Town of Brookfield
April 27, 2020 at 6:20 P.M.
Town Clerk’s Office & Remote Locations
Attending: John Benson (Chair), Jeff Kimmel, Dennis LaRocque, Kasey Peterson (Administrative Assistant), Jeff Marshall, Nina Gaby, Jeff Doerfer
A. Call to Order – 6:21 p.m.: Mr. Benson offered initial comments about the change in Board meeting format, based on introduction of teleconferencing technology.
B. Adjustments to Agenda – if Ray Peck (Road Crew Foreman) is able to join the teleconference, the agenda may be adjusted to fit him in.
C. Public Comment: Mr. Marshall reported that the State recently reopened the Floating Bridge, and Sunset Pond was restocked just prior to that. As a result, there are a lot of vehicles and people in the bridge area. However, the crowds are causing concerns about traffic, parking, and the emerging issue of compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures (such as social distancing and face masks). Mr. Marshall noted that he already has had to put up a sawhorse and “No Parking” signs along the front of his property, which borders the pond. He also observed people wandering and “relieving themselves” around the parking area on the West side of the bridge. Mr. Marshall contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and VT State Police, asking them to help monitor activities at the bridge. Mr. Benson said that he will also follow up with OCSD and State Police.
Ms. Peterson will contact the company that provides the portable toilet on the West side of the bridge.
Ms. Gaby confirmed that she had seen the same problematic activities around the bridge, adding that sometimes people start arriving around 5:00 a.m. She also wondered whether economic circumstances were spurring the increased fishing.
Mr. Benson noted that the Town’s right-of-way is 3 rods (49.5 feet), which includes the travel-way for vehicles. He added that vehicles should be parked with all wheels outside of the travel-way. The State would be involved with determining compliance within the VT Route 65 sector, which includes the Floating Bridge itself. The Town does maintenance along VT 65, under a contract with the State.
D. Highway Report:
Mr. Kimmel reported that Road Crew will be undergoing COVID-19 training, in compliance with current VT emergency guidelines.
Mr. Benson commented that the Board needs to confirm the status of Vermont Agency of Transportation and Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission grants: Ms. Peterson said that she would follow up, noting that projects on the Ridge Road and Bear Hill are dragging on. Mr. Benson observed that project delays would also affect the Crew’s upcoming schedule. Mr. LaRocque also mentioned there are grant-related projects ongoing on East Hill and Taylor Hill Road, which are supposed to be completed by June 30, 2020.
E. New Business
1. TRORC Transportation Advisory Committee Representative(s): On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve the appointment of Jon Binhammer as Brookfield’s representative to the Committee, with Gwynn Zakov as alternate.
2. Cemetery Maintenance Bids – Mowing and Sexton Services: Ms. Peterson reported that the mowing contract has already expired, and that the Sexton contract ends on June 30. Two sets of bids were submitted for the next round of contracts. Ms. Peterson will follow up with the bidders to request references.
3. Extension for Submission of Grand List: the VT Department of Taxes sent a notice providing that:
Due to the COVID-19 impacts on operations, an extension of all towns to August 15, 2020, is hereby granted and applies to all acts mentioned in 12 V.S.A. §4341. The requirements of 32 V.S.A. §5404(b) for transmission to the Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review (PVR) are also extended to September 15, 2020. The electronic grand list and 411 must be transmitted to the Director on or before this date.
On motion of Mr. Benson, Mr. Kimmel second, the Board voted 3-0-0 approving the extension for the 2020 grand list filing. Mr. Benson signed the request form on behalf of the Board.
F. Old Business
1. Tax Date Change – Interest on Delinquent Payments: on motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve an interest rate on delinquent tax payments of 1 percent for the first 3 months after June 20, 2020, and then 1.5 percent for the remainder of the delinquency. Teresa Godfrey, the Town’s Delinquent Tax Collector, reported that she is foregoing the 8% delinquent tax penalty for this year.
2. Tatro Permit – Morgan Horse Race Date Change: on motion of Mr. Kimmel, Mr. LaRocque second, the Board voted 3-0-0 to approve Mr. Tatro’s request to shift the race date from May 30, 2020 to August 29, 2020. The Public Assemblage Permit already submitted for the event is amended accordingly.
G. Approve Selectboard Meeting Minutes: Mr. LaRocque made a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of April 13, 2020; Mr. Benson second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
H. Payroll/AP Warrants: Mr. LaRoacque made a motion to pay the warrants totaling $4,204.01 with large bills that include: Harmony Electric PC (Town Garage lighting): $2,904.43; VLCT/PACIF (Workman’s Comp. Adjustment): $1.022.00. Mr. Kimmel second. Mr. Benson asked for discussion (none): 3-0-0.
I. Other Proper Business: (None)
J. Mr. Kimmel made a motion to adjourn at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Benson second: 3-0-0.