Selectboard Meeting Minutes 6.21.21



June 21, 2021

Members Present:  Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Todd Wilkins, and Glenn Sherman

Members Absent:  None

Also Present:   (In person, phone or Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Town Treasurer-Tiffany Mays, Highway Foreman- Mark Towslee, Land Use Administrator-Jessica Roberts, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, Chris Chico, Blake Pike, Olavi and Sue Wirkki and Janet Barry

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM, by Mr. Harvey

Public Comments: Mr. Harvey opened the meeting by asking for public comments.  There were none.

Minutes of the Meeting of June 7, 2021. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting, June 7, 2021. Mr. Bykowski seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

Highways:   Man- Lift Rental: Highway Foreman, Mark Towslee spoke to the Board about the need to rent a man-lift for much needed tree work for one month this summer, hoping to work around vacation scheduling and any possible inclement weather.  He said he has priced three rentals, from $2100-$3300. He will research further to get the best deal. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a man lift rental for highway tree work, not to exceed $3300. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Sand Screening Box: Mr. Zaiac and Mr. Towslee spoke to the Board about purchasing a sand screening box, which would pre-screen road sand before it is on the truck, and make sand use better and would allow for more capacity in the trucks.  Mr. Towslee said it is a steel structure that would sit next to the sandpile. He said pre-screening makes for better grit on roads, eliminates dangerous large chunks from flying out of trucks, and produces more stable roads in the spring after using the better grit sand all winter. He has seen prices from $5,000-$15,000, from various companies and locations.  The Board discussed putting the purchase out to bid, and asked Mr. Towslee to speak to them again when he had more information about the machines he had located.

Verizon Connect: Mr. Towslee inquired about the Verizon Connect equipment on the highway trucks. He has not been able to log into the system and Mr. Bykowski asked Mr. Zaiac to get a login set up for Mr. Towslee so he can have maintenance tracking for the trucks. Mr. Bykowski offered to help Mr. Towslee with the set up as well, and said how beneficial the service had been with snow plowing, creating a record of exactly what time each road had been plowed, helping to reduce liability if snow fell so rapidly to appear as though a road had not been plowed.

Crew Supervisor Cell Phone Subsidy: Mr. Zaiac said Mr. Towslee had brought to his attention his desire to have a portion of his cell phone bill covered by the Town. Mr. Zaiac said it is a reasonable request, with Mr. Towslee being on call for the Town. Mr. Bykowski said he feels a $35 per month phone stipend is fair, with the average standard stipend in the industry being $25. It was discussed that the policy needs to be defined, but that the other employees that are on call in snow plow season should also be offered a stipend as well. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve a cell phone subsidy for the Highway Supervisor of $35 per month to be added to payroll. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Speed Signs: Mr. Harvey said it might be time to move the speed signs in Town, to remain effective in deterring speeding.  Mr. Zaiac has been retrieving data from the signs periodically, and will review for best placement.  

New Business:   Agricultural Pond Permit Issues: Chris Chico was at the meeting to discuss the Town By-Laws, and the permits he had been told he needs from Land Use Administrator, Jessica Roberts, for excavator work he has been doing on a local property, which he feels has never been needed in the past.  The Board and Mr. Zaiac said the Land Use Administrator interprets the By-Laws and they support Ms. Roberts. It was decided that the Town attorney will be asked to review the By-Laws and Mr. Chico will be contacted once there is guidance from the attorney.

Land Use Fee Schedule Revision:  Jessica Roberts spoke to the Board and Mr. Zaiac about the work she has done, that had been started by the previous Land Use Administrator, to streamline Land Use permit fees. She had presented them with a spread sheet, which Mr. Bykowski thanked her for preparing. She had information from surrounding towns that roll all fees for mailings, permits, warnings and clerk fees into one fee, making the process easier for all involved. Adjusting the fees would help with revenue, with Arlington fees being way below other towns. She has estimated the newspaper Warning fee at $100, and the certified mailing fee at $10, which will now all be part of the one permit fee, instead of being paid by the Town, which will offer more revenue for the office. She also recommends changing the after the fact permit fee to two times the fee, which is comparable to other towns, as opposed to the current three times after the fact fee that is now in place.  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the proposed fee schedule for the Land Use Office fees, with one addition, that all fees include filing three pages, and additional pages being $15 each, paid to the Town Clerk, and then amended the motion to   change the fee multiplier to 2X for after the fact. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Bykowski amended his motion to include the wording for the fee multiplier to “may” be 2X at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator. Mr. Wilkins seconded the amendment. Motion passed unanimously.

Budget Overrun Approval:  Mr. Zaiac explained the need to overrun the Garage Supplies line, due to the rental of a portable toilet for the garage not having been included in the budget, but saves the crew time from having to use the bathrooms at Town Hall, and to overrun the Land Use payroll line to allow Ms. Roberts to work more hours during the busy building seasons. He explained the previous Land Use Administrator, Bill Henry, had done many hours off the clock to accomplish all that needed to be done. He explained that some of this additional cost will be offset by having the newspaper Warning fees included in permit fees. He suggested the position be nineteen hours per week now, and the office could go back to six hours a week when building season winds down by the first of November. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the budget overrun of the garage supplies line, #12-7-30-610.01, in the amount of $1500. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the overrun of Land Use labor cost, #11-7-10-110.13. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Fireworks Permit: The Board reviewed a permit request from Northstar Fireworks for the fireworks display that will take place at the Rec Park on August 28,2021. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the permit for fireworks from Northstar Fireworks. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Yellow Barn Work Plan: Ms. Browning supplied the Board and Mr. Zaiac with a memo to review work that needs to be done at the Yellow Barn next year. It was discussed that drainage by the doors needs to be fixed to have the rain drain away from the doors before painting of the whole building can be done, and slate needs to be replaced or secured on the roof, with possibly some extra support under the part of the roof that sags. It was discussed that there is still money in the Yellow Barn Fund for the work that needs to be completed.

Sawmill Permit Question: Blake Pike called into the meeting to ask about a sawmill permit, and Ms. Roberts was able to inform him that the Planning Commission meeting is June 24, 2021 at 7PM, which he will attend.

Schedule of Wages:  Mr. Zaiac explained that the schedule of wages for Town personnel was not voted on in March because Australian Ballot was conducted instead of a traditional Town Meeting due to Covid restrictions. Town Treasurer, Tiffany Mays spoke at the meeting about the Treasurer Salary line in the Budget being $25,000, but her current salary had instead been raised to $18,000, which leaves a $7,000 difference in what was budgeted on the line. It was discussed that the Board can make any amendments to the budget lines, and what is budgeted on a line does not have to be spent. The line was budgeted with extra money because the Board had considered the possibility of outsourcing work in the Treasurer’s office to an offsite company, which had been recommended by the past Town auditors, to supplement tasks done by the Treasurer, which would have required additional funds, and the $25,000 was a “not to exceed” number and not necessarily what would be spent.  Ms. Mays explained that she has been doing a massive amount of work that has been needed to update the Treasurer’s office, and had anticipated the full amount of the line to be her new salary. Mr. Bykowski said he felt the raise to $18,000 was generous for the difficult pandemic year. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the amended Schedule of Wages as presented, with an amendment to the Land Use Administrator wage to read $18.04 per hour plus fees. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Borrowed Money Letter: The Treasurer had sent a letter requesting $125,000 be borrowed from a Capital Reserve Fund to cover Town expenses, to be paid back with interest once tax receipts are received.  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve borrowing $125,000 from a CRF account to be paid back, with interest, when tax receipts have been received. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Old Business: AC Unit Bids: The Board and Mr. Zaiac opened the sealed bids that were received for the two old AC units from Town Hall that was discussed at the last meeting. One was from Lee Cross for $15.00 and one was from Jessica Roberts, to be donated to the Arlington Nursing Association, for $30.00. The remaining bid was disqualified because it did not have a name on it, as had been required. The Board accepted both bids.

Town Administrator’s Report:   Mr. Zaiac gave the Board highlights of his report, saying he had a planning meeting with Park supervisor, Mr. Woodard, and would be writing grants for a project shortly. He also said he would be joining the Executive Committee at BCRC, and that there had been internet and Wi-Fi disruption at Town Hall recently, but it had been dealt with successfully.

Executive Session:   None

All Other Business: None

WD Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve WD#12 in the amount of $1,478.66. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

 Warrants and Orders:  Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant #12, from the General Fund, in the amount of $59,383.29. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Harvey explained that over $10,000 was for a County tax payment, $15,000 was for consulting fees for the Arts and Enrichment project that will be reimbursed with grant money, and almost $12,000 was for the mower purchase that will be completely reimbursed by the school.  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant # G21-2, for the Federal share of the Rec Park 7A Sidewalk payment to BCRC for $3,080.18. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant #R21-8, the Reappraisal account, in the amount of $339.66. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:52PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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