Braintree Selectboard Meeting
May 18, 2021 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:
Kris Haupt, Cemetery Commissioner
Present at the Town Office:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Member
Loren Bent, Selectboard Member arrived late due to Fire Department obligation
Ms. O’Toole called the meeting to order at 6:05pm. A roll call was done to confirm what members and citizens were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board reviewed the agenda with Ms. O’Toole requesting an addition of ARPA Funding under New Business. Mr. Burson requested an addition of an Executive Session to discuss a legal matter and Mr. Haupt has a topic to discuss under the Highway Report.
Mr. Haupt requested a change to the wording of the Greenup Day Report that removed the word “tossed” and added the word “fell.”
On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board approved the amended minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on May 4, 2021.
Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – The topic of the roads not being completely graded from top to bottom and across the width was raised by Mr. Kris Haupt. He believes that it is not necessary or safe to leave a grass edge along the sides of the roads. Mr. Keegan Haupt agreed that the roads should be graded from top to bottom and that the roads were graded too early this year as some roads had to be graded more than once.
- Highway Report – The report provided by Dylan Pratt, Highway Foreman, informed the Selectboard that the Peth Road Ditch Project is complete except for the completion of mulching. Mr. Pratt reported that there are bank and guardrail slides on Thayer Brook Road that will need to be repaired soon and he is in the process of having an expert review the slide and provide mitigation choices. Mr. Burson added that there is similar slide on Thresher Road that will also be reviewed. Mr. Keegan Haupt added that a date and time to do site and test visits for a new gravel pit is being planned.
- Cemetery Commission Report by Mr. Kris Haupt. Spring cleaning of the cemeteries has been completed, Jason’s Handiworks has been hired again this year to mow all cemeteries and the stone cleaning company, Dirty Rocks, has cleaned the stones at the Lower Branch Cemetery. The charge for the stones cleaning will be paid out of the Cemeteries Fund. The Dirty Rocks representative informed Mr. Haupt that the cleanings will last for 10 to 15 years so the Cemetery Commission is planning to have one cemetery cleaned every three years until it rotates back to the Lower Branch Cemetery in 12 years.
- Covid 19 Update – Ms. O’Toole summarized the CDC and State of Vermont’s Mask Wearing Guidance that states fully vaccinated citizens no longer need to wear mask except for in hospitals, schools etc. Many businesses, local and statewide, along with many municipalities are continuing with their mask wearing mandates during the transition period. The Selectboard decided to continue requiring masks be worn in the Town Office and Garage but will revisit this topic at the next Selectboard Meeting.
- Potential Braintree Town Forest – A Conservation Fund representative contacted Ms. O’Toole regarding her inquiry about purchasing the property up for sale. The representative stated that they would contact the town with an update potentially by the end of the summer. A discussion of the necessary short-term and long-term resources the town would need to acquire and manage such a large parcel ensued. O’Toole expressed the concern that Braintree may be too small of a town with too limited a staff to take on such a large project.
- New business – ARPA Funding – Ms. O’Toole participated in the VLCT held webinar regarding the ARPA Funding. There are specific funding, expenditure and accounting guidelines that municipalities need to follow before and upon receipt of the funds. A brief discussion occurred on how to proceed with the expenditure criteria and that the Town has until 2026 to use any funds received.
Executive Session to discuss a legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:50 P.M. for a discussion on a legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
At 7:12 pm the board came out of the Executive Session. The Legal Matter was discussed and tabled for discussion at a future meeting.
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.
On motion of Ms. O’Toole, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:12 p.m.
Janice R. Russell