• 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, May 21, 2018
7:00 PM
REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

Select Board Members Present: N. John Arrison
Daniel Boyer
C. Peter Cole
Tom Leach
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent:

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Sven Federow Darlene Kelly Mark Girard Chief Daniels
Chip Cobb Ray Stapleton Edith Stillson Jennifer Grant

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

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mr. Morris introduced Sven Fedorow, the town's new land use administrator. The board welcomed him aboard.

3. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda
Chip Cobb, chair of the Veterans Memorial Committee, announced that he will be moving away leaving the committee without leadership. He appealed to the board to find someone/some way to continue recognizing veterans. Mr. Morris said the town will do what it can to help keep the committee's work going. The board thanked Mr. Cobb for his many years of service to the community and his many accomplishments.

Ms. Murphy read an email from Lisa Slade expressing concern about activities at the Windsor Motel. She asked all departments of the town to pay close attention to the what's happening there.

Chief Daniels said he spends a great deal of time at the motel and is aware of the concern. He said thus far the motel is operating within the rules.

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – May 7, 2018
Additions/corrections/deletions:
a. Mr. Morris announced there would be an active shooter presentation next Monday at 6:30 PM at the school for select board and and school board members. (page 1)
b. Change Federov/Federow to Federow (page 7)
Motion: To approve the minutes of May 7, 2018 as amended
Made by: Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Leach
Vote: Mr. Boyer abstained; all others voted in favor of the motion

May 14, 2018
Additions/corrections/deletions:
a. None
Motion: To accept the minutes of May 14, 2018
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Leach
Vote: Mr. Boyer abstained; all others voted in favor of the motion

5. Request Large Gathering Permit/David and Candy Fuller
Dave and Candy Fuller would like to have a going away party on July 28th for their son Ben, who is a musician about to move to Nashville. The plans are still being developed. The number of guests is unknown, though approximated at between 125 and 500. The event will be held in one of the Fuller fields.

The board was in favor of supporting the event, but was not ready to approve the large gathering permit until plans were better developed. Town staff are willing to work with Mr. Fuller to work out the details.

Motion: That the board express its support for the plan as it is laid out; subject to approval at a later date once the plans are finalized. We certainly express general support.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Arrison
Mr. Leach encouraged the Town to meet with Mr. Fuller sooner rather than later so that whatever plans have to be made can be “put in stone” and the request can be approved.
Vote: Unanimous in favor

6. Request for Fireworks Display Permit/Mark Girard
Mr. Girard applied for a fireworks display permit for an event for July 5th. He said the setup would be the same as the last couple of years. He said he was not aware of any issues although he wanted the board to be aware that last year someone else shot off fireworks somewhere else in town that he could see from his property.

The application had been signed by the manager, police chief, both fire chiefs and the fire warden.

Motion: To approve the fireworks permit for Mark Girard for 7/5/18 with the conditions as stated.
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

7. Funds Request/Returnable Cans & Bottles/Windsor County Partners
Jennifer Grant, Executive Director of Windsor County Partners, requested $200 from the Cans & Bottles fund to fund staff support for their mentors.

According to Ms. Kelly, there is currently $3014 in the fund.

Motion: To approve the $200 from the bottle fund to go to Windsor County Partners
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Leach
Vote: Unanimous in favor

8. Use of Reserves/Center Grove (cont. from 5/7/2018)
Mr. Morris said he had received on additional bid from Rice Tree Service of $3800 plus $200 to grind the stumps of the two removed trees (preferred method). A previous bidder had met with staff at the site. All bids are now based on the same number of trees. Mr. Morris is still waiting for a bid from Knox.

Mr. Morris will collaborate with the Friends of the Meetinghouse (Mr. Arrison is chair) before making any final decisions to determine the best methods for the proposed work (climbing with spikes versus reaching with bucket truck) and creating the best long-term maintenance plan for the Grove.

Mr. Morris would like the Board to approve use of $3000 from the reserve fund to add to the $1000 in the budget for a total of $4000 for this project. That amount will cover the bids received thus far.

Motion: To allocate $3000 from the Center Grove Reserve Fund to be used for the maintenance in the Weathersfield Center Grove.
Made by: Mr. Leach Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Mr. Arrison urged getting this work done as soon as possible.

