Select Board Meeting Minutes 3.21.22



March 21, 2022

Members Present:  Dan Harvey, Todd Wilkins, Cynthia Browning, Glenn Sherman, and Jamie Paustian

Members Absent:  None

Also Present:  (In person, or via Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Highway Foreman -Mark Towslee, Mike King, Vince Thompson, Willy Knight, Susan Wirkki, Jessica Roberts, Matt Bykowski, “Chelsea”,   and Janet Barry

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey.

Public Comments:   Mr. Harvey asked for public comments unrelated to agenda items. There were none.

Minutes of the Meeting of March 7, 2022 Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of March 7, 2022. Ms. Browning seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

New Business part 1:  Fire Department Discussion:  Fire Chief Mike King spoke at the meeting about several issues. He said the Department would like to have training sessions at Miles, and at the old Chittenden Bank, owned by Josh Sherman, and the owners requested a letter, and proof of insurance from the Town, so they are not liable for any unforeseen incidents or damage. These properties allow the Department to have training with buildings. Mr. Zaiac said this will be done. Chief King said the new utility truck will be outfitted with a cascade system. This system will allow conversion over to air pack bottles that hold more air. He said it should be done in two to three months, and is a step into the future. When the utility truck is ready, truck #74 can be taken out of service and sold outright or at auction. He said the truck appraises at $50,000, but the price could start higher if desired. He said a truck in service usually will sell better than a truck not in use. Mr. Zaiac suggested starting the asking price at $75,000. Chief King said he spoke to the E-One salesman, and the new truck should be delivered in December 2022. He said the Department now has seven Junior Firefighters, and one more application is outstanding. With the amount of PPE allotted for the Junior Firefighters, the number of Junior members will be capped at ten. Chief King spoke of the Department having a failing trash pump, and only one functioning sump pump, and requested, and was given permission, to purchase a new sump pump with Emergency Management budget money. Chief King took issue with the portrayal of the Fire Department in the press last year, and requested the Board take steps to mitigate future disagreements. He was told the Board cannot control opinions of individual Board members, and what is spoken of in an open meeting is public record. He was assured that everyone is trying to work together for the good of the Town.  Sandgate being charged for the hydrant flushing that the Arlington Fire Department provides was discussed. Mr. Zaiac said next year it could be added to the amount Sandgate pays for fire protection, which is currently an amount that only has to do with population. Chief King asked why the Fire Warden has his own private digital radio channel, when he could use the Fire Department’s channels to save money. Mr. Zaiac said the Town’s radio use and bills will be looked at.

Public Comments, part 2: At this point Mr. Harvey asked for any public comments, after Jessica Roberts spoke of the Public Comments being moved to later in the agenda to allow people to ask questions of agenda items.  Mr. Harvey said they are flexible and the public can always speak at meetings, and the comments at the beginning of the meeting are for anyone who does not have an agenda item, but wishes to speak. There were no additional public comments.

Executive Session:  Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of 2 personnel matters, and one legal issue, would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Wilkins. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of 2 personnel issues, and one legal issue, and to allow Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, and Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee, and Mike Finnegan to remain in the room for the first issue, Mr. Zaiac, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Knight to remain in room for the second issue, and Mr. Zaiac to remain in the room for the last issue.  Seconded by Mr. Wilkins. Motion carried. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:35PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:56PM. There were no actions to report as a result of the Executive Session.

New Business part 2: Appointments: Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Sunjit Chawla to the ZBA. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously. It was noted that while Mr. Chawla is not a resident of Arlington, he owns property in Town, so can be appointed to the ZBA. Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Pat Williams to the Trustee of Public Funds. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to reappoint Josh Williams as Emergency Management Director. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Jamie Paustian as the 2nd seat Arlington representative to the  Communications Union District. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Willy Knight as Tree Warden. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Liquor Licenses: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the 2nd Class Liquor License to sell Malt and Vinous Beverages to Arlington Deli, formally Heer Store.  Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve a new First and Third Class Liquor License to 1954 Metropolitan, Inc., DBA – Bronwyn Restaurant, formally Chauncey’s Restaurant. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve an application for a Special Event Permit, for an event on April 28, 2022, from 5-9PM, an Arlington Inn Fundraiser, to Caledonia Spirits, Inc. Mr. Wilkins seconded, motion passed unanimously, and only required verbal acceptance.

