Janice Russell

Jul 282020
 

Highway Foreman May 2020 Highway Foreman May 2020

Application_Admin

Road Foreman Position

 

The Town of Braintree is seeking a responsible person with strong management skills for a full-time (including overtime and flexibility in winter months), year round position with the Highway Department as the Road Foreman. Applicants should have a strong background in road maintenance, construction, and repair. Applicants should also have an active Class B CDL, clean driving record, and a high school diploma (or equivalent). The position requires fluency in project management, employee management, citizen relations, safety training and standards, and maintenance and repair of Town equipment. Applications and a full job description can be found at the Town of Braintree Website: www.braintreevt.com. Applications should be submitted to braintreesb.dburson@gmail.com. Submit questions to the email above or by phone at 802-728-3879. Start date as soon as possible, and ideally no later than September 1, 2020.

Jul 242020
 

Minutes Regular Meeting

Braintree Selectboard

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.

 

  • Reports
  • 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.

 

  • Adjournment

 

On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 8:11 p.m.  

Jul 232020
 

Braintree CC meeting of 22 July 2020

 

Attending: Paul Shriver, Linda Morse, Sandy Stephen, Gina Logan

Approval of June 24th meeting minutes

Thayer Brook maintenance update:

Paul and Gina pulled chervil, the knotweed seems under control. Banana muffins were great. Vote for blueberry muffins next.

Another work date in August?

Jul 132020
 

MINUTES OF 2020 GRIEVANCE HEARINGS

BRAINTREE BOARD OF LISTERS

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

  1. Call to Order 9:00am. In attendance: Jackson Evans (Braintree Listers), Derek O’Toole (Braintree Lister), Tom Cain (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company), Sean Boyce (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company)

 

  1. Heard the Following Grievances:
Owner Name Property Location
HAUPT KRISTIN P 1559 RIFORD BROOK ROAD
NORTON MARCIA 212 MOBILE ACRES ROAD
BENT TODD 404 MURPHY ROAD
CZOK MICHAEL D JR 1972 BENT HILL ROAD
JARVIS PATRICK, MARY & ELAINE 297 CLOUGH ROAD
CARRIER ROBERTA A. 2107 RIFORD BROOK ROAD
DUBE DAVID P 134 BRAINSTORM ROAD
BALLOU, CARL W 1115 MUD POND ROAD
THRESHER CARL H 273 WOODCHUCK HOLLOW  ROAD
THRESHER CARL 1137 CONNECTICUT CORNERS ROAD
FERRIS JOYCE W  TRUST ESTATE 1257 THRESHER ROAD
FERRIS ROBERT D TRUST ESTATE 0 VERMONT ROUTE 12A
VINCENT JAMES 1863 RIFORD BROOK ROAD
ALLEN IV GEORGE I 974 FARNSWORTH BROOK ROAD

 

  1. Following the above hearings, which were completed at 3:00pm, meeting was recessed until 9:00am Wednesday July 8 on motion of O’Toole seconded by Evans.

 

JULY 8th

  1. Call to Order 9:00am. In attendance: Jackson Evans (Braintree Listers), Derek O’Toole (Braintree Lister) by phone.
  2. Having no hearings Scheduled or Requested meeting was recessed at 9:05am until 9:00am Thursday July 9 on motion of O’Toole seconded by Evans.

 

 

JULY 9th

  1. Call to Order 9:00am. In attendance: Jackson Evans (Braintree Listers), Derek O’Toole (Braintree Lister), Tom Cain (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company), Sean Boyce (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company)
  2. Heard the Following Grievances:
Owner Name Property Location
FOX ELLEN 1468 CONNECTICUT CORNERS ROAD
FOLEY CATHERINE R 201 JARVIS ROAD
LAMPHERE JOHN C TRUST 824 MUD POND ROAD
FERRIS MICHAEL 4325 VERMONT ROUTE 12A
DELAGE STANLEY J 0 HOCKMAN HILL ROAD
FITZPATRICK MALCOLM 505 FLINT ROAD
CADRETTE ELLEN L 944 LEMERY ROAD
KIRCHHOF CHRISTOPHER 3079 RIFORD BROOK ROAD
FLINT FRED A 596 FLINT ROAD
HOUSING FOUNDATION INC 0  MOBILE ACRES MOBILE HOME PARK
WINTER LESLIE TRUSTEE 551 CRAIG HILL ROAD
COLLETTE JORDAN 4803 VERMONT ROUTE 12A
HALL KEVIN R 327 DUCLOS ROAD
BRADLEY JOHN G 65 ALLEN DRIVE
WHEATLEY CAROL A 876 BRAINTREE HILL ROAD
FOLEY SHIRLEY 2351 BENT HILL ROAD
REVIT LAWRENCE J. 60 MURPHY ROAD
HAUPT KEEGAN 2288 ROCKY FARM ROAD

 

  1. Following the above hearings, which were completed at 4:00pm, meeting was recessed until 9:00am Saturday July 11 on motion of O’Toole seconded by Evans.

 

 

JULY 11th

  1. Call to Order 9:00am. In attendance: Jackson Evans (Braintree Listers), Derek O’Toole (Braintree Lister), Tom Cain (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company), Sean Boyce (appraiser, VT Appraisal Company)
  2. Heard the Following Grievances:
Owner Name Property Location
TABOR MICHAEL R 2901 RIFORD BROOK ROAD
BLANCHARD CHRISTOPHER M 25 JONESVILLE ROAD
MCCAULEY PAUL 2858 THRESHER ROAD
PERRIN DAVID L 2600 VERMONT ROUTE 12A
VINTON SAMUEL JASON 55 NORTH ROAD
VINTON FAMILY LAND, LLC 50 FOWLER ROAD
KELLY JOHN JR 40 FLETCHER ROAD
POIRIER MARLENE STAPLES BURNS 5235 VERMONT ROUTE 12
FRUNCEK PETER M 1052 PETH ROAD
BURROUGHS SYLVIA A LIFE ESTATE 589 WALKER ROAD
HUNT PHILLIP 78 FOWLER ROAD
LAMPHERE JOHN C TRUST 824 MUD POND ROAD
COCUZZO GEORGE 522 LEMERY ROAD
DELANEY DARRYL C 3 BATTLES BROOK ROAD
  1. Following the above hearings, which were completed at 1:20pm, grievance hearings were adjourned on motion of O’Toole seconded by Evans.

 

 

 

 

Jul 132020
 

Minutes

Braintree Selectboard Meeting

Tuesday, July 7, 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

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

 

Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6pm.  A roll call was done to confirm what Selectboard members were in attendance via teleconferencing.

 

The Board Reviewed the agenda and Ms. O’Toole added under New Business a new Access Permit Request and Mr. Masterson added a Citizen Complaint regarding a Legal Trail off Thresher Road under the Highway Report.

 

On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on June 16, 2020. 

 

 

  • Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments.

 

  • Reports
  • Highway Report
  • O’Toole questioned what safety issue prevented road side mowing to be completed and Mr. Masterson stated it pertains to a plastic shield on the tractor that was shattered by rocks that needs to be replaced and is on order.  Mr. Bent suggested the Town get bullet proof glass as the shield to prevent future problems.
  • Haupt has had residents of Riford Brook Road, Rochester Hollow and Thayer Brook Road question him on why these roads have not been graded.  Mr. Masterson stated that if the weather cooperates they Highway Crew will get back to maintenance grading next week. The Highway crew has been prioritizing work on grant projects that were subject to a deadline to be completed
  • Request For Proposals (RFP’s) for Thayer Brook Culvert Header and the Garage Floor 2020
  • O’Toole stated that the Thayer Brook Road Culvert Header is straight forward and will be entirely funded by FEMA.  The project needs to be completed before winter and the RFP will be sent out this week.  The bids for the project are due by July 27, 2020
  • The RFP for the Town Garage Floor is not as straight forward due to different designs needed in the two areas.  Mr. Burson suggested that we push the work completed deadline back and Mr. Bent agreed and suggested it be moved to October 2nd.  A brief discussion ensued about the merits and demerits of extending the deadline date to October 2nd with an agreement that the deadline should be changed.    Mr. Burson suggested that, as a contingency, if no contractor bids are submitted by the deadline then the Town move the job to next spring and have contractors submit their bids now so a contractor will be lined up to complete the work in Spring 2021.

