Minutes Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 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:
Ron Cadrette, Braintree Citizen
Timothy Caulfield, Emergency Management Director
Present at Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member
Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member, was unable to attend the meeting.
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. A roll call was done to confirm what Committee Chairpersons and guests were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board reviewed the agenda with Ms. O’Toole requesting a TRORC notification for a Municipal Grant-In-Aid, LGER Grant Expenses Update and notification from VLCT PACIF on 2021 prices to be placed under Old Business.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on October 6, 2020.
- Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum –
Mr. Cadrette requested a status of the Lemery Road Bridge project. Mr. Burson stated that an RFP has been prepared and will go out shortly to start the bid process but that no work in rivers/streams is allowed after October 15th. A contractor will be chosen and lined up to do the work after June 1st. The plan, barring any unforeseen difficulties, is to have the project completed in this year’s budget that ends July 1st.
- Highway Report – Ms. O’Toole asked if any Board Members had questions about the Highway Report submitted by Mr. Pratt. Mr. Burson informed the Board that a complaint regarding the Granstworth Road railroad crossing had been presented to Mr. Pratt. The complaint is in regards to recent work the New England Central Railroad (NECR) performed on the crossing that left 3″ stones in the roadway which is already causing problems with vehicles and will be difficult to plow over this winter. Mr. Burson contacted NECR and was informed that NECR knew of the problem and would be making corrections to this and other crossings with similar problems. There were no other questions or concerns about the Highway Report.
- Restructuring Office For Safety – The partition glass has been installed so the project is almost complete with the upcoming new door installation being the last of the work.
- RAMAN update from Tim Caulfield – Mr. Caulfield provided a written report as well as verbal information to the Board. The State Health Officer believes that there will be a significant increase in COVID cases in the coming weeks and is urging Vermonters to continue to be vigilant in following all recommendations of mask wearing, social distancing, no large gatherings or unnecessary travel outside the State. Orange County has reported six new cases of Covid-19 in the past 9 days but there is no information in which towns the cases are located. Orange County is still the third lowest county in Vermont, and Vermont is still the lowest per capita Covid-19 state in the nation.
- Town’s options for a potential location of sand needed to replenish the 2022-2023 Stockpile – At this time there has been no further communication between the Town and the landowner but there are plans for this communication to occur soon.
- BC/BS Open Enrollment Materials for 2021 Health Insurance Coverage – A discussion ensued regarding the slight increase in the cost for the 2021 BC/BS Health Insurance Premiums for eligible employees. One update that BC/BS included in the enrollment material was the notification that BC/BS is severing their affiliation with HRA provider, HealthEquity, effective January 1st and have created their own HRA provider, “Further.” A discussion on allowing Domestic Partners to be covered under the Health Insurance plan was tabled until the next meeting.
- Town Website Overhaul Update – A brief discussion on the real need to make changes to the website occurred with Ms. Brassard informing the Board that the cost of the overhaul is covered in the Capital Budget. Ms. O’Toole will reach out to bMighty2 regarding the Selectboard’s decision and permission to move forward with the process.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the hiring of bMighty2 to update the Town of Braintree’s website.
- Laptops for Selectboard Members –Vermont Computing responded to a request by Ms. O’Toole to provide a recommendation and quote for the purchasing of laptops. Vermont Computing recommended the purchase of Lenovo 110-15 laptops at $449.99 each. The purchase of the laptops will be covered by the LGER Grant.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the purchasing of the Lenovo 110-15 Laptops from Vermont Computing at the stated price of $449.99 per laptop.
- Road Scholar Training – So further information can be gathered this item was tabled until the next meeting.
- FY 2021 VT Better Roads Notice of Award – The formal Notice of Award of the $20,000 FY 2021 VT Better Roads Grant was received from VTrans. Ms. Russell will continue gathering the information required to satisfy the grant requirements.
- Municipal Roads Grants-In Aid Program – Two Rivers-Ottauquechee provided a Letter of Intent to Participate in the Municipal Roads Grants-In-Aid Program in SFY’21. The program would provide a grant of $16,400 that requires the Town do a 20% Local Match in Cash or In-Kind of $4,100. The Selectboard members considered how this grant would be beneficial and decided it would enable the Town to improve several roads.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the signing and submission of the Letter of Intent to Participate in the Municipal Roads Grants-In-Aid Program.
- LGER Grant Updates – The State notified the Town of Braintree that before it is qualified to receive the LGER Grant Funds the Town needs to submit a FEMA Covid-19 Grant. The FEMA Covid-19 grant submittal is mandatory even if it is likely the Town will be denied by FEMA for not having the requisite minimum $3,300 eligible expenses required by the FEMA Grant. Ms. Russell will submit the FEMA Covid-19 Grant before the October 30, 2020 deadline.
- VLCT PACIF –A notification from VLCT PACIF was received informing the Town of the lowering of their rates for 2021.
- Change the November 3rd Selectboard Meeting Due to Conflict With Elections –
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved moving the November 3rd Selectboard Meeting to Thursday, November 5th.
- Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) Grant – Ms. Brassard stated that the Town has been awarded $5,000.00 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to upgrade the Town’s Election Facility and Equipment. Ms. Brassard proposed the funds be used for a Laptop, ECFiber Internet Connection at the Town Hall and new plastic folding tables to be used during Town Meeting and Elections. The Selectboard agreed and signed the Grant Paperwork
- Payment orders – The Selectboad reviewed the Payment Orders.
- On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 6:46 p.m.
Janice R. Russell