MINUTES OF FRANKLIN SELECTBOARD
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2007, AT 7:00 P. M.
FRANKLIN CENTRAL SCHOOL LIBRARY
PRESENT: Peter Kittell, Wayne Fiske, Jamie Boudreau, Sue Clark, Franklin Town Clerk, and Lisa Larivee, Treasurer.
Peter called the meeting to order at 6:55 p.m. Motion made by Wayne/Jamie to enter into Executive Session. All members voted in favor. Motion by Wayne/Jamie to return to regular session. All members in favor/regular meeting resumed at 7:00 p.m.
RESIGNATION: Letter of resignation effective January 4, 2008 submitted by Susan Clark, Franklin Town Clerk. Motion by Wayne/Jamie to accept Mrs. Clark’s resignation. All members voted in favor/motion passed. Peter informed Sue that it is with regret that the Board accepts her resignation.
TOWN CLERK’S CONCERNS:
Solid Waste Plan: Sue advised that she reviewed the Solid Waste Plan and the only section she had questions on is where the town has an obligation on a yearly basis to present a program on re-use/recycling and hazardous waste to school children. Sue stated she spoke with Mr. Fehrs and questioned whether we have an obligation to do grades 7 through 12 since that school is in another town. She informed the Board that he informed her that we do have the obligation to do it, but hopefully the school board of that school would help present some type of workshop. His only other comment was the town needs to designate someone who will fulfill all the obligations in the solid waste plan. She noted there is a considerable amount of work that needs to be done yearly and if the selectboard is not going to take on that responsibility they will need to find someone to do it. It might be necessary to pay someone to do it or the town can have a vote to enter into the solid waste district. She pointed out that the State is adamant about fulfilling solid waste plan obligations and will be following up on us on a yearly basis. The town will need to have someone collect the information and present the workshops. Sue advised that the plan will be going to the State for approval and when it comes back, we will have to notice it for a public hearing to accept it. She pointed out that we already do a lot of the required things as part of the grant obtained through her office. She advised that Casella has offered their services. There is a woman named Janet Shatney who works for them who may be willing to work with someone in the town.
Town Hall Light: Sue informed the Board that Burt fixed the light at the town hall.
Scott Road Turnaround: Matter was referred to the town attorney for review, but no response has been received to date.
Town Meeting: Sue presented to the Board two requests for money. She stated that in the past the Board has had a policy that requests for funding must be accompanied by a petition. These two requests are from small organizations who say they are unable to do a petition because they do not have the staff to do so. Sue asked that the Board discuss the matter and decide if they want these requests included in the warning. Sue also provided members with a listing of the requests received to date. After discussion, the Board decided it would continue established policy and only consider new requests that are accompanied by signed petitions.
Minutes: Sue provided members with minutes from September 17, 2007, October 22, 2007 and October 25, 2007 which all have to do with the town plan and which need to be approved before they are put in the permanent minute book.
Electric Water Heater: Sue advised the Selectboard that the water heater in the Town Offices broke. A new tankless water heater has been ordered from McCuin’s and will be installed by them.
The Board thanked Sue, wished her well on her coming retirement and she exited the meeting.
ROW Fund: In response to an inquiry from Peter, Lisa advised that there is a balance of $80.37 in the right-of-way fund. Because it is such a small balance, it was decided the account should be closed out and the funds transferred to the general fund account. Discussion was also held on an anticipated balance in the fire funds account.
Personnel Policy: Lisa requested clarification of a section in the personnel policy regarding payment of overtime during. Policy states that an employee is eligible to be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of forty hours in a week. Motion by Jamie/Wayne that vacation or holiday time cannot be used to meet or exceed the forty hours. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Error and Omissions Report: Lisa presented the Board with an Error and Omissions Form. She advised that the Listers did not make a name change and technically it changes the Grand List so we should do the report. She asked that members sign the form.
Uniforms: Lisa briefed members on the savings and buy-out costs to change the vendor who supplies uniforms. It was noted that our present contract expires in October and it would not be cost effective for us to change vendors at this point in time. Lisa will make a note and options will be explored upon expiration of the current contract.
Tax Mapping: Lisa informed the Board that she was able to find a person in Brattleboro who is willing to update our subdivision maps . She stated they have turned over all of the materials obtained from Bruce Maitland. Those maps did not include the names of roads or parcel ID’s. Cost of updating the maps with the inclusion of that information has been estimated to be between $1,000 to $2,000. Lisa noted that money was set aside to do this. She further advised that it will cost $60 per subdivision to update maps in the future. It was noted that we did raise our subdivision fees by $45 some time ago and those funds are available. We will, however, have to raise them again to cover this cost. Discussion was held on whether or not this person is willing to do this work over a long period of time and Lisa advised they would be willing, but have assured us they would provide us with all the materials should we decided to use another vendor. Motion by Wayne/Jamie to authorize Lisa to make contact and work out the details for a contract. Wayne noted that if they want money down, we should retain at least half of the cost until the project is completed to our satisfaction. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Health Insurance: Lisa advised that the current health insurance will see a rate increase of seven percent. She discussed with the Board another health plan through the same carrier which appears to be as good a plan and will be much cheaper for the town. She still has some questions and would like to have a representative come to the Board to give a presentation. Lisa will check out the plan and get back to the Board with further information.
Budget Preparation: Lisa will be assisting the Board with budget preparations.
The Board thanked Lisa and she exited the meeting.
Motion by Jamie/Wayne to approve the September 17 and October 22 and 25 minutes. Peter asked if there was any discussion or changes and there was none. All members voted in favor/minutes approved as presented.
Bob Irish informed the Board that there had been interest in the ticket system for zoning violations and he provided each Board member with information that he has obtained. He pointed out that our zoning ordinance would need to be amended to include the ticket system should the Board decided to implement it. Bob briefly explained how the ticket system worked and noted that we can only write tickets up to $500 and then the superior court would take over. He noted that if a violation is found and a ticket issued, another ticket would be issued each day the violations remains up to $500 and then the matter would go to superior court. Bob told members he is available to answer any questions they may have and will come back to the Board should they require more information. Bob stated it looks like a good tool and as it involves a ticket, it may get people’s attention. Jamie asked Bob if he is now counting the mother lot when counting lots in subdivisions and he responded that he is doing so. The Board thanked Bob and he exited the meeting.
HASTON LIBRARY TRUSTEES:
Trustees Jennifer Ploof, Maureen Sodaro, Bryant J. Reynolds, Corinna Stanley, Eva Fiske and Librarian Melissa McKinstry entered the meeting. Jennifer Ploof addressed the Selectboard on their behalf. She provided Board members with three documents - their proposed budget request for next year; a listing of some needed building improvements and the third documents is their “bragging sheet” which shows that they have almost doubled patronage in the past year. She pointed out that while they are asking for a six percent salary increase and an increase in the hours for the librarian and assistant, the overall budget is down 5.8 percent from last year. She informed the board that they are asking for increased hours as the librarian and assistant are finding it difficult to find the time to work together and have been volunteering a lot of hours. They also pointed out the need to update the computers used by patrons and noted that because there has been an increase in the income level in Franklin, they are no longer eligible for funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates fund. She further pointed out that Melissa was able to obtain a new computer for the librarian by writing a grant through United Way. Jennifer pointed out that the trustees painted the library themselves, but with the new sidewalks and increased use of the front door, a handrail is needed on the steps. She pointed out that they tried to get a contractor to work on the windows, but because of the historic designation of the building, they have been unable to find anyone certified to work on them. They noted there are funds in the window repair and maintenance account, but the problem is getting someone to work on them. They were able to obtain a name through the Vermont Historic Society and he came up and looked the job over, but never got back to them. The man had to travel a distance and the job was small so they feel he might not have found it worthwhile to take it on. Discussion was held on other maintenance issues and Peter shared with them the recommendations from Efficiency Vermont who came up to look over the attic situation.
Peter asked the Board if anyone had any questions and there were none. He informed the Trustees that the Selectboard would review the information presented by them and would get back to them if they had any questions. Jennifer stated if the Board needed any further information or data, they would be happy to provide it. The Board thanked them and they exited the meeting.
Mr. Ploof entered the meeting. He told the Board he was here “wearing different hats”. He spoke to the Board regarding the status of the Scott Road turnaround. Peter updated him on the situation and stated the Board had hoped to have the matter settled last summer, but it did not happen and the work cannot be done this winter. Discussion was held on the need to keep an area plowed so that the bus can turn around.
The next matter discussed was the water district. There appears to be a water leak on the Webster Road. Mr. Ploof stated that he went up and looked at it and he does not believe that it is coming from the new pipes. The problem seems to be coming from the side of the road where one of the residents was parking heavy vehicles. Mr. Ploof expressed his concern over digging this time of the year and feels we should wait until spring.
The last thing Mr. Ploof wanted to discuss was the speed limit on TH#3. He was advised that it was built to be a 40 MPH road, but there is a problem with our ordinance. Peter outlined what has to be done to legally set the speed limit on the road. The Board is working on the issue.
Mr. Ploof also informed Wayne of a problem on the road where a tree branch is covering a traffic sign.
The Board thanked Mr. Ploof and he exited the meeting.
MINUTES OF NOVEMBER MEETING:
Motion by Wayne/Jamie to approve the minutes. Peter asked if there was any discussion or changes and there was none. All members voted in favor/minutes approved as presented.
