MINUTES OF FRANKLIN SELECTBOARD
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2007 AT 6:45 P. M.
FRANKLIN CENTRAL SCHOOL
PRESENT: Peter Kittell, Scott Choiniere, Jamie Boudreau, Lynn Paradis, Wayne Fiske and Sue Clark, Franklin Town Clerk.
Peter called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m.
TOWN CLERK’S CONCERNS:
Mapping: Sue informed the Board that she has had conversations with Bruce Maitland regarding the tax mapping that he completed three years ago. She stated that Bruce has been very accommodating and is willing to assist us so that the maps can be updated. She advised that he is willing to sell us his paper maps, CD’s with topographical maps and a Magellan Meridian GPS. He is asking $350 because he will have to burn some CD’s. Sue pointed out that Bruce is willing to work with Jean and that we have two choices - either get what he has in order to move forward or start all over again. She noted that we will also need to purchase a computer program which will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000. She advised that Bruce had been willing to contract with the town to update the maps, but for some reason the Selectboard did not approve the contract and his license has now expired. She noted that we have had subdivisions done in the past three years which have not been updated. She further informed the Board that with the new sewage ordinance, the engineers will be looking for coordinates. Bruce will be selling the program which he designed. In response to questions from the Board, Sue advised that the Listers will probably be the people who will update the maps. Lynn pointed out that Regional Planning has some of these programs/information and we might be able to get the computer program through them rather than purchasing it. Motion by Scott/Lynn authorizing the expenditure of $350 to purchase the tax map materials/program from Bruce Maitland. Peter asked if there was further discussion and there was none. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Recycling Grant: Sue informed the Board that she and Lisa obtained a $2,000 grant from the State for recycling. She outlined for the Board what they have done to date and advised there are eight projects they will be working on. Jamie questioned why the metal dumpster was returned when the Board had voted not to have it this year because of prior abuses. Sue advised it was returned as part of the recycling grant and one of the problems in the past was that the signs were inadequate. There was a small cardboard sign that informed the dumpster was for metal only, but they have now put up metal signs that spell out what can be placed in the dumpster. She stated that for the amount of money obtained through the grant, “it was worth a try”. She further stated that the road foreman is glad to have it back as he feels it cuts down on the amount of trash thrown along the sides of the roads. Jamie pointed out that in the past they were using it for electronics such as computers, microwaves and radios. Scott asked Sue if she would be interested in working on the Town’s Solid Waste Plan and she advised that she would not be interested because of her already heavy workload.
Computers: Sue advised that she spoke with Mr. Gratton regarding technology needs for the Town Clerk/Treasurer’s Office, mainly back-up systems, internet security programs, putting Lisa’s computer on DSL. She informed the Board that they will probably spend $800 for these upgrades/programs and their budget this year is adequate to cover these costs.
Septic Delegation: She advised that she started putting together the package and she has some real reservations and a lot of questions. She asked what office is going to take care of the paperwork and questioned whether the consultant will actually generate the approval or denial permit. She noted the form is about five pages long. She pointed out that he is saying that the way the law works is it comes from the town, but that he would be willing to do it if it is allowed. She stated we must come up with the amended sewage ordinance, set up a fee schedule, redo the test pit application, etc. She stated she has spent a lot of time on it and feels that unless a small committee is appointed to delve into these matters, it will not be ready by July lst. In response to a question from Peter, Sue stated she did not have the chance to send the ordinance to Roger Thompson. Sue further informed the Board that there is a meeting in Swanton on May 24th which will outline the changes, however, they only give you until June lst to pose new questions to them. Sue questioned the ticket system which would be used for violators. She feels there are some huge questions the Selectboard must deal with and she recommended that a couple of people be appointed to a committee to address these matters.
Complaint: Sue advised that she has received a complaint regarding garbage and missing signs at the Lake Carmi fishing access. It was noted this was a state, not a town, project and there was an agreement with the Camper’s Association to police it. Sue will start by contacting Fish and Wildlife to see who has jurisdiction.
