Oct 082020

Minutes Regular Meeting

Braintree Selectboard

Tuesday, October 6, 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:

Charles McMeekin, Selectboard Member Paul Kendall, Citizen

Linda Lubold, White River Valley Ambulance Representative


Present at Town Office:

Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson              Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member

Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member                   Loren Bent, Selectboard Member

Dylan Pratt, Highway Foreman                                          Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer

Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant         


Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.  A roll call was done to confirm what Selectboard Member, Committee Chairpersons/Representatives and guests were in attendance via teleconferencing.  


The Board reviewed the agenda with Mr. Burson requesting that an addition of a VT Better Back Road Grant Award for Ditch/Culvert Work on Peth Road be placed under Old Business.   


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on September 22, 2020, the Emergency Selectboard Meeting on September 25, 2020 and the Emergency Selectboard Meeting on September 30, 2020. 


  • Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – No citizen comments


  • Reports
  • Highway Report –Dylan Pratt was welcomed to his first Selectboard Meeting as the New Road Foreman.  Mr. Pratt reported that work on the chloride truck has been completed and the crew is finishing up the pit at Sam Paddock’s with grading the top soil and reseeding.  The extraction has been completed with approximately 16,000 yards being removed.  Hook Construction has finished pouring and sealing the concrete floor on one end of the garage and the other end will be done in the spring.
  • White River Valley Ambulance Representative – Linda Lubold – When Covid-19 hit in March the Board began checking in every week or two with the ambulance crews to offer support.  The WRVA service did receive masks and other protective equipment and morale seems to be staying positive.  
  • Ms. Lubold reported that last winter while the crew was out for a call on Interstate 89 the 1983 ambulance had been damaged when it was struck by a passing vehicle.  There was a plan to trade in this ambulance so now instead the service will use the insurance money to help with the purchase of a new ambulance.  The anticipation is the new ambulance, after all inspections have been completed, will arrive before the end of October so the borrowed ambulance can be returned.
  • A part-time EMT is interning with WRVA and assisting in the clerical projects.  In January the WRVA will change to a new billing service that will hopefully help with financing, be more efficient, increase revenue and be more transparent.  
  • Ms. Lubold shared that the WRVA Service received a letter from the VT State Police regarding the plan to begin charging for dispatching services in July 2021.  This is concerning because it could potentially affect future budgets of all the towns using the WRVA Service. VSP will charge $53.39 for every tone the WRVA receives starting in July 2021 and proposed to increase in a tiered fashion with 25% in FY’22, 50% in FY ’23, 75% in FY ’24 and 100% in FY ’25.  Mr. Parrish of the WRVA is currently researching other dispatch services within the state.
  • The WRVA Service has submitted claims to FEMA and other front-line hazard pay grants for the nineteen eligible employees. 
  • Currently the service is working with the “Vial of Life Project” to provide medication information vials to WRVA service area residents to place in their refrigerators.  “The Vial of Life” is designed to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself. The vial contains important medical information that can assist emergency personnel in administering the proper medical treatment.” 


