October 11, 2021
Members Present: Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Todd Sherman, and Glenn Sherman
Members Absent: Dan Harvey
Also Present: (In person, or via Zoom or phone) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Fire Department members-Mike King, Vince Thompson, Jay Coonradt, and Eric Marko, Sue and Olavi Wirkki, and Janet Barry
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Bykowski.
Public Comments: None
Minutes of the Meeting of Sept.27, 2021. Ms. Browning made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of Sept. 27, 2021. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins obtaining because he was not able to attend the meeting.
Old Business: Red Mountain Update: Mr. Zaiac gave an update on the Red Mountain Trails Project. He said a final decision should be able to be made at the next meeting. The Park and Rec Committee will be meeting with Ms. Browning and Mr. Sherman on Wednesday, concerning the letter from the Board sent to them after the last meeting, requesting all funds that are raised for this project be turned over to the Town, for future maintenance of the trails. Mr. Zaiac also said Bly Hollow rejected the Board’s request to lower the purchase price because discounts on the property have already been applied. He said most of the questions surrounding this project, like access, and parking, are under control, and only one easement still needs processing. Ms. Browning said she was grateful to the owners of the Miles, Ehrich, and Smith properties for their support of the project. Mr. Zaiac said the project is more viable than it was originally thought to be. Mr. Bykowski asked Mr. Zaiac to prepare a financial spreadsheet for the next meeting.
New Business: Initial Fire Study Discussion: It was discussed that the main issues surrounding the Fire Department were retention and recruitment, leadership, and disposition of the firehouses, whether to pursue the Dietrich property, or another property, or improve current properties. Chief King said there are currently only nineteen members. Lack of volunteers is not just a local issue, but is happening nationwide. Different types of incentives were discussed. Chief King said Manchester and other departments use a point system as incentive, and some towns have hourly pay for training. Mr. Bykowski said he read the MRI Fire Service Study, that was completed in July 2020, and the number one issue is to resolve to build strong leadership, then recruitment and retention will follow, along with offering incentives, and having defined roles for volunteers. The idea of having Board appointed Fire Chiefs was discussed. Chief King said without the Board having firefighter experience, it would be hard to write procedures. Ms. Browning said she is reluctant to go in that direction, and it is important to have the firefighters involved. The idea of regionalizing the fire department was also discussed. It was decided that physical infrastructure will be discussed at the next meeting. Mr. Zaiac said there may be grant money available to have a study of the Dietrich, or other properties, as potential sites for a new firehouse. Compensation for training will be discussed for the 2022 budget, and Mr. Zaiac will reach out to other towns to see how they handle similar issues. Chief King said truck #74, that suffered damage from an electrical fire at a training session, will be towed to VRS in Clifton Park for repairs. It was discussed that removing #74 from the inventory will not affect the ISO rating, and that truck #711 can be put into service. Ms. Browning made a motion to move Truck #711 into service and have Truck #74 as standby. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent. The need for shelving to be added to the new Freightliner truck that was recently ordered was discussed. It was an oversight that the RFP did not include the shelving. The Board reviewed the change order, which totals $14,700 for the needed shelving. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the change order for outfitting the new truck as presented, for $14,700. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent. The Board decided against the second change order presented, to have the truck doors painted red, as opposed to stainless steel, for $4,765.
Disk Gold Award: Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with three retailers that sell the 18 disk golf holes needed to be purchased as part of the State Recreation Facilities Grant the Town was awarded. Mr. Zaiac said there was no quality difference in the equipment, but that Amazon was the lowest cost, and already has the Town’s tax ID information. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to award the purchase of 18 disk golf holes from Amazon for $4,392. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent. Mr. Zaiac said he will order the needed signs. Vince Thompson said he knows someone who has set up disk golf in other areas that may be willing to help the Town.
Highways: Radios: Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with two options for supplying radios for the Highway crew, to upgrade service in West Arlington, and also supply a radio for Mr. Zaiac to allow him to be able to communicate with the crew where cell service is limited. CVC and Burlington Communication were the two options. Mr. Zaiac recommended CVC, which offers rental for $30 per month, per unit. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the overspending of the line item by $900 for radio updates. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said the crew had finished tree work, with the bulk of the work taking place on Buck Hill, Butternut Gutter and Maple Hill Road, and will be doing a sidewalk project and water work next week. He said salt prices have increased significantly, but the crew uses an additive, which allows for less salt usage. He said he had attended a hazardous waste meeting, and a FEMA meeting, and had done grant reporting. He said the budget is on track. Ms. Browning asked that Mr. Zaiac or Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee, look at the Church Street sidewalk, where there are areas that are degrading and need repair. Mr. Wilkins asked for the status on the 7A Sidewalk Project. Mr. Zaiac said secondary work is imminent, and there are two easements, one with Arlington Commons and one with a homeowner, that are still being dealt with.
Executive Session: None
Other Business: None
Water Department: Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #WD19, dated 10/8/21, in the amount of $1,087.28. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously; one member absent.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #19, dated 10/8/21, from the General Fund, in the amount of $44,746.93. Biggest expenses are Bear Iron for the Grizz Box, Mile Pre-Buy for fuel oil, and Topkote for restriping. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant # 21-10 from CRF, dated 9/30/21, for $7,854.40, to Audio-Video for the Town Hall tele-conference equipment and installation. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent.
Mr. Wilkins made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:34 PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk