• 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, November 6, 2017
7:00 PM
REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

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:
Bette Jo Esty Wes Hazeltine Donald A. Huntley
John Esty Edith Stillson

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

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager

a. Library Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ms. Murphy said the groundbreaking ceremony at the library on Saturday went very well. The Eagle Times had an article on it on the front page of the paper. Mr. Morris said that the legislative representatives were very pleased that the groundbreaking took place directly following acceptance of the grant. It is a truly “shovel-ready” project.

b. Interview Volunteers
Mr. Morris said he is accepting applications from anyone interested in serving on the search committee for the highway superintendent. Interested persons should submit a letter of interest to the manager.

Mr. Morris said the Trunk or Treat event went very well with 26 vehicles (not counting emergency vehicles) and over 200 kids and parents.

There will be a Veterans Day ceremony at Memorial Park in Perkinsville at 11 AM on Saturday, November 11th.

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

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – 10/2/2017
Additions/corrections/deletions:
a. None.
Motion: To accept the minutes of October 2, 2017
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Review minutes from previous meetings – 10/4/2017
Additions/corrections/deletions:
a. page 12 – sect. 2.d.ii, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence: Ms. Murphy said the board would NOT be making that determination...
Motion: To accept the minutes as corrected
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. FEMA Pre-Mitigation Discussion
Mr. Morris said he has been working with the owner of the old Amsden store for quite some time. It is not possible to get a septic system on this property because of its small lot size and because it is in the floodplain. He said FEMA has a program that allows FEMA to purchase the property, remove the structure, restore the site and place an easement on it that prohibits future development. There is a match required from the Town, but the match can be deducted from the proceeds going to the owner. The current owner is amenable to the idea. However the deadline to apply for the grant has passed and won't be open again until next fall. Mr. Morris said he wanted to take the time to fully discuss this idea with the Board.

It is unlikely that the property can be sold to an abutting property owner.

The exact cost of removing the structure and restoring the site is unknown at this time.

The property could be sold for a use that does not involve water use (e.g. storage).

Ms. Murphy asked for a detailed plan including cost to carry out the proposal. She expressed concern that by allowing this buyout it may set an undesirable precedent.

6. Fire Consultant Report Discussion

Ms. Murphy said this item was being tabled until the next meeting because the fire agreement is still being discussed, and because Mrs. Esty said some things from the Wood report were not included in the matrix.

7. Parks & Recreation Discussion
Mr. Morris would like to restructure the Parks and Recreation Commission to include a representative from the library and the school athletic director. He believes the inclusion of professional staff will provide much needed focus and assistance. The two additions will complete the 5-member board. Both the library director and the school principal are in favor of the idea.

Motion: To reorganize the Parks and Recreation Commission to include a library designee and the Weathersfield School Athletic Director
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Ms. Murphy abstains (she is the current athletic director); all others voted in favor

8. Budget Committee Discussion
At present there is only one person on the budget committee (Nancy Heatley). Mr. Morris said he struggled last year with how to use the committee productively. He felt it was a waste of everyone's time. He said he has talked to numerous other managers about such committees – most say they have done away with them. He asked the Board for their opinion.

Mr. Boyer felt the committee was a waste of time.
Ms. Main values the participation and input of townspeople, but said she liked the idea of the budget committee and the Board getting the same information at the same time.
Mr. Cole said he would leave it to Mr. Morris to decide, but favored a minimal role for the committee.
Mrs. Esty said she agreed with everyone else's opinion.
Ms. Murphy also said she would leave the decision up to Mr. Morris, but said if he retains it, its purpose and how it will work must be clearly defined.

Mr. Morris said the committee had been voted in by the Town Meeting and could only be removed by a similar vote.

9. Bottle Fund Request
Anthony French, Troop Master for Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls of West Windsor has applied for $500 from the bottle fund.

Motion: Award a $500 grant to Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls of West Windsor
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

10. Approve Bottle Redemption Proposal
The person who used to pick up and deliver the Town's redeemables is no longer doing it. Anthony French would like his troop to provide the service. The Town would call him when a pickup is needed and split the profits with his troop.

Ms. Murphy and Mr. Cole both expressed concern about giving this opportunity to one organization. Mr. Cole asked that Mr. Morris make Mr. French aware that this arrangement is at the Town's discretion and may change at some point.

Motion: To authorize the Town Manager to make an agreement with Trail Life USA to work with the Town to transport and redeem the 5 cent redeemables for 50% of the proceeds.
Made by: Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

11. VLCT Meeting Review
Mr. Morris said he presented the Board's wish (to have a single state-wide conflict of interest standard set by the legislature) at the VLCT annual meeting. While it sparked a good and lengthy debate, the policy remained essentially unchanged.

12. Fire Commission Report
Mrs. Esty shared the events from the Fire Commission meeting on October 11th. The next meeting is scheduled for November 8th and will be a joint meeting with the Select Board.

13. Municipal General Roads Storm Water Permit Discussion
Mr. Morris gave a slide presentation on the Municipal General Roads Storm Water Permit. The permit program is directed toward reducing phosphorus runoff from hydraulically connected roads through various grading and ditching techniques.

Weathersfield has a lot of hydraulically connected road segments.

The permit will cost $2600 annually starting July 31, 2018. Annual reporting will begin February 2019. Road erosion inventories and implementation plans will be due by December 2020. Road upgrades begin with the 2021 field season with full compliance expected by 2037.

The work will be expensive. To complete the 7 segments on Gird Lot Road alone, it will cost the Town $70,059.83 (this estimate may be a little high).

The State estimates the Town will have to upgrade 50% of its segments.

No action was called for or taken. However, these costs will need to be addressed in the upcoming budget season.

14. Approve Better Backroads Grant Submission
In light of the MRGP program just discussed, Mr. Morris said he would like to apply for this grant to complete the top two Gird Lot Road segments in place of the Baltimore Road box culvert project. The Town's match will be $5000 which can easily be met with in kind donations.

Motion: To approve the application for the 2018 Better Backroads Grant in the amount of $24,352.75 to upgrade section #102795 and 102794.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

15. Request Transfer from Dry Hydrant Reserve
Motion: To approve moving $3,418.13 from the Dry Hydrant Reserves to cover the cost of dredging the lower Gulf Road Hydrant in October 2016.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

16. Dry Hydrant RFP for Pikes Peak
Troy Dare estimated that this hydrant will cost $8,465.

Two companies attended the walk-through, but neither of them bid on the project.

Mike Barrup did not attend the walk-through but did submit a bid.

Mr. Morris recommended awarding the bid to Mike Barrup with a total cost not to exceed Troy's estimate, including dredging.

Motion: To award the bid to Mike Barrup for a total cost not to exceed $8,465 including dredging.
Made by: Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

17. Personnel Policy (First Reading)
Work on the personnel policy has been ongoing since before Mr. Morris came on board. This version has been reviewed by the Town's attorney and VLCT. Mr. Morris has discussed it with all of the Town's employees.

Members of the highway department were present and Ms. Murphy invited them to share their opinions.

Mr. Esty and Mr. Huntley both said that there are details in the policy that they would like to continue working on. They declined to elaborate.

Ms. Murphy suggested that they get together with representatives from the town office and the transfer station and work with Mr. Morris to address their concerns. Mr. Esty agreed to the suggestion.

Ms. Murphy said she was curious as to why the transfer of leave time between employees was not being allowed. Mr. Morris said the actual transfer process is very complicated and felt that there are enough safeguards and tools in place to provide sufficient assistance.

The policy will move to a second reading which should include the employees' changes.

18. Appointments
No appointment were made.

19. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for November 6, 2017 as follow:

General Funds Operating Expenses $19,543.19
Payroll $18,799.31

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $15,582.95
Payroll $12,284.54

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $4,319.71
Payroll $2,152.25

Library Operating Expenses $145.17
Payroll $2,193.85

Grants Operating Expenses $0.00

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $386.28

Reserves Operating Expenses $325.00

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $40,302.30
Payroll $35,429.95

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

20. Executive Session as per 1 V.S.A. §313(3)
Motion: To enter executive session as per 1 V.S.A.§313(3).
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

21. Future Meeting Agenda Items
a. Compensation Plan
b. Kate Adams

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

The meeting adjourned at 9:37 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse