Selectboard Meeting Minutes 3.23.2020



March 23, 2020

Members Present:  Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski- via tele-conference,  Cynthia Browning,  Tim Williams, Todd Wilkins

Members Absent:  None

Also Present:   None

The meeting was called to order at 7:11 by Mr. Harvey.

Public Comments:   None

Minutes of the Meeting of March 9, 2020:   Mr. Williams made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the meeting of March 9, 2020. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

New Business:  Liquor License:   Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a Class 2 Liquor License to sell malt and vinous beverages, for Dollar General, store #14270, on Rt 7A in Arlington. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

Overweight Permits:   The Board discussed the Overweight Permit process that allows companies to operate their trucks on Town roads with Town weight limits. The companies have to submit their proof of insurance and have the form signed by the Chairman of the Board yearly.

Coronavirus Update:  Mr. Wilkins updated the Board on the virus figures, currently 75 cases in Vermont, with 5 deaths, 4 of which were in one location, and 336 people currently being monitored, with more people being tested, there are more cases being reported.

Town Plan: Mr. Harvey distributed the updated version of the Town Plan to the Board to review and discuss at a future meeting. Mr. Bykowski will receive an electronic version.

Treasurer’s Letter:  The Board discussed a letter from the Treasurer requesting to borrow $200,000 from one of the Town’s funds, to pay for Town expenses. Mr. Squires, in his role as Interim Town Administrator, also wrote a letter to the Board, after reviewing the request, and suggested borrowing $100,000 from the Grader Fund now, and revisiting the need for more as needed. Ms. Browning made a motion to borrow $100,000 for ongoing expenses from the Grader Fund to be paid back with interest. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

CUD: Ms. Browning said she was contacted by someone working on the Communications Union District, the initiative to have rural towns band together to get improved internet service, to ask that the Select Board appoint someone from the Select Board to attend the CUD meetings. Ms. Browning said she’d be willing to be a representative, as did Mr. Bykowski.

Ms. Browning made a suggestion to have “Spring cleaning” done at Town Hall while the building is closed to the public during the pandemic.  She also spoke briefly of a group considering potentially starting a community garden at the Yellow Barn. There will be more information in the future if this is pursued.

Auditor’s Letter:  The Select Board discussed a letter from the Town Auditor’s, that referenced the meeting on February 10, 2020, where there was a discussion about the  possibly of eliminating an outside audit now that one of the new Town Auditor’s is a CPA.  Mr. Bykowski said he feels an outside audit is valuable as it also gives insights, and unbiased opinions, into procedures currently being done in Town Hall. Mr. Wilkins said he is also in favor of an outside audit being conducted at this point in time when there has been a new Treasurer elected in 2019. Mr. Williams made a motion to seek an outside audit in 2020. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

Reappraisal:   It was discussed that the Listers are in a demographic that needs to be extremely cautious in this pandemic, and that two have been coming into Town Hall after working hours to be more isolated, but one of the listers is in Florida and cannot return home at this time, and how it could be feasible for the Listers to be allowed to work from home. It was also discussed that reappraisers entering residents’ homes is on hold during the pandemic.  Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize the Listers to organize their work to be able to work remotely and on flex time as long as the work gets done and the public is served. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Central Resource List and Emergency Management Director Appointment: Mr. Wilkins said he has created a spread sheet for a list of resources available in the area and that the list will be posted on the Town and school websites. He said he also feels the need to appoint an Emergency Management Director now, rather than waiting for April appointments, and also spoke of the need to update the 2014 Town Emergency Plan with current personnel. It was discussed that the Board received a letter of interest for the Emergency Management Director position, from Mr. Joshua Williams, Executive Director of the Arlington Rescue Squad, at the previous meeting. Mr. Williams made a motion to appoint Mr. Joshua Williams as Emergency Management Director for the Town of Arlington, which is a two-year appointment. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Ms. Browning said she doesn’t feel she’s had a chance to interview him to be able to make an informed decision.  After some discussion, Mr. Williams made a motion to amend his previous motion, to now read as an Interim Appointment of Mr. Joshua Williams as Emergency Management Director and to schedule an interview at his earliest convenience, in Executive Session, within the next 30-60 days. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Old Business:   Arts and Enrichment Grant:  Mr. Harvey spoke to the Board about the Town having sent a letter of support on behalf of the Arts and Enrichment Grant in September 2019, for the purchase of the Saint Mary Margaret Church, and now is being asked to sign a Municipal Policies and Codes form as part of the requirements for the grant. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the policies form required for the Arts and Enrichment Grant. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed and form was signed by the Board members.

FD Stipend Corrections: Mr. Harvey said the Fireman were accidently paid their quarterly stipends based on last year’s form and amounts, and they need new checks issued with corrections, or have checks voided.   Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the list of necessary corrections to Fire Department quarterly payroll dated March 23, 2020, either by voiding original and replacing or correcting the difference as listed on the document from the Treasurer. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Energy Audit Update:  Mr. Harvey spoke to the Board about the Energy Audit that took place at Town Hall on March 16, 2020 and that he hopes to have the report and information for the next meeting.

Technology Update: Mr. Bykowski said he is still working towards the Town technology update as has been spoken about at previous meetings. He said the Town is still using 1984 telephone technology and he is looking at addressing that issue and should have the information for the next meeting. He said new phone technology would enable employees to work from home as needed. He said he also has worked with Mr. Henry, Land Use Administrator, to be enable him to be able to have a video conference meeting while Town Hall is closed to the public. Mr. Harvey mentioned his desire to possibly purchase laptops/tablets through the school and reimburse them for the costs, in an effort to use less paper at Select Board meetings, and received the school’s discounted price.

Interim Town Administrator Position: Mr. Harvey said he will be meeting with Mr. Squires, Interim Town Administrator, every Monday, and that Mr. Squires prepared a packet of information on projects that need to be done for Highway Department, Water Department, and Park and Rec.  It was discussed that the Board will come up with a description to frame what Mr. Squires is doing in his role.

Town Administrator Search: Mr. Bykowski said Nicol Whalen, from the Search Committee did prescreens for the top four candidates and the two most qualified will be interviewed via teleconference with the Search Committee for the initial interviews, and then the Select Board would do their interviews.

Executive Session: Ms. Browning made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Ms. Browning made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue. Seconded by Mr. Wilkins. As a result of the Executive Session, Mr. Wilkins made a motion to hire Lincoln Codere for the Handyman position, not to exceed $35.00 per hour. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.

Highways:   Mr. Harvey said the Highway crew has been concentrating on grading and repairing bad areas. It was discussed that the Highway job position will be advertised soon, and that two applications have been accepted at this time.

Water Department:  Mr. Williams made a motion to approve Warrant WD#6, from the Operating Account, in the amount of $2,210.90.  Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.  

Warrants and Orders:   Mr. Williams made a motion to approve Warrant #6, in the amount of $26,604.84, from the General Operation Account, which include health insurance premiums, Sheriff’s Department contract fees and stone and gravel fees.  Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Mr. Harvey made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Meeting audio-taped

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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