Regular Meeting Minutes – Approved
February 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Megan O’Toole, Chair Jessie Brassard, Town Clerk
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member Jackson Evans, ECFiber Representative
Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member Janice Russell, Admin. Assistant
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
The Board reviewed the agenda, with Ms. O’Toole adding a discussion about the Certificate of No Appeals and Executive Session after Payment Orders for Personnel Matters under Statute 313 A.1.B and Ms. Brassard requested adding a discussion of Town Report delivery.
On motion made by Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of January 21, 2020 (Ms. O’Toole, Mr. Burson, Mr. McMeekin, Mr. Bent and Mr. Haupt approved the motion).
Citizen’s comments – There were no Citizen’s Comments.
Jeff Masterson, Road Commissioner, was unable to attend the meeting tonight but did provide a copy of the Highway Report which was distributed to the Selectboard Members. Mr. Masterson had noted that two Highway Personnel attended a Weight Permit and Posting Training that was hosted by Vermont Local Roads. Ms. O’Toole asked if there were any questions, concerns or discussion regarding the report. There were no questions, concerns or discussion regarding the Highway Report.
Jackson Evans, ECFiber Representative presented the Semi-Annual ECFiber Report. The Town of Braintree is a town transitioning from “being built” to a town now “being built out.” The Service Cost and what is being provided for Speed are now more of the focus and there are now 41 miles of fiber on poles all around the town. ECFiber counted 748 premises in Braintree, places that have 911 addresses, not including camps that are too remote, and of those premises 127 are active subscribers. ECFiber’s goal is to get 50% of the town premises as subscribers. Currently some subscribers are not being hooked up because of the need for underground connections that cannot be done during the winter. The Town of Braintree’s number of subscribers is typical for the towns built out in the ECFiber area. ECFiber is now lowering the cost of Basic Service and has increased the speed, although the cost of the phone service is going up. The benefit to ECFiber for keeping the phone services is being able as a 911 provider to receive federal and state grants. ECFiber’s bond rating is presently very sound and keeps going up. ECFiber is looking at surrounding towns, outside the original 23 towns, to see if said towns would like to join because the original 23 towns will all be built out by the end of the year. Governor Scott is touting ECFiber as a great model for Community Based Internet Service (CBIS) and the State is putting more money into these small CBIS’ to get VT connected to the Internet.
- VLCT Cannabis Resolution Relating to S.54 – Ms. O’Toole gave an update that the bill is on the House of Representatives Notice Calendar for Wednesday, February 5th. There have been many changes to the bill since VLCT sent out the information notification. In the revised version of the bill municipalities are now required to have a Town Wide Vote before a commercial cannabis facility can open within a municipality. This would require a Special Town Meeting to be held in order for approval for a commercial cannabis facility to open within the town. But at the same time towns are not allowed to write any Ordinances specifically prohibiting a commercial cannabis facility setting up shop. The bill gives towns more control much like the sale of alcohol.
- Certificate of No Appeals – after a brief description by Jackson Evans, in his role as a Town Lister, about what the Certificate of No Appeals is and how every year a Certificate needs to be signed by the Selectboard Members and the Listers. The Certificate indicates that there were no appeals from last year’s Grand List; that the Town is not waiting for anything else and last year’s Grand List can now be put to bed.
- On Motion of Ms. O’Toole to sign the Certificate of No Appeals, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously agreed to sign the Certificate of No Appeals.
- Draft Braintree Local Hazard Mitigation Plan – Ms. O’Toole confirmed that all Selectboard Members have skimmed the draft created by Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission and Tim Caulfield. There were no comments from the Selectboard regarding the draft. O’Toole will inform Two Rivers-Ottauquchee Regional Commission that the Town has no questions or concerns.
- Town Report Delivery – Ms. Brassard announced that the Town Report has to be delivered by February 19th and volunteers to do the house to house delivery were needed. A brief discussion ensued between Ms. Brassard, the Selectboard Members and Ms. Russell about how many routes and people were required to get the reports delivered. Ms. O’Toole will send out an e-mail to the Commission Members asking for volunteers.
Payment orders – On Motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the payment orders were unanimously approved.
Executive Session for Personnel Matter Under Statute 313 A.1.B- Ms. O’Toole made a motion at 6:30 p.m. to enter into Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Haupt. No decision was made in the Executive Session.
Adjournment – On Motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 6:37 p.m.
Janice R. Russell, Administrative Assistant