March 27, 2023
Members Present: Dan Harvey, Todd Wilkins, Cynthia Browning, Glenn Sherman, and Jamie Paustian
Members Absent: None
Also Present: Nick Zaiac-Town Administrator, Mark Robinson, Roger Hanson, Jim Henderson, Don Keelan, Bill Bullock, Kimberly Barnes, Jane Jenkins, GNAT videographer, and Garrett Siegel and Janet Barry, via Zoom
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey.
Public Comments: Kimberly Barnes was at the meeting with her complaint against Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, in his prior capacity as interim Land Use Administrator, and the handling of the zoning violations of her property. Jane Jenkins was at the meeting in support of her neighbor. It was decided the issue would be discussed in the meeting’s Executive Session. Letters from the Town and State to the complainant will be kept with the minutes of the meeting.
Don Keelan was originally at the meeting to ask for help from the Select Board in reopening the Post Office, but the Post Office’s district office had just given him permission to say the issues causing the odor at the Post Office had been identified and repaired, and the Post Office hopes to reopen by the end of the week.
Minutes of the Meeting of March 13, 2023: Mr. Paustian made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the March 13, 2023 meeting. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
New Business: Yellow Barn Updates: Roger Hanson was at the meeting to speak about upcoming work at the Yellow Barn. Ms. Browning said what a wonderful job has been done at the Yellow Barn. Mr. Hanson would like help from the highway crew in removing invasive species and dead trees and moving items in the barn to make more storage room. Ms. Browning suggested contacting the Bennington County Conservation District for help with equipment for pulling stumps. Highway Foreman, Mark Robinson, said he could coordinate a time to help with some of the projects, and it was discussed that there is a local Cub Scout group looking to earn conservation badges that may be able to help cut the bittersweet.
Facilities Improvements for Battenkill Users: Bill Bullock was at the meeting to talk about some facilities improvements for Battenkill users, like having portable bathrooms at high traffic areas, and having recycling trash receptacles, as well as the possibility of creating a River User Etiquette Guide and partnering with various user groups to encourage mutually beneficial behavior for all. The second Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival will take place at the end of April. Having more focus on preventing drinking on the river was discussed. The idea of having flags placed at the kiosk by the Fish and Game Access was discussed, to alert people to the water levels in the river. Jim Henderson was at the meeting to talk about tree plantings on Town properties, and along the river. He had new promotional pamphlets and posters to be placed around Town to promote protecting and improving the Battenkill, created by BKWA.
Executive Session: Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue and to allow Mr. Zaiac, and Highway Foreman, Mark Robinson, to remain in the room. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. The Board entered into Executive Session at 8:07PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:25PM. No decisions were announced as a result of the Executive Session.
New Business Part 2: TA-60 Form: The Board reviewed and signed an updated TA-60 Form that is more complete, with 38% of the Highway budget to better withstand winter disasters and increases the amount of money the Town can get back from FEMA if needed. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Annual Financial Plan, Form TA-60, for the Town of Arlington, as presented. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Tax Anticipation Note: The Board reviewed the Tax Anticipation Note from Bank of Bennington, discussed at past meetings. It allows the Town to borrow 1.2 million dollars at a fixed interest rate of 5.92%, to meet current expenses. The Town will only get charged for money taken, and the Board approves each draw. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Town of Arlington Tax Anticipation Note, borrowing 1.2 million dollars from Bank of Bennington, and to repay the Bank of Bennington on December 1, 2023, with a fixed rate of 5.92%, and to authorize Select Board Chair, Dan Harvey, to sign the note. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Ms. Browning feels the interest rate is too high.
Engineering Service Agreement: The Board agreed they need more time to review the agreement. Ms. Browning made a motion to table the Engineering Service Agreement until the next meeting. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Appointments and Reappointments: Ms. Browning made a motion to reappoint Mr. Harvey, and appoint Mr. Sherman and Mr. Paustian to three year terms as Fence Viewer. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint John Williams to a two year term on the Planning Commission and Sunjit Chawla as an alternate to the Planning Commission. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to reappoint Anita Joan Nash as Land Use Administrator. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to reappoint Travis Evans to a three year term on the ZBA, and to reappoint Michaelanne Sylvester to a two year term on the ZBA and to appoint Louis Parrot to a two year term on the ZBA. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. There is currently one, two year seat open on the ZBA. Ms. Browning made a motion to reappoint Matt Bykowski as Inspector of Lumber. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said the next two weeks will be filled with the audit. There were no questions about the report.
Water Department Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant WD#6, dated 3/24/2023, in the amount of $4,024.42, with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, GMP payments, and Otter Creek payment being the main elements. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #6, dated 3/23/2023, in the amount of $25,179.01, with major elements being salt, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, recycling and GMP payments, and LHS for election ballots. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
All Other Business: None
Mr. Wilkins made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:45PM.
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary Cc Town Clerk Files