Braintree Selectboard Meeting
February 2, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Richard Bowen, Selectboard Member Keegan Haupt, Resident
Linda Doane, Selectboard Member Brian Jones, Resident
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Stewart Kinney, Resident
Timothy Caulfield, Selectboard Chair Jackson Evans, Connectivity Committee, ECFiber Rep.
Paul Kendall, Selectboard Member Lisa Gauvin, Alternate ECFiber Rep.
Mr. Caulfield called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
The board reviewed the agenda. The screener was added under the highway report.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously approved the minutes of January 19, 2016, as corrected.
- Stewart Kinney was concerned that the board is still looking into the property behind the garage for a gravel pit site. His concerns are that it is a deer yard and that blasting so close to other properties and wells could cause problems for the Town. He stayed for the update later on in the agenda.
- Semi-Annual Report: Connectivity Committees.
- This year the Vermont Telecommunication Authorities (VTA) has worked on setting up a dark fiber network which runs from Chelsea through Braintree. There were some permitting delays but the raw fiber is on the pole. Next they will be making the connection points on the fiber for connecting to homes, and installing the hub. The committee will continue to assist where they can to facilitate the installation of the dark fiber in Braintree. They are anticipating connections to residents in summer or fall of 2016.
- VTel is setup and is reaching as many people who fall within the range of their cell towers.
- The committee plans to put together a handout which would explain what sort of high-speed internet services are available in Braintree. A map or maps would be included to indicate where different service providers provide service.
- Gravel Pit Update:
- It was advised that after the last meeting Rob Townsend had sent the Selectboard an email clearly stating what he had inferred during the last meeting. It is his opinion that the softness of the material behind the garage could cause problems for roads. He also indicated that he is not seeing evidence to indicate that the material would get substantially harder deeper down, as Mr. Bouramia believes. Therefore the two experts that the Town had hired to help with the evaluation of the site behind the garage disagree on the interpretation of the test results.
- In the search for another expert to provide an opinion regarding the gravel tested, Mr. Kendall was given Kevin Gadapee’s name. He is the Branch Manager at Vermont Local Roads, where he helps Road Foremen around the state with practical issues. He was a Town Road Foreman for 15 years for a town with 100 miles of gravel roads, before moving to Vermont Local Roads. He was skeptical of the softer material found behind the garage, thinking that it would not be satisfactory. He also has had good experience blending materials to get the proper level of fines, as might be possible with the material out on the Rocky Farm.
- Mr. Caulfield had agreed to get a long term bid from Tuckers’ pit in Randolph Center. He has already contacted R. E. Tucker and should have the bid in about a week.
- Mr. Caulfield has also asked around trying to find an expert at the State level who could provide an opinion about the test results. The District Adviser, Chris Bump’s name was the one he had gotten. Mr. Caulfield has recently forwarded him the test results for review.
- Mr. Caulfield also suggested that it is time to start a spread sheet to review the cost of each option. He will do a first draft before the next meeting.
- Mr. Keegan Haupt provided an estimate he had previously received to upgrade the road to the quarry on Rocky Farm so that it would be adequate for truck traffic. The estimate is $116,325.00 to upgrade 1.25 miles of road (that would bring it to 16 feet wide). This bid was to Mr. Haupt’s specification. No Town road specification had been discussed.
- The possibility of getting gravel from Sam Paddock was briefly discussed. Mr. Kendall has talked with Mr. Paddock, who is not interested in selling the gravel under his hay field.
- Highway Report
- Mr. Masterson advised that it is grant season. The Better Back Road Grant application is out. They are offering two types this year: one for erosion problems on roads which is for up to $25,000 ($20,000 state, $5,000 local) and one for culverts which is for up to $50,000 ($40,000 grant, $10,000 local). The State Structure grant application is also out which is for up to $175,000. Both will need to be compiled.
- On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Caulfield, the board unanimously approved the updated equipment rates as presented for the Rochester Hollow Winter Maintenance. The rates needed to be updated because they hadn’t been reviewed since 2014, and we are now using a bigger truck to plow and sand the road.
- Irene Completion – FEMA came today to inspect the work done related to Irene recovery and they seem to be happy with everything.
- The road postings were put out today. They will be posted until May unless the roads freeze up hard again.
- The board discussed the screener. Mr. Caulfield will write the letter asking Hook’s to write us a check, or return the screener. They have had enough time to try it out at this point.
- Stagecoach Road Update: Paul Gillies went through the Town Records in preparation to defend the Town against the Simpson/Poulin suit. As he was leaving he indicated that he feels the Town is in good shape with the case.
- The board reviewed the list of uses the tractor was used for, along with the number of hours it was used last year. They discussed whether or not to sell the tractor. They did not make a decision but asked Mr. Masterson to look into what the Town could get for it if it was sold out-right or traded in for a tractor with a mower.
- On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the board unanimously agreed to have the Pre-Town meeting Monday, February 29th at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall.
- On motion of Mr. Kendall, seconded by Mr. Bowen, the board unanimously agreed to reschedule the March 1st Selectboard Meeting to Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:00pm.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Ms. Doane, the board unanimously decided to go into Executive Session to meet with Mr. Evans the Town’s Representative to the ECFiber’s Governing Board, and Ms. Gauvin, the Alternate Town Representative to ECFiber’s Governing Board regarding a potential ECFiber contract.
On motion of Mr. Caulfield, seconded by Mr. Kendall, the board unanimously approved coming out of executive session. No action was needed.
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 approved adjourning the meeting at 7:45 pm.