September 28, 2020
Members Present: Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Tim Williams, and Todd Wilkins
Members Absent: None
Also Present: Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, Jack McDonough-GNAT-TV, Attorney Joe O’dea, Captain Hurley – Bennington County Sheriff’s Dept., Hooper Pickering, June and Tony Onorato, Don Keelan, Lorie DeHimer, and Denise Monte and Janet Barry, via telephone.
The meeting was called to order at 6:58 by Mr. Harvey
Public Comments: Mr. Keelan was at the meeting to let the Select Board know that he feels Dr. Sherman was not treated with enough respect when he went before the Planning Commission recently. He felt they were not cooperative. Mr. Keelan pointed out that Dr. Sherman is a major investor in Arlington, and he wanted the Select Board to be aware of the situation because they appoint the Planning Commission.
Minutes of the Meeting of September 14, 2020 and September 17, 2020: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of the regular Select Board meeting of Sept. 14, 2020. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Ms. Bykowski made a motion to approve the minutes of the special Select Board meeting of Sept.17, 2020. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
New Business: Sheriff’s Report: Captain Hurley of the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department was at the meeting at the Board’s request, to review the contract with the Town, and the patrol logs, with data from July 1, 2020-present. The Board was concerned with a possible over billing of five hours, and Mr. Zaiac will be in contact with the Sheriff’s Department to clarify the possible error. The Board agreed that having the data from the reports submitted with each bill is very helpful.
Red Mountain Trail Purchase Status Report: Mr. Pickering was at the meeting to give a status report on the Arlington Renewal Recreation Committee’s plan to purchase land on Red Mountain, which has been discussed at past meetings in 2019. The committee is in need of $87,000, and has been working with VT Land Trust and some other donors and thinks half the money will be raised in the next few weeks, with a goal of having the rest raised by the end of the year. The pandemic had caused delays in the ability to fundraise. It was discussed that there is a need to have the deadline date extended, from October 16, 2020, to January 15, 2021. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to authorize Town attorney, Joe O’Dea to reach out to Bly Hollow, LLC, to negotiate an extension of the contract. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.
Russell Street: Ms. DeHimer was at the meeting to discuss the issue of seasonal drainage across her property on Russell Street. Mr. Zaiac will be in touch with her in the near future.
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. Motion carried.
Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue and to invite Mr. Zaiac and Mr. O’Dea to remain in the room. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. The Board entered into Executive Session at 8PM. The Board exited Executive Session at 9:05PM, and resumed the regular meeting. As a result of the Executive Session, Ms. Browning made a motion to hire Joshua Criss as a Highway Crew Member. Mr. Williams seconded. Motion passed. Ms. Browning made a motion to hire Todd Siclari as a Highway Crew Supervisor/Foreman. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.
VT Trans Grant In Aid Program: Mr. Zaiac and the Board discussed the VT Trans Grant In Aid Program. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize the Town to participate in the VT Grant In Aid Program. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed. A letter of intent was signed.
Invoices for the School: Mr. Wilkins said he was contacted by the school about an invoice from the Town for gravel that the Highway crew delivered to the school. It was discussed that billing was a good idea, but the school should be made aware of billing by the Town so they can plan appropriately. Mr. Zaiac was asked if he could have an articulated policy for the Board to review at the next meeting.
Appointment of BCRC Commissioner and Co-Commissioner: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to appoint Mr. Zaiac as BCRC Commissioner, and Ms. Browning as Co-Commissioner. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Wilkins made a motion to table the signing of the Cambridge Fire Contract until the next meeting. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. This will allow time for Town attorney, Mr. O’Dea, to be able to review the contract and advise.
Hazardous Tree Management: The Board reviewed a Hazardous Tree Policy prepared by Mr. Zaiac. It states that the Town possesses the right, granted by the State, to remove tress on private property on which the Town has right of way, and applies to all trees that have been determined to be of species subject to becoming hazards once killed by plant disease and insect infestations. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve the Hazardous Tree Policy as presented, with one alteration in paragraph three. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion carried. The Board will sign the policy when the correction is made.
Town Administrator’s Report: Mr. Zaiac reported on some of the highlights contained in his report. He said that some of the bills for the Sandgate Road project are in, and the Town will be getting a separate bill for flaggers for the project. He said he is getting a quote for shoulder work on the road from Peckham. Mr. Bykowski said again how much he appreciates the thoroughness of the Town Administrator’s report.
Old Business: Snow Shed at Town Hall: The Board discussed the need to correct snow sliding off the roof at Town Hall and landing on the path of people walking into the building. The size of the extension was discussed, as well as the current extremely high cost of lumber. Mr. Harvey will meet with the contractor and discuss the project and what is needed to accomplish the job.
Water Department: Warrants and Orders: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve WD Warrant #19, in the amount of $1,089.66. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Warrants and Orders: Mr. Wilkins made a motion to approve General Warrant #20, in the amount of $7,627.14, with highlights including Sheriff Contract payment, Highway truck maintenance, and BCRC recycling fee. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed.
Other Business: Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve overspending on the sign line item, due to theft of signs. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.
Mr. Williams made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Wilkins seconded. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:41PM
Janet Barry, Recording Secretary
Meeting video and audio-taped
Cc: files, Town Clerk