox off the road; if that is still an issue, they could always move it further.
- LaRoque again suggested a safer barrier 3-4 feet would help this. The Cushings recommended that safety issues would best be resolved if drivers would simply slow down.
- Benson said that there is no legal action per the Sherriff at this time, but Town residents can attend Public Safety Committee meetings and follow up to see if a traffic study is warranted to assess speed concerns.
- The Cushings indicated that they lack space on the property to add more parking, due to agricultural restrictions.
- In response to a question about how the width of a road is determined, Mr. Benson explained there are multiple ways to figure out the size. Stone Road is a 3 rod road, which is 49.5 feet wide.
- Benson thanked everyone for coming and their comments and urged them to follow up with the Public Safety Committee on potential next steps. Lew Stowell (PSC member) also encouraged people to provide input at the meetings. Mr. Stowell and Mr. Benson also briefly discussed potential steps in pursuing a traffic study.
- Stowell is working with the Sherriff’s office on getting the speed cart out and have it first be on one end of the Village and then on Stone Road to make people realize the road has been signed and posted. The purpose is not so much to surprise people, but to help people be aware and get used to the new speed limit postings.
There was s subsequent discussion about an issue with trash at a Ridge Road residence. The Board said that a state environmental official had met with the property owner and it was supposed to be cleaned up, but as of last week nothing had happened. The Town will follow up with the state official and send out another notice if deemed necessary. The residence is adjacent to the historic Marvin Newton House, which has events scheduled for this summer.
- Lamson Pond Road: the Board asked Mr. Peck where we stood on the Lamson Pond Road and grading of all the Class 4 Town roads. Mr. Peck indicated he and the Road Crew are setting up the schedule for the work now.
- Personnel: Mr. Haggett made a motion to go into Executive Session at 7:42 p.m., Mr. Kimmel seconded, 3-0-0. The Board returned from Executive Session at 8:05 p.m.
- Melanie LaRocque and Joe Mangan (Cemetery Sexton) talked about issues with Melanie’s stone and damage that looks as though someone cut into it (perhaps with a weed whacker).
- Benson suggested that we make the company that is doing the mowing/cutting tasks aware and talk with them about having someone watch and see how they do their work; Mr. Mangan will follow up.
- Benson ask Mr. Mangan to get together a price for the repairs and let the company know. It is their responsibility to make good either via their insurance or out-of-pocket, not the Town.
- East Hill Cemetery: people want to see the fence repaired/rebuilt. It is somewhat expensive to do the whole thing, but Mr. Mangan has a quote to put up part of the fence. The Board will take a look at his recommendations and figure out how much to do this fiscal year (in the cemetery budget) and subsequently.
- The Board reviewed the FY 2017/2018 budget and remaining balances, considering potential expenditures by the end of June.
- Peck noted that he had submitted a wish-list of items such as signs and posts, and needed to add 8 more base pieces to the request (approx. $196 cost).
- Roughly $175,281 remains in Highway Budget. This number is to be confirmed/verified with Kasey.
- The Town has a repaving project on a 0.44 mile portion of Chelsea Road to finish which is estimated to cost about $87,000+/-. Benson made a motion to spend $60,000 of this year’s budget and pay for the remainder of the project with next year’s budget; Mr. Kimmel seconded: 3-0-0.
- Peck was authorized to buy fuel to fill the tank ($15,000+/-).
- The Town backhoe needs repair/replacement parts for about $7,500+/-.
- Peck will look into renting a hay mulching machine or hydroseeding machine, possible from Gilman’s or DuBois Construction.
- The Board discussed what to do with any money that might be left over. One suggestion was to pre-buy gravel (at a potential cost savings) or other materials (sand, chloride, etc.). There also might be money available to help reduce next year’s tax rate. Once numbers are verified and all bills paid the Board will proceed accordingly at the next meeting.
- Assemblage Permits for Brookfield Community Partnership Summer Season
- The Board looked at the paperwork. It was noted that the BCP’s template for the forms needs to be updated.
- Haggett made a motion to approve the proposed permits, Mr. Kimmel seconded: 3-0-0.
- Old Business: Approve Minutes of May 28 meeting – Mr. Haggett made a motion to approve the May 28 minutes, Mr. Kimmel seconded: 3-0-0.
- Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $14,423.98. Large bills include Municipal Emergency Services (FD Safety Equipment): $7,705.00; White River Valley Ambulance (ambulance): $3,425.00; Randolph Auto Supply (truck parts): $409.13. Mr. Benson seconded: 3-0-0.
- Other Proper Business: No other proper business.
- Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 8:58 p.m., Mr. Haggett seconded: 3-0-0.