“To listen to a recording of the meeting please click here:” https://bit.ly/3kyRIzT
DATE: September 16, 2021
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, AJ Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: George Deblon, Betty Warner, Gary Stumpf, Rebecca Steward, Carl Oertel, David Larkin, Sandy Begin; (via Teams: Susan Olsen representing Robert Leitch, Bret Yates from The Mountain Times)
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: Steward Noise Complaint – OB#7; USDA Disaster Resilience Resource Guide – C#3
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September 2, 2021, Regular Meeting
1.Rural Business Development Grants
2.Czaplicki Communication on Upper Michigan Road Culvert
3.USDA’s Disaster Resiliency & Recovery Resources Guide.
1.Lister vs Private Assessor – Discussion
2.Budget Schedule – Finalize
3.Box Culvert Project – Update
4.Land Records Online – Update
5.Sand Shed Grant Application –
6.Town Hall Projects – Update
7.Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow up rooster complaint
1.Citizen Concern/Complaint – Forsha Road work
2.August Financials – Treasurer’s Report
NEXT MEETING DATE: Budget MeetingSeptember 22, 2021 @5:00pm
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:01pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann noted the Agenda Modifications (see above). Joyce seconded to accept. All in favor. Joyce moved to accept the Minutes of the September 2, 2021, Regular Meeting. Ann seconded. All in favor. Due to public present, the following items were taken out of order: NB#1, C#2, OB#7, and OB#1.
1. Rural Business Development Grants. Funding in Vermont through this grant totaled $1,990,562 in fiscal year 2021. The grant is designed to assist small rural business with technical assistance and training. No action.
2. Czaplicki Communication on Upper Michigan Road Culvert. An email was received stating that the culvert at the intersection of Dagg Road and Upper Michigan Road has been damaged by trucks backing into the road to turn around. Ann said she spoke with Champlain Construction. George said the culvert will need to be replaced by winter.
3. USDA’s Disaster Resiliency & Recovery Resources Guide. This guide is available to help Towns navigate federal programs that can help communities build back from hard times.
1. Lister vs Private Assessor – Discussion. Ann said she contacted VLCT about a list of assessors and was referred to PVR. Betty said she spoke with Ed at NEMRC and because Pittsfield does not issue any type of building permit, said he would not accept any assessing job that does not have permitting, it was felt that permitting was something that should be discussed in the future but now was not the time.
2. Budget Schedule – Finalize. Ann presented a handout with the dates of the budget meetings and other dates and deadlines. Joyce said she would like to see bank statements from various organizations that do fundraising, etc. The Board agreed that they would like to see what these groups have as these funds are also considered Town money. The first budget meeting is next week.
3. Box Culvert Project – Update. Ann said that the project has been completed and the road was reopened last Friday. Final inspections have taken place and Ann said she took care of the paperwork. A section of the old culvert was removed by Champlain Construction and the Board wants to know where it went as it is considered Town property and nothing in the contract addressed its disposal. Ann is waiting to hear more from Champlain Construction as to where it is and when they can get it back. Dave Manning has requested that the trees that were removed be replaced. It was noted that the trees were not actually on Dave’s property and their removal was part of the project. It was agreed that the cost of new trees could not be submitted to FEMA. The discussion on trees was tabled to the next meeting. AJ moved to table, seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
4. Land Records Online – Update. It was noted that this project had already been approved by the Board but with the new pricing information, etc. received from Adam Saunders at NEMRC. The Board wants to know now what the annual cost would be and how much the Town would gain from moving forward with this project. In addition, the Board wants to know how far back will scanned records go and how long will it take to scan? More information will be requested from the Town Office.
5. Sand Shed Grant Application – The newest figures were reviewed for this project. Ann said she felt that if the grant was received, no further money would need to be requested from the voters. Ann moved to accept the Municipal Project Manager’s application and have him submit it by the October 1stdeadline. Seconded by AJ. All in favor.
6. Town Hall Projects – Update. Ann said the floor system is in and the water mitigation issue is finished. She noted that the latter became more involved that originally planned.
The appeal letter has drawn in $5,955.00 so far. She would like to see the names of the contributors on the website as well as in the Town Report.
7. Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow up rooster complaint. Rebecca sent a letter to the Board indicating that she found a private mediator and what his name, hours, and fees were. It seems that Bill has disregarded the request to keep the rooster quiet until 7am. Ann asked Rebecca what she would like the Town to do. Rebecca said she had spoken with the Secretary of State’s Office and obtained some information from them. She would like to mediate this issue and keep it civil. She would also like to involve other affected parties in the mediation. AJ offered that the Town would be willing to pay up to several hundred dollars for the mediation if Bill agrees to the mediation. The Board reexplained the process of developing an ordinance. It was agreed by all that it would take time and couldn’t be hurried. AJ made a motion to send a letter to Bill Leimgruber explaining that the Town is willing to pay for mediation if he is willing, again urging Rebecca to contact an attorney, and that the Board move forward with a Warning for the January 11 Special Meeting asking the voters whether they would like the Board to move towards drafting a Town Noise Ordinance. Joyce seconded the motion. All in favor.It was decided to further discuss possible expenses at the next meeting
1. Citizen Concern/Complaint – Forsha Road work. Robert Leitch, the owner of 1231 Forsha Road, sent a letter to the Board stating that there was recent activity taking place on Forsha Road that was impacting his property. He went on to identify impacts to his property and requested communication of future impacts by the contractor performing the work. He cited road materials pushed to cover the base of roadside maple trees, three locations where road materials were deposited, extensive and unnecessary road widening, cutting and removal of trees, and covering of the Forest Service boundary survey marker. George had sent an email to Ann informing her of what was happening on Forsha Road. He went on to say that some logging by the cemetery was going to take place and the contractor started fixing the road without contacting George. Karl Loukes, the contractor, subsequently spoke with George and they discussed work on the road. George said he told Karl he could cut any trees beside the road that would make it easier for them to get the trucks in and out, what the right of way was, but that it was not necessary to use that much. Said he was VERY specific about that. The three parties met, and the contractor agreed to clean up the mess. At tonight’s meeting George said he tried to help, but felt the property owner should have a third party approved by the town inspect and clean up the damage to the road. David Larkin had also sent a letter of complaint and photos of the destruction. George felt that at this point, an excavator the town has worked with before needs to be on site to do clean up. George said that the contractor isn’t prepared or knowledgeable enough to do it without creating more damage. Discussion. It was decided to put a note on the excavator tonight explaining that the company is not to continue with any work until further notified. Ann drafted the note and Carl said he would take it up. Phone calls would be made to the owner and contractor and a letter would be sent to all parties. Joyce made a motion to write a letter to the owner, to F & W Forestry, call the logger, and put a note on the excavator saying no further work until notified. Ann seconded. Joyce also said she would contact the Town’s attorney and let her know what was going on. AJ will draft a cease and desist letter to both the property owner and logging company.
1. August Financials – Treasurer’s Report. Ann said she found an issue with the Profit and Loss statement. This will be tabled until the next meeting.
NEXT MEETING DATE: Budget MeetingSeptember 22, 2021 @5:00pm in the Town Office and available remotely via TEAMS.
As there was not further business to discuss, Ann moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:08pm. Joyce seconded the motion. All in favor.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: October 26, 2021
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben