Braintree Selectboard meeting
August 18, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
Tim Caulfield, Selectboard Chair Janice Thresher, Resident
Richard Bowen, Selectboard Member Linda Thresher Grimes, Resident
Linda Doane, Selectboard Member Bob Moyer, Resident
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Malcom Fitzpatrick, Resident
Paul Kendall, Selectboard Member Kris Haupt, Resident
Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk, Treasurer, DTC
Holly Jarvis, Admin. Assistant
Jeff Masterson, Road Commissioner
Mr. Caulfield called the meeting to order at 6pm.
The board reviewed the agenda. Tax sale plans were added under Treasurer’s report.
The board welcomed Richard Bowen as a new member to the Selectboard. Mr. Caulfield mentioned that he would be happy to let someone else be chair. None of the other board members indicated any interest.
The board reviewed the priorities they had set a while ago. The capital plan is done so that can be removed. The three priorities now are (in no particular order):
- Improving Cellular and High Speed Internet Connectivity in Braintree
- Taking Care of the Town Facilities and Buildings
- Finding a New Gravel Pit
The board has recognized areas of work and designated a board member to take lead and a backup person. With Mr. Bowen’s appointment to the board, they felt this should be reviewed.
- Highway Dept.: Richard Bowen as lead, with Loren Bent as backup
- Capital Planning and Budgeting: Paul Kendal as lead, with Tim Caulfield as back-up
- Grant evaluation: Tim Caulfield as lead, with Linda Doane as back-up
- Gravel pit analysis: Linda Doane as lead, Loren Bent as back-up
On motion of Mr. Caulfield seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously approved the minutes of August 4, 2015 as revised.
Continuation of South Road Hearing.
Present for the Hearing- All Selectboard members, Deborah Owen, Amy Noyes, Steven Stone, Mark White, Annette Young, Jeff Masterson, and Holly Jarvis
Mr. Caulfield advised that at the last meeting all the residents present at the hearing felt that discontinuing the whole road would be in the best interests of the Town. He asked if anyone had any opposing thoughts, or questions. Mr. Stone asked if any sort of public right of way will remain. It will not. He and his daughter should create a private right of way across his property to her property which would exit onto North Road. The property included in the right of way will revert to the property owners, as prescribed in their deeds, or to the center line of the road if it is not prescribed.
On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Ms. Doane the board unanimously decided to close the hearing.
On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the board unanimously decided to discontinue South Road in its entirety.
Continuation of Stagecoach Road Hearing
Present for the Hearing – All the Selectboard members, Bob Moyer, Malcom Fitzpatrick, Fay and Doris Sherman, Bob Simpson, Justin Poulin, Larry Burns, Holly Jarvis, Jeff Masterson
Mr. Poulin restated that he didn’t believe that the Town’s right-of-way is still in existence. The board disagrees. The layout record has now been found in the Town Record book 1 page 108 [found from a reference to it in Mr. Freeman’s survey following the first section of the hearing]. Along with a class change record in the Town Record book 3 page 248 penting the road [this record was noted on Mr. Poulin’s survey and had been located before the first section of this hearing]. No discontinuation has been found for the road, so it still is a public right of way.
Mr. Poulin would be is happy to have people use it for hiking and biking, but wants the ability to close it temporarily while he logs his property, and during hunting season.
It was clarified that the section Mr. Poulin is speaking of was reaffirmed to be a portion of the Stagecoach Road at the last section of the hearing. The portion that the board wanted to collect more information about was the section which goes across Mr. Simpson’s property. Mr. Kendall had sent an email earlier in the week with a proposed resolution saying.
Further to the action taken on June 16, 2015, the Selectboard finds that the portion of the so-called ¨Stagecoach Road¨ continuing northward from the land of Justin Poulin to Flint Road is located along the east side of an old rock wall and fence as it passes through the lands currently owed by Tay and Robert A. Simpson (formerly known as the ¨Flint Farm¨). The Selectboard further finds that said ¨Stagecoach Road¨ was legally established as a Town Highway (Book 1, page 108 of the Town Records) and that it has never been discontinued. The Selectboard therefore resolves that this portion of said ¨Stagecoach Road¨ be designated as a Legal Trail with a width of 10 feet and that the Trail be restricted to non-motorized use.
Mr. Kendall further advised that the board would be open to a proposal from Mr. Simpson to change the location of the public right-of-way from where it was originally laid out on the east side of the stone wall, to coincide with the current private right of way on the west side. Mr. Simpson would prefer if both were on the east side of the stone wall, not where the private right of way currently goes. He tried to get the previous owner of Mr. Poulin’s property to agree to switch it, but he was unsuccessful. He does not believe that the surveyor who surveyed his property [it is an unrecorded survey] found evidence of a public right-of-way. He will be checking with his surveyor.
On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously voted to close the hearing.
The board discussed making Mr. Kendall’s proposal a motion. Instead, on motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously tabled the deliberative session so that they can speak with the Town Attorney to confirm the legalities of the right-of-way.
Continuation of the Selectboard Meeting:
- White asked the board about use of tables and chairs from the Town Hall on Dorothy Chase’s behalf. She would like to use a number of them this weekend. Mr. White said he would pick them up and put them back. The board agreed that that would be fine.
- White, the Emergency Management Director, also mentioned there will be an Incident Command System training (ICS-100) in Town on Oct 13. Mr. White is encouraging those who might be interested in helping out in an emergency to take the class. He has also set up a drill, possibly for Oct. 26th.
- Thresher thanked the highway crew for fixing her road.
- Semi-Annual Report: TROCRC Rep. – Mark Bannon. Reminded the board that Two Rivers- Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TROCRC) helped the Town with the culvert inventory, Better Back Road grant, and hazard mitigation planning. In a more region wide effort TROCRC is looking at their Regional Plan to consider whether more development should be allowed around the interstate exits. There has been the feeling that historic settlement patterns should be continued, but in some cases those areas are hard to work in, because of geological features like flood plains, and hills. So they are going to be carefully looking at the region and it’s planning needs.
- Treasurer’s Report. Ms. Brassard and Ms. Jarvis had been nervous about closing last fiscal year in the new accounting software, so they had taken their time determining that it was OK to close the year. The fiscal year was closed today. Ms. Brassard had taken a look at the numbers and feels that the Town is in pretty good shape. She advised that a line of credit has not yet been applied for, and that it is not likely that we will need to. Also, there are still three properties (one with a house, two which are just land) which should go to tax sale. Ms. Brassard was on vacation last week and this week Ms. Stafford is on vacation, but they will get together soon.
- Highway Report:
- All three road crew members have taken and passed the ICS-100 course.
- The final FEMA project is on schedule to be completed by the end of the month. Just a little more underdrain is needed on Green Road. There is seeding left to be done on Lemery Road.
- Signs and cones were vandalized from the Route 12A road project. Cones were scattered around town. If any showed up in someone’s yard, Mr. Masterson advised that, they are welcome to call the garage and he will go get them.
- There will be some daily road closures for culvert replacements in the next few weeks. The road closure policy will be used, and Mr. Masterson will contact home owners directly affected.
- The board decided that Professional Liability Insurance for American Consulting is not needed at this stage of the gravel pit project. Mr. Caulfield will go ahead and sign the contract.
- The board reviewed Eliot Lothrop’s report about the Old Snowsville Inn. It talks about the building’s unique qualities, describing the building as large structure which was originally very well designed and constructed. Original interior design elements can be seen throughout it. It is built with hand hewn beams, and has a sprung floor for what appears to have been a ballroom on the second floor. He indicated in his report that “Many people speak of sprung floors in historic ballrooms and town halls but this appears to be one of the only systems that is exposed and where investigation and documentation is possible.” His report focused on restoring the building back to its original appearance, which he estimated would cost roughly $412,000. The board noted that those costs could come down lot if an investor didn’t want restore it in a historic manner. But that the estimates do not take into consideration the issues with electrical, plumbing or septic. On motion of Ms. Doane, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously decided to solicit proposals for reuse of the Old Snowsville Inn. The proposals should include financials plans. The proposals will be due September 30th. A copy of the report describing the condition of the building will be available at the Town Office. The building may be viewed by appointment. The board is open to both historic preservation proposals and alternative use proposals. Braintree residents who are interested in learning about and commenting on any proposals submitted should attend the Oct. 6th Selectboard meeting.
- Old Business
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the board unanimously approved the Town purchasing properties at tax sale which are not bought by individuals.
- The board realized that they didn’t follow the proper steps for the approval of the Solid Waste Ordinance, so it is being redone. On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the board unanimously approved the Solid Waste Ordinance. The notice about the ordinance will be published in the Herald. It was also mentioned that the other ordinances which the board had reviewed needs to be reapproved because they were not noticed in the paper either. A mass reapprove will be done at the next meeting.
- New Business
- The board accepted Richard Bowen’s resignation from the Board of Listers. He cannot be on both the Selectboard and the Board of Listers.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously approve accepting the Better Back Road Grant agreement for the Connecticut Corners Road ditch work, if it is determined that we can meet the deadlines.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously approved the payment orders.
On motion of Ms. Doane, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:50 pm.