Selectboard Meeting Minutes 10.12.20



October 12, 2020

Members Present:  Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Tim Williams, and Todd Wilkins

Members Absent:  None

Also Present:   Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Don Keelan, and Darrin Marcy  and Janet Barry,  via telephone.

The meeting was called to order at 7:09 by Mr. Harvey

Public Comments:  None

Minutes of the Meeting of September 28, 2020:   Mr. Williams made a motion to approve the minutes of the Select Board meeting of Sept. 28, 2020. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

New Business:   Finance Practice Discussion:    Mr. Zaiac and the Board discussed options to improve practices for non-Town Clerk money handling for the Town, perhaps moving towards Board chosen expertise in place of an elected position, which would require the vote of the community to implement. Mr. Zaiac has been gathering examples of how finances are handled in other towns in the area.   It was agreed the Board is moving to raise the level of transparency in Town government. The Board discussed the possibility of having Mr. Zaiac write an editorial for the local newspaper, and that he may work on the language for an Article for Town Meeting Day in March 2021.

Salt Contract Awards:  Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with four salt bids, one of which was high, and the other three in line with each other, which included the State salt contract. After reviewing the options, Mr. Bykowski made a motion to award  salt contracts to Morton Salt, for 300 tons at $68.14 per ton, American Salt, the State contract holder, for 300 tons at $68.60 per ton, and Appalache  Salt for 600 tons at $64.00 per ton. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Sand Contract:  Mr. Zaiac presented the Board with three bids for winter sand. Wallingford (Troy Minerals) $15.25 per ton delivered, Pike Industries, $7.00 per ton, undelivered, and Peckham Industries $13.95 per ton delivered. It was discussed that sand from Peckham offers good traction and has been used successfully for approximately five years. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into a contract with Peckham Industries for 3000 tons of winter sand at $13.95 per ton, delivered. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Planning Commission Review: The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed the possibility of reviewing some items with the Planning Commission that may help with some housekeeping of the zoning bylaws, to possibly lessen lengthy approval times in the future. It was agreed that the Board will require more time to review the information and it will be discussed at a later date.

Sheriff’s Contract Update: Mr. Bykowski gave the Board a very detailed Power Point presentation he created, concerning his review of the Sheriff’s Department Contract. As was discussed at the last meeting when Captain Hurley was present, Arlington was billed 50 hours from Aug. 17-Sept. 6, 2020, when the contractual hours approved were 45. Mr. Zaiac and Mr. Bykowski spoke to Captain Hurley on a subsequent phone call, and he acknowledged the five-hour overage, but only after Mr. Bykowski audited the invoices, and their solution was to reduce future patrol services to compensate for the overage.  There were also 8 ½ hours of backup, or overlap time, that resulted in $540.00 in deceptive billing. Captain Hurley stated the Sheriff’s Department cannot guarantee non-variable costs to the Town. They bill the Town for officer backups, clerical time, warrants and court time. Captain Hurley did not appreciate being questioned and stated the Sheriff’s Department does not wish to continue with the contract with Arlington and sent Mr. Zaiac an email saying the contract will be canceled effected Oct. 25, 2020. However, the signatory of the Town’s agreement with the Sheriff’s Department is Chad D. Schmidt, so he must terminate service via written notice. As of the meeting time, he had not provided official cancellation of the contract. Mr. Zaiac contacted the Vermont State Police (VSP) to see what rate and services they could offer Arlington.  It was discussed that the hourly rate is $75.69, but is a flat rate service, no non-variable costs, or extra charges for back-up, court time, or travel time, and VSP would supply more accountable data.  Rupert currently contracts with VSP. Mr. Bykowski feels the Town could contract with VSP for nine hours to complement existing patrols in Town and still stay within budget.  Mr. Wilkins, a VT State Trooper, recused himself from voting on the issue, but said troopers would have to be willing to do the patrols, it is not a guarantee. Mr. Bykowski proposed a trial use of VSP services for one quarter, with the option to extend the service. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to have Mr. Zaiac notify the Sheriff’s Department of the cancellation of the contract, as of October 27, 2020. Ms. Browning seconded. Mr. Wilkins abstained.

Junk Ordinance on Red Mtn Road/VT 7A: Mr. Bykowski spoke to the Board about an ongoing situation at the intersection of Red Mountain Rd. and VT RT 7A, that he has witnessed, as well as having had residents complain to him about garbage being strewn about at the property at that location, and having many untagged vehicles in various states of repair, and also that  there has been a wrecker parked in the public right- of -way and school bus turnaround located there.  It was discussed that this situation could qualify as a junk ordinance issue, zoning issue, environmental issue, and possible traffic safety issue.  Mr. Wilkins said he would be willing to have a conversation with the residents and investigate further, and the issue will be discussed at the next meeting.

Old Business:  Hazardous Tree Policy:     The Board and Mr. Zaiac reviewed the Hazardous Tree Policy that needed slight editing from the last meeting. It was discussed that it’s good to get ahead of the Ash Borer insect situation as there are 30,000 Ash trees in the right of way in Town, as well as a large number at the park, and that the policy states that the Select Board has a duty to protect individuals using said right of ways from the threat of harm caused by hazardous trees. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Hazardous Tree Policy, dated October 12, 2020. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Town School Billing and Accounting Agreement:  Mr. Bykowski read the “Arlington Select Board and Arlington School District Agreement on Billing and Accounting for Cooperative Purchases” to the Board, that Mr. Zaiac drafted after a discussion of this topic at the last meeting.

  1. It is recognized that both the Town of Arlington (herein the Town) and the Arlington School District(herein the School) are tax-exempt public entities in the State of Vermont that operate facilities in the Town of Arlington, VT.
  2. It is recognized that both the Town and School benefit from cooperative use of specialized labor, construction materials, and construction equipment to lower facility maintenance and improvement costs.
  3. It is recognized that prior to 2020, materials, labor, and equipment hours were transferred between the Town and School on an as-needed basis without accounting for said transfers.
  4. Be it resolved that to improve the accounting practices of both the Town and School, the Town and School will track all transfers of materials, labor and equipment hours, with the burden of administration placed on the manager of the transferred materials, labor or equipment.
  5. Be it resolved that all transfers of material, labor, and equipment will be accounted for at the marginal cost of provision of the transferred material, labor, and equipment to the Town or School.
  6. Be it resolved that road salt, and winter sand are exempted from this policy due to both the Town and School both lacking a scale appropriate to weigh said materials on use, and the costs associated with obtaining said metering equipment remain prohibitive as of the signing of this agreement.
  7. Be it resolved that all equipment hours will be accounted for using a generally accepted schedule of equipment hourly rates.
  8. Be it resolved that all outstanding balances shall be accounted for and billed to the other entity on a quarterly basis from 1/1/2021.

Town Administrator’s Report:     Mr. Zaiac reported on some of the highlights contained in his report.  He said Joshua Criss started on the Highway crew on Oct. 5th, and Todd Siclari will start on Oct. 19, 2020. The Board discussed allowing the Highway crew to decide what they want in terms of uniforms or jackets, and that they will be allowed to ordered T-shirts.

Water Department:    Warrants and Orders:   Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve WD Warrant #20, in the amount of $2995.02. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

Warrants and Orders:       Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve CRF Warrant # 20-9, in the amount of $197,064.70, for the Sandgate Road Project. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve General Warrant #21, in the amount of $26,106.33.  Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

Other Business: Eagle Scout:  Mr. Williams said he was approached by an Eagle Scout wanting to know of projects he could do for the Town. The Board discussed some ideas of where he could help.

Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 9:18PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Meeting video taped

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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