Minutes of the
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
Town Clerk’s Office
September 14, 2020
THOSE PRESENT: John Benson, Chair; Dennis LaRocque, Jeff Kimmel and Betty Lord, Secretary; Rob Wheatley, Jack Zebora, Julie Benedict, John Brock, Will White, Al Wilder, Jon Binhammer, and Tim Higgins
The meeting was called to order at 6:31 p.m. by the Chair, Mr. Benson.
The Board agreed to begin with Item C: Public Comments on the agenda.
Mr. Al Wilder requested that the street sign at the end of his driveway, which had been knocked down by the road crew, be reinstalled. Mr. Benson said it would be put on the Highway agenda.
ECFiber – Mr. Will White came to the Board to discuss the laying of a fiber line on Old Cross Road. Mr. Benson requested a sketch map of the whole project and that the original plan be updated if necessary. The question was asked who would own the line; the answer being ECFiber. Mr. Benson pointed out that an easement will need to be made for utilities in the public right-of-way. Mr. Dan Childs was asked to check to see if the work done on the hub on East Street was done with an easement or a license and if it was it done with an actual document in the land records. If there is a document, Mr. Childs will provide a copy to the Board. The Board approved the proposal, with the requirements that ECFiber report to the Board on the project’s progress and inform the Board of any revisions/adjustments to the proposal.
Mr. Scott Brock and Ms. Julie Benedict came to discuss the process for a variance. Mr. Kimmel will send them a copy of the Development By-Laws. They asked about the timing of the process and were told they would hear something in a minimum of 15 days from the date of filing. The application would go to Board of Adjustment for approval.
Mr. Benson welcomed Mr. Tim Higgins as the new Town Road Foreman and thanked him for accepting the position. Mr. Higgins will start around late October and one of his first duties, in addition to becoming familiar with the work of the road crew, will be to begin reviewing the FY 2020/2021 budget and starting planning for the FY 2021/2022 budget.
Highway and Storm Grant Program – The Town applied for and was awarded a grant to cover the costs of making an inventory the Town’s culverts. A motion was made by Mr. LaRocque to contract with Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to do the inventory. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
FICA Tax Deferral – After some discussion noting that the employees of the Town were working and receiving their full pay, Mr. Benson moved and Mr. Kimmel seconded a motion that the Town not make use of the FICA Tax deferral; the motion carried unanimously.
LHMP – Every three to five years the Town is required to update its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Town’s current plan will expire in April 2021. This topic was tabled until the Board receives copies of all the materials needed to start the project.
Personnel Policy – The Board agreed to meet Tuesday, September 22, to finalize the Policy.
Jon Binhammer requested that the two telephone poles down in front of the McCall’s house
on Route 65 be moved by the road crew to the “pull out” on Route 65 so they could be used
in the Sunset Brook Nature Area. He also requested use of the railings from the old Floating
Bridge which are now located on the property of the Town Garage. Mr. Binhammer said the
expenses incurred to-date in working on the marsh project amounted to approximately $100
which funds would come out of the Conservation budget. Hearing that the expenses had been
recommended by the Conservation Committee, the Board also gave its approval.
Highway and Roads – Mr. Rob Wheatley reported that work would be completed on the project
on East Hill within the next two weeks. Ms. Pat Mercier on Lavender Road wants to move her
driveway. Mr. Wheatley will meet with her. Ms. Mercier will need an access permit for
moving a driveway from one place to another.
Ms. Linda Mullenstein has asked if the Town Road Crew could make a new place to turn around at
the end of Woods Road on East Hill, rather than using her driveway. Someone from the Highway Department will look it over and see if it can done before the end of the season.
Mr. Wheatley said that work was done on a culvert on Twin Ponds Road. Water is now flowing
through the culvert but another piece of culvert is needed to complete the job. Mr. Wheatley reported that the Town name was being painted on the new loader and that new tires were being ordered for some of the Town vehicles. Mr. Wheatley was asked by the Board to proceed with buying a jackhammer.
Proposed Sprague Property Sand Pit – The District Coordinator from the Agency of Natural Resources has asked for a copy of the draft of the agreement between the Town and the Spragues. She asked if the Town would have control over the site for an extended period. The Town will ask for a period
of 20 to 25 years. Ms. Kasey Peterson, Administrative Assistant, will be asked to give the Board a
summary of the cost of the project to-date.
Minutes of the Meeting of August 24, 2020 – Mr. Dennis LaRocque requested that his given
name be added to the section on Harmony Electric as there were two people named LaRocque
at the meeting. Under the Highway section, the name of the street where the washout
occurred was West Street, not Churchill Road. With these amendments, the minutes were
approved as read.
Payroll and Warrants—Mr. LaRocque made a motion to accept the Accounts Payable Warrants
in the amount of $19,498.48 with the largest payment being to Stan Wheatley in the amount of
$8,562.60. Mr. Kimmel seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Kimmel made a motion for
adjournment. Mr. Benson seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Betty Lord, Secretary