Braintree Selectboard Meeting
June 1, 2021 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 Chairperson Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
Dylan Pratt, Road Foreman
Present at the Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member
Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Janice R. Russell, Administrative Assistant Kris Haupt, Braintree Resident
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. A roll call was done to confirm what members and citizens were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board reviewed the agenda with Ms. O’Toole requesting an addition of ARPA Funding under Old Business.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on May 18, 2021.
Citizen’s comments are limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – Mr. Kris Haupt stated he still has concerns and questions regarding the way the Town roads are being graded. Mr. Burson notified Mr. Haupt and the Selectboard Members that he had spoken with the State Transportation Agency and was informed that the Town Highway Crew is correctly grading the roads. Messrs. Burson and Pratt agreed to meet with Mr. Haupt to view the road conditions.
- Highway Report – Mr. Pratt reported that the Town had received a request to replace a culvert at the end of a driveway. A discussion ensued on whether the Town is responsible under Act 64 to replace culverts on private property. Mr. Burson will research the subject and report back to the Selectboard at the next meeting. The topic of the benefits of a hydro seeder versus a straw thrower was discussed. The Town currently owns a straw thrower that was purchased using Grant Funds. Ms. Russell will research the grant requirements on replacing the straw thrower. Mr. Pratt responded to a past question regarding the Peth Road ditching. He stated that there was no requirement for the ditch to be fully stone lined; that check dams were acceptable. The ditch was stone lined where there is water running through it all the time.
The Town received a FY ’22 VT Better Roads Grant Notification of Award for Hockman Hill Road Ditch Work. The Town received a FY’22 VT Better Roads Grant Notification of Denial for assistance for upgrading the Road Erosion Inventory. The Town also received a FY ’22 Highway Class 2 Roadway Program for funding to make improvements on a mile of Thresher Road from Wilson Road to the sharp corner at the top of the ridge line. The improvements consist of a new surface, ditch work and trimming back trees.
- Covid 19 Update – Ms. O’Toole summarized Governor Scott’s comments regarding how well the State is doing on vaccinations and that it is close to having 80% first dose vaccinations completed and that once that mark has been reached the State Emergency Order will be lifted shortly thereafter. Mss. Brassard and Russell are no longer requiring face masks in the offices and are deferring to the visitor’s decision to mask or not. There is still a requirement for vault appointments as it still has a restricted capacity to one person.
- ARPA Funding – A discussion was led by Ms. O’Toole regarding the restrictions on and possible use of the funds to help the community recover economically from COVID-19. VLCT has a diagram on how the money can be spent and does encourage municipalities to use citizen feedback on the decision process. The Town is awaiting notification of the exact allocation the Town will receive before moving forward on potential expenditure.
- Update on VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force Grant – Mr. Bent is continuing to work on the grant and has met with the expert on a good location for the dry hydrant. The application deadline is August 1, 2021.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously voted that if Mr. Bent finds the location for a Dry Hydrant and Pond before the next Selectboard Meeting on June 15, 2021 that the Town will apply for the maximum amount of $20,000.
- VMERS Audit Sullivan & Powers Engagement Letter – A description of the materials required for the audit was presented by Ms. Brassard.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously voted to confirm the letter from Sullivan & Powers regarding the VMERS audit census data being required by the State of Vermont.
- VT Tree Wardens: Reporting and Educational Opportunities – The requested information regarding the Town’s Tree Warden will be provided to the State. The Town Tree Warden, along with the Road Foreman and multiple Selectboard Members will attend the webinar training on the new Municipal Tree Law Overview & Shade Tree Preservation Program.
- FY ’22 Annual Financial Plan – Town Highways
- FY ’22 Certification of Compliance for Town Road and Bridge Standards & Network Inventory
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously voted to approve the VTRANS FY ’22 Annual Financial Plan and FY ‘22 Certification of Compliance for Town Road and Bridge Standards & Network Inventory.
- Notification of Trash Ordinance to Tenants at a Braintree Property – The town received a landowner request to have a letter and copy of the Town’s Trash Ordinance sent to a tenant residing on their property. A quick review of the Trash Ordinance was conducted to confirm that it is not specific to the landowner and reads as “no person shall engage in a prohibitive activity in the listed Trash Ordinance.” The Selectboard agreed to the sending of the requested material. A second letter will be sent to a West Street landowner regarding the non-compliance of the Trash Ordinance and reminder of the penalties that will be incurred if the completion of the trash removal is not conducted.
Executive Session to discuss a legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:57 P.M. for a discussion on a legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
At 7:06 pm the board came out of the Executive Session. The Legal Matter was discussed and tabled for discussion at a future meeting.
Payment orders – The Selectboard 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 7:06 p.m.
Janice R. Russell