To listen to a recording of the meeting, please click here: https://bit.ly/41eWxS5
DATE: February 16, 2023
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, AJ Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: Robert Fracchia, Scott Allen; (via Teams) Brett Yates
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: Remove NB#1 at the Town Clerk’s request; replace NB#1 with Original General Store Liquor License approval.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: February 2, 2023 Regular Meeting Minutes
1. Vermont 100 on 100 – Permission Request
2. VT Dept of Environmental Conservation – Permit Navigator
3. Grants – VTrans District 3 Highway Grants
4. FEMA – Buyout inquiry
5. TRORC – Shared Services
1. Parks & Grounds – Mower update
2. Grant Writer – ARRP Grant/VT Arts Council
3. Town Plan – schedule to edit/approve
4. GMNF – Telephone Gap Public Comment
1. Town Payroll Service
1. Permit/License – Original General Store application
2. Treasurer’s Report – January financials
3. Town Attorney – Tax Sale legal invoice
4. Insurance – Health Reimbursement Account
5. Grant – Perfect Pitch invoice AFG Grant
6. Town Meeting – Hand-outs and Announcements
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, March 2, 2023
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:10pm. Seconded by AJ. All in favor. Ann introduced the Agenda Modifications (see above). Ann moved to accept. AJ seconded. All in favor. AJ moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 2, 2023. Ann seconded. All in favor. Ann introduced Robert and Scott who are attending regarding OB#4. Ann moved to take OB#4 out of order and present first. AJ seconded. All in favor.
1. Vermont 100 on 100 – Permission Request. This is from Ventures Endurance and announces the event. This is an annual event. Ann proposed putting up signs welcoming the runners. Ann moved to approve. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
2. VT Dept of Environmental Conservation – Permit Navigator. The Permit Navigator has the ability to provide information about various Agency permits, including a brief explanation, time to issue the permit, application fee amount, link to the application, and more. There is also a guide to help with the permitting and planning processes. A webinar will be held on February 22 via Teams at 1pm.
3. Grants – VTrans District 3 Highway Grants. This is another grant program for town highways. The Town Highway Structures grant can be used for the replacement of culverts, gravel, etc. The Town has used this grant in the past but there are more requirements now. Ann explained what some of the requirements are. She said she would meet with George but that the deadline is April 15th.
4. FEMA – Buyout inquiry. FEMA has started processing the application on the Frankel property on Route 100. The State Mitigation Officer has a question from FEMA for the Town. “In order to demolish the house, will there be a need for heavy equipment to be in the 50’ buffer zone from the water?” Ann said she spoke with Ray Harvey, and he felt it would. It could be placed in a disturbed area such as a driveway. The equipment could be on the driveway, the house removed from the inside, put the fill in and then relocate the equipment to complete the job. This will be a long process – 6 months to a year to complete buy-out.
5. TRORC – Shared Services. The Select Board Chairs along with Sarah Gallagher and Town Clerks from Pittsfield and Stockbridge have been sent an invitation to attend a meeting in which the topic will be shared services between the towns of Rochester, Pittsfield, and Stockbridge. Ann explained what some of the towns are looking for that could be shared. The first week in March is being considered for the meeting.
1. Parks & Grounds – Mower update. Joyce provided an update and said we are waiting for a check. Discussion. Ann moved to have the Treasurer transfer the sum of $3,910.54 from the Parks & Grounds Reserve Fund to the Cemetery Fund to fix the accounts that were improperly used. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
2. Grant Writer – ARRP Grant/VT Arts Council. Ann said she spoke with Matt DeGroot who was recommended by our former grant writer. She noted that he charges more for his services. She said she wasn’t sure the ARRP Grant was worth applying for. The Vermont Arts Council’s Cultural Facilities Grants might have more benefit to the Town. It’s a 50/50 match if a project can be decided on. Joyce suggested that we hold off until next year and finish up projects in the meantime. Matt’s resume will be kept on file.
3. Town Plan – schedule to edit/approve. There are several issues that need to be addressed and a time frame. Discussion. The whole plan needs to be submitted sixty days before the plan goes into effect. Joyce suggested submitting it by June 1. Between now and then, Ann said we have to decide if the Select Board has amendments, have a public hearing w/public amendments, or do everything at once and submit. Discussion. A public meeting in early May 2 with thirty day prior notice and a draft available for public viewing will be held. This will be put on the next meeting’s agenda.
4. GMNF – Telephone Gap Public Comment. Ann said she put this on the agenda to provide an update. There were concerns regarding the logging issue and its proximity to properties. Robert said that he spoke with the project manager Chris Mattrick who said he would be glad to come to the town to explain what’s involved. There was discussion as to whether he should speak at the Town Meeting, Select Board meeting or a separate informational meeting be held. It should be held before he deadline in mid-March. Scott said that the previous informational meeting in February involved several towns and was a bit overwhelming. Ann said she would contact Chris about the possible date on February 23rd or 28th at 6:30pm.
1. Town Payroll Service
1. Permit/License – Original General Store application. This is for a Second Class License for Tobacco and Liquor. Ann moved to approve both licenses for the Original General Store. Joyce seconded. All in favor. The Board signed.
2. Treasurer’s Report – January financials. Tabled to the next meeting.
3. Town Attorney – Tax Sale legal invoice. Ann said that this was received from the Town’s Attorney for legal services related to the tax sale. There was a question from one of the purchasers regarding the Watkins property. AJ voiced concern that this should be discussed in Executive Session. This was tabled to the next meeting as an Executive Session.
4. Insurance – Health Reimbursement Account. The Board discussed the issue of “use it or lose it.” AJ felt this was something for an accountant to clarify. AJ moved that Trish contact VLCT for an opinion in writing. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann said she would reach out to VLCT.
5. Grant – Perfect Pitch invoice AFG Grant. This is Tom’s invoice for work on the FEMA grant and is $2,231.31. Reporting requirements were resolved.
6. Town Meeting – Hand-outs and Announcements. The Board discussed possible handouts and announcements- a brochure on Vermont Alert, an announcement regarding the Telephone Gap comment period with forms, Rep. Jim Harrison would like to speak for a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting, a volunteer brochure with vacancies, dog licenses, List-Serve sign up, Town Plan information. Discussion about whether or not to have food, and if so, what to have. A beverage and cookie seemed to be the best option.
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, March 2, 2023 @6pm Town Hall.
Ann moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting at 7:45pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: March 2, 2023
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben