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Meeting Recording 1 of 2
Meeting Recording 1of 2
DATE: August 19, 2021
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, A.J. Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: in person: Rebecca Steward, Betty Warner, Susan Davidson
- Speed on Upper Michigan Road – NB#7
- New Town Office desktop computer – NB#8
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: July 15, 2021 Regular Meeting
- US Forest Service – Road Management Report
- VT Natural Resources – EAB Workshops
- Municipal Grants in Aid - Clarification
- VERB Unemployment Benefit Report
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow-up rooster complaint
- Delinquent Dog List
- Recreation Area Capital Plan – Update
- Lister vs Private Assessor – Discussion
- Calendar vs Fiscal Budget – Discussion
- American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – Discussion
- Town Hall Fundraising – Fundraising and Appeal
- Memorial Donation – Mark Begin
- Box Culvert
- Foot Bridge
- Independent Contractor paperwork
- Unemployment Benefit Charges – Discussion
- Health Officer – Recommendations
- Land Records – Online Offering
- Treasurer’s Report – July Financials
- Speed on Upper Michigan Road
- New Town Office desktop computer
NEXT MEETINTG DATE: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:01pm. AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann indicated the Agenda Modifications (see above). Joyce motioned to accept the Minutes of the July 15, 2021 Regular Meeting. AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann took the following out of order to address the public present: OB#1 and OB#4.
- Green Mtn National Forest – Road Management Report. There will be a review of the GMNF Land & Resource Management Plan associated with new information/changed circumstances relative to roads management. This pertains to the harvesting of timber. No action needed.
- VT Natural Resources – EAB Workshops. The workshop regarding the Emerald Ash Borer will be held September 8-9. This information will be forwarded to the Tree Warden.
- Municipal Grants in Aid – Clarification. This correspondence clarifies some points about the VTrans Grants in Aid program.
- VERB Unemployment Benefit Report. This report is for the 2021 1stQuarter unemployment benefits charged to the town. This will be addressed under New Business #3.
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow-up rooster complaint. Ann presented a review of the complaint against the Leimgruber’s rooster. Joyce was to speak with the owners and Rebecca was to submit more documentation. Both were done. Joyce said that she stopped by twice to speak with owners. It was acknowledged that there was occasional improvement in the situation but that there were still times when the noise was bothersome. Susan said that their property isn’t as affected by the noise as much but that the rooster exhibited aggressive behavior towards her on several occasions when she was walking on the road. Discussion. In speaking with the State Police, Rebecca said that she was told that the Select Board was responsible for animal control. Ann explained that the Board only has authority in dealing with dogs because there was an ordinance specifically pertaining to them. Rebecca encouraged the Board to listen to the thumb drive she provided. She said in addition, there are other neighbors who are willing to come forward if necessary and she was also willing to produce a petition that can be signed by residents. AJ offered options, both legally and civilly: 1) Begin work on a proposed noise ordinance, 2) That Rebecca seeks private council, and 3) AJ will set up a formal meeting with the Leimgrubers. Ann made a motion to move on the three steps as mentioned. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
- Delinquent Dog List – update. The Board talked about the delinquent parties and their individual situations. It was decided to have the Town Clerk speak with or obtain copies of the paperwork on these dogs from the towns they are currently registered in. This will be put on the next meeting’s agenda for further discussion.
- Recreation Area Capital Plan – update. There is a new seesaw thanks to Carl Oertel. He submitted his bill for $596.60 ($254.60 for materials and $342.00 for labor.) Ann moved to approve payment. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
- Lister vs Private Assessor – Discussion. Ann explained what has been done since the last meeting regarding this. Joyce said she spoke with one company but because of the software we use, they wouldn’t take on our town. She said she spoke with Rick Favor who is the assessor for the Town of Granville and went on to explain what his job entails. There was discussion as to whether a town needs Listers if they hire an assessor. It was suggested that the Listers meet with Rick Favor to discuss what responsibilities he would have for Pittsfield. Betty will get in touch with Rick regarding a meeting.
Dependent on that, it may be brought before the public at a future special town meeting. This topic will be placed on the next meeting’s agenda for further discussion.
- Calendar vs Fiscal Budget – Discussion. Ann said that she reached out to VLCT and had a discussion with Trish. Discussion. The Board and Town Treasurer are leaning towards warning a special town meeting in December or January to place an article to vote on changing the budget year to start on July 1stand propose a six month (January 1 to June 30th) interim budget for voter approval. Then at the regular town meeting in March propose a full year budget to begin July 1. It was agreed that budget meetings would need to be started earlier in the fall to determine both budgets . Ann said she would draft an email to the various departments requesting their capital budgets. These figures would be needed to include in the Select Board’s discussions. Ann will work with Trish to prepare a budget meeting “timeline.” There was also concern about the timing of the tax bills and whether they should be split into more payments than the current two.
- American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – Discussion. The money has been received ($29,371) and placed in a separate fund until it’s decided how to disburse it. It doesn’t need to be allocated until 2024 but must be spent by 2026. Joyce suggested not doing anything with it for six months until the State determine what can be considered, etc. Various possibilities that the funds could be used for were discussed. It was also suggested that the public have a say in how the money could be utilized.
- Town Hall Fundraising – Fundraising and Appeal. Ann read a copy of the resolution. AJ made a motion to accept the resolution. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. In addition, the Building Committee would like to extend the appeal to all residents, not just the non-residents. This was agreed to by the Board. Ann also said that they received direct approval from Sandy to name the fund The Arthur “Mark” Begin Town Hall Fund.
- Memorial Donation – Mark Begin. Ann moved to have the Town donate $100 to the Arthur “Mark” Begin Town Hall Fund. AJ seconded. All in favor.
- Box Culvert – update. Ann said that she and George are meeting with Champlain Construction tomorrow.
- Foot Bridge – The cost is $4,460.00. The includes Blow & Cote bringing it in, installing it, adding guardrails, and removing it. This bill will be submitted to FEMA. The Town’s portion will be 7.5% with Federal and State reimbursements covering the rest. Ann motioned to approve. AJ seconded. All in favor.
- Signage – Dave Manning is allowing cars to park on his property during this work, but has requested that signs be posted stating “Local Resident Parking Only.” Ann said that she has put in an order for signs to be placed on either side of the work area. The cost came to $59.75. Joyce moved to approve this expenditure. AJ seconded. Motion passed. Parking passes will be obtained and provided to each household involved.
- Independent Contractor paperwork – This paperwork is for the company of Blow & Cote. AJ motioned to approve. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
- Unemployment Benefit Charges – Discussion. The Town has been paying benefits for a former employee. Ann questioned whether the original claim should be questioned. Joyce said that there is usually a period where this can be done, and we may have exceeded that period. Debate as to whether benefits are available is the employee quits or is fired. Trish will be asked to follow up and obtain more information.
- Health Officer – Recommendations. Rebecca Steward currently holds the position which expires on September 30th. She was asked if she would accept a re-appointment. She said she would. Ann said she would complete and submit the paperwork to the State.
- Land Records – Online Offering. The Board received notification from Louis stating the Town Clerk would like to offer online searching of land records. They would like to contract with NEMRC to provide this service to the public. Discussion. The startup cost would be $2,000.00 followed by a yearly hosting and support fee of $1,200.00. Fees collected by those using this service should cover the cost of the subscription. The fees would be the same as if the person was in person in the office. Ann moved to approve the Assistant Town Clerk’s request to purchase this service and asked that NEMRC send a contract. AJ seconded. All in favor.
- Treasurer’s Report – July Financials. AJ had a question, which was answered. Ann moved to accept. AJ seconded. All in favor.
- Speed on Upper Michigan Road. Joyce said that Second Constable Doug Mianulli has received numerous complaints regarding drivers speeding more than the 25-mph limit and it’s becoming an issue. Doug has offered to monitor the problem on Fridays and Saturdays in an official capacity and monitor the vehicles speed. The Board was in favor of this. A notice will be posted on the Town’s social media explaining this.
- New Town Office desktop computer. Saguaro Technologies has submitted a quote for a new desktop computer for the Town Clerk. The quote comes to $1,315.98. The laptop she currently has will be passed to George to replace his 13yo laptop. Joyce moved to accept this quote and purchase the computer. Ann seconded. All in favor.
OTHER BUSINESS: Ann reported that the Tax Sale was a success and that all the properties were sold. The results are as follows:
- Forsha Road (Madr property) sold for $15,500.00. The minimum bid was $2,381.27.
- Cahill Road (Lothrop property) sold for $2,351.00, the minimum bid.
- Cahill Road (Watkins property) sold for $10,802.35, the minimum bid.
- Hawk Mtn Road (Tiffany property) sold for $10,000.00. The minimum bid was $8,664.17.
- BHH Associates (The Commons) sold for $3,263.38, the minimum bid.
NEXT MEETINTG DATE: Thursday, September 2, 2021. The regular meeting schedule will resume in September.
As there was no further business to discuss, Ann moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:23pm. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben