Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 7:30 pm at Chelsea Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Levar Cole, Mark Whitney, Merrill Whitney, Bruce Hook
Other Town Employees present: Marianne McCann (Administrative Assistant)(Herald), Gayle Durkee (Treasurer), Rick Ackerman (Road Foreman), Nolan LaFrancis (COO Water System), Bernard Downing (Transfer Station Attendant).
Members of the public present: Heidi Chapman, Chris Byrne, Judy Libby, Andy Pomerantz, Kate Willard, Phillip Mulligan, Bob Frenier, Trudy Amber-Dowlin
- Call Meeting to Order
Meeting called to order by Levar Cole at 7:31 pm.
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure
- Changes to the Agenda
AA requested the appointment of Town Moderator be moved forward in the meeting, if a candidate
shows up as planned.
- Supervisor Check-In
Re: Transfer Station: Snook Downing stated concerns and opinions about stickers and pricing for
residents and non-residents. Downing stated a ticket system might work. Action: discuss with Geoff
Re: Water System: Cole stated the Selectboard has hiring concerns and concerns about employee
compensation. Cole stated the Selectboard has added a $4,000 signing bonus to the Assistant Chief
Operator job ads. Nolan La Francis stated no problems or concerns at this time. About the hiring, if you
can’t find help, you can’t find help.
Re: Highway Dept: Rick Ackerman stated no labor concerns. Hook Road ditching project is underway and
looking good. Truck will be sold tomorrow.
- Town Clerk
There are 3 Liquor License applications from the Wagon Wheel.
Levar Cole moved to approve First Class Restaurant/Bar License (00230) for Wagon Wheel Bar and
Grill. Mark Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Levar Cole moved to approve Third Class Restaurant/Bar License (00233) for Wagon Wheel Bar and
Grill. Merrill Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Levar Cole moved to approve the Outside Consumption Permit (00234) for Wagon Wheel Bar and
Grill. Bruce Hook seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Town Treasurer
Re: Budget: Durkee stated nothing drastic in budget. Hauling sand has been cut off. Nothing else until
winter months. Orders presented. Request for Proposals for Audit updated and presented. Action: Place
ad in Herald. Post full audit proposal on our website.
Levar Cole moved to approve the RFP for Audit Services. Merrill Whitney seconded the motion.
Motion passed unanimously.
Re: Debit Card/Credit Card: Durkee proposed to have only one card with the Treasurer, no ATM
withdrawals, standard point of sale limit of $2,500. Treasurer must be the primary signer. Admin. Asst.
can have a card. Bank suggests a separate account with a balance of $2,500.
Levar Cole moved to approve the debit card proposal, with the understanding that the proposed debit
card restrictions will be amended to the Town of Chelsea purchasing policy. Mark Whitney seconded
the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Mark Whitney moved to approve the orders. Merrill Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed
Payroll Town: 6,283.85
Rec Dept.: 170.00
- Department /Liaison Updates
Highway: Bruce Hook reported the Truck will be sold tomorrow, the Old Town Garage will be painted by
next week. The roof will be painted.
Transfer Station: Geoff Clayton absent. Move to next agenda.
Water/Wastewater: Nothing to report.
Town Mowing RFP: Mark Whitney requests previous RFP language be checked in office files.
Village Greens Maintenance Proposal: Mark Whitney requests extension of a couple Selectboard
Meetings and then place back on agenda.
Health Officer, Animal Control: Geoff Clayton absent. Move to next agenda.
Zoning, AA, Planning Commission: Levar Cole requests date in October for Zoning Admin. 3 month
- Use of ARPA money Discussion
Proposal by Heidi Chapman to fund a quarterly newsletter, called Chelsea Spotlight, for 1 to 3 years for
about $7,000. per year. Chapman stated the newsletter would be a paper newsletter, printed and
mailed to everyone in Chelsea, and a digital online version. An 8 page dummy newsletter was presented.
Proposal by Bob Frenier to fund a dental health center for $50,000.00 in ARPA funds for partial salaries
for two dental care providers in the proposed new program’s first year. Chelsea Health Center’s dental
partner, HealthHub, has been awarded $350,000 for two new dental trailers, one for adults, and one for
school hygiene. The secondary request is for permission to locate the adult dental mobile unit on townowned land near the Old Town Garage for 3 -4 months per year.
Proposal by Andy Pomerantz and Kate Willard to fund a trail system, or a planning effort for a trail
system. Maybe have a committee. Potential trails discussed were downtown Chelsea to Rivendell Trail,
trails through the Town Forest, and a proposed trail encircling the town of Chelsea.
Question asked by Trudy Dowlin, does the Selectboard make the decision on it’s own?
Levar Cole, answered yes. The Selectboard makes the final decision on ARPA money expenditures. The
Selectboard has tried to solicit as many public ideas and proposals as possible. In the final analysis, we
will make the decision. Our plan is to spend the money as best we can. We will leverage the Federal
dollars as soon as we can. The Chelsea Selectboard has discussed the ARPA money in public meetings 8
times in 2021, and 15 times in 2022, including a June 14th meeting that was a “brainstorming session”.
Proposal by Phillip Mulligan for the Window Dressers program to build wood and plastic window inserts
for the Town Clerk’s office at a cost of $495.01. We need to know by the end of the month. Mulligan
also proposed an air loss and heat loss assessment on the Town Garage building using ARPA money as
an energy focused project.
- Public Comments
- Approve Minutes
Levar Cole read changes he had to the August 30 minutes and presented a written copy of the changes.
Levar Cole moved to approve the Chelsea Selectboard Minutes of 30 August 2022 with the
additions/corrections presented. Merrill Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Administrative Assistant Report/ Grants Administration
Levar Cole moved to approve the Highway Access Permit for Ruben Hook at 146 Hook Road. Mark
Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed with one abstention (Bruce Hook).
A Roberts Gould Field request by the Chelsea Rec Committee was approved and signed for a soccer
tournament on 9-25-22.
A Roberts Gould Field request by First Branch Athletics was approved and signed for 5/6 soccer practice
and games from Sept. 19 to October 28.
Hiring for Water Dept and Admin. Asst: a $4,000 signing bonus was added to job ads posted on
electronic water job boards. Admin Asst. job advertised in Herald. No candidates applied yet. Action:
post Admin. Asst. job on Indeed, when possible with town debit card.
Mark Whitney asked about the OWL and how can we do minutes with digital technology. Brief
discussion re: minutes. How will we do minutes? Remote minutes? Remote Town Report? What parts of
the Admin. Asst job can be done remotely?
Scheduling for 2023 budget planning discussions: An updated version of last years schedule, with new
dates presented to the board. Action: Send out email to all departments with dates.
Arts Grant/ Pellet Furnace: Levar Cole reported to the Board on the changes and updates to the
installation of the wood pellet furnace in the Town Hall. Inspection and Proposal for a new chimney liner
from Chimney Savers was scheduled.
Update on other Grants: none.
Vermont Land Trust/Taylor-Putney Conservation Easement. Letter presented. Selectboard can respond
if disagrees with analysis. Cole will respond for the Selectboard.
Levar Cole stated, as a follow-up on the trail system plan by Kate Willard, that sometimes there is seed
money by horse groups, for trail damage done by horses, in order for the horse groups to be allowed to
go on the trails. Sometimes the horse groups come out and maintain the trails. Sometimes ATV groups
come out and maintain the trails. We are working out what we can do for the community. The ATV folks
were really interested and volunteered to do the work. Should we consider something like this for multi
use trails? Who are these trails for? Foot trails? Bike trails? ATV trails? Horse trails? We have ATV
volunteers who have already told us they would do the work. What can the board do to support you,
Mark Whitney, in the activity of making a trail proposal, or a town forest proposal?
- Executive Session for Human Resources
Meeting adjourned at 9:50 pm.
The next regularly scheduled Chelsea Selectboard Meeting will be Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 7:30 in
the Chelsea Town Hall.