June 27, 2022
Members Present: Dan Harvey, Cynthia Browning, Todd Wilkins, Glenn Sherman
Members Absent: Jamie Paustian
Also Present: (In person, or via Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Erin Hazlitt, Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Garret Siegel, Alexandra Ernst, Greg Sukiennik-Manchester Journal, 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. Erin Hazlitt made comments on the nature of Arlington’s contract with the Vermont State Police.
Minutes of the Meeting of June 6, 2022: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the June 6, 2022 meeting. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian absent from the meeting.
Highways: Grader Update: Mr. Zaiac said the grader has needed six service calls in spite of being brand new and is still being repaired, so grading Town roads has fallen behind schedule. The grader is still under warranty so there has been no expense associated with the repairs.
Benedict Crossing RFP: The Board reviewed the draft of the Benedict Crossing Reconstruction Request for Proposal that Mr. Zaiac prepared. Bids will be due by August 19, 2022, and the completion date has been moved to May 1, 2023. The existing bridge superstructure will be removed, and the new design must include use of the existing bridge abutments. Having an appendix added that reproduces information from the State was discussed. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the RFP for the Benedict Crossing Reconstruction as presented, with the proposed change. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian not in attendance.
Ms. Browning noted that she had met with the Highway crew. She said many roads in town haven’t been graded, due to the grader electrical issues, and tree trimming has been taking place in the rented man-lift, but suggested renting the man-lift later next year, so grading can be completed before trimming.
New Business: Cemetery Policy Bylaw Update: Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with the updated Cemetery Policy and Bylaw Update, bringing it in line with how things are currently done, and cleans up language from the previous policy. No policy making decision of the Commissioners is valid unless approved by the Select Board. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the revised Cemetery Bylaw and Policies. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian not in attendance.
Energy Committee Bylaw Updates and Reappointments: Mr. Zaiac said the Energy Committee bylaws needed to be cleaned up and tweaked. The Committee will now have seven members. Committee members Garret Seigel and Stephanie Moffett-Hynds spoke of being happy to work within the Town structure, and be advisors to the Town, and having more interactions with the Select Board. They have helped with the Town energy audit and worked the carbon emissions report for all Town owned properties. They spoke of having good guidance from Mr. Zaiac, who attends every meeting, as to what can be said at meetings. Mr. Zaiac said he will circulate the existing draft of the climate carbon numbers discussed at the recent Energy Committee meeting to the Select Board. The Board agreed they would like to have the Committee come to Select Board meetings and keep them informed of their projects. The proposed committee of members wishing to be appointed were: Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Karen Lee, and Garret Siegel for two-year terms, and MaryAnn Carlson, Alexandra Ernst, Mardi Crane, and Jenny Murtaugh for one-year terms. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve recommendations of Mr. Zaiac, reflected in the Town Administrator’s Appointment Memo dated June 24, 2022. Ms. Browning seconded. It was noted that the Board should have first adopted the bylaw update before voting on appointments. Mr. Wilkins withdrew his motion. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion was withdrawn. Ms. Browning made a motion to adopt the Energy Committee Policies and Bylaws, with one minor correction. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian absent. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the Arlington Energy Committee appointments, per the Town Administrator’s memo, dated June 24, 2022. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian absent.
Playground Update: Mr. Zaiac informed the Board that the new playground equipment has been voted on by the Park Committee. He said he will be writing a grant proposal for a VLCT grant to purchase additional mulch. The process will continue with a planning review in July, site plan review, and ZBA permits. The equipment meets all Consumer Safety Standards for playground equipment.
Budget Update/Line Overrun Votes: The Board reviewed the budget line overruns, which included higher Town Report printing costs, Fire Warden protective clothing expense, Class 3 grass seed, unexpected highway truck repairs, small equipment buys, and park labor for the new park lead position, which caused their budget lines to be overspent. Mr. Sukiennik asked if this meant the budget was overspent, and it was explained that the line amounts are set in the new budget each year, but adjustments sometimes need to be made, and money is shifted in the budget to cover the overrun lines, but does not increase the budget and the Board votes on the overruns to always be aware of any of these changes that need to occur. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the line overruns presented by the Town Administrator. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with Mr. Paustian absent.
Fire Department Matter: SCBA Memorandum: Mr. Wilkins read the following memo: The Arlington Select Board recognizes that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all interior firefighters undergo self-controlled breathing apparatus (SCBA) mask fit testing not less than once annually. The Select Board instructs the Arlington Fire Department to have this fitting done no later than September 1st of each year. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the policy statement read by Mr. Wilkins. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously with Mr. Paustian absent.
Executive Session: Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of property and legal matters would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Motion carried. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of property and legal matters, and to allow Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac to remain in the room. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Motion carried. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:53PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:24PM. No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session.
Town Administrator’s Report: Mr. Zaiac said highlights from his report include playground planning, grant work, and successfully adapting to a bi-weekly payroll schedule for most Town employees. He said electrical work for the new Town Hall lightbulbs will be awarded at the next meeting. Mr. Zaiac said he is asking the public for suggestions for the VLCT Transportation Committee, and they can be emailed to Mr. Zaiac. He said the Fire Department had already given really good suggestions.
All Other Business: Burn Ban: It was discussed that there have been some trash burning incidents lately. There is a trash fire burn ban ordinance in effect. Mr. Zaiac said that trash, or construction waste can not be burned, and residents can call the Fire Wardens to investigate any incidents. The Fire Warden information is on the Town’s website and Mr. Paustian can share any additional information when he is at the next meeting.
Park Burglary: Mr. Wilkins spoke of the recent break in at the park office where some tools were stolen. He suggested having a lockbox for the tools and to store them in the garage which is much more difficult to break into and would be visible from the road. He also suggested having cameras over the doors. The cost of the theft was $200-$300 dollars and the tools will be replaced next year. The lockbox will be purchased soon.
Water Department Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant WD#12 dated 6/23/22, in the amount of $5,752.55, which includes health insurance premiums, GMP electric bills, sample testing, PACIF insurance quarterly payments and supplies. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian absent.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #12, dated 6/23/22, in the amount of $63,269.16, which includes over $10,000 for PACIF quarterly insurance payment, and Bennington County tax payment, highway truck repair, and unemployment insurance payments. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Paustian absent.
Mr. Zaiac reminded the Board this delayed meeting doesn’t change the schedule and the next meeting will be held as planned, on July 11, 2022. Mr. Harvey said there had been a complaint about a property on East Arlington Road. Mr. Zaiac will investigate for junk cars and trash burning and he said there are formal written complaint forms available for residents to fill out if needed.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:41 PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk