Selectboard Meeting Minutes (draft)
November 7, 2023 – Chelsea Town Hall
Present: Kevin Marshia, Kelly Lyford, Leyna Hoyt, Bill Lyon, Jesse Kay
Others Present: Karen Lathrop, Gayle Durkee, Gregg Herrin, Carrie Caouette-Delallo,Susan Elder, Snook Downing, Anne Carroll, Wyatt Kay, Gayle Durkee, Mark Vermette Neil Kennedy, Rick Ackerman, Jessie Schmidt, Jessie Schmidt, Cheryl MacNeil, Kendra Densmore, Justin Densmore, Eve Desjardin, Frank Keene, Kristianne Gale, Max Quayle, Deborah Quayle, Marty Gratz(online), Robert Harnish (online).
- Meeting brought to order at 6:30 pm by Kevin Marshia
a) Town Plan & Map Adoption/Determination of Energy Compliance Resolution
- Conflict of Interest- none
4. Public Comments – Carrie Caouette-Delallo questioned the policing. Kevin stated tonight was to start a conversation. Frank Keene- asked about the pedestrian bridge to the old cemetery. Kevin stated the Board had been working on temporary fixes and there were 5 permanent fixes being planned. Pedestrian bridge was one of those items. He gave a brief summary of the work done so far. No timeline on permanent fixes that still needed to be done. Kevin noted there would need to be a hydraulic study and an engineering study on the bridge. Frank noted the snowmachine bridge was gone which would create more traffic on Maple Ave. Leyna stated the Pedestrian Bridge was a mitigation project and the Town was waiting to hear on eligibility for that.
Addition- Kevin read the adoption of Town Plan & Maps and resolution to submit adopted Town Plan & Maps for submission to the Regional Commission and the resolution for Determination of Energy Compliance Resolution.
Leyna moved to adopt the 2023 Town Plan & Maps as presented Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed. Board noted the resolution to submit was not included. Leyna moved to submit the 2023 Town Plan & Maps, and resolution to submit the 2023 Town Plan & Maps to Two River Ottauqueechee Regional Commission for approval. Jessie seconded the motion. Motion passed. Jesse moved to adop the Determination of Energy Compliance Resolution. Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed.
5. Transfer Station Presentation & Discussion – Jesse gave a presentation on the Transfer Station. The process used now is cash and check and we are operating at a deficit. The three issues were employee safety, Financial Sustainability and Increasing Costs -Stagnant Revenue. She went through all three items. She noted how other Towns have gone to various methods but most Towns were using a Punch Card System.
The Board is proposing ending cash and checks at the Transfer Station as of 1st January. Punch cards would be available to buy at Will’s or the Town Clerk’s Office and eventually online. She went over the three options $3, $5, $100 ( Construction Dumpster) cards. Jesse went over the deficit the Town has been running. The power point showed a 3 year (expense to income) deficit the Transfer Station. Board is proposing implementing an annual sticker( $40/year)to deal with the deficit starting January 1, 2024. Stickers would be available at Will’s and the Town Clerk’s Office. She noted other Transfer Stations were charging $2.50-3.00/ bag. A $40 annual sticker would be cheaper than charging per bag pricing structure. She noted that Tunbridge still has “free recycling” but it is the only one.
She went over what the potential gains were going to recycling stickers. Any non-resident could purchase one as well. If only half the residents bought a sticker it the Town would break even. If all residents bought one the Town would bring in more that would cover costs.
She noted the costs of running the Transfer Station have increased. She went over the cost of demolition/construction waste costs as well as Solid Waste and then went over fees the Town charges which show a stagnation of revenue to offset the costs. The Towns pricing structure when compared to other Town showed the Town was not charging enough for furniture or mattresses. Bag trash has not increase. The 65 gallon would be going up slightly.
The Board opened up the floor for discussion:
The concerns were :
Persons would put their recycling in the trash – would cost more in punches for trash
Persons coming without a card – okay through transition period but persons to be responsible
Multiple cars but only one sticker- just have to show it, could be on recycling container
Upfront costs to persons on a fixed income –
Program for persons struggling financially – Board to think about it
What would happen if a person’s costs doesn’t match the punch card – taken under suggestion
Why were non-residents not being charged more than residents – confirmation of residency makes for more work/documentation. They want to keep it simple.
Cost of stickers – pennies
Will being paid for this or volunteering to do it – Will is volunteering right now
How would Town would deal with events- exceptions could be made for big events
Persons bringing in a small amount of recycling, others bringing a truckload.
Compost costs? – Still free at this point.
The Board noted all of the concerns raised and answered them and stated there would be a transition period where they would accept cash, but that would not last forever. There would be a period of time where they worked through the process, troubleshooting and streamlining it. Changes would be made as necessary. The Board appreciated everyone’s comments and suggestions made. The Board was not making a decision for a couple of meetings
6. Budget Prep- Board and Gayle discussed budget prep. Budget needs to be completed by January 16. Discussed meeting dates to Gayle. Board to start dedicating time at every meeting. Gayle noted salaries need to be gone over, highway and water budget would be a bigger conversation. Budget Drafts to be in by December 19. Liaisons need to check in with their departments. Gayle noted we would need to get a line of credit on the agenda for the next meeting.
a. General Update- Rick gave a report on work done to date on Edwards Road He submitted a proposal from Lafayette for guardrails on Doyle Road for $4550.00. Rick though it was Fema reimbursable. More culverts to go in on Pepper Road. Board okayed Rick doing the Town Hall snow clearance provided he had time. Sand will be in the hall. Karen to get Rick a key. Rick reminded the Board they will need to budget for a truck. Leyna and Rick to work on it.
