June 3, 2019
Members Present: Keith Squires, Daniel Harvey, Cynthia Browning, Tim Williams, Matthew Bykowski
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Gary Weller, Bill Bryan, Maureen Harvey, Reggie and Susan Jennings, Bill and Keiva Harrington, Jeff McConnell, Randy Novotny, Don Keelan, and several Arlington residents
The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Chairman, Keith Squires
Minutes of Meeting of May 20, 2019
Ms. Browning made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of May 20, 2019. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed.
Old Business: Dog Park: At this time in the meeting Mr. Squires moved ahead in the agenda to accommodate the many residents who were at the meeting to discuss the Dog Park. Ms. Browning gave some history of why the Dog Park was built at the Rec Park. It had originally been suggested it be built at the Yellow Barn, but due to agricultural use and legal easements, it could not be used for a Dog Park. Bill Bryan stated that he is not against the Dog Park, but explained that the Dog Park has taken away the only field that could be used for Youth Baseball, after Hurricane Irene washed out their original fields, and currently there are 64 children playing Youth Baseball, and coaches and parents feel that is too many children to play on one field and the soccer field. They are concerned for the children’s safety, because they are playing two to three games on one field. There is currently a petition with over 100 signatures voicing this same concern. One of the coaches, Bill Harrington spoke of the difficulties teaching young children when he can not practice on a little league field, and Keiva Harrington said that a child nearly got hit in the head recently, with so many children practicing at one time, and also stated she believes the backstop is the property of Little League, and raised with their dues, and should not be part of the Dog Park. Mr. Harrington said he’d like to come to an agreement, and perhaps compromise, that the Dog Park be off limits to dog owners during the short, Little League season. Mr. McConnell said the Dog Park is being utilized and it is the only place in Town to let dogs run off leash legally, and he meets a lot of the Town’s people there. Mr. Keelan said he has shared his trails for 30 years for people to walk their dogs, and would continue to offer that as an alternative, but it was pointed out that there is no fence at his property, and it is not always possible to let dogs off leash without a fenced area. When asked by Mr. Squires if the softball field was being utilized, it was explained that bases are set up for larger distances between bases at middle and high school. Susan Jennings spoke of building this Dog Park at Town Meeting two years in a row, and no one from Little League said they were against it. She said she originally bought the orange fence herself, and she and Maureen Harvey installed it themselves, and continually repaired it. She had signs marking off the Dog Park for over two years, no one questioned it, and members of Little League were also aware of this, but never came to a Board meeting to say they were using the fields. The Dog Park Committee did a lot of fundraising for over 2 ½ years, and raised over $4000 for permanent fencing, all the while the field was dormant. Ms. Harvey said she sent letters to neighbors, so people would be informed before it was completed. She said she wants a park that has something for everyone, but thinks it is unsafe to have children playing on a field with dog waste. She said a lot of research went into this project and a lot of older citizens can now utilize this part of the park. Ms. Browning said she feels it’s unfortunate this discussion wasn’t done before this, but she feels the Board needs to stand on their decision to have it be a Dog Park because money was raised for this purpose. The Board spoke of how the fencing was built in a design that could allow it to go back to a ball field, if it was not utilized as a Dog Park in the future. Mr. Bykowski made a motion that the defined area within the Rec Park continue as a Dog Park. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires said it is up to the Little League to create alternative areas for practices and come back to the Board to discuss it.
Ice Rink Update: Randy Novotny was at the meeting to ask for an update on the Ice Rink refinishing that was discussed at passed meetings. Mr. Squires informed him it is on the company’s list of projects, and that a price increase was approved at a previous meeting, but the company is behind with the rainy spring. It was discussed that the Town will pay the entire invoice when work is completed, and the Mason’s will reimburse their portion of the project.
Dog Park Fence: It was discussed that Mr. Squires originally purchased materials for the Dog Park fence in the amount of $2900 in 2018 with his own funds. The bill for installation and extra needed materials was $4736, plus there will soon be a bill from Dailey’s for concrete for the posts, which Mr. Squires estimates will be $1000, for a grand total of $8636. There is currently $3254 in the Dog Park Fund. Ms. Browning suggested possibly using the remaining FEMA funds from Hurricane Irene, because the funds were related to the park originally, then could be reimbursed from continued Dog Park fundraising as it is available. Ms. Browning made a motion to pay outstanding invoices for the Dog Park from the Dog Park fund first, then remaining amount from the FEMA Irene Fund. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires abstained, as he will be reimbursed with part of these funds.
Town Administrator Search Committee Letter: Mr. Bykowski said he found some corrections that needed to be made in the original Search Committee letter and didn’t feel he could sign it without corrections, and that it shouldn’t be posted as it was written. Mr. Squires said Kevin Dailey called him to say he did not want to be a part of the committee after an email he received from Mr. Bykowski. Mr. Bykowski said he feels he doesn’t know if Mr. Dailey was qualified to head the search committee and wanted more information, but Mr. Squires said he had wanted him because of his past experience in this kind of process, and Mr. Harvey expressed that it was unfortunate to lose Mr. Dailey. Mr. Harvey said he will revise and edit the letter and send a new one to the Board members that will be signed and posted on social media and submitted to the Arlington Renewal Committee for them to pass along to their members.
Business: Letter from
the Treasurer: Treasurer Tiffany
Mays gave a letter to the Board explaining where the financials are at and
things she’d like to see done. She explained that after receiving a repayment
check from the Arlington School District for $82,826.72, and Delinquent Tax
Collection in May, no monies need to be borrowed at this time. She also
explained that a final check cleared the Battenkill North Grant account and
there is a balance of $10.37, and that this account should now be closed, and
the $10 from Town Clerk, Robin Wilcox, petty cash, originally used to open the
account, be refunded to her. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to close the Battenkill
North Grant account, transferring $10 to Town Clerk’s petty cash, and remaining
$.37 be deposited in the
Grants Operating account. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. HMGP: The grant money was received from the State in the amount of $12,381.45. $10,641.50 was paid to Mahar Excavating, and the remainder is $3217.09 Mr. Squires said he is waiting for the final paperwork from the State, but that the owner of Camping on the Battenkill made the initial deposit, so they will get the remainder of the balance, and that the State should send a formal letter to the owner. Ms. Mays also proposed that the Town open Pay Pal business accounts, that could link to the Town’s accounts and enable the Town to accept payments from residents, and the possibility of having some sort of credit or debit card for the different departments within the Town to use. Ms. Browning said she is not in favor of credit cards, but both Ms. Browning and Mr. Squires said they would be in favor of looking at options for residents to be able to pay tax bills electronically, and Mr. Bykowski said he will look at other options besides Pay Pal.
Highways: Ms. Browning said she had received a complaint about a culvert issue on River Road, with water coming onto the homeowner’s property. It was discussed that the culvert predates the house, and that it has been an exceptionally wet year. She asked Highway Foreman Gary Weller to look at the area. Old Mill Road: Mr. Squires said he met with Josh Sherman recently to discuss different issues. Mr. Sherman is thinking of doing sidewalk improvement by the old IGA. He will need to bring a plan for the Board to review.
Highway Applicants: The Board discussed when they could do interviews for the highway position. It was decided on Sunday, June 9th starting at noon, and Monday June 10th 6-8PM.
Grader: Mr. Squires said repairs are continuing on the grader, and it should be done soon.
Chem Clean: Mr. Squires said he met with the owners of Chem Clean, BCRC and the sidewalk engineers and he presented Chrissy Haskin’s drawings of the 7A Sidewalk project to better illustrate the proposed design and help to ease their concerns for the project. At the end of the discussion it appears that while the owners agree with the design after seeing the drawings, they are still not 100 percent happy about the project.
Sunrise Lane: Mr. Squires said he will be meeting with a resident of Sunrise Lane this week to continue to discuss the Town taking over the private road. He said there is a lot of work that would need to be done on the road before the Town could take it over. He will have the old files from past meetings and the beginning of the development to review at the meeting.
Water Department: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#12, from the Operating Account in the amount of $1509.28. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.
Old Water Truck Proposals: Mr. Squires told the Board about two proposals he received for the 2003 S10 pick up truck. #1, dated 3/29/19 from Edward Hulett for $500, #2 dated 5/15/19 from Cotrofeld Automotive for $525. Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept Cotrofeld Automotive proposal for $525.00. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Funds to be deposited into the WD Operating Account.
Mr. Squires also informed the Board that the informative letters sent to Water Department customers has generated some extra payments being made. The next step will be letters to the over 120 days past due accounts, to be sent out soon.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harveymade a motion to approve payroll #24B, in the amount of $667.44, for his duties as Interim Administrator. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires abstained. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve General Warrant #12, in the amount of $11,737.91. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 10:35
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Meeting video taped
Cc: files, Town Clerk