MINUTES OF FRANKLIN SELECTBOARD

                                           MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007, AT 7:00 P. M.

                                                 FRANKLIN CENTRAL SCHOOL

 

 

PRESENT:   Peter Kittell, Jamie Boudreau, Wayne Fiske, Lynn Paradis, Scott Choiniere and Sue Clark, Franklin Town Clerk.

 

     Peter called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

 

 

 

BILL ROSE - NORTHWEST REGIONAL PLANNING:

 

     Mr. Rose introduced himself to those members of the Board who do not know him.  He advised that he has been working on Franklin’s Solid Waste Plan since 2003.  He apologized for the mix up as he intended to meet with the Board last meeting when Mike Ewell from Northwest Solid Waste District addressed the Board.

 

     He informed the Board that he is not “pushing for” nor “advocating for” Northwest Solid Waste District, but he just wants the Board to be aware of the changing regulations and the changing role of the town.  He advised that the town will have to submit a report to the State every other year which will include how many tons and what types of waste are being disposed of by residents of Franklin.  We will be required to report in more detail.  He noted that the State goal for solid waste is 2.7 pounds per person per day.  In Franklin’s solid waste plan, which has been submitted to the state, the goal is 1.8 pounds per person. The Highgate Transfer Stations is reporting Franklin at 5 pounds per person.  Sue commented that she believes that Franklin’s problems stem from inaccurate reporting from the Highgate station.   Discussion was held on the fact that haulers do not accurately report where trash is coming from to save on fees and this leads to inflated numbers attributed to Franklin.  Mr. Rose noted that when he drafted our Solid Waste Plan he was limited in the information he was able to obtain from local haulers as it depends upon what the hauler is reporting.  He noted that the State is also looking to increase the level of recycling.   Our plan relies primarily on an annual flyer which makes folks aware of the opportunity for recycling.  If the State doesn’t see any increase in recycling, then they will require haulers to do curbside recycling.  Our present plan will continue with the addition of workshops to talk about opportunities for hazardous waste reduction.  The town can do this with the assistance of the Department of Environmental Conservation who will help, but are leery of actually putting on the workshops.  That is the town’s responsibility.  Zoning Administrators will be required to  make available (when permits are issued) information on recycled building materials such as the Vermont Building Materials Exchange Program that connects people with different sources.  Compost information is being made available to business and residents through an annual mailing.  At least two household hazardous waste days will be held which can be combined with neighboring towns.  The State will require buy recycle programs for town governments to purchase items such as paper products and the like which are made from recycled materials.  If there is no significant improvement by 2008, they will require that the town implement a licensing program where no one will be able to pick up trash without a license from the town.  These are standards that the town will have to meet.  Mr. Rose stated that after talking with the State, he gave us as much room as he could in our plan.  Contracting individually with haulers will stop.  He stated there are new standards of business and there will be a lot more education and information about solid waste that the town will have to learn and deal with.  There is going to be a huge learning curve and things are definitely going to change.  The State will be “looking over our shoulders” and if they are not satisfied with the way things are going, then we will not be able to dispose of our trash in the State of Vermont.  He stated that is why he suggested to Scott that the Selectboard contact the Northwest Solid Waste District.  It was noted that Mr. Ewell met with the Board at the last meeting and provided information.  Mr. Rose pointed out that several towns for whom he has prepared Solid Waste Plans are considering joining the district again.  Georgia and Grand Isle have already done so.  Peter noted that Highgate and Swanton are thinking of forming their own district.  He stated that we are aware of the costs to rejoin the district and that it has to go to the people for a vote.  Scott discussed with Mr. Rose some changes needed to our plan and Mr. Rose indicated he had already made then and  forwarded our plan to the State.  He stated that was about a month and a half ago and he has still not heard from them.  Sue noted that the grant she and Lisa recently obtained addresses some of the areas Mr. Rose discussed.  She also mentioned that we did have a contract with Waste USA and wondered if that contract was still in force.  Mr. Rose stated that he was not aware of such a contract, but if it still exists, it might be something the town wants to pursue.   Peter asked if members had any further questions and there were none.  He thanked Mr. Rose on behalf of the Board and Mr. Rose exited the meeting.     

 

 

TOWN CLERK’S CONCERNS:

 

     Safe Routes to School Grant: Sue informed the Board that she spoke with Kim regarding the sidewalk grant.  She wanted the Board to be aware that we might need funds on hand to pay costs  up front and then apply for reimbursement through the grant. It was noted that we have had the  ROW fund for several years and were able to temporarily borrow from that for these types of grants.  That fund, however, will be used up in November.  Scott advised that he recently attended a meeting on this grant and he briefly shared with members what he learned.  Lynn stated that in many of these grants, you have to submit a paid invoice and/or copy of the check paying the invoice when you request reimbursement.  She noted that most municipalities do not have an excess of funds on hand and many times, they borrow and write the cost of the loan into the grant as part of the administrative costs.  She feels it is something we might want to consider doing.  Sue stated she just wanted to alert the Board to a possible situation.  Scott noted that the applications will be reviewed in September; site visits will be done in October and grants will be awarded in November so we should know before budget preparation whether or not we get the grant. 

 

     Septic Delegation: Sue informed the Board that they need to review the proposed contract with Bruce Douglas.  She stated he is asking for a 20 day payment schedule from the date he submits his invoice and the Board needs to decide how they want to handle that since they meet only once a month.  She stated the Board also needs to look at fees.  She reminded them that State fees only fund 40% of that program.

 

     Environmental Court: Sue informed the Board a resident has appealed to the Environmental Court  two ZBA decisions on seasonal to year round cottages.   Notice of appeal was sent to Steve Stizell and the Court has all of the paperwork.   She stated there is only a short period of time until all interested parties have to note that they want to participate.   She advised we need a motion in the minutes that Steve Stizell  is to make an entry of appearance on behalf of the town.  A motion was made by Scott/Jamie authorizing Attorney Steve Stizell to make an entry of appearance on behalf of the town.  Peter asked if there was any further discussion and there was none.  All members voted in favor/motion passed. 

 

     Dog Problem: Sue informed that we have a dog problem involving a summer resident at the Lake.  There is a black lab and problems with it have been addressed on two prior occasions.  Warning letters were sent in 2004 and 2005 and now we have another complaint.   Jamie advised that the last time we had a complaint, he went down there to investigate.  He was told by the owner that the neighbor’s child comes and lets the dog out and it runs up and down the shoreline.  Jamie advised them that they must keep the dog chained   Sue advised that in the present complaint, another resident was walking her dog on a leash and this lab was with its owner, but not on a leash, and attacked the other dog.  Sue made a phone call and told them that the neighbors were not happy.  After discussion, it was decided to schedule the complainant and dog owner for a hearing at the next meeting.  In the meantime, the dog should be confined.  If there is another complaint or problem, then steps will be taken to pick up the dog. 

 

     Tape Recorder: Sue informed the Board that the new tape recorder has been purchased and she will try it out next week.

 

     Unregistered Dogs: She advised that she will have a list on Friday of unregistered dogs.

 

     Generator: Contract received from Milton CAT for service/inspection of the emergency generator.  It will need to be signed by the Selectboard.   In response to a question from Jamie, Peter explained that the generator is  tested automatically on a weekly basis with the school keeping a log on the tests.  Motion by Wayne/Scott to have Peter sign the contract on behalf of the Selectboard.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     Backroads Grant: Sue advised that response has been received to the grant written by Wayne and Lynn.  It has been denied at this time, but they are requesting additional information and it can be resubmitted.  It has to be resubmitted by July 31st.  It was noted that the grant was for ditching along the Swamp Road and is considered to be a long-term solution to the problem.  Lynn noted that the problem is much worse now and with the water down you can really see the ditch.  Photos were sent with the original grant application and it was suggested that new ones showing the problem area now be sent with the resubmission.    Letter given to Wayne who will make contact and resubmit.

 

     Septic Officer: Sue advised that we need to appoint someone as Septic Officer.  She stated that the only other thing she can foresee is an amendment to the Franklin Septic Ordinance to reflect changes that the State has made.  We need to review the exemptions the State has allowed and decide which ones we are going to allow.  She noted we can disallow one or all of them.  Another exemption is doing away with alternate sites.  It was noted that everything that was in place on January l, 2007 that has not failed is automatically approved.  The only way you can make someone change is to prove failure of the system.  Sue stated that the exemptions are the problem as you have to be aware of all of them.  She will make a copy of the exemption list and send it to all Board members.  Sue stated she anticipates receiving a call from Roger Thompson asking for our ordinance and fee schedule.  Discussion was held on fees and it was noted that there will be a fee of at least $200 for the engineer and another $40 at the town level to cover administrative charges as we will have to keep in touch with the State to get their PIN numbers before we send it to Bruce.  She noted that we are not supposed to make money off them, but are supposed to charge enough to cover the town’s expenses.  At the end of a year,  the septic program will be reviewed;  and,  at that time,  determine if we have made money or lost money and readjust fees accordingly.  It was noted that we cannot compare fees with Colchester as the engineer they use is on their payroll.  We also need someone to do perc tests.  Sue pointed out also that every time we issue a permit, we will have to generate two files, one for the town and one for the State as the State can come in and ask for the file and take it and it is gone.  Discussion was held on the advantage of keeping the septic program in the town and not with the State.  Peter noted that he and Sue attended a recent meeting and enforcement by the State will depend upon someone telling on someone else that a septic system has failed.  They will randomly inspect new systems as they don’t want to give the impression they are “picking on anyone”.  The track record of the engineer will also be considered when deciding who will be inspected.  It was also noted that you will also need a permit to drill a well.   A motion was made by Wayne/Scott that Peter be designated the septic officer for the town.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     The Board thanked Sue and she exited the meeting.

 

MINUTES FOR MAY MEETING:

 

     Motion by Wayne/Scott to approve.  All members voted in favor.  Minutes approved as submitted.

 

BILLS AND ORDERS: 

 

     Reviewed and signed.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

     ZBA: Peter informed the Board that John Cote has indicated he no longer wishes to be a regular member of the ZBA.  He is willing to serve as an alternative member.  Peter stated he spoke with Bubby Richards who is willing to serve.  Peter feels he would be a good candidate.  Motion by Wayne/Jamie that Bubby Richards be appointed to the ZBA.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.  Peter will make notifications.

 

     Garage:   Peter informed members that the crew has made a small garden area to the south side of the Town Garage.  Polly Gadbois is willing to work with them to put in some perennials.

Motion by Scott/Lynn that a sum not to exceed $300 be used from “fire funds” for the purpose of landscaping/garden at the garage. Scott noted that Polly is always very careful with town funds and he is sure she will use the funds wisely and spend only what is necessary.    Peter also noted that they will be painting the old V-plow and putting lettering - Town of Franklin - on it.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.  Discussion was held on putting in cedars along Apple Tree Lane.  This has been discussed in the past and  Scott advised  the Board that he has cedars which he will donate for this project, however, he will need help in digging them up. 

 

     Planning Commission: Jamie informed members that the Planning Commission has requested a meeting with the Selectboard.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss new septic regulations and enforcement measures and supervision of the Zoning Administrator.  It was noted that the Planning Commission will meet next Tuesday, the 19th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Homestead Dining Room.  Members of the Selectboard agreed to meet with them at 7:30 p.m. that night.  Peter will contact Sue to ensure that it is properly warned.

 

     Septic Officer: As discussed previously in the meeting, a septic officer must be appointed.

  A motion was made by Wayne/Scott that Peter be designated the septic officer for the town.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

      Peter informed members that everyone needs to review the proposed contract with Bruce Douglas and provide him with their comments/suggestions/revisions, etc.  He will ask Sue to e-mail copies to all members and they should get back to him. 

 

     Discussion was held on the new regulations and it was noted that if the town elects to have the state take over, we will lose all control.  He stated that Sue has put a lot of work into this.  He asked members to review the fee schedule and come up with a proposal for fees.

 

     TH#3: Wayne advised that the driveways are all done; shoulders just about done and it appears that the work on this project is just about completed.  Jamie pointed out that there is still a problem with the ditch between the corner of the Webster Road and the Magnant property.  He feels it is just inadequate. 

 

     Mowing: Wayne advised that our crew will soon start mowing.  He noted that on the new stretch of road, our equipment will not be adequate to do it all.  Board authorized Wayne to contact Harvey Bushey to see if he would be willing to help out. 

 

     Roads: Wayne advised that roads have been graded and chloride put down.  On Monday morning, Don Domina will begin work on the ditches on the  Barnum Road and will be putting fabric down.  Discussion was held on the pavement/shoulders laid down on TH#3.  Scott stated they left large stones at the corner of TH#3 and the Barnum Road and they should either pave that or put small stones down. 

 

     Old Garage: Board noted that they have advertised to sell the structure with no takers; offered to give it away with no takers and they now have an offer from one resident to take it down at the town’s expense.  Scott stated he feels we should contact other town residents if we are going to pay someone to remove it to ensure we get it down for the lowest price possible.  He will make contact with other residents who have the equipment and ability to remove it.  Discussion was held on the lean-to which has some salvage value.  Town has received one offer to purchase it, but some Board members feel we should take it down ourselves and re-erect it off the side of the new salt shed to be used for storage.  Contractors bidding to take the old garage down will need to have insurance and sign a contract with the town to remove everything except for the cement.   Motion by Scott/Jamie to go with the lowest bidder to remove the old garage (minus the lean to).  Scott will make telephone calls to residents who have expressed an interest in the job.  Wayne asked about a time limit to remove the structure and it was decided it must be completely removed within 30 days of signing the contract with the town.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     Fuel Bids:   Bids were requested from local vendors to supply 6,000 gallons of #2 heating fuel and 12,500 gallons of low sulfur diesel. Payable over 10 monthly installments.   Bids were opened and read as follows: Clarence Brown - 2.385 for heating fuel and 2.515 for diesel.  Prices capped and if market price falls below cap, town will pay lower price.  Ultramar - 2.39 for heating fuel (2.29 if pre-paid) and 2.59 for diesel (2.49 if pre-paid).  Prices are for the 2007-2008 heating season.  Blouin - 2.399 capped for heating fuel; 2.499 for diesel payable in monthly installments over ten months.  S.B. Collins - 2.579 per gallon for heating fuel and 2.595 for diesel.  Scott computed each bid on the calculator and it was determined that the Blouin bid would be the cheapest for the town.  Motion by Lynn/Scott to award the bid to Blouin. All members voted in favor/motion passed.  Peter will notify vendors. 

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

     Scott Road Turnaround: Peter advised that he spoke with Tom Martin and informed him that he needs to survey the land and deed it to the town.  When that is done then we will decide what we are going to do to make some sort of turnaround.  He noted, they wanted it done this summer.

 

     Camp Roads: Discussion held on letter received from camp road resident asking that the town sell gravel at a reduced rate.  The Board discussed the matter fully and decided it would be inappropriate for this board to do so as they would be acting in competition with local vendors.  Discussion held on previously established  town policy regarding private camp roads and it was decided this board would continue the established policy.  Peter will respond to resident. 

 

SELECTBOARD FOLDER:

 

 

     Complaint: Received from Franklin residents on Rice Hill regarding speeding.  Peter stated that the house is right at the Franklin/Highgate town line.  The Highgate speed limit is 35 MPH and Franklin speed limit is 50 MPH.  One of the problems may be that there is a curve there.  Possibility of putting up a curve warning sign was discussed.  Peter suggested that brush along that part of the road be cut as people may not be able to see there is a curve. 

 

     Complaint: Received from resident of Vic’s Crossing regarding speed limit on Route 120.  It was noted this is a State highway and the town has no control over the posted speed limit.  It was also noted that there is a hedge along there which makes it difficult for people coming out of that road to see.  Peter will respond to complaint.

 

     ZA Report: On building permits issued.

 

     Correspondence: Regarding local emergency management directors and emergency operation plans.  Scott will address the matter with the Fire Department/Rescue.

 

     Correspondence: From State of Vermont Agency of Transportation regarding grant for park and ride area.  It was noted that Franklin has no suitable municipal land. 

 

     Correspondence: From S&M liquid tire fill.  Peter noted we purchased chloride from this company once.

 

     Weed Harvester: Applications for operator position received from five area residents.  Motion by Wayne/Jamie to award the position to retired individual who is experienced and will be able to do required repairs to keep it running and who has a CDL so he can be used in other areas if a need exists.  All members in favor/motion passed.

 

MEMBER CONCERNS:

 

     Roads: Scott questioned if patching would be done on the Gore Road.  It will be.  Scott also asked why all roads in a certain area are not graded at the same time.  It seems the crew grades one road and then moves away without doing all roads in the area.  Wayne and Peter both responded that if a road is scheduled to undergo extensive work (gravel/ditching) they do not waste the time or fuel to grade it before hand.  Road work on the road in question is scheduled to begin on Monday.  Wayne again asked about trees along that road which have dead branches and by the time they are trimmed, there will be nothing left.  It was decided that Peter and Wayne will contact the property owner, go down with him to look at the trees and make a decision.  Wayne feels there is at least one tree which presents a danger to traffic and he does not want to wait until there is an accident before action is taken.  Scott also noted there is a big bump in the road because the fence is so close to the road that it is difficult for the crew to grade.  It was suggested that Boy stop and speak with the landowner so that grading can be done. 

 

     Salt Shed: Wayne questioned whether the Board might want to start looking at location and design for a salt shed.  It is understood that we will not build it right away, but we might want to start thinking about it.  It was noted that we should also keep in mind the possibility that we might be required to build a sand shed at some time in the future and that should be kept in mind when deciding where to locate structures. 

 

     Top Soil: Scott advised that a request has been made for some top soil to be used for the baseball field.  Peter stated he thought it had already been approved and done. Three to four loads from the pile by the town garage will be provided.  Scott will make appropriate notifications.

 

     Motion by Wayne/Scott to adjourn.  All members voted in favor.  Meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

 

                                                            Respectfully submitted,

 

 

June 12, 2007                                                                          Barbara M. Varin

NOTE: These minutes are not official until approved by the Selectboard at their next regular meeting.   Note: These minutes were approved by the Selectboard at their July 9, 2007 meeting.  

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