b. Brannan/Osterbye Access Permit – Blackhawk Road. Rick signed off on it. Leyna moved to approve the curb cut for Bob Brannon on Black Hawk Road. Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed.
c. Ashton Access Permit- Chelsea Line Road. Rick signed off on it. Curb cut. Jesse moved to approve the access permit for Charles Ashton on Chelsea Line Road. Leyna seconded the motion. Motion passed.
d. Sidewalk Completion – Final Completion of Sidewalk. Rick stated there is a low spot in the middle, where the asphalt was done but not in the sidewalk but the paving. Kevin said he had spoken with Alan. The joints were not great, but no fix. Leyna moved to approve the Final Completion of the sidewalk. Jesse seconded. Motion passed.
8. Declaration of Inclusion- Kelly reported a group brought forth a Declaration of Inclusion at our last meeting. The Board looked at it and Kelly read the declaration.
Jesse moved to adopt the declaration of inclusion statement with edits added Leyna seconded the motion.
There was some discussion on the wording. Deborah questioned the last sentences meaning. Kelly noted they did not want the statement to be a token document. This Declaration Statement would start a conversation. Gayle wanted to know if persons that did not agree that would be considered a hate crime? Tracy, OCRJS, stated everyone had freedom of speech. She thinks this declaration created a place to have a conversation, without excluding people and that people are made welcome. It was complex but she supported it. Kevin stated this is a statement, not a policy, or ordinance, a general statement of inclusion. It opens a conversation. Greg would like part of it read again. Maybe a list of categories would exclude people. Jesse stated we are looking for consistency with other towns. Mr. Robert Harnish spoke to the Declaration of Inclusion. This would be the start of a Townwide conversation. Does not see a downside to adopting this. Maybe put a framed version of it in the Town Clerk’s Office.
Vote called, Motion passed.
9. Forest & Park Commission- Kevin reported they met unofficially last night about 8 persons a few missing. Good Discussion about should there be two committees. Kevin noted that the park’s commission had been dissolved. So there would need to be a motion to recreate the Forest Parks Commission. Kelly questioned why it was dissolved? Kevin said lack of involvement. Jesse moved to re-establish a Forest and Parks Commission for the Town of Chelsea. Leyna seconded the motion. Kelly had questions on whether it should be a committee or commission. Yes commission. Motion passed. Kasey to make them aware of this.
10. Law Enforcement- Kevin stated they reached out to the State Police and Orange County Sheriff’s to plan a meeting. No date set yet. Board wants to find out what is out there as options/resources that are out there. Currently have a contract with OCS for 12,500.00. The Board recognizes the issues are out there and they are looking for solutions going forward. The Board needs to understand what they can do as a Board for law enforcement. Next meeting it is the 21st or can it be done sooner. Kelly stated the Board is waiting on other person”s availability. The Board will get the word out. Deb Quayle asked what we were getting for our contract. Limited daily patrols. Kelly thinks it was around 4 hours a week but not much. Earlier in the year there was no coverage. Orange County Sheriff stated VSP is the primary enforcement. Kevin said Bob Childs had come to an earlier meeting. Kelly said the Board had reached out to Corinth earlier. Carrie said there was a group a couple of years ago there was a group but doesn’t know what happened with that. Kelly stated this trend started quite a while ago. This is due to a loss of law enforcement presence during Covid. Eve Desjardins stated there is a mental health crisis in VT but VSP has screeners used to call people, not sure is Clara Martin has anything at this point. Chelsea is in a dead zone for 24 hour services. Washington Mental Health would not cover our Town. Now a person can speak to someone on a phone. ( Mental Health Aspect). What are the options for interface with the ambulance or some people could be on call.
11. Municipal Energy Resilience Program – Kevin went over the program. Board agreed that assessment would be done on Town Garage and Town Hall. Jesse moved to approve the memo of understanding between the Town of Chelsea and The Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services for the provisions of Municipal Energy Assessment Services under the Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP). Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed.
12. VLCT PACIF Coverage Direction Form- VLCT form on coverage. Kevin read both options. Board discussion on the options and VLCT email on it. Kevin reported the difference is cost. $250,000,000 is what we have had for coverage. Jesse moved to continue the $250,000.00 Coverage from VLCT. Leyna seconded the motion. Motion passed.
13. Town Report- Kevin reported Kasey would work with the Board on the process of sending notices to persons requesting reports. The sheparding piece still needs to be addressed and editing piece to the reports to the printers. That is the person missing. Karen to send electronic copy to Board Members. The Board just needs to jump on board with getting reports in asap. Kevin wants to go to the timeline used last year. Karen reported an email was sent to everyone. Karen to work with Kasey on that email. Send to also send to Selectboard.
14. Approve Minutes Oct 30, 2023- Jesse moved to approve October 30 meeting minutes as written. Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed.
15. Approve Orders- Leyna moved to approve the orders. Bill seconded the motion. Motion passed.
16. Admin Position- Kelly reported draft Town Admin job description not completed. Kelly to finish it and try advertise it next week. It would go out Vermont Dept of Labor’s website, VLCT , Upper Valley Paper. Kelly to write the ad. It will go out to next meeting agenda item for update only.
17. Executive Session if Necessary- none
18. Adjourn– Leyna moved to adjourn. Jesse seconded the motion. Motion passed. Adjourned at 9:00 PM.