Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes(draft)
December 19, 2023 – Chelsea Town Hall
Present: Kevin Marshia, Kelly Lyford, Leyna Hoyt, Jesse Kay, William Lyon
Others present: Gayle Durkee, Karen Lathrop, Harry Falconer, TRORC, Frank Keene, Marianne McCann, Chintana Herrin, Greg Herrin.
- Kevin M. called the meeting to order at 6:32 PM.
- Additions to agenda were Minutes of December 12, 2023, by Kevin M.
- No conflict of Interest.
- Under Public comment Frank Keene expressed his concern about the rivers filling in due to the flooding and asked the Board to think about speaking with the State on the issue. He stated he was hoping to get some rip rap in on his property in the summer. Greg Herrin commented FEMA would be updating Flood Maps in a couple of years. Town should be concerned about where the water is coming from and how can that be remediated. Board thanked Frank & Greg for their comments and for coming to the meeting.
- TRORC – Harry Falconer
a) Harry Falconer brought paperwork for the Municipal Technical Assistance Program for the Board Chair to sign that had been approved at an earlier meeting.
Jesse K. moved to sign and execute the MTAP agreement. William L. seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
b) Harry Falconer brought the RFQ for engineering services for the pumping station that TRORC was helping the Town with. Kevin went over the history of the grant award Town has to apply for. Harry went over the steps of the process. The RFQ is the first step. There was a brief discussion on the costs of the program.
Leyna moved to approve the RFQ for engineering for the pump station. Jesse K. seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
Harry F. gave a quick update on State approval for the Bylaw modernization grant. State approved it and the Municipal Energy Audit for the Town Hall and Town Garage would take place on December 20, 2023 with Kasey coordinating the project.
- Chelsea Spotlight Appropriations Issue
Marianne McCann read a letter of complaint about Town Funding of the Chelsea Spotlight at last year’s Town Meeting. The Board acknowledged receipt of the letter, but with year- end budget prep and Town Report to put together, it does not rank as the highest priority. The Board to review and address at a future meeting to be determined.
- Kevin M. noted Tracy was unable to attend the meeting but he had been in contact with her. Sydnie from TRORC had questions about whether the Town was interested in a backup generator possibly through a State grant. He noted he had spoken with both Alan Ackerman, Fire Chief and Tracy Simon, Emergency Management Director, but there had not had an after action meeting yet to converse about how to ensure a better reaction in the next emergency. It was noted that Town’s Emergency Shelter was the church which had no generator and it was not large enough for the needs at the time. Board had a brief discussion about future needs and recognized a larger conversation needed to happen. Kevin noted that they had invited Tracy to thank her for her hundreds of hours of work she provided to the Town this summer and even though she was not a town employee, the Board had voted her a merit award at the Special Board meeting as a token of their appreciation. As far as FEMA Expenditure and Reimbursement, her hundreds of donated hours of service, which affects the Towns’ share, which is 12%, which means every $100 dollars, the Towns share is $12.50. All the donated hours are calculated and reduces the Town Match so while they voted her a monetary token of appreciation, some of it would come back in a way as reimbursement through a lower match.
- Law Enforcement Update – Kevin, spoke with Windsor County – Sheriff Palmer good conversation. They said they were interested in patrolling and would be willing to enter into contract. Kevin noted they could give nighttime hours that would be randomized. Spoke about billing while physically in Town not coming and going. Windsor Count would be willing to come to meeting. Kevin paraphrased a letter: Windsor County offered 6 different contract plan options with the lowest being 4 hours a week $65.00/hour and would supplement the governors grants such as Click and Ticket money for extra hours in town. Kelly reported Orange County was asking for$68/hour up to $20,000.00. They wanted the contract to have language in it that if the Town contracted with others, they would have to communicate with Orange County. Daytime only hours. Board discussion on nighttime hours vs daytime hours and whether Town would get billed for Orange County just passing through to another Town. Leyna H. wanted nighttime coverage and felt Town would be better served. Kelly felt if Town didn’t contract with Orange County, then Town would not have anything in place if Windsor County dropped the Town due to inability to hire enough deputies. Kevin felt we should not abandon Orange County. Kelly said if we drop Orange County, they have other contracts to go to. They would be unavailable to us. Leyna doesn’t want to lose Orange County but sees the advantage of night time coverage. There was feedback from why Town was billed for a warrant be served. Kevin noted that this information was all they have learned and the Board would like some feedback from Town prior to the January 2 meeting. Kevin wanted to give persons a chance to comment. Decision put off until next meeting.
- Town Treasurer-
Budget Prep- Board heard from Kezia Frayjo and Chintana Herrin about their line item increase of $7,000. Kezia noted that the Library might not be able to fundraise in the future as Covid had shown them in 2020. They would still have expenditures that would need to be covered, even if for any reason they could not fundraise during the year. Most of the expense was in payroll. Gayle noted the Library had $18,000 in the account which was due to the past Librarian leaving. There was a discussion about medical insurance and how much they had paid to date. Gayle to bring the numbers to the next meeting. There was a conversation about whether there could be over taxation. Kezia noted that while there was an overage that could be used for this year, the conversation would probably need to be had for coming years so she was making the Board aware of it now. She noted the Library was the only Community place for people to congregate which the Board acknowledged. The Board requested Gayle’s opinion. She said she thought the line item should stay where it was the year before, since there was still money in the account. Board invited the Trustee’s back to a future meeting to continue the discussion.
Treasurer Lease Agreement – Board asked if the price had gone up? Gayle noted she would have to pay $25.00 extra when using the air conditioner. Board asked if she had found out pricing from the Mason’s building. She said she had not. This lease was a 2 year lease. Some discussion on whether to go to a one year lease. Discussion on whether there was a clause in the lease if they decided to pursue another avenue. Kevin noted yes and read it.
Leyna H. moved to sign the lease agreement for the Treasurer’s Office. Jesse seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
Line of Credit -Gayle stated she would need $300,000 to get through to next August when taxes would start coming in. She would have the paperwork at the next meeting to sign.
Town Security – The Board went through the budget with Gayle. New line item for Security of Town Property. Williiam brought in quotes from Pete at Green Mountain Security. They would be able to attend the next meeting for any Board questions. He reported total amount would be $33,800 for all the areas the Board requested. Gayle wanted to know if there was an annual maintenance fee. Kevin noted it has not been in prior budgets but now is necessary and came up on the discussion of Law Enforcement. Board discussion on doing the work in pieces, not all at once. Board noted that purchase policy probably required putting it out to bid. Greg Herrin brought up items the Board would need to put in place besides just the cameras. Policies, questions on who could access it, monitoring. Chintana brought up whether Townspeople could do fundraising. Board noted they probably could. Board decided the Town Hall and Town Garage as a priority. Board decision to fund the line item at $18,000 to cover the Town Hall and Town Garage. Leyna suggested the line item be in each department category.
Board went over the salary and opted to use a 3% COLA. Gayle to input the numbers into the budget for the next meeting.
Board went over the Highway Budget, ( Equipment repairs to $50,000, Security to $8,000, Gravel $100,000, Sand to $50,000). Board went over Overtime line item- keeping at $15,000 due to future FEMA projects. Discussion on Construction Projects going $75,000 due to FEMA projects next year. Board went over Debt and Capital Funding.
Board went over Transfer Station Budget. William to get costs for next meeting on closing the oil container in and composting toilet. Gayle to get costs for Compactor Maintenance.
Board went over Recreation Budget. Jesse said it was not going up.
Board went over Selectboard Budget, Town Treasurer Budget, Listers Budget and letter for increasing Re-appraisal Fund due to future Re-appraisal the State would be requiring.
Board went over Development Review Budget, Zoning Budget( take out phone), Public Safety, and Town Hall Budget, (Security to $10,000)
Budget work to be continued at January 2, 2024 meeting.
- Highways – Leyna noted she spoke with Rick – no significant damage. Leyna spoke with Chris Bump. Leyna to see if Rick could check out Town Highway 57/Scadin Road.
- Liquor License – Free Verse Farm Shop – Karen stated the Liquor Licenses are all done electronically, the license is a second class liquor license. She noted the company has paid the local fee and has no issues.
Jesse moved to approve the second class liquor license for Free Verse Farm Shop. Leyna seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
- Transfer Station changes – Jesse gave an update on the Transfer Station. Letters went out, it was posted in the paper, Will is anxious as to how Saturday sales will go. Times might change when money is picked up, not sure yet. Snook has some punch cards and recycle stickers for the transition period. The log was made easier to fill out for everyone. Discussion on putting a link on the website in the future to see if it helps take pressure off Will’s eventually. Karen thought a letter out to non-residents that might want to use the Transfer in the summer. Board thanked Will and everyone who made it happen. It went on social media with no comment possible.
- Town Report Update – Kevin had spoken with Kasey and everything seems to be going well. Kelly reported Rich’s family would be honored and have something written. Kevin reported Carrie had been putting a blurb together on the Barn Quilt. Kevin asked them all to go over the last Town report and touch base if they were a liaison. He had started crafting the Selectboard Report.
- Leyna H. moved to approve December 5, 2023 meeting minutes. William L. seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
Added- Jesse K. moved to approve the December 12, 2023 meeting minutes. Leyna H. seconded the motion, all were in favor, motion passed.
- Leyna H. moved to approve orders. Jesse K. seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed.
- No executive session necessary. Kevin noted the Selectboard had received two applications for Town Administrator. Gayle noted that she would need the Selectboard to sign some end of year bills next week. Kevin noted there were two positions on the Selectboard up for elections. Karen to find out last date to submit them.
- Jesse K. moved to adjourn the meeting. William seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 10:06 PM.