Tape Recorder: Sue informed the Board that she did some on-line research and found two with two external microphones. They cost between $300 and $400. Peter informed the Board that replacement of our tape recorder has been discussed on several occasions. It was used at a recent ZBA meeting and even though Adrian requested that people speak up, the recording quality is poor. He asked that Sue purchase one with two microphones, one to be placed on the table in front of ZBA members and one to be used for other participants. The Board authorized Sue to make the purchase.
Road Projects: Sue advised that Nat Worman has requested a copy of road projects for this year. It was noted that a final decision on projects has yet to be made.
Grand List: Sue advised that the Selectboard is required to sign a certificate each year stating there are no lawsuits pending against our grand list. She informed the Board that she has these certificates for 2004, 2005 and 2006 and asked that they be signed.
Guard Rails: Sue informed the Board that Doug gave the Highway Crew permission to dump some guard rails on their property. She stated that in researching they found that these rails are considered to be hazardous waste and she asked that they be removed. Scott advised that some were also dumped on Franklin Telephone land and they have also requested they be removed.
MINUTES TO THE APRIL 9, 2007 MEETING:
Motion by Lynn/Wayne that the minutes be approved. Peter asked if there was any discussion or changes to be made. There were none. All members in favor/minutes approved as presented.
BURIED UTILITY LINES:
Franklin resident Tom Gates appeared before the Board. He advised that he is building on the Pigeon Hill Road off Route 235. He presented Board members with a map of his property and outlined his request to bury utility lines under the road. He informed the Board that it has been dry and, therefore, he did not think that digging would present a problem right now. He discussed with the Board, the materials he would use and agreed to put the lines in a sleeve so that in the event of a problem, they can be pulled without digging up the road again. He advised that he planned to use a steel sleeve and Wayne suggested that he might want to use plastic instead. It will be buried about three to three and a half feet deep. Peter advised they should backfill with the same materials, but top it off with good quality gravel. Wayne asked when they planned to do the work and Mr. Gates said he planned to do it tomorrow after his work day. Wayne asked about the time because of concerns over school bus traffic. Mr. Gates responded it would be after 5 p.m. and advised there should be no problem with traffic. It was noted a permanent marker indicating there are buried utility lines will be installed. Mr. Gates advised that the electric cooperative requires a signed authorization from the Selectboard to put the lines under the road. Board members authorized Peter to sign on behalf of the Board. Mr. Gates exited the meeting.
BILLS AND ORDERS:
Signed and reviewed. Lynn provided members with updated budget information.
HASTON LIBRARY SIDEWALK:
Hugh Gates, Jennifer Ploof and Bryant Reynolds entered the meeting. Mr. Gates addressed the Board. He stated that with the 100th Anniversary of the Haston Library coming up, the library is requesting a FELCO grant to have a sidewalk installed. Mr. Gates presented the Board with a sketch of the proposed sidewalk, described it to the Board and presented documents showing that the placement is compatible with recommendations made in a recent sidewalk study. He stated it will be five feet wide and made of brick. He stated the Library trustees have agreed to the project and they would like Selectboard approval for the project. He stated they do not plan to have a crosswalk in this project. Hugh stated there are a couple of other things. They will need two to three loads of gravel and he asked if the town would donate trucking and the gravel. He also asked that the town identify a space to stockpile it. He anticipates that the project will take a week or less to complete once it is started. Hugh stated that the FELCO Fund does not have tax exempt status and he asked if the town’s tax exempt number could be used for this project. Both Lynn and Scott indicated they believe this is possible and Peter stated we will check into it. Hugh advised that he is asking that the project be completed in time for the celebration in July. Hugh stated that FELCO grants are to be used for the good of the community and one of the requirements is that it be memorialized in some way. Mr. Reynolds stated a brass plaque would be placed at the library. Hugh stated some of the things FELCO grants have paid for in the past are finishing the FELCO room at the Homestead, putting in the kitchen at the Carriage House and a series of books at the library. Motion was made by Scott/Jamie that the Selectboard support the FELCO library sidewalk project and that the town provide gravel and trucking for the project. Peter asked if there were any more questions or discussion and there was none. All members voted in favor/motion passed. The Board thanked Mr. Gates, Mr. Reynolds and Mrs. Ploof and they exited the meeting.
NORTHWEST SOLID WASTE DISTRICT:
Mike Ewell from Northwest Solid Waste District entered the meeting to address the Board. He stated he is not sure how familiar members are with the Solid Waste District since Franklin was a member. He stated that it was formed in 1987 in response to State Act 78. Franklin withdrew in 1994 along with some other members, but since that time the District has grown. He further pointed out that with the increasing requirements some towns such as Georgia, North Hero and Grant Isle have opted to come back into the district. He stated the District takes over Solid Waste responsibilities including planning for and offering solid waste services and collections and educational activities. He stated that he would estimate that between 85 and 90 percent of the area population is in the District and they are able to spread the cost of the State requirements around. He further stated membership in the District allows residents to participate in collections in other member towns which increases their availability to residents. Discussion was held on the Georgia Project and the land purchased by the District for a lined landfill in Sheldon. He explained that the District now is using an adequate site in Coventry, but the Sheldon site is available when needed. In response to a question from Peter, he advised that it would take about a year or so to build on the Sheldon site. He outlined for the Board the federal ruling which required that old landfills be closed and the requirement for all new landfills to be lined. He stated that Act 78 was the result of the State’s response to the federal requirements. Discussion was held on haulers, the number in Franklin County, the number serving the Town of Franklin and a 1994 US Supreme Court decision regarding free trade restraints on haulers. Haulers are licensed by the District. It was noted that there is a yearly cost of $1.00 per capita paid to the District. Discussion was held on the Chittenden Solid Waste operation, the Highgate transfer station and recycling. Peter asked about the cost to “buy into” the District now and was told that it is presently at $2.50 per capita, but that can be paid over a number of years and does not need to be paid up front. It was also noted that an Australian ballot vote is required for a town to join the District. He further pointed out that if you were to check with someone presently living in a “District town”, you would find their costs to be comparable to what the average Franklin resident is currently paying. Discussion was held on the amount of trash generated by Franklin and the fact that it might not be an accurate picture and the reasons why. Discussion was held on the revenues generated by recycling and Sue questioned why recycling is not mandatory. It was noted that the $1.00 per capita fee has remained stable for years. Mr. Ewell stated that the District also does aggressive enforcement of illegal dumping and burning. In Vermont, the only legal burning is of yard waste and untreated wood. Enforcement is through traffic court and he stated they give violators two days to rectify a situation and then issue a ticket. Peter asked about representation on the District Board and Mr. Ewell explained the functions of the District Board. Each member town has a representative who sits on the Board who would be appointed to that position by the Selectboard. Discussion was held on our present solid waste plan and the annual report that is submitted. Mr. Ewell stated that the state will be looking at our solid waste plan and will be coming to us and asking us to prove how we are following it. He noted that the State is going to be looking for a lot more in the future, reports and documentation that are going to take up a lot more time. Peter asked if members had any further questions. Mr. Ewell told the Board that he would provide them with additional information they might require. The Board thanked him and he exited the meeting.
