• Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

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Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT
Monday, April 17th, 2017
7:00 PM

APPROVED 5/1/2017

Select Board Members Present: Daniel Boyer
C. Peter Cole
Lynn Esty
Amy Beth Main
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent:

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Tory Denis Westley Hazeltine Michael Lewallen Julia Lloyd Wright
Paul Tillman Bette Jo Esty Amanda Lewallen Jeff Pelton

1. Call to Order
Ms. Murphy called the meeting to order at 7:00PM.

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mr. Morris said he had received a thank you note from Officer Muldoon for the excellent work done by the two Weathersfield Fire Departments at an active brush fire with structures threatened. Officer Muldoon wanted to bring it to the attention of the Select Board and Manager as it “doesn't happen as much as it should” (i.e. honoring the work of our volunteers). He said the volunteers did a wonderful job stopping the fire before it caused any structural damage.

Ms. Murphy thanked the Select Board for participating in the Library Town Challenge. The team came in second place. She said the Library has raised $8,000 in this fundraising as a grant match. They are well on their way to the $15,000 they need.

Ms. Murphy announced that on May 6th the PTA is having a Penny Sale for all of their fundraisers. She said, “I had sent out an email – they had asked us if we could donate 3 dump tickets and we had said that because it was taxpayer dollars, that we would throw it to the Select Board. So what I would say is if you are interested and able, if you want to do something on your own, or, I think, Ed, you said you were going to donate, I was going to donate some, whatever we get we could put together as one or you can go out on your own.”

Ms. Murphy asked BJ to describe how the Penny Sale works.

Mrs. Esty announced that the Weathersfield Directory is taking submissions. Submission slips are available at www.weathersfielddirectory.org and at the Town Office.

Mr. Morris announced that the Country Creamee has changed ownership. It is now called Villagers. It will be opening this weekend. He said, “We're going to be doing a grand opening for them at 10:00 on Saturday morning; a ribbon-cutting grand opening. I would like the Select Board to attend if they can.”

3. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda
There were no citizen comments.

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – 4/3/2017
a. None
Motion: To accept the minutes of April 3rd.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. Town Plan Public Hearing (2nd of two hearings, cont. from 3/20/2017)
Land Use Administrator, Mr. Wilkins, said he had two copies of the most recent (10-minutes old) Plan. He said, unfortunately, the copier seemed to be lacking one of the color toners so the yellow highlights didn't print which would indicate the items “you'd want to look at to see what changes were made, some of which were made today at the request of the Planning Commission Chair.” He said, “I had used – liberally - 'must' when it was an item that I felt needed to be completed and then of course 'can' depending upon whether it was a physical issue or a legal. The Planning Commission only approved the use of the word 'shall'. So we spent most of the afternoon converting 'musts' and 'cans' and 'shoulds' to 'shall'. --- didn't highlight them, but did add most of the information, Kelly, that you've requested, but you'd never know it's in here now because it's not highlighted.”

Ms. Murphy said she went back to her old copy and “it's the same”. She asked Mr. Wilkins if he wanted her to email to him a bulleted list of errors that she has found in the Plan. Mr. Wilkins said it would be very helpful.

Mr. Wilkins said there are other errors, such as there being two page 129's, even though the text on each of the two pages is different. He said it appeared to be a problem “in the machine”.

Mr. Morris said there is data that needs to be fixed. The pagination problem is a formatting issue. He said he had had a lot of trouble with the formatting. It had come from a different program and into Word – he said it took him two full days to reformat it.

Ms. Murphy asked that Mr. Wilkins, “kick the school pieces to the principal and have her review it – either the principal or the superintendent – because there are pieces in there that are misinformation.” Mr. Wilkins said it had been sent to David Baker and his comments back to Mr. Wilkins were, “take out 'private school', use 'independent school'; everything else looks fine.” Mr. Wilkins said he chose not to edit it any further than that. Ms. Murphy suggested having the principal look at it as well.

Ms. Murphy said the Library - “you had kicked that to the librarian? Because there is a sentence in there, that, every time I read it I cringe.” She paraphrased the sentence as, “There is no more use for the library because it is outdated.” She said it appears twice in the Plan. She said she showed it to Ernie (Shand) and he was going to “get a hold of Mark”. She said there is no mention of the ADA access and the upgrades to the bathroom. She suggested “kicking it to Mark” to save Mr. Wilkins from having to add the material.

Mr. Wilkins said, “I think we are looking at different copies, because mine has not only the ADA, but the recent ADA ramp and the change to the ---- because he is actively pursuing a significant facility expansion project for 2017 to include new parking and an access to the librarian's quarters downstairs. I think we have a lot of versions afoot right now.” Ms. Murphy she said received her copy from Mr. Morris on Thursday. Mr. Wilkins said to wait until further changes or edits are made. Ms. Murphy asked how that would affect approval of the Plan. Mr. Wilkins said he thought it would be continued to the Board's next meeting.

