Members Present: Keith Squires, Daniel Harvey, Reggie Jennings, Jr., Norman Mattison Members Absent: Cynthia Browning
Also Present: Keith Whitcomb- Bennington Banner, Joel Tibbetts, Dianne Mendenhall, Mike Ferone-GNAT-TV
The meeting was called to order at 7:02pm by Chairman Keith Squires.
Minutes of Meeting of October 31, 2011: Mr. Harvey made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of October 31, 2011 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Highway Report: Storm Issues: Board members reviewed the latest copies of figures on the storm/flood of August 28th. Mr. Squires noted that the FEMA representative was in again today and will be back again on Thursday November 17th. Mr. Squires reported that – to date – we have spent $38,307.93. Mr. Squires noted that we still have figures on the bridges, the East Arlington wall, and Park & Rec to deal with. Mr. Squires reported that last Thursday the Highway crew and some of Bret Wright’s crew ‘lifted’ the Covered Bridge back up. Mr. Squires noted that he did not feel pedestrian traffic would be an issue – but the barricades were still up until he had time to check with the Board to be sure all were in favor of opening the bridge up to foot traffic – and then the signs will be removed. Board members also reviewed the letter from the insurance company that stated that the insurance company would not cover any damage to the Benedict Crossing (“Pickering/Woodard” bridge). Bridges are excluded except for the “structures built upon them”. The Board was in favor of requesting a refund on the premium we have been paying on this bridge for the past several years.
Covered Bridge: Mr. Squires reported that the original quoted loss on the Covered Bridge was $46,269.00 – our insurance company covered this (minus the $500.00 deductible) and issued a check for 45,769.00. Mr. Squires noted that the Town needs to sign a ‘Sworn Statement of Loss’ – which has not yet been done. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to sign the Statement of Loss for Vermont League of Cities & Towns. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried. The Board was also in favor of depositing the check into the Capital Reserve fund for bridges. Mr. Squires then reviewed the new proposal for work on the covered Bridge. He noted that this proposal includes the work done last week. The new proposal with the additional options (including $3000 to move the bridge and $2000 to put anchors in) totals $62,769.00. There was discussion on this issue. Mr. Squires recommended that we accept the proposal for the total amount of $62,769.00. Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept the proposal from Bret Wright Construction dated November 4, 2011 for a total of $62,769.00. Seconded b y Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
BenedictCrossingBridge: Mr. Squires stated that the materials for repair of the Benedict Crossing Bridge are supposed to be here – but to date – has not heard anything on this issue.
Maple Hill Road Project: Mr. Squires reported that the road crew got this project finished last week.
The road crew will be working on Warm Brook Road ditching this week. Gary will be taking some vacation days and Kevin will be taking some hunting days.
Old Business: Finances: Mr. Squires reported that the 2011 Delinquent Taxes are at $250,000.00. We currently have about $258,000.00 cash on hand.
Church Street Sidewalk: Mr. Squires reported that the engineers are working on the construction plans. We are waiting for a new estimate as far as construction goes.
Yellow Barn Farm: Mr. Squires noted that Ms. Browning was looking into grants – other than that there was no new information on this issue.
Computers-Update: The Listers did receive their new computer but it is not up and running yet as there needs to be some input from NEMRC/PC Anywhere.
Junk Ordinance-Update: Dianne Mendenhall was present to voice concerns about the Hill residence at 333 East Arlington Road – and the fact that the junk continues to accumulate. Mr. Jennings reported that he has been in contact with Ms. Hill and is trying to get together with her to determine what has to be removed per the Junk Ordinance. Dianne stated that it is very discouraging to the neighbors to see no progress made at this site.
Health Insurance-Update: Board members reviewed a request from the Town Clerk for full coverage Health Insurance – per Town Policy. Members were in agreement to cover the Town Clerk. Board members reviewed the proposed plan figures and reviewed comparison figures between 2011 and 2012. There was discussion on this issue. Mr. Jennings made a motion to go with the BlueCare CDHP Plan $2500/$5000 deductible – for the calendar year 2012. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried.
