NOVEMBER 19, 2018
Members Present: Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Daniel Harvey, Reggie Jennings Jr
Members Absent: Tim Williams
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Judy, Sherry and Nick Monte, Sr.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Chairman Keith Squires
Minutes of Meeting of November 5, 2018:
Ms. Browning made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of November 5, 2018. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion carried.
Public Comments: There were no public comments.
New Business: Old Mill Rd. Properties: To start the meeting, Mr. Squires said that in the meeting of November 5, 2018, he had spoken about properties on Old Mill Road that he had heard the owner was trying to establish as tax exempt property. But he recently spoke to the owner directly, and he assured Mr. Squires that it is not his intention to try to have the properties declared tax exempt. Mr. Squires apologized for having spoken about it when it was just a rumor.
Donation Requests: Mr. Squires said that he had recently received two requests for donations, one from VYCC, Vermont youth Conservation Corps, and one from RFP, Rural Fire Protection Program (dry hydrants and rural water supply systems), Vermont Association of Conservation Districts. VYCC has never been on the Town’s Appropriation list. Ms. Browning said they get some State money and also make use of State grants for their funding. They are also paid when they perform jobs, such as when the Town paid them for their work for clean up after Hurricane Irene, and other projects they have done for the Town. It was discussed that they are not a local based organization and the Board agreed that they should not be given a donation, but that they will be sent a letter explaining to them the process they would need to follow if they want to be considered for 2019 Appropriations. The RFD(VACD) had been on the Appropriation list in the past under their old name, George D. Aiken, and had received $100 each year, which is their current request. It was discussed that they will not be given a donation, but will also be sent a letter explaining that they need to follow the same rules as for a new Appropriation request under their new name.
GMP Upgrades: Mr. Squires informed the Board that he received a letter from Green Mountain Power that discussed their upcoming project on RT 313, where they will be relocating poles, installing new poles and resetting poles. GMP will meet with landowners along RT 313 to discuss the project.
Mr. Harvey asked that minutes and agendas be emailed to him so that he can post them on Facebook.
Highways: Judy, Sherry and Nick Monte Sr. were at the meeting to discuss the recent situation concerning their property in East Arlington. A neighbor’s house had been sump pumping water out of the basement at this rental property, which Highway foreman, Gary Weller had been concerned would freeze on the road and cause accidents. Mr. Weller dug a trench to divert the water, but the Monte’s said it was dug across three properties without notifying the owners. They wanted to know if it was the Board’s policy that a situation like this should be handled without speaking with landowners, and Mr. Squires informed him that it shouldn’t have happened, it was a miscommunication and won’t happen again. He said he is meeting with the owner of that rental property soon to address the problem. Mr. Monte also said there is an underlying drainage issue in that area even before the issue with the neighbor’s house, and water runs in front of his business. Mr. Squires said he is aware of the drainage issues in the area due to the fact that the hill on the road from Sunderland drains through there. Mr. Monte said that Mr. Weller did come to see him and filled the trench in when they called the Town, and they were assured by the Board that if the ditch starts to settle at a later date, they will fix it again.
Mr. Monte also spoke to the Board as President of the Lions Club. He said they will be putting up Christmas lights around the town on December 1st, at 9AM with the help of high school students and anyone else interested in helping. He asked permission for lights to be put up around Town Hall, which was given.
Jaspar Lane: A woman who lives on Jaspar Lane contacted Mr. Squires about ongoing plowing problems in the cul de sac. Mr. Squires said he has pictures that the plow made three passes, not one as the owner had thought, and that the highway crew try not to rip up the homeowners’ lawns. Mr. Squires will check into the situation again.
Plow Complaint: Mr. Squires also said he had a complaint email from a townsperson who was walking her dog on Pleasant St after Friday’s snowfall, and thought the Town’s plow was going too fast. He was making the Board aware of the letter, but still needs to address it with the plow driver.
Salt: Mr. Squires said Gary has ordered the first load of salt from Apalache and they will receive it soon. He said other towns using this company for the first time this year as well, have been happy with their quality.
Water Department: Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve WD#23, from the Operating Account, in the amount of $8208.30. Included in that amount is the reimbursement to the Town for payroll and health insurance premium. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Squires informed the Board that the payment date of the Water Bond payments has been changed by the State to June 1, 2019. Mr. Squires also said that because of having extra repairs this year, income verses expenses is close. He feels there will be government money being made available in the next couple of years for infrastructure repair, but the Board agreed they need to make sure they are headed in the right direction with Water Department income and expenses.
Water Department Meeting: A Water Department meeting was scheduled for December 17, 2018, at 6PM, before the regular Selectboard Meeting.
Old Business: Hazard Mitigation Plan: Mr. Squires said Michael Batcher, from BCRC, will be at the December 3rd meeting with new information on the plan. Ms. Browning suggested including someone from the Arlington Renewal Committee because they may have valuable information and ways of connecting to townspeople. Mr. Squires said he will contact Jim Baker to see if anyone wants to attend the meeting.
Town Administrator Position: The Board agreed they want to have an article available for voters by March, asking if they want to go forward with hiring this new position. Mr. Harvey suggested a realistic timeframe may be getting it approved in March, for 2020 start date. It was also discussed that the Board include a quarter of the salary in the 2019 budget in case they find a qualified person before 2020. Mr. Jennings said he will contact Todd Wilkins form the Renewal Committee to see what new information he has on this position. Mr. Squires said he will check with other Vermont towns to see the salaries and job descriptions for a similar position and will make a job description of what his position has encompassed.
Ash Borer: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about an informational meeting he attended recently about the Ash Borer invasion. He said that while the insect usually can travel only five miles a year, it can also be moved around with the help of human beings, as much as nature. The conservation group expects the insects to be in the town in 3-5 years. Once they attack a tree, which they do at it’s base, it can kill the tree in a year. Mr. Squires suggested starting a capital fund for future Ash Borer issues that may arise. He also suggested putting money into the budge for a tree inventory, for Ash trees in the Town right of ways, to get an idea how many trees would have to be dealt with should they become infested. Dead trees would be a hazard to the public and have to come down. The downed wood can be chipped, to destroy the insects or can also be heat treated. He said grant money may also be available to towns in the future for this issue.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve General Warrant #24, in the amount of $17,409.23. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Capital Fund 18-2, in the amount of $4800.00 to BCRC for Road Erosion Inventory. Mr. Jennings seconded. Motion passed.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed, meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Meeting video taped
Cc: files, Town Clerk