Selectboard Minutes 12.28.2011
Members Present: Keith Squires, Daniel Harvey, Reggie Jennings Jr., Cynthia Browning, Norman Mattison
Also Present: Steven Schlussel-GNAT-TV, John Hess, Joel Tibbetts, John Heinrichs,
The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm by Chairman Keith Squires.
Minutes of Meeting of November 28, 2011: Ms. Browning made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 12, 2011 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Mattison. Motion carried.
Highway Report: Mr. Squires reported that we have been lucky - as there have not been a lot of storms to handle. The crew has been cutting brush – there have been a couple of problems with the chipper – but it is hoped that this problem has been resolved. Ms. Browning reported that on the East Arlington Road sidewalk – there is a manhole with quite a bit broken off – there is a “dip” and it might be in the walking area. Mr. Squires will take a look at this.
FEMA Update: Mr. Squires reported that we have received one payment from FEMA – one of the first orders that went in – we got $1500.00 which is the 75% of the project (cleaning up down by the skating rink in the park). Last Thursday a FEMA representative was down to look at the bridges. Wright Construction will be about another week and a half (approximately the second week in January) before they start repair on the Woodard Bridge.
Old Mill Road Wall: Mr. Squires reported that the Federal Highway representative that he has been working with regarding the ‘Wall Project’ – has found a section of “their manual” that might make it possible for the Town to get some funds for this project. The Board was in favor of Mr. Squires meeting with Town Attorney Joe O’Dea regarding this issue. Mr. Squires reported that he has put together paperwork for mitigation grants and submitted this as well.
Federal Highway Reimbursement Request: Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to sign the Federal Highway funding reimbursement request for the Old Mill Road Projects. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried.
Hazard Mitigation Grants: Mr. Squires noted that the ‘Hazard Mitigation Grants’ are 75% – 25% grants – noting that if we got grant monies that the 25% would be quite sizeable for the Town – He noted that there might be community development block grants available for help with this.
Preservation Trust of Vermont: Mr. Squires reported that the Preservation Trust of Vermont has approximately $4,000.00 for help with the Covered Bridge. Mr. Squires will go forward with paperwork on this.
Joy Lane: Mr. Squires reported that the Town will begin to work on the takeover of Joy Lane as a Town Highway.
Old Business: Finances: There was no new information on this issue.
Church Street Sidewalk: Ms. Browning reported that she has no new information on this issue. She will have an update at the next meeting. Ms. Browning stated that this has not yet gone out to bid.
Yellow Barn Farm: Ms. Browning reported that there are several things going on with the Yellow Barn. She noted that a ‘scope of work’ has been developed but there are still some issues to be resolved – in particular drainage, and foundation work. There is some re-grading that has to be done. Ms. Browning gave other Board members a draft of the ‘scope of work’ that has to be done. Ms. Browning noted that this scope of work will form the basis of the grant agreement.
Junk Ordinance-Update: Ms. Jennings reported that beginning next week there will be some progress in the removal of junk items at the Hill residence at 333 East Arlington Road.
PACE: Mr. Squires reviewed that at the last Board meeting there was a question as to where the monies (for the PACE program) would come from. Ms. Browning stated that everything she has found about this project - suggests that the Town would be lending monies to homeowners and then be paid back – but the question remains – where is the source of funds for this. John Heinrichs was present to let the Town know that we should request the “Quick Start’ information. He noted that the Board should request additional information from the State. Mr. Squires stated that he has downloaded the form – noting that it is a request for more information. Ms. Browning noted that she had some reservations about this program – as did other Board members. John noted that there will be a meeting in Dorset on Wednesday January 11, 2012 at 6pm at the Dorset School if anyone is interested – that would be more informative as well. Mr. Squires will send the letter requesting further information on this project.
New Business: ‘Efficiency Vt. Municipal Streetlighting Initiative’: Board members reviewed the copies of letters from CVPS and Efficiency Vermont regarding a program that would update the Street Lights with LEDs. The bottom line would hopefully be a reduction in the rate we are charged for Street Lights. Mr. Squires noted that the LEDs put out more light so that there could be a possible reduction in the number of lights. Mr. Squires noted that other towns are looking into this and Bennington has started to replace lights. Mr. Squires will followup on this.
2012 Selectboard Schedule: Board members reviewed copies of the proposed 2012 Selectboard Meeting schedule. Members were in agreement to go with the schedule as presented.
Schedule for 2012 Budget Meetings: Budget Meetings for 2012 discussion are scheduled as follows Thursday December 29, 2011, Wed, January 4, 2012, Thursday January 5, 2012 – when Appropriations will be covered, and Friday January 6, 2012. These meetings can be cancelled or postponed if necessary.