Dog Ordinance-Update: Mr. Squires reviewed that there were court-served summons on several delinquent dog owners. Several of the defendants either paid their fines in full or made payment agreements with the Town per the Court. Board members also reviewed the current list that was mailed out by the Town Clerk on delinquent dog licenses/issues.
New Generator at School: Mr. Squires reported that the new generator at the school is up and running – it will run the whole school. Mr. Squires reviewed the figures on the payments the Town made, the school made, and the money received in grant(s). The Town received $23,684.00 (which is half of the estimate that Mr. Squires had put together). The Town paid out $18,592.11. This leaves a balance of $5091.89. Mr. Squires noted that this money will be put into the Capital Reserve Fund to keep for maintenance on the generator. Board members were in agreement that this was a good idea.
New Business: Fire Agreement-Village of Cambridge: Mr. Squires reviewed that the Town has a contract with Cambridge to respond to Black Hole Hollow area. Mr. Squires reported that the language of the new agreement has not changed. The proposal for 2012 is $1250.00 (for 2011 it was $1500.00). Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to sign the 2012 Fire Agreement with the Village of Cambridge for the sum of $1250.00 per year and $825.00 for each non-mutual aid call. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Fire Truck 76: Mr. Squires noted that Truck #76 has had all the needed maintenance done at KME – he noted that this will be a fairly large bill – but the truck should be in good shape now.
Emergency Meeting/Drill: Mr. Squires reported that the local emergency planning group had a ‘table-top’ exercise in Shaftsbury a couple of weeks ago – mostly going over the storm and related issues.
River Issues: Mr. Squires reported that BCRC’s Jim Henderson and a representative (Stacey Pomeroy) from ANR were here last Wednesday for discussion regarding what issues there are in towns that might cause potential problems in the Spring.
Scenic Byway: Mary reported that Liz Berger (Arlington Inn) had been in with an email stating that the 2012 round of ‘Scenic Byway’ grant applications has been announced. The grant closing date is January 6, 2012. The byways Committee is looking at possibly including 5 covered bridges in Bennington County-for work that would include better parking, easements, and interpretive panels for tourists. Mr. Squires noted that we will need to keep an eye on the byway issues as these were not supposed to cost towns anything. He stated that he would try to contact Liz Berger to clarify this issue.
Letter from Resident Raven Rock Road: Board members reviewed copies of a letter from a Raven Rock Road resident voicing complaints about a neighbor who has “several business related trucks parked in his yard” – creating noise and detracting from the neighbors’ property value. Mr. Squires stated that he would take a look at this area. Mr. Harvey noted that Land Use Administrator Al Godreau should also be involved in this issue.
Warrants & Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of $240.00 to Keith Squires for duties as Interim Supervisor for the period of October 30, 2011 through November 12, 2011 as noted on Payroll Order # 46B dated November 14, 2011. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried with Mr. Harvey, Mr. Mattison, and Mr. Jennings voting in favor of the motion. Mr. Squires abstained from the vote. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of Order # 11-6 dated 11/14/11from the Capital Reserve Fund – for the amount of $4,106.32. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. In discussion Mr. Squires noted that this is to pay for the new cab for the small tractor. Motion carried. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize the signing of Warrant Order #23 dated 11/09/11– Appropriations 2011 – for the amount of $80,810.00. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. In discussion, Mr. Squires noted that the Appropriation checks have been printed and mailed out – as agreed upon at the Selectboard meeting of October 31, 2011- with the Board authorized to sign the order tonight. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of Warrant Order # 24 dated November 15, 2011 for the amount of $28,394.79. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
All Other Business: Red Cross Meeting: Mary announced that there will be a meeting of the American Red Cross on December 5, 2011 at the Bennington Free Library at 6:30pm. Mr. Squires stated that he would try to attend.
Mr. Mattison made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:40pm
Mary M. Henning, Recording Secretary
meeting video & audio taped
cc: files, Town Clerk