• Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

  • Town of Weathersfield, Vermont

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Latest Minutes and Agendas

Selectboard Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT 05030

Monday, November 19th, 2018

7:00 P.M.

Regular Meeting

  1. Call to Order
  1. Cady Hill Reclassification Hearing
  1. Comments from Selectboard and Town Manager
  1. Comments from Citizens on Topics not on Agenda
  1. Review Minutes from Previous Meeting(s) 11/5/2018
  1. Bottle Redemption Fund – Memorial Flags
  1. AVFD Attorney to Discuss FY2018 Funding – Denise Anderson
  1. Discussion Police Contracted Services
  1. FY2019 Budget Update
  1. Budget Discussion
    1. Police Budget
    2. Fire Department Budget
    3. Highway Budget- Center Road Paving discussion
    4. Admin
  1. Approve Culvert Engineering Grant
  1. Discuss and Approve VOREC Grant
  1. Town Report Distribution Discussion
  1. Boat Access Discussion
  1. Appointments
    1. Budget Committee (Four Openings)
    2. CRJC Mt Ascutney Subcommittee
    3. Conservation Commission (One Opening)
    4. Fence Viewer (Three Openings)
    5. Planning Commission (4-year term)
    6. Zoning Board of Adjustment
  1. Approve Warrant
  1. Future Agenda Items
  • Zoning Bylaw Hearing
  • Ordinance Hearing

               -     Ordinance Review

                           -     Fire Services Reimbursement

                           -     HazMat Materials Response                    

  1. Adjourn

 

Selectboard Package

Select Board Meeting Minutes 11/8/18

Select Board Meeting – Municipal Fire Department Work Session

Town Hall

Ascutney, VT

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7:00 PM

Minutes:

Select Board Present:

Kelly Murphy

Peter Cole

Daniel Boyer

Tom Leach

Select Board Member Absent:

John Arrison

Town Manager: Ed Morris

Others Present:

Tim Austin, Paul Tillman, J. Compo, Josh Dauphin, Tracy Dauphin, Mychael Spaulding, Dave Picknell, Wanda Picknell, Ernie Shand

  • Call to Order:

Kelly Murphy called the meeting to order at 6:09 pm.

Kelly Murphy - At Monday’s Select Board Meeting the Select Board voted to suspend the Fire Commission until after Town Meeting. We also invited all members of both Fire Departments to attend this meeting. We do have members from the WWFD here tonight, I am not seeing members from Ascutney so we will continue. At Monday nights meeting, based on the discussion that was had at the Fire Commission meeting (10/18/18) the decision was made to establish the 2nd Thursday of each month for the time being, to be a work session from 6-8 pm to identify all the moving pieces of moving to a municipal department. There was a vote on Monday night’s Select Board meeting to move ahead with a municipal department. A second vote was taken to establish a budget for a Full Time Fire Chief and a third vote was taken to suspend the Fire Commission. Tonight, is the first working meeting. The second meeting of this session will be for 1 hour at the Select Board meeting. After tonight’s meeting the next one will be the first Monday in December.

Ed Morris – We will be going through the fire budget at the meeting on 11/19/18 so there won’t be a fire discussion in this sense, but we are going over the Fire Commission and the Municipal Fire budget together on that night so it might be something you want to show up for.

Kelly Murphy – The agenda for tonight is, Ed will do a brief introduction, we will have a brainstorming session and then Ed will review municipal fire report. It’s been apparent in several of our meetings that some of the comments that are being asked are things that have been addressed in the fire study. We are going to do an abbreviated version of the presentation.

Josh Dauphin – I want to say Thank You to the board for Monday night and all of the information that was provided for the last 40 years and the 2 reports. It was a tough decision to take that first step.

Ed Morris – The only thing I wanted to do on the quick introduction, I do believe that I took it out of my review of the fire report, but while writing that fire report I was speaking with the Fire Chief in Swanzey, NH. He has been through 3 different mergers and has been the first Chief through 2 fire departments or a fire department and EMS agency. One of his recommendations was this meeting right here. It really needed to be a time where the 2 departments came together, I know we only have one here tonight, but to come together and ask these questions and try to formulate how a merger can start to happen. There are going to be little things that people get hung up on that they want to happen a certain way. It’s good to just talk about these issues and why it’s important to their department or a municipal department. This is why this meeting is put together once a month moving forward just to start, this meeting in particular is going to be trying to get a lot of those questions out so they can be researched or know what the questions are. I think it’s just good to talk through it. The analogy I use is I picture this almost like a funnel, and we are going around in circles talking about the same things, but it seems like every time we go around, we are just a little bit closer than we were the last time. Sometimes it just takes the time to talk about it and talk about it. Hopefully we are getting to that and sometimes it’s good, it’s the same reason I am reviewing the same report that I’ve already given. It was a lot of information to throw out in one night. I’m sure people from both departments were for or against it and this information hit and you started on thinking. There is a lot of information out there do review it again and going through some of the same conversations over and over is not always a bad thing. I wanted to highlight that this meeting is for the departments to really start to get those questions out there and for the Select Board to start to get those questions out. Asking the questions now and some of the questions shouldn’t be answered until we get a Fire Chief and maybe there are some that we think we should wait and as we have conversations, we decide the decisions need to be made. These are the things we need to start battling through. The more we talk about it the more I think it will be a smoother transition.

Tim Austin – Is there a projected time line that this is taking place?

Ed Morris – Right now we are looking at trying to get some budgets in place for Town Meeting. My projection for the Select Board was to do this pretty quickly and to make this change for the beginning of next Fiscal Year which is July. That may be a little over ambitious, it might be a few months after or 6 months after, I don’t know.

Kelly – Ok so this is the question “As our town moves to a municipal Fire Department, what conversations are necessary?” What topics need to be addressed? We are brainstorming. We are going to do this in phases so tonight we will just put everything on paper an then we will go back to it and identify what needs to be addressed before town meeting.

  1. Compo- It has been made very clear that one Fire Department is for, one Fire Department is against so my question is.

Who own’s what motorized equipment. How much motorized equipment is necessary per ISO to maintain rating?

What do we do for a building if AVFD is not on board? Ascutney owns the fire station, the land is a lease from the State. The State would be willing to transfer the lease to the Town, but the building belong to the Ascutney Fire Association.

What do we do to consolidate equipment? Can we sell consolidated equipment to help offset the short fall for the first 1st year budget?

Can we sell off surplus? (Example: 3 sets of jaws)

Josh Dauphin – Need a list of inventories – nonmotorized from both departments.

Discussion of AVFD inventory of non-motorized equipment. I don’t think there has been an actual answer if they will turn over the “loose” equipment and is there an option to sell it, is the Town going to purchase?

What does town do to purchase equipment?

