Braintree Selectboard Meeting
February 4, 2014
David Atkinson, Selectboard Member
Nancy Davoll, Emergency Response Committee Chair
Tim Caulfield, Selectboard Chair
Linda Morse, Conservation Commission Chair
Paul Kendall, Selectboard Member
Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman
Linda Doane, Selectboard Member
Holly Jarvis, Administrative Assistant
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Mr. Caulfield called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. Doane, the Board approved the Minutes of January 21, 2014 as corrected.
- · Ms. Davoll, the Chair of the Emergency Response Committee, asked what the Committee should do now. The Committee originally was formed to evaluate and make recommendations for improvements after Irene. The Committee then worked on updating the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and created a Braintree Emergency Response Plan Guide. The guide will be passed out with the Town Reports this year. They are asking the Selectboard for direction on what they should do now that their current work is complete. After some discussion, the Selectboard came to the conclusion that it seemed appropriate for the Committee, which was intended to be temporary, to disband at this time. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the Board agreed to allow the Emergency Response Committee to disband and profusely thanked them for all their work.
- The Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund’s (ERAF) new requirements were reviewed. ERAF is where the State’s share of the funds comes from when there is a federally declared disaster. The Town has met all four of the initial requirements. After Mr. Caulfield’s conversations with Mr. Moyer, the Chair of the Planning Commission (PC), and Mr. Sargent from Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, the Town came to the conclusion that the wording in the Town Zoning Ordinance meets the fifth requirement, for the higher funding level. Mr. Kendall ask who would determine if Braintree’s Zoning Ordinance fulfills the fifth requirement? Mr. Caulfield will talk to Mr. Sargent about that.
- The Highway report: Mr. Masterson reported that the crew is doing winter work and planning for next year. There is no major news this time. He also said that the sand pile is down quite a bit; it will be close as to whether we have enough if we get a lot more ice.
- There is no new information about the Town of Randolph’s bill for closing the old gravel pit.
- Update about Health Officer: Mr. Caulfield will be meeting with the new Health Officer, Marci White, to explain the current complaints for her to investigate.
- Radio Repeater Update: the Committee has agreed to recommend using solar power instead of connecting to the power grid. Both options cost about the same amount. The estimates range from $21,000-$24,500 and the solar is more likely to continue working during an emergency. The building will need to be 11.5’ by 6’ to have the necessary roof space for solar panels. The DRB had approved a variance for a shed that is 10’ x 10’. Mr. Caulfield has talked to Mr. Moyer and Mr. Bristow, the Zoning Administrator, to see if the foot and a half increase in length would be a problem and they both agreed that the DRB approved the concept and that a minimal deviation like this would not be an issue. Mr. Bristow will include a note about it in the zoning file. On motions of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the Board approved proceeding with a solar powered option for a price not to exceed $23,000.
- Website update: Ms. Jarvis has gotten a number of estimates for updating the website. One more is scheduled to come in next week.
- Ms. Doane reported on the progress regarding research into Frances Herrick’s well contamination. Ms. Doane has talked to a number of people and has left a message with the Ground Water Geologist for Orange County. A more detailed report may be available at the next meeting.
- Status of Braintree vs. Stohl. The initial response was filed with the Court before the deadline and the response to the request for expediency was also submitted. Ms. Liebert wrote a letter where she asked if a conversation between herself and Mr. Atkinson, regarding Justice’s ability to continue as a search and rescue dog, was on behalf of the Selectboard. It was not. Mr. Caulfield sent a response letter indicating this, the day after the letter was received. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Atkinson, the Board approved the motion to go into executive session to discuss the lawsuit. On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the Board came out of executive session. No action was taken.
- Mr. Atkinson is waiting until after town meeting to continue the tree survey so that public option on the matter can be better gauged.
- Mr. Caulfield reported that the WRVA Board unanimously decided to adjust the level of coverage in the Route 100 Valley. It was being staffed at higher levels than originally budgeted.
- Conservation Commission Semi-Annual Report. Ms. Morse provided the Commission’s report [attached]. Most of the report was about completed projects. The last item was a request to the Board to authorize the Commission to try for a “Canopy Mini” grant of $500 to plant saplings at the Braintree Hill Cemetery to replace the trees which needed removal last year. The grant requires a one-to-one match. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Atkinson, the Board unanimously approved authorizing the Conservation Commission to apply for the grant, as long as the Town’s matching funds can be paid for with in-kind work or from funds already budgeted to the Conservation Commission.
- The purchase of the Perry Property is still moving forward.
- Mr. Caulfield provided the Board with a draft ‘Standard Town Contract’. This document is intended to be a form which can be filled out to create a unique contract for each project. More work on the contract is required.
- Mr. Kendall explained the current situation regarding the updated Health Insurance options. The Town is not going to be able to extend the current coverage past April 1st and because of the small number of employees the Board will now only be able to offer two of the plans this year. The plans the employees are most interested in are the Silver and Gold plans. Northern Group Services currently administer the Town’s HRA for $25 a month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont have contracted with a company called Health Equity to administer HRAs without a fee. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the Board approved switching to Health Equity. Mr. Kendall explained the Town’s options with respect to what can be covered out of the HRA. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the Board unanimously approved allowing the deductibles and coinsurances to be paid out of the HRA.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Atkinson, the Board unanimously approved signing the Certificate of No Appeal or Suit Pending. This has to do with the Grand List.
- The Selectboard was asked about when deductions should be made from security deposits for Town Hall Rentals. The Board decided to leave that up to Ms. Whitney, who is checking and cleaning the Hall before and after rentals.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the Board unanimously decided to reimburse mileage using the federal mileage rate and change as the federal rate changes.
- Ordinance Review: the Board will review the Town’s Ordinances one at a time.
- On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Atkinson, the Board unanimously approved leaving the Dog Ordinance the same.
- The Highway Ordinance, which was written in 1989, will be the next to be reviewed. Mr. Atkinson will bring suggested changes to the Board at their next meeting.
- Town report delivery planning. Mr. Atkinson has the list of routes. He will be finding volunteers to deliver reports.
- The clean-up of the Perry property after the Town purchase will now be 100% covered by the grant. On motion of Ms. Doane, seconded Mr. Bent, the Board approved signing the addendum to the sub-grant agreement which will change the coverage from 75% to 100% of clean-up costs.
- Ms. Doane asked VLCT about the possibility of penalties for building without a permit. She found out that they can be as high as $200 per offence per day. The Planning Commission will add penalties to the Zoning Ordinance during the next rewrite.
On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the Board adjourned the meeting at 7:50 pm.
Holly Jarvis, Administrative Assistant