MINUTES OF FRANKLIN SELECTBOARD

                                       MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2007, AT 7:00 P. M.

                                                 FRANKLIN CENTRAL SCHOOL

 

 

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

 

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC: Norman Kern

 

     Peter called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

 

TOWN CLERK’S CONCERNS:

 

    Error and Omissions: Sue informed the Board that there is an error and omissions form to be signed by the Selectboard.  She stated that it involves a veteran’s exemption that was put into the Lister’s computer, but was never put into the grand list so it did not show on the tax bill. 

 

     Tax Mapping: Sue advised that Wayne had asked Lisa to check with ASCS to see if they would be interested in the tax mapping project.  They are not interested as they do not have the time to do it. 

 

     Weed Harvester Report: Sue stated she does not know who will be doing the report this year, but it is due to the State by November 5th.  She asked that it be in her office a few days before it is due.

 

     Grant: Sue informed the Board that they have received the grant for $2,500 which was discussed at the August meeting.  It is for improvement of elections and it will be used to purchase new ballot boxes, metal “Vote Here Today” signs and a lap top computer that will make the process a little more efficient.  She stated that although they have gotten the grant, they have not yet purchased the items.

 

     Town Plan: Sue stated she provided members with a copy of the warning for the public hearing on the Town Plan which is scheduled for October 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

 

     Tax Sales:   Sale for three pieces of property (two on the Middle Road and one on Patton Shore) scheduled for November 6, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Clerk’s Office.

 

     Septic Delegation: Sue informed that the new septic rules have been accepted by the State and the Board will now need to make a decision as to whether or not we want to request a septic delegation.  She informed the Board that she has read the new rules and she briefly outlined the requirements for conversion from seasonal to year round.  She noted that a permit would be required.  It was noted that the town may adopt bylaws which prohibit zoning construction permits being issued unless or until a wastewater and potable water supply permits have been issued by the State.  Peter noted that would be for new construction and Sue stated she believes it would also include change of use.  It was noted that the town can still retain the right to oversee, but it would need to be included in our zoning bylaws.  Sue also noted that she has heard nothing from Bruce Douglas so that she doesn’t even know if he would still be available. 

 

     Complaint: Sue informed that she received a complaint regarding the Webster Road.  Someone has posted a sign stating it is private with passage only by permission of landowners.  It was noted that attempts were made in the past to block this road, but it is not private, it is a public Class IV road.

 

     TH#3: Sue advised that information has been received from the State regarding the speed limit on this road.  A traffic study will need to be done.  If the speed limit is changed without this study, then should someone be ticketed, it most likely will not stand up in court.    It was noted that the road was built to be a 40 mph road, but that our traffic ordinance had a typo that was not picked up thus making it a 50 mph road.  Peter briefly outlined the procedure to change the speed limit on a paved town road vs. a dirt town road.  He stated that the problem is that we will need a radar gun or some type of way to check the speed of cars traveling that road in order to do the study.   He noted there is a department in Montpelier that does this type of study and contact can be made with them to see if they can help us out. 

 

     November Meeting: Sue informed the Board that their next regularly scheduled meeting falls on a federal holiday which her office observes.  She advised that if the Board decides to have their meeting as scheduled she and Lisa will prepare the materials/paperwork for the meeting on the Friday before.

 

     Dogs: It was noted that the owner of the turkeys and chicken killed by the dogs has not yet been reimbursed.  Peter stated that the statutes state that the town is responsible for paying for the dead animals and they, in turn, obtain reimbursement from the owner of the dog.   The Board authorized Lisa to reimburse the owner of the birds.

 

     The Board thanked Sue and she exited the meeting.

 

FRANKLIN RESCUE:

 