Zoning Administrator: Bob Irish appeared before the Board. He advised that it has been a fairly normal year so far. It was noted that his monthly report is in the Selectboard folder for review by members. Bob stated he is here tonight to talk about enforcement. Discussion was held on the letters he sent to camp residents who are living year round in residences approved for seasonal use only. He stated that about 80 percent of the people he sent letters to have responded. He stated he is looking for some guidelines on how to proceed. One suggestion is that a notice of the violation be made in the property records that would show up should the owner seeks financing or attempts to sell the property. The property would then be encumbered and the owner would be unable to do neither until the violation is cleared. Bob stated that another avenue open to us is the ticket system which has been suggested by Jamie in the past. He stated this can be done through White River Junction and that tickets would be issued for the violation and it would be handled through traffic court. Fines of up to $100 can be levied and would act the same as a builder’s lien against the property. The other avenue is to hire an attorney and go through environmental court. Peter stated he thought these matters had to go through environmental court and Bob responded that we can do this. Peter stated we have not had a lot of luck with the environmental court and it is expensive. Bob noted this procedure would not be expensive, but cautioned that if we issue a ticket then we cannot also seek redress through the environmental court. He expressed his concern over problems that would occur in some cases where the land is rented and the landowner would not necessarily be the person in violation. Discussion was held on previous attempts to deal with the year round/seasonal situation at the Lake. Bob stated he would like to see us offer the camp residents a “carrot” to at least encourage them to bring their septic systems into compliance. Peter noted that Adrian Rainville, Dick Gadbois, Bob and he met recently to talk about guidelines. It was noted that under our current regulations there is no way the majority of these camps could be approved for year round residences. They did come up with a list of basic criteria which would include septic (and we would allow holding tanks as most of the properties would not support any other type system) and access to the property by emergency vehicles (ambulance, fire). Access roads would have to be plowed in the winter and wide enough for emergency vehicles and have a turn around spot. It was also noted that a potable water source would be needed. Peter stated that he would like to see us come up with a written set of requirements for these properties to become year round residences. Then, should someone come into the Town Clerk’s office and inquire, Sue could hand them the guidelines and if they feel they are able to comply, they can apply to the ZBA. The Board thanked Bob and he exited the meeting.
Bids for Removal of Old Garage: No bids received for the purchase and removal of the old garage. Peter asked members what they feel should be our next step. Discussion was held on the feasibility of salvaging the lean to and possibly some of the old garage and using it on the new salt shed. Jamie suggested that we pour the base for the new salt shed now and give it time to set before we build. After exploring several different options, motion made by Wayne/Scott that an ad be placed offering to give the garage and lean to to anyone interested in taking it down with the understanding that they would need to remove the buildings (not the cement) completely. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Fuel Contracts: Peter informed that our fuel contract is due for renewal. He asked members if they wanted to send out bid letters and to whom they wanted them sent. It was decided they would be sent to Blouin, Ultramar, Clarence Brown, Bergers and SB Collins. This would be for heating of the Town Hall, Town Offices/Library and the Town Garage and for low sulfur diesel.
Septic Delegation: Peter stated we need a couple of people to work with Bruce Douglas and Sue Clark on the fee schedule, ordinance and ticketing process. Clarification is needed for Bruce’s role - will he generate the permit. Peter advised that Sue has done a lot of work on this and that she recently attended a meeting in Colchester and came away with the view that because of the Lake we may want to do it ourselves. He stated that with the State there would be little if any actual onsite inspections. If you use an engineer who has had no problems in the past, they most likely will never inspect and if you use one who has had a few problems there might or might not be an inspection. He asked if anyone would be interested in helping out and Scott stated he would be willing to work on it if meetings were during a time when he can attend. He noted he can only attend at night or on weekends as he cannot get away from his job at this time. Discussion was held on fees to be charged and the fact they would not go to the general fund, but would be placed in a special revenue account.
State Police Meeting: Scott and Wayne attended. They outlined information presented. Scott noted they mentioned the need for law enforcement presence on TH#3 and advised members that he did see them on the road recently.
Scott Road Turnaround: Peter outlined recent meeting on this issue. He stated that Mr. Martin presented them with a contract and Peter provided a copy of it to the Town Attorney who advised against signing it. Discussion was held on the various options presented. Peter informed the Board that it was necessary for us to put some gravel up there to allow the school bus to turn around. After discussion, the Board decided it would continue to explore this matter.
Town Hall: Peter informed members that Richard Boudreau looked over the windows and doors and it was decided that four windows would be replaced. They will be put in this week. Two of them will open out to allow for ventilation. He stated the windows downstairs were not that expensive so they will be replaced with screens. He stated it will cost $3,600 to replace the front doors and the money is just not in the budget this year. It was also noted that is the cost for the doors only and not the cost of labor to remove old doors and put in the new ones. Damaged clapboards will be fixed and something will be done to the front doors so they will stay shut as they have been blowing open.
