Braintree Selectboard Meeting
April 20, 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:
Megan O’Toole, Selectboard Chairperson Keegan Haupt, Selectboard Member Tim Caulfield, Emergency Management Dir. Paul Shriver, Chairperson Conservation Comm.
Victoria Littlefield, TRORC Representative Ronald Cadrette, Braintree Citizen
Present at the Town Office:
Daniel Burson, Selectboard Vice-Chair Loren Bent, Selectboard Member
Charlie McMeekin, Selectboard Member Janice Russell, Administrative Assistant
Jessicia Brassard, Town Clerk/Treasurer
The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Burson who called it to order at 6:04pm. A roll call was done to confirm what members and citizens were in attendance via teleconferencing.
The Board reviewed the agenda with Mr. Burson moving the New Business item “Updating the Town Plan” to the beginning of the meeting to accommodate Ms. Littlefield’s schedule.
On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Mr. Haupt, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from the Regular Selectboard Meeting on April 6, 2021.
Citizen’s comments limited to 3 minutes per person with a 15 minute maximum – Ronald Cadrette, Lemery Road property owner, inquired about the bridge project slated for that road. Mr. Burson stated that the Contract has been awarded to Hilltop Construction, LLC but that due to Vermont Waterway restrictions the project cannot begin until July 1st.
- Highway Report – Mr. Burson provided the report and stated that the Highway Crew is trying to complete the grading of all roads. On April 15th a Class 2 Road Improvement Grant was submitted for funding to make improvements on a mile of Thresher Road from Wilson Road to the sharp corner at the top of the ridge line. The improvements consist of a new surface, ditch work and trimming back trees. Mr. Bent requested the Highway Crew clean out the culverts on all Town roads because several are full or plugged.
- RAMAN update from Tim Caulfield – There has been a surge of COVID cases statewide. Vermont is still the second lowest state in positivity rates and Orange County is the 2nd lowest county in positivity rates in Vermont. RAMAN has placed the “Mask and Social Distance” reminder signs in Braintree, Brookfield and Randolph.
- 2021 Green Up Day Preparation Follow-up – Jackson Evans has agreed to become the Green Up Day Coordinator and has been provided all materials. Instead of renting a dumpster a Town Highway Truck will be used for trash collection. The tire recycling company would not budge on price so the Town will pay the $5.00 per tire charge.
- Parcel of forest land for sale in Braintree – A 2000 acre parcel owned by the Conservation Fund is on the market. The board discussed the idea of purchasing the property as a potential Braintree Town Forest. Potential funding for the purchase is available through USFS, USDA and other Federal Entities and the State has funding based on land and water use. The board discussed the philosophy on the use of the land. Ms. O’Toole will reach out to the Conservation Fund to open a conversation about the status of the parcel and the portion for sale in Braintree. As this is all fact finding at this time, no formal motion or resolution needs to be made.
- Updating the Town Plan – Ms. Littlefield outlined what assistant TRORC would provide the Town in completing and adoption of the Town Plan. Ms. Littlefield stated she has previously worked with the Town’s Planning Commission. TRORC’s cost will be no more than $2,000 and will provide matching funds of up to $2,000 with Project Total being $4,000.
On motion of Mr. Haupt, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the contracted offer of $2,000 from TRORC to complete the Town Plan.
- Changes to Short Term Disability Plan Provider – Ms. Russell was notified by VLCT that the provider for the Town’s Short Term Disability Plan will be changed effective July 1st. The new plan saves the Town 10% with a 4-year Rate Guarantee.
- Discussion of Contracting/Non-Employee Document Requirements-VLCT PACIF Workman’s Comp Audit – Ms. Russell has completed the 2020 audit for VLCT PACIF. She reminded the Selectboard and Highway Foreman and Commissioner that signed contracts or non-employee work agreements are required for any person(s) who are hired to do work for the Town.
- VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force Grant – Mr. Bent is scouting and researching possible sites for one or two dry hydrants for a grant submittal by June 15th.
- Summit on the Future of Vermont – The Selectboard members agreed that the summit sounds very interesting but the timing does not work for any member’s schedule.
- New Computer For Administrative Assistant – Ms. Russell has experienced major issues with her current computer’s hard drive and experts have recommended the purchase of a new computer. Ms. Brassard confirmed the availability of budget funding for the purchase.
On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. McMeekin, the Board unanimously approved the expenditure of $799.00 to purchase a new computer from VT Computing with Mr. Burson amending the motion to include the VT Computing four year warranty with free maintenance every six months during the term of the warranty.
Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(3) and a legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
On motion of Mr. Burson, seconded by Ms. O’Toole, the Board unanimously voted to enter into an Executive Session at 6:47 P.M. for a discussion on a personnel matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(3) and legal matter pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Section 317(a).
At 7:15 pm the board came out of the Executive Session with no action or decision being made.
Payment orders – Messrs. Bent and McMeekin reviewed the Payment Orders.
On motion of Mr. Bent, seconded by Mr. Burson, the Board unanimously approved the payment orders.
On motion of Mr. McMeekin, seconded by Mr. Bent, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 7:17 p.m.
Janice R. Russell