Disk Golf Course: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve moving the Disk Golf Course to the confines of the Arlington Rec Park. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning thanked Mr. Zaiac for his help in moving the course from its first proposed location of the Yellow Barn.

Sense of the Board; EV Charger at Arlington Village Center: The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed the Shires Housing, Arlington Village Center apartments desire to seek a grant for an electric vehicle charger at the property. The discussion was to seek a sense of the Board, and the Energy Committee will follow up with their own comments in support at their special meeting on Wednesday. The possibility of losing parking spaces was discussed. It was discussed that the Board is in favor of EV chargers, but there were not enough details for the Board to make a decision and the Energy Committee can act in its own name, understanding the Board may take issue after the fact.

Highways:  Award Brush Wolf attachment for excavator: The Board reviewed quotes for an over the rail cutter for the excavator. It was discussed that the Town has paid to rent this type of attachment for two weeks, every year. The amount of new equipment that has been purchased recently was discussed, as well as renting versus owning this attachment. Mr. Zaiac said there is money in the budget from the savings of 80% State money that was given for the hydro seeder  purchase, as well as saving the money that would be spent on renting this type of equipment this summer, and that this will be the only major piece of equipment that the Highway Department would purchase this year. It was discussed that this Wacker Brush Wolf is a good piece of equipment, and will be beneficial to the Highway Department. Mr. Paustian made a motion to approve the purchase of the Wacker EW65 Brush Wolf, from Tri-County Contractors Supply Inc., for $9,488.00, including installation. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion carried. Ms. Browning said she will support this purchase, but there is a limit as to how much Highway equipment can be bought, stored and taken care of.

Sense of the Board; Pursue designation of Warm Brook Road as No Thru Trucks: It was discussed that the south side of Warm Brook Road, is swampy, and heavy trucks are causing more damage. Trucks will still be able to use the northern leg of the road. The Board agreed that having the road posted and an adjustment to the Traffic Ordinance is the best option and the ordinance change will be on a future agenda. Ms. Browning asked if the stop sign could be moved at the Warm Brook Road intersection, to help prevent accidents before the new roundabout can be built. Mr. Zaiac said he will send an email inquiring about that option.

Old Business: Temporary Bridge: Mr. Wilkins asked if the Town can get a solid answer about a temporary bridge for the Benedict Crossing Bridge until a new bridge can be built. Mr. Zaiac will check into the matter. Ms. Browning said she could make a plan for drainage at the Yellow Barn, which must be addressed before the doors can be replaced, and that perhaps Mr. Sherman and Mr. Zaiac would review the area. Mr. Zaiac said he has a preliminary scoping meeting already planned for next week that will address this issue.

 All Other Business:  Mr. Harvey said he and Mr. Zaiac, as well as approximately 70 other people, attended the ceremony commemorating the 250th anniversary of the New Yorker’s capture and the Bennington posse’s rescue, of early Arlington leader and pre-Revolutionary War patriot Remember Baker Jr., earlier in the day. It was attended by local town representatives and Senators Campion and Sears.

 Town Administrator’s Report:  The Board had been supplied with Mr. Zaiac’ s Town Administrator Report. There were no questions of the report.

Water Department Warrants and Orders:  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant WD#6 dated 3/18/22, in the amount of $3,079.50. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Warrants and Orders:   Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #6, from the General Operating Account, dated 3/18/22, in the amount of $24,535.47, with the biggest highlights being Blue Cross insurance payments, Peckham, truck repairs and GMP.  Mr. Sherman seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:40 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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