Selectboard Meeting Minutes 7.26.21



July 26, 2021

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

Members Absent:  Todd Wilkins

Also Present:   (In person, phone or Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Land Use Administrator-Jessica Roberts, Patti Turecek – USFS, Sally Manikian – Bly Hollow LLC/Conservation Fund, Martina Barnes – USFS, 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 not related to the agenda.  There were none.

Minutes of the Meeting of July 12, 2021. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting, July 12, 2021. Ms. Browning seconded.  Motion passed unanimously, with one Board member absent.

New Business, Part 1:  Sally Manikian, the NH/VT representative for The Conservation Fund and Bly Hollow, and Patti Turecek and Martina Barnes, both from the US Forrest Service, were at the meeting to talk about the future conservation of the Murray Hollow parcel, currently owned by Bly Hollow LLC/The Conservation Fund, and the potential sale of the land to the Green Mountain National Forest. Ms. Manikian said The Conservation Fund’s long-term purpose is conservation of the forestlands for multiple uses. The Board had packets of information, including potential property tax impact to Arlington residents if the sale were to take place, which would actually be slightly lower, due to federal money that would be paid the Town, as well of a map of the parcel and surrounding area. Ms. Manikian said such a purchase would typically take five to six years for completion, and is currently in the “scoping phase”. She said The Conservation Fund has owned the land for four years, and realizes the long family and community history associated with the land. It was discussed that having the National Forest own the land can be beneficial for the future, and allowing public access of the land. Ms. Browning said she was concerned about potential parking issues that could result from the sale, in the seasons when the land could see increased use.  Ms. Manikian said there could be creative solutions to parking issues and she would be happy to help work out any problems. It was discussed that The Conservation Fund would like a letter of support from the Select Board to continue in the process, and she and Mr. Zaiac will work together to draft the letter, and Ms. Manikian will be at the next meeting to seek approval of the letter from the Board.  It was discussed that the letter is just the beginning of the process and will not be the Board’s final approval of the potential sale.

Highways: Grader Replacement Discussion: Mr. Towslee was at the meeting to discuss the aging grader and present two proposals for its replacement. Mr. Harvey said the grader is over 25 years old, and Mr. Towslee said he has to baby the machine to try to make sure it will work when he needs it.  There have been considerable amounts of money spent on maintenance for the machine in the past few years. Mr. Towslee had one bid for a Caterpillar for $275,000 with a 7-9 month delivery time, and a John Deere for $283,000, with a delivery time of 6-7 months.  It was discussed that a decision will have to be made quickly, as the John Deere machines will drastically increase in price at the beginning of August. The Board agreed it was important to have a completely functioning grader by spring.  Mr. Harvey suggested the possibility of reaching out to Sunderland’s highway department to see if they could use their grader if the new one was not in the Town’s possession at the beginning of spring, and have a mutual aid agreement with Sunderland.  The Board discussed that there has been money saved in the Capital Reserve Fund for the purchase of a new grader, and that the full price would not need to be paid until the Town takes possession of the machine, and that there are also lease options available. Mr. Towslee will get confirmed prices on Tuesday, which would allow a decision to be made this week at a warned, special meeting of the Select Board.

In other Highway news, Mr. Towslee said he is helping Burr Snow with a Water Department problem this week and has been doing ditching and tree and brush work. He will be on vacation next week.

New Business, Part 2: Monument Application: Mr. Zaiac had a Memorial and Monument Application to show the Board from John Doyle and the Arlington High School class of 1964, to plant a memorial sugar maple tree and have a plaque, for deceased classmate Bob Hannon, near the Rec Park entrance. Mr. Zaiac said the Highway crew will plant the tree and the Town will maintain it for ten years. The $200 Memorial and Monument fee will be waived because the tree is being donated to the Town.  Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Memorial and Monument Application for installation of a tree at the Arlington Rec Park, and to approve the waiver of the $200 fee. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion carried unanimously with one member absent.

Park Mower Purchase:  Mr. Zaiac had two quotes for a lawn mower purchase for the Park & Rec Department. Using Sourcewell to obtain the prices, both quotes were the same, with the only difference being the dealer assembly fees. One is from Salem Farm Supply in Salem NY, for $8628.96 and $335 dealer assembly fee, and one from Sharon Springs Garage, Inc., in Troy for $8378.96 and $85 dealer assembly fee. Mr. Harvey said the Town has had good luck with purchases from Salem Farm Supply and suggested it might be better to try to auction the old mower instead of trading it in. Mr. Zaiac agreed, and said the purchase will not overspend the line in the budget. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the purchase of the new mower for the Arlington Rec Park from Salem Farm Supply for $8628.96 plus $335 dealer assembly fee, and to have Mr. Towslee post the old mower on the auction site. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent.

Old Business:  Household Hazardous Waste BCSWA Facility Vote:  The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed the agreement by the Town and BCRC to have a hazardous waste facility at the Bennington Transfer Station on Houghton Lane to be the permanent hazardous waste facility as opposed to having designated dates through the year at different locations. Mr. Zaiac said the facility will be available for eight hours each week, and is responding to consumer demand and is considered best practice. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the agreement with BCSWA for the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.

Town Administrator Report:  Mr. Zaiac told the Board he had been doing grant work of all kinds of projects, including a class 2 paving and structures grant for re-decking the Covered Bridge in oak, which is more durable. He also spoke to the Board about composting food scraps at park events, and having the composting barrels next to the standard trash receptacles.  He said there can be a mandate included with the forms for large events, explaining the composting requirement.  The potential of odor and bear issues was discussed, and Mr. Zaiac said he will check with other towns to see how they have handled the issue.

Water Department:  Warrants and Orders:  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #WD14, dated 7/22/21, in the amount of $1985.99, with highlights being GMP payments, Blue Cross Insurance premiums, and water tests. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.

Warrants and Orders:  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #C21-9, dated 7/21/21, in the amount of $560.00 from the Yellow Barn Capital Reserve Fund for top soil for the Yellow Barn.  Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #G21-3 from the Grants Account, to BCRC in the amount of $649.82 for the 7A Sidewalk Project. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.  Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #14, from the General Fund, in the amount of $30,595.10. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent. It includes payments for Blue Cross Insurance premiums, Miles Fuels, and Salem Farm for truck supplies.

Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:40PM

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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