BILLS AND ORDERS:
Reviewed and approved.
Salt Shed: Wayne advised that he spoke with Don Rainville regarding the roof on the salt shed and he will get to it this week. He will also put the covers on the fans in the new garage.
Discussion was held on payment for work and it was decided we would pay in increments with the final payment after all work is completed.
Bridge: As discussed at the last meeting, the $1,000 fine paid by a resident is being used for a bridge being built by students from Cold Hollow Technical Center. Peter tried to reach Pauline Favreau regarding the status of the project and was unable to reach her. He noted that this project will be followed to the end.
Unemployment Claim: Peter advised that he researched the correspondence we received and updated Board members.
Scott Road Turnaround: As discussed earlier, the matter was referred to our attorney and no response has been received. Peter will contact Mr. Stizell and then speak with Mr. Martin’s attorney.
Solid Waste Plan: Peter advised that we have to send our plan to the State. Once they have it, they will review it and send it back to us. We will then form a committee to explore options and be ready to present it to voters at Town Meeting to decide whether they want to join Northwest Solid Waste or keep it in town.
Sidewalk Grant: They will be sending up a contract sometime in January. They will also provide us with a list of approved engineering firms. We don’t have to hire one of them, but it will be easier if we do. They are anticipating construction in 2009, but we are going to try for an earlier start date. We need someone to oversee the project and Jim Smith has been recommended as Clerk of the Works. It was noted he is experienced with getting permits, easements, etc., that will be needed once the actual design is approved.
Dewing and Rice Hill Road: Peter updated members on what is being done on these roads in response to complaints about speeding. Tree removal is being done and traffic signs are being placed on Dewing Road. On Rice Hill, curve signs are being put up. It was also noted that a brush pile put there by property owners may be obstructing the view.
911 Address Update: Peter has been unable to reach Tim Sargeant.
Culverts: Discussion was held on some replacement culverts which the town supplied. Discussion was held on the fact that the property owner should have been responsible for some of the project. There is also some concern over the finished job and more work may be required.
Town Land: Peter advised that he has been contacted by the party who cut part of the hay on the town property last summer. He has expressed an interest in doing it again and will do the entire parcel. All members agreed to approve the request as they are concerned that it will grow up in brush otherwise and no one else has expressed any interest.
Zoning Ordinance: Peter advised that he read the minutes from the last Planning Commission meeting and they apparently are not interested in rewriting our zoning ordinance. Peter informed that some changes will need to be made because of the new septic regulations. In addition the ZBA is looking for some specific guidelines regarding conversion from seasonal to year round dwellings. Jamie will bring it up at the Planning Commission meeting. Bob also has a list of some suggestions and areas that need clarification.
Budget: Board will begin budget preparation in January.
Report: From Zoning Administrator Bob Irish on some suggestions for revisions to the zoning and subdivision ordinance.
Driveway Permit: Application for driveway permit for barn being built on Dandurand Road. Howard has approved it. Motion by Jamie/Wayne to approve. All members voted in favor/driveway permit approved.
Correspondence: From Better Back Roads informing that our grant application was not approved. It was noted that we made two applications - one for Swamp Road and the other for Dewing Shore and the correspondence does not indicate which was denied.
Report: From Zoning Administrator of October and November permits issued.
Correspondence: From Jim Barlow regarding zoning.
Correspondence: From aquatic nuisance control program regarding application for funding.
Correspondence: Regarding policy change on pollution problem.
Correspondence: From State of Vermont regarding unidentified corridors survey. Peter stated he believes we filled out one already. He will follow up.
Correspondence: From State of Vermont regarding highway maps.
Correspondence: From State of Vermont, Department of Conservation, regarding wetlands on Main Street.
Correspondence: Regarding State of Vermont recycling roads process.
Correspondence: From an elevator company.
Correspondence: From Association of Vermont Police Chiefs.
Trucks/Equipment: Wayne expressed concerns about equipment repairs which may be needed in the near future. Discussion was held on repairs already made to one of the trucks and repairs that will be needed in the near future. Concern expressed that it may be more cost effective to trade trucks rather than keep putting money into it. Options available to us were discussed.
Next Meeting: Peter will check with Lisa regarding bills and orders that need to be processed prior to the end of the year. Members will either meet to sign them or they will go into the Town Offices individually to review and sign. Peter will contact everyone via e-mail.
Motion by Jamie/Wayne to adjourn. All members voted in favor/meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
December 13, 2007 Barbara M. Varin
Note: These minutes are not official until reviewed by the Selectboard at their next regular meeting which is presently scheduled for January 14, 2008. NOTE: These minutes were approved by the Selectboard on January 14, 2008.