9. Discuss Road Maintenance Plan/Act 64 presentation
Mr. Morris said most of the town's roads are in great condition, but acknowledged that there are some rough sections. He said the highway department is really starting to focus on doing the roads correctly.

Mr. Stapleton emphasized the importance of crowning the roads to sheet drain the water off of them, and cleaning the ditches so the water has someplace to go. The berms on the roadsides need to be removed and the gravel brought back into the roads. This process takes longer but yields much better results. The new leaf blower is a big help.

The whole department is learning about what goes into making better roads.

Mr. Morris said he is breaking the cycle of grading in response to citizen complaints. Roads are being addressed in order of need – the worst first.

Mr. Morris gave a power point presentation on Act 64, state legislation that is directed toward reducing water pollution from stormwater runoff from roads.

The town has begun work under the Act with the help of the regional planning commission and funding from a grant-in-aid program.

10. Active Shooter Presentation Discussion
Ms. Murphy asked each board member to summarize their thoughts on the presentation.
Mr. Leach:
• It was well thought-out and organized;
• The role of law enforcement should be tweaked;
• The board should support it.
Mr. Arrison:
• It was a good presentation;
• Fire departments should not be spending any money until the training is done and we know how many people are willing to participate in the program;
• We won't be participating in the RTF until we are better trained;
• Never thought we would see a day when we had to worry about this kind of event;
Mr. Cole:
• It was an eye-opening experience;
• Feels much better informed;
• Has a much better appreciation for the need of the fire department to be equipped, assuming they are properly trained;
• Agrees with Mr. Arrison that training should come before expenditures.

Ms. Murphy:
• The presentation was good;
• Agreed with everything said previously.

Ms. Murphy said she had an issue with the (lack of) communication regarding an equipment purchase related to this topic. She asked to have a board discussion at an upcoming board meeting about it. The equipment was purchased prior to any conversation with the manager or members of the department. The board received a “very chastising email” for “lack of support” for the purchase. She wants to clarify that it's not the board's lack of support for the protection of firefighters, it's the fact neither the board nor the manager had any idea of being asked to purchase that equipment. She said she had received a couple of phone calls from firefighters urging the board to be cautious about supporting this purchase.

Ms. Murphy felt that the board should direct Mr. Morris to contact Golden Cross as to where they stand with this issue. Mr. Morris said our contract with them is up at the end of June and it would be a good time to have that conversation and clarify what their role would be.

11. Fire Commission Update
Ms. Murphy said the Fire Commission met following the Active Shooter presentation at 8:36 and had an abbreviated meeting that ended at 9:15.

Under comments on “Topics not on the Agenda”, Chief Dauphin requested a conversation with either or both the Fire Commission and the Select Board regarding an AVFD resignation. The Firefighter is Fire 1 certified and went to WWVFD where he/she was approved. Chief Dauphin wanted to know if this firefighter's turnout gear could remain with the firefighter. The Fire Commission will probably make a recommendation for the Select Board to consider. The source of the funds with which the gear was purchased will be relevant to the discussion.

WWVFD made their monthly report and submitted a current roster of its members, copies of which were distributed to the board. AVFD did not have a representative at the meeting. The Commission chair will be requesting a roster form AVFD in the same format as that submitted by WWVFD.

Everything else on the agenda was postponed to the next meeting.

12. Fire Department Matrix (cont. from 5/7/2018)
Ms. Murphy went over how she created the matrix, which is a compilation of the John Woods report recommendations and the ranking of them by each selectboard member. (It also includes input from former selectboard member Amy Beth Main.)

Ms. Murphy asked each board member for their overall thoughts of the matrix results.

Mr. Leach:
• We need to control duplication of equipment
• Response protocols – too much equipment on a scene; not a lot of canceling going on when a line officer gets to the scene
• Would like to see restructuring of the Fire Commission – ineffective in its current set-up
• Need for mirrored SOGs
Mr. Arrison:
• All articles on the list deserve some consideration
• SOGs should be fairly uniform
• The board and the town need to decide how many firefighters we will financially support
• The board should decide what direction fire services should go in – which scenario will work best (not on the list). Without that determination, the same problems will persist.
Mr. Boyer:
• Was upset that the fire departments have had hose-testing equipment for 4-5 years and hadn't been using it; having things without having the training to use them; costs the taxpayers money
• Need to prioritize a certain number of items on the list and get them implemented
Mr. Morris:
• Need to think about the resources that are going to go into each of the recommendations (financial and manpower) and where those resources are going to come from
• Example – the selectboard can work on restructuring the fire commission while the fire commission works on streamlining SOGs versus the board choosing 2 or 3 items that would put the whole work load on one person - not as effective
Mr. Cole:
• Very sensitive to not having a conversation that could be perceived as negative toward the firefighters themselves; they are certainly highly dedicated
• Concerns about duplication of equipment and responses that weren't particularly coordinated
• Allocating town-owned equipment where the board thinks it will be most efficiently used
Ms. Murphy:
• Agrees with previous comments
• Does not want to see this process kicked to the fire commission as a default especially in light of the recommendation that the commission be redefined
• Determine which of these recommendations should go to the commission and which should stay with the board

The Fire Commission has not yet seen this matrix ranking yet. Ms. Murphy wanted the board to discuss it first, then bring those results to the commission.

Mr. Cole felt the current structure of the fire commission is a not a bad thing. It's a good mixture of town and fire personnel. It's more a matter of the commission working like it should.

Mr. Morris felt the role of the fire commission needs to be defined by the selectboard – what is its purpose and what does the selectboard need from it. The role needs to be updated from its original one and there need to be some specific goals.

Ms. Murphy asked the board what they would like to see as the next step.

Mr. Leach felt the board could mandate that the departments work together to create standardized SOGs on the grounds that the Town funds the departments.

Mr. Morris agreed that that would be a good thing to work on and that the fire commission could work as the mediator in the discussions when needed.

The matrix will come back to the board at the June 4th meeting with an extra column in it. The board will decide who and with what resources. She asked Mr. Morris to create a draft for the board to work from. The fire commission meets on the 11th and will view the matrix. Comments and questions from the commission will be presented to the board at the meeting on the 18th.

13. Compensation Plan Introduction (cont. from 5/7/2018)
This item was tabled to the next meeting.

14. Ordinance Review
a. Child Safety – Mr. Morris said the ordinance was reviewed by VLCT and our attorney and may not be legal.

15. Approve Executive Assistant Job Description
Shirley Cole is retiring and a replacement will be needed. A job description was provided to the board in the meeting packet for their approval. It has been reviewed by Ms. Kelly and the HR director.
Ms. Murphy asked that close attention be paid to applicant cover letters. They can be good indicators of the applicant's attention to detail which is critical to this position. She also asked that “maintains confidentiality” be moved to top position.

Motion: To approve as amended (including Ms. Murphy's recommendations)
Made by: Mr. Boyer Second: Mr. Leach
Vote: Unanimous in favor

16. Budget Status Report
Ms. Kelly reported the following:
• DPW revenues are at 97% of budget; expenses are at 87%. They have had to absorb some unexpected expenses, but should finish the year alright with careful attention to purchases.
• The Library revenues are at 100% of budget; expenses are at 87% of budget. Mark is holding off buying books until the addition is done as he has no room. Staff is looking into joining a purchasing consortium to save money.
• Police revenues are down relative to expenses and previous years' revenues; chief would like to buy a taser; expenses for the remainder of the year will be just salaries and benefits.
• Ms. Kelly has been working with Chief Dauphin; not yet with Chief Spaulding.
• Solid waste revenues are at 84%; expenses are at 67%. The auditors recommend eliminating the solid waste deficit. Mr. Morris said he is working on it. Keeping the highway crew on the roads and not going to the transfer station as much will help. He noted that Casella is now coming every week.

17. Appointments
• Connecticut River Joint Commission
Motion: To appoint Howard Beach to represent Weathersfield on the Connecticut River Joint Commission
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Arrison
Vote: Unanimous in favor

18. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for 5/21/2018 as follow:

General Funds Operating Expenses $71,251.57
Payroll $13,570.19

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $68,789.96
Payroll $8,215.96

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $2,455.40
Payroll $1,422.17

Library Operating Expenses $3033.10
Payroll $1,515.38

Grants Operating Expenses $1,049.50

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $0.00

Reserves $0.00

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $146,579.53
Payroll $24,723.70

Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Leach
Vote: Unanimous in favor

19. Future Meeting Agenda Items

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

Removed from Executive Session 9:52 PM

21. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Peter Cole Second: Dan Boyer
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The meeting adjourned at 9:53 PM

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse