Brandon Select Board Meeting
October 8, 2012
NOTE: These are unapproved minutes, subject to amendment and/or approval at the subsequent board meeting.
In Attendance: Devon Fuller, Richard Baker, Dave Atherton, Ethan Swift, Mitch Pearl
Also in Attendance: Keith Arlund, Chris Brickell, Blaine Cliver, Kathy Rausenberger, Wayne Rausenberger, Lee Kahrs, Nancy Meffe, Gary Meffe, Bernie Carr, Allan Leavitt, Charlie Rivers, Dick Kirby, Stephen Beck, Tina Wiles, Anne Bransfield, Dolores Furnari, Jim Leary, Phil Picotte
1. Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM by Devon Fuller, Chair.
a) Agenda Adoption – Motion by Ethan Swift/Richard Baker to adopt the agenda as presented. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.
2. Consent Agenda
a) Approval of Minutes – September 24, 2012 – Select Board
Motion by Richard Baker/Ethan Swift to approve the minutes of the September 24, 2012 Select Board Meeting with the following corrections. The motion passed. Mitch Pearl abstained from the voting.
A correction from the word petition to partition in a couple of areas and the addition of Olya Hopkins name to the attendees present.
b) Consider Appointment of Board Member to Union Negotiation Team
Keith Arlund reported there will be a meeting on October 17th at 4:00PM at the Rescue Squad building to go over the ground rules for the renegotiation of the contract. The union members have representatives and in the past, Richard Baker, Chief Brickell and he have been on the Negotiation Team. During the ground rule meeting; a meeting schedule for the negotiations will be developed. The contract is on a second one-year extension from the previous 3-year agreement. Mr. Arlund stated the Negotiation Team usually has a board member. Richard Baker agreed to participate in the negotiation process and also suggested that another Board member participate.
a) Warrant (Postage) – October 5, 2012 – $2,000.00
Motion by Richard Baker/Mitch Pearl to approve the warrant of October 5, 2012 in the amount of $2,000.00 for postage. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.
b) Warrant – October 8, 2012 – $45,800.11
Motion by Ethan Swift/Mitch Pearl to approve the warrants of October 8, 2012 in the amount of $45,800.11. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.
Ethan Swift questioned the wastewater invoice for the Fire District. Mr. Arlund reported this is the account that the town has historically been charging the water bill to. It was noted the usage appears high and Mr. Arlund advised that this district does use a lot of water. Ethan Swift questioned the invoice to Comcast for office equipment and Mr. Arlund reported this is the telephone system that is in place at the fire station. Mr. Swift also questioned the invoice noted under Bridge 114 emergency funds. Mr. Arlund advised this was contractual work for emergency repairs to the bridge after the storm.
Devon Fuller questioned the invoice for $4011.00 for lighting. Kathy Rausenberger stated this was the lighting in the town hall and the Town Hall Committee provided the funds to the town to pay the invoice. Mr. Fuller questioned the charge for heating oil for the town office. Mr. Arlund advised the thermostat is set very low to avoid pipes freezing during cold weather.
b) Consider Russell Graphics Contract
Keith Arlund noted the Board has a document from Mr. Russell that provides an explanation for the questions Mr. Swift had. Ethan Swift stated this answers his questions, noting there is an additional expense to transfer the files from AutoCAD. Mr. Swift asked Ms. Wiles if the polygon shape files would be useful to her. Tina Wiles stated the Regional Planning Office currently has the work that Mr. Russell has done. Ms. Wiles stated the town’s GIS files are ancient and she has been using the information from the Regional Planning Commission to do overlays of the districts and wetlands. Mr. Swift stated if she continues to use the program, it would be beneficial to have the most up-to-date information as possible. Keith Arlund advised he has authorized Mr. Russell to move forward, since the town’s iteration is old and the town is looking into upgrading the local program. Ms. Wiles also noted the computer and program are old and she uses it every day. Ethan Swift stated the town should upgrade the platform to be able to run efficiently. Mr. Baker advised a motion is in order to approve the base contract going forward.
Motion by Ethan Swift/Richard Baker to approve the base contract for Russell Graphics. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.
4. Scheduled Reports from Committees and Officials
. Floodplain Manager Report (Tina Wiles)
Tina Wiles reported there is a second round of hazard mitigation grants with application due by November 2nd. Ms. Wiles has 5 properties that she intends to submit for buyout for demotion or acquisition. She will also be submitting for flood proofing of the town office. Ms. Wiles has attended a couple of emergency preparedness workshops and because of the work the town has done on hazard mitigation, the town is getting closer to obtaining a community rating system that will reduce flood insurance rates. From implementing the Orange Book and developing the Fluvial Erosion Bylaws, this has benefited the town by increasing the state percentage to 17.5% of the 25% for the grants. This will enhance the amount of money received and will leave the town with a 7.5% match.
