May 3, 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, Jacob Fetterman-Trout Unlimited, Mark Towslee-Highway Department Foreman, Andrew Rodriquez, Jessica Roberts, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, 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 items on the agenda. There were none.
Minutes of the Meeting of April 19, 2021. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting, April 19, 2021. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
New Business: Trout Unlimited Update: Jacob Fetterman, from Trout Unlimited, was at the meeting to speak about the organization and the desire to have the Town, and Trout Unlimited have a partnership on projects that can help with conservation. He had a PowerPoint presentation that Mr. Zaiac helped to present. He said the Battenkill has great historic value, with having both brown and brook trout. He said the local chapter, Southwestern VT Trout Unlimited, covers the Battenkill Watershed, with its desire to protect, restore and preserve cold water outreach efforts. He said the organization has been working with Maple Street School in Manchester, and will be working with Fischer Elementary as well. He said Burr & Burton Academy alumni helped to clean the Battenkill recently, and removed a bike, a TV, and ten bags of garbage. He said he has been in touch with Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, about installing a Mayfly Sensor Station at the Arlington Rec Park, which monitors water quality and temperature that anyone can track online in real time. He said the sensor will be installed on May 12, 2021. He also said that he would like to work with the Town to identify problem culverts and that there will be interns surveying culverts this summer. He said the organization will also working on invasive species removal and tree planting, as shade and habitat are important for fish. Mr. Harvey thanked him for expanding the Board’s knowledge of what Trout Unlimited is doing.
ZBA Appointments: Mr. Zaiac said he received three responses from people willing to be on the Zoning Board of Authority, with two of the people being full time Arlington residents, and Mr. Zaiac feels they both would be good candidates for the positions. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to appoint Andrew Rodriquez and Teresa Sweet to the ZBA. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Ms. Browning also thanked Mr. Rodriquez and Ms. Sweet for stepping up and agreeing to accept the positions.
Southern Vermont Communications Union District Appointment: Ms. Browning made a motion to appoint Mr. Bykowski as a representative to the Southern Vermont Communications Union District. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to nominate Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, and Select Board Member, Cynthia Browning, to the alternate SVCUD positions. Motion passed unanimously.
Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance Interlocal Contract Agreement: The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed the BCSWA Interlocal Contract, that is a renegotiation of an existing agreement, and is annually renewed. Twelve surrounding towns are also involved with this agreement. Mr. Zaiac said the biggest change in the agreement is the permanent location for hazardous waste management will be located in Bennington, as opposed to several areas having designated days throughout the year. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the BCSWA Agreement. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Liquor Licenses: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a 1st Class, 3rd Class, and Outside Consumption Liquor License for 2021 for American Legion Post #69. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins asked Mr. Zaiac if insurance certificates are requested from businesses applying for liquor licenses. Mr. Zaiac said he had requested an insurance certificate from the American Legion, but had not heard from them as of the meeting, and he will follow up with them. He said he will also check with Town Clerk, Robin Wilcox, for the standard procedure for businesses hoping to obtain liquor licenses going forward, and report back to the Board.
Town Hall Reopening: Mr. Harvey said he and Mr. Bykowski and Mr. Zaiac have been discussing reopening Town Hall. Mr. Zaiac explained July 1, 2021 is an appropriate time to reopen, giving the Vermont community time to obtain vaccine appointments, and time for the final shots to be effective. He said Manchester is also setting this date for their reopening. The first Select Board meeting would be July 12, 2021. Mr. Bykowski said he is in favor of being in person, but would also like to offer a hybrid experience, with there also being the ability for the community or Board members to participate remotely, in real time, if desired. He has much professional experience with this technology, and it would be an entry level kit, and easy to install. The camera would offer 180-degree view of the room and a computer integrates it into the Zoom platform for participation. He said he can do a presentation at the next meeting, and an RFP can be sent out to obtain pricing. Mr. Zaiac said this type of system could also help with Emergency Management needs in the future, and may qualify as a Covid expense. He said he hopes to have government guidance of the Covid Relief package within a month. Mr. Bykowski said it could also be paid for by the Technology Sinking Fund line in the budget. Mr. Harvey said it would be a step into the future to have this technology available.
Highways: Wood Chipper: Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee, was at the meeting to speak about trying to find a wood chipper locally the town can purchase. He had three different quotes, #1 31,750, local, only 100-120 hours on the machine, practically brand new, #2 32,000 plus shipping costs, #3 $29,000 plus shipping but five times the hours on it as number one. He recommended the machine from Robert H. Finke and Sons, for $31,750. He said he the company is local, and will stand behind their product. Mr. Zaiac said the cost will be split between the Hazardous Tree lines in the budget. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the 2020 Bandit for $31,750, from Robert H. Finke. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Excavator Discussion: Mr. Towslee said the Town lost the auction for an excavator that was talked about at the last meeting, and he has been trying to find another machine and it is extremely difficult to find in the area. He had four different quotes, but recommended a 2017 Wacker Neuson with 400 hours on it and four years old from Jordan Equipment in Maine. It is closer than the other bids and he was able to negotiate the price from $85,000 to $80,000, plus $1,100 shipping. A new machine of this type would be between $130,000-$160,000. He said it is on wheels and will not need a trailer to move it. Mr. Zaiac said $25,000 highway surplus, and funds from selling old equipment at auction will cover the cost of the purchase. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve purchase of a 2017 Wacker Newson EW65 Excavator for $80,000 plus $1,100 shipping from Jordan Equipment in Falmouth Maine. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Bykowski also thanked Mr. Towslee for cleaning and organizing the outside of the Town Garage, which he said now looks phenomenal.
New Business con’t: Animal Control Resignation Acceptance: The Board discussed the resignation of Animal Control Officer Traci Mulligan, which is effective May 3, 2021. Mr. Zaiac said he had put a sandwich board in front of Town Hall to try to obtain a replacement animal control officer and there was a response in two hours. Mr. Wilkins said the Town is statutorily required to have an animal control officer. The Board asked Mr. Zaiac to craft an application to have available. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept with regrets, the resignation of Traci Mulligan and to thank her for her years of service and wish her well in her future endeavors, and to appoint Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac, as Interim Animal Control Officer. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Highways con’t: Mulcher Purchase: Mr. Towslee said Jerry Woodard has a mulcher for sale for $1,200 that is a crucial piece of equipment for the Highway Department to own, and would save time doing ditch work and make a clean, uniform look that will also benefit the Water Department when they require lawns to be dug up for repairs. It would cost $3,000-$4,000 new. It will need to have a hose replaced, and Mr. Towslee is getting a price for that part. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the purchase of a bale mulcher for $1,200. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Towslee asked for an update on changing the lighting at the garage to LED. Mr. Zaiac said he reviewed the costs and it is not in the budget for this year, but will be able to do the change next year. Mr. Bykowski thanked Mr. Towslee and the crew for their hard work.
Executive Session: Audit RFP: Mr. Bykowski made a motion that premature discussion of a contractual issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Ms. Browning. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a contractual issue, and to allow Mr. Zaiac to remain in the room. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:06PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:19PM. As a result of the Executive Session, Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Audit RFP for accounting services of Glenna Pound, CPA, until 12/31/2021. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Old Business: Sewer Discussion: Ms. Browning had sent an email to the Board and Mr. Zaiac with questions on the possible sewer project that was discussed at the last meeting. Mr. Bykowski suggested these important items be discussed at a separate working session, preferably when the members can meet in person to go over maps, and financials. Mr. Zaiac said he was informed there was a study done in the 1970’s, and he hopes to locate the report at Town Hall. Mr. Harvey said Dufresne Engineering did a thorough assessment about ten years ago that will also provide valuable information.
Red Mountain Extension: Ms. Browning asked if the Town was able to obtain an extension on the possible purchase of property on Red Mountain that has been discussed at many meetings. Mr. Zaiac said the Town was granted a 6-month extension with Bly Hollow LLC, until November 1, 2021. It was discussed that a committee of Select Board members and Mr. Zaiac be set up at the next meeting to decide key elements, and what track to take moving forward.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said he had discussed projects for the park with Mr. Woodard and had been in touch with a Burr & Burton student that had inquired about building skateboard facilities at the ice rink, and he has been working with him on flood plain issues. He also did review of water rates and usage. He also has been reviewing “hotel conversion” grants for rules and availability for possible apartment conversions. And there will be fee and number of permits policies on the next agenda for the new Mobile Vendor Ordinance.
All Other Business: Fire Department: Mr. Harvey said he and Mr. Wilkins met with the Fire Department officers to clear the air and discuss different issues. Both said it was a positive meeting and outcome. Ms. Browning thanked them for having that meeting. She also asked what type of foam the Fire Department uses. Mr. Wilkins said he will find out and email Ms. Browning.
WD Warrants and Orders: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve WD#9 in the amount of $1,222.67. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant #9, from the General Fund, in the amount of $15,684.27 with mostly routine expenses of $1,851.00 for truck tires, Fire Department insurance premium of $3,651.00, and gravel from Wallingford Crushed Stone. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant # R21-5, the Reappraisal Fund, in the amount of $2,285.31, for reappraisal booklets and $560 to reimburse Robin Wilcox postage costs to mail them. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant # CRF 21-3, in the amount of $122,994.00 to Clarks Truck Center. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant # CRF 21-2, Yellow Barn Fund, to FW Webb for $1,079.48, for parts needed to move the water service at the Yellow Barn. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:46PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk