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.
- 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.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:22 p.m.