Date: November 19, 2020
To listen to a recording of the meeting please click-https://fccdl.in/uRqARjIuOk?st=3672
Present:(virtually) Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, Mona Colton
Public Present: (virtually) Trish Fryer, Brian Davis, Jeff Jamele
Agenda Modifications: NB#6: 2020 Liquor License from The Original General Store for approval. Ann made a motion to add. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
Minutes Approval: Regular Meeting October 15, 2020. Joyce made a motion to approve. Seconded by Mona. All in favor.
1. Historic Building Tax Credits
2. Municipal Roads General Permit Inventory
1. Delinquent Dog update
2. Seugling follow-up
3. Sand Shed Update
4. Box Culvert Update
1. Town Clerk’s Office – closure
2. Town Network – cyber security
3. Town Hall Contractor invoice approval
4. Town Meeting
5. Treasurer’s October financial reports
6. Liquor License – The Original General Store
Next Meeting Date: Special Budget Meeting Tuesday, November 24, 2020 5pm
Ann motioned to call the meeting to order at 6:03pm. Mona seconded. All in favor. Ann also made a motion to take NB2 Town Network Cyber Security out of order. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
2. Town Network – cyber security.
Ann introduced Brian Davis and Jeff Jamele from Saguaro Technologies in West Lebanon, N.H. At the Town’s request they submitted a proposal to review the security of the Town’s computer network and offer IT solutions to strengthen protections against ransomware or malware. The discussion was to get a better understanding of what they can offer the Town. Brian proceeded to explain what the company would do to move the Town’s computers to the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud. Their goal would be to ensure consistent policies and backups with control access if needed. He went over their procedures for authentication, restoring data if needed, encrypted backups, what programs would be included, and support. It was noted that they currently do not service any other municipalities. Brian and Jeff were thanked for participating in tonight’s meeting. The Board will review and consider their proposal.
Ann said that she has also reached out to three other vendors recommended by VLCT. She said that she has also spoken with Carrie Flanagan, a representative for Symquest, which is an IT firm based in Burlington that provides services in eight locations throughout VT, NY, NH, and Maine. She currently has three municipal clients and has experience with NEMRC. She recommended taking a tiered approach as opposed to doing everything at once, with initial emphasis on defender programs/cyber security platforms that work best with our current network and may also already be in place. She will be sending information and suggested holding a Zoom meeting for further discussion. Then the Board could best determine the levels of support that might be needed. This subject will be addressed when more information is available.
1. Historic Building Tax Credits. This email from Caitlyn Corkin with the State Agency for Community Planning advises that applications for applying for historic building tax credits is due January 13, 2021. Since local governments are prohibited from applying for this, Ann suggested forwarding this to the Planning Commission who may want to let the new owners of the Casa Bella Inn or other developers of older buildings know about this program. No further action.
2. Municipal Roads General Permit Inventory. This is a reminder that Pittsfield must perform Road Erosion Inventories for all roads with well used drainage ditches by December 31, 2020. The application fee of $240 must accompany the inventory. George has performed this over the last few years. Ann made a motion to approve the payment of this fee. Seconded by Joyce. All were in favor.
Old Business –
1. Delinquent Dog update. Joyce has sent letters to the two owners of three dogs requesting they license their animals. One was returned. The new dog ordinance does not go into effect until December 15th. There was discussion as to whether they should try and obtain a correct address or advise the owner of the new ordinance. It was felt that enough time had been spent on this, so it was decided to table for now.
2. Seugling follow up. Ann reviewed what the issue was and whether a change in policy should be made. It was decided to keep the currently policy and let the decision to deny abatement stand. No further action.
