Janice Russell

Jul 062020
 

WARNING OF SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BRAINTREE BOARD OF LISTERS

TO HEAR GRIEVANCES for 2020

July 7th 9:00am, July 8th 9:00am, July 9th 9:00am & July 11th 9:00am

Phone-in Meeting Number 802-210-4472

 

JULY 7th

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order
  2. Hear Grievances as Scheduled or Requested
  3. Recess

 

JULY 8th

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order
  2. Hear Grievances as Scheduled or Requested
  3. Recess

 

JULY 9th

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order
  2. Hear Grievances as Scheduled or Requested
  3. Recess

 

JULY 11th

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order
  2. Hear Grievances as Scheduled or Requested
  3. Adjournment

 

 

 

 

Jul 022020
 
Braintree considering future use of town gravel pit
At the next regular meeting of the Braintree selectboard, which will be held on July 7th at 6pm, the town will be considering ideas for future use of the town’s retired gravel pit located off of Riford Brook Rd in Braintree. The selectboard is interested in hearing from Braintree residents and other interested parties about the future use of the pit. Discussion about possibilities for future use have so far included development of a solar array and proposals have been submitted informally by some solar developers. To participate in the discussion, please visit www.braintreevt.com for information on remote/virtual participation, or see the meeting warnings which will be posted at the Braintree Town Office, the Town Hall, and the Snowsville General Store. In person participation is not possible at this time given the limitations on public gatherings.
Jul 012020
 

Braintree CC Meeting of 24 June 2020

 

Attendees: Paul Shriver, Gina Logan, Linda Morse,

 

Convened at 7:10 pm

 

Minutes of 27 May were approved unanimously.

 

Linda and Tom Cooch worked at the Thayer Brook area pulling chervil and knotweed. The carpeting has been successful in suppressing growth. Much remains to be done.

 

  • Next workday Monday 13th or Tuesday 14th We’ll check in over the weekend and reschedule if it’s forecast for rain or >90.

 

Pollinator talk?

  • Paul talked to Jenny Davis about a follow-on to their backyard bee planting.
  • By Zoom, aim for August. Possible dates on the 19th and 26th of August.
  • Speaker before a date… Linda will dig up her names from Vermont ANR.

 

Solar array at the old gravel pit  – We’re waiting to hear from the SB

 

Adjourned at 7:56

 

Next meeting: 22 July 2020 at 7 pm by Zoom

 

/s/ Joan Richmond-Hallan

 

Warning

 Town Clerk/Treasurer  Comments Off on Warning
Jun 242020
 

Warning

The Braintree Board of Abatement (BOA) will be meeting June 30, 2020 at 6:00 pm at the Braintree Town office to consider the following:

  • Abatement of Cameron Cates’ penalty and interest on delinquent taxes
  • Abatement of Melissa Sherman’s penalty and interest on delinquent taxes

Upon conclusion of the BOA meeting the Braintree Board of Civil Authority (BCA) will meet to set the place and time for the August 11, 2020 primary vote.  Also, to set workers for the same.

To decide the place and time of the November Presidential Election.  We will discuss election protocol and safe measures to be put in place.

Also, we will discuss getting Justice of the Peace names on the August ballot.

 

“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.”

 

Braintree’s 2020 Town-Wide Reappraisal

 Listers News  Comments Off on Braintree’s 2020 Town-Wide Reappraisal
Jun 232020
 

Braintree Summary of Changes in Real Property Values

 

Braintree’s 2020 Town-Wide Reappraisal

The town has just completed a full, town-wide reappraisal. The last town-wide reappraisal was completed in 2010. Over the course of the ten since our last reappraisal, a great deal has changed: the real estate market has gone up and down…and up again; properties have depreciated or were improved. The town-wide reappraisal has provided the opportunity to take a current, much needed snapshot of real estate in Braintree.

 

The tax rate will be set after the completion of formal hearings and after the State finalizes the statewide education property tax rates. Do not equate a change in assessment with a change in tax amounts.

 

Every effort has been made to equitably assess property in Braintree.  We encourage you to compare your property with similar properties, and with properties that have sold over the past three years.

 

A summary list all properties showing old and new values available on the Town of Braintree website: Braintree Summary of Changes in Real Property Values and at the Braintree Town Office

 

In a normal year, a town-wide reappraisal suchs as this is a massive undertaking – in the midst of a pandemic, it has been all the more challenging. Given these circumstances, there are a few items we would like to address to supplement the notices that were mailed to all property owners on June 22, 2020.

 

Combined date of value and onset of COVID-19.

In Vermont, Listers and reappraisal companies are responsible to set values every year as of April 1st.  As mentioned above, the last reappraisal was conducted ten years ago, creating the base on which all subsequent tax assessments were built upon. We have updated this base with new, current national building cost tables, updated depreciation and a new land schedule as of April 1, 2020.  Part of the process was inspections.  We completed nearly all of the field based inspection work on this project last fall with two appraisers visiting properties in the summer and through the fall.  All buildings were carefully measured and evaluated for the quality, condition and utility each contributes to the value.  Land was reviewed using tools such as the surveys and parcel maps, aerial photographs, the GIS ortho layers and any other available information.  Through the winter and into the spring the Listers and appraisers completed the data entry and review.

 

The State of Vermont, like other states and areas in the world were impacted late winter by the novel coronavirus.  We were ordered to stay at home, except for essential travel on March 25th.  This is a week prior to the date of value (April 1) on our project.  The travel, visitation and business restrictions have been slowly relaxed since that time and a few of the outstanding inspections for the reappraisal were made in a responsible and safe manner as needed.  Throughout the project we attempted not to jeopardize the health or safety of any property owners or ourselves.

 

Long-term and present economic situation.

Real estate values are impacted in large part by local, regional and national economic situations. For instance, the middle of the first decade of this millennium saw a tremendous growth in property values. Some property values were increasing by as much as one-percent per month from 2003 through 2007 in most parts of Vermont.  Although robust that increase was not as great as some other parts of the county such as California, Virginia and Florida.  The market collapse and economic downturn in late 2007 and 2008 had an equally devastating impact on property values in these states just listed and, to a lesser extent, parts of Vermont.

 

Early in the last decade, there were signs of the national recession in the central Vermont real estate market.  There were more foreclosures, properties “under water”, longer marketing periods and greater inventory of properties for sale.  During this period the Braintree Grand List was fixed on the values set in the last reappraisal at the 2010 level.

 

The Braintree real estate market seems to have recovered almost to the pre-recessionary period.  We have observed recent sales at or above these levels.  There are fewer properties for sale, especially at the most active price level.  The real estate market appears to be both more healthy and stable, immediately preceding the recent pandemic.

 

The recent virus outbreak has had a mixed impact on real estate values in Braintree.  For a while sales activity, like many other businesses, was frozen.  For roughly a month, people in Vermont were not permitted to travel for the purpose of buying or selling real estate as that was not considered essential.  People became more creative in marketing with the use of technology.  Vermont’s (best state in the nation) track record of low outbreaks forced new sales by folks from other places purchasing site-unseen at times with cash and no conditions.

 

These phenomena (the outbreak and sales to in-migrants) are noted but not conclusive evidence of changes to the real estate market for different reasons.  Both the virus outbreak and resulting “Stay Home – Stay Safe” order issued by Governor Phil Scott are extraordinary circumstances.  There are few times in our nation’s history we have been asked to stay at home, business activities closed and economic incentives developed by the national and state governments to the extent we recently experienced.  Although we saw some random spike in panic-type purchases after 9-11, the recent Vermont transfers due to the epidemic also seem generally unprecedented.  Finally, both the virus and any relocation sales have occurred very close and since the date of value.  As of the date the current reappraisal values were published, there was insufficient evidence of either positive or negative market changes to support the longer-term sales period studied and used as a basis for the new values.  As your Listers we are duty-bound to keep track of the real estate market in Braintree and will make adjustments to the base in the future, as warranted on a town-wide basis.

 

 

Grievance Format: The grievance process this year will offer an optional, informal pre-grievance hearing portion in order to allow time for the listers and appraisers to help property owners understand the changes made to their property assessment as well as an statutory grievance hearing period.

 

Informal Hearings/Question & Answer: The Listers and Appraisers who prepared the assessments will be available to answer any questions you may have or to provide you with additional information. Due to the health threat caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations based on public health and safety, these informal hearings will be conducted over the phone.

  • DATES FOR INFORMAL HEARINGS:
    • Tuesday June 30 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
    • Wednesday July 1 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
    • Thursday July 2 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
    • Appointments will last 15 – 20 minutes.
  • To schedule a time for an informal hearing, email braintreelister@gmail.com or call (802)728-9787 extension 5 and leave a message. You will receive an email or call back from the listers to schedule your appointment.
  • You will be called at the phone number you provide on the day and time of your appointment to discuss your assessment.

 

Formal Grievance Hearings: It is your statutory right to appeal this assessment. Due to the health threat caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations based on public health and safety, we will not be holding face-to-face grievance hearings. All hearings will be held over the phone.

 

  • If you wish to grieve, you MUST SUBMIT AN APPEAL IN WRITING by July 6, 2020. (You may wish to use the Grievance Appeal Form available on the town website LINK TO APPEAL APPLICATION.).
  • DATES FOR GRIEVANCE HEARINGS:
    • Tuesday July 7 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
    • Wednesday July 8 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
    • Thursday July 9 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
    • Saturday July 11 from 9:00am to noon
    • Appointments will last 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Appeals may be mailed to 932 VT Route 12A, Braintree, VT 05060 or hand delivered to the town office drop box. Please include contact information in your written appeal including a phone number.
  • Following the receipt of your written appeal, you will be contacted to schedule a phone grievance hearing.
  • On the date and time of your grievance hearing you will need to call the Town of Braintree’s Conference Line Number: 802-210-4472. If you have issues getting through, please call the listers at 802-728-9878 extension 5.
  • If we are unable to reach you on grievance day, and you do not return our call by the end of grievance hearings, your grievance will be decided based upon the materials provided with your written appeal.
  • The Listers and Appraisers will carefully read every document submitted on behalf of a property owner. Types of documents you may wish to submit:
    • Clear, informative, accurate comments based on an opinion of the owner or qualified professional.
    • Pictures are helpful, in lieu of or to supplement narrative descriptions.
    • A recent certified market analysis, current real estate appraisal and up to date home inspection reports.
  • SITE VISITS DURING GRIEVANCE HEARINGS: The Listers and Appraisers will do our best to complete any field work necessary to better understand properties as part of this project. We were successful in inspecting a majority of the interior spaces and all exterior unless prevented from doing so by the owner.  We stand prepared to complete any necessary additional inspections as needed.  Please contact the Listers Office if we did not inspect previously and there is now a safe and mutually convenient time to complete this part of the appraisal.  This is particularly important if we have overstated the size, quality, utility or condition of the finished space(s).
  • RESULT OF GRIEVANCE: Within seven (7) days following the close of grievance hearings, you will be notified in writing by the listers of the result of your grievance hearing. This notice will outline the method and timeline to appeal to the Board of Civil Authority, in the event you are unsatisfied with the outcome.

 

We would like to thank all property owners and the Town Officers and staff for your support though the project.  We have found people as a rule to be cooperative and understanding of our goal and we appreciate that approach.

 

Respectfully,

 

Braintree Board of Listers &

Vermont Appraisal Company

 

Jun 192020
 

Minutes

Braintree Selectboard Meeting

Tuesday, June 16, 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:

Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member           Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member

Adam Wiggett, Local Business Owner                   Paul Kendall – Citizen 

Charles Farrington – Highway crew member  

 

Present at Town Office:

Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson         Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer

Loren Bent, Selectboard Member                 Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman

Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member           Jeff Holmes, Sterling Mountain Solar

Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant   Will Veve, Sterling Mountain Solar

 

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 and Ms. O’Toole made a correction to the Highway Report stating that the year of the International Truck for sale is 2009 and not 2013.  Ms. Brassard added under New Business the Sullivan & Powers & Co., P.C. Scope of Services.  Ms. O’Toole added the Solar Array plans discussion to the Executive Session.