Tim Austin – “Who owns the motorized equipment?

Ed Morris – “It’s kind of mixed. It depends, the 2 fire engines over there are primarily owned by the Town. The ladder truck is owned by Ascutney,”

Ernie Shand – “How much motorized equipment is needed to maintain our ISO rating?”

Ed Morris – “You need to be able to respond with 4,000 gallons of water in 5 minutes.”

  1. Compo - “How do we educate the town against misinformation?”

Tom Leach – “What negative impact, if any, would the move have on the volunteers themselves?”

Ed Morris – “I want to throw this out for you to think about, I did the research and I put this report together and a lot of this report is my recommendation. This doesn’t mean this is the way it has to be done. So, if you guys have a different idea of how much apparatus we should have, please bring it forward. This is one person’s opinion.”

  1. Compo – “Management style – how do you transition?”

Tom Leach – “A lot of it might have to be established ahead of time or is that something that would happen once a Chief is hired?’

Ed Morris- “This discussion would happen after.”

  1. Compo – “One of the issues for me is the Human Resources piece. (inaudible)

Ed Morris – “If we went municipal, the Fire Chief would work for me. So, you could come to me or Susanne and talk to either one of us with any issues that are going on.

  1. Compo “Timeline of transition if paid on-call is possible?”

One big piece in the Ed’s report was if we go to a municipal and the Chief is paid, they would be able to take the time to research grans as well. Some of these grants that we get will be able to offset some of the cost of a paid Chief”

Tim Austin – “I agree that if we had a full time Chief, they would have a lot more time to look into that kind of thing.”

Tom Leach – “They would have a lot more accountability also.”

Daniel Boyer – “Will there be new SOG’s developed? One set?”

Ed Morris – “I don’t want to get too far ahead, but I do think that is something that the new Chief should be involved in.”

  1. Compo – “What will the hiring process look like? Similar to the Town Manager, Police Chief process previously done?

Ed Morris – “We did a Board, we took members of the Highway Department that weren’t part of the application process and a few citizens at large and they went through the applications and the first interview process. As we weeded through applicants, they decided they didn’t want to do the interview process. I would think that we would do a similar process, a few fire fighters and citizens at large for that first part of the process.”

Kelly Murphy – “What will the qualifications of the position look like? Job description.”

Josh Dauphin – “Regarding the job description, who is creating that?”

Ed Morris - “I think we should work on it here at these meetings. I will do a lot of it from an HR aspect, but coming up with the qualifications and really drafting the job duties, I think that is a great conversation for these meetings.”

  1. Compo – “Is there any reason why we can’t have 2 color trucks?”

Ed Morris – “I’ll add to that, it was one of those things that we should budget for in this budget, repainting and creating new badging the trucks, but I decided that I would not do that in the first year. It something we can discuss moving forward”

Josh Dauphin “What grants can be applied for to offset?”

  1. Compo – “If you have 2 stations, do the FF need 2 sets of gear?”

    Josh Dauphin – “This could be worked out when we are doing a turnover of gear. FDA is 10 years, but if we work on getting the rotation of people, we could have a primary set at their primary station and secondary set at the 2nd station.”

Tim Austin – “Will there be a dramatic tax increase?”

Josh Dauphin – “Do we have to provide housing?”

Tom Leach “What are the chief’s hours be? Would there be any overnight hours where we would have to house him in a bunk?”

Daniel Boyer – “How is this any different than the Police Chief?”

  1. Compo – “Would we require the Fire Chief to live in town?”

Daniel Boyer – “We have stated that we would prefer in other jobs that they live in town. It was strongly suggested.”

  1. Compo – “It’s written in our by laws that they live in town or an adjacent town.”

Josh Dauphin – “It does state that they have to be within a 15-minute drive to the station.”

Daniel Boyer – “Will the Fire Chief need a vehicle issued by the Town”

Ed Morris – “Again, I made a recommendation on that, but it doesn’t mean that’s what we need to do.”

Josh Dauphin – “We talked about consolidation of the trucks. Could we consider a used tanker?” Could we get a state surplus? What is the State rotation of vehicles? Is it every 5 years?”

Tom Leach – “These are great questions and the only regret is that I would love to have more Ascutney members here to add to this list so that we can really whittle down what the issues are rather than “we don’t like it” that would really be good. So hopefully they will see these questions and encourage more communication back and forth.”

Ed Morris – “Do we need a full time, part time Chief based on needs?” As I said on Monday night, I do not think this decision should be financially driver, I think we should look at what our means are. As we build that job description, which style of management are we going to be able to recruit what we are looking for?”

  1. Compo – “Can we incorporate other tasks to assist in hours?”


Ed Morris – “Other tasks will be available.”

Daniel Boyer – “The other thing that will be driving whether or not it’s a FT or PT is if there is someone out there and if they would be qualified.”

  1. Compo – “You aren’t going to have the same qualifications for a Volunteer as you would a PT or FT Chief.”

Ed Morris – “I think we need to recognize that as we make the job description and I put that in my report if you look at it, if we have a volunteer Chief, we can’t have the same expectations for them as we would a FT or PT Chief.”

Kelly Murphy – “This is not a position that is for “any” Chief. This is not going to be for someone who is just willing to be a Fire Chief. This is a role for someone who can tolerate change, be flexible and take all of that input from everyone. This will be a specialized quality in an applicant. Someone who is not going to shy away from conflict and bring all these voices to the table together. You are going to take 2 potential sets of officers and meld them.”


  1. Compo – “How do we prevent a loss of volunteers if AVFD doesn’t participate? And if AVFD doesn’t participate, how will the Town minimize the impact? We want to make sure that the townspeople are taken care of.”

Josh Dauphin – “I think that the advantage that we have here is that we have one department that did provide this service where we have at least one out of the two that’s here where we can definitely give work in that period of shoring up.”

  1. Compo – “I agree, I think our group of committed people now is very beneficial to the Board and Town and I think that you will find that if you ask the townsfolk as you go through this transition.”

Ed Morris – “And it may not be the answer people want to hear, but as I was going through my research definitely Windsor and Springfield both said that as this transition happens, they will both help as much as they can.”

Kelly Murphy – “And I think we may experience a loss, but there are quite a few community members in this town that are former firefighters who may actually come out of the woodwork and want to participate again and get involved.”

How do we recruit those would like to return to serving?


Ed Morris – “That’s a good point. Recruitment should probably start before the transition actually takes place, we are already out looking for new firefighters whether they are past or brand new.

Josh Dauphin – “Ernie (Shand) you’ve been on Ascutney forever.”

Ernie Shand – “I came to town in 1973 and that’s when I joined the department and Cookie joined probably 20 years later and Danny joined sometime after that.”

Kelly Murphy – “You said in one of the meetings that this should have happened 30 years ago, so what would you have envisioned?”

Ernie Shand – “That’s my background. I came from a town that I think had 5 fire stations and you had a pay truck in town. There was a Captain that ran each station. If you went to a fire, you went to the station got your gear and by the time you got there the truck was gone. You would try another station but you had your own gear out of you station. Worked pretty well I thought. I came up here and thought it was interesting the “bang” between the 2 departments. You have to remember what the background was. This side of town (Ascutney) was covered the Select Board paid to have Windsor come down and cover. The other side of town they paid for Springfield to come and cover so there was no need to work together really. These other departments come in and Weathersfield decided we should have a fire department so they got ahold of Hank Cobb with a tanker, 500 gallons a minute. It was slower than death. It got to the top of the hill, but it took a while and that’s how this started. West side had a station in the village. It’s always been kind of separate so I think this is a good thing. It’s kind of being forced, but…”

Tom Leach – “It’s not really being forced though, some people want to believe it is, but you know there is really no impact on the individual firefighters from what I can see except the 2 Chiefs.”

Ernie Shand – “Yeah you’re probably right, but I’m one of the ones in my own station that thinks it’s a good idea. It’s not a new thought for me. “

Tom Leach – “Even, those who disagree, it would be great to have them in this room so that they can add various comments and be a part of this molding of this. Even if they disagree, maybe they can add something that someone else hasn’t brought up.”

Tim Austin – “At least a constructive disagreement.”

Kelly Murphy “I’m adding on to this, we have the “What do we do for a building if Ascutney is not on board?” and my question is “What, if anything, needs to happen to the WWVFD to make that viable, is it big enough, does it need a new roof, is there anything that needs to be done to that station?

  1. Compo – “Can you add? 1 year? 5 years?

Ed Morris – “I think we should discuss in here another thing in the municipal report, but What do we do to honor the past volunteers and those ready to retire?

Tom Leach – “What will we call the department and the station names?”

If we are having a town department, what are we going to call it? Would it be the Ascutney House and the West Weathersfield house.”

  1. Compo – “You could keep the same names.”

Kelly Murphy – “It would be Weathersfield Fire Department.”

Tom Leach – “It would be Weathersfield Fire Department, but would it be the Ascutney House and the West Weathersfield house?”

Kelly Murphy – “East and West sound really good”

  1. Compo – “What would officer structure look like? Hartland has 2 houses with 1 Chief, I don’t know what their officer structure is, but that might be worth looking into?”

Kelly Murphy – “Does the auxiliary still exist? How can auxiliary serve?

Josh Dauphin – “Yes”

Peter Cole – “Kelly, one of the questions in Monday night’s meeting was “You’re going to be giving up $50,000 worth of fundraising. This probably falls under education, but how do we address that for the voters?”

How will the gap in fundraising be addressed (education needed)?

Kelly Murphy – “I didn’t quite understand $50,000 in fundraising.”

  1. Compo – “My understanding of the comment was that currently between the 2 departments roughly $50,000 was raised on an annual basis and how does the town incur that expense so that the volunteer firefighters aren’t still fundraising. I think that Ed addressed a lot of that, but I believe that is where that comment came from.”

Josh Dauphin – “But there is false information there, when you combine both departments, they are not raising $50,000. “

  1. Compo – “I personally believe, and I haven’t done the numbers like Ed has, but I personally believe that if we really look at the duplication that is happen and really look at what our needs are that the town fire departments could survive and function at a high level on what the Town is currently putting into them plus the plus the cost of the Chief. I don’t think there is any added cost.”

Josh Dauphin – “So the full year with the contract that Town would pay the bills and last Fiscal Year proves that there is really no need to have to fundraise to keep the doors open, at least for our department.”

Tim Austin – “I think that there has been equipment purchased that is just not necessary for the fire department to have. You don’t need to be out there doing traffic control at accident scenes that’s not what the fire department is there for. I think it’s getting carried away.”

Tom Leach – “It’s being taken advantage of. “

Tim Austin – “If they are going to provide it, the police will take advantage of it. It needs to get dialed back and use some logic here. I spent 17 years chasing tail lights for the State Police and I would say less than 10% a fire truck would even respond and if they did there was a potential for an accident to take place, but they weren’t directing traffic.”

Tom Leach – “The fire department gets called out for just directing traffic sometimes.”

Ed Morris – “I just wanted to bring up with that last comment, that is one of the reasons I want to do this review at the end. There are those types of comments and John’s comment about needing a budget and there is budget in here. I think there was just a lot of information thrown out that day. If we take another look at it and you look through the municipal report again, there is a budget in the back of it and a lot of those questions are answered in there. Part of my budget was doing away with fundraising, not that I think that any fundraising should be done, but it shouldn’t be done to keep the doors open and to make operation happen. The fundraisers could be done for firefighter appreciation, morale, t-shirts, that one piece of equipment that is more of a want than a need and you think it’s going to help, maybe we can fundraise to do that, but for the most part the day to day operations need to be paid for by the Town.

Josh Dauphin – “That was a lot of the number one thing that was in John’s report and it was the burnout of the fire fighters and the amount of fundraising that has to be done. So, there was talk to Monday night about having to continue to do that, but that was with the anticipation of doing this, that we are trying to limit the burden on all of the fire fighters and limit what they have to do.”

Tim Austin – “It’s hard enough being a volunteer without putting more stress on them.”

Peter Cole – “As a municipal department, how much response would be provided? What calls? EMS? Demand of volunteers?”

Tim Austin – “I would think that would have to be addressed within the organizational rules of what we do and don’t do”

Tom Leach – “The SOPs”

As a town, what do we want our town responding to?

Mychael Spaulding – “Once we get a Chief he would be responsible for example, on the West side (WWVFD) we have different Officers that have duties, or we swap out weeks for medical calls at night so there is only a couple going unless its serious, but he can do that type of thing, a roster call bi-weekly or whatever, that would be up to the Chief what station and where your personnel is living.”

Ed Morris – “I think its important, the response protocol should be written with the Chief’s help, but it may be something through this transition that we have the discussion as a Town what we want to have our fire fighters responding to. “

Tom Leach – “I think that’s real important if we are going to be soliciting past members specially to step up and come back active that they know that there are active changes as far as those protocols go.”

Ernie Shand – “I think that they also have to realize that the fire department is an emergency service and if you can’t get a State Trooper to hold people off you have to at least make the area safe. You should be out there to assist the ambulance service to make the area safe.”

Tim Austin – “I think you have to look at it from a Town insurance stand point because there is a liability to move that truck out there on the highway. If you aren’t out there doing something emergency or fire related and something happens where an individual gets hurt or killed the liability can really come back to bite the Town. It’s not covered by insurance.”

