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