  • Old business
  • COVID-19 Follow-up
    • Restructuring Office For Safety – The glass will be picked up at Portland Glass this week and installed shortly thereafter.
    • RAMAN update from Tim Caulfield – Mr. Caulfield was unable to attend the meeting tonight but provided information from the Governor’s Update.  There have been 27 new cases of Covid-19 in Addison County.  Schools within the state continue to progress without outbreaks.  On a per capita basis, Orange County is still the second lowest county in the lowest state in the nation.  Only Orleans County, in the Northeast Kingdom, is lower and only barely.  Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD is still emphasizing the need to continue social distancing, still wearing the mask, avoiding crowded and/or poorly ventilated spaces and washing hands.
  • Possible Trade-In of 2017 John Deere Loader – Mr. Haupt reported that he has spoken with the NORTRAX service manager, Jason Van De Weert, regarding the maintenance on the 2017 John Deere Loader.  The Town does have an extended warranty with NORTRAX on the loader.   Mr. Van De Weert provided copies of all the invoices pertaining to the loader; he had coded each invoice to indicate if the Town was billed, if it was covered by warranty or if NORTRAX had absorbed the cost due to gray areas within the warranty.  Mr. Haupt inquired if the maintenance service calls had been an automatic set-up or if requested by the Town and was informed by Mr. Van De Weert that each call had been requested by the Town.  Mr. Van De Weert informed Mr. Haupt that the State of Vermont Garage owns almost thirty of these loaders and has never complained or stated there was an issue with its performance or maintenance.  Mr. Van De Weert stated part of why the Town is experiencing problems with the loader is it is not being operated correctly during cold weather.  A lengthy discussion followed regarding Mr. Haupt’s report, in-put from a Braintree citizen concerned with the ability of the 2017 John Deere to function as needed and the quotes and warranties provided for a new machine along with the general operational functionality of the 2017 John Deere.  As some Selectboard Members wanted longer time to review all the materials, this topic was tabled until the October 20, 2020.   
  • Town’s options for a potential location of sand needed to replenish the 2022-2023 Stockpile – Mr. Haupt reported on a potential site for a future gravel pit, test pits are currently being conducted on the 20 acre piece of land.  Mr. Haupt will keep the board updated on future options associated with this property. Mr. Pratt said there is another eight feet of gravel at Sam Paddock’s for another 4 or 5 years of sand.
  • Local Government Expense Reimbursement (LGER) Grant – Progress/Status Information from VT Department of Taxes – Ms. Russell reported that The Town’s LGER application has been accepted and she has provided the first packet of invoices and checks per instructions.  The second packet of invoices and checks will need to be provided by December 11, 2020 to complete the application process.  
  • Server Backup Service – Cost Estimate for Service.  – Ms. Russell provided a quote from Dr. Backup for the Server Backup Service along with a comparison on what has been paid to the current provider.  The Selectboard agreed to switch the server backup service to Dr. Backup.
  • BC/BS Open Enrollment Materials for 2021 Health Insurance Coverage – The Selectboard briefly reviewed the information provided by BC/BS regarding their changes to the plans the Town currently carries for the employees.  As there was no comparison between the cost of the current and new plans, the Selectboard requested that Ms. Russell follow-up with this information.  Ms. Brassard recommended that the Town get a BC/BS liaison to come present and explain the new plans.  Ms. Russell will also contact the VT League of Cities and Towns to request any input they may be able to provide.  Open Enrollment begins on November 1st so a decision on the Health Plans need to be made as soon as possible.
  • Update on Legal Trail 10 – Paul W. Hannan, L.S. delivered his final report on the Legal Trail 10.  The report reiterates the findings Mr. Hannan presented in-person to the Selectboard in October 2019.  At that time the Selectboard had requested Mr. Hannan conduct further investigations to confirm that there was no evidence that the road had not been discontinued.  The results are that the Legal Trail 10 should stay on the map as the Town has it and the road had never been discontinued.  Ms. O’Toole will forward the report to the abutting landowners, Mark LaRocque and Paul Kendall.  The Selectboard does not need to take further action on this topic.
  • VT Better Back Roads – The Town has been notified that it will be receiving funds for a VT Better Back Roads Grant to improve ditches and culverts on Peth Road from Mud Pond Road up to Walker Road.  All work on this project needs to be completed by June 30, 2021. 
  • New business
  • Town Website Overhaul Update – The Town had requested quotes from local Web Site Masters regarding the overhaul of the Town’s website and received one quote back.  Ms. O’Toole received a communication that informed the Town that COVID Relief Funds could be used to upgrade a town’s website.  She will do further investigation on this new information. The Selectboard would like further quotes and more information on the COVID Relief Funds before continuing a discussion on this topic.
  • Laptops for Selectboard Members – There are Selectboard Members who conduct a great deal of Town business on their work or personal computers and really need a Town laptop for confidentiality purposes.  Ms. O’Toole will contact VT Computing for quotes on two laptops
  • Road Scholar Training – Mr. Burson stated that the Town would benefit from having Mr. Pratt complete the VT Road Scholar Training via webinars.  The Selectboard agreed and Mr. Burson will conduct further research on how to purchase the webinars and the time frame required to complete each section. 


  • 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. Bent, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 7:15 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 7:36 PM with no decision being made on the personnel matter


  • Payment orders – The Selectboard reviewed the Payment Orders. 


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.


  • Adjournment


On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:37 p.m.  


Respectfully submitted,


Janice R. Russell