Daniel Boyer – “The other thing is, if you’ve got fire fighters out there directing traffic around an accident and another accident happen that’s a huge liability. Whatever caused that accident, they could come back and say “I was directed by fire personnel to go here and you directed me head on into another vehicle.”

Josh Dauphin – “As far as the Fire Chief, should we make a list of the benefits or factors that identify why a full time Fire Chief needs? People are asking why we need a full time Chief. What do we need to fill this position? Should we have a list prepared – these are the reasons.”

Ed Morris – “That might be a great way to discuss the Chief model is to list the positive and negatives of each.”

Factor in call volume.

Tim Austin – “We need to consolidate and know exactly what each call the departments are going to. What type of calls, to justify some of these positions. If both departments are responding to 500 calls a year or 25 calls a year, where is the justification for a full-time person.”

Tom Leach – “I don’t think you want to get caught up on call volume alone, there is a lot of administrative stuff too.”

Mychael Spaulding – “The decision regarding a Chief’s level of EMS? What, if any, EMS qualifications will they have? I know with some parts of town, with our contracted ambulance service, it could take time and if you do have someone that is full time and can get there within minutes so that medicine can be started or that care can be started.”

Tom Leach – “How are these questions going to get answered?”

Kelly Murphy – “That’s what we are going to come up with all of these we are going to go back through and figure out which ones we have to do.”

Tom Leach – “So the room is going to answer them and maybe Ed will provide some data that will reinforce it.”

Kelly Murphy – “Exactly. Ideally, in the perfect world, both fire departments are going to be in the room together and we are going to massage out the answers to these. There are going to be some in which if they are a hot topic, we take the input from both of them and the Select Board input and we shake it out and Ed will provide what he has found in his conversations and input, but at the end of the day it’s like putting it in and shaking it out and this is what we came up with. It’s year one. We may go through this process and after the Fire Chief is hired, we may decide that the things that we originally came up with, we may need to amend.”

Kelly Murphy – “Do we feel that we have enough questions for tonight.? What we will do at the next meeting is run through and that way if you have thought of anything after this, we can still add them into the mix.”

Tom Leach – “If folks in the room think of a question can, they email Ed and have them added to the list of questions?”

Kelly Murphy – “Yes, Ed can compile a list of any additional questions and we can bring them up at the next meeting.”

Josh Dauphin – “So we are talking about a full time Chief, in the beginning there was a discussion on which one are we doing. How much time and effort do we want to, we did step 1 on Monday, Step 2 for me would be lets one are we going to do? How much time do we want to put in to all 3 categories where it leads right back to a full time Chief?

Kelly Murphy – “In my mind you are going to come up with everything that Fire Chief needs, budget wise its just a matter of this is how much a full time Chief would cost, this is how much a part time Chief would cost, but the things that you want, you want to create the position, the full time position and then the community, if they decide to go with a part time Chief, you’re really going to have to whittle away at that and see what we are going to take away, but if all arrows are pointing to a full time Chief and the responsibilities are heavy enough, that in and of itself will drive the conversation.”

Ed Morris – “I just want to reiterate, bring that back to here bring it back to some of the comments on Monday were “we don’t need a full time Chief”. The Municipal Fire Study is my recommendation and I feel that there is enough justification for that, but I think that comes back to what this meeting is for. If we take a half a night and talk about what the Chief is going to do, do we need a full time Chief, do we not, maybe we will come to a little more consensus than just the Town Manager saying this is what we need. I think we need to talk through these issues, we might end up right back there or maybe we hash some stuff and out and maybe we don’t need to go that far. I think it’s a good discussion point and personally I think it needs to be done sooner rather than later and then we can start looking at the other stuff from there.”

Peter Cole – “Along those lines, at the last meeting they were talking about having a full time Chief and then dropping back because they couldn’t find enough for him to do. That’s going to get brought up and from our stand point we need to be able to address that. Is that true? If so, what was the rational for dropping back?

Ed Morris – “They did drop back, I just talked to their Town Manager. From my memory, the dropped back about two-thirds time so he’s working about 30 hours. They did pull back a little bit and I do want to talk to the Town Manager and I also want to call the fire department because what I got from the Town Manager it was more of the Town Manager’s decision so did, they not have enough to do or was it a City decision to help save money?”

  1. Compo – “Can we get these questions emailed out to Nancy, Darrin and Mark and say this is what we discussed so they have a chance to mull it over.”

Kelly Murphy – “The other thing that I think is vey important as we go through these meetings is that when there are pieces of information volunteered that is not necessarily accurate we will at the next meeting we will address those pieces of information and correct them because it is very easy in these meetings, especially when SAPA is running, to throw out comments that sound as if they are based on fact, but they are not, in actuality, based on fact and I think that we need to, if at all possible, to begin to address those and correct them.”

Ernie Shand – “It would be interesting to see how many hours do volunteers spend on calls? Trainings? What type of calls? Back in-service time?”

Tom Leach – “Call volume alone does not show the commitment that the volunteers put in.”

Mycahel Spaulding – We can’t forget about the amount of calls the Chief will be running to, calls that he is not on, the day time stuff and calls filling up his day. He is going to have the general calls too.”

Josh Dauphin – “I think during the day, obviously, we will hopefully be to the point where it we cannot have the same people going to the day calls and the night calls., but their responsibility would be to handle those calls.”

Tim Austin – “One of the functions of the Chief will be to designate other people to do things. He is a leader of the department and setting up a schedule to designate call coverage and what calls he will be able to take himself.”

Kelly Murphy – “It would be interesting to contact that Fire Chief that has had these repeated reorganizations and ask him if he has done any kind of time study in them and what the breakdown is between the regular operating call time and their time specific to the restructuring because you may find in the first year 60% of the time is restructuring and now that’s over with and what happens in that time.”

Kelly Murphy – “We are going to pick up the list the next time we get together after the budget meeting. If you think of anything in the meantime, we will add to it and next time we will start to break down those questions.”

The remainder of the meeting was Ed’s review of the 2018 Municipal Fire Study. You can find the presentation on the Town website.

Motion to adjourn the Fire Commission at 8:00 pm.

Made by: Daniel Boyer Second: Peter Cole

Vote: Unanimous in favor


Submitted by – Chauncie Tillman

List of questions generated during the meeting for discussion:

As our town moves to a municipal fire department, what conversations are necessary?

  • Who owns what motorized equipment? How much motorized equipment is necessary to maintain ISO rating?
  • What do we do for a building if AVFD is not on board?
  • What do we do to consolidate equipment?
  • Can we sell off surplus? Example – 3 sets of jaws are not needed.
  • Need a list of inventories, non-motorized from both fire departments.
  • What does the Town need to do to purchase equipment?
  • How do we educate the Town against misinformation?
  • What negative impact, if any, would the move have on the volunteers themselves?
  • Management Style- how do you transition?
  • Will the be new SOGs developed? One set?
  • Will the hiring process look like the Town Manager, Highway processes previously done?
  • What will the qualifications of the position look like? Job description?
  • Is there any reason why we can have 2 colored trucks?
  • What grants can be applied for to offset cost?
  • If you have 2 stations, do the firefighters need 2 sets of gear?
  • Will there be a dramatic tax increase?
  • What are the Chief’s hours? Do we have to provide housing?
  • Would we require the Chief to live in town?
  • Will the Fire Chief have a vehicle?
  • Could we consider a used tanker? Could we get a State surplus?
  • Do we need a full time, part time Chief based on needs?
  • Can we incorporate other tasks to assist in hours?
  • How do we prevent a loss of volunteers in AVFD doesn’t participate?
  • How do we recruit those would like to return to serving?
  • What, if anything, needs to happen to the West Weathersfield building? 1 year? 5 years?
  • What do we do to honor the past volunteers and those ready to retire?
  • What will we call the department and the station names?
  • Officer structure?
  • How can auxiliary serve?
  • How will the gap in fundraising be addressed? Education needed.
  • What equipment may be eliminated?
  • As a municipal department, how much response would be provided? What calls? Demand of volunteers?
  • As a town, what do we want out town responding to?
  • Should we make a list of factors that identify why a full time Chief is needed?
  • Factor in call volume.
  • What, if any, EMS qualification will they have?
  • How many hours volunteers spend on calls? Trainings? What type of calls? Back in-service time?
  • Responsibilities of a Chief? During day response?
  • Ask experience Chief about the percentage of time in various areas; call volume, general operations, restructuring efforts.

Select Board

Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT

Monday, November 5, 2018

7:00 PM

Regular Meeting

 

MINUTES



Select Board Members Present:      N. John Arrison

                                                            Daniel Boyer

  1. Peter Cole

                                                                        Tom Leach (by telephone)

                                                                        Kelly Murphy

            Select Board Members Absent:

            Ed Morris, Town Manager                                     

                                   

            Others Present:                    

Edith Stillson

Richard Watson

Denise Anderson

Dave Picknell

Travis Compo

Paul Tillman

Mark Girard

Ben Waters

NaToshya Spaulding

Josh Compo

Darrin Spaulding

Josh Dauphin

Ray Stapleton

Jordyn Bagalio

Sam Spaulding

Tracy Dauphin

Cheryl Watson

Mychael Spaulding

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Darlene Kelly

  1. Call to Order

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

  1. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager

Ms. Murphy announced the publication of the first Town Newsletter (posted on the Town's website and Facebook page), put together by Mr. Morris and (most of) the department heads. Mr. Morris is planning to publish the newsletter quarterly. Ms. Murphy asked the Selectboard to consider adding a piece to it to highlight the good things that are happening in Town. The next issue is planned for January

Mr. Morris said that the Planning Commission had held a public hearing on several zoning bylaw changes and asked the Selectboard to schedule their public hearing on the changes as soon a feasible. The Planning Commission would like to see these changes implemented as soon as possible. (There is a 21-day delay following adoption of bylaw changes by the Board.) The Board set the hearing date for their December 5th meeting.

Ms. Murphy read a thank you letter from Meals on Wheels, thanking the Town for their appropriation.

Mr. Morris attended the Planning Commission meeting regarding the solar project on the Hodgdon property on Route 5. (No Selectboard members attended.) The Planning Commission asked that screening be provided for any solar panels that might be visible from Route 5 and that there be a security bond posted to cover the cost of dismantling the panels and restoring the site should the project be discontinued. They made it clear in their comments, however, that the Town remains in favor of the project.

The Board signed thank you notes addressed to Butler Bus Service for providing a bus in which to tour the historic site in Town on the day of the Town Festival.

There will be a financial report available at the next meeting. Ms. Murphy asked that these reports be provided to the Board on a quarterly basis.

Darrin Spaulding said that many of the telephones on the 674 exchange are still not functioning due to a downed tree on Saturday. (The Town Office phones are not working either.) People experiencing difficulties were invited to come to the Town Office so it could be reported to the phone company via cell phone.

  1. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda

Attorney Denise Anderson announced that she has been retained by the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department to resolve a dispute over $7000 in invoices that the Town has not paid. It was agreed to place the matter on the Board's next meeting agenda.

  1. Review minutes from previous meetings – 10/15/2018

Additions/corrections/deletions:

  1. None

Motion: To accept the minutes of Monday, October 15, 2018.

Made by:  Mr. Boyer  Second: Mr. Arrison        

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

  1. Selectboard Work Request Discussion

Ms. Murphy asked to have this topic on the agenda because Mr. Arrison had contacted Mr. Stapleton about problems with storm water ponding in the library's driveway. She said the Board had discussed this idea of Selectboard members communicating directly with department heads before and said this was just a reminder to Board members to refrain from doing it. If a board member has an issue to discuss, they are to bring it to the next board meeting and bring it up under the “Comments” section of the agenda. The manager can then work through it with the appropriate department head. She said she did not want to see department heads having to respond directly to individual board members.

Mr. Morris said he is working on resolving the drainage issue at the library, but the problem is bigger than it seems and will take time and money to fix it.

Mr. Arrison said that his email had been addressed to Mr. Morris and only cc'd to Mr. Stapleton. He said he had never directed a department head to do anything and that was not his intention with this communication. He disagreed with having to wait for a board meeting to bring things up.

Mr. Morris said that clearly if a matter is urgent, it should not have to wait until the next meeting (e.g. a downed tree in the road). However, if it's an ongoing issue or will require a long-term project (e.g. storm water drainage in the wrong place), it should come to the board.

  1. Discussion Police Contracted Services

Mr. Morris and Chief Daniels have proposed contracted police services to Reading, Baltimore and Cavendish as authorized by the board some time ago. Baltimore and Cavendish have expressed interest in the idea.

Weathersfield is proposing 20-25 hours a week of service to Cavendish and 5-8 hours a week to Baltimore, based on analyses of call volumes in both towns.

Cost analyses indicate that an hourly rate of $65 would cover administrative costs plus allow for vehicle maintenance and adding some to the reserve account for future vehicles.

If Cavendish agrees to the proposal, the Town will be able to hire another officer. If Baltimore agrees, then additional help will be needed.

Mr. Morris believes there would be enough work and revenue if Cavendish signs on to offset the cost of a full time officer. He said this would help build the Weathersfield police force with little to no cost to the Town. There would be a slight increase in police coverage in Weathersfield (increase from 80 to 120 hours), but a lot more time on emergency calls. He felt this would be a benefit to all of the Towns and urged the board to take a look at it.

Mr. Arrison asked to see the math that generated the figures. He and Mr. Leach asked what would happen if we were to lose an officer when we're obligated to other towns.

Mr. Fuller was concerned that Chief Daniels is already overworked and that administering this program will pull him away from being in the field. He didn't see how two cars will work. He also felt the board already had a great deal “on its plate this year”, and urged caution moving forward.

There was additional discussion and questions. The board will revisit the topic at another meeting.

  1. Municipal Fire Services Process Discussion
    1. Town Meeting Preparation
    2. Fire Commission
    3. Chief

Town Meeting Preparation -

At issue is whether the board should exercise its statutory authority to establish a municipal fire department on its own motion or whether the voters should decide.

Mr. Arrison and Ms. Murphy preferred to see the voters decide primarily because of the magnitude of the action being taken.

Mr. Cole, Mr. Boyer, and Mr. Leach preferred to have the board make the decision on its own on the grounds that the voters will make their preference known by voting the budget - which would contain the cost of the municipal department - up or down.

All expressed their support for a municipal department and the desire to move this along. Mr. Cole expressed his regret that the Ascutney Fire department does not support the plan. Ms. Murphy expressed deep concern for the misinformation being spread and the scare tactics being employed.

Ray Stapleton said it would be clearer for the voters to understand if the board agrees to establish the department and then comes to them (the voters) with a clear understanding of what the cost would be.

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy felt the process has been flawed from the start and that there wasn't enough information for the board to make a decision.

Josh Dauphin disagreed saying there was more than enough information based on multiple discussions over the past few years.

Darrin Spaulding said he had yet “to see any paperwork on the cost”. He cited difficulties with a fire services in Norwich. He claimed he doesn't do more than 8 hours of paperwork a week. He asked if anyone had checked NFPA standards regarding municipal fire services. He said the new chief would be able to “get rid of the bad people” and asked who the bad people were that would be removed.

Mr. Arrison said he wanted to see the bottom line on the general fund budget before deciding.

Mr. Morris said the board needs to decide what type of chief it wants to create the numbers for the budget. He urged the board not to make the decision based solely on the dollars – the decision must be based on what is best for the Town. Once that's established, then everyone works to make it happen.

Mark Girard said the new chief would cost $110,000 plus an additional $50,000. He said there would be a morale problem with a paid chief and a volunteer force.

Mr. Cole urged the board to continue with the process; assume the Town would hire a full time chief and work together to make it work.

Ms. Murphy called for a motion on creating the department.

Motion: To enact the board's statutory authority pursuant to 24 VSA §1951 to create a municipal fire department.

Made by: Mr. Boyer    Second: Mr. Arrison

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

Motion: To direct the town manager to present a budget for a full time fire chief and associated costs

Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Boyer

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

It was agreed that the board would set aside 1 hour of meeting time during a regular monthly meeting and 2 hours of time during a special meeting on the 2nd Thursday of the month to discuss the transition to a municipal fire department. Members of the fire commission will be invited to participate in these discussions.

Motion: To suspend further meetings of the fire commission until further notice

Made by: Mr. Cole            Second: Mr. Boyer

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

The first special meeting will be on Thursday, November 8th at 6-8 PM. In future, meetings will be on the 2nd Thursday of the month. The board will dedicate the 1st hour of their regular meeting time at the 1st meeting of the month for additional discussion.

The board took a 5-minute recess at 8:47 PM. The meeting resumed at 8:52 PM.

  1. Budget Discussion
    1. Benefits Discussion

Through much research and discussion and with changes in health insurance laws, Mr. Morris and Ms. Kelly propose to join a new association administered medical group – BRS – and offer their plans. This proposal will save the Town $22,704. There have been multiple discussions with town employees about this proposal and Mr. Morris will work with employees needing assistance until their HSAs are fully funded. The cost to join the association is $250.

Motion: To we proceed with the BRS plan as laid out by the manager

Made by: Mr. Cole       Second: Mr. Arrison

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

At this time, it was after 9:00 PM.

Motion: To extend the meeting to get through the budget

Made by: Mr. Boyer    Second: Mr. Arrison

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

  1. Highway Budget – Center Road Paving discussion

In response to the question of “Why did the wages jump so much in highway?”, Mr. Morris said, “We moved Ryan's wages in from the mechanic; we took our highest paid employee and forecasted their wages into the assistant highway superintendent position.”

$80,000 was inserted for highway paving. Mr. Morris said Pike's estimation for paving Center Road is $550,000; however Pike has since said their prices are going up by 3% ($16,500). (This does not include the cost of shoulder work.) This is the cost of repaving from Rt. 131 to the Springfield line. Aiken Hill would be ground down completely and repaved (base and top coats).

We are expecting a $200K grant from the state this year ($175K plus a $25K match from us). We have $116K in reserves. (Mr. Morris recommends only using $100K from the reserve.) If we budget for $50K (not the $80K in the draft budget in the packet), we would need a loan for $216K. Mr. Morris recommended budgeting a bit more than $50K to allow for paving repair.

Mr. Stapleton preferred to budget $80K so he can start a paving budget. Mr. Morris recommended $50-55K, but agreed with Mr. Stapleton. He would like to move toward $135K worth of paving a year.

Mr. Morris said we could float ourselves a loan from reserves; we have the cash flow to cover it. A $200K loan is a $40K a year payment for 5 years. We would pay it back with interest. The finance director and the auditors feel we could do it. The auditors would mandate it be paid back with interest so future board members could not avoid it. He said it's an option for the board to consider.

Mr. Fuller stated he was opposed to this option.

If the board decides to borrow the money, the first payment would not be due until the next budget cycle.

There was brief discussion on the dire state of Kendricks Corner Road and Ascutney Store Road and the need to budget for and prioritize roads that need paving.

Mr. Arrison suggested creating a line item for paving that would automatically go into a reserve account for paving if not used in any given year.

  1. Solid Waste Budget

We are about $5K in hole with no money going into reserves.

Mr. Morris recommended changing how we do things with West Windsor. Currently we give them stickers and give them a bill; they pat us checks from their people. Mr. Morris recommended selling them stickers for $65 a piece, no $5 2nd sticker, the town of West Windsor writes us a check. If there are any left over at the end of the year, we would refund their money. We would do the same with the punch cards.

Mr. Stapleton said we will need to replace the compactor soon.

Motion: That we sell bulk stickers and tickets to West Windsor

Made by: Mr. Cole            Second: Mr. Arrison

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

  1. Finance

There were no questions.

  1. Listers

There were no questions.

  1. Clerk

There were no questions.

  1. Town Report Distribution

This item was tabled.

  1. Boat Access Discussion

This item was tabled.

  1. Appointments

            Motion: To appoint John Broker Campbell to the Zoning Board of Adjustment

Made by: Mr. Arrison       Second: Mr. Boyer

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

  1. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for 11/5/2018 as follow:

General Funds       Operating Expenses    $112,433.31

                              Payroll                         $21,954.34

Highway Fund       Operating Expenses    $120,982.72

                              Payroll                         $12,729.27

Solid Waste Management Fund

                              Operating Expenses    $21,197.78

                              Payroll                         $2,342.51

Library                   Operating Expenses    $1,355.57

                              Payroll                         $2,807.28

Grants                   Operating Expenses    $6,624.51

Agency Monies      Operating Expenses    $50.00

Reserves                                                    $0.00

Grand Totals         Operating Expenses    $262,643.89

                              Payroll                         $39,833.40

Made by:  Mr. Arrison      Second: Mr. Boyer     

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

Motion: To approve the warrant for library operating expenses for 11/5/2018 for $411.54.

Made by: Mr. Arrison       Second: Mr. Boyer

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

Motion: To approve the warrant for highway operating expenses for 11/5/2018 for $2,300.

Made by: Mr. Arrison       Second: Mr. Boyer

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy – Aye

 

  1. Future Meeting Agenda Items

Thursday – 6-8 PM; first work meeting for municipal fire dept

Cady Hill hearing on November 19th – site visit at 6:16

Dec 3rd – ordinance meeting

  1. Adjourn

Motion: To adjourn the meeting

Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Boyer           

Roll Call Vote:

  1. John Arrison - Aye

Daniel Boyer - Aye

  1. Peter Cole - Aye

Tom Leach (by telephone) - Aye

Kelly Murphy - Aye

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:59 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

deForest Bearse

WEATHERSFIELD SELECTBOARD

__________________________

N. John Arrison, Selector

____________________________

Daniel E. Boyer, Selector

_________________________

C. Peter Cole, Vice-Chairperson

_______________________________

Tom Leach, Clerk

________________________

Kelly Murphy, Chairperson

Select Board

Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT

Monday, October 15, 2018

7:00 PM

Regular Meeting

 

MINUTES

Approved 11/5/2018

Select Board Members Present:      N. John Arrison

                                                            Daniel Boyer

  1. Peter Cole

                                                                        Tom Leach

                                                                        Kelly Murphy

            Select Board Members Absent:

            Ed Morris, Town Manager                                     

                                   

            Others Present:                    

Charles Vivian

Mychael Spaulding

Laurie Carver

Shawn Brown

Edith Stillson

Ben Waters

Sue Brown

Mann C. Johnson

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Ray Stapleton

Steve Brown

Holly Johnson

Cheryl Watson

Nicholas J. Koloski

Rodney Spaulding

Jeff Epstein

Richard Watson

Robert Knight

Colby Hodgdon

Levi Parker

Natoshya Spaulding

Josh Dauphin

Tem Gurney

Loraine Shand

Tracy Dauphin

Travis Compo

Mark Girard

Ernest Shand

Josh Compo

David Picknell

Barbara Thomas

Darlene Kelly

Cynthia Porter

  1. Call to Order

Ms. Murphy called the meeting to order at 7:03PM.

  1. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager

Mr. Arrison said he realized he should have recused himself from the vote to apply for the Village Center Designation for Ascutney. He regretted his mistake.

Ms. Murphy stated that David Fuller had asked the Board to consider providing more training for boards that must periodically conduct contentious public hearings. Apparently there had been a recent board meeting that had gotten out of control. Mr. Morris said the boards have a basic training class annually, but he is working with the zoning administrative to strengthen it.

Mr. Morris said the open comment period for the solar project at the Hodgdon property is currently underway. The comment period will be ending on the date of the next select board meeting, so Mr. Morris invited the select board members to attend the next planning commission meeting (next Monday) to review highlights of the project and submit any comments they may have. Sven Federow has compiled a list of concerns he has about some aspects of the project – he will share them with the board.

  1. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda

Mark Girard said there was no insurance policy in place for the last fireworks permit granted by the board.

Mr. Spaulding said that someone was planning to have a fireworks display that had not been permitted by the board. Mr. Morris said he had spoken to the party involved and that there would not be any fireworks. He said he was planning to meet with Chief Daniels in the morning to further discuss the matter.

  1. Review minutes from previous meetings – 10/01/2018

Motion: To accept the minutes of Monday, October 1, 2018.

Made by:  Mr. Boyer  Second: Mr. Leach

Additions/corrections/deletions:

  1. Ms. Murphy asked that Mr. Morris's list of efficiencies be included in the minutes.

Vote: Ms. Murphy abstained; all others voted in favor

  1. Fire Department Appropriation Letter Signing

Ms. Murphy read aloud a letter dated September 12th addressed to each of the fire departments defining the annual fire department appropriation as budgeted ($27,500 with $5,000 allocated for PPE and the remaining $22,500 for approved operational expenses).   The letter was to be signed by both department chiefs and the board. Both the board and Chief Dauphin had signed it. When Ms. Murphy asked Mrak Girard to sign it for AVFA, Mr. Girard declined on the grounds that this was the first time he had heard about it. Ms. Murphy said a copy would be available for him in the office.

  1. Municipal Fire Service Discussion and Decision

Motion: To move forward to form a single municipal fire department.

Made by: Mr. Arrison             Second: Mr. Boyer

Discussion on the motion:

Mr. Dauphin read a letter to the board stating that the members of the West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department voted at their meeting on October 9th to turn over all assets to the Town; to retain ownership of their station and the land on which it stands; and to lease the station to the Town for one dollar with the understanding that the station would be maintained by the Town. The members felt that the department's equipment had all been purchased with taxpayer dollars or donations made by residents and supporters with the understanding that the equipment was to be used for fire services in Weathersfield. The members thus felt it already belonged to the Town and were therefore willing to turn it over. The nonprofit organization would remain intact and would serve in an auxiliary capacity.

Mr. Cole expressed the board's gratitude for the department's decision.

The board then proceeded to answer questions and hear comments from those in attendance.

  • There was concern about how the volunteers would be affected by the change and if there would be enough volunteers to serve the new department
  • The board was adamant that this endeavor should not be seen as a threat to anyone
  • The move to a single municipal department will address most of the recommendations in the John Wood report
  • AVFD is opposed to creating a municipal department
  • A municipal department would remove the burden of fund raising and administrative tasks and free up firefighters' time to do what they love to do – fight fires
  • The board remains deeply grateful to the volunteers for the 40-50 years of selfless service they have given to the Town
  • A municipal department with a single chief who is a town employee will provide an opportunity for all parties to work more effectively together; provide accountability; and will create efficiencies in department operations
  • The new chief would be hired from outside the community so as to be free of history or bias
  • The new chief would be tasked with recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • The cost of a paid fire chief would be $107K, but that would not be the tax burden as that figure would be reduced through various efficiencies as outlined in Mr. Morris's study
  • AVFD continued to express negative feelings about not being consulted during Mr. Morris's study
  • A single municipal department would put an end to the “us vs them” controversies that have plagued the Town for too long
  • The option of having a fire district was discussed and abandoned as unworkable; a contract-for-services model would not solve the controversies between the parties; and WWVFD is unwilling to maintain the status quo - that leaves the municipal department as the last option
  • The board acknowledges that there are many, many details to work through to make this happen
  • Arrison said he preferred to have the voters decide whether or not to pursue a municipal department
  • Murphy urged everyone to ask questions and be informed rather than fall prey to scare tactics
  • Leach felt the board members were elected to make the tough decisions and did not want to further delay making the decision; that by doing so, he would not be doing what he had been elected to do. He expressed concern that by delaying, this would become a campaign of misinformation.
  • Boyer said he had heard the same issues over and over for years and that the only way to pull things together was to go to a municipal department
  • Cole agreed with Mr. Boyer, saying he has lived in Town for 30 years and as both a select board member and a previous town manager, he had witnessed the bickering and lack of efficiencies. The voters approve the budget every year after the board spends much time getting it ready, but there's no accountability to the taxpayers once the appropriation goes out. He felt the voters deserved better than that. He said the vote of the people will come with their vote on the budget; that ultimately the voters will decide.

The question was raised as to whether or not Mr. Leach should recuse himself from the board vote (on the motion that was still on the floor), on the grounds that he had already made his bias known when he had voted at the WWVFD meeting as a member of that department.

Mr. Koloski asked what would happen if AVFD refuses to turn over their assets. Ms. Murphy asked Mr. Girard what AVFD's plan was for their assets. Mr. Girard said their department was open to contracting with the Town or acting in a mutual aid capacity.

Mychael Spaulding said that the public is not aware of the unsafe conditions that the firefighters are currently faced with and urged the board to vote.

Mr. Arrison called the motion.

The board again discussed Mr. Leach's recusal.

  • Boyer said Ms. Murphy, Mr. Leach, and his own son have all served on the fire departments; it's a small town and everyone wears many hats
  • Cole said we are all taxpayer's
  • Arrison felt Mr. Leach's previous vote did not rise to the level of a conflict
  • Leach said he takes this matter very, very seriously; that it's not like the Town hasn't tried many times before to solve this; his recusal would not solve anything.

Vote on the motion: unanimous in favor

Ms. Murphy asked the board for feedback on the status of the fire commission. Members felt it would be acceptable to suspend the commission for the time being, but to invite the citizen members of the commission to be at the table throughout all of the ensuing discussions. It was acknowledged that the board cannot dissolve the commission – only the voters can do that.

Motion: To suspend the fire commission for now and invite all of its members to discuss the future of fire departments in town

Made by: Mr. Leach   Second: Mr. Cole

Discussion on the motion: It was agreed that since this idea was not on the agenda and affected parties had not had prior notice of it, that it was best not to vote on it at this meeting.

Motion rescinded.

The board took a 5-minute recess at 8:28 PM.

Ms. Murphy called the meeting back into session at 8:40 PM.

  1. GIS Introduction

Mr. Morris gave a demonstration of the new GIS program that is now live on the Town's website.

  1. Update FEMA Buyout of Amsden of Amsden Store Building

Mr. Morris has been working with Marty Lewis and Otis at the regional planning commission. He said we have all the information we can get and is planning to put in the application as written. The owner has a buyer for the building; however the buyer is in favor of moving forward with this application. The Town will not be putting any money out on this; we will just be doing the paperwork and submitting it as is. Hazmat mitigation will be rolled into the application as needed. The prospective buyer wants to use the building for storage, but is aware of what the town wants to do.

  1. Hazard Mitigation Plan Adoption

Mr. Morris said the plan has been reviewed and approved by both the State and FEMA and now needs to be formally adopted by the Town.

Motion: To adopt the 2018-2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan as written

Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Leach

Vote: unanimous in favor

  1. Ordinance Review – Child Safety Ordinance

VLCT had not recommended an alternate attorney to review the ordinance (as requested), but rather informed Mr. Morris that it was unenforceable. The Town attorney Nate Stearns recommended that the board repeal it as the intention of it is covered in state statute. He said it probably would not hold up in court.

The board said that repealing it did not signify that they felt child safety was not important – it is because the matter is covered in the state's statutes and the board is not authorized by state statute to have such an ordinance.

Motion: Send the Child Safety Ordinance to the future ordinance hearing to be heard for possible repeal.

Made by: Mr. Cole      Second: Mr. Leach

Vote: unanimous in favor

Motion: To extend the meeting to 9:30 PM.

Made by: Mr. Boyer    Second: Mr. Leach

Vote: Unanimous in favor

  1. Budget Discussion
    1. Highway Budget

The board reviewed for the first time the draft highway budget.

  1. Solid Waste Budget (not discussed due to lateness of the hour)
  2. Center Road Paving Discussion (not discussed due to lateness of the hour)

 

  1. Appointments

Ms. Murphy read the list of vacant seats.

  1. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for October 15, 2018 as follow:

General Funds       Operating        Expenses         $37,565.38

                                          Payroll             $6,873.60

Highway Fund       Operating        Expenses         $148,593.34

                                          Payroll             $4,084.84

Solid Waste Management Fund

                                          Operating Expenses    $184.47

                                          Payroll                         $725.10

Library                                           Operating Expenses    $2,445.19

                                          Payroll             $885.80

Grants                                           Operating Expenses    $0.00

Agency Monies                  Operating Expenses    $2,028.01

Reserves                                                                $0.00

Long Term Debt                                                   $0.00

Grand Totals                                 Operating Expenses    $190,816.39

                                          Payroll                         $12,569.34

Made by: Mr. Arrison                   Second: Mr. Leach     

Vote: Unanimous in favor

 

  1. Future Meeting Agenda Items

 

  1. Adjourn

Motion: To adjourn the meeting

Made by: Mr. Boyer         Second: Mr. Cole                   

Vote: Unanimous in favor

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:28 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

deForest Bearse

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEATHERSFIELD SELECTBOARD

__________________________

N. John Arrison, Selector

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Daniel E. Boyer, Selector

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C. Peter Cole, Vice-Chairperson

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Tom Leach, Clerk

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Kelly Murphy, Chairperson

Selectboard Municipal Fire Department Discussion Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT 05030

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

6:00 P.M. – 8 P.M.

Special Meeting

 

  1. Call to Order
  1. Introduction
  1. Brainstorm list of meeting ideas and questions
  1. Review Municipal Fire Report
  • Adjourn