Minutes Regular Meeting
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm
“In accordance with the recent amendments to Vermont’s open meeting law, and in light of the ongoing public health crisis, this meeting will be held via conference call. You can access the meeting at the scheduled time by calling 802-210-4472.”
Present via Remote Conference Calling:
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member Adam Wiggett, Adam Wiggett, LLC
Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director
Present at Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member
Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
Mr. Haupt was unable to attend the meeting.
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:01pm. A roll call was done to confirm what Selectboard members, Committee Chairpersons and guests were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board Reviewed the agenda with no changes made.
On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on July 7, 2020.
- Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments.
- Highway Report – Mr. Masterson stated that the Town is still awaiting special glass for the mower; expecting it to be delivered next week. The Selectboard had no questions or concerns.
- Planning Commission Report – Ms. Richmond-Hall reported that the Planning Commission, after starting over from the beginning and working with TRORC, is largely done with the new town plan. The plan has been streamlined and is more direct and now focuses on our place, our people and our community. TRORC is checking that all items pass the State Statutes and the Regional Plan. The next duty of the Planning Commission will be to revamp the Zoning Ordinance to create a document that works for citizens of Braintree now and in the future.
- Old business
- COVID-19 Follow-up
- Office Closure To Public – The Town Office will continue to be closed to the Public until at least August 6th, unless an appointment by phone or e-mail is made with the Town Clerk or Administrative Assistant to enter the building. There is a drop-off box in the front of the building to leave any correspondence that does not need an immediate response.
- Restructuring Office For Safety – Michael Iddings, a local contractor will start work on the project this weekend. All materials will be billed directly to the Town of Braintree through Bethel Mills.
- RAMAN – Mr. Caulfield provided an update. It has been over 30 days since Vermont experienced a COVID-19 related death. This puts Vermont as the 10th lowest state in the U.S. The plan is for K-12 and colleges to return this Fall to in-class format of some form. Orange County has the lowest COVID-19 infections per capita in the state. The low numbers are terrific but have caused concerns at both the State and Local Levels that citizens will stop wearing masks and social distancing and the numbers will go up again.
- Trashy Neighbors Research Follow-up – Review of New Trash Ordinance – A brief discussion ensued regarding the updated draft version. Ms. O’Toole made further suggestions on the document wording. The draft Ordinance, in near final form, will be tabled until the August 6th Selectboard Meeting.
- Draft RFP Solar Array Installation at Braintree town gravel pit. –The RFP was studied and discussed by the members and Ms. Brassard. Questions arose on possible right-of-way issues to the property for the solar array and for the Town to access its stockpile of gravel and on how much direct benefit the Town would receive from the solar array. The RFP was tabled until further information on deeds and other issues can be discovered or resolved.
Adam Wiggett, Inc. – presented an idea for a Solar Array that would assist Braintree and the other OSSD communities to significantly lower the cost of school buildings electricity and also allow OSSD to earn State and Federal Tax Credits.
- ECFiber Board Representative – Ms. O’Toole requested recommendations for a representative to replace the retiring Mr. Jackson.
- Town Hall Internet Options – The Selectboard reviewed pricing options provided by ECFiber for installation of an Internet connection. The discussion was tabled until Ms. Russell can request further information from ECFiber regarding internet speed requirements needed for the Town’s use purposes.
- Access Permit Submitted For Work Across A Town Road – After reviewing the State of Vermont Class 2 Grant the Town received to rebuild the Braintree Hill Road, Ms. O’Toole informed the Town that one requirement of the Grant is that the Town maintain the work done and she believes that the work requested would not be permitted or we would have to contact the State to get permission to do the change requested on the permit. The Selectboard will request further information from the landowner regarding alternatives the Town has suggested to complete the project. The topic was tabled until the landowner has provided the requested information.
- New business
- Announcement for the vacancy position of Road Foreman – An examination of the Road Foreman job description presented by Mr. Burson was completed by the Selectboard, Mr. Masterson and Ms. Brassard. The vacancy announcement will be placed in the next issue of The Herald, on the Town’s Website and Front Porch Forum.
- Possible Change to Webmaster and Web Page – The Town is currently considering redesigning and overhauling the Town Website and making it more user friendly. Mss. Russell and Brassard are reviewing and researching other municipalities’ websites and webmasters along with the possibility of the Town creating its own domain through the new website.
- Mountain Alliance Agreement Renewal Contract – A quick review of the agreement was conducted.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the adoption of the Mountain Alliance Agreement Renewal Contract.
- Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313(a)(3).
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:30 P.M. for a discussion a personnel Matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(3).
Executive Session –The Board returned from Executive Session at 8:05 PM with no decision being made on the personnel matter.
- Payment orders – Ms. O’Toole and Mr. McMeekin reviewed the Payment Orders
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 8:11 p.m.