“To listen to a recording of the meeting please click here”: https://fccdl.in/aUNA48u36J
DATE: May 6, 2021
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, A.J. Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: State Rep. Kirk White (virtually), Betty Warner
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: Delinquent Tax Properties – Follow up – OB#6
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April 15, 2021 Regular Meeting
- VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force – re: Fire Suppression Grants Notice
- Village Center Tax Credit Notice
- TRORC Energy Progress Report
- Rep. White – Legislative Update
- Town Office – Security Locks
- Library – Wi-Fi Extension
- Public Meeting – Recording Procedures
- Dogs – license penalty letters
- Delinquent Tax Properties – Follow up
- TRORC – Energy Progress Report
- Cemetery – Project Update
- Mascoma Disaster Loan Note
- 2021 Projects – Town Office Painting, Recreation Area
NEST MEETING DATE: May 20, 2021
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. Joyce seconded, all in favor. A.J. motioned to approve the Minutes of the April 15, 2021 Regular Meeting. Joyce seconded, all in favor.
- VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force – re: Fire Suppression Grants Notice. This information will be forwarded to David Colton, Fire Chief.
- Village Center Tax Credit Notice. The application for this tax credit is now available for businesses and the deadline for applying is July 1, 2021. Sarah Gallagher had put together a business directory and Ann thought that this grant information should be forwarded to her to perhaps forward to businesses in the Village Center.
- TRORC Energy Progress Report. TRORC helped communities in 2016. Ann noted that this is the first follow up report she has seen. This will be discussed under NB#1.
- State Rep. White – Legislative Update. Rep. White began by saying that the Legislature has mostly finished up work on bills. Some of the bills worked on include a ban on PFASs, a toxic chemical found in just about everything; Emergency Service Provider Wellness Commission; a study of literary and learning loss from COVID-19; DMV Bill; capital bill for construction on State properties; how to have the Legislature and State workers return to in-person and observe COVID protocols and allow enough space when the room is designed to be tight-fitting, etc. The Legislature hopes to end their session May 22nd. There are bills involving money that he hopes get through so that they can be disbursed into the communities. Ann asked about the Governor’s proposal to spend Coronavirus Relief Fund recovery money over four years. Rep. White said there are several proposals out there. He hopes it will get through the Senate. Joyce asked about the ban on PFASs and if there will be a cost to everyone down the line to get rid of everything or some remediation money to help cover the costs. Rep. White said the focus at this point is to stop its usage. Ann asked how much money is in the Better Places Grant. He felt $5,000 to $50,000 per municipality was available. It’s a matching grant and has restrictions. Its goal is to involve the whole community, not just one or two people. Rep. White said he will plan to attend the June Select Board meeting and provide a wrap up of news of the Legislature. He was thanked for attending tonight’s meeting.
- Town Office – Security Locks. Estimates were obtained for changing some of the door locks. The first was $830.60 and the second was for fewer locks $680.60. Trish had been asked who had keys to the outside door and Ann presented a listing. It was noted that the outside locks have not been changed since 2013. The Board discussed alternative ways of resolving the issue without spending hundreds of dollars. A.J. felt the goal should be to put a lock on the basement door for the Historical Society and disable the lock on the vault. A.J. made a motion that Joyce investigate the cost of buying one computerized lock for the Historical Society door and buying a regular old-fashioned knob for the stairway door and if less than a few hundred dollars, the board would authorize the purchase and get someone local to put it in. Joyce seconded. All in favor. It was suggested Carl Oertel be contacted about plugging the holes in the vault door to prevent the door from locking.
- Library – Wi-Fi Extension. Betty said that the Library would like to have the Board’s permission to install devices over the front door. It’s hoped the Wi-Fi would extend 100’ and hopefully extend enough to cover the whole Green. The gazebo’s power is always on and not on a timer. The device would work more as a repeater. The subject of potential vandalism has not been considered. It is hoped the device can be installed high enough to be a deterrent. The Library would be deploying a public Wi-Fi and certain restrictions will be in place which will limit liability. The same software will not allow certain programs, such as Netflix or YouTube. The software can generate alerts if any issues arise. Saguaro Technologies will monitor this. There was discussion and questions between Betty and the Board about how this will work. The Library will publicly announce this service when available. Joyce made a motion to allow the installation of devices on the Town Office Building and Gazebo. A.J. seconded the motion. All were in favor.
- Public Meeting – Recording Procedures. The Board will continue with post pandemic protocols and continue recording and providing remote access for the public. Brian with Saguaro Technologies will be contacted about what device to purchase that would have limited programs and Bluetooth speakers. It will be kept in the Town Office in a locked area and available to all groups that function under the Open Meeting Law. The Secretary of each group would be responsible for setting it up for each meeting and they will be provided with operating instructions. There was discussion about how to link recordings and having them be available on the Town’s website. When everything is in place, a protocol will be made. The Board will discuss this further at the next meeting.
- Dogs – license penalty letters. Trish has sent out the penalty letters to those who are still unregistered. Ann made a motion to accept the letters as written and sent. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
- Delinquent Tax Properties – Follow up. Ann said she reached out to Janice Stumpf, the Delinquent Tax Collector for an update as the attorney has been paid. Janice said she needs to speak with the attorney again. Tax sale notices are being sent out to three more taxpayers. She said she will do as the attorney suggests.
- TRORC – Energy Progress Report. Ann mentioned that the Town has signed a Tri Town Energy Agreement several months ago. TRORC organized a committee which is being chaired by Jeff Gephardt. He is responsible for contacting the town representatives about meetings, etc. He indicated that he was unable to reach either Matt Corron or Joyce Stevens about their recent meeting. Ann noted that there will be ARPA money available to towns for energy audits, electric car charging stations, weatherization, solar, etc. The Board discussed the possibility of charging stations and their impact on people using local businesses which waiting for their vehicles.
- Cemetery – Project Update. Ann said that George sent out bid requests yesterday to Markowski and Moshers. He already had one from Harveys. The work is to be done between July and August 31st(even though it can be as late as October 1st).
- Mascoma Disaster Loan Note. Ann noted that there is a discrepancy between what Town Report has for a payback amount and the amount of the check approved in orders. She would like to see that reconciled. Joyce said she would speak with Trish about reconciling the loan balance. The loan was renewed last year but Ann would like to see what Mascoma Bank has for numbers and if the Town renegotiates for a lesser amount would that reduce the interest rate. Ann motioned to have the figures verified and once reconciled, the Board will sign. A.J. seconded. All in favor.
- 2021 Projects – Town Office Painting, Recreation Area. A bid came in from Don Marshall to prep and paint --------- for $3,350.00. One window has a rotted sill and Carl Oertel will be asked to look at it. Vision Builders, located in the former Casa Bella Inn, will be asked for an estimate on the project as well. The Board discussed whether there is the possibility of a grant for open spaces where perhaps a fitness trail, walking trail, bike trail, etc. could be constructed. This would also be available for use by the Library for some of their activities. They also discussed what needs to be done to the basketball court and come up with a plan.
NEXT MEETING DATE: The next meeting will be Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 6pm in the basement of the Town Office Building.
As there was no further business to discuss, Ann motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:28pm. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
s/Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: May 20, 2021
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben