MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007, AT 7:00 P.M.




PRESENT: Peter Kittell, Jamie Boudreau, Lynn Paradis, Sue Clark, Franklin Town Clerk and Lisa Larivee, Franklin Treasurer.


MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Stacey Choiniere and Norman Kern


     Peter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


DOG COMPLAINT:   Stacey Choiniere appeared before the Board in response to a complaint received about her family dog.  She stated that she received no letters from the Town of Franklin; and, therefore, had no knowledge of the situation until Jamie provided her with copies of the letters.  She further informed that she has never received her mail in Franklin and that mail addressed to her at Franklin is usually forwarded to her Highgate address and that did not happen in this matter.  Sue apologized for using the Franklin address instead of the Highgate address, but stated that the mail was never returned to her office so she assumed it was delivered.  She will check with the post office on this matter.  Mrs. Choiniere stated there is one person on the road who has had a problem with her dog. She stated it is not a mean dog.  She advised that the dog has been confined on a chain and is only off when it is being walked on a leash or gone with the family.  She stated the Board can speak with anyone on her road and they will tell you that the dog is not mean; everyone on the road (with the exception of one party) loves the dog.  Peter asked Sue if there had been any further complaints and there has been none.  It was noted that the  complaints have come from the same party. Mrs. Choiniere assured the Selectboard that the dog would continue to be confined Peter stated the Board only wanted to hear both sides of the story.  He thanked Mrs. Choiniere and she exited the meeting.




     Tax Rate:  Lisa provided the Board with information needed to set the tax rate.  Discussion was held on the anticipated building of a salt shed, demolition of the old garage and the possible need to remove the concrete from the old garage.  Motion by Lynn/Jamie to set the tax rate at $1.4083 for residents and $1.7949 for non-residents.  Peter asked if there was any further discussion and there was none.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.


     Error and Omission Report: Lisa presented the Board with the Error and Omission Report regarding the Grand List.  She explained that it contains things which the listers did not catch (for example a mobile home removed from a lot).  Board members reviewed the report and Lisa responded to any questions.  She informed that the Board will need to sign off on it.  Motion by Lynn/Jamie that the Error and Omission Report be approved.  Peter asked if there are any further questions or discussion and there was none.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.


 NEMRIC Contract: Lisa advised that they are in receipt of the contract for the backup for the computer systems in the Town Clerk’s Office.  This matter was discussed at the last meeting and it was agreed that the town would contract for this service.  It was pointed out that the contract states they will keep the backup information for a period of two years.  Should there be a crash for any reason, they will have a new system up within three hours. She noted that the contract needs an authorized signature.  It was also noted that once the school computer systems are up and running, the cost of the backup will be split between the school and town.  Peter signed the contact on behalf of the town.


     The Board thanked Lisa and she exited the meeting.




     Reviewed and signed.  Lynn provided members with current print out of year to date budget data.  Discussion was held on areas to be watched.  Peter noted that one area is repair of equipment since we had to have work done on both the grader and loader which was more extensive and expensive than anticipated. 




     Kim Gates-Maynard entered the meeting to update the Selectboard on the sidewalk grant.  She provided copies of the grant and informed the Board that it is a draft, not the finalized version.  She informed the Selectboard that the grant is due August 17th.  She informed the Board that the first (cover) page is from Bonnie of Franklin/Grand Isle Planning.  She has estimated 1,500 feet of sidewalk at a cost of $250,000 to $260,000.  She expects construction at the earliest to be 2010.  The sidewalk will be handicapped accessible and meet all federal standards.  Kim described the preferred plan (grass, sidewalk, guardrails), and Jamie questioned if there is enough room.  Kim responded that guardrails are only required on 40 mph roads and this is a 35 mph road so guardrails will not be required.  Kim further pointed out that federal grants require the municipality to take over maintenance of the sidewalk once it is completedPeter commented that is pretty much understood and Kim stated she just wanted to make sure the Board was aware of that requirement.  Kim advised that the first five pages of the grant is a draft version and may change slightly.  She invited Board members to make any suggestions.  She advised that she finished the first draft today and would like to finish it up and get it off her desk by the end of the week.  Kim discussed with the Board the option of taking a portion of the money this year and applying again for the remainder needed to complete the project.  The Board discussed this option; the fact that we would have to reapply for further funds;  the number of schools requesting funds and the total amount available through this grant. It was also noted that the municipality must pay the contractors and then will be reimbursed from the State.  Peter noted that in the past we have had the right-of-way fund to use temporarily, but those funds are gone now and we would have to apply for a construction loan.  After discussion, the Board felt that we should request full, not partial funding.  Kim noted that the last page of the application asks for letters of support.  She asked that the Board write such a letter and include the fact they will assume responsibility for maintenance after the sidewalk is constructed.  Kim noted that she also intends to seek letters of support from Regional Planning, the school, PTO and the library.  Kim asked that anyone with questions or comments contact her.  The Board thanked her and she exited the meeting.




     Motion by Lynn/Jamie to approve the minutes.  Peter asked for any discussion or corrections and there were none.  All members voted in favor/minutes accepted as presented.




     Application for driveway permit on Scott Road:  This was discussed last meeting and it was noted that a culvert would be needed, but the application contained no information on the culvert size.  Howard went back up there and a fifteen inch culvert will be needed.  Motion by Jamie/Lynn that the application be approved.  All members voted in favor/driveway permit signed.




     Old Garage: Peter advised that Boy and Ron have removed most of the lean to.  They just have a little left to do and then the old garage can be removed.  Once the garage is removed, we will need to deal with the concrete.  Peter noted we may be able to just cover it over instead of tearing it up.


     Salt Shed: Peter stated we will now need to decide on where to locate the salt shed and come up with a design plan.  Sue provided a copy of the minutes from Town Meeting which contained very specific information regarding the salt shed.  It was noted that the man who originally gave an estimate is no longer in business.  Peter noted that the shed will most likely be 12 by 24 and maybe he will consider doing a small job.


     Septic Delegation: Sue provided Board members with a copy of the issues Bob Irish came away with from the wastewater meeting at Regional Planning.  She stated the two items she wanted to bring to the Board’s attention are that whether or not you get a septic delegation you can require a copy of the septic design/plan to be sent to the town and you can require notification prior to covering of the system.  In a soil based system, the town can require observation of the test pit/perc test and observation of the system prior to covering it.  She noted this was one issue that concerned everyone regarding automatic seasonal conversions.  Sue noted that the town can also adopt a zoning bylaw requiring a wastewater permit to be in place prior to any construction being done.  Sue provided material from Roger Thompson so that the Board can see where they presently are with seasonal conversions.  Seasonal conversions are still going to be allowed, but they are going to put a 100 foot isolation distance to surface water for new construction.   The second part is they can apply for a variance of 50 feet, but the designer has to certify that there is not going to be a detriment to the environment.  Sue stated that she stopped work on the town’s septic ordinance/plan when this information came in because if we are going to be allowed to be at the perc test and inspect the septic before it is covered, do we really want to administer this program.  We are charging more than the State will charge.  She questioned whether we would want to go to all the expense to the town when we can still do what we were able to do before.  Someone questioned what happens if you don’t like what you see and Sue responded that you cannot stop construction, but you can submit your observations to the State and they will investigate if there is evidence.  It was noted that the engineers are not going to design something outrageous.  It was also noted that the automatic seasonal conversion has not yet been passed and they have put it into the hands of the legislative committee. 


     Sue also informed the Board that in her last e-mail from Mr. Thompson she had to make some  minor changes to the delegation agreement.  She further stated that from his comments, our sewage ordinance is so “ far off” that he recommended that we adopt the Town of Colchester ordinance.  It was noted that 2002, 2005 and 2007 changes were never adopted into our ordinance.  He is saying that it is not worth it to try to revise our current ordinance.  She stated it is in the “ Board’s lap” and she stated she wouldn’t feel comfortable adopting Colchester’s ordinance unless someone reads it “from front to back”. 


     Mr. Kern asked about the town’s liability with regard to septics.  Sue stated she assumes there would be none.  It was noted that the responsibility would be in the hands of the consultant. 


     Sue stated that if anyone wants to review Colchester’s ordinance it is available in her office.  She further stated that she has put everything on hold until a decision is made in Montpelier as she can’t see the town taking on all the work and cost if they will be able to observe the test pits and the system prior to covering. 


     Mr. Kern asked about cost of the permit and was told that if the town receives a septic delegation the permits will cost about $65 more than if the State handles it.  In response to a question by Mr. Kern, he was told that any additional costs/overages would be assumed by the applicant.  It was noted that it will cost more for a multi-lot development and Sue is concerned that the town would lose money when it comes to multi-lot developments. 


     Sue feels we should wait on the septic until we see what the State is going to do,  if they are going to do what we wanted to do anyway.  The Board thanked her and she exited the meeting.


     Mr. Kern stated it is his understanding that the State will no longer require the septic design to be for a minimum of three bedrooms and you can now design for a one bedroom home.  Peter responded that is on the list of what they are proposing. 


     Mr. Kern asked about the Town Plan.  Peter stated he has not seen the final draft.  Mr. Kern questioned whether it had been changed from a one acre to a two acre lot in the agriculture district and Peter responded that he has not yet seen it.




 Peter asked if there was anything further and there was nothing.  Motion by Jamie/Lynn to adjourn.  All members voted in favor/meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,



July 30, 2007                                                                                                   Barbara M. Varin

NOTE: These minutes are not final until approved by the Selectboard at their next regular meeting which is presently scheduled for August 13 2007.  Note: These minutes were approved by the Selectboard at their August 13, 2007 meeting.     

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