November 8, 2021
Members Present: Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Todd Wilkins
Members Absent: Glenn Sherman
Also Present: (In person, or via Zoom or phone) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, AWD Chief Operator-Burr Snow, Jessica Roberts, Mark Anders-BCRC, Aaron Ashton, Denise Monte, Joe Gervais, Jodi Elovecky, “Brian”, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, and Janet Barry
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey.
Public Comments: None
Minutes of the Meeting of October 25, 2021. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of October 25, 2021. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Sherman absent.
New Business: Procurement Policy Update: Mr. Zaiac supplied the Board with an updated Purchasing Policy, which had not been updated since 2014. He said it is modeled after the VLCT policy with 2 minor changes. It will authorize Mr. Zaiac to make decisions on Fire Department purchases from $1,500-$10,, behalf of the Board, without the need to call a special meeting, and allows getting two bids instead of three for purchases and services. Department heads will be allowed to make purchases up to $1,500 without prior approval. Small, local, minority, and women owned businesses will be included in solicitation lists for bids or non-bid purchases, which follows federal guidelines. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Purchasing Policy, dated 11/8/21, as presented, with two revisions outlined by Mr. Zaiac. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Sherman absent.
ARPA Funds; 1st Public Hearing: The first of two public hearings on the ARPA Funds was held. Mr. Zaiac said Arlington was allotted $650,000 in the recovery funds, with the first half distributed this year, and the second next year. He said there are clear requirements for how the money is to be used. He said water and sewer infrastructure, issues directly tied to COVID relief and public health, such as digitizing vault items so they could be accessed without coming into the building, are some options. The money can only be spent on road projects that were previously identified as existing areas of need, and it cannot be spent on bridges. He said there is information on the criteria for spending the funds on the VLCT website. Mr. Harvey opened it up to public comments, from in person and on Zoom. Denise Monte, Jessica Roberts and Joe Gervais were on Zoom to discuss how funds could be spent. Mr. Gervais said in- town dining had been reduced since COVID, and investing in septic and or sewer would help struggling businesses. Aaron Ashton was at the meeting. He said he had moved to Arlington in June, and he feels access to technology and broadband, as well as upgrading water and septic would be beneficial. Ms. Browning suggested he consult with the Southern VT Communications District, who have been working to have unserved and underserved areas obtain access to the internet, when the State had been unsuccessful at getting corporations to create access. Ms. Roberts asked if there could be a hot spot in West Arlington to help with cell phone coverage. Mr. Bykowski said perhaps there could be a spot at the West Arlington Firehouse, if the Fire Company was on board with the idea. Ms. Monte said maybe some money could be used to help the area by the covered bridge have ambulance access. Mr. Zaiac said that would probably be something for FEMA or other funds, but he could look into it. Mr. Snow was at the meeting to point out that there are several projects that could be done in the Water Department, that are shovel ready. Ms. Browning said it is important to point out that the Water Department is a separate entity, financed completely by ratepayers. Any funds used for Water Department projects would benefit the Town because money would not have to be borrowed to complete needed upgrades and projects. It was discussed that the APRA funds are not enough to extend the wastewater facility, but could provide studies that would be a stepping off point for future plans. Mr. Zaiac said the second public comments section will be on the agenda for the next meeting in two weeks, and residents can email him their suggestions or questions before that.
Executive Session: Mr. Bykowski made a motion that premature discussion of a legal issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Ms. Browning. Motion carried. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a legal issue and to allow Mr. Zaiac and Mark Anders to remain in the room. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion carried. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:54PM. The Board exited Executive Session at 8:16PM. No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said the highway crew has been getting prepared for winter. He said he has been doing grant work and facilities work. Mr. Harvey thanked him for the comprehensive report he submitted to the Board.
Water Department Warrants and Orders: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant WD#21, in the amount of $658.50. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously with Mr. Sherman absent.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant #20-12, from the CRF fund, in the amount of $1,023.80, for bridge redecking supplies. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Sherman absent.
Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant #21, in the amount of $26,364.74, with highlights being retirement contributions, Highway truck tires and maintenance, BCRC hazardous waste payment of $4,241.69, and an Arts and Enrichment grant expense. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with Mr. Sherman absent.
Other Business: Bridge Replacement: Mr. Wilkins brought up the need to plan for the replacement of the Benedict Crossing Bridge. He said he has been asked about it many times and townspeople want it replaced. Mr. Harvey suggested the possibility of a temporary structure that can be installed quickly. Mr. Zaiac said engineering plans would be included in the next budget, and that a bond could be considered, to be voted on at Town Meeting 2023.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk