April 4, 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, Steve McClafferty, Josh Williams, Susan Paustian, Chelsea Thompson, Mike Wood, Greg Sukiennik-Bennington Banner, 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 21, 2022 Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of March 21, 2022. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
New Business: Fire Department Discussion: Fire Chief Mike King was at the meeting to discuss the amount of money spent on radios in 2021, which for both the Fire Department and the Fire Warden, came to approximately $11,000. Fire Warden, Jamie Paustian, said the Fire Wardens needed the radios to be able to communicate with each other when they are performing duties for the Town, and they use digital channels, which do not have a cost each month, only the initial start up cost, and monthly rental fees have been paid. He and Mr. Towslee agreed digital is needed to cover areas of Town that are out of service with analog channels. Mr. Zaiac agreed there is a need to try to bring down the cost of radios, and he will look into the price of owning equipment, including maintenance costs, versus the current rental situation and it will be discussed at a future meeting.
ARPA Joint Committee Proposal: The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed forming a task force with Sunderland and Sandgate, that would identify potential projects that would benefit the three towns and could be funded by each town’s ARPA funds. It was discussed that the three towns share fire and water service, and park and school usage. Mr. Harvey suggest Mr. Paustian, with his work for the school system, would be a good person to head up the committee. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Paustian to work with Mr. Zaiac on a proposal for a Joint ARPA Committee to work with Sunderland and Sandgate. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Borrowed Money Letter: The Treasurer supplied a letter requesting to borrow money from the Town’s CRF account to cover the Town’s expenses until tax money is collected, as has been done in the past. The letter included the estimated breakdown of income and expenses through June 2022. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize the Town Treasurer to borrow $200,000 from the Town CRF Fire Truck Fund, in anticipation of tax payments. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Executive Session: Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel matter 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 matter, and to allow Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, and Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee to remain in the room, and excluding Mr. Paustian for possible conflict of interest. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Motion carried. Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of a legal matter 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 a legal matter and to allow Mr. Zaiac to remain in the room. Seconded by Mr. Wilkins. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:21PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:17PM. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Zaiac to contact the individual to be offered the Highway crew position and to communicate with both candidates. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Highways: Approve TA65 Form for Covered Bridge: Mr. Harvey read the amounts on the State’s Request for Reimbursement TA65 form, for reimbursement of the Covered Bridge repairs done in 2021. The original award amount was $14,109.41, and the total project cost was $15,279.65, minus the Town’s portion of $1,527.96, leaves $13,751.60 for the reimbursement amount. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to authorize the Request for Reimbursement. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Browning mentioned that the end of River Road is in need of significant repair, and has hazardous areas that need attention, due to the increased traffic since the Benedict Crossing Bridge closing.
Benedict Crossing Bridge Update: Mr. Zaiac has been getting information about having a temporary bridge installed, as was spoke of at past meetings. He found out that a temporary bridge cannot be laid over the old bridge, it would have to be removed completely, with an estimated cost of $125,000. Monthly rental rates of the temporary bridge are relatively low. The old structure would have to be removed to have the new bridge installed, so the cost of removal would have to be paid even without the temporary bridge, but there would be some duplicate equipment costs when the permanent bridge was installed. Mr. Wilkins said perhaps the temporary bridge could allow the Town to save up for the permanent bridge, and not have to bond the project, and suggested Mr. Zaiac obtain bids for the bridge removal. The Board discussed the value of having a steel permanent bridge instead of wood, for durability and strength. Mr. Zaiac said the new bridge lowest cost estimate was $300,000, and most likely would be an additional $100,000. He said he will check for any Federal money that may be available for the project. It was also discussed that the bridge was the only one that remained opened after Hurricane Irene. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Zaiac to seek bids for removal of the Benedict Crossing Super Structure. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
All Other Business: Liquor Licenses: The Board approved a catering license for Thyme Tables to cater a wedding. Only a verbal approval was needed for this form. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve a Liquor License Renewal for Bonnie and Clyde. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve a 1st and 3rd Class Liquor License for Arlington Ramuntos. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Town Administrator’s Report: The Board had been supplied with Mr. Zaiac’ s Town Administrator Report. Mr. Harvey asked if there were any questions. Mr. Paustian asked if there was a timetable for the RT 313 roundabout to be built. Mr. Zaiac said it would be at least a year. Mr. McClafferty asked if the new water bottle filling station at the park is the same type as at the high school, and Mr. Zaiac said it is the same. He also inquired about Yellow Barn drainage issues that had been discussed at the last meeting. He was told that the Yellow Barn has a special fund to pay for repairs and no taxpayer dollars are used, and this is just a splash drainage issue, not a large project. He asked about the possibility of paving some gravel roads, such as River Road and Berwal Road to make it easier to plow and not require grading. It was discussed that the particular topography of some areas causes water to run in unpredictable ways, and some roads are better as gravel. Mr. Zaiac said Highway grant season is in process for this year, with plans to repave Red Mountain, Crow Hill, Warm Brook South, and East Arlington West roads. Having a road inventory done was discussed, and Mr. Paustian said there needs to be a dedicated paving plan that doesn’t require State money, as he had discussed in his election campaign. Mr. Zaiac said the nature of State grant funding for most paving grants requires a match of funds from the Town. Ms. Browning mentioned the problem of water that comes off steep private driveways onto the roads, and that perhaps the ZBA should hold off on future permits until a site visit is done to avoid this problem. Mr. Zaiac said he will look at ways to adjust the ordinance fairly, with new, versus old driveway issues. Mr. McClafferty spoke of an issue with a ditch by his driveway and Mr. Zaiac will check into it.
Mr. Wilkins asked if there was an update about the RT 7A Sidewalk Project, and Mr. Zaiac said he will follow up to try to get an answer from the State.
Water Department Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant WD#7 dated 3/31/22, in the amount of $1,951.65, with the biggest items being Water Department supplies. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #7, dated 3/31/22, in the amount of $8,603.88, with the biggest amounts being motor parts, salt, and retirement payments. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Wilkins made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk