Ascutney Fire Station
540 VT-131, Ascutney Vermont
Wednesday November 8, 2017
Commission Members Present: Josh Dauphin
Members Absent: Darrin Spaulding
Town Manager, Ed Morris
Tim Austin Edith Stillson Mark Girard
1. Call to Order
Mrs. Esty called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.
As there was no quorum, the meeting was limited to discussion items only.
2. Comments from Commissioners or Citizens on items not on the agenda
Mrs. Esty thanked everyone for their hard work in getting the fire services contract completed.
Mr. Dauphin introduced Tim Austin, Weathersfield resident who is interested in serving on the Commission. Mr. Austin lives on Chimney Ridge Road. He retired 20 years ago form the Vermont State police. He became the State Fire Marshall when he retired. He has been doing fire investigations for almost 30 years. He understands the workings of fire departments.
Mrs. Esty asked Mr. Austin to send a letter of interest to Mr. Morris so he can be appointed at the next Selectboard meeting.
Mr. Dauphin said that both departments have the Commission vacancies posted.
Mr. Dauphin said he had received a call from a resident seeking assistance. Mr. Dauphin said he had advised the citizen to call 911 rather than calling the chief personally. Everyone is required to follow the same protocol and done the way it should be.
3. Approve minutes from previous meeting – October 11, 2017
Approval of the minutes was tabled until the next meeting as there wasn't a quorum to vote on them.
4. Financial Review
Mrs. Esty said there is still no finance director yet so the numbers on the finance reports may not be quite up to date. NEMRC is doing the accounting for now. Mrs. Esty advised calling the Town Manager if additional information was needed.
Mr. Morris said they have started organizing invoices into folders by department even before they are paid. He advised Mr. Dauphin that if he is in the office not to be afraid to look through the folders, make copies of invoices that are getting ready to go to the Selectboard, approve them for payment, etc. (He has asked Colleen to make copies and send them to the chiefs.) He said they are working on different systems to try and make it easier for everyone.
5. Chiefs' Reports
Mr. Dauphin gave the report for WWVFD. He reported the total calls for WWVFD and calls made with Ascutney.
Mrs. Esty shared a map of dry hydrants created by the Regional Planning Commission. Each hydrant on the map has a 1,000; 2,000; and 3,000-ft radius around its location, which makes it clear where the gaps in coverage are across Town. Mr. Morris said he had asked RPC to put a 1-mile radius around each hydrant. Mr. Morris asked the departments to check the map and make sure the hydrants shown are viable hydrants (e.g. the Bow hydrant is not) and perhaps mark the map accordingly.
a. Budget Worksheets
Mrs. Esty, Mr. Dauphin, Mr. Girard and Mr. Morris worked through the budget worksheets.
• Recording Secretary - $834
• Fire Warden Stipend - $618
• Fire Warden Mileage Reimbursement - (reminder to warden to file for mileage or this line may be reduced or eliminated)
• Advertising - $0
• Emergency Management – It was unclear as to the purpose of this line – stipend perhaps? Some managers take it, some don't. If it is not to used by the current manager, Mr. Morris may advise reducing it to $100 as a place-holder
• Emergency management radios - $0
• Fire Hydrant El Service - $1000 (Black River hydrant) – this reduce annually according to Green Mountain Power
• Legal Expense - $500
• Dispatching Service - $14,500
• Boiler Insurance – Mr. Morris will look into this
• Hydrant Electric Repairs – for the board on the Black River hydrant – it has been repaired so this line is no longer needed
• Dry Hydrant Maintenance - $3500 – 2017 was $7,176 due to the Gulf Road hydrant (at the last Selectboard meeting$3400 was moved out of reserve to help cover the cost); there is still $11,000-$12,000 left in the reserve.
• Highway Service to Dry Hydrant - $2500
• Transfer to Dry Hydrant Reserve – To be determined after planning for dry hydrant work. Mr. Morris also recommended planning for long-term maintenance – he would like to get on a cycle where we're dredging one pond a year and putting in one a year if we have a spot to put it (refer to hydrant map).
• Transfer to Fire Equip Reserve – This was put into an article last year that did not pass. Mr. Morris said the chiefs should request what they think is right; it will be up to the Selectboard to decide if it goes in the budget or as an article – put in as $32,582
Mr. Girard said he and Mr. Spaulding recommend keeping their funding the same as last year, but have the Fire Commission put in money to do hose testing for the entire fire department. It would go under the Fire Commission's budget as a new line - $8,000 for hose testing and $350 per pump.
Mr. Morris said he had spoken to Mr. Dauphin and said this is how he thinks it should be done and that we should start slowly, because hose that needs to be pulled, has to be replaced and we will have to have the money to replace it at that time.
Mr. Morris suggested putting it under Miscellaneous for now at $5,000. The allocation for this year was increased by $8000, partly for hoses and partly for turnout gear.
• Radio Repeater Fees - $1200
• Fuel - $3000
• Fire Equipment Repair - $7500
• Highway Service to AVFD - $2000
Mr. Dauphin said he was happy with the $32,500 for now. He referred back to the Miscellaneous line discussed earlier. In light of the 800+ hours of training that's required, he proposed a stipend of $8.00 per hour for each hour of training completed. He estimated it would cost around $9000. Mr. Dauphin feels that training is the most important and he feels the stipend would be an incentive for the members to keep their training current.
Mr. Dauphin feels the $8000 in hose testing can be better spent on training since hose testing can be done in-house.
Mr. Morris suggested writing it up as a set amount per training rather than as an hourly rate. He said if Mr. Dauphin could write up the proposal, he would make sure to fit it in the budget.
Mr. Dauphin said this idea was in the Wood report and had been discussed before.
• Repeater Fees – $1,200
• Fuel - $2,800
• Equipment Repair - $6,500
• Highway Services to WWVFD - $2,500
• HazMat Revenue to Reserve - $250 (placeholder)
These will be the “unofficial numbers” given to the Manager.
b. FY 2017 Annual Reports for Town Report – due Dec. 2nd – please get to Shirley by November 30th
c. Fire Report Action Guide – From Select Board Meeting 11/6/2017 – This topic was tabled by the Selectboard until after the fire agreement discussion was concluded.
d. Pikes Peak Hydrant – The bid for the project was awarded by the Selectboard at the November 6th meeting
7. Items for Next Month's Agenda: dry hydrant priority list to generate accurate budget numbers
8. Next Meeting December 13, 2017 at WWVFD
9. Future Agenda Items
a. April – Dry Hydrants
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Second:
The meeting adjourned at .8:29 PM.