December 4, 2019
Members Present: Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Daniel Harvey, Tim Williams
Members Absent: Matt Bykowski
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Josh Sherman
The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm by Chairman, Keith Squires
Public Comments: Dr. Sherman came to the meeting to discuss having formal paperwork about liens being removed from the Chittenden Bank property he purchased. At a previous meeting the Board voted to lift liens that they had authorization to lift, if the property was cleaned up, which has been accomplished. Mr. Squires said he has given the information to the Town’s lawyer who will have formal paperwork for Dr. Sherman soon.
Minutes of the Meeting of November 18, 2019: Ms. Browning made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the meeting of November 18, 2019. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed.
New Business: Budget Updates: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about budget time quickly approaching. He informed the Board the Town received reimbursement from the State for the Ball Mountain Culvert job. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve transfer of the grant money, $136,158.84, from the General Fund to the Special Highway Fund. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires also spoke of an error with the Rescue Squad Appropriation. Due to an error that occurred at Town Meeting, the Rescue Squad was given $15,000 extra in appropriation money that should have been in the line for medical gear purchases for first responders. The Rescue Squad received a check for $60,000 and should have been $45,000. They are reimbursing the Town soon. He also said that Sunderland and Sandgate have both paid for their fire protection and Sunderland and the school have each paid their Park Usage Fee for 2019. Sunderland did not receive their letter request on time, but will receive it soon. Mr. Squires also spoke of having received one reimbursement from the Park and Rec committee for work the Town had completed on the park trails, for $4017.00, but will be submitting additional invoices totally $6212.23, for additional reimbursement. He said while some lines in the budget have been over-spent, other lines have not been spent so it equals out. Mr. Squires said they should be considering bumping up sinking funds because costs are going up. He said that the Town did get a grant to do paving on Sandgate Road, and he will be getting proposals soon. The south end of Warm Brook Road, from RT 313 to the tracks will have to have some work done soon, and there is money in the Special Highway Funds for this project.
Old Business: Park Lights: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about the liability issues with the aging lights and structures at the Park. He said he will be getting three different proposals from an electrician, for structure and light replacement, or just structure replacement, or even the possibility of removing the lights.
Town Administrator: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board to find out if they would be available to do interviews with the three top candidates the Search Committee is recommending, on December 18, 2019. All members that were present were available, Mr. Bykowski will have to be contacted for availability.
Planning Grant: Mr. Squires informed the Board that the Arts and Enrichment Planning Grant, has received tentative approval, for up to $35,000, pending the needed paperwork be completed by June 2020.
Renewal Group Land Purchase: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about the desire of the Renewal Group to purchase the Cowee Property, as was discussed several months ago. He said the Town Attorney has concerns about who will do all the required work, which includes easements and surveys, and could take up to a year to complete, as well as almost $100,00 that would need to be raised. Mr. Squires said he is disappointed he has heard nothing more from the group and will be reaching out to them soon to find out the status of the proposed purchase.
Moores Way: Mr. Williams brought to the Board’s attention that a private road that had been discussed at a meeting many months ago has yet to be named. There had been a request to name it Bard Owl Road, but that met with some disagreement from other neighbors. At that meeting it had been decided that the neighbors should discuss it together and let the Board know their decision, but this has not been done. Mr. Williams made a motion to name the private road “Moores Way”. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Speed Signs: Mr. Williams suggested relocating the speed signs to other areas where it could have an impact, such as Warm brook Road heading South. Mr. Harvey said he would be able to move them.
Highways: Tree Proposals: Mr. Squires said he had received two proposals for four hazardous trees in need of removal on Red Mountain Road. One from Trees Inc., from Rutland VT in the amount of $1260.00, and one from Ed Pike from Arlington for $1680.00. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the proposal for trees to be removed at 761 Red Mountain Road, from Trees, Inc., for $1260.00. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. The bill will be paid from the regular tree removal line in the budget.
The Board spoke briefly about the Ash Borer situation discussed at past meetings. Mr. Squires said that BCRC is looking at grants to help with removal of Ash trees and that Green Mountain Power now has a line on residents’ bills for future Ash removal for trees in their right of way.
Water Department: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#25, from the Operating Account in the amount of $1388.68. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Payroll #49B in the amount of $902.28, to Keith Squires for duties as Interim Administrator. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires abstained. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant # 26, from the Operating Account, in the amount of $13,532.42. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
All Other Business: Cloud Update: Mr. Squires said Robin Wilcox is working with NEMRC about switching to the Cloud. Someone from NEMRC will work with Town Hall staff for training. He said there is a proposal from E-Enable for Microsoft 365, that is still being considered.
Cannabis Resolution: Mr. Squires had paperwork for the Board from VLCT that would call for any legislation legalizing commercial cannabis to address the impacts on municipalities. Ms. Browning spoke of a bill that is in the Way and Means Committee, and VLCT is suggesting legislature that would make it necessary for towns to “opt in” and have some control over retail establishments, and share of revenue. Mr. Squires asked the Board to read the paperwork and Ms. Browning will check into the Bill in Montpelier and it will be discussed at a future meeting.
Mr. Williams made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:30PM
Executive Session: None
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk