July 15, 2019
Members Present: Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Tim Williams, Matthew Bykowski, Daniel Harvey
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Ann Harriet Cole, Steven McClafferty
The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman, Keith Squires
Minutes of Meeting of July 1, 2019
Mr. Williams made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of July 1, 2019. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed.
Old Business: “Old Business” was temporarily bumped up in the agenda to accommodate Town Treasurer, Tiffany Mays, who was at the meeting to discuss adding the option of PayPal to the town water bills, to give residents the option of paying the bills electronically. The customers would set up their own Pay Pal account and be able to attach any accounts they chose to it. She would get a print out of all transactions and the payments would be credited to the resident’s water bills. It was discussed that any information sent to town residents would have to clearly state that the 3% fee involved in the Pay Pal process does not go to the town, but is a Pay Pal fee, and that this is just one option, payments can still be mailed or delivered to Town Hall with a check. After some discussion of the letter Ms. Mays had proposed to add to the next water bills being mailed this week, it was decided that there would be more discussion at the next Water Department meeting, 7/22/19, and no letters will be included in the current bills.
Public Comments: Steven McClafferty was at the meeting to discuss an ongoing issue he is having at his house on School Street. He had had a broken shut off valve for his water and although he called the Water Department two and a half years ago, he has not had a return phone call or any resolution to the problem. The Board apologized for the lengthy delay, thanked him for his patience, and Mr. Squires said he will call him back with a plan to shut off water so the valve can be replaced.
Old Business, con’t: Hazard Mitigation Plan: Mr. Squires told the Board that Michael Bathcher had submitted the completed Plan to FEMA and they recently sent back their comments and changes they need to be made, which Mr. Batcher forwarded to the Board. The changes were minor, and it was decided that Mr. Batcher can make the changes and resubmit it for finalization. Mr. Harvey made a motion to allow Mr. Batcher to make changes and submit the revised version to FEMA. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Town Administrator Committee: Mr. Squires presented the Board with three letters of highly qualified residents interested in being part of the Town Administrator Search Committee. It was decided that Mr. Harvey and Mr. Bykowski would represent the Board at the Committee meetings. Mr. Bykowski said he’d like the first meeting to take place the first week in August and asked Janet to contact the interested parties and find out their availability. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to appoint Merrill Bent, Pamela Halbur and James Baker to the Arlington Advisory Town Administrator Search Committee. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Chittenden Bank Property: Mr. Harvey asked for an update on the old Chittenden Bank property. Mr. Squires said there are still people living there, but that the mortgage holder has hired an auctioneer, and the State is involved with the process and has been on site several times, and that whole process is a very lengthy one.
Highways: New Truck: Mr. Squires said he had anticipated having the invoice for the new Town truck, but it had not arrived. He anticipates the amount will be around $60,000, and will complete what has been about a fourteen-month process to purchase this new truck. The Highway crew have possession of the truck and have been driving it to make sure all is functioning correctly.
Speed Limits: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about a letter he received from a resident on RT 313, West Arlington, asking for the Town’s help to have the State lower the speed limit in that area. It is currently 40 MPH from Wayside Store to west of Sandgate Road, and then goes back to 50 MPH past the covered bridge, which the resident feels, and the Board agreed, is too fast for the area. In order to have speed limits changed, requests have to be made to the State Transportation Board. They would do a survey of the average speed and take traffic counts, and there is the possibility that the State could not agree to the change. The limits in any area where a change is requested could potentially be raised, following the outcome of the conducted survey. It was discussed that the Board would also like to see the speed limit lowered from 35 MPH to 30 MPH in the center of Town, as well, and the benefits of having the speed limits lowered would outweigh the risk of having the surveys conducted. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to proceed with the request to the State to lower the speed limit at the covered bridge on RT 313 to 40MPH, and 30 MPH in the center of Town. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.
Tractor Rental: Mr. Squires told the Board he has a rental agreement with HP Fairfield to rent a John Deere tractor, as has been done in other years. He said the cost of the rental has increased from $2800, to $3200, but the limit of how many hours it can be used in the week it is in Town has been eliminated. It will be dropped of Monday, August 12, 2019 and picked up Friday, August 16, 2019. Mr. Squires suggested allowing the Highway crew to work over time to utilize the rental would be beneficial. Mr. Squires made a motion to approve a contract with HP Fairfield for rental of a 2016 John Deere tractor for $3200 for five days of use. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed; contract was signed to be returned to HP Fairfield.
Water Department: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#15, from the Operating Account in the amount of $2357.47. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. The Water Department meeting will be held at Town Hall on Monday, July 22, 2019, at 7PM.
New Business: Tax Sale: Mr. Squires informed the Board that there will be a Tax Sale held at Town Hall, Monday, July 22, 2019 at 10 AM. He said there are currently two properties that will be sold, but that could change if tax payments are made before that time. He said the normal process is to have a Board member in attendance to make a minimum bid on a property if no one else bids. He said that he could be available for the sale. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to bid on the properties for the Town should there be no other bidders. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.
Request from Treasurer: Town Treasurer, Tiffany Mays, left a letter for the Board, asking for an advance on her 3rd Quarter Health Stipend, which she is given each quarter in lieu of having health insurance through the Town. The yearly stipend is $4000, and she requested the $1000 advance for personal financial reasons. Ms. Browning made a motion to give an advance of $1000, 3rd Quarter Health Stipend, to Ms. Mays. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed.
Yellow Barn: Mr. Squires spoke of an email he received from Dottie Sundquist asking if she could use the space on the river side of the Yellow Barn for a science-based gardening demonstration on low tunnel gardening on Friday August 16, 2019 from 2-4PM, as part of the UVM Master Gardener program. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the request for a low tunnel garden demonstration for UVM Master Gardener Program. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Mowing: Mr. Squires told the Board the Town lost State help in mowing some areas of Town and the Highway crew has taken over this job, which takes a full day and takes them away from highway jobs. He said two men mowing and trimming the Yellow Barn, and the three other areas in question, takes approximately seven hours. It was discussed that perhaps the Park and Rec crew could take this job over, but they don’t have a vehicle to move the mower to the different locations. It was also discussed that perhaps the person who mows the Community House, or another local landscaping company could be contracted to do these areas going forward. It was decided that the Board would continue to think of different, long term solutions and discuss it at a later date.
Lions Club: Mr. Harvey discussed with the Board his hopes of the Lions Club being financially able to take over the care of the pond at the park in the future. Currently Mr. Squires takes water samples that are submitted to a laboratory for testing.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve General Warrant #15, in the amount of $34,814.85. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant number 14A, in the amount of $42.75 for a VMERS adjustment. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Payroll #28B, in the amount of $964.08, for Keith Squires for his duties as Interim Town Administrator. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires abstained from the vote.
Mr. Harvey made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Meeting video taped
Cc: files, Town Clerk