Haston Library: Peter stated they looked over the problem discussed last meeting with the attic area of the library. He stated they spoke with Energy Vermont regarding the problems and they made some recommendations. The door to the room has a space at the bottom which is allowing hot air to enter the room. For now, it was decided to fix the bottom of the door to prevent hot air from entering the room to see if it resolves the matter.
Roads: Discussion was held on the roads. Wayne stated he feels that we should work on the Barnum Road and he would like to see some fabric put down on the Durkee Road. The Highway Superintendent provided the Board with a map of roads they feel should be worked on.
The Board stated they want to be sure that the work on each road is done completely and up to our standard before the crew moves to another road. Some discussion was held on trees in our right of way that might need cutting, Wayne and Jamie felt the trees should be cut, but Peter, Scott and Lynn felt we should not do any cutting now.
Gravel Pits: Discussion was held on the amount of gravel we still have in the St. Pierre pit. Peter asked Wayne if he had the chance to go up and look at the Richford pit and Wayne stated he had not.
Sidewalk Grant: Peter asked if members had the opportunity to send their recommendations on the sidewalk grant to Kim. After discussing the options, it was decided the Board would recommend a split sidewalk, putting it on the cemetery side and on the north side by the school.
Town Trucks: Wayne informed members that he made some inquiries about replacing the old truck. It was noted that we have put quite a bit of money into it recently and it will soon require a new box and some other work. He stated that he spoke with Sheldon Trucks and because of some changes to the Mac trucks, they do not recommend that we buy right now. They feel we should wait and give some time for the “bugs” to be worked out. Peter noted that these changes are in over-the-road trucks and it is not clear how they will effect plow type trucks. Wayne outlined the deal that Clark’s would give us. It was noted that we have had good luck with leasing over a five year period at the end of which we are able to buy the truck for $1.00. The Board will continue to explore options.
Driveway Permits: Pigeon Hill Road: Request reviewed by Board. It has been signed by the Highway Superintendent. Motion by Wayne/Scott that the Board approve. No further discussion. All members voted in favor/motion passed. Middle Road: Application reviewed by the Board. It has been approved by the Highway Superintendent. Motion by Wayne/Scott to approve. No further discussion. All members voted in favor/motion passed. Scott Road: Application reviewed. It has been approved by the Highway Superintendent. Motion by Scott/Jamie to approve. No further discussion. All voted in favor/motion passed.
ZA Report: Monthly report submitted by Bob Irish available for member review.
Mowing Contract: Paul Greenwood submitted only bid for mowing of Town Offices and Town Hall. Motion by Scott/Jamie to award it to him. No further discussion. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Correspondence: Between Peter and Steve Stizell, Town Attorney, regarding Scott Road turn around available to members in the Selectboard folder. This matter was previously discussed in tonight’s meeting.
ZBA: Three recent ZBA decisions available for review by members.
Septic: Draft of proposed contract with Bruce Douglas available for member review.
Weed Harvester: To date, four applications have been received. Members reviewed them.
Computer Software: Request from Carolyn Bushey to purchase Quick Books which is no longer being used. Original cost was around $100. Scott noted that it is no longer being used and soon will be completely outdated. After discussion, motion made by Scott/Jamie to sell it for $25. All members voted in favor/motion passed.
Grant: Information on transportation enhancement grant.
Storm Drains: Scott questioned if the storm drains on TH#3 were cleaned as there are leaves on them. Wayne advised they have been cleaned, but the leaves keep blowing back.
Missisquoi Bridge: Invitation to opening which will be held May 30, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.
There being no further business, motion to adjourn by Wayne/Scott. All members in favor. Meeting adjourned at ll:05 p.m.
Barbara M. Varin
May 15, 2006
NOTE: These minutes are not official until approved by the Selectboard at their next regularly scheduled meeting. Note: These minutes were approved by the Selectboard at their June 11, 2007 meeting