 

  • Emergency Management Director Report – Mr. Caulfield –The Emergency Management Team is currently discussing how to handle any emergency shelter that may be required during a potential crisis or severe weather event while also keeping citizens safe amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. There has not been a shelter activated since Tropical Storm Irene but planning for all possibilities is essential.  Most Vermonters, being very independent, don’t utilize shelters unless absolutely necessary.
  • 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 21st, 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 the Town is awaiting proposals from two contractors who have conducted site visits of the Front Office space to create the safety requirements needed.   Ms. O’Toole informed the Selectboard that the Relief Package passed by the Legislature includes reimbursement funding to municipalities that are restructuring, renovating their office environments for health and safety purposes for both employees and the public.  A brief discussion occurred about the requirement of wearing a facial mask inside the building and the consensus of the Selectboard was to continue to require facial masks even after the safety plexi-glass has been installed.
    • Remote Working – No employee is working remotely at this time.
    • RAMAN update – Mr. Caulfield stated that RAMAN, and its subgroups, are now meeting every other week.  Orange County Covid-19 cases are stable and continue to be the lowest per capita in the State and are less than 10% of the Burlington area which has the highest at 38 per capita of 10,000.  In the past month there was one new case reported in Orange County; the hot spots in Vermont continue to be the Burlington and Rutland Areas.  This is an indicator of the kind of activities that are going on and things are pretty stable and people are getting the services they need.  Gifford Medical Center is still conducting COVID-19 testing and are averaging about twenty a day.  The Randolph Food Shelf has returned to pre-COVID normal and that could be because of Gifford’s Veggie-Van-Go, which assists about 500 families, and the National Guard Food drop-offs throughout the state.
    • Trashy Neighbors Research Follow-up- Mr. Burson provided the Selectboard with a draft of an ordinance which included suggestions from Ms. Brassard regarding the requirement to store all trash in trash containers.  The Selectboard Members entered into a quick discussion on how the Town should proceed with the specific property currently presenting a trash problem and it was decided that additional information from the Town Clerk is necessary before any further action can be taken.  To enable the Selectboard Members to fully review the draft ordinance and receive the requested information the subject was tabled until the July 21st Selectboard Meeting.
  • Braintree considering future use of town gravel pit – Ms. O’Toole reiterated that the gravel pit site was never deeded back to the original owner and is still the Town’s property.   Ms. O’Toole invited citizen comments and ideas regarding the development of the property but received none. Ms. O’Toole gave a brief summation on the proposals submitted by the solar array companies to develop the site.  The Selectboard received an e-mail from one abutting land owner with concerns about the potential solar array project.  All other feedback regarding the potential solar array has been positive.   Mr. Bent has created a Request For Proposal for the solar array and it will be reviewed in detail during the next meeting.
  • Potential WiFi hotspot installation – The Public Service Department provided information that the time period for offering installation of WiFi Hotspot Units to municipalities has been extended.   The Town Office already provides Internet Access through a guest access.  An earlier suggested potential site for the installation of the unit was the Town Hall, but a caveat of the donation is the requirement of an internet connection on site which at this time the Town Hall does not have.  Ms. Russell will contact ECFiber for the cost of installing internet at the Town Hall.  Mr. Burson inquired about the possibility of providing Internet Access to the East side of the Town.  The consensus of the Selectboard is the Town does not own any property on the East Side for the installation of internet services.  Further discussion for possible Internet Access sites on the East side of the Town will follow at a later date.

 

  • New business
  • Access Permit Submitted For Work Across A Town Road – A Braintree citizen submitted an access permit and photos of a potential trench project that would require the removal of the mat and base on a road that was rebuilt recently to mitigate a water and mud issue.  The cost of the mitigation construction was provided through a Class 2 Road Grant.  As this permit was not warned on the posted Agenda, the discussion and any further Selectboard action was tabled until the permit can be warned and further research on the grant specifications and conditions can be completed.

 

  • 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 6:53 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 7:15 PM with no decision being made on the personnel matter.

 

  • Payment orders – Messrs Bent and McMeekin and Ms. O’Toole 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 7:22 p.m.  

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