Minutes Regular Meeting
Tuesday, September 8, 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:
Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member
Present at Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member Jeff Masterson, Highway Foreman
Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. 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 Ms. O’Toole informing the Board that neither Paul Shriver, Conservation Committee Chairperson, or Timothy Caulfield, RAMAN representative, were able to attend the meeting and should be dropped from the agenda. A written report was supplied by both Shriver and Caulfield for the Board Members to review later. Ms. Russell added an update on the submission by the Town for a Local Government Expense Reimbursement Grant.
On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on August 18, 2020.
On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Special Selectboard Meeting on August 27, 2020.
- Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments.
- Highway Report – Mr. Masterson stated the Sand Pile work has been completed and the Highway Crew was able to retrieve and stockpile enough sand for both the winters of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 barring any unforeseen need to use more sand than usual in either year.
- Old business
- The Vermont Department of Public Safety and the Vermont State Police are requesting from the Town and its citizens, input for a re-examining of the role police should play and how police should evolve to meet challenges raised by mental health or drug-use issues, use of force and systemic racism.
The Town Office received one citizen comment regarding this topic which Ms. Russell will forward to the VSP Contact, Lieutenant Kessler.
- COVID-19 Follow-up
- Office Closure To Public – The Town Office will reopen to the public except for Access to the Vault; an appointment is still required due to lack of Social Distancing Space in the Vault.
- Restructuring Office For Safety – The Town is still awaiting the delivery and installation of the glass by Portland Glass.
- Local Government Expense Reimbursement (LGER) Grant – Ms. Russell informed the Board that the grant had been submitted and an e-mail confirming the submission had been received from the Department of Taxes. The Grant Submission did not require invoices at this time only an amount on how much had already been spent and an estimate on future expenditures.
- Road Foreman Open Position Follow-up – This discussion was moved to the Executive Session.
- Town’s options for a potential location of sand needed to replenish the 2021-2022 stockpile. Messrs. Bent and Burson stated that they have not been able to communicate with any landowners for a potential gravel pit site. Mr. Masterson provided information he has accumulated from speaking with highway crews of surrounding towns and to J.L. Smith, who supplies sand to those towns. The cost for good sand alone is going to be very expensive and the trip to collect the sand would include a two hour turn around trip for two drivers along with the use of diesel and the wear and tear on the town’s trucks. Mr. Burson and Mr. Masterson have been working on a cost estimate on the current procedure of rock crushing and the use of the current gravel pit against both purchasing and retrieving the sand or purchasing and having the sand delivered. A more accurate and detailed report with real numbers will be provided at the next Selectboard Meeting.
- ECFiber Hookup at the Braintree Town Hall – tabled for further information on pricing.
- New business
- VTRANS Requesting Comments from the Town regarding VTrans Preliminary Plans for Improvements of Bridge 47 over Ayers Brook in East Braintree, The only question the Selectboard has regarding this potential work is clarification on whose responsibility it will be to notify the area residents and businesses regarding the Detour Routes. Ms. O’Toole will contact the Vtrans Representative for said clarification.
- Possible Trade-In of 2017 John Deere Loader – Mr. Masterson stated that there are issues with the loader; the machine’s lack of power while digging into banks; the machine feels like it is going to tip over when the bucket is full and completely extended;and the requirement of multiple repairs on the three year old machine. According to the seller, Nortrax, the Town doesn’t have an extended warranty. The Town has been paying out money for travel time, parts and labor for Nortrax to maintain the loader. Messrs. Burson and Haupt thought that an extended warranty had been purchased with the loader and will do further research on the purchase contract and warranty and investigate why the Town is being charged for the maintenance. If the Town decides to purchase a new loader, Ms. Brassard stated that there will be no impact to the equipment budget; that the funds are already available and the Town would not need to finance. There would be no need to raise taxes or a requirement to ask the taxpayers for permission to finance the loader. The Town has collected some information/bids on the new loader and Ms. Brassard will provide a breakdown on the budget for purchasing a new loader. This topic will be revisited at the next Selectboard Meeting.
- 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. Burson, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:39 P.M. for a discussion on a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(3).
Executive Session – The Board returned from Executive Session at 7:11 PM.
On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board approved, with one abstention by Mr. Bent due to personal conflict, the offering of the Road Foreman Position to Dylan Pratt.
- Payment orders – There were no payment orders prepared for this meeting. Mr. Burson will review the payment orders when notified of their completion.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:16 p.m.