Town of Brookfield
April 13, 2020 at 6:20 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman), Tim Caulfield
1. Call to Order – 6:20 p.m.: Mr. Benson offered some initial comments about the change in Board meeting format, based on introduction of teleconferencing technology.
2. Adjustments to Agenda – none.
3. Public Comment: Mr. Caulfield requested funding help on behalf of the Randolph Area Mutual Aid Network that has formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. RAMAN also requested permission to post notices in Brookfield about its activities and resources, along with seeking $82.00 in funds to pay for Brookfield’s pro rata share of the postage for sending an informational postcard to all residents in Brookfield/Randolph/Braintree/East Granville. The Board determined that the funding could come from the Town’s existing budget for postage expenses. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve both the request for posting notices and the funding.
4. Highway Report
A) Highway Department Status – Mr. Peck reported on various items:
• Following the rain showers during the day, the Road Crew will head out tomorrow to do some grading
• There are grant-related projects ongoing on East Hill and Taylor Hill Road, which will need about $15,000 worth of culverts. Both projects are supposed to be completed by June 30, 2020. Mr. Benson inquired whether the deadline(s) might be extended due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency; Mrs. Peterson will verify with the appropriate agencies.
• The Crew usually starts hauling and storing winter sand supplies at this time of year. Mr. Peck said that he hadn’t heard yet from Hebert Construction about scheduling. The cost for the sand supply is in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. The Board discussed the current budget status, including concerns about cash flow; non-essential items can be deferred, but the Town should try to get the sand supply resolved within 3-4 weeks. Additional delay would further complicate the Road Crew’s project schedule.
• Town trucks are due for seasonal tire-changeover, which could be up to 25 tires. The Crew will need to prioritize safety measures (including proper numbers of workers for various projects), while trying to comply with the evolving state guidance and limitations issued for Road Crew activities.
• Mr. Benson also recommended that the Crew take care of vehicle maintenance issues for now, so that the equipment will be ready to go for both immediate problems and more extensive operation once state of emergency restrictions are reduced and/or lifted.
B) New Loader Order – Will remain on hold until the Town budget and cash flow status is clarified.
5. New Business:
A) Tax Date – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve shifting the due date for the current 2nd Payment of Property Taxes from May 2, 2020 to June 20, 2020.
B) Forest Fire Warden – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the appointment of Jeff Brassard to the position of Forest Fire Warden for the Town of Brookfield.
C) Resolution Regarding Accounts Payable – On motion of Mr. LaRocque, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to authorize Mr. LaRocque to review and approve payments for Accounts Payable on behalf of the Brookfield Selectboard; the authorization to continue until termination of the on-going state of emergency by the State of Vermont.
6. Old Business:
A) Brookfield Conservation Commission Request for Funds – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve a grant in the amount of $4,000 to the Nature Conservancy for the acquisition of a Grant of Development Rights, Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Easement on 60 acres of the Taplin tract. On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to authorize Mr. Kimmel to sign the grant agreement on behalf of the Brookfield Selectboard.
B) Local Emergency Management Plan – On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve updates/revisions to the LEMP.
7. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes –
• March 23, 2020 Board meeting: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of March 23, 2020; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
• March 9, 2020 Board meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve an amendment to the Meeting Minutes of March 9, 2020 to address a potential conflict of interest identified in the proposed Town of Brookfield/Nature Conservancy grant agreement; Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
8. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $17,941.17 with large bills that include: White River Valley Ambulance (ambulance services): 3,425.00; R.E. Tucker (gravel): $3,391.50; NORTRAX Inc. (equipment parts/service): $2,941.57. Mr. Benson seconded. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
9. Other Proper Business: (None)
10. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:14 p.m., Mr. LaRocque seconded. 3-0-0.