 

On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on May 5, 2020 with the correction of the for sale International Truck year from 2013 to 2009. 

  • Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum

 

  • Reports
  • Highway Report
  • To prevent extra work or a hole in the ground Mr. Masterson wants to keep the current injured Maple Tree up until a new tree has actually been purchased.  Ms. Brassard proposed that we replace the Maple with 2 Crab Apple Trees for around a total cost of $230.  The Selectboard agreed with the suggestion to not remove the current tree until new trees have arrived and to the proposal to purchase 2 Crab Apple Trees.
  • Swapping the Selling of the 2009 International Truck to selling the 2001 International, aka the Chloride Truck.  Mr. Masterson informed the Board that no one has shown real interest in the 2009 International; only offering low bids. The current 2001 Chloride Truck needs serious work to the frame and could easily be replaced by the 2009 International Truck and the Town could then scrap the 2001 International and receive an estimated $1,000.00.  A brief discussion ensued about the advantages and disadvantages of creating a cage for the Chloride Tank so it could be transferred to different trucks and then selling both the 2001 and 2009 International.  The Board decided that the best solution would be to keep the 2009 International and make it the Chloride Truck and sell the 2001 International Truck as scrap for the best price that can be received.

 

  • Old business
  • COVID-19 Follow-up
    • Office Closure To Public – The Town Office will continue to be closed to the Public until at least July 7th, 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 – Mr. McMeekin informed the Board that Portland Glass had surveyed the space and then provided an estimate of $1,270.00 for the tempered 1/4” clear glass with factory polished edges that they will mount in the provided farme.  Mr. McMeekin is experiencing difficulties finding a contractor/carpenter that is available to complete the required safety upgrades to the office and requested suggestions for local contractors/carpenters from the other Board members.  Mr. McMeekin will start contacting the suggested contractors/carpenters on Wednesday.
    • Remote Working – No employee is working remotely at this time.
    • RAMAN update from Tim Caulfield – As Mr. Caulfield was not able to join the Selectboard Meeting tonight he provided the Board with a brief written summary. The Board members had no questions on the summary.  Ms. O’Toole informed the Board that Governor Scott had extended the State of Emergency with an Executive Order with revisions until July 15, 2020.
  • Trashy Neighbors Research Follow-up- Mr. Burson has carried out more research on Trash Ordinances in Vermont and found a Town of Chester Ordinance Model that he particularly likes.  He will continue to do research and prepare a Trash Ordinance for the Selectboard to review at the July 7, 2020 meeting.
  • Opportunities for solar installations on town property
  • Potential Riford Brook Road Solar Array 

Sterling Mountain Solar – Jeff Holmes and his partner, Will Veve, handed out a written plan for the redeveloping of the parcel for a Solar Array.  The Plan detailed the site design of the solar arrays, the composition of the solar panels and the ability to recycle the panels.   Assistance with State and Federal Regulations that need to be followed, especially Section 248 and Act 250, and costs incurred in the closure of a gravel pit and opening of a solar array will be provided to the Town of Braintree by Sterling Mountain.  The Plan also included both purchasing and rental agreements of the site and what further Road Maintenance etc. Sterling Mountain would expect from the Town.   Mr.’s Holmes and Veve reiterated that Sterling Mountain would need control of the land before any permitting process could begin.  The Solar Mountain presentation also detailed the benefits to the town regarding supplying electricity to the Green Mountain Power Grid, especially Net Metering Credits.  These projects are built to go for 20 or 25 years, which is the timeline for material warranties, with Net Metering Credits being extended for 35 or 40 years and the solar panels are solid and do not contain any liquids inside them and are constructed using recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their use.  The Net Metering Credits could be extended to qualified Town facilities such as the Elementary School, Town Hall, etc.  At the end of the Solar Array’s useful life, by State Regulation, a decommissioning agreement is required that states the removal of the panels and returning the land to its former status of open land will be completed.

  • Adam Wiggett – Adam Wiggett, Inc. – Mr. Wiggett’s presentation was much shorter as all the pertinent information regarding permitting, timelines, Net Metering Credits, etc. were covered in the Sterling Mountain Solar’s presentation.  Mr. Wiggett did inform the Board that as his business is local and everything he would provide, including the labor, would be provided locally and help the Tri-Town economy.   

 

Ms. O’Toole, due to her position as an attorney at the Agency of Natural Resources will participate in discussions but recuse herself from the making of a final decision on the Solar Array proposals. 

 

  • New business
  • Potential WiFi hotspot installation – Ms. O’Toole spoke with the Public Service Department employee who had reached out to the Town regarding the State assisting the Town to do a very quick install of a WiFi Hotspots.  The cost to the Town would be just the price of the equipment and then the license after 1 year.  The Town does currently provide free WiFi outside the Town Office with password instructions posted on the front door.  Ms. Brassard suggested that having the ability to utilize a WiFi Hotspot at the Town Hall or School may be a good idea for future need. 
  • Review summer projects and assigned selectboard responsibilities – Ms. O’Toole reviewed who is the lead on current projects.  The Solar Array Project main point of contact is going to be Loren Bent to coordinate with the Board.  Mr. Burson will coordinate the future of the Highway Department as Mr. Masterson transitions into retirement and the need for a new Highway Foreman and Road Commissioner.  Mr. McMeekin will lead, and coordinate with Mr. Haupt, on the office restructuring for safety purposes..
  • Sullivan, Powers & Co., P.C. – Scope of Work.  The Board reviewed the Scope of Work for the Annual Audit that the Town hires out.   The price included in the Scope of Work is the same cost as last year’s audit and does fall within the amount budgeted for said audit.  The only difference in the Scope of Work is the audit will be done remotely due to COVID-19 and will require more copying and scanning by the office staff. The audit occurs at the end of October.

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously voted to sign the Scope of Work for this year’s audit to be conducted by Sullivan, Powers & Co., P.C.

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:14 P.M. for a discussion of both personnel and legal matters.

 

  • Executive Session –The Board returned from Executive Session at 8 PM with no decision being made on either the personnel or legal matters.

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously voted, with Mr. Bent abstaining, to approve and apply the Merit and Cost of Living increases for the Administrative Assistant and Highway Crew that were contemplated during the budgeting process last December. 

 

  • Payment orders – Messrs Bent and McMeekin reviewed the Payment Orders.

 

On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.

 

  • Adjournment

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 8:14 p.m.  

Jun 172020
 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Town buildings will be closed to the public until July 21st or until further notice.   Town staff will continue to be available on limited hours, to assist residents by phone, e-mail, U.S. Postal Service, and by appointment with preventive protocols in place. Meetings of all boards are to either be cancelled until further notice or be held by phone conferencing in accordance with the Open Meeting Law, as close as possible.

WHAT IF I NEED SOMETHING?

  • TAX PAYMENTS:  At this point, tax payments are delinquent.  Please call for the new amount owed before mailing in your payment.  You can also leave your payment in the drop-box to the right of the door.
  • TAX BILL COPIES:  If you need a copy of your tax bill, please call or email us!  We can email and fax copies to you or your tax preparer or mail them to you.
  • LAND RECORDS RESEARCH:  Our vault is available for research BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  The decision to come to our offices will be at your discretion.  We WILL NOT conduct research for anyone regardless of the current situation as we do not carry Title Insurance and could be held liable should incorrect documentation be mistakenly sent.  If you have deed references (book/page required) you may request documents to be emailed to you with an invoice attached.
  • ROAD CREW: Road crew operations will follow guidelines set-up by the Governor and VTRANS.
  • Stay Healthy!

Town Clerk/Treasurer/Delinquent Tax Collector – 802-728-9787 x3

Administrative Assistant – 802-728-9787 x6

Listers – 802-728-9787 x5

Road Foreman – 802-728-9787 x4

For more information:

Jun 122020
 

Braintree PC meeting of 11 June 2020

 

Attending: Paul Kendall, Malcom Fitzpatrick, Jackson Evans, Joan Richmond-Hall

 

Convened at 7:06 pm

 

Discussed the implementation matrix in chapter 5.

 

  • Regarding increasing setbacks from streams Macolm argues for keeping the 50-foot minimum and then asking for site plan review by the DRB if the building is within that distance. A set of criteria would have to be developed. One way of look at that is a variance or waiver.
    • Use language that suggest that the UB revise it to increase flood resilience.

 

  • Malcolm suggests that we encourage the development of construction of community solar.

 

  • Malcolm suggests that new development be reviewed to minimize runoff.
    • Joan will email Jeff about the use of small retention ponds in road ditching. Is this allowed by state road standards and their grants program.

 

  • Comments on the implementation matrix
  • Discussion of what audiences we’d like to have review and comment on the plan or specific parts of it. Partial list here:
    • Selectboard and Braintree town officials
    • Bob Moyer
    • Neighboring PCs
    • Joshua Jerome in Randolph
    • RASTA and similar organizations
    • Housing guy….
    • TRORC
    • Josh Hannaford, VT HCD
    • Nate Cleveland, VT ACCD

 

Next steps:

All: Please consider priority level and timeline for the SB items in Chapter 5.

Malcolm: review of water related chapters

Joan: fact and statistic checking

 

  • Get a copy of the Chapter 5 implementation matrix to the SB prior to our next meeting to get their reactions to their responsibilities.

 

Adjourned at 7:59 pm

 

Next meeting: 7 pm on 9 July 2020 by phone at, 802-210-4472

[23 July if Joan needs more time; Joan to notify group by 25 June if this rollback is needed.]

 

/s/ Joan Richmond-Hall

 

Jun 052020
 

Minutes

Braintree Selectboard Meeting

Tuesday, June 2, 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:

Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member           Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director

Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member                              Jackson Evans, Chair of Braintree Listers

Adam Lang, President of Lost Nation ATV Club

 

Present at Town Office:

Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson                          Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer

Loren Bent, Selectboard Member                                               Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman

Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member

 

Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6pm.  A roll call was performed 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 personnel matter.

 

On motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, 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.

 

  • Reports
  • Highway Report- was submitted by Mr. Masterson.  Ms. O’Toole queried on the status of the beaver problem on Riford Brook Road. Masterson informed the Selectboard that the beavers are still active but that a resident on the road appears to be cleaning out the culvert for the town.
  • Green-Up Day went well but only three people gave money to pay for the recycled tires out of all the tires left at the Town Garage or along the side of the roads for pick-up. A decision was made by the Selectboard, that although the cost of recycling tires has increased, it should continue providing the Green-Up Day Drop-off for both garbage and tires at the Town Garage to prevent discarded tires along Town Roads.
  • There have been no offers on the 2009 truck.
  • Tree outside of the office building. The Braintree Tree Warden declared that the tree should be removed.  Masterson will contact him to do so.  Options for a new tree of some kind to replace the unhealthy tree are being researched.

 

  • Old business
  • COVID-19 Follow-up
    • Office Closure To Public – The Town of Braintree will continue to follow the trend of Vermont Municipalities and remain closed until at least June 15th except by appointment. Brassard will be making changes to the outside sign for clearer information regarding the ability to call for an appointment.
      • Restructuring Office For Safety – The restructuring needs and design have been discussed and measurements taken.  As this is a COVID-19 related requirement that falls under the Emergency Purchasing Policy, the Town will not need to put the work out to bid.  Estimates will be received on the construction and materials needed to complete the safety upgrades.
  • Remote Working – The Remote Working Process is functioning well although most employees are back to working regular hours in the office with a few exceptions due to lack of space on certain days.
  • RAMAN Update From Timothy Caulfield – New cases of COVID-19 in the State of Vermont remain in the single digits. As the State and Towns continue to open up businesses. Beaches, parks, etc. the numbers of infected could rise because many citizens have stopped wearing masks or practicing social distancing.  RAMAN continues to provide assistance in purchasing groceries and other needs of the area citizens.
  • Trashy Neighbors Research Follow-up – After a brief debate on the possible wording of an ordinance, the discussion was tabled until the next Selectboard Meeting.
  • Opportunities for solar installations on town property – A brief conversation ensued regarding Sterling Mountain Solar contacting Mr. Burson with plans for the site and Ms. O’Toole announcing that the Conservation Commission and Development Review Board had been contacted about the possible solar installations. Further discussion on the topic was tabled until a letter can be sent to all abutting landowners informing them of the interest in placing the solar installation on the Town Property off Riford Brook Road.

