July 29, 2019
Members Present: Keith Squires, Cynthia Browning, Daniel Harvey, and Matthew Bykowski
Members Absent: Tim Williams
Also Present: Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Ann Harriet Cole, Jim Baker, Don Keelan, Luke Nathan, Manchester Journal
The meeting was called to order at 7:01pm by Chairman, Keith Squires
Minutes of Meeting of July 15, 2019
Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of July 15, 2019. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Public Comments: None
Old Business: Search Committee: The Board discussed the Town Administrator Search Committee. The Board had already voted to accept Jim Baker, Pam Halbur and Merrill Bent from the community, as well as Board members Dan Harvey and Matthew Bykowski at the last meeting, but had received several emails from other community members expressing an interest in joining the committee. After some discussion it was decided that five members from the community along with the two Board members would make up the committee, and the two additional community members were chosen by when their emails were received at Town Hall. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to appoint Chelsea Jeffrey and Nicol Whalen to the Search Committee. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
New Business: Arlington Arts and Enrichment Program: Jim Baker was at the meeting, along with Don Keelan, representing the Arlington Renewal Committee, seeking permission from the Board to apply for a Vermont Community Development Planning Grant and feasibility study for the renovation of the St. Margaret Mary Church property, which the church still owns, and has a desire to sell, as it has not been used in a long time. The Arlington Arts and Enrichment Program wishes to restore and revitalize the property and enhance the community by creating a home for arts enrichment, wellness activities, possibly professional offices and services for the Town, and the Renewal Committee has stepped in to help protect the interest of the Town, and has paid for a grant writer. No Town tax dollars are involved in the process. September 3, 2019 is the deadline for the submission, and they are asking Mr. Squires to be a point of contact in the process. The Town has to be the one that applies for the grant, and would be the receiving entity of any grant money and would pass it along to the project. After much discussion, it was decided that while this is a very big project to undertake, it would have many benefits to the Town, and that this feasibility study could provide much beneficial information and that it is worth exploring, and is an important opportunity that should not be passed up. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to grant Mr. Squires permission to apply for the Vermont Community Development Planning Grant, as is related to the Arlington Arts and Enrichment Program as presented. Ms. Browning seconded, but was conditional on seeing the grant application and on having final approval of the grant before it is submitted. Motion passed with this condition.
Set Tax Rate: The Board reviewed the new Tax Rate information from the Treasurer and looked at the 2018 Tax Rate information to compare. Mr. Squires explained that all figures are based on the Grant List, which is slightly down this year, and would increase the tax rate slightly, and that the Education Tax Rate is set by the State. Mr. Harvey made a motion to set the Total Municipal Tax Rate at .3700. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Harvey made a motion to set the Total Homestead Tax Rate at 1.8986, and the Non-Residential Rate at 1.8031. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Squires explained that a penny increase on a $100, 000 property would amount to a $10 increase in property taxes.
Treasurer’s Letter-Borrow Money: Mr. Squires spoke to the Board about the need to borrow money to run the Town. He said that the last time money was borrowed was March 27, 2019, and was $150,000 from the Grader Fund. He explained the Town operates on borrowed money until property tax money starts to come in. Tax bills will go out in September and the money usually starts to come in right away, with the bulk in November. It was discussed that the Town borrowing from the money the Town has saved in certain funds is more economical than having to go to a bank to borrow money, and that the fund the money is borrowed from is paid back with interest. The Treasurer is requesting to borrow $60,000 from the Bridge Fund. There is no intent to use the Bridge Fund this year. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to borrow $60,000 from the Bridge Fund to cover operating costs for the Town of Arlington. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Planning Commission Energy Plan: Mr. Squires said he met with a member of the Planning Commission earlier in the day to discuss the Energy Plan some of the Planning Commission members have been working on recently. The State has passed new requirements for the Town Plan to have an Energy Plan portion of the Plan, and Planning Commission members have been working with BCRC to see what other towns are doing for their Town Plans. Part of the study has looked at 18-20 recommended sites that could be used for solar or wind panels. They have a sample letter that was sent to Dorset residents that would ask property owners if they would like to be considered for one of these sites. After much discussion, it was decided that the members of the Planning Commission would be asked to come to the next meeting to explain their plan in person.
Highways: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant # C-19-3, a Capital Fund, in the amount of $60,415.00, to Viking- Cives for the new truck body and accessories. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Truck Bids: Mr. Squires opened and read the bids that were received for the 2000 Dump Truck and the 1953 4×4 that came in after an ad asking for bids was placed in the Vt. News Guide with a 2:00PM, 7/29/19 cut off date. Wm. Mattison bid $6200 for the 2000, dated 6/24/19. TNB Construction bid $5000 for the 2000, dated 7/18/19. Gilbert Mach bid $3227.00 for the 1953 truck, dated 7/23/19. Monarch Auto Body bid $1650.00 for the 1953, and $3500 for the 2000, dated 7/24/19. Jesse Howell bid $426.00 for the 1953, dated 7/29/19. Don Fish bid $2000 for the 1953 truck, dated 7/29/19. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the bid of Wm. Mattison, dated 6/24/19, for $6200 for the 2000 Dump Truck, As Is. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Harvey made a motion to award Mr. Mach his bid for the 1953 truck for $3227, dated 7/23/19, As Is. Ms. Browning seconded. All funds to be deposited into the Truck Fund.
Guard Rails: The use of a chemical with a brand name of Rodeo was discussed as a means to keep the grass and weeds from growing in front of guard rails, on Sandgate Road and a couple of other locations. The only alternative would be a labor-intensive use of trimmers to reach this area. It was discussed that Rodeo has been used by the State and other municipalities for a long time, and our Highway crew would administer the application. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the application of Rodeo around guard rails, but not within twenty feet of a water way. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed.
Ball Mountain Road Culvert Project: It was discussed that the Ball Mountain Road Culvert Project is behind schedule and will only be beginning Monday, August 5th, and not in mid-July as had been anticipated. It should be a two week project.
Water Department: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant WD#16, from the Operating Account in the amount of $3627.75. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve General Warrant #16, in the amount of $17,332.57. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Meeting video taped
Cc: files, Town Clerk