Mrs. Esty asked, “So the copy we were emailed is not the most recent copy?” Mr. Morris said it should be. Mr. Wilkins said he had made “quite a few changes” this afternoon, although nothing of substance. He promised the Board complete copies for their next meeting. Ms. Murphy said she would get the bulleted list to Mr. Wilkins.

Motion: To continue the hearing to the May 1st meeting.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

6. Conservation Commission Update
Jeff Pelton, representing the Conservation Commission, reviewed the work done by the Commission in the first quarter of 2017. His report included completed activities and ongoing/future activities. Ms. Murphy asked Mr. Pelton to elaborate on riparian buffer work listed in both completed and ongoing activities. Mr. Pelton said the Commission has been approaching private landowners who own property along the North Branch to gauge interest in creating or repairing vegetated buffers along the streambanks to reduce erosion and stabilize the banks. Those landowners that are interested will be partnered with the Ottoquechee Natural Resource Conservation District, who will seek grant funding for the projects.

The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps will be enlisted to help clear old logging roads in the Town Forest; work on a fishing access to the Black River in Perkinsville (and add a buffer there as well); and perhaps do some small-scale culvert work. All activities will depend on the availability of funding from the State.

7. Approve 2017 Local Emergency Operations Plan
Ms. Murphy reminded the Board about the required FEMA training.

Newly appointed Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Lewallen was present at the meeting and introduced himself to the Board. He said he had reviewed the EOP with Mr. Morris and had no objections to it. Mr. Morris said the EOP had also been submitted to the police and fire chiefs for comment.

Mrs. Esty asked that the World of Discovery daycare be added to the list of High Risk Populations on page 4. The Board agreed with the addition.

Motion: To adopt the Emergency Operations Plan with the addition of the World of Discovery Daycare to the list of High Risk Populations on page 4.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

8. Introduction to Highway Timesheet Data Tracking Tool
Mr. Morris presented a spread sheet designed by Katherine Otto at the Regional Planning Commission that can be used to track the work of the highway crew. The spread sheet charts work hours, materials, and so on spent by each crew member and where the time and materials are being spent. It is a very efficient tool that will facilitate decision making on a wide variety of items. It will also be extremely useful in the event of FEMA-scale events where every item is imperative when seeking disaster relief funds.

Mr. Morris said it can be expanded to track vehicle maintenance data as well.

9. Reserve Fund Policy (First Reading)
Mr. Morris said this policy is based on a VLCT template and has been modified to fit Weathersfield. It was further delineated into specified and non-specified reserve funds.

Mrs. Esty said that items A and B under the Specified Reserve Appropriations paragraph made it sound like highway funds could be mingled with general funds which isn't allowed. Mr. Morris said he would work on making the language clearer.

Motion: To approve the 1st reading and move the Policy to the 2nd reading.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

10. Review and update Disposition of Town-Owned Property Policy
There was discussion about the unofficial practice of offering roadside wood to the adjacent landowners. It was agreed that this practice should be made part of the policy. Ms. Murphy asked that the policy be made to reflect current practices and brought back to the Board.

Motion: To move the policy to a 2nd reading.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

11. Ascutney Fire District #2 Payroll
Mr. Morris said that the Fire District has been paying their employees as independent contractors. He has since learned that they should be paying them as employees instead. A NEMRC representative said the it would be easiest for all if the Fire District employees were added to the Town's payroll and then the fee for Town Services increased to cover the cost of the employees. There would be no cost to the Town and it would minimize expenses for the District.

Motion: Approve the Town Manager to work with the prudential Committee to add the two fire district employees to the Town's payroll while charging appropriate fees to the Fire District.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

12. Appointments
Motion: To appoint deForest Bearse as the Food Shelf Representative to the 1879 Perkinsville Schoolhouse Committee.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To appoint Jeff Pelton to the Conservation Commission for a 4-year term.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To appoint Michelle Gerald and Susan Boyer to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To appoint James Cahill as an alternate member to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

13. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for [DATE] as follow:

General Funds Operating Expenses $29,292.81
Payroll $12,777.88

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $40,618.81
Payroll $9,557.03

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $4,975.26
Payroll $1,136.06

Library Operating Expenses $3,042.12
Payroll $1,241.89

Grants Operating Expenses $0.00

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $3,669.15

Reserves $0.00

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $81,598.15
Payroll $24,712.86

Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

14. Future Meeting Agenda Items
a. May 1st
14.a.i. Approve Summer Meeting Schedule
14.a.ii. Town Plan Hearing
b. Future Agenda Items
14.b.i. Policy Review
14.b.i.A. Class IV Town Highways
14.b.i.B. Delinquent Tax, Water and Wastewater Assessment Collections
14.b.i.C. Zoning Board of Adjustment Alternate Member Use Policy

15. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The meeting adjourned at 8:07 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse