The Town of Chelsea Selectboard is excited to announce upcoming enhancements to the Chelsea Transfer Station’s payment structure, set to take effect on January 1, 2024. The proposed modifications aim to streamline operations and ensure the sustainability of the Transfer Station. In the spirit of community involvement and to ensure these changes are tailored to meet your needs, we invite all Chelsea residents to attend the Selectboard meeting November 7, 2023, at 6:30 PM, at the Chelsea Town Hall.
1. Cash and check will no longer be accepted at the Transfer Station. Pre-purchased punch cards will be required for waste disposal.
2. Annual recycling stickers must be pre-purchased and shown to the Transfer Station Attendant for use of recycling services.
(For many years, our Transfer Station has operated at a deficit, with recycling costs reaching $22,719 in fiscal year 2022. At a cost of $40 per sticker, this equates to less than $1 per week for recycling.)
*Note, punch cards and annual stickers will be available for purchase at Will’s store or the Town Clerk’s office.
3. Various items accepted at the Transfer Station will see minor changes in pricing.
Your input is invaluable in shaping the future of the Chelsea Transfer Station. This public meeting on November 7, 2023, is your opportunity to express your thoughts, ask questions, and be an integral part of the discussion. We aim to make this transition as smooth as possible and need your input to achieve this goal.
Mark Your Calendar:
– Date: November 7, 2023
– Time: 6:30 PM
– Location: Chelsea Town Hall
Should you have specific questions, suggestions, or require additional information before the meeting, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Present- Kevin Marshia, Kelly Lyford, Leyna Hoyt, William Lyon, Jesse Kay,
Karen Lathrop, Clerk, Rick Ackerman, Highway Supervisor, Michael Whipple, Water & Wastewater Supervisor
Others present- Marianne McCann, Gregg Herrin, Harry Falconer, TRORC, Kevin Geiger, TRORC, Sydney Steinle, TRORC
Call meeting to order: Kevin called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM
Conflict of interest disclosure: None
Additions to the agenda:
Contracts to be signed for Flood Contracts
Public Comments: Marianne McCann stated she sent her resume by email and was interested in the AA position. She also noted that in two meeting minutes an award for work on the Sewer Pump Station had been incorrectly referenced. The Board thanked her for the feedback and stated they made edits to ensure the right name was going to be aligned with the award in the future.
Town Treasurer – Cargill contract: A quote letter was received for salt from Cargill. Karen noted the price was .50 cents per ton higher than last year’s quote. Rick said they have contracted with this company, and they are reliable. quote letter.
Jesse Kay, moved to approve the contract amount of 86.50/ton with a total of 275 tons. Leyna Hoyt seconded the motion. There was no further discussion. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Mike Whipple – Water & Wastewater Plant a. Update- Mike reported the company, Chamberlin Associates, were still on board with repairing the Scada System. The system at the Brookhaven Pump house was struck by lightning and was never repaired. The system allows the pump stations to measure the level in the water tank. The State performed a Sanitary Survey of the water system and said the system needs to go back online. The budgeted cost was $5,900 but Mike stated they would not know the true cost until the company started the repairs.
Leyna Hoyt moved to approve the estimated cost of $5,900 for repair of the Scada system. Kelly Lyford seconded the motion. There was no further discussion. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Mike reported the Town wastewater system was working on an extended permit due to Covid, but the State was working on getting them updated. There are tests that are going to be required and the Town will have to buy an automated sampler system as some of the tests would run for 20 hours. The Board would need to budget for that, and Mike will research costs on them and report back to the Board. The Board inquired about grants that may be available for that or if the State will provide funding as they would be requiring some automation. Mike was unsure of whether that would happen.
The Board noted the budget was overspent due to the emergency nature of filling Nolan’s place and many repairs were required to the already outdated system so there would have to be some use of the sinking fund to cover those repairs. There was some discussion on whether there would be FEMA money available for any damage to pump house 4 door as it is in bad shape. Mike to liaison with Kasey on it. Mike noted Dimmicks company is up and running and we might investigate their costs for sludge management. The company the Town currently uses doubled their costs.
b. Department of Environmental Conservation Service Line Assistance – The Clean Water Revolving fund. Kevin reported the Town sent an application last spring. He also noted there might be a meeting Friday to get the engineering with Otter Creek started. ANR inspected the facility in June. There were some corrective actions. Mike stated many are done and he was waiting for Dave Martineau for the electrical work. Mike and Kevin to draft a letter to the State on those corrective actions and it would get sent to each Board member to keep them in the loop.
7. Two Rivers – Ottauquechee a. Congressional grant for wastewater- TRORC had a discussion on where the Town was in the process of the Congressional Delegation Spending award, the EPA community grant, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The Town had not signed the CDS and has not applied for the EPA community grant so far but applied to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Both Kevin Marshia and TRORC had spoken to Tom Brown. Kevin has a meeting on Friday with Mr. Brown. Kevin spoke with Rebecca Ellis last February. TRORC to reach out to Ellis on behalf of the Town. Kelly stated the Town had no docs signed yet. The Board requested help from TRORC. Kevin gave a history of what has happened so far with the Congressional Award to get a grant. He said the Congressional Award was just for the Pump Station. TRORC recognized the many moving parts of the process. Marianne McCann stated the whole file is in the AA office. Ms. McCann asked if the Town had hired TRORC. TRORC responded they had a state funded grant to help Towns. The MTAP program, Sydney Steinle runs the program and TRORC will reach out to the State to inform them of the request and get the required permissions.
b. Funding to update town by-laws – Kevin Geiger stated it is a possible project. State planning Grants are available, applications due by Nov 1, 2023. His suggestion was to go for a bylaw modernization grant as the program had more money and had 10% match for the Town which would be waived if the bylaws were adopted. This grant would incorporate the changes the legislature has made and to improve housing. The modernization program is to make the process easier, the standards easier for housing. Kevin G stated they just needed a nod from the Board to provide a scope of work. Also, the Planning Commission would also need to give an okay too. The process does have many meetings with the community for their input. Grants for by laws usually run from $12,000- to $15,000 for it. It would also interface with the Town Plan.
The board approved TRORC to go ahead with preparing the scope of work for Town By Laws.
c. Town plan questions – Sydney Steinle reported Town plan transmitted to the Selectboard along with a timeline. She asked the Board to have comments on the plan to her by October 4. She would incorporate individual edits and send the Board a draft. She went through the timeline for adoption. She explained the editing process to the Board. They must have their Selectboard Hearing on November 7 followed by Selectboard Meeting where plan would be adopted. The board decided to move the October 3 meeting until the 10th so all members could be present. Small discussion on Flood Bylaws. Some discussion about making any changes to the Town Plan if so needed. Kevin G. stated the Town Plan would be good for eight years, but the Planning Commission may start the process over to make edits at any time they so choose.
Highway Dept – Road damage update- Rick reported Upper Village Road almost complete. John Smith said there were two trees that should come down and some erosion stone needed to be placed in some gullies. The cost of which would be $3,000.00 over the bid amount. Rick’s recommendation was to do that to finish the work. The board had questions on bank stabilization. Rick reported Mr. Smith was going to put some seed down but just how much is unknown.
South Washington Road work started today.
Sidewalk work at the firehouse complete.
Work on Jenkins Brook is underway by AJ. Though he has to go back to finish a spot-on Maple Ave that he did not know was in the bid. Might be completed by Monday.
There was some discussion on whether mowing would get done due to time constraints. The board thought John might be able to coordinate that while Rick is gone. Rick reported work on O’Donnell and Blackhawk is done. Excavator not coming till October 4, the crew will start on the Pent Road first.
Rick stated a little more sand is needed and that his truck is back from being repaired. The crew can finish hauling sand while Rick is gone. Still needs to finish side filling East Randolph Road. Rick asked about Edwards Road. Kevin said he asked if he could get a Geotech from a resource through the state to give us an idea of what needs to be done. Rick asked about temp fixes being okay with FEMA. Kevin will have to double check on temp fixes with FEMA.
Parks and Forest Commission- The discussion was around how to narrow down a list of 12 people interested in the positions. Board opted to have Jesse and Kasey draft an email to them along with the bylaw and to also include what other areas of the Town need volunteers so they would know there are multiple committee’s that need volunteers.
Planning Commission – Greg Herrin reported they had covered everything when Kevin Geiger was speaking. The Board thanked Greg and the whole Board for stepping up when the Town needed them.
Jesse gave a comprehensive update on the process they thought would work going forward with the punch cards, stickers, and guidance for the Clerk and Treasurer. Board discussion on Annual Renewal date and chose January 1st of the year. There was discussion about how onerous it would prove to be figuring out who was a resident (a resident is anyone who pays taxes in Chelsea) if there were two sets of stickers. Most of the Board thought it would be better to have just one fee, that way stickers could be sold at the stores as well as punch cards. It would make tracking easier as well for the clerk and easier to sell online. There would be a fee for online sales of $2.50 to cover the cost of using the digital portal and postage. Discussion on what happens if a household has more than one car. Maybe Snook would be able to make that decision. There was discussion on when to roll it out. Jesse was waiting to get some more data from Snook(a two-week average of persons using the Transfer Station). Greg had input on marketing ideas. Town Clerk could possibly get word in the Herald through Town Clerk News. More follow up at the next meeting.
13. FEMA Update- Not much to say according to Kasey’s note. Pedestrian bridge costs needed. Kevin and Leyna met with a state consultant, Thad last week on Edwards Rd and Pedestrian Bridge and Maple Avenue. Also met with a person on the basement mitigation. The pedestrian bridge needs some engineering, they checked out Maple Ave., and the consultant said to start work on Edwards. The basement was looked at with Leyna. Kasey will need to get bills together to see if we meet a $ threshold. Karen stated Irving was coming to clean furnaces next week. Leyna to research what vapor barrier cost would be. Update on where items in the hall will reside. Rick to store some items at the Garage. Kevin to ask Judy Libby to pick up the food for the food shelf. Discussion on dehumidifiers. Most people will need them this spring. The board decided that those that haven’t returned them could keep them. The board decided to donate some fans to the school.
Liquor Licenses – Tim Ward- Limit Assets- Kelly wanted a discussion about how we approve new liquor licenses. She felt if the Board was approving a new liquor license, they should give abutters some notice for feedback. As the liquor control board for the Town, they may make any policy. The board agrees and in time there will be a policy drafted.
Leyna Hoyt moved to approve the 1st,3rd class and outside consumption permit renewals for Limit Assets. Jesse Kay seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, all were in favor. Motion passed.
* Added item* Board administratively signed contract with John Smith ($27150), and Tim Ward ($25,311.88) which were approved at time of bid selection.
Jesse Kay moved to approve orders. Bill Lyon seconded the motion. No Discussion. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Approve Meeting Minutes-September 5, 2023- Discussion on who saw the minutes. Kelly Lyford moved to table approval with Bill Lyon seconding the motion. There being no further discussion. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Executive Session- personnel- Kevin stated a need to go into executive session for personnel.
Leyna Hoyt moved to go into executive session for personnel at 9:08 inviting Karen Lathrop. Motion seconded by Jesse Kay. All were in favor, Motion passed.
Jesse Kay moved to exit executive session at 10 PM. Motion seconded by William Lyon . No Discussion. Motion Passed.
Action- Board decision to move forward with a Town Administrator position, moving forward writing a job description for the position/salary for the next meeting.
Decision on employee salary. Leyna Hoyt moved to adjourn at 10.01pm with Jesse Kay seconding the motion. No Discussion. All were in favo
To help more Vermonters whose homes were damaged by the July floods, the USDA Single Family Housing Repair Grant program has revised the required economic designation to include ‘low income’ households. Previously, only ‘very low income’ households could apply for this grant funding.
Included below is a link to the program pre-qualification form, and the revised eligible income levels.
TRORC Representatives: Absent- Sydney Steinle Community Members: None
Note that Sydney Steinle, the assigned representative from TRORC (Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission) was not present, but had provided general suggestions via email on topics to cover.
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order on 2023 June 29 (Thursday) at approximately 7:00pm, at the Chelsea Town Hall.
Prior Meeting Minutes
Bob Brannan distributed draft minutes from the 2023 June 01 and 2023 June 14 meetings.
Planning Commission members to review those draft minutes, and provide any comments at the next meeting.
Gregg Herrin noted that he was not yet able to suggest minor wording and sequencing changes for the first few chapters of the Plan as discussed at the prior meeting, due to a revised working copy of the Plan only being available late on 2023 June 25.
Gregg Herrin to deliver suggested edits of the first few chapters to the Planning Commission
Compressed Town History
Justin Sauerwein noted that he had not yet had time to revise the History section of the Introduction chapter of the Plan, intended to provide a relevant but more concise history of the Town.
Justin Sauerwein to deliver suggested History edits to the Planning Commission members.
Updated Demographics and Other Data
With Sydney Steinle absent, it was noted that the demographics and other data had not yet been updated.
Sydney Steinle to provide updated demographics and related information for the first several
chapters, to allow Planning Commission members to review and provide comments and suggested edits for related text.
It was confirmed that more public engagement is desirable, to collect feedback and to anticipate additional concerns from the townspeople.
Bob Brannan to collect feedback through the Chelsea Facebook page and Front Porch Forum
community associated with the Town.
Appointment of a Secretary
It was noted that the Planning Commission is required to have a Secretary, and that the primary duties of that role are to capture and distribute meeting minutes. After discussion of the duties, required skills, and expected time commitments, Gregg Herrin volunteered to be secretary.
Shenia Covey motioned to appoint Gregg Herrin as secretary, Justin Sauerwein seconded, and all voted in favor.
Decision Summary: Gregg Herrin was elected as Secretary of the Planning Commission.
When meeting minutes or other relevant documents are available, they are to be shared with all Planning Commission members and Sydney Steinle from TRORC, with copy to Selectboard members Kevin Marshia and William Lyon, and also copy to Patty Swahn (Administrative Assistant).
Bob Brannan to send electronic copies of prior meeting minutes to Gregg Herrin to maintain
It was noted that the Chelsea Public School Facilities & Physical Assets section needs significant edits, including an overhaul of the introductory information, updated enrollment data, removal of the Recommendations for Capital Improvements section (since school facilities are no longer owned by the Town), and an update on the services provided by Brookhaven.
It was also noted that the First Branch Unified District may be seeking approval for a Public Universal Pre-K, housed in Chelsea.
Bob Brannan to suggest edits for the entire Education chapter, including a shortened introduction, a
summary of the school facilities and governance (including Tunbridge elements, since Chelsea students go there too).
D Kelly Lyford to provide updated enrollment data.
Shenia Covey to contact Brookhaven to confirm or update services that they provide.
Utilities and Facilities Chapter
It was discussed that the current Utilities and Facilities chapter could potentially be split into multiple chapters, based on town-owned facilities (such as Chelsea Town Hall), town-owned utilities (such as the water and sewer systems), and non-town-owned utilities (such as internet). Since no one present was aware of the benefits or consequences of making changes, it was decided to await guidance from Sydney Steinle when she returns.
Planning Commission members to seek guidance from Sydney Steinle about possible chapter
There was confusion regarding what has and has not been done with regards to energy efficiency improvements for Town Hall and other facilities.
Justin Sauerwein to contact Karen Lathrop and/or Jesse Kay about energy improvements, and
confirm which items from the prior Plan have already been addressed.
There was discussion about possible ways to address space concerns as noted in the current Plan, with possible ideas about using the old town garage as storage archives, saving space through digitalization of records, and so on.
Justin Sauerwein to talk to Karen Lathrop about storage concerns, possible improvements, and
ideas about digitalization (for incoming documents and/or current archives).
The Chelsea Town Garage section is completely outdated, since a new garage has been built since the time the last Plan was published. The old town garage does still exist, so should still be included in the chapter, but the section needs to be completely overhauled to reflect the current situation.
D Ed Kuban to propose an overhauled Chelsea Town Garage section.
It was also noted that many locations are described through non-permanent reference points (such as a business). This is a bad practice, since businesses may come and go over time, and new or unfamiliar residents may find those references unhelpful.
Decision Summary: All locations should be identified by an address if possible, and accompanied by a map where practical and helpful.
No one present was familiar enough with the Public Library section to provide meaningful input, so it was decided to reach out to a Library representative to provide updates.
Gregg Herrin to seek assistance from Chintana Herrin or Kezia Frayjo.
The Public Lands section appears to exclude parcels like the land that the Town Hall sits on, the Commons, and possibly others. It is unclear if this is intentional.
Planning Commission to seek clarification from Sydney Steinle regarding inclusion or intentional
exclusion of various town-owned lands.
Discussion around the Public Sewer Systems and Public Water Systems sections raised many questions about the condition, capacity, and other concerns of those systems. It was identified that a recent inspection of the sewer and/or water systems was done (possibly by Otter Creek Engineering), which may answer some of those questions. There were also questions raised about whether or not any water treatment is done, and whether or not there are any concerns about PFAS substances (per- and polyfluoroalkyls, also known as “forever chemicals”).
Gregg Herrin to talk to Kevin Marshia about the system(s) inspection, fire protection in the village,
and yield of wells.
Shenia Covey to seek more information regarding water treatment and PFAS chemicals.
There were no specific updates requested for the Solid Waste Management section, but it was noted that getting some additional perspective on the current situation would be helpful.
D Shenia Covey to seek more information about possible concerns or desires for the Solid Waste Management section.
It was noted that Sydney Steinle will not be available until the end of July, but Planning Commission members expressed a desire to meet again in mid-July in order to continue progressing on the updated Plan.
Decision Summary: The next Planning Commission meeting will be on 2023 July 18 (Tuesday) at 7:00pm. The location is to be determined, since that time will overlap with a Selectboard meeting, creating a conflict for locating the meeting at the Chelsea Town Hall.
D Gregg Herrin to find out if the Town Library can be reserved as a location to host the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:15pm.
Justin Sauerwein Absent – Neil Kennedy Shenia Covey
Absent- Susan Hardin Selectboard Members: Kevin Marshia
TRORC Representatives: Sydney Steinle Community Members: None
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order on 2023 August 22 (Tuesday) at approximately 6:30pm, at the Chelsea Town Hall.
Comments and discussion focused on content provided as hand-outs to meeting attendees by Sydney Steinle:
Copies of the current draft of the Town Plan
Copies of a document titled “PC Hearing Flags” with considerations of modifications to the Town Plan, including updated graphs and data, specific changes proposed for various sections of the Plan, and tables with implementation details
Maps as supporting figures for the Town Plan
A question was raised about alignment with any efforts the Town currently has to look at recreational trails within Chelsea. Kevin Marshia explained that so far there has just been one meeting where that topic has been raised, and that conversation focused on the town forest. David Paganelli, the Orange County Forester, indicated that the two forest parcels are ready to be harvested, and those funds could potentially be reinvested into having a trail system. The Town Plan should include wording to encourage recreational use of town lands.
Public Highway System
Bob Brannan pointed out that the content about bridges being in disrepair is no longer accurate, since the bridges referenced have already been improved, including sight distance, since the prior Town Plan was published.
Future Land Use
Kevin Marshia made a general comment that the Planning Commission should encourage development in the village area, but he flooding issues create a conflict of intent. At this time, there is uncertainty about what will happen to many of the homes on the north side of Route 110. After Irene there were several houses that were bought out by FEMA (out of 8 or 10 that were being considered).
Regarding proposed point #1 about development density, Kevin Marshia commented that it was unclear what a “principal structure” is, so it should be clarified if that includes something like a barn, or how that is impacted if a barn is converted into an apartment space. Ed Kuban commented that we should be favorable to development, since we need an increased tax base more than we need rural character.
Regarding proposed point #3 about farmland, Kevin Marshia commented that the suggestion seems overly restrictive without having a real impact one way or the other.
Regarding proposed point #6 about primary retail, Kevin Marshia indicated that this could be a real problem. If primary retail is not acceptable, it limits the ability for residents to be entrepreneurial and earn a living. Sydney Steinle pointed out that the Regional Plan already says it’s not acceptable, so it would put the Town Plan at risk of not being accepted if the Town tries to override that point. She also noted that the specific use has an impact on what is allowed, and the Regional Plan has clearer definitions of what “primary retail” means.
Regarding proposed Point #9 about new structures, Kevin Marshia commented that it would be nice to not just defer to the Regional Plan, which seems too restrictive. Sydney Steinle indicated that the best way to influence this point is to discuss the Regional Plan itself with higher level officials at TRORP. Gregg Herrin suggested that we could omit wording or have generic wording about deferring to the Regional Plan, without explicitly making statements that might be overly strict if the Regional Plan does get updated.
Justin Sauerwein asked if there is evidence that businesses would like to come into the village but can’t, and Kevin Marshia provided an example of a business that wanted to come to town but was controversially characterized as “strip development”, noting that this example was outside of the village extents. Justin noted that the “rural character” is impacted with businesses because it changes as traffic patterns change, and with a significant increase in traffic the area isn’t really rural anymore. He noted that the difference is that for farming, the primary traffic is related to exporting goods, not back and forth for retail or commuting.
Regarding proposed Point #11, Bob Brannon asked what area is referenced by “mobile homes in this area”. Sydney Steinle clarified that it is not referring to the flood hazard area, but is instead referring to the area noted as rural residential.
Review of Maps
Sydney Steinle brought paper plots of the various maps that are referenced in the Plan, and also displayed these maps onscreen.
There was discussion about land use, to confirm where the different types of land use were currently defined and displayed in the maps, but there were no specific questions or recommendations related to land use.
Sydney Steinle confirmed during the meeting that the town lands are accurately recorded, as Kevin Marshia was able to provide the SPAN numbers directly during the hearing.
There were several questions and comments related to various maps:
Bob Brannan questioned whether or not the school district now owns some of the recreational fields
Shenia Covey pointed out that the active Town Garage is now in a different place than what the maps currently show.
Gregg Herrin asked whether or not the maps need to include all cemeteries, or just the major ones (for example, there are two small cemeteries located in the woods along Beedle Road).
No new business was brought to the floor, since no public warning had been made regarding a standard meeting following the hearing.
Planning Commission to identify who is responsible for the line items in the implementation table.
Planning Commission to review the rest of the changes as preparation for the next meeting. Decision Summary: The next Planning Commission meeting will be on 2023 September 07 (Thursday) at 7:00pm.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:00pm.