Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes ( Draft)
December 5, 2023 – Chelsea Town Hall
Present: Kevin Marshia, Kelly Lyford, Jesse Kay, William Lyon, Leyna Hoyt.
Others present: Karen Lathrop, Gregg Herrin, Frank Keene, Susan Elder, Kate Willard and Rick Ackerman, Snook Downing, Marty Gratz(online)
- Meeting brought to order at 6:30 pm by Kevin.
- Additions to Agenda
- Transfer Station Update
- Law Enforcement Update
- Conflicts of Interest – none
- Public Comments – Susan Elder & Kate Willard updated the Board about the Forest and Parks Committee. Kate reported the Committee felt there was no need for an ordinance after speaking with Kevin Geiger from TRORC and an attorney at the Secretary of States Office. They felt the Board could just appoint persons to a commission. They have a draft mission statement which they would share with the Board. Kate asked the Board if they would be in concurrence with this. Board felt they could go forward with it without ordinance creation. There was a question about whether the Board had a Forest Management Plan in place. Board felt they never quite finished one and it was in draft form. They discussed the Timber Sale on the small lot. Kate stated Susan wanted to find grants for pollinator parks for fema properties the Town owns. Board could put Parks and Forests on the 16th of January agenda. Kevin noted that in his conversation with Peter Gregory, TRORC would be willing to help the Forest and Parks.
Susan Elder requested the Board place more of the ordinances on the Town Website. She had a list she could share with the Board. The Board said they were waiting for the new Town Administrator to come on Board to work on that.
Marty Gratz said she was one of the members of the Parks and Forests Commission, and was excited to work with the Board. She noted they discussed areas they wanted to work on. There was not a discussion of the area by the small park next to the old Town Garage wanted to suggest the Board to think about ordinance for signage about parking at the park as she felt it was hard to adequately plow the area in the winter. She suggested signage that would restrict parking to 24 hours. Her house and access to it was impacted by the snow and snowmelt. Rick stated it has never had signage but there were a couple of vehicles and trailer parked there. Marty stated the car was parked in front of the area where the water ran into the park. The Board thanked her for bringing it to their attention, they wanted to have a chance to look it over and bring it back for discussion once they had looked it over with Rick.
Frank Keene noted the snowmachine bridge by the garage was gone for good and the cemetery bridge would need an engineering study to go forward with rebuilding it, which meant more snowmobile traffic on Maple Avenue.
- Town Property Security – The Board discussed getting an assessment on what was needed. Bill Lyon noted he knew the person that runs Green Mountain Security Systems. Board felt they could get a recommendation on what was needed at the different properties the Town owned and the Board could have them come to a future meeting. Bill tasked with speaking with them. Greg Herrin asked the Board what they were looking for to narrow it down. Board stated surveillance was important. They made a list of properties to look at. Bill noted the places had to have internet for it to be in place.
- Town Treasurer-
- Budget- Board went over parts of the budget generally as Gayle was unable to be at the meeting. They worked on Cemetery budget with Frank Keene. Frank noted they only increased it $500 and did so to put some railing around Allen Cemetery. There was a person that was donating time and money to Laird Cemetery and he was very appreciative of it. He noted they had a surplus they use as rainy day fund in case of emergencies. Kelly asked if they had more funds, such as grants, what would they use it for? Frank stated they could eventually put more fencing around Highland Cemetery at the top and down the end side of it. He also noted that the bridge that was washed out was used to get to the Old Cemetery and he’d like to see it rebuilt. There was damage to some headstones in the old cemetery and they had some help with cleaning up the debris at the old Cemetery from Levar Cole and family. Frank reported they needed younger person’s involved. Frank had been doing it for 35 years. There was a brief discussion on the West Hill Cemetery. There was a discussion about making the bridge to the old cemetery wider to have another access to Maple Avenue. Frank noted there was access to Maple Avenue from Bobbinshop on the snowmobile trail. The Board thanked Frank for coming in and all his hard work.
They went over the Selectboard budget. Leyna noted the mowing needed to be added to each section. Discussed Technology line item. Noted it paid for the online access and it might be used for sound system and lighting. Discussed advertising. Karen explained what line items included and were used for by prior boards. The Board worked on the Admin Assistant budget but were not finished.
Jesse gave a Transfer Station Update- ordered stickers and punch cards. A letter to go out to everyone as soon materials come and it would be on social media and Front Porch Forum. There would be a transition period which Snook would work with them. Snook asked about price changes. Jesse reported they would start on the 1st and signage would be made. Karen offered to make hand- outs for Snook. Stickers would be just the one price. He wanted to know if the people he picked up from needed a sticker. The Board affirmed yes. Will’s would have both punch cards and stickers. The Treasurer won’t. Karen said a resident asked if they could photocopy them? Board decided no, they could not. Snook will get an updated list of persons who have stickers from Karen & Will’s. Phase in would be a month but Snook will work with a person. Board asked him to just come to any meeting with his concerns. They went over budget with him. Kevin noted the Board increased salaries last year, so Board was good about the salaries. Kelly stated she would send everyone a copy of what they went over in June. Board felt they spoke about having Gayle get quotes for disability insurance to offer employees. Board went over line items for Transfer Station. Karen explained any line items they were unfamiliar with and they would also check with Gayle. Bill stated the person he was thinking about to pump the compostable toilet so the Board still needed to find a company. Snook noted maintenance items noted were hydraulic oil needed to be changed out. He noted Rick and himself cleaned out the recycle compactor as it just gets filled over time. Bill asked about compactor rental. Snook stated he did not know about it and the Board would need to speak with Gayle. Bill noted they were working on pricing for servicing the compactors but had not heard yet, but they should have numbers for closing in the oil collection area. Bill stated the Board might want to put money aside for replacing the old compactor. Leyna noted the $2,500 must be like a sinking fund. Kevin noted many questions could be answered by Gayle. Lastly, Snook noted the Transfer Station need to start later on minus 20 days. He suggested 10 am as it was really hard on the machines. Board agreed and it would go in the mailer. Bill to connect with Snook and put the word out on social media ahead of time.
Board went over Town Clerk budget. Karen noted the budget for her office was going up due to digitization. Under office equipment the $10,000 for hardware & software setup and a new computer to replace the 12 year old computer. The Digitization set up was a one-time charge. The line item for the contract was added in would be around $4,200/year. The only other item changing was supplies due to inflation. Gayle might make a line item with just digitization as a line item if that would work for the Board. Karen reported she had Kasey look over the RFP. She was planning on putting the RFP out January 9, 2024. Karen sent it to the Board. Technology is going up due to installing the new computer and some pdf writer licensing. As of now the Administrative Assistant is the only one who has the licensing. Karen was hoping some money from AARPA money could be expended on it. This would streamline the process and the digitization would have our records in another format so they were safer if anything happens to the building.
- Line of Credit- not addressed- next agenda
- Town Highway # 57/ Scadin Road. Rick reported he had not had a chance to look at it but with better weather coming he could do it this weekend. Board pushed it to December 19th agenda.
- Stockpiling gravel at the Sewer Plant – Board noted they wanted to place 1500 yards of gravel the Sewer Plant site temporarily until they could prep the Garage site. Flood work took precedence this summer. Also noted they wanted to ensure they actually had the material on hand in case the pit was unable to open when they needed it. Karen brought up the fact that the Town had Flood Bylaws and the Board said they had Kasey looking into it.
The Board felt the area would not flood as it had not this past summer and they had spoken to residents. Rick noted the millings had been given to the Town and they are piled there temporarily as well. Board felt fine with the temporary plan. Going forward they would get a permit. Kevin noted he drafted something to put on their social media page. Rick to start moving gravel after Wednesday.
Rick noted guardrails were finished on Doyle Road. His truck broke a hose and it slowed down the plowing. Leyna reported Kasey wanted to meet on Thursday with Rick for FEMA pictures. Rick noted he needed to speak with Gayle about where items were allocated such as repairs on the loader. Board and Rick to go over budget on the December 19 meeting. Bill noted we needed to think about getting a truck. Board discussed Rick getting numbers for a truck for the 19th as well. Kevin and Leyna to meet with Rick in the next week. Board discussed the star on the Town Garage that Marty Gratz put there.
- Town Report- Kevin reported that Kasey sent an email out with a generous timeline( January 18). She had spoken to the Printer. Kevin noted there were many reports in it. Kevin would put a report together and they went through who would contact persons for each report. Board would like reports by January 10. Kevin spoke to Carrie De-lallo about the cover. She sent a barn quilt picture. Kevin to ask for a little paragraph on it. He also asked if the Board would want to dedicate the Richard Button for 50 years of service on the Fire Department. Kelly would inquire with his family first. Karen reminded the Board about the Warning. Discussion on the warning and whether it was on Kasey’s computer. Karen to look for the file on the warning.
- Errors & Omissions- Karen explained that the Listers set the Grand List and sometimes there is an error or an omission that changes the grand list so each year the Listers and Selectboard have to sign off on the report for the Grand List. Kevin stated there were three parcels and they totaled $27,300 in our Grand List.
Leyna moved to approve of the Errors and Omissions Report. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
- Approve Minutes-
- Leyna moved to approve November 7, 2023 minutes. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
- Leyna moved to approve November 21, 2023 minutes. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
- Approve Orders-
Jesse moved to approve the bills. Board had questions about the compactor lease. No second made. Leyna restated the motion to approve orders contingent upon clarification of Myers compactor rental bill question. Bill seconded the motion, no
discussion, motion passed.
- Addition – Law Enforcement Update/Discussion- Kevin reported a follow-up discussion with VSP. Kevin reported a larger presence of VSP in the area. He reached out to Windsor County and received a reply but had not had a chance to fully digest it. Kelly reported she reached out to Royalton who were not able to offer anything to the Board. They had a small contract with Tunbridge not at this time. She stated they set it up to be tri-town offering but at this time cannot. She had also spoken with Orange County who would be willing to increase the contract to #$20,000 contract time but only that at this time. They are exploring an officer who could patrol at night but it was not in place at this time. Kevin noted there was a draft contract to look at from Orange County. Last year rate was $52/hour, this year would be $58/hour up to $20,000. They had a conversation of going to a provisional $10,000 more if there was something major going on but would come to the Board before using it. It would be a reserve. Leyna stated she had an issue with paying more money for patrolling when it was during a time Town does not need it. She wanted to see night patrols. Town needed that presence. She stated she does not think Town should be billed for when they are going through Town to work at another Town. She would like to see clarification of what they are billing for. She wanted to see what Windsor had to offer. Kelly said they had conversations on not patrolling on a timespan. Kelly said the conversation needed be what the Town needs. The Board agreed upon more of a presence in Town. Town needed both daytime and nighttime patrolling in the problem areas. Jesse stated if the others don’t have options for us, we should still have some patrolling even if it is Orange County as they were trying to get some night time patroling. Kevin stated even a daytime presence is necessary but realizes the Town needs a balance. The Board realizes there is a night- time issue but a better presence would be good. Board is concerned what the travel costs would be with Windsor County. Kelly has learned a lot about funding. Dispatch is funded by the Courthouse but should it be? The State of Vermont had a survey on it. She stated there were multiple layers to it. She is in favor of increased daytime services. Leyna aske if Town was being charged for warrants being served. Kelly to work on finding on more information. Kevin to continue the conversation with Windsor County. This conversation to continue at their January 2, 2023 meeting.
- Admin Position- Kevin to loop back to with Kasey on getting the ad in the paper. Jesse stated it was on Front Porch Forum, the Chelsea Selectboard Page. Kevin, stated traditionally use The Herald, but think’s it should go to the Valley News. Kevin stated it was out there, it was left as open recruitment and everyone should spread the news.
- Executive Session- Kevin stated the Board had a request for Roberts Poor Fund and Kelly added Personnel. Leyna moved to enter into executive session for Roberts Poor Fund and Personnel inviting Karen at 9:25 PM. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
Jesse moved to exit Executive Session at 10:05 PM. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.
Action- Board discussed and approved Roberts Poor Fund Request and made end of year salary decisions for our employees.
- Jesse moved to adjourn at 10:06 PM. Bill seconded the motion. No discussion, motion passed.