September 13, 2021
Members Present: (Via Zoom or in person) Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Todd Wilkins, and Glenn Sherman
Members Absent: None
Also Present: (In person, phone or Zoom) Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Jamie Paustian-Fire Warden, Mike King-Fire Chief, Vince Thompson-FD, Jay Coonradt-FD, Energy Committee Members Stephanie Moffitt-Hynds and Garret Siegel, Darren Marcy-Manchester Journal, and Janet Barry
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, by Mr. Harvey.
Mr. Harvey also gave an update on his health, saying he had a stroke on August 30, 2021 which has left him with a slight speech impairment, and slight motor skill issue in his right arm. He said Mr. Bykowski will moderate meetings for approximately a month, and thanked Mr. Bykowski for his assistance.
Public Comments: None
Minutes of the Meeting of Aug. 23, 2021. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the previous meeting of Aug. 23, 2021. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Old Business: Fire Truck RFP Discussion: Mr. Zaiac said the window for firetruck RFP submissions closed Thursday afternoon. Four were submitted, and put into the Fire Department’s hands for review. Mr. King said two of the RFP’s were not acceptable, and the Fire Department Truck Committee, consisting of seven firemen, met to review the remaining RFP’s, from VRS Sales/Shakerley Fire Truck Sales, and E-One, Inc. Four members voted for VRS Sales. He said it came down to features, with prices being very close, with VRS approximately $414,000 and E-One approximately $423,000. The Board agreed they want the truck that will be of the best service and functionality for the Town, and agreed they have confidence in the Fire Department’s choice. Mr. Bykowski said for such a large purchase he would like a chance to review the RFP’s, and it was decided that the RFP’s would be left in Town Hall for Board members to review, and a short meeting will be held on Monday September 20, 2021 for a final decision. Mr. Bykowski thanked the Fire Department for their diligence, hard work and dedication.
US Forest Service Fire Agreement: This discussion was tabled at this time and will be put on a future agenda.
Fire Department Insurance: Mr. Zaiac explained VLCT offers coverage for firefighter’s private vehicles if they are needed to travel to an emergency for $400 per year. He said it seems reasonable and feels the Board should move forward with this coverage. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve insurance from VLCT for $400 per year for firefighter’s private vehicles going to an emergency call. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Cell Phone Reimbursement Policy: The Board and Mr. Zaiac discussed a cell phone reimbursement policy for full-time exempt staff, and the Highway Supervisor. It allows for a $35.00 per month stipend, as was discussed at a previous meeting when the Board approved the stipend and amount for Highway Foreman Mark Towslee. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the cell phone reimbursement policy as written. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
New Business: Energy Committee- Window Inserts: Energy Committee members Stephanie Moffitt-Hynds and Garret Siegel were at the meeting to discuss a project to help homeowners and renters with insulating windows economically with custom built inserts, thereby lowering carbon emissions and heating costs. Window Dressers is a company from Maine that offer this more affordable option for insulating windows, typically between $30-$50 per window. There is financial help available through donations and grants to make them easy to afford. Volunteers go to a home to measure for the inserts, and there will be two community builds locally, one in Arlington, and one in Bennington. People who order are expected to participate in the builds, and will receive on the spot training. She said the website is www.windowdressers.org, and there are demonstrations on GNAT-TV. Mr. Zaiac will post information on the Town’s Facebook page, and brochures will be left in the Town Hall lobby for anyone wanting more information.
Appointments: Mr. Harvey made a motion to appoint Mr. Joshua Williams as the Arlington Emergency Management Director to the Regional Emergency Management Committee, and to appoint Mr. Vincent Thompson as the Arlington Public Safety Representative to the Regional Emergency Management Committee. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
RFP-Covered Bridge Labor: The Board and Mr. Zaiac reviewed a Request for Proposal (RFP) for
West Arlington Covered Bridge redecking. Bids will be due by 2PM on September 24, 2021, either by mail, or at the Town Hall drop box. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the RFP for Covered Bridge redecking as written. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Town Administrator Report: The Board reviewed the Town Administrator’s Report. Mr. Zaiac said it had been a big week of grant work. He said the Town was approved for the Disc Golf grant that had been discussed at a previous meeting. Ms. Browning said she feels it will have to be at the Yellow Barn, and not cause added congestion at the golf course. She feels it could damage the course, and not be acceptable to golfers. Mr. Zaiac said the ISO recertification should be in by the end of the week. He said on Thursday, employee reviews will take place, and asked that there be an Executive Session at the next meeting to discuss results and compensation.
Red Mountain Trail Purchase: Ms. Browning said she is not ready to move forward with the purchase unless a discount on the price is worked out with the owner, Bly Hollow, and that the funds raised by the Arlington Recreation Committee be transferred to the Town for future maintenance of the trails. Mr. Wilkins agreed that funds raised specifically for this process should be transferred to the Town if the sale is completed. It was discussed that the extensions that had been put in place will run out at the end of October 2021. Mr. Zaiac has been working on obtaining easements and said two easements on Tory Lane North need to be in place for parking. He had recently hiked the trail and took photos to document the damage done to the trails through the recent bad weather and lack of upkeep from the current owner. It was decided Mr. Zaiac will meet with legal council and have the matter on the agenda for the next meeting on September 27, 2021.
Water Department: Billable Hours: The Board and Mr. Zaiac reviewed the memo he created explaining the Water Department reimbursing the Town for hours he has worked in his capacity as Chief Administrator for the Water Department, to help with the Pump House expansion and Sanitary Survey. To clear up any issues for auditing, a transfer will be made between the Water Department and the Town, which had been suggested by the Treasurer. The matter of paying Mr. Zaiac for future billable hours he works for the Water Department will be discussed at the next Water Board Meeting in October. Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve the transfer of zero marginal cost hours, from the Water Department to the Town of Arlington for service rendered by Chief Administrator Nick Zaiac, in the amount of $197.58. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
WD Warrants and Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve Warrant #WD17, in the amount of $1,064.25. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Warrants and Orders: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve Warrant #17, from the General Fund, in the amount of $64,682.41, notable items being consulting bills for the Art & Enrichment grant process, which will be reimbursed, gravel from Peckham, Highway truck repairs, Public Safety-State of Vermont patrols, and BCRC Solid Waste invoices. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Other Business: Dietrich Property Update: Mr. King asked if there was any further interest in the Town owned, Dietrich property, by Habitat for Humanity. The property is also being considered for a new firehouse. Mr. Zaiac said the liens have now elapsed and the property is free and clear. He said the upcoming firemen training that will take place on the property will be a chance to see if there are negative reactions by neighbors to the firemen using the property. Mr. Zaiac said perhaps it could be on the Warning for discussion at Town Meeting in March. It was discussed that Habitat is still interested in the property and they have put title and legal work into the property in the past. Mr. Bykowski said he would like to see the best use of the land that will benefit the residents of Arlington, and it should be an agenda item at a future meeting in October, and perhaps discussed in an Executive Session.
Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Harvey seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Cc: files, Town Clerk