Selectboard Meeting Minutes 10.21.19



October 21, 2019

Members Present:  Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Daniel Harvey, Tim Williams, and Matthew Bykowski

Also Present:   Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Lori DeHimer

The meeting was called to order at 7:02pm by Chairman, Keith Squires

Public Comments:   Ms. DeHimer was at the meeting to speak to the Board about drainage issues at her residence on Russell Street in Arlington. She has lived there for five years, and has had the culvert cleared in the past, but feels it needs to be made deeper to avoid having water seep into her residence in a heavy rain. It was discussed that the nearby stream predates the condos built there, and that the stream is higher than the buildings, and that the Town has to be cautious about drainage issues on private property. Mr. Squires said he will check to see if the area is one the State has named as an area in need of drainage work, and will look at the area himself. He will contact Ms. DeHimer in the next week or two to let her know what can or cannot be done.

Minutes of the Meeting of October 7, 2019:   Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the meeting of October 7, 2019. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

New Business:  Zoning Bylaws:  It was decided that the Board would continue to review the Bylaws packet they received at a past meeting and discuss it at the next meeting.

So.Arlington Plowing:    Mr. Squires showed the Board the new contract with the Town of White Creek NY for plowing in South Arlington. He said it is the same contract as last year and that it is more economical to contract with them than for Arlington Highway Crew to do the plowing because of the location. Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept the contract with the Town of White Creek, for $105 per plowing and $105 per sanding South Arlington. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires said the White Creek road foreman will talk with their operator about not getting gravel in people’s yards, as had been an issue last winter.

Christmas Tree Sales:   Mr. Williams informed the Board that the annual Community House Christmas tree sale will begin November 29, 2019. Trees will be $40 each and there will also be 60 wreaths for sale at $20 each. Mr. Williams also said he thinks there are some trees at the Yellow Barn that could be used for smaller tree sales, at $20 each, while they are still healthy and able to be cut and sold. There are other trees at the Yellow Barn that are not healthy, so he thought it would be good to make use of these while they are still healthy. Mr. Squires said he will look at the Yellow Barn trees to see if they can be cut and sold. It was noted that half of the sales benefit the Community House and half benefit the Yellow Barn.

Old Business:    Technology Plan: Mr. Bykowski had hand outs for the Board detailing the Technology Plan for Town Hall that he and April from E-Enable have been working on.  It was discussed that the Town Clerk and Land Use computers need to be replaced and that there should be a laptop purchased when the new Town Administrator is hired. Mr. Bykowski spoke of the critical need to protect against Ransomware, and that all Town employees and Selectboard members should have their own town email addresses. He sees the best places to start implementing the plan would be to have CrowdStrike Endpoint Protection at approximately $600 per year, NEMRC Cloud, at $850.00 per year, and Office 365 at $1800.00 per year. Mr. Squires spoke of the immediate need for NEMRC Cloud services because the way it is set up now, the people performing the reappraisal have to be in the building and using the Lister’s computers to input their information after business hours. Mr. Bykowski also spoke of it being more vulnerable to have data stored locally than on the Cloud. After some discussion it was decided to start with the most important items first. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Bykowski to contract with April from E-Enable to purchase Microsoft Office 365 for $1800, NEMRC Cloud for $850 per years, and E-Enable professional services for ten hours of service, up to $4150.00. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

1st Responder Benefits:   The Board had been informed briefly at the last meeting, of a new type of coverage available to 1st responders that use their own vehicles to attend emergencies, that is going to be offered from VLCT. While Mr. Squires said more details about the new policy have to be obtained, the Board reviewed what is currently offered.  They reviewed the quarterly stipends that Fire Department officers receive, as well as an insurance policy the Town provides, for $3684 per year,  from Wm. Burns in Dorset, that covers loss of work and medical coverage to 1st responders. It was discussed that through out the State it can be hard to have enough individuals willing and able to be volunteers. Mr. Squires said at the current time the State requires 200 hours of training to qualify, but there is talk of different levels of training being offered at some point. There are several states in the area that currently offer several different tiers of training. Mr. Squires asked Ms. Browning to check on the training issue when she goes back to Montpelier, which she agreed to do, but she said she would also like to see what we can offer on our own that would make people who are interested in becoming a volunteer able to do it, such as a stipend for loss of wages while at an emergency, without having to depend on the State for change.