. Consider Brandon Annex of Rutland Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Brandon Hazard Mitigation Plan was written in 2004 and adopted by the town with upgrades in 2009 and has been back and forth to FEMA. In order for this plan to become effective, it has to meet FEMA’s criteria. Phil Picotte from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission indicated two weeks ago, FEMA gave conditional approval assuming it is adopted by the Select Board. Mr. Picotte provided the Board the 2011 version vs. the one that they were asked to adopt. Ethan Swift found a number of errors in some of the references, such as Furnace Brook rather than the Neshobe River. Mr. Swift questioned whether the Board should adopt something that is so inaccurate. Mr. Picotte noted this document reflects 10 years of changing it. There is the option of not adopting it and Ms. Wiles and he will revise the document and submit back to FEMA, however, this could delay the existing grant by months. There is also the option to adopt the plan as stated to allow the grant to move forward, and then correct the document and submit it back to FEMA for revision. Mitch Pearl asked what the process is for correcting the document. Mr. Picotte stated historically it has taken 3 to 4 months for the revisions to be processed through FEMA and there is no risk in the Select Board approving the current plan from FEMA’s perspective, as they have approved this version. Mr. Picotte suggested the Select Board adopt this version this evening, after which Ms. Wiles and he will address the errors and resubmit it for correction, which will allow for the grant to move forward. Richard Baker was perplexed by the town indicating the town office should not be over the river and the Select Board is considering a grant application to that effect. Ms. Wiles noted she is not the decision-maker and is moving forward by direction of the Select Board, but it is not her recommendation to move the town office back to this location. Devon Fuller noted this building is town property and has to be repaired and Ms. Wiles’ recommendation for flood proofing should go forward. Mr. Fuller stated the town could possibly receive FEMA funds and whether the town offices move back to this location or not, it should be flood-proved and the town should move forward with the recommendation. Mitch Pearl noted there is not a need to get into a debate regarding the town office location as the Select Board is just being asked to adopt an annex to the Mitigation Plan. Mr. Fuller questioned whether there are any legal ramifications to adopting a document with known errors. Mr. Picotte again recommended adopting the current version to allow the grant application to move along and submitting corrections at a later date. Mr. Baker noted this is more than minor errors when the town is restoring or flood-proofing a building that the town should not be in. Ethan Swift reiterated he found significantly more errors than semantics and if the Select Board is not in agreement with flood proofing the town office, he does not feel it should go forward. Ms. Wiles questioned why there is concern in approving this document when the Select Board knows they are moving in that direction. She stated the grant is not the town office and she has not applied for that grant yet. Ms. Wiles would hate to have to wait another 18 months in having to resubmit revisions. Ms. Wiles stated the November 2nd application would not be affected by this document, but the Wheeler Road funds would be affected if the document is not approved. Mr. Picotte noted this iteration has gone back to FEMA three or four times and he noted it was his fault that he did not keep the Select Board in the loop. Ethan Swift stated it is unfortunate the Select Board did not have an opportunity to work on the revision.
Devon Fuller questioned whether the Wheeler Road property will have to be voted on. Mr. Arlund stated VLCT is researching if the town receives enough funds to cover this buyout whether it would be required to be brought before the voters. There has been conflicting information on this subject and no definitive answer has been received as to whether it needs to be brought before the voters. Tina Wiles stated the buyout qualifies for the CDBG grant and the town is in the mix to receive those funds. If all of those items come into play, there would be no reason to have a vote.
Ms. Wiles stated if the Board is amenable to the modifications being made at a later date, she suggested sending the changes to Phil Picotte at the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to do the revision. Mr. Picotte stated before submitting the revised document to FEMA, he will bring it back to the Select Board for final review. Mr. Baker noted this is a less than perfect document; however, he will make a motion in order to move forward with the Wheeler Road property.
Motion by Richard Baker/Mitch Pearl to approve the Brandon Annex of Rutland Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The motion passed with one “No” vote by Ethan Swift.
5. Town Manager’s Report
Keith Arlund reported the estimator has completed the basic estimate for the town office and has met with the design team. He will revise based on the categorization of the work items. Mr. Beck and the estimator filed the Historic Preservation grant application and he is working with Ms. Wiles regarding flood-proofing and there is potential for FEMA mitigation grants. Mr. Arlund has met with the FEMA assistant and measures are being taken to utilize FEMA funding where possible. Devon Fuller asked if applying for the FEMA grant will affect the Historic Preservation grant and Mr. Arlund advised that it would not. Ethan Swift asked if there has been any insurance reimbursement and Mr. Arlund advised this has not been identified yet. Mr. Arlund stated there is some repointing involved and there may be some other adjustments to the first floor that could accommodate flood-proofing and perhaps the interior work could be covered. The town has a level of insurance coverage and anything above that will be similar to the Champlain Street pump station where the repairs were paid and FEMA provided some mitigation. They are likely to fund damages in the $20,000.00 range. If money is available, efforts will be made to get that money for the first floor. Tina Wiles stated flood proofing estimates need to be obtained before the November deadline.
Keith Arlund reported Brian Sanderson met with Markowski concerning the correction of the drainage on Maple Street that will include doing shimming and repaving. It is hoped that this repair will be done soon. Tina Wiles has filed for a Safer Routes to School grant. As a follow-up, the VTrans enhancement funding is on hold to do updates to meet the new federal funding law. The projects under this program are Segment 6, Bridge 114, the Maple/Union Street project and Churchill Bridge. Mr. Arlund spoke with Dave Holbrook of VAST regarding the Churchill truss bridge and he advised they would like the bridge, however, they do not have the means to remove it. Mr. Arlund stated the town should move forward with retimbering for bicycles and pedestrians. As an update on infrastructure, Mr. Arlund and Brian Sanderson met with the FEMA appeals representative on Briggs Lane and Kennedy Park and amendments will be submitted for the retaining wall to the parking lot in Kennedy Park. They also discussed the FEMA portion of Briggs Lane and the work competed by Markowski will be added to the FEMA claim, which will be an $18,000.00 amendment. Mr. Arlund and Brian Sanderson also met with four contractors regarding the Green Park, with bids due back to the town by October 17th. Relative to Segment 6, Mr. Arlund noted the additional funding and amendment to the cooperative agreement was approved and VTrans is working on the formal document. Based on approval, Mr. Arlund authorized VHB and CLD to proceed with work on the water line. Based on discussions between CLD and VHB, CLD is revising the scope of work on Bridge 114. With regard to a 4-way stop on Park Street, the traffic studies were received and it has been suggested that the town use this information as the basis for an engineering study to determine whether the 4-way stop is warranted. Mr. Arlund will ask CLD to look into this item. Jim Carroll met with Brian Sanderson to review the Poirier property on Briggs Lane and he will provide a recommendation on how to proceed.
Devon Fuller asked Mr. Arlund about the conference call regarding Bridge 114. Mr. Arlund reported there was a conference call between VTrans, VHB, CLD and the town. The town will be going back to CLD for a revision on the scope of work. Mr. Arlund has relayed the concerns with the VHB and he received an email today. Richard Baker stated this needs to be adjusted in several locations in Annex B.
6. Public Works Report
. Consider Discontinuation of Winter Maintenance on Mill Lane
Keith Arlund stated for the record, letters were mailed to the property owners along Mill Lane and he had received one call from Mr. Blake.
Sully, owner of Patricia’s Restaurant, stated there are four businesses that have 15 cars that need to be parked in the back and a residence at the end of the road. He stated it is 50 yards and he does not see that this is going to save the town much money. Devon Fuller stated there are private driveways the town has been providing winter maintenance and research is being done by the Public Works Director on this subject. Sully stated the town plows for Café Provence and he is protesting discontinuing the plowing of the road. It was noted that the area near Café Provence is a municipal parking lot. Dave Atherton asked if Mill Lane is a town road. Keith Arlund stated Mill Lane is currently carried as a Class 4 town highway, but there has not been any specific information found on the layout of the road. Richard Baker stated he has found no evidence in the town records back to the 1800’s that it is a town road. Dave Atherton stated the Board needs to stand behind the Public Works Director’s recommendation.
7. Town Infrastructure
. Town Office
Discussion was held during the Town Manager’s Report.
8. Citizen’s Public Forum
Wayne Rausenberger asked about the ASR 7 and 8. Keith Arlund stated information has been received that the town has been approved for the additional funding and the cooperative agreement is being drafted now.
Bernie Carr suggested advising the owners of Mill Lane that the road is not going to be plowed this winter. Keith Arlund noted he will send a follow-on letter to the owners.
9. Old/Other Business
Ethan Swift reported Keith Arlund, Brian Sanderson and he met with the state rep from the storm water program. The meeting included a review of the survey completed on the storm water infrastructure to determine if there are any illicit discharges. Mr. Swift advised there are a couple of minor issues with storm water drainage, however, there were no significant issues with regard to the sanitary system. Keith Arlund advised that Stone Environmentalists are working on Phase II and they will contact the town if they find anything from Mr. Pease’s work. There were a couple of storm water issues that could be considered with the infrastructure upgrades.
Richard Baker stated it is getting close to budget season and questioned when the Board will be receiving information. Keith Arlund stated the staff will begin their budget drafts and he will provide information to the Board as soon as possible. Richard Baker stated the Board meeting scheduled for December 10th will need to be held at a different location due to Moonlight Madness and the Brandon Rescue Squad should be contacted to determine if their space is available.
Devon Fuller received a request from Neshobe School’s principal, Judi Pulsifer, questioning whether the town is agreeable with closing the road for the Halloween Parade this year. The school plans to process through town in the normal manner and pose for a picture in front of the town hall. Chief Brickell noted he has no objection to the parade. Mr. Fuller reported the Mosquito District and area legislators held a meeting on October 4th to discuss what can be done to assist with the mosquito problem going forward. Mr. Fuller thanked the members of the Mosquito District for their efforts, as they continue to work with the state to improve the program.
Motion by Mitch Pearl/Ethan Swift to enter into executive session at 8:04PM for the purpose of discussing personnel matters. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.
10. Possible Executive Session – Personnel
The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:59PM. There were no actions required.
Motion by Ethan Swift/Mitch Pearl to adjourn the Select Board meeting at 9:00PM. The motion passed unanimously – 4 to zero.