TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
Held by Zoom
14 December 2020 at 6:30 PM
Those present: John Benson, Chair – by telephone conferencing, and Jeff Kimmel, Board Mem-ber; Dennis LaRocque, Board Member; Kasey Peterson, Assistant Town Clerk; Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, Betty Lord, Secretary; with Greg Wight, Town Moderator; Shawn Krisch, Alyce Brouillard, Dan Childs (all by Zoom) and Stuart Edson by telephone conferencing.
A. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mr. Benson, at 6:30 p.m.
B. Adjustments to Agenda
As there were those waiting to make presentations to the Board, the Agenda was adjusted as folows:
D. 2. Mapping Proposal- Cartographic Associates—
Mr. Stuart Edson suggested changing mapping companies from Avatar/Terra Map to Cartograph-ic Associates. He said he had met with the owner of Cartographic Associates, Mr. Franco Rossi, and was impressed with what he was told. After the initial set-up cost of $5,350, which can be paid out of the reappraisal monies provided by the state (Mr. Edson will verify this with Barbara Schinger of PVR, the state advisor to Town Listers) and following this initial set-up/conversion of data cost, the budget for the April 1, 2021 update cycle would be $2,800, followed by $1,500 an-nually for the April 1, 2022 and April 1, 2023 updates. Mr. Edson proposed increasing the annual budgeted amounts accordingly, and would provide a new set of maps for the Town by April 2021.
Mr. Kimmel made a motion to use the monies in the reappraisal budget to pay for the set-up/conversion costs to work with Cartographic Associates and to raise the amount annually budgeted for mapping costs from $1,500 to $2,800 a year (as described above). Mr. LaRocque seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
C. Public Comment
Mr. Dan Childs made a request to the Board to add the name of Dan O’Brien as a second repre-sentative to ECFiber for the Town of Brookfield. At present there is only one other alternate. Mr. Benson made a motion to add Mr. O’Brien as an alternate for ECFiber for the Town of Brookfield. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion which carried unanimously. 3-0-0.
Mr. Benson also asked Mr. Childs to provide him with a budget proposal for the Brookfield Public Library for the upcoming year. Mr. Childs agreed.
Mr. Shawn Krisch spoke to the Board asking why his request for a variance is taking so long. He stated that he had first applied for the variance on September 9 as the property on which he wants to build a camp is three acres instead of five acres. He pointed out that the current property owner had missed a tax opportunity by not closing on the property before the end of the year. The owner, Alyce Brouillard, was also present by Zoom to discuss her concerns about the time that it has taken to bring this variance request to fruition. Mr. Krisch stated that he had received a notice of meeting for January 4 at 6:30 p..m and that he would be ready and present for that meeting.
D. 3 – Town Meeting Guidelines
Mr. Greg Wight, Town Moderator, appeared by Zoom to discuss whether or not Town Meeting 2021 should be moved out from its regular meeting day on the first Tuesday in March. While the Vermont legislature has not yet authorized moving Town Meeting dates, it is reasonably certain that due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will be left to the Town to decide on the date of the meeting. Mr. Benson said that moving the meeting date out would not affect the financial year as the new budget would not come into effect until the first of July. He also stated that by May the chances of having the meeting at an outdoors venue would be much better than in March. Mr. LaRocque said he would be in favor of moving the meeting to May and holding the meeting outside with an ap-propriate audio/speaker system. Mr. Kimmel suggested waiting to see how the legislature will proceed and it was agreed that an initial approach would be proposed by the next Board meeting on December 28.
Mr. Tim Higgins, Road Crew Foreman, said an inventory of the Town roads with erosion prob-lems amounted to about 13 miles of road that needed work. This number represents about 16% of the Town roads. Mr. Higgins was asked to contact Rita Seto at Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Re-gional Commission to ascertain when the erosion grants will be available.
Mr. Higgins reported that he had talked with Mr. Bill Grady about a tree with which Mr. Grady has concerns. Mr. Higgins stated the tree is on a neighbor’s property and he would be consulting with the landowner in the near future and would get back to Mr. Grady.
Mr. Higgins also reported that work would continue with ditching and culverts until the roads begin to freeze up. He met with Mr. Tucker concerning crushing stone. On the open market crushing is $9.50 a yard and $13.50 if they have to haul it. There is still a lot of work to do at the Sprague property and there is still another year to work with Mr. Larry Hebert. Mr. Higgins was asked to make sure Mr. Hebert knows the Town wants another 6,000 yards of sand priced ac-cordingly. Mr. Benson said he had met with Keith Sprague and had given him a copy of the plans. Mr. Sprague said he intended to work fairly with the Town and the supply of sand should last from 15 to 20 years.
It was reported that a car had gone off the Ridge Road and damaged some memorial stones in the Brookfield cemetery. Ms. Peterson said the Town’s insurance does not cover the cost of the stones but that the driver’s insurance should cover the cost.
Mr. Benson asked Ms. Peterson to check on the cost of including damage to memorial stones in the Town’s policy and also to see if there was flood insurance to cover the Fire Station.
Mr. Benson asked Ms. Peterson if all the compensation for Rob Wheatley’s work for the Town Highway Department had been settled and Ms. Peterson stated that it had been completed.
D. New Business
1. Public Safety Advisory Committee – Traffic Ordinance Review
The report of the Committee recommended several changes be made by putting up yield signs and MPH signs on various roads in Town. Some of the signs will have to be warned before they can be put up. Mr. LaRocque will check the ordinance to see which roads need to be warned. Mr. LaRocque will also ask the Sheriff about vehicles encroaching at a residence on Stone Road. Mr. Higgins will review the Committee’s report and report back at the next meeting.
2. Mapping Proposal – Cartographic Associates (See above)
3. Town Meeting Guidelines (See above)
4. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan – Mr. Benson signed on behalf of the Board.
F. Old Business – None
G. Approve Minutes from the 23 November 2020 Board Meeting
After a review of the minutes of November 23, Mr. LaRocque moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Kimmel seconded the motion and the minutes were unanimously approved. 3-0-0
H. Payroll and AP Warrants
Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the payroll and accounts payable warrants as presented with the total amount being $72,711.90 and highest amount being paid to the Town of Barre Am-bulance Service in the amount of $31,536.90. Mr.Kimmel seconded the motion. There being no objection, the motion passed unanimously.
I. Other Proper Business
Ms. Peterson brought up the issue of the invoice for the Town Audit which included the amount for two years’ audit which will bring the amount to be paid over budget. Mr. Benson suggested the Town wait until June to pay the invoice. Mr. LaRocque and Mr. Kimmel agreed.
J. Adjournment – Mr. Benson asked if there was any further business. Everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas. There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Kimmel moved for adjournment. Mr. LaRocque seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
Betty T. Lord, Secretary