August 9, 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, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, and Janet Barry
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey
Public Comments: None
Minutes of the Meeting of July 26, 2021. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of July 26, 2021. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one Board member absent.
New Business: Appointments: Mr. Zaiac said there are three people who have an interest in being an alternate to either the Planning Commission, or the Zoning Board of Authority. They are encouraged to attend meetings, and in the event there is no quorum present, will be authorized to vote in the meeting, and may choose to fill vacant Board seats in the future. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to appoint Sebastian Massey as an Alternate to the Planning Commission, Michaelanne Sylvester as an Alternate to the ZBA and Travis Evans as an Alternate to the ZBA. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.
Old Business: National Forest Letter of Support: At this point the Board moved the agenda to Old Business to offer Ms. Manikian the chance to speak about her updated draft of the letter of support for the Green Mountain National Forest FY23 Land and Water Conservation Fund proposal to compete for funding for the purchase of the Murray and Benedict Hollow Parcel that was discussed at the last meeting. Mr. Harvey said it must be crystal clear that all of the access to the land is on Class 4 roads that are not maintained by the Town, and the Town will not have any obligation to maintain the access roads. It was discussed that the process can take several years and will allow opportunities for public input. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Arlington Letter of Support for Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.
New Business, Part Two: Setting the Tax Rate: The Treasurer had prepared the 2021 Tax Rate for the Board to review. Mr. Harvey read through the report, with the 2021 Voted Municipal General Budget being $771,800, the 2021 Voted Municipal Highway Budget being $661,937, with net Town taxes to be raised being $880,186.84. The Municipal General Tax Rate of $00.0730 raises $232,818.83, the Municipal Highway Tax Rate of $00.2100 raises $669,752.79, which totals $902,571.62. The Education Rate set by the VT Tax Department is $1.4507. Ms. Browning made a motion to set the Total Homestead Tax Rate at $1.7382 and the Total Non-Homestead Tax Rate set at $1.7673, and to set the Municipal Tax Rate at $00.2875. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously with one member absent.
Old Business, Part 2: Grader Financing: Mr. Zaiac supplied the Board with three scenarios for financing the grader to be purchased in November. Scenarios 2 and 3 would set an interest rate at 3.25%. It was decided that Scenario 1 is the best option, with $175,000 as a first payment once tax money is collected, and 2% interest rate for the remaining six annual payments, which results in saving the Town money. It was discussed that after the 6th and final payment, the same amount could then be added to the Grader Sinking Fund each year so funds will be available when this machine needs to be replaced. It was discussed that no action needs to be taken at this time, the grader is ordered, and $60,000 was saved by ordering the grader before the beginning of August.
Town Administrator Report: Mr. Zaiac said that Arlington fared much better than surrounding towns in last week’s storm. Chunks Brook Road did have major damage, but our section was not as damaged as the New York and Sandgate sections. A local contractor was able to do the necessary repair work which freed up the Highway crew, who were short one man due to vacation, to work on other projects. Mr. Harvey and Mr. Zaiac shared the storm damage assessment work on Friday. It was discussed that the infrastructure functioned perfectly. Ms. Browning discussed the significant pot holes on River Road, with drivers having to go to the other side of the road to avoid them, and requested the road be graded as soon as the work schedule allows. Mr. Harvey said the rented, over- the- rails mower, came in two days early, and Mr. Finnegan came in on Saturday to do some mowing. It will be used all week, and also there will be ditching done on Old Mill Road. Mr. Zaiac said he had just found out the
American Rescue Plan funds will be deposited imminently, with $600,000 in Federal money going to Town Hall and Water Department projects.
Ms. Browning inquired about the possibility of having insurance coverage if a Fire Department member has to use their own vehicles in the line of duty. This will be checked into with VLCT. The need to have Fire Department members follow all OSHA guidelines was briefly discussed. It was decided it would be better to have the conversation when Mr. Wilkins is able to be present. Ms. Browning suggested there be a general idea of how best to access the river in an emergency situation, and she said she would be happy to start working on addressing that need.
Water Department: Warrants and Orders: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant #WD15, dated 8/4/21, in the amount of $934.50, with highlights being the State retirement fund payment, and Comcast set up bills for the Pump House. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve Warrant #15, from the General Fund, in the amount of $24,044.27, with highlights being the annual $6000 fee to BCRC, the annual Diligent payment of $3,675, $1,750 in State retirement payments and $3206 for stone purchase. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously, with one member absent.
Executive Session: Mr. Bykowski made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Ms. Browning. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue and to allow Mr. Zaiac to remain in the room. Mr. Sherman seconded. The Board entered into Executive Session at 7:53PM. The Board exited the Executive Session at 8:34PM, with no action as a result of the Executive Session.
Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:35PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk