Braintree Selectboard Meeting
September 15, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
Present: Paul Rea, regarding Mobile Acres Rd
Timothy Caulfield, Selectboard Chair Lou Helmuth, Resident
Richard Bowen, Selectboard Member Brian Jones, Resident
Linda Doane, Selectboard Member Jessica Brassard: Clerk, Treasurer, DTC
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Justin Poulin, regarding Stagecoach Rd
Paul Kendall, Selectboard Member Bob Simpson regarding Stagecoach Rd
Holly Jarvis, Administrative Assistant
Jeff Masterson, Road Commissioner
Mr. Caulfield called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
Review of Agenda, the board added a discussion about Ms. Brassard adding her assistant Treasurer, Lori Keene, as a signer on the checking account, and moved the decision on Stagecoach Road and potential deliberative session to the end of the meeting.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously approved the September 1, 2015 minutes as amended.
- Poulin: does not feel that the town has a public right of way for the old Stagecoach Road. He is willing to give the Town an easement across his part of the land for recreational purposes, if the town gives up any claim on a right of way with respect to the old Stagecoach Road. He is willing to rescind the restrictions he had previously required.
- Simpson came in and advised that he has spoken with Blake Thompsen, the surveyor who had created an unrecorded survey for him, who had noted that on an 1870 map it shows a road in the general area. He found evidence of an old foundation next to the gate. Mr. Simpson feels the road would have been more likely down near the Carlson house. Mr. Poulin had stated, before Mr. Simpson had arrived, that he thought that Mr. Simpson was willing to have the Town use the current private right of way across Mr. Simpson’s property as the public right of way. Mr. Simpson stated that this is not so.
- The board advised that the hearing was closed at a previous meeting. The board briefly discussed reopening the hearing. Instead they advised Mr. Poulin and Mr. Simpson that since there is no clear proposal at this time they will continue the deliberative session (which is not a public meeting). A decision will be produced within 60 days of the close of the hearing. If at some point in the future Mr. Simpson and/or Mr. Poulin wants to propose, in writing, a change to the public right of way, the board would be happy to consider it.
- Kendall provided the board a Semi-Annual Report as the Stagecoach Representative [report attached].
- Treasurer’s Report
- The board was supplied the financial report at the meeting. Since the report hadn’t been available in advance, the board agreed to review it after the meeting and discuss any issues with Ms. Brassard individually. A more detailed review is anticipated for the end of September report.
- Brassard advised that she realized why the tax rate went down when it had not been expected to. In the past Braintree had not adjusted expected income at the time the tax rate was set. This was done for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The expected non-tax income had been going up. Using the past method would have left the Town with a little cushion against unexpected expenses. With this method that will not be so. Ms. Brassard thinks that the Town will be financially fine. The Town Auditors prefer this method of calculation to the previous method even though both are acceptable.
- The paperwork for the purchase of the new dump truck was signed by the board.
- The board agreed that it is Ms. Brassard’s decision as Treasurer as to who to add or remove as a signer on the Town’s bank accounts.
- Brassard advised that the state has decided that they will treat the money that is given to towns every year as grant money. Which means that there will be more paperwork to fill out and deadlines which will need to be met to get the money now. She asked who should be responsible for filling out and signing the paperwork. On motion of Mr. Bowen, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the board voted unanimously approved Ms. Brassard as the signer on the grant paperwork.
- The Tax Sale has been scheduled. It is still the same three properties which will be at the sale, as previously discussed.
- Highway Report
- All of the Irene projects are done. The documentation of the work has been turned in to Mary Andes at the State. The AOT representative, Michael Blakslee, stopped in and saw the projects so both he and Mr. Masterson are ready to sign the Completion Forms, which we should be getting from the state soon. This will be the very last step in the paperwork, unless Ms. Andes indicates that she needs something more.
- Masterson looked at an eroding bank on Farnsworth Brook Rd, with a permit specialist from the agency of natural resources. It is going to cost roughly $25,000-$30,000 for the two sections which are sliding. A written recommendation will be ready in the next few weeks.
- At the Town Garage/Office location the chloride tanks have been moved, blocks placed into the north bank by the garage, to keep the bank from eroding into the parking lot, and the parking lot regraded and re-graveled.
- New truck is at Tenco, old truck is ready for pick up.
- “Truck Entering” signs will be placed around the corner on 12A by the garage, by the state as a part of the road work.
- Trees are being undercut by the brook next to Thresher Road, and threaten to fall into the road, and/or divert the water and cause the road to washout. Mr. Masterson will be contacting Dr. Caton, the landowner, to get permission to cut the trees since they are outside of the Town’s right of way.
- Caulfield had asked about the guardrail, or lack thereof, at the culvert at the bottom of Hockman Hill Rd. The guardrail and new signs were promised in 2013 through the High Risk Rural Road Program, and were supposed to be installed last year, but that hasn’t happened yet. They were promised again this year, and now it has been pushed into next year.
- The board, Mr. Masterson, and Mr. Rea talked about the paving on Mobile Acres Road. The project was put out to bid in May or June. It was held up in an attempt to get a more complete evaluation of what would be the most cost effective. Mr. Masterson had asked for AOT’s help with the evaluation but they have been busy and not able to help yet. He was able to get an estimate from the state contractor to resurface the road. Bent and Mr. Masterson will review the site on Friday at 8 am, other board members and Mr. Rea may join them.
- Gravel Pit Update. The board reviewed the report from American Consulting regarding the potential Quarry Sites. On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously agreed to focus on the site directly behind the Town Office and Garage, to try and identity a location which is under 10 acres, avoids the deer yard, any wetlands, and that will best mitigate any noise issues; then have the quality and quantity of rock in that location tested by a professional. The Town has put a deposit down on the property in question. Ms. Doane advised the board that the current landowners have been approached to sell a couple acres off one corner, and the owners are interested in logging the property. The board agreed that logging would not affect the town’s interest in the property.
- Progress on the Dark Fiber installation. The estimated completion date is now Dec. 31, 2015. There will be a meeting at the Town Hall about possible spur routes on Sept. 28 at 7:00 pm., and another one sometime in the middle of October. The potential spur lines which have preliminarily been discussed are; Flint Rd/Hollyhock Hill Rd, Thresher Rd/Woodchuck Hollow Rd, and, Murphy Rd area. Mr. Caulfield also advised that he got an email from VTel, advising him that he can get high speed internet in his area now. Mr. Evans has heard the same thing and will be looking into it. This topic will be discussed next Monday (9/21/2015) at 1pm at the Braintree Town Office when the Connectivity Committee meets.
- The Planning Commission recommended appointing Ms. Jarvis as the Zoning Administrator. Jarvis had provide the board with a proposed new work scheduled. On motion of Ms. Doane, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the board approved Ms. Jarvis’ appointment as Zoning Administrator and an increase in hours to 40 per week (from 35). The vote was 4 in favor, one opposed 1.
- The board discussed the purchasing policy. There were no proposed changes. The board reviewed the preliminary suggested computers. On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board approved spending up to the $1,900 budget, and leave it to Mr. Masterson, and Ms. Jarvis to work out exactly which two of the proposed computers to purchase.
- Bent would like to have a radio as the Fire Warden. It was discussed briefly and it was decided that he would try out the handheld radio that the highway crew already has.
On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously approved the Payment Orders.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Bent the board adjourned the meeting at 8:06 pm.
Holly Jarvis, Admin. Assistant