Selectboard Minutes 1.23.2012
Members Present: Keith Squires, Daniel Harvey, Cynthia Browning, Norman Mattison, Reggie Jennings Jr.
Also Present: Mike Ferone-GNAT-TV
The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Keith Squires.
Minutes of Regular Meeting of January 9, 2012, & Budget Meetings of Jan. 9, 12, 16, 2012: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 9, 2012 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried. Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Budget Meetings of January 9, 12, and 16, 2012 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Highway Report: Mr. Squires reported that the Highway crew has been cleaning up after the recent small storms. They did ditch work on East Arlington Road by the David Thomas residence.
Bridges: Mr. Squires reported that the Woodard Bridge has been repaired and is open for traffic. Wright Construction is now at the Covered Bridge and work will begin on the repairs on that bridge. Mr. Squires noted that we have not received any monies for this bridge yet – nor any bills. He stated that if we do get a bill we can handle it out of the bridge funds until FEMA funds come in.
Chipper: Mr. Squires that the wood chipper needs major work. He stated that Gary had a quote to completely rebuild the engine for approximately $2000.00. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Keith Squires to pursue the rebuilding of the chipper for a cost not to exceed $2000.00 at the designated shop in Castleton. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried.
Old Business: Finances: There was no new information on finances at this point in time. Mr. Squires noted that – regarding the FEMA monies – these monies will be set up in a separate account and handled separately (the Highway and the Park).
Church Street Sidewalk-Update: Ms. Browning reported that Keith Squires had consulted with the ESPC engineers regarding the bid documents. These have been approved by John LaBarge. Ms. Browning also noted that she has re-drafted the bid paperwork stating that the pre-bid meeting is “non-mandatory”. Ms. Browning will get together with Mary to be sure the correct version goes into the papers.
Re-districting: Ms. Browning updated the Board on the re-districting issue that is being discussed in the Legislature. She noted that the “numbers” keep changing and they are talking about “cutting up three towns” at the present time. Ms. Browning noted that it is a long process – it has to be passed in the House, then in the Senate. There was discussion as to whether the Board of Civil Authority would have time to meet on this issue. Ms. Browning stated that they need answers by the end of this month. Selectboard members were in favor of Ms. Browning carrying this Board’s wishes to leave the district alone –and to re-iterate the Board of Civil Authority’s previous statement (the last time this re-districting issue was in the Legislature) -to leave the district “as is”. The Board was in favor of having the Town Clerk (who is in charge of the Board of Civil Authority) – send an email – stating strongly that we want to keep Arlington “whole”. This letter will go up to the Speaker with ‘cc’ to Ms. Browning and she will see that copies get around to the involved committee members.
Park & Rec: Mr. Squires reported that the Park & Rec Committee is “still in discussion” as far as turning the operation over to the Town. The Park & Rec attorney and the Town attorney are working on this issue. Mr. Squires reported that he met with the Chairman of the School Board and the Principal last week. He stated that he feels there is a good understanding as to who will be ’responsible’ for what in the Park. Job applications have gone out to individuals and a couple of them have already come in to discuss things with Mr. Squires. There was discussion on this issue as there was concern that if the Park is not turned over who should be doing this ‘hiring’. Mr. Squires stated that we “need to be moving ahead” on this. He stated that he thinks we should probably go out with an advertisement for help at this point in time. He also stated that there is some equipment that needs maintenance done. Ms. Browning stated that it was important that Mr. Squires be sure to let Andy Heikaus know every step that the Town is taking so that the Park Board cannot say they are ‘not informed’ etc.
Selectboard Report for Town Report: Board members reviewed copies of the proposed Selectboard report for the Town report. Ms. Browning noted that there were several figures that needed to be filled in or changed before the report goes to the printers.
New Business: Letter of Resignation-Fire Warden: Mr. Squires reported that the Fire Warden’s position is a State position – the State actually makes this appointment. At this point in time – the current Warden Ron Cole has submitted a letter of resignation (received January 13, 2012). Mr. Squires noted that Ron Cole is looking for people that might be interested in this position. Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept the letter of resignation from Fire Warden Ron Cole – effective February 1, 2012. Seconded by Ms. Browning –who amended the motion to state that Ron Cole should receive a letter of thanks from the Town. Motion carried. Mr. Harvey stated that he would get information and get a plaque made for Ron for presentation to Ron at Town Meeting.
Approval Appointment Fire Officers 2012: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the appointment – for the year 2012 – of the following Fire Officers as recommended by the Arlington Fire Company in a letter dated January 12, 2012:
Fire Chief – James Paustian
1st Assistant Chief – Randy Novotny
2nd Assistant Chief – Doug Hyde
Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Warrants & Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of $340.00 to Keith Squires for duties as Interim Administrator for the period of January 8, 2012 through January 12, 2012 as noted on Payroll Order # 4B dated January 23, 2012. Seconded by Ms. Browning. Motion carried with Mr. Harvey, Mr. Mattison, Mr. Jennings, and Ms. Browning voting in favor of the motion. Mr. Squires abstained from the motion. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of Warrant Order #1 dated 1/24/12 for the amount of $41,926.90. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. In discussion, Mr. Squires noted that the Order contained several quarterly payments – the first quarterly HSA payment for health insurances, the first quarterly insurances (for PACIF etc), invoices for fuel oil, diesel, and salt are also included in this order. Motion carried.
All Other Business: Health Insurance Representative: Mary reported that she had an email from VLCT’s Pam VanDeursen asking if the Town wanted her to meet with the insured individuals to answer any questions and to compare last year’s CIGNA benefits to this year’s BC/BS benefits and coverage. The Board was in favor of having Mary see if Pam could come down on a Friday in the near future. Mr. Squires and Mr. Harvey stated that they would like to sit in on this discussion as well.
Mr. Mattison made a motion to adjourn the regular meeting. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. The regular part of the Selectboard meeting was adjourned at 8:07 pm.
The Budget 2012 part of the Selectboard meeting was opened at 8:15 pm.
Board members reviewed the proposed ‘final copy’ of the 2012 Budget, as well as the ‘Summary of 2011 Spending & Proposed 2012 Budget. Mr. Squires noted that the ‘final figures – as they stand right now – show the Total Budget going up 9.5%, but noted that the ‘Amount to be raised by taxes’ is up 4.5%.
Fire Department Article: Mr. Squires stated that he is having trouble supporting the $50,000.00 article – which is ‘Article #9’ in the Town Meeting Warning for 2012. Mr. Squires stated that we have $40,000.00 in the Truck Sinking fund – we could then “borrow $50,000.00 from the Sinking fund and repay the Reserve Fund from future sinking fund allocations”. Mr. Harvey noted that if done this way the Fire Department gets their truck, but they will lose one (1) year of the sinking fund. Mr. Harvey proposed some figures that would utilize borrowing instead of using the special article that is currently in the Town Meeting Warning. There was lengthy discussion on this issue. Ms. Browning stated that to be able to get the Fire Department a new truck without raising the taxes is of prime importance. Mr. Squires stated that a study was done when we were looking at grants for a new fire truck – and the study showed that the Town did not really need a new truck – so the grant was dropped at that time. Mr. Squires, Mr. Harvey, Ms. Browning, and Mr. Jennings were in favor of removing ‘Article #9’ from the Warning. Mr. Mattison stated that he felt this should be discussed with the Fire Department before anything is done. There was discussion about making the Sinking Fund $45,000.00 or $50,000.00. The consensus of the Board was to put $50,000.00 into the Sinking Fund for Fire Trucks and to change ‘Article #9’ to ask for voter approval for the purchase of the new Fire Truck “
Ms. Browning stated that she would re-word the Selectboard’s report for Town Report. Mr. Harvey stated that with the changes in the budget lines the Total Budget is going up 6.9%.
Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the 2012 budget as discussed tonight. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the Warning for Town Meeting as amended tonight. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Mr. Mattison made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried. The Budget meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.
Mary M. Henning, Recording Secretary
meeting audio & video taped
cc: files, T. Clerk