Park & Rec: Mr. Squires reported that a decision has been made by the Executive Board of the Recreation Park to turn the operation of the Park back to the Town. Mr. Squires noted that the Town owns the property, and holds all the liability for the Park. The Board of Selectmen established the Committee that oversees the Park and manages the endowment. He noted that it has been ‘self sufficient’ outside of the Selectboard for many years (since 1972). The source of volunteers and people involved is dwindling. Mr. Squires noted that the Committee has some legal work to complete as they are a ‘corporation’. Mr. Squires noted that the immediate work to be done is that we have to create a budget for the Park & Rec. There will be a question as far as income. He noted that as far as Park personnel – there have been 2 part time and one full time person. The school is interested in possibly doing some work on the fields, etc. Board members reviewed copies of a ‘Resolution adopted by the Arlington Recreation and Park Committee, Inc. dated 12/23/11. The ‘Executive Board’ of the Park & Rec authorized President Andrew Heikaus to meet with the Arlington Selectboard and discuss the feasibility and procedures necessary to dissolve the Corporation and to turn over all appropriate records, assets including the Endowment fund held by People’s Bank, and accounts at Berkshire Bank, and all equipment to the Town of Arlington. There was discussion on this issue. Mr. Harvey made a motion to accept the Resolution from the Recreation Park Committee dated 12/23/11 to turn over all responsibility of the Park and all Committee controlled assets to the Arlington Selectboard. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Squires stated that he would like to sit down with representatives from the school for discussion of this. The Board was in agreement to have Mr. Squires send a letter to each of the three former Park workers informing them of the change in management and noting that the Town will be advertising for these positions. The Board was also in favor of sending letters of thanks to the Executive Board for their past work and to have a Resolution at Town Meeting recognizing the Park’s Executive Board and former committee members.
Warrants & Orders: Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of $420.00 to Keith Squires for duties as Interim Supervisor for the period of December 11, 2011 through December 24, 2011 as noted on Payroll Order #52B dated December 27, 2011. Seconded by Ms. Browning. Motion carried with Mr. Harvey, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Mattison, and Ms. Browning voting in favor of the motion. Mr. Squires abstained from the vote. Mr. Harvey made a motion to authorize payment of Warrant Order #28 dated 12/28/11 for the amount of $78,595.07. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. In discussion, Mr. Harvey noted that there were three large items – two of them were just moving money from one line in the Town to another line – the third item was for turn-out gear for the Fire Department. Motion carried.
All Other Business: School Education: Board members reviewed copies of information that the ‘co-efficient of dispersement’ is at 13.74, and the CLA is at 97.05.
Weight Limits Town Highways: Mr. Squires reported that the Town has to have all weight limits for Town Roads filed with the State. Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize Mr. Squires to sign and submit the paperwork for the weight limits on local highways. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried.
Battenkill Watershed Alliance (BKWA): Ms. Browning reported that the BKWA has donated the two sections near the Green River (as discussed at several previous Board meetings) – to Vermont Fish & Wildlife. This transaction took place before Christmas.
Sheriff’s Department: Mr. Mattison questioned whether the Town had received any further information from the Sheriff’s Department as to the tickets issued and monies collected. Mr. Squires will contact the Sheriff to see if he can get more information on this issue.
Arlington Water Company: Mr. Squires reported that he met with a representative of the engineering firm, Bur Snow, and a consultant who has done this type of work with the Town in the past. The meeting was a basic ‘informational’ meeting. Mr. Squires noted that they tried to bring the consultant up to speed as to where the Water Company is at. The engineers will be back down to continue work with this study. Most of the information is available – it is a matter of putting it all together.
Loss of Gravel on Maple Hill Road: Mr. Mattison voiced concern that there is a lot of gravel loss from the dust alone – on Maple Hill Road.
Mr. Mattison made a motion to adjourn the regular meeting. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. The regular meeting was adjourned at 9pm.
Budget 2012 discussions opened at 9:15pm
Administration Payroll & Benefits: Mr. Squires stated that the first thing he wants to discuss is pay raises. He noted that the cost of living is at 3.6%. He noted that the cost of bills coming in has gone up (fuel oil, diesel, etc). He noted that everything is costing us more. Board members reviewed copies of figures that Mr. Squires had put together considering a 3% raise and a 4% raise. There was discussion on this issue. Mr. Harvey made a motion to raise the hourly salaries of the three Highway crew, the Listers, the Land Use Administrator, and the Selectboard’s Administrative Assistant (Clerical) by 3%. Seconded by Mr. Mattison. Motion carried. There was discussion on the salaried and elected officials. Ms. Browning stated that if “everyone was going to get a 3% raise “ – then she would have to reconsider and go with a 2% raise for “everyone” (hourly and salaried together). Mr. Harvey made a motion to increase the salaried employees by 2%. Seconded by Mr. Jennings. Mr. Jennings, Mr. Harvey, and Ms. Browning voted in favor of the motion. Mr. Squires and Mr. Mattison voted against the motion. The motion passed. Ms. Browning made a motion to increase the hourly rate of the Assistant Treasurer and the Assistant Town Clerk, and the Auditors by 2%. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. Mr. Squires made a motion to leave the Animal Control Officer line at $4600.00. Seconded by Mr. Mattison. Motion carried. The Selectboard salaries will stay the same, the Chair’s salary will stay the same, and the Interim Supervisor Position will stay the same. Board members noted that because Mr. Squires has not put in for all the hours he actually works – the voters are not necessarily aware of this fact. There was discussion on this. Ms. Browning stated that she felt something should be put into the Town Report regarding this position. Mr. Mattison suggested that he felt that the salary of the Chairman should be bumped back up as there was so much controversy after last year’s Town meeting regarding the Interim Supervisor Position. Mr. Squires will do some figures on actual hours spent – and try to translate this into what a professional person would get paid for these hours. Mr. Harvey stated that the hours spent on the flood issue should be included in this whole scenario. The Board was in favor of changing the wording of the phrase ‘Interim Supervisor’ to ‘Interim Administrator’.
Mr. Mattison made a motion to adjourn the Budget Meeting. Seconded by Mr. Harvey. Motion carried. The Budget meeting was closed at 10:00pm.
The next Budget 2012 meeting is scheduled for at Thursday December 29, 2011 at 7pm
Mary M. Henning, Recording Secretary
meeting video & audio taped
cc: Files, Town Clerk