July 30, 2018
Members Present: Keith Squires, Daniel Harvey, Reggie Jennings Jr, Tim Williams
Members Absent: Cynthia Browning
Also Present: Todd Wilkins, Chair of the Governance Committee of the Arlington Area Renewal Program, and approximately 28 residents of the Town.
The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Keith Squires
New Business/ Public Comments: Town Administrator Position: At this point of the meeting Mr. Squires asked that we move ahead in the agenda to “New Business”. Todd Wilkins, the Chair of the Governance Committee portion of the Arlington Area Renewal Program, spoke about the Committee’s belief that the Town could benefit from the hiring of a Town Administrator, to work at Town Hall full time. The position would be hired and fired by the Selectboard, as opposed to the Town having a Town Manager position, which is an elected position and a more costly position for the Town. He used a Power Point presentation to explain the committee’s ideas. He stated there was a study in 2010 that indicated an interest in hiring a Town Administrator. He said the position would cost the Town approximately $60,000-$65,000 per year, plus benefits. He estimates the cost per household to be two cents per $100 of a home’s value, so a resident with a $200,000 home could expect to pay $40 more per year in taxes. He also said there is a possibility the costs could be less, if the Administrator could increase the grants the Town applies for, as well as networking the Administrator could do with state and other town officials that could help with new ideas that would benefit the Town, therefore defraying part of the costs. Mr. Squires stated he feels strongly that the proposition should be put on the March ballot at Town Meeting Day, so the townspeople can have a choice. He noted the same idea had been voted down by the town in the recent past. He also noted he has generated more than $100,000 this year in grant money, in his position as interim administrator. Mr. Williams pointed out that the budget for Mr. Squires position is $16,000 per year, but he has only requested $12,000, saving the Town money. Mr. Williams also said he does not feel a need for a full time position at this time, and it might be more beneficial to have a part time position. He is concerned with making sure Arlington remains affordable to live in. Mr. Wilkins stated he feels having the position be only part time would not yield the quality of applicants that a full time position would. Mr. Squires said he feels it could be a shared position with another town. There was discussion of the possibility of having the proposition on the ballot this November. There will more meetings regarding this position in the future.
Minutes of Meeting of July 16, 2018:
Mr. Williams made a motion to approve the minutes of July 16, 2018 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried.
Highways: Bridge 25: Mr. Squires asked that form TA 65, a request for reimbursement form be voted on. The total cost of the project was $14,800, paid to Catamount Environmental, Inc., of which we are requesting reimbursement of $13,320 from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, for Grant # BC1842, now that one hundred percent of the work has been completed. Mr. Williams made a motion to submit form TA 65, request for reimbursement, to the State of Vermont Agency of Transportation for $13320.00. Mr. Harvey seconded, motion passed.
Sunrise Lane: Mr. Squires spoke of the request from residents and a State 911 representative to identify a portion of road off of Sunrise Lane as a different road. It was requested that it be named “Sunrise Lane Ext.” Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve buying and erecting a sign with the name “Sunrise Lane Ext” for that portion of road. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.
Speed Limit Sign: Mr. Jennings told the Board that the speed limit sign on Warm Brook Rd. is still down after it was knocked over while the Town was mowing. Mr. Squires said he will check into the matter.
Water Department: Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve WD#15, dated July 24, 2018, from the operating account, in the amount of $7976.64. Mr. Williams seconded, motion passed.
Old Business: Dietrich Property Tree: Mr. Squires received quotes from two businesses for cutting down the tree on the Dietrich property that has branches hanging over onto Nilson Illinski’s property, which Mr. Illinski feels is a safety issue to his home and family. It was noted that the tree is on the boundary line, and Vermont law states it should be shared by both properties. Mr. Squires noted, even though he feels it is a relatively healthy tree, there is always potential for a strong wind to be able to knock it down. He stated if it is blown down, it is considered an “act of God” by insurance companies and the Town would not be liable. The two quotes received were from Trees Inc., for $1585.00 and from Ed Pike, for $1400. After some discussion, the Board agreed they would offer to share the cost of removing the tree with Mr. Illinski, with the Town covering three fifths of the cost, and having Mr. Illinski cover two fifths.
Camping on the Battenkill: Mr. Harvey made a motion to pay $5000 from the HMPG account to Mance Engineering. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion passed.
Tax Rate 2018: Mr. Squires noted that the Grand List was up $586,300 from last year. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve local agreement rate of Total Homestead Tax Rate $1.8936 and Total Non-Residential Rate of $1.7687. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion passed. It was noted that property tax bills be made available by September 4, 2018, and payment is due November 5, 2018.
Hazardous Mitigation: Mr. Squires spoke of the Hazardous Mitigation Plan. He said it is basically to predict what might happen and have a plan of how to safely react. He asked the Board to review the plan to see what information needs to be updated and verified and asked Janet Barry to call local schools and businesses to have correct numbers of people that occupy these buildings updated. There will be continued discussions at future meetings.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve as presented, General Warrant #16, dated July 31, 2018, in the amount of $16390.11. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Jennings made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Meeting was adjourned at 9:05pm.
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk