Selectboard Meeting Minutes 4.19.2021



April 19, 2021


Members Present: ( Via phone or Zoom) Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Todd Wilkins, and Glenn Sherman

Members Absent:  None

Also Present:   (Via phone or Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Mark Towslee-Highway Department Foreman, Denise Monte, Bill Bullock, Bebe Bullock, Carol Farley, Peter Fairweather, Jessica Roberts,  Mike King-Fire Chief, Bryan Dalton, Vince Thompson-FD, Jay Coonradt-FD, Michael Wood, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, Eric Marko,  Nick Nahodil, Don Keelan, Ned Reade, Andrew McKeever,  and Janet Barry

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey

Public Comments: Mr. Harvey opened the meeting by asking for public comments unrelated to the meeting agenda. Denise Monte said she thinks there should be a system in place for deaf residents to be able to communicate with the Select Board and attend the meetings, possibly with providing and interpreter for American Sign Language, to allow them equal access. Ned Reade suggested the possibility of having some sort of closed captioning for the Zoom meetings. Ms. Monte said she could assist in finding resources and will speak with Mr. Zaiac.  Ms. Monte also said she would like to see the parking lot in East Arlington owned by the Fire Company still be available for public parking even if the Town takes over ownership of the Fire Company. One parking space is owned by Dr. Josh Sherman and the rest is currently owned by the Fire Company. Mr. Harvey said the Town was not considering using the area for anything other than parking.

Minutes of the Meeting of April 5, 2021. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting, April 5, 2021. Mr. Wilkins seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:  Fire Department Discussion:  Mike King, Arlington Fire Chief, spoke to the Board about the packet of information that had been supplied to then from the Fire Department. They discussed the aging trucks and the Fire Department’s hope to be able to have a quicker rotation of trucks in the future, to be able to sell older trucks while they still have some value left in them, which also would cut down on maintenance costs. He said the $52,000 spent on the maintenance line in 2020 was mostly truck repairs, and three trucks currently are in need of repairs. Mr. King spoke of replacing two Class A pumpers, with a Utility/Rescue truck, which will not have a pump or tank, which will save money on the purchase price and future maintenance. The vehicle will carry needed fire and extrication equipment, and follow the new Engine Rescue truck they also hope to purchase. The Fire Department uses Mutual Aid from surrounding towns for large fires, that are capable of brining in thousands of gallons of water. The Engine Rescue they hope to get would carry 12,500 gallons of water. The bid they currently have is for $500,100 and would take ten months to build. Some take as long as twelve to eighteen months.  Mr. Bykowski asked for specs of what the firemen want for a new engine rescue truck to be emailed to him so that he can work on an RFP to be able to get multiple bids from ideally 4-5 different companies. Mr. Bykowski also asked for estimates of repairs that are critical, and need to be done immediately. Mr. King publicly thanked Tom Williams for his donation of a $100 gas gift card.  Mr. King was thanked for the complete presentation, and for all he, and the department members do for the Town.

New Business:    Arts Enrichment Project Update: Bebe Bullock, Carol Farley and Peter Fairchild were at the meeting to update the Board on the Arts and Enrichment Project to purchase St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. Ms. Farley said the Arts and Enrichment group has been a non-profit for 15 years and ran many local programs. They brainstormed with the Arlington Renewal Group about what types of cultural, educational, economic development, and wellness/fitness options could possibly utilize in the church, which has been unused for 7-8 years.  Ms. Bullock worked with the Town to apply for a $35,000 grant for a Market Feasibility Study in 2019, which was done by Mr. Fairweather, from Fairweather Consulting. Mr. Fairweather did a market analysis, and discussed Phase One being community office space on the 2nd floor, a not- for- profit, year-round performing space, and possibly meeting space for the community, cooking classes on first floor, and a fitness center at the Parrish Hall. It was discussed that $139,000 has been raised so far, from grants, private donations and pledges, and architectural drawings were donated.  Ms. Bullock said the Arts and Enrichment organization would be buying the property, and it is in the State of Vermont’s hands now, for historic review. Things have taken longer than anticipated with Covid-19, but they hope to have purchase complete in May or June 2021. Mr. Wilkins thanked them for their hard work and for presenting it to the Board. Mr. Keelan asked for the Board’s opinion of the project. It was agreed that they support the project, and it is a good benefit to the community and to the surrounding communities. Mr. Harvey thanked them for the update.

Approval of new Zoning and Sign Applications: Jessica Roberts was at the meeting to get approval for a new Land Use Bylaw Application for Zoning Permit, Sign Permit, and Certificate of Compliance Application that she has updated. She said she had the new forms approved by Town attorney, Joe O’Dea. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve proposed new Sign Application, Land Use Bylaw Application for Zoning Permit, and Certificate of Compliance Application. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Municipal Planning Grant: Mr. Zaiac said he was seeking a sense of the Board on pursuing a Municipal Planning Grant for comprehensive revision of the Arlington Zoning Bylaws, which has had only piecemeal revisions for 50 years, and creates complications to zoning administration in the Town and contributes to excessive wait times for certain types of permits. A comprehensive review would provide a long-term goal of housing affordability in Arlington.   Mr. Zaiac said he will seek community feedback on how the bylaw can be revised.   The Board agreed to having Mr. Zaiac pursue the grant with Ms. Browning wanting to frame it carefully so as to not have pre-existing agendas before the hearing process of the grant takes place.

Liquor Licenses:  Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve an initial Class 2 Liquor License for Bonnie and Clyde’s Corner Market, LLC. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a 1st Class Hotel License to Sell Malt and Venous Beverages to Arlington Inn. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.  

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a 3rd Class Hotel License to sell Spirituous Liquors to Arlington Inn. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve an Outside Consumption Liquor License Renewal to Arlington Inn. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a 2nd Class Liquor License to Wayside Country Store. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a Class 1 Liquor License to Chauncey’s Family Dining. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Vote on Energy Commission By-Laws: Mr. Zaiac said he was present when the by-laws were drafted and he feels confident in the by-laws.   Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Energy Commission By-Laws as presented. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Water Liaison Shift: Mr. Harvey said he spoke to both new Select Board member, Mr. Sherman, and current Water Board Liaison, Mr. Bykowski, about having Mr. Sherman be the new Liaison, to offer him the opportunity to be a Board Liaison.  Mr. Wilkins made a motion to change from Mr. Bykowski to Mr. Sherman as Water Department Liaison. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously and Mr. Harvey thanked Mr. Sherman for taking on the responsibility and thanked Mr. Bykowski for allowing it to happen.   

Mobile Vendor Ordinance:  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Mobile Vendor Ordinance as presented. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

LED Update: Bryan Dalton spoke to the Board about the LED bulb update that was spoke about at the last meeting. He said it will cost about $500 to change bulbs in Town Hall and will pay for itself in about 22 months. He said there are Energy Commission members who would be happy to volunteer to change the bulbs with “plug and play” bulbs in existing fixtures.  Mr. Zaiac suggested doing the same changes at the garage, and Mr. Zaiac will have electrical contractors give quotes for electrical work needed at the garage to add fixtures. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the change out to LED bulbs, paid for by the maintenance fund.  Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Yellow Barn Water Line:  Ms. Browning said Water Department Chief Operator, Burr Snow, asked to have the Board approve the additional costs for the water line extension and additional spigot at the Yellow Barn, that would bring water closer to the Barn for future uses, and was previously agreed to as part of the agreement with the Gardens at Yellow Barn Committee. The Board previously agreed to $400 for the cost, but due to rising costs of materials, there will need to be an increase in the cost of the project to approximately $1000, which would be funded by the Yellow Barn Fund. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the expense of $1000 for installation of water spigot and water line extension at the Yellow Barn, to be paid for by the Yellow Barn Fund. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Highways:  Wood Chipper: Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee, was at the meeting to speak to the Board about purchasing a wood chipper. He said he found a machine from Robert Finke & Sons for $31,000, that has low hours and would save tax payer dollars in the future because a machine would not have to be rented. A brand-new machine could cost over $50,000.  The highway crew has been doing more tree work themselves, thereby saving money from outsourcing the jobs, and it will help with limbs that are hanging down on Town roads, hampering their ability to put down gravel.  Mr. Towslee said he feels this is a vital piece of equipment for the Highway Department to own.  Mr. Zaiac said there is highway surplus money still available in the budget, and also the Hazardous Tree Fund line could also be used to fund the purchase. It was decided there would be two other options at the next meeting, and a decision would be made then.

Rubber-Tire Excavator Bid: Mr. Towslee said he found a 7-year-old rubber-tire excavator at an auction that was well taken care of, with a current bid of $48,200, and the auction ending in 23 hours. It was discussed that it is a versatile machine, with no trailer needed to haul it, and the price for a machine of this type could be over $150,00 in the future, and this type of machine can cost $5,000-$10,000 per month to rent, and labor costs would be saved by owning this type of machinery.    After much discussion, the Board agreed to allow Mr. Towslee to do a bid not to exceed $55,000, and that it would require a $30,000 loan from the Grader Sinking Fund to have enough to cover the cost, and was only agreed to by the Board because proceeds from the sale at auction of old Town equipment will be deposited within the week, and the sinking fund would be repaid immediately.  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the 2014 rubber-tire excavator purchase, not exceed a maximum bid of $55,000. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve borrowing $30,000 from the Grader Fund to complete the purchase of the rubber-tire excavator. Mr. Bykowski then amended his motion, to include “to be paid back immediately upon receipt of auction funds from previously sold equipment” Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Town Administrator Report:  Mr. Zaiac said he had filed highway grants, and done follow up work, with meetings with the State about the sewer project. He said he has been managing a lot of Land Use, and Administration matters, and thought the next two weeks might be calmer. Mr. Harvey asked that the Board be notified when the Town receives the Sandgate Road Project reimbursement. Ms. Browning asked about an update for the Benedict Crossing Bridge and the 7A sidewalk project.  Mr. Zaiac said the closure of the bridge is increasing the carbon footprint and damaging the environment by motorists needing to drive a few more miles with the detour. It was also discussed that the Town explore having the Army Corp of Engineers lay a temporary bridge, as long as it does not use too much funds that need to be saved for the permanent replacement. Mr. Zaiac will get figures for a temporary bridge. Mr. Zaiac said the 7A Sidewalk Project is still in the easement stage, with sign off’s from 4-5 landowners still being needed, and also that the highway crew has some work to do, adding pavement and extending a culvert.

WD Warrants and Orders: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve WD#8 in the amount of $2,990.88. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

 Warrants and Orders:  Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant #8, from the General Fund, in the amount of $22,418.00, with all routine expenses.  Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant #CRF 21-1, to Robert H. Finke and Sons, Inc. for a loader in the amount of $75,472.50 from the Capital Fund. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Zaiac reminded the Board that there is a Water Board meeting on April 26, 2021 at 7PM.

Mr. Wilkins made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:38PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Cc: files, Town Clerk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *