Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Monday May 07, 2018 (05/07/18)

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Select Board Agenda 05/07/2018
Selectboard Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5
Monday, May 7th, 2018
7:00 P.M.

1. Call to Order

2. Comments from Selectboard and Town Manager
Active Shooter Presentation

3. Comments from Citizens on topics not on agenda

4. Review minutes from previous meeting(s) 04/16/2018

5. New Employee Introduction
a. Suzanne Terrill – Personnel/Accounting Clerk
b. Scott Pipe – Highway Truck Driver/Laborer
c. Brenda Pipe – Assistant Clerk

6. Request Large Gathering Permit / Wellwood Orchards Inc.
a. Strawberry Festival / 06/23/2018
b. Customer Appreciation Day / 09/01/2018

7. Use of Reserves / Center Grove

8. Award Ditching RFP

9. Sole Source Exemption approval for Purchase of Leaf Blower / Highway

10. Fire Commission Update

11. Fire Department Matrix

12. Compensation Plan Introduction

13. Ordinance Review
a. Ordinance Regulating the Disposal of Solid Wastes
b. Animal Cruelty (Continued from 04/16/2018)

14. Update on Cell Tower Camouflage

15. Appoint Sven Fedorow as:
a. Land Use Administrator
b. Deputy Health Officer

16. Appointments
a. Budget Committee (Four Openings)
b. Connecticut River Joint Commission
c. CRJC Mt Ascutney Subcommittee
d. Conservation Commission (Two Openings)
e. Fence Viewer (Three Openings)
f. Planning Commission (4 year term)
g. Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner
h. Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee
i. Zoning Board of Adjustment (One Opening)

17. Approve Warrant

18. Future Agenda Items
Future Agenda
- Fire Services Reimbursement
- HazMat Materials Response
- Budget Calendar
- Approve Use of Library Reserves

19. Adjourn

Select Board Minutes 05/07/2018
Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT
Monday, May 7, 2018 7:00 PM

APPROVED 5/21/2018

Select Board Members Present: N. John Arrison
C. Peter Cole
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent: Daniel Boyer
Tom Leach

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Nancy Nutile-McMenemy Ray Stapleton Edith Stillson Gena Williams
Scott Pipe Brenda Pipe Suzanne Terrill Darlene Kelly
Paul Tillman Linda Friedman Roy Mark

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

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager – Active Shooter Presentation
Mr. Arrison said thank you to all who participated in Green Up day and a special thanks to Steve Aikenhead for orchestrating the whole event.

Ms. Murphy read a letter from HCRS thanking the voters for their financial support.

Mr. Morris announced there would be an active shooter presentation next Monday at 6:30 PM at the school for select board and school board members. The Fire Commission and some of the surrounding school principals have been invited to attend as well. Springfield Fire will be presenting the regional plan.

Mr. Morris announced that the grader is out and working. Each road will be thoroughly completed before moving to the next one so it may take a bit longer. He asked everyone to be patient. Mr. Stapleton said they are starting with the worst roads first.

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

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – 4/16/2018
a. None.
Motion: To approve the minutes of the April 16th meeting.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Arrison
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. New Employee Introduction
a. Suzanne Terrill – Personnel/Accounting Clerk
b. Scott Pipe – Highway Truck Driver/Laborer
c. Brenda Pipe – Assistant Clerk
Mr. Morris introduced each of the new employees. The Board extended a welcome to all.

6. Request Large Gathering Permit/Wellwood Orchards Inc.
Mr. Morris recommended approval of each of these applications.
a. Strawberry Festival/6/23/2018
b. Customer Appreciation Day/9/1/2018
Motion: To approve the large gathering permit for the Wellwood Orchard strawberry festival and customer appreciation day and waive the fee.
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

7. Use of Reserves/Center Grove
Ms. Murphy noted that the bids were based on differing numbers of trees to be trimmed and/or removed. She said she wasn't ready to vote because of the discrepancy.

Mr. Morris said he was still looking at it and if it wasn't approved this evening he would look to get more bids. He said he had met with Dan Cox this morning to look at the trees at Mr. Cox's request. Mr. Cox made a few changes to his bid after looking at the grove, though his price would stay the same.

Mr. Arrison said the work needed to get done soon as the two dead trees are continuing to come down and the town has a certain degree of liability.

Mr. Morris said when the RFP was put out it was with an invitation to the contractors to take a look at the grove and let him know what they thought needed to be done.

Mr. Arrison noted that the proposed motion was to use some of the money from the reserve fund, not asking to award to a particular contractor. He recommended appropriating the money so the work could get done as soon as possible and leave it up to the tree warden and Mr. Morris to make the decision of who to hire.

There is $4500 shown in the reserve account and $1000 due in this fiscal year giving a total of $5500 to work with. Mr. Morris said $2000 was put in the Center Grove budget this year instead of $1000. He recommended coming up with a plan for the future and do a few thousand dollars worth of work every year for the next couple of years and get things back into shape; then stay on a regular maintenance program after that.

Mr. Arrison said there has been some discussion that the reason the trees are in decline is because they are old and partly because of the way we've been maintaining the floor of the grove over the years. Cleaning away the leaf litter every year rather than leaving it for the trees is not good for the trees. He suggested having the Friends of Meetinghouse act as custodians and have them make recommendations. He said he knew one person who wants to donate a tree; perhaps there may be others. He repeated how important it is to look at how we maintain the grove floor – roots are exposed by our allowing the soil to disappear. This has caused significant loss and decline in the trees, which have been on our watch or the last 150 years.

Ms. Murphy noted that there's $1000 budgeted and the request is for use of $1500 from the reserves for a total of $2500, but the cheapest quote is for $3200. She asked where the balance would come from. Mr. Morris said he would work with Mr. Cox to figure it out. He said it could be discussed further at the next meeting.

Mr. Arrison said he wanted to vote on the matter, but felt it wouldn't pass. He said the longer the board waited the busier tradespeople get.

It was decided to table the matter to next meeting.

8. Award Ditching RFP
Mr. Stapleton said Downer Hill is the town's first Act 64 project. They will try to ditch from the Dana's down to the four corners – 12-inch stone on one side and 8-inch on the other. We have been awarded a grant for a portion of it. He has been working with the State on it. The project was put out to bid. Eight people came to the site visit; six bids were received ranging from $60,000 to $24,000.

Mr. Stapleton specified the scope of work at the site visit so the bids are comparable. Contractors were given an option of having the town supply a man and a truck to haul away materials and bring in stone. The bid sheet shows two prices from each contractor – one with the town's assistance, the other without.

Mr. Morris recommended awarding the bid for the full amount to Jarvis. The highway department will be short two men during this project which will make it difficult to supply the “one man/one truck” option.

Motion: That we award the contract to Jarvis and Sons in an amount not to exceed $24,119.76 for ditching on Downer Hill.
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Ms. Murphy said she really did not want to see the highway crew working on this because of the amount of work the department has to do already. And this project has to be done by the end of June. Mr. Stapleton said he has the whole month of July set up for ditching.

The road will be closed during the day throughout the project. Appropriate signage will be provided.

Vote on the motion: Unanimous in favor

Mr. Morris said this is the first year the state has done this grant – called a “grant-in-aid” for Act 64 projects. The state sends a letter stating that they are willing to give the town a certain amount of money and asking if the town will take it. That's the grant application. There is a match required. The state was giving us $16,000 for a $20,000 project. To complete Downer Hill, it's a $24,000 project.

Mr. Stapleton said there are two “segments” there. With the prices we received we're doing two segments for one. This is the steeper grade section of Downer Hill – from Gird Lot up to Dana's. The state wants the steeper segments done in the first five years.

Ms. Murphy asked if the state has a formula for determining the amount of money they are offering so the town could make an estimate for future budgets. Mr. Stapleton said he thought it was done by the number of towns that are applying or how many towns there are and how many roads each have. It's divided by the total amount of money they have available. Mr. Morris said it will depend on how much money is allocated to the state's transportation budget. He said that's not usually set until the town's budget process is done. He said we could probably expect another $16,000 in the year coming up.

The town is required to complete segments in whole chunks. Each segment must be fully compliant with Act 64 when completed. (A segment is 330 feet long.) A lot of work went into choosing these segments on Downer Hill so the money could be best utilized.

Mr. Morris said when the Better Back Roads grant came out we were able to take the pricing from Gird Lot and we rolled that right into the grant application. We were awarded that grant as well. We will take 2-3 segments out of that grant. It doesn't have the same requirements so we can just go as far as we can go.

Mr. Morris will give the board a review of Act 64 at the next meeting.

9. Sole Source Exemption approval for purchase of leaf blower/Highway
The highway department would like to buy a turbine style leaf-blower. There is only one manufacturer and one distributor in the area. The board was being asked to approve the sole source option of the Purchasing Policy for this purchase.

Mr. Stapleton said there is a lot of leaf litter in the ditches beside the roads. When they grade the roads, the leaves get mixed in with the gravel which then has to be separated and put somewhere. It becomes a very labor-intensive job. The blower can blow the leaves away and leave the gravel in place. The blower will also help keep the stone-lined ditches (that will be required by Act 64) free of leaves.

A lot of surrounding towns are using them They have found the blowers save a lot of labor and a lot of time.

The blower would be mounted behind the John Deere tractor. The blower has a 3-point hitch assembly. The tractor has a draw-bar. But Mr. Stapleton said they have figured out how to make it work with the 3-point hitch.

The current tractor has sufficient horsepower to run the blower. If the town were to purchase a new tractor with a 3-point hitch in the future, the blower could be lowered to blow out culverts and other such uses.

Motion: That we approve the sole source purchase of a turbine style blower for highway
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

10. Fire Commission Update
Ms. Murphy said that the Fire Commission is now fully seated and has held its first organizational meeting. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy is the Commission chair; Josh Dauphin is the Vice-Chairperson. The Commission will meet monthly on the 2nd Monday at 8:00 PM at alternating fire houses (except the next meeting which will be at the school).

11. Fire Department Matrix
Ms. Murphy introduced a spread sheet showing the John Woods recommendations and how each board member had ranked them (anonymously). Recommendations were split into two groups – safety and administration. It was agreed to postpone discussing the results as two board members were missing from the meeting and because the spread sheet had not be in the packet for this meeting.

12. Compensation Plan Introduction
That matter was postponed to the next meeting when there would hopefully be a full board present.

13. Ordinance Review
a. Ordinance Regulating the Disposal of Solid Wastes
There were no recommendations for changes and no comments from the board.

Mr. Morris said that removal of ordinances must go through a hearing process. He said he would wait until there are several ordinances to be removed (or changed) and warn them all at once to save on advertising.

Mr. Morris did not feel a motion of affirmation was necessary. It will be noted that the ordinance had been reviewed on this date.

b. Animal Cruelty (cont. from 4/16/2018)
There were a couple of questions raised on this ordinances at the last meeting. One question was what is the state fine. [13 VSA §353 states the first fine is up to $2000; 2nd and 3rd offenses are fined up to $5000 each. Each offense carries possible jail time as well.] These are substantially more than the town's fines.

Mr. Morris also consulted with the town's attorney regarding waiver fees. He recommended keeping the waiver fee at least on the first offense to keep it out of the judicial bureau – you have no reason not to appeal your ordinance fine if you're going to have to pay that fine anyway.

The attorney recommended looking at what the fines actually are and making sure they are reasonable in light of what you're trying to accomplish. Perhaps increase the 1st fine with the waiver fine being closer to where it should be.

Mr. Morris recommended doing away with the waiver fees for the 2nd, 3rd and subsequent offenses. State statutes do not appear to require a waiver provision.

Mr. Arrison asked if both the state law and the town ordinance apply simultaneously or if the more stringent one applies or how does it work. Mr. Morris said he thought it would depend on what level the town would take the incident to. It could be determined on a case by case basis.

Mr. Arrison asked who would make the determination of when to allow a waiver and when not to. Mr. Morris felt it would be a select board decision.

Mr. Arrison asked if a hearing would be required for removing the waivers. Mr. Morris said yes. He also recommended not shying away from making needed changes to the ordinances because of the hearing requirements. He said they haven't been updated in a long time and the number of changes will reduce over the next few years.

Motion: That we approve the animal cruelty ordinance for hearing with deletion of under part VI:A parts (2) and (3) deleting the waiver penalty option
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Ms. Murphy asked that the words “plus reasonable animal care costs” be in all four parts of section VI:A.
Mr. Arrison and Mr. Cole agreed to amend the motion and second to include Ms. Murphy's request.
Vote on the amended motion: Unanimous in favor

14. Update on Cell Tower Camouflage
Ms. Murphy will be inviting local legislative representatives to the June 4th meeting to discuss the cell tower behind Strobles in Ascutney. All documentation of actions taken by the town thus far to remedy the situation will be included. Copies will be sent to the Public Utilities Commission and others. Board members approved sending the letter and signed it.

15. Appoint Sven Fedorow as:
a. Land Use Administrator
b. Deputy Health Officer
The Planning Commission recommends appointing former New York real estate attorney Sven Fedorow as Land Use Administrator and Deputy Health Officer. Mr. Morris was impressed with the research and preparation Mr. Fedorow had done before his interviews and feels he will bring some much-needed organization to the office. (Mr. Fedorow was unable to attend the meeting.)

Motion: To appoint Sven Fedorow as the Town of Weathersfield Land Use Administrator and Deputy Health Officer.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mr. Arrison
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Mr. Morris said last month he held the first of what he is calling executive team meetings – himself, Darlene, Ray, the police chief and Mark from the library – they are starting to meet once a month. Last month they went over performance evaluations – discussed what they want to be seeing out of that – the goals; in depth on the goal process and how we want them to be working and coaching their employees and the goals that they want them to fulfill throughout the year. How to use those to make the employees feel a bit more valued and to also grow their skill sets to be a better asset to the Town.

Next meeting they will be discussing the new purchasing policy that they are putting together to bring to the board. The people who will be working directly under that policy are looking it over before it comes to the board.

They will also be discussing the changes to the budgeting process – the goals and the purpose behind the changes in the budgeting – what they are trying to accomplish. It is hoped it will help the board a lot by knowing what the departments' objectives are; what they have accomplished this year and what they hope to accomplish in the next year.

16. Appointments
Ms. Murphy read the list of volunteer openings.

17. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for 5/7/2018 as follow:

General Funds Operating Expenses $39,038.19
Payroll $17,854.95

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $14,170.96
Payroll $11,914.95

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $10,286.35
Payroll $2,225.14

Library Operating Expenses $15,870.67
Payroll $2,312.26

Grants Operating Expenses $5,460.33

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $0.00

Reserves $0.00

Long Term Debt $90,537.65

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $175,364.15
Payroll $34,307.30

Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Mr. Arrison found an error in the coding of an AVFD service that was charged to WWVFD. Ms. Kelly will look into it.
Vote: Unanimous in favor

18. Future Meeting Agenda Items
a. Future Agenda
18.a.i. Fire Services Reimbursement
18.a.ii. HazMat Materials Response
18.a.iii. Budget Calendar
18.a.iv. Approve Use of Library Reserves
b. Next Meeting
18.b.i. Use of the reserves for Center Grove
18.b.ii. Fire Department matrix
18.b.iii. Compensation Plan
18.b.iv. Animal Cruelty Ordinance (cont.)
18.b.v. Next two ordinances to review
18.b.vi. Fire Commission update

19. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Mr. Arrison Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The meeting adjourned at 8:13 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse