Braintree Selectboard Meeting
June 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Richard Bowen, Selectboard Member Brian Jones, Resident
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Linda Grimes, Resident
Timothy Caulfield, Selectboard Chair Janice Thresher, Resident
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Member Zac Freeman, to propose event
Keegan Haupt, Resident
Jeff Masterson, Road Commissioner Robert Eddy, Culvert use
Jessica Brassard, Treasurer Kathy Eddy, Culvert use
Holly Jarvis, Admin. Assistant Paul Rea, Lease Land
Mr. Caulfield called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM. Mr. Kendall was not in attendance. Ms. O’Toole arrived during the review of the agenda.
Review of Agenda: the Board added Rob Townsend under guests, and gravel at Sam Paddock’s under the Highway Report.
- A change of the Board’s intent was noted from the meeting of June 7th. At that meeting, on coming out of executive session, it was said and recorded in the unapproved minutes that the Board had come to a conclusion regarding the annual salary increase. That was not so. They had preliminarily agreed on salary increases. The minutes will be changed to reflect the Board’s intent. Other minor editorial changes were made. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of June 7, 2016, as revised.
Citizens’ Comments – none
- Paul Rea came to speak with the Board about lease land on Gary and Abigail Mason’s property. This type of lease land came about way back when towns were originally laid out. It was common for lease fees to be collected by Towns on some lots to be reserved for schools, churches, and other such organizations. Towns have long since stopped collecting and passing on these lease fees. Recently, title companies have become concerned about the language that remains in this type of lease land deed, and won’t supply a clean title on properties with the language still included in the deed. As a result, it is difficult to obtain a mortgage. Mr. Rea was asking that the Board release the Town’s antiquated rights to the Masons’ property. The Town had consulted the Town’s attorney, Mr. Paul Gillies, and he saw no reason for not granting the release. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the Board unanimously approved accepting the release of the lease land through the quit claim deed provided by the Masons’ lawyer, Tallman Law Associates.
- Robert and Kathy Eddy came to talk with the Board about a water pipe they have put through a Town culvert. The pipe goes from a spring on their property to a pond on the other side of the road. They understand now that according to the law they should not have put the pipe though the culvert without permission from the Town. Mr. Eddy explained that the spring was in existence before the road was laid out. The pipe has run though the culvert for 8 years now with no problems. It is only a 1.5 inch pipe running through a 3 foot culvert. The Eddys have talked to people about driving a sleeve under the road, but there is likely to be ledge, and the Fiber Optical line is under ground running along the road in that location. The Eddys have also offered to put a release on the line so that it can be easily removed. Masterson’s biggest concern is that he thought the stone wall for the well is shifting. Mr. and Mrs. Eddy didn’t think it was. After some discussion the Board decided that the best way to handle the issue is to ask the Eddys to fill out a utility permit application. The application will be considered at a future Selectboard meeting.
- Zac Freeman came to the Board to discuss a biking event he would like to hold on October 8th. He is calling it the Braintree 5 (it will include up and down rides on the five roads leading to the top of Braintree Hill: Braintree Hill Road, Flint Road, Hockman Hill Road, Bent Hill Road and Thresher Road). It would be in conjunction with a festival that is being organized and held in Randolph that weekend. Mr. Freeman is hoping that around 100 people will come to the ‘gravel grinder’ [a term used for bike rallies on gravel roads]. The ride will be completely on dirt roads, mostly in Braintree. It will take between 2.5 to 4 hours. They will have the course clearly marked out, with volunteers at key points in the ride directing the riders. It was noted that the Town’s Festival Ordinance would come into play if there were to be more than 250 people expected at the event. The Board agreed that they have no questions or concerns about this event.
- Rob Townsend who was hired by the Town to survey Meadow Lane came to explain his findings. The original layout has some technical issues, and the current road does not match the layout or what seems to have been the intended location of the road layout. The Board decided to ask the Town Attorney what the Town’s next steps should be in this issue.
- The Board reviewed the financials. It appears that the 2015-16 spending will come well within budget, mostly due to the mild winter.
- Highway Report
- The Board reviewed the bid for washing and sealing two concrete bridges. They only have one quote because there is only the one company in the area willing to both wash and seal the concrete. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the Board unanimously approved the quote from Catamount Environmental to wash and seal the two bridges for $17,200.
- Ms. Thresher asked if the mowing is done yet. It is not. Mr. Masterson advised that he is trying to get the knotweed pulled in the areas that are infected before those sections are mowed, so that it won’t be spread by the mower. This is why Ms. Thresher has not seen the mower in her area yet. The knotweed that is pulled is being brought to the gravel pit and put between layers of black plastic in an attempt to kill it. He also advised that this location was chosen because knotweed is already present there.
- Buying gravel from Sam Paddock – Mr. Paddock owns a gravel pit that borders the Town’s gravel pit. The Highway Department would like to purchase a section of gravel estimated at 2,500 CY. This would be purchased at a rate of $3.50 a yard, in place. This would need a decision of the Board, and since this was not a warned item on the agenda the Board should not make the decision this time. It will be on the next agenda.
- Activities during the past two weeks: the crew is mowing the road sides. The sand pile for next winter is being made. Connecticut Corners Road’s grant project is being completed. The Town has received two more road grants. One is a Better Back Roads Grants of $37,000 to replace culverts on Thayer Brook Road, and the other is a State of Vermont Class Two Road Grant of $175,000. The berm removal and ditching has been put on hold currently as the sand pile for next winter is being made.
- Brassard asked when chloride will be put down. Mr. Masterson advised that some of the plumbing on the pump for the chloride spreader was leaking, but it is now fixed and they will be doing spot treatments starting tomorrow.
- Irene Update: the State contact has a few more questions about the project. We are working on scheduling a meeting with her.
- Stagecoach Legal Trail Update. We are waiting for the judge’s ruling regarding Mr. Poulin’s filed response to the Town’s request for summary dismissal. Simpson and the Selectboard have come to an agreement to move the Trail to the currently used right of way along his property. If needed, the Trail will cut back over to the original location of the Legal Trail before it reaches Mr. Poulin’s property. A hearing will be needed to do this once the court case is settled.
- Property Survey – The Board reviewed and discussed the preliminary survey of the properties being considered to add to Town Office and Garage plot. There are two sections of possible properties to purchase from the Bothners. One is behind the Office and Garage. It is 0.8 of an acre. The Town Office parking lot encroaches on this part of the Bothner’s property. Purchasing this section cleans up that issue, plus it allows some space at the back of the property incase an addition to the Town Office or Garage is needed at some point. The other property is west of the Garage and sand pile, where the rock outcropping is. This section is 0.5 of an acre. Mr. Masterson has suggested purchasing this portion of the property so the Town could, if desired in the future, remove a portion of the outcropping to fix water run off issues, and help sight lines when exiting the Town Garage parking lot. Mr. Bowen made a motion, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, to purchasing both sections of property for a total additional 1.3 acres. [Mr. Bowen and Ms. O’Toole voted in favor of the motion. Mr. Caulfield, and Mr. Bent voted again the motion. The motion failed.] On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved purchase the 0.8 acres as proposed behind the Garage and Office lot from the Bothners. Mr. Caulfield will contact them and start the next steps. He also advised that he will ask the Bothners if there is any interest in the Town purchasing the other section. If they have interest, it could be brought back to the Board when the full Board will be in attendance.
- The office phone system has a number of problems; one being if someone is on the phone and a call comes in on the second line, the fax machine answers it, not the answering machine. There doesn’t appear to be a way to get the answering machine to pick up the call. The fax machine is also an inexpensive machine which sometimes produces difficult to read faxes. Mr. Caulfield advised that he has had similar problems with his home office set up and would be happy to take a look at it. It was tabled to the next meeting.
- Admin Assistant procedure manual with retention rules
- Consider Selectboard Policy on Public Records. Ms. Jarvis asked that it be tabled, and it was. The current wording of the policy would include the Highway Departments records and Mr. Masterson should have a chance to understand and comment on the use of these retention schedules.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved Sullivan, Powers & Co. P.C. Scope of Services for the FY16 audit, on the recommendation of the Town Auditors.
- The Friends of the Town Hall asked if they could purchase materials for a split rail fence (it will be around $150), to repair the fence, between the Town Hall and the adjacent property. The Board agreed.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.
Executive Session on Performance Reviews and Salaries
- Upon coming out of executive session on the motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board approved the annual employee raises as discussed in the executive session. A record of those approved rates will be filed in the Town Office.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the Board adjourned the meeting around 8:05 pm.
(Edited by Janice Thresher)