Braintree Selectboard Meeting
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
“In accordance with the recent amendments to Vermont’s open meeting law, and in light of the ongoing public health crisis, this meeting was held via conference call. You can access the meeting at the scheduled time by calling 802-210-4472.”
Present via Remote Conference Calling:
Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member Robert Moyer, Development Review Board Chair
Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director
Kris Haupt – Cemetery Commission Chairperson Adam Wiggett, Local Business Owner
Present at Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6pm. A roll call was done to confirm what Selectboard members and citizens were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board Reviewed the agenda with Ms. O’Toole adding an Executive Session for a potential legal matter.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on May 5, 2020.
Citizen’s comments are limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizens attended.
- Highway Report- was submitted by Mr. Masterson. Ms. O’Toole received an affirmative to her query on whether the Highway Crew has already returned to working four 10 hour days. The Selectboard Members had no other questions or concerns regarding the submitted Highway Report.
Mr. Masterson stated that several local people have expressed interest in purchasing the 2009 International Truck. A brief discussion ensued on what the value is and what price the Town of Braintree should ask for the truck without the plow and wing. A decision was made to accept the highest offer.
- Development Review Board Report – Mr. Moyer reported that the Development Review Board has had no real business since his report in November 2019 except for a conversation in January 2020 between Braintree, Brookfield and Randolph about sharing the Zoning Administrator. Ms. O’Toole informed Mr. Moyer that Mr. Gary Blatz has accepted the Zoning Administration appointment. Mr. Moyer was assisting Mr. Masterson with a local ANR permit application for highway work in a floodplain zone and will do further research on the requirement of a permit.
- Cemetery Commission Report – Mr. Kris Haupt stated that the Cemetery Commission in late April started the Spring cleanup and up-righting of fallen and fixing of broken Gravestones in the Town of Braintree cemeteries. Due to the COVID-19 any meetings or business of the Cemetery Commission will be done via telephone and the Town’s Administrative Assistant will post the meeting warnings. Mr. Haupt has requested estimates from Green Valley Memorials to clean stones in some of the cemeteries. Mr. Haupt also indicated that there are several large trees near the Mann Cemetery that need to come down before being blown down and take out many stones in the cemetery.
- Old business
- COVID-19 Follow-up
Mr. Timothy Caulfield reported that RAMAN, along with its original duty of providing assistance to businesses and citizens, is now working on a campaign prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Braintree, Brookfield and Randolph area by testing and contact follow-up and to continue having citizens remain focused on handwashing, wearing masks and social distancing. RAMAN is working with Gifford so any citizen who wants testing can now be tested at Gifford or their Primary Care Physician. RAMAN is also setting up routine testing of owners/employees at area businesses that are open so that said employees do not spread COVID-19. Mr. McMeekin asked Mr. Caulfield if the general population should be getting this test and Mr. Caulfield stated that in order to get tested a person must still go through their Primary Care Physician. Those that should definitely get tested are people who are ill and believe they may have COVID-19 or if a person believes an exposure with an infected person may have occurred and believe they may be asymptomatic or a carrier.
Office Closure To Public – The Emergency Order has been extended to June 15th and has been modified from Stay Home Stay Safe to Be Smart Be Safe as the State of Vermont slowly opens back up. The Town Office will continue to be open by appointment only until June 15th or until the restructuring of the office for COVID-19 safety is completed.
Restructuring the Office for Safety – Mr. McMeekin stated that what is mandatory is moving the counter back 6 inches and have the Clear Breath Guard along the whole counter. Ms. Brassard indicated that although this isn’t really COVID-19 related a two level “Dutch Farmhouse” door should be placed at the end of the counter leading into the vault and her area; in the past a swinging gate was used. A Scope of Work will be created for the necessary required work for potential need to go out to bid. A remodel of the bathroom and closet was discussed by the Selectboard and Ms. Brassard; as these are discretionary items a separate Scope of Work may be mandatory.
- Remote Working – The process of remote working is going fine.
- Properties With Trash Problems – Mr. Burson reported on his research into this matter and provided a sample of another town’s Trash Ordinance which states that any trash needs to be taken to a State approved facility. If trash does build up, then a warning letter is submitted to the property owner and if the letter is not heeded then a $100 fine is presented and if that fine is not paid a $500 fine is written and the fines continue to increase if not paid and citation to a Judicial Board will be written. Ms. O’Toole stated that there is a Tribunal in White River Junction that has jurisdiction over tickets that are written for ordinances violations. Mr. Burson will continue researching the topic and definition of some categories.
- New business
- Braintree Land For Sale – A local Real Estate Agent reached out to Ms. O’Toole regarding the land behind the Town Office and Town Garage going on the market and the owner wanted to provide the town with the first option to purchase said property. After a brief discussion on the merit of owning this property the Selectboard decided to not pursue the purchase of the property.
- Gillespie Fuels & Propane, Inc. 2020-2021 Price Protection Plans – after a review of the Price Protection Plans used in 2019-2020 the Selectboard decided
On motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the renewal of Gillespie Fuels & Propane, Inc. Price Protection Plan Option 2 for all four fuel Accounts.
- Jackson Evans resignation as Braintree’s Delegate to the ECFiber, effective March 2021. Mr. Evans has recruited Morgan Eastman as the Alternative ECFiber Delegate to learn the process before Mr. Evans leaves.
- Appointment of Alternate EC Fiber Delegate –
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the appointment of Ms. Eastman as Alternate ECFiber Delegate.
- Braintree LHMP – Approval Pending Adoption –
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously adopted the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan for 2020.
- Opportunities for solar installations on town property – Mr. Bent and Mr. Burson have met with local solar panel array providers regarding leasing the old quarry pit property to install solar panel arrays at this site. Mr. Adam Wiggett, a local provider, participated in the brief public discussion on what the benefits to the Town of Braintree would be. With no further public discussion the topic was tabled to be further discussed in Executive Session and at the next open Selectboard Meeting.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:14 P.M. for a legal matter.
At 7:25 P.M. The Selectboard came out of the Executive Session with no decision made.
- Payment orders – There are no Payment Orders at this time.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:25 p.m.