Town of Brookfield
January 2, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office
Present: John Benson (Chair), Cory Haggett, Jeff Kimmel, Dawn Conant, Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman) and Public Safety Advisory Committee Members (Lew Stowell, Mike Stoddard)
- Call to Order – 6:30 p.m.
- Adjustments to Agenda – None.
- Public Comment – Public Safety Advisory Committee
Mr. Stowell provided a copy of the PSAC 2018 Report to the Board Members. He proceeded to go through each item as follows:
- Orange County Sheriff’s Department Contract: PSAC suggests increasing the number of hours covered, as each time the rate goes up it produces less hours.
- Right-of-Way Dispute at 2141 Stone Road: the speed limit may need to be adjusted, and more patrols would help. The centerline of the road needs to be identified, which will provide the basis for moving forward with determining the Town’s right-of-way. PSAC is willing to discuss the issue at Town Meeting 2019.
- Emerald Ash Borer Threat: although the pest has not been positively identified in Brookfield yet, Orange County has a quarantine on moving anything ash-related out of the county unless chipped. The Committee would like the Town to be pro-active and deal with removing ash trees in the Town’s ROW before the problem reaches crisis level. Mr. Stowell will contact GMP/Washington Electric to see how they work with Towns as some of their lines are in the ROW where the Town would need to remove trees. PSAC’s report to the Selectboard provided additional observations and recommendations regarding the issue.
- Kate Forrer (UVM Extension) offered further information and would be willing to advise the Town on the ash borer issue. She suggested posting information and notices on the Town’s website, along with discussing it at Town Meeting, which could be included on the warning for the upcoming meeting.
- Reflective E-911 House Number Signs Project: looking to order more for other Town residents that did not receive one in the first round. Mr. Benson suggested that there be a display/sign-up sheet at Town Meeting to see who would like one or not.
- Increasing Parking in Pond Village: tabled until Spring 2019 when conditions would allow on-site assessment of potential areas.
- Speed Zone Change in East Brookfield: some residents indicated they would like to see the speed limit reduced on VT Route 14 through the village. Mr. Benson asked that the residents prepare a petition with the request, to help indicate the level of interest. The Board then can send a formal request/inquiry to the State to perform the requisite study.
- New Business:
- Lavender Road: Mr. Peck Ray took a look at the property where the complaint arose. There is a plow swath, but not as large as asserted. The Town will assess the site conditions in the Spring and do repairs.
- Loss Control Follow-Up: Mr. Peck will review the list with Administrative Assistant Kasey Peterson. He needs to identify what actions are complete, issues we are currently working on, and if anything else still needs to be addressed.
- Highway Budget
- Mr. Peck identified items that could use additional funding, including unexpected repairs, sand, and chloride.
- The Board discussed possible Highway Department building improvements, such as the shed and extending the garage.
- There is a question as to whether the water supply at the garage is potable: the water should be tested, and if there are problems, figure out an appropriate and cost-effective response.
- Mr. Peck will also look into the cost of a new standing seam roof for the garage.
- Mr. Benson asked Mr. Peck to prepare a sketch/plan depicting potential improvements at the garage site.
- The Board will likely ask the Town to approve a capital plan/budget for setting aside funds for long-term projects. One proposal might be for the Town to set aside existing remaining Buildings/Ground money, adding $25,000 to the upcoming fiscal year (2019/2020) plan, and then continuing to accrue funds over the next several years.
- Mr. Peck also would like to take care of radio and repeater issues, and is researching equipment and pricing.
- The Road Crew is rationing sand as best they can, but the continuing storms this year and repeated ice have taken a toll on the sand/chloride supplies.
- Personnel Issue (possible executive session): Mr. Benson made a motion to leave the Regular Board Meeting and go into Executive Session at 7:51 p.m., Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0. The Board came out of the session at 8:06 p.m.
- Vermont Appraisal Company: the company submitted a proposal and contract for the Town-wide reappraisal, which would start July 1, 2020. Mr. Benson made a motion to accept the proposal from VAC, pending review and approval by the Town’s Listers; Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
- NEMRC and Dominion Tech: the Board, with the help of Ms. Peterson, is continuing to investigate approaches to improving computer and data security for the Town.
- 2018 Equalization Report: the State Department of Taxes issued its 2018 Equalization Study results for Brookfield. The Common Level of Appraisal is 107.25%, and the Coefficient of Dispersion s 15.09%. The report is posted at the Town Clerk’s Office.
- Old Business:
- Approve Minutes of November 26, 2018 meeting: Mr. Kimmel made a motion to approve the November 26, 2018 Selectboard meeting minutes, Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.
- Approve Minutes of December 10, 2018 meeting: Mr. Benson made a motion to approve the December 10, 2018 Selectboard meeting minutes, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.
- Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. Haggett made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $40,578.39 with large bills that include: VLCT PACIF (PACIF Insurance): $28,807.00; BCBSVT (insurance): $3,934.30; NEMRC (annual agreement): $1,418.26. Mr. Kimmel second: 3-0-0.
- Other Proper Business:
- Mr. Benson asked about the Town Attorney Search. Mr. Haggett sent an e-mail regarding a possible candidate to Mr. Kimmel who will contact and chat with him.
- Mr. Benson mentioned a target date for a lunch with Town Employees (Town Clerk Teresa Godfrey, Ms. Peterson, Road Crew employees, and Town Librarian Laura Rochat): preferably in mid- to late-January, and subject to weather conditions. Likely we can firm up dates at the next Board meeting.
- Mr. Kimmel discussed a recommendation from the Chair of the Planning Commission, Mardee Sanchez, for a new member. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to appoint Jon Jickling to the Brookfield Planning Commission, Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.
- Auditors Report: has been submitted and the Board is reviewing it.
- Mr. Benson mentioned that he will continue to work with Mr. Peck on the Town’s capital plan for Highway expenditures, which will be reflected in the upcoming budget and Town Report.
- Mr. Haggett mentioned that the December Solid Waste Meeting did not happen, as the Town Manager for Randolph was unavailable. The meeting has been rescheduled to January 16, 2019.
- Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m., Mr. Haggett second: 3-0-0.