Selectboard Meeting Minutes 8.24.2020



August 24, 2020

Members Present:  Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Tim Williams, and Todd Wilkins

Members Absent:  Cynthia Browning

Also Present:   Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV,  Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal,  and Janet Barry,  via telephone.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Mr. Harvey

Minutes of the Meeting of August 10, 2020:   Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of August 10, 2020. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Mr. Wilkins made an amendment to his original motion, to strike “MK” from the “Also Present” section of the minutes, and to approve the minutes of the August 10, 2020 meeting with the correction. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Public Comments:  None

Town Administrator’s Report:     Mr. Zaiac reported on some of the highlights contained in his report, including that the Highway crew are about halfway done with their drainage improvement project on Wilcox Road. He said new time sheets have been implemented for Town employees so that the sheets are the same for all. The Board thanked Mr. Zaiac for the comprehensive reports he supplies for each meeting.

Old Business:     Fire Department Articles of Membership:  The Board had reviewed the Articles of Membership with the minor changes that were discussed at the last meeting. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the Arlington Volunteer Fire Department Articles of Membership as written, dated August 24, 2020. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Budget Check Up:  The Board reviewed the latest Budget Report and felt that everything seems stable, but that some lines might need to be adjusted at Budget time, and the Town Fuel Oil line needs to be adjusted to distribute the amount between Town Hall, the garage, and the Fire Department.

New Business:    Town Hall Energy:  Mr. Zaiac said he is getting exploratory quotes for a new furnace for Town Hall, which can then be turned over the Energy Committee so they can study the Return on Investment. It has been estimated that it would only save about 500 gallons per year in fuel oil consumption. Mr. Harvey said the current furnace is not inefficient because it has been well maintained. Mr. Zaiac said the light bulb inspection in Town Hall showed only one needing to be updated to energy efficient.

Sheriff’s Contract Check- Up:  Mr. Zaiac obtained all the patrol logs from the Sheriff’s Department and shared them with the Board. Mr. Zaiac said there had been a communication breakdown in the Department over the weekend, concerning patrols of the Covered Bridges, and Mr. Bykowski said he appreciates Mr. Zaiac tracking it so closely.

Reopening Plan:  Mr. Bykowski said he’d made some rough sketches of Town Hall with recommendations for a Reopening Plan. Some of his recommendations are that masks will be worn for all employees and visitors, with alternative access plans for those that are medically unable to wear masks. Complimentary masks will be provided to guests who do not have their own.  New hand sanitizer station, plexiglass for offices, and proper social distancing signage will be purchased and installed. Safe occupancy levels for each room has also been figured into the reopening plan.    The Board agreed Town Hall should be able to reopen on or about September 8, 2020, which coincides with the reopening of  local schools. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Town Hall Covid Reopening to be September 8, 2020, to pre-Covid hours, with a line item for arrangements being made for those who can’t wear masks. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

Setting Tax Rate 2020: The Board reviewed the proposed 2020 Tax Rate supplied by the Treasurer. The 2020 Municipal Tax Rate will be set at $00.4250, up from the 2019 rate of $00.3700. The Arlington Education Tax Rate, as set by the VT Tax Department will be $1.5001 for Homestead, and $1.4839 for Non-homestead, changed from 2019’s Homestead Rate of $1.5286, and Non-homestead of $1.4331. Total Homestead Tax Rate for 2020 will be $1.9251, up from $1.8986 in 2019, and Total Non-homestead Rate for 2020 of $1.9089, up from 2019’s of $1.8031. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the 2020 Tax Rates, as presented. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Adobe Professional Purchase Request:  The Board discussed the Treasurer’s request to purchase Adobe Professional to aid in tax bill record keeping. The Board agreed it would be beneficial. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the purchase of Adobe Acrobat Pro and a one-year subscription, not to exceed $200. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.

Highways:  Mr. Zaiac informed the Board that the Wilcox Road drainage project should be completed soon, and paving for Sandgate Road should begin on September 12, 2020.

New Business con’t:   Soccer Season:  Mr. Wilkins spoke to the Board about the soccer season that will be starting soon, and the State stipulation of not exceeding 150 people at one event. He said that soccer games are well attended,  and asked if the Board would agree to allow the large parking area for the games, and body counts will be done, and then have all attendees at the Park who are not attending the soccer games, be directed to the smaller parking lot, and areas could be designated with use of barriers or cones. The Board agreed with the request.

Fire Department Report:  The Board discussed the possibility of forming a subcommittee to meet regularly and review the recommendations from the  study that was recently completed on the Fire Department, which could be comprised of one Select Board member, Fire Department members, and community members, with 5-7 people being the goal. This will be discussed further at the next Select Board meeting.

Softball Lights: It was discussed that the softball lights will be going up this week.

American Legion Donation:   The Board discussed offering a donation to the American Legion for use of their facility for voting in the Primary that was done in early August, and the upcoming November election. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve a $200 per event donation to the American Legion for use of their facility for voting for 2020. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.  Mr. Williams spoke of how the Board should be thankful to Town Clerk, Robin Wilcox, for her organization and handling of the entire voting procedure, including the large number of mail-in ballots, and the Board agreed.

Old Business con’t:   The Board spoke briefly of the need to clean up the Dietrich property so it doesn’t get too overgrown, and that the speed sign will be moved to East Arlington Road.

Water Department:    Warrants and Orders:   Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve WD Warrant #17, in the amount of $2,324.95. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed.

Warrants and Orders:   Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve Warrant # R-20-9, from the Reappraisal account, in the amount of $10,400, to NEMRC for July and August assessment services. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve General Warrant #18, in the amount of $25,128.13, with highlights including recycling fees, annual alarm fees, and Supreme Tree bill for tree removal on Warm Brook Rd. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed.

Executive Session:  Mr. Bykowski made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Wilkins. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue and to invite Mr. Zaiac to remain in the room. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. The Board entered into Executive Session at 8:20.

The Board exited the Executive Session with no decisions made, and the meeting adjourned at 9:05PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Barry, Recording Secretary

Meeting video and  audio-taped

Cc: files, Town Clerk

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