 

  • New business
  • Adam Lang, Lost Nation ATV Club, ATV Ordinance Review – After the Selectboard had reviewed the 2018 and 2019 ATV Ordinances Ms. O’Toole stated that the Town did not make any changes in the 2019 version and asked Mr. Lang if he had any recommendations. Lang proposed that the Town increase the Penalties to be in-line with the State as follows:  First Offense to $275, Second Offense to $350 and Third and Consecutive Offenses at $500.  Mr. Lang also stated that he is not in favor of opening Town roads to ATV traffic as other municipalities have done. To stay in-line with the past ATV Ordinances Penalty Waiver Fees being half of the penalty, Ms. O’Toole calculated them at First Offense $137.50, Second Offense $175 and third offense would stay the same at $250.

 

On Motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded my Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the 2020 ATV Ordinance as is with the exception of changing the Penalties Fees for First Offense to $275.00, with a Waiver Fee of $137.50, Second Offense to $350.00, with a Waiver Fee of $175.00, and Third and Consecutive Offenses would stay at $500.00 with a Waiver Fee of $250.00.

 

  • Thayer Brook Road FEMA Grant Award Review – A brief discussion about the use of the grant occurred.

 

On the Motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the signing of the Thayer Brook Road FEMA Grant Award.  

 

  • Grand List Extension Request & Form – Jackson Evans – the Grand List Extension Request & Form is because the appraisal work has been slowed down, reconfigured for outside/inspection work and entering the data into the computer due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Evans was uncomfortable having the only paper copies of the appraisals leave the office for Remote Working so all work entering the data into the computers had to be scheduled around office space time. Mr. Evans anticipates another two weeks to get all work wrapped up and send out the property change of appraisal notices, then appeals will start 14 days after the appraisal notices go out, then another 14 days for appeals before the Board of Civil Authority and then another 14 days where the property owners can appeal to the State of Vermont.  The June 4th date is a Vermont statuary date but the State basically said any town that needed an extension to get the Grand List filed could so request.

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously voted to apply for the extension to file the Grand List until August 15th of this year.

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:06 P.M. for a personnel matter.

 

  • Executive Session – The Selectboard returned from the Executive Session at 7:15 P.M. with no decision having been made.

 

  • Payment orders – Mr.’s Bent and McMeekin reviewed the Payment Orders.

 

On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.

 

  • Adjournment

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:20 p.m.  

May 282020
 

Braintree CC meeting of 27 May 2020

 

Attending: Sandy Stephens, Paul Shriver, Gina Logan, Linda Morse, Joan Richmond-Hall

 

Convened at 7:05 pm

 

 

Pollinator’s talk

Randolph (Mike Van Dyke) just did a talk on appropriate backyard habitats. Paul will touch base with them and see if we can do a pollinators talk that seems to dovetail with that.

 

Megan O’Toole let the CC know that the Selectboard is considering a solar array at the old, closed gravel pit and wants our thoughts. We support the concept and would like to be kept in the loop as things develop. (Unanimous vote in favor)

 

Work day to pull chervil and knotweed at Thayer Brook:

  • Tuesday 16 June, 9 am at Thayer Brook
  • Tuesday 23 June, 9 am at Thayer Brook
  • BYO Tools and everything else, black garbage bags too

 

Topics for future meetings:

  • Birds: watching, loss, etc
    • Bobolinks
    • Kestrel nest boxes

 

Adjourned at 7:35 pm

 

Next meeting: 24 June 2020 at 7pm by Zoom

 

/s/ Joan Richmond-Hall