Select Board Meeting Minutes 6.17.24 draft



June 17, 2024 

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

Members Absent:   None 

Also Present:     Mark Robinson-Highway Foreman, Steve McClafferty, “Darrin”,  GNAT-TV  and Janet Barry- via Zoom  

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

Public Comments:  None 

Minutes of the Meetings of June 3, 2024: Mr. Sherman made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of June 3, 2024 as presented. Mr. Paustian seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 

New Business:    Mr. Zaiac shared a Memorandum of Highway Capital Planning that he created with information and suggestions from Mr. Robinson.  The Board reviewed the different options for planning for major highway equipment purchases in the coming years, as well as spending the $100,000 in ARPA funds allocated to Highway.  Mr. Robinson said he would like to purchase a larger excavator because the one they have is not heavy enough to pull stumps and cannot reach ditches because the boom is too short. He said working the excavator as hard as they have been will kill the machine sooner. Mr. Wilkins asked for specific projects a new excavator would be used for and Mr. Robinson said one project would be widening roads, such as Buck Hill, Maple Hill and Butternut Gutter. It was discussed that the larger excavator would save approximately 33% of time on projects, thereby saving labor costs, which Mr. Wilkins calculated to be a potential savings of $26,000 over a six-month period. It was discussed that there are two track machines for sale in MA, and rubber machines are very hard to find. It was discussed that that having the ARPA funds is a good opportunity to be able to get the machine. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to authorize Mark Robinson to bring bids back on track excavators. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Paustian said he wants to make sure Mr. Robinson looks at the machines in person before bringing the Board bids.  

Mr. Robinson mentioned he would like to see the Board start thinking about a new garage, which would allow for better care of their machines. Ms. Browning noted that this has been discussed before but a good location for a new garage has not been found.  

Appointments:  At the previous meeting the Board accepted Land Use Administrator, Joan Nash’s resignation. Her personal plans have changed, and she wishes to retract her resignation. Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Anita Joan Nash as Land Use Administrator, conditional on the Planning Commission’s approval. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.  

Memorial Resolution for Dick Sears:  Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with the Memorial Resolution he drafted. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the memorial resolution for the late Senator Dick Sears. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The resolution will be posted on the Town’s website. 

Sheriff Contract Discussion:  Mr. Zaiac had gotten information on a possible contract with the Sheriff’s Department for coverage in Town. It was discussed that the previous contract had some billing problems, and that any new contract would have to have all billing procedures made completely clear. Mr. Zaiac said at approximately $70 per hour for patrols it is not a trivial cost, and due to staffing issues, the only coverage available would be Monday through Friday during the day. Mr. Wilkins said his position on record is that the Town does not need this contract, but if the coverage included weekends and nights, he would be more n favor of the contract.  Mr. Harvey agreed he did not see the need, with the amount of State Troopers living in Town. Mr. Wilkins said if there is a specific area of speeding at specific times the State Police can be emailed, and troopers can be sent to the location. Ms. Browning said that the contract at this time does not offer what is needed and it can be revisited in the future. She thanked Mr. Zaiac for obtaining all the information and asked that Sheriff Gulley be made aware of the reason for the contract not being accepted. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to reject the contract with the Sheriff’s Department as presented with the current proposal. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.  

ARPA Awards from Water Board: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the use of ARPA funds for the South Road project and the Hydrology study with Otter Creek as established and approved in the preceding Water Board meeting. Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.  

Reappraisal Letter:  The Listers and the Treasurer received a letter from the State concerning the need for a Town Reappraisal. There were figures provided to the Board with $144,832.94 in the Reappraisal Budget. It was noted the Board would like clarification of this figure from the Treasurer.  

All Other Business:  Mr. Wilkins had some Park information for the Board. He said there are fence repairs that need to be done, and quotes are being obtained.  He said Mr. Knight filled out a work order for Highway Department assistance in fixing stones at the culvert on the walking path and golf bridge, which will be repaired soon. Mr. Wilkins asked for the status of the wash pad station that had been approved for the park  last year. Mr. Zaiac will check and report back to the Board. Mr. Zaiac said the greens mower trailer was ordered and will be in soon. Mr. Wilkins said Mr. Knight does not believe automatic sprinklers at the Park are necessary. Funds for a Park sprinkler system are included in the ARPA funds.  

Town Administrator Report:  Mr. Zaiac said it had been a normal period with IT and grant work and two audit pieces for Vtrans and Workmen’s Comp that were sorted out. He said he will have a few days off at the end of the week.  

WD Warrants and Orders:  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Water Department Warrant #12, dated 6/14/24, in the amount of $4,201.80, with the major items being VLCT for insurance for $1,309, billing envelopes for $1,180, and GMP for $958.46.  Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. 

Warrants and Orders:   Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #12, from the General account, dated 6/14/2, in the amount of $54,886.75, with key components being Bennington County tax payment, and VLCT insurance payments.  Mr. Sherman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. 

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 Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, to remain in the room.  Seconded by Mr. Sherman. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:27PM. The Board exited Executive Session at 8:48PM.  No decision was made as a result of the Executive Session.  

All Other Business:  None  

Mr. Paustian made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:49PM. 

The next Select Board meeting will be held July 8, 2024. 

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