January 22, 2024
Members Present: Dan Harvey, Cynthia Browning, Glenn Sherman, and Jamie Paustian
Members Absent: Todd Wilkins
Also Present: Nick Zaiac-Town Administrator, GNAT via Zoom, Mark Robinson – Highway Foreman, Firefighters- Eric Marko and Keegan Hawley, John Toth, Olavi Wirkki, John Mendenhall, and Janet Barry (via Zoom)
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey.
Agenda Addition: Ms. Browning made a motion to add backhoe bidding to the agenda, and to delete Sidewalk Right of Way, and Liquor License from the agenda. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion carried.
Minutes of the Meeting of January 8, 2024: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 8, 2024, as presented. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion.
Public Comments: None
New Business: Backhoe Bidding: Mr. Robinson was at the meeting to present a 2006 CAT backhoe he had found for bid on Auctions Unlimited. He has been looking for this type of equipment that would offer back-up for the department, and would be large enough for tree stump removal and culvert jobs, for a long time, and found one for a good price and with forks and brushes as part of the sale. It was discussed that it appeared to be in good shape, although there was risk involved because it was only being viewed in photos and not in person, and the haste needed for the purchase due to the auction ending was also problematic. It was also discussed that buying this type of machine new would be $170,000. It was discussed that Mr. Robinson wants to use funds from the sale of the little excavator that sold at auction for $40,000. Mr. Zaiac said that even if this purchase was not completed, it could put the desire to buy this type of equipment on the record, and the Board would be able to move in a quick manner another time, with more appropriate warning. Mr. Paustian made a motion to authorize the bid, not to exceed the total amount of $42,000, plus the 10% buyer’s fee. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Mr. Harvey, Mr. Sherman, and Mr. Paustian voted yes, Ms. Browning had a no vote, Mr. Wilkins was not at the meeting. Mr. Zaiac placed the bid, but it was rejected because their office would have had to have been contacted to have the bid approved.
Village Center Designation Renewal: Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, to authorize the renewal application for Arlington and East Arlington Designated Village Centers. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Old Business: Town Meeting Warning Vote: The Board reviewed the revised Town Warning they had discussed at the last meeting. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Town Meeting Warning, as presented. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion carried, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Budget Discussion: Mr. Zaiac shared his screen to show the budget line revisions he had made since the last meeting, such as adding $1,000 to the Park Maintenance line. Mr. Zaiac said Town Auditor, Jenna Peeler, had reviewed the reconciliations that the budget figures came from, and Mr. McClafferty had also reviewed the budget for accuracy. Mr. McClafferty had good feedback for formatting but did not find any errors. It was discussed that procedures have been instituted that will prevent errors that happened last year, and there is now a confirmed process of internal controls, and the tax rate goes through extra sets of eyes before being confirmed. The Board ultimately decided to delay the vote until Mr. Wilkins could be at the meeting. Mr. Paustian made a motion to delay the decision of the budget vote until January 29, 2024, after the Water Board meeting, at the 8-8:30PM Special Select Board Meeting that will be warned. Ms. Browning seconded. The motion carried, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Town Report Award for Printing: The Board reviewed two printing quotes for the Town Report and postcards. Express Copy of Manchester for $2,562, and Staples for $7,010. Express Copy was very successful with the printing last year. Ms. Browning made a motion to award the Town Report printing to Express Copy of Manchester, not to exceed $2,700. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Review Report from the Arlington Select Board: The Board reviewed the Report of the Arlington Select Board for the Town Report, drafted by Ms. Browning with Mr. Zaiac’s input. Mr. Sherman made a motion to approve the Select Board Report as presented. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins absent. Mr. Harvey thanked Ms. Browning and Mr. Zaiac for their work.
Capital Plan: Mr. Zaiac shared his screen with Capital Plan figures for review with revisions discussed at the last meeting, with higher sinking fund levels for future firetruck expense. It was discussed that the base Grand List has not declined.
Highway: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Mileage Certificate Approval, year ending February 10, 2024, as presented. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins absent. It was noted the mileage is unchanged from previous years.
Retain Attorney for Sidewalk: The Board discussed retaining the law firm of Kupferer & Blake, Inc. for the purpose of the 7A Sidewalk Project. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve retaining Kupferer & Blake for the purpose of the Sidewalk Project at a rate of $165 per hour for Attorney fees, $100 per hour for paraprofessional rate, and $150 per hour for research. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said budget work had been done and transition to the new Granite phones will happen this week. He also met with Shaftsbury officials. He said Mr. Robinson has done a great job with the storm.
WD Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Water Department Warrant #2, dated January19, 2024, in the amount of $2,939.86, with key components being health insurance payment, and GMP payments Mr. Sherman seconded. The motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #2, from the General account, dated January 19, 2024, in the amount of $62,709.40, with key components being BC/BS health insurance premiums for $7,700, BCRC fees for $4,219.44, John Deere grader lease payment for $16,802.43, and Fire Department maintenance for $5,281.75. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins absent.
All Other Business: None
Executive Session: Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of legal and personnel issues would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Paustian. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of legal and personnel and issues and to allow Mr. Zaiac, to remain in the room. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:20PM. The Board exited Executive Session at 8:51PM. No decisions were made as part of the Session.
Mr. Paustian made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Browning seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:52PM.