     David Rood and Polly Gadbois representing Franklin Rescue appeared before the Board.    Polly spoke first outlining to the Board the problems currently being faced by the squad because of shortage of volunteers.  It was noted that the main problem is day coverage from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. when there are only five certified people currently available to cover.   That coverage will be further eroded in January when the squad will lose one more person, leaving only four people to cover weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  It was noted that most of the members of the squad are volunteers who have day jobs.  It was further noted that in an effort to “beef” up coverage,  there are now a couple of people who are paid, but these people also provide an equal number of hours on a volunteer basis.  It was noted that despite the fact that the squad has tried very hard to cover all shifts, it might be necessary to have paid coverage from the Enosburg Squad for some shifts.  The squad is asking the Selectboard to include in the warning for Town Meeting a sum not to exceed $23,000 in case it should become necessary to go this route.  Polly stated that they are approaching the Board now because if the Board does not include this request in the warning, they would need ample time to do a petition.  It was also noted that the squad is not asking that these funds be given to them, just that they be set aside in case it becomes necessary to contract with Enosburg to provide coverage.   David and Polly pointed out that there is not one member of the squad who wishes to see this happen and they are making every effort to recruit additional members, but the fact remains that the members are being spread very thin and it is not known how much longer they can keep up this level of coverage.  Polly noted that it takes 28 certified members in a one week period for 24/7 coverage and we presently only have 12 members providing this coverage.  Concern was expressed over response time should it be necessary for Enosburg to provide coverage.  It was noted that Enosburg also provides coverage to several other towns (Montgomery, Bakersfield, Berkshire and Sheldon).  Concern was also expressed over the fact that Enosburg only has two ambulances and squads to cover five towns and should they also cover Franklin it would be six towns to be covered by two crews.  It was also noted that Franklin is not the only town who is having this problem, every squad is experiencing this same problem and many  have resorted to paid staff.  David pointed out that members of the community have had various reasons for joining the squad, but the fact remains that it is a very big, time consuming commitment that includes many hours invested to become certified and then many hours of training to remain “fresh”.  David pointed out that it is the goal of this mainly volunteer squad to provide not only quantity time, but quality care for the residents of Franklin.  It was also noted that while Franklin may have only about 150 or so calls a year, volunteers must remain within two to five minutes of the station when they are on call thus limiting what they can do during periods from 12 to 24 hours, depending upon their scheduled coverage.  Wayne questioned whether the town should consider a  paid full-time day coverage position and it was noted that unless that person resides in the town of Franklin it would be difficult as the station has no kitchen or other amenities where that person could stay during his/her shift.  Enosburg has full-time paid squad members, but their station has the amenities for them so they remain at the station during their shifts.   David noted that we have scheduled coverage for all shifts through the end of December.  Their purpose in being here tonight is to let the Board know of the situation should it become necessary to contract out services.  The Board thanked them and all members agreed their request would be put in the Town Meeting warning.

 

LAWN MOWING:

 

     Polly stated she had one more request.  She asked that when the Board puts out the bid for mowing that they include that mowing should not be done during church services, funerals or weddings.  Peter stated that should that happen someone could request that they stop and Polly responded that it did happen and was not well received.

 

BILLS AND ORDERS:

     Reviewed and signed.  Lynn provided members with updated budget information which they reviewed and she responded to questions.  Scott suggested that next year we put the gravel purchase out to bid to obtain the lowest price.  Peter and Wayne pointed out that the current price we pay is competitive.

 

MINUTES TO SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 MEETING:

 

     Motion by Scott/Wayne to approve the minutes.  Peter asked for any discussion or changes.  Peter asked that the word “he” in the last sentence in the paragraph entitled 911 wheel be changed to read Tim instead of he.  No other changes.  All members voted in favor.  Minutes approved with change as noted.

 

MINUTES TO SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 MEETING:

 

     Motion by Scott/Jamie to approve the minutes.  Peter asked for any discussion or changes and there were none.  All members voted in favor/minutes approved.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

     Salt Shed: As discussed at the last meeting, Wayne obtained bids for the completion of the salt shed.  Bids were obtained from  three area contractors for putting the roof with 14 foot rafters on the concrete salt shed with a 12 foot addition off the side. The bids were from David Kelly, Don Rainville and Paul Gagne from Highgate.  Kelly’s bid was $15,000;  Rainville was $11,070 and includes plywood inside the  structure to prevent birds from nesting and leaving droppings on stored materials and will be lower when the materials we already have on hand are taken into consideration; and,  Gagne was $9,083 which is based solely on using materials we have already and does not include plywood for inside the addition.   David Kelly did not give a date when he could start, Rainville can start in November and Gagne cannot start until December.  It was noted that we will use the materials we have on hand before any new materials are purchased.   After considering all information including start dates, motion was made by Wayne/Jamie to award the bid to Donald Rainville.   All members voted in favor and the bid was awarded to Don Rainville. 

 

     Wayne advised that he talked with Pre-Cast and they have started work on the concrete.  He noted that he was able to get them to lower their price to $13,300 from $13,600.  Wayne also noted that the asphalt flooring will cost about $784.  He will contact Pre-Cast regarding the lot preparation work needed. 

 

     Sand Pile: Discussion was held on moving the sand pile to allow for construction of the salt shed.  Peter feels there should be at least 75 feet left between the garage and the salt shed so that trucks can get around back of the garage.  It will also allow for addition of another bay on the garage should the need ever arise.

 

     Lake Carmi Speed Limit Reduction: Request to lower the speed limit has been made by a resident.  The Board discussed this matter several times and tabled it last meeting.  After considering all factors, it was decided the Board would not request a speed reduction at this time.

 

     Septic Delegation: Board members have not had time to read the changes and it was decided to table the matter until next month to allow interested members time to read it.  Scott and Jamie both expressed their concerns about the town getting “into the septic business”.  Scott expressed his concern that if we take over the septic program and our consultant quits we would then be left without someone to administer the septic program. 

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

     Town Plan: Peter asked if everyone is prepared to respond to questions at the October 22, 2007 hearing.  Mr. Kern asked if the revised Zoning Regulations would be included in this meeting.  Peter stated they would not.   He stated he has been trying to get a copy of the Town Plan and Zoning Regulations and has been unable to do so. He questioned how members of the public can be prepared to comment if they do not have a copy of the proposed changes.        

Peter responded that the Planning Commission has not yet completed work on the Zoning revisions.  A copy of the proposed revised Town Plan can be obtained  through the Town Clerk’s Office.

 

     Riley Road Culvert: Peter requested permission from the Board to install an additional culvert.  He explained to the Board the recommendation made by the State of Vermont to separate clean and dirty water on his farm property.  The State has recommended installation of another culvert to handle clean water.  Before the State does the work, they need permission to install the culvert from the Selectboard.  Wayne expressed his concern over the plan and whether it is an adequate solution.  Motion by Scott/Lynn to approve the installation of the culvert.   Scott, Jamie and Lynn voted in favor.  Wayne voted against.

 

SELECTBOARD FOLDER:

 

     Correspondence:   Survey from Flood Insurance Program.  Motion by Lynn/Scott for Peter to complete and sign on behalf of the Selectboard.  All voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     Zoning Administrator:   Monthly report and copies of recent correspondence.

 

     Driveway Permit: Request for Scott Road driveway.   Howard approved and states that a culvert is not needed.  Motion by Wayne/Jamie to approve.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     Complaint: From Franklin Telephone regarding town trucks.  Phone lines are 14 feet high and when the town trucks are in dump mode, they are 22 feet high.  Concern expressed they will hit a large line which will be expensive to repair/replace.  After discussion, the Selectboard will remind the Highway crews to be careful and will ask Franklin Telephone to identify the problem lines and possibly put up a warning signs.

 

     Correspondence:   Regarding meeting with  port area director for customs/immigration.

 

     Dog Complaint: There has been another incidence of dogs killing turkeys.  This time on the Riley Road.   After discussion, the Board decided it would use the same fee as was assessed in the other incident.

 

     Correspondence: Regarding flood hazard conference scheduled for October 15th.

                                   Advertisement from culvert rehabilitation company.

                                   Regarding readiness for large scale anthrax attack.  Material/information will be forwarded to town health officer.  Meeting in South Burlington.

                                   From salt supplier.  It was noted we have already purchased our supply and these prices are higher than we paid.

                                   Wastewater permit for State Road property.

                                    Regarding proposed five lot subdivision on the Messier Road.

                                    Regarding State grants from housing and community affairs regarding identification of ancient roads.  Peter stated they have been unable to identify any roads and asked members if they were aware of any.  Jamie stated he believes there is one that runs from the Gagne Farm to the old Spooner Farm.  Mr. Kern stated a map of his property shows a Woods Road running through it and he has been unable to obtain any information regarding that road.

 

MEMBER CONCERNS:

 

     Jamie briefed the Board on the recent Planning Commission meeting regarding a proposed subdivision that is being planned.  The Zoning Administrator did not count the mother lot and issued a Certificate of Compliance for a three lot subdivision even though all paperwork from the State indicated it was a four lot subdivision.  The State’s position is if the Certificate of Compliance is issued and not challenged during the waiting period, then it is a valid Certificate of Compliance even if it was issued in error.   The Planning Commission contends that the mother lot should be counted as one lot in the subdivision as that is the way they have always counted it and the State counts it that way.  The ZA contends they have never counted the mother lot.  Jamie feels there should be a sheet drawn up by the ZA which tells a resident specifically what needs to be done for a subdivision.  He feels this will resolve a lot of the problems and prevent incorrect information being passed on to residents.  The ZA told the Planning Commission that he would not change the way he counted the lots unless he was directed to do so by the Selectboard.  Scott noted that from his own personal experiences with subdivision, he knows for a fact that the Planning Commission has counted the mother lot.  Motion by Lynn/Jamie that the mother lot be counted in any subdivision application.  All members voted in favor/motion passed.

 

     Peter asked if members had any other business and there was none.  Motion by Scott/Wayne to adjourn. All voted in favor/meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

October 9, 2007                                               Barbara M. Varin

 

Note: These minutes are not official until approved by the Board at their next regular meeting.    Note: These minutes were approved by the Selectboard at their November 12, 2007 meeting.

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