3. Sand Shed update. Dubois and King Engineering has completed the 85% design plans for the project which includes the opinion of what construction costs are likely to be. Since construction costs are likely to go up, VTrans is now suggesting that the Town apply for additional grant money
to offset this additional cost. TRORC, our Municipal Project Manager, has recommended we apply for an additional $72,311.00. The due date for the application is November 27th. Currently the Town has around $110,000.00 in the reserve fund. Ann made a motion to approve going forward
with an application for a grant for $72,311.00 to cover the increase. Mona seconded. The motion passed.
4. Box Culvert update. Ann said that she had a long discussion with George about the Board’s concerns about not getting FEMA money and paying out funds for work ahead of construction. A decision on whether to grant the Town $188,000 in funding is stalled until FEMA receives the final design plans. Even if they were submitted today, the public comment period for the various departments would take about a month. George said that in all the years the Town has submitted requests for disaster funding, we have never been turned down. In addition, the Town has signed a contract with Champlain Construction for $141,000 and they will hold to that price even though construction will not take place until at least July 2021. It is George’s opinion that if the Town does not move forward with this project, the State has the authority to withhold monies we currently receive for highway maintenance. Michie, the box culvert manufacturer, is working on the designs and will forward them to us as soon as they are complete. This will jumpstart the FEMA review and then the Town can go forward with the Federal Army Corps of Engineers permit. When that happens, Ann suggested the town pay the $5,500 invoice for design. The Board will wait on this for now.
1. Town Clerk’s Office. Considering the Governor’s executive order and the rising number of COVID
cases, Trish, as well as other Town Clerks, has decided to go back to restricting access to the office.
That means that the door to the Office will be locked and all essential research work, etc., will be
done by appointment only with only one individual in the office at any one time. Town business
will be conducted as much as possible by phone or email. The mask mandate will remain in effect.
The Board wanted this put on the record.
2. Town Hall Contractor. The Town Hall Building Committee has decided after receiving and
reviewing cost estimates for the concrete work to install the columns for the new flooring support
system to see if the size of the footings could be reduced from 5.5 sq. ft in an effort to reduce
costs. To do that, they would have to hire someone to cut a test hole in the slab of the basement
to see what’s underneath. David McKenzie charged $150 for that job and the committee is asking
the Board to approve paying his invoice. Mona made a motion to approve the payment of the
invoice. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. The payment will come from the Reserve Fund.
3. Town Meeting. Ann said that some thought needs to be given as to where and how to hold Town
Meeting next March 2, 2021. At present, there are two options to meet current COVID
· The first is to meet as usual with floor debate, however we would need to limit the number of voters who can attend based on fire safety capacity of the location, the number of people per square feet, and the maximum number of people allowed indoors. In addition, floor voting cannot be held remotely, so utilizing several different venues would not be an option.
· The second option is to adopt Australian Ballot rules. The legislature has given local legislative bodies the authority to adopt the Australian ballot system for Town Meeting. An informational hearing held by the Select Board on the Warrant and Articles will still need to be held, but it can be done electronically at least ten days in advance of voting day. This option presents the additional problem of making sure that everyone can listen to see the presentation and have an opportunity to be heard and ask questions. Nominations for public offices cannot come from the floor, so people who want to run for any office vacancy, will have to put their name on the ballot and then the ballots would need to be printed and sent out to offer mail-in voting. On election day, Tricia would need election officials to run the poll. The Board felt that the second option was the only viable one. The signature requirements
for putting a name on the ballot would be waived and there is paperwork that the candidate would need to complete. Ann suggested rescheduling this decision to the next regular Board meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2020. In the meantime, Trish will be consulted regarding the election process.
5. October Financials. This was tabled to the next regular meeting.
6. Liquor License Renewal. This renewal is for The Original General Store and is late. It is also
for their tobacco license renewal. Ann made a motion to sign the application. Seconded by
Joyce. All were in favor.
The next special budget meetings of the Select Board will be held on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 and Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 5pm. The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held at 6pm on Thursday, December 3, 2020 following the budget meeting.
As there was no further business before the Board, Ann made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:19pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: December 3, 2020
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens Mona Colton