Efficiency VT:    Mr. Squires said he received a letter for the Water Department from Efficiency Vermont, about conducting an energy review. He asked the Board if they would like him to pursue having and energy audit through Efficiency VT, for Town Hall as well as the Water Department, and they agreed that would be a good place to start the process of being more energy efficient.

Highways: Red Mountain Line Painting:   Mr. Squires told the Board that the owner of FreshCoat Asphalt denies responsibility in the wet paint/line striping issue on Red Mountain Road last month. He explained that the Town’s insurance carrier, VLCT, has the position that the Town didn’t do the work, so they are not responsible for the damage, and will not pay for the claim for Todd Wilkins truck to be repaired. They felt the vehicle owners effected by the damage should have to go to FreshCoat directly for compensation. At the last meeting, the Board unanimously voted to pay for Mr. Wilkins’ truck to be repaired.  Mr. Squires said there was one other person, on Crow Hill Road, that also had some paint on their vehicle, but it seems to be minor. He spoke with the owner and asked for them to get pictures and an estimate and the Town will consider the claim. It was discussed that after the Town pays for Mr. Wilkins repairs, the Town attorney should pursue getting reimbursed from FreshCoat. It was also discussed that after 30 days from the date of the paint incident, the Town won’t be accepting any more claims.

Speed Signs:   Mr. Bykowski brought data on the two speed signs for the Board to review. He said one of the units is still not working well, and felt the manufacturer needs to be called because they are still under warranty. Mr. Harvey agreed to make that phone call. He explained the units store data from both directions, approaching the signs and traveling away from the signs. Peak times showed some concerning speeds, but average in not too bad. Both E. Arlington Road, and Old Mill Road both have 25MPH speed limits.  Overall it was agreed the signs seem to be helping.

Tree Removal:     Mr. Squires told the Board about a tree at the intersection of Red Mountain Road and Raven Rock Road that needs to be removed. It is a huge pine tree, almost in the roadway, in the Town Right of Way, and is starting to show signs of rot and needs to be removed. He showed the Board the two proposals he received, one from Trees, Inc. for $1125, and one from Steve’s Supreme Trees for $1600. It was also discussed that the land owners closest to the tree need to be notified of the decision to remove the tree. Mr. Harvey made a motion to contract with Trees, Inc, for removal of the pine tree and the intersection of Red Mountain Road and Raven Rock Road, for $1125.00. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

Pot Holes:  Mr. Harvey mentioned there are very large pot holes on E. Arlington Road. Mr. Squires said he would speak to the Highway foreman about filling them. 

Water Department:  Mr. Squires talked to the Board about the pump at the Pump House was down when the power was off recently and that the generator did not come on and do it’s job. It was discussed that there may have been some voltage issues that caused the problem.  It was also mentioned that there is a Water Department meeting at 7PM on Monday October 28, 2019.  Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#22, from the Operating Account in the amount of $2210.89. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.  

Warrants and Orders:    Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant # R19-6, Reappraisal Account, to NEMRC for reappraisal services to date, in the amount of $20,800. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.   Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant # 22, in the amount of $28,772.34, from the General Operating Account, of which over $11,000 is a semi-annual Bennington County tax payment.  Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

All Other Business:   


Executive Session:   Mr. Harvey made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Mr. Bykowski seconded. At 8:55PM, Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue. Mr. Harvey seconded.  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to come out of executive session. Mr. Williams seconded. The motion passed.  The Board was back in open session at 9:28PM.  There was no further business for the Board. Mr. Harvey made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Williams seconded. The motion passed and meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Meeting video taped

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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