Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at 6:30 PM
Chelsea Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Kevin Marshia, Chair, Kelly Lyford, Vice Chair, Jesse Kay, Leyna Hoyt, and William Lyon
Other Town Employees Present: Gayle Durkee (Treasurer), Kasey Peterson (Grants Liaison), Karen Lathrop, (Town Clerk), Patty Swahn, (Administrative Assistant) Mike Whipple/Nathan Billings (Cloverpatch Water Services), Kristianne Gale (Transfer Station)
Members of the Public: Rella and John Rice, Marianne McCann, Matthew Durkee, Carolyn Mesh, Roy Hayward, Emily Reiss (Chelsea Farmers Market), Robert Clark (Otter Creek)
1. Call Meeting to Order:
Meeting called to order at 6:31 pm by Kevin Marshia, Chair
2. Conflict of Interest Disclosure:
3. Changes to the Agenda:
4. Public Comments:
Kevin read the email from Cindy Allen dated Saturday, March 25, 2023, regarding concerns. Cindy Allen wrote in her email:
1) That at the Selectboard meeting in November 2022, Geoff Clayton had a letter from an attorney stating the town is liable for the pipes across the road without permits, and wanted to know who was accepting all this liability?
2)The level of the parking lot at the Heath field was supposed to be returned to its original level according to FEMA, to allow flood waters to drain around the sewer plant more easily. The Selectboard will respond to Cindy once they have researched these topics.
3. Hope that this selectboard showed appreciation for the last selectboard.
Karen Lathrop brought a request from Chelsea School’s sixth grade class to use the Town Hall for a play and practice on May 2,3 and 4th 2023. A motion was made by Jesse Kay to accept the Chelsea School’s request to use the town Hall and to waive the fee typically associated. The motion was seconded by William Lyon; all members approved the request.
5. Town Treasurer:
Orders were presented and approved by all members of the Selectboard.
6. Otter Creek Engineering: Robert Clark, Licensed Civil Engineer
Otter Creek Engineering has been helping the town of Chelsea off and on with projects for 20 years since their firm’s Inception in 1981. Otter Creek Engineering began working with the Town of Chelsea in late 1999 and continued into 2000. They have helped in a variety of different projects related to the water and wastewater system, recently did a 20-year evaluation that was associated with the town’s Wastewater Plant. It was a requirement of the permit that is issued by the State of Vermont. A variety of different State and Federal funding programs are available to the Town of Chelsea to help address some areas of improvement identified in the report. Minor concerns include standard wear and tear and that is to be expected for a facility almost 50 years old, the need for bigger cost items, such as the Pump Station.
7. Cloverpatch Water Services: Nate Billings/Mike Whipple discussed the proposal of their contract to maintain and provide operating services for both our water and wastewater systems. Contract is a standard contract. Nate and Mike’s normal operations, routine equipment maintenance and light building/grounds maintenance to keep a clean work environment, except as Stated where it is the Owner’s responsibility section. All compliance reporting to the State of Vermont, collection of all required sampling, delivery of samples to the lab. Water meter reading and recording 4 times a year. As needed water meter and reading device repairs for proper operation. Hydrant flushing and valve exercising annually which is done in the Spring. Assistance and consultation with preparation of operational and maintenance budget. Timely notification and assistance with permit renewals. The board will review the proposal.
8. Village Green Request: Emily Reiss, Chelsea Farmers Market Manager
Emily sent a follow up email to the approved use of the town green with three additional requests for consideration:
A) Would the SB allow vendors and musicians to temporarily pull vehicles onto the green to unload goods and equipment, and to reload at the end of the market? The vehicles would be moved off the green during the Farmers Market.
B) A local vendor drives a small riding lawn mower and sets their goods and wares up using the trailer attached to the lawn mower. Would the SB allow this vendor to drive the riding lawn mower onto the Village Green and be able to leave her portable display attached to the riding lawn mower during the market?
C) Would the SB consider a designated parking area along the North Common Road for a Food Truck vendor and allow the designated spot to be blocked off with cones? Emily Reiss will submit an appended request with the above items to the Selectboard for consideration and the board will respond in writing and will take it up at our next meeting.
9. Application for work within the Town Right-Of-Way:
Matthew Durkee, Brooke Rd, Chelsea has requested a permit to install conduit and a water line from his well across the road to allow the overflow from the well to drain. The idea is to dig a trench and put a one-inch water line and conduit, or something similar underneath the road. Matthew will coordinate with Rick Ackerman in terms of when the work will be completed, and the road will need to be closed. The Application was approved. Rick Ackerman will review the work upon completion.
John and Rella Rice, Thorn Place or Thorn Road, to possibly install 11 new culverts and add crushed gravel. The request before the Board is to allow the Rices to improve the Class 4 road. The Town needs an opportunity to look at the road in person to have a general feeling about agreeing to give Rice’s permission to haul fill in. The Board is not comfortable at this point to allow culverts to be added. Mr. Rice felt that the road needs more than anything, drainage ditches on the sides because the water is running down the middle of the road. The Board will hold the beginning of their May 2, 2023, meeting at the site of John and Rella Rice’s permit application. We will begin the meeting at 6:30 pm, go over the site with Rice’s, suspend the meeting and return to the Town Hall where the Board will re-open the meeting.
10. Website update: Kasey Peterson and Karen Lathrop
The Town’s current website hosting company sent an email stating they would like the Town to sign a five-year contract for $3,995.00 per year. Our current contract is $650 per year. Karen reached out and talked with them and they are not providing any new service. The Board will not sign a contract with them. Our current contract expires April 1st. The Board has asked Karen to contact our current webhost company and let them know our intentions of not renewing. If the current webhost does not agree to the extension, any employment vacancies, SB meeting notes and SB agenda will be posted in Town and social media.
Kasey has contacted a web hosting company that she has worked with in the past, ThorWorks, to discuss setting up a design. The cost per year would be approximately $350 or less.
Karen updated our Domain name ownership in preparation for a change in ownership and website management. The Town Domain name will be locked for 60 days, and will be released (April 28). The new website hosting company is in a holding pattern.
Kasey will continue to work on the website and when the time comes it should take a day or day and a half to unlock the domain name before moving to the new service.
11. Transfer Station: William Lyon and Kristianne Gale
Billy orchestrated the purchase of an electric fence with a plug-in charger for the compost section of the Transfer Station to deter bears. Bill will install the fence next week. The electric fence will only be on when the Transfer Station is not being used. .
Kristianne spoke about looking at the possibility of a different company to pick up our compost as the company we currently use does not provide sawdust to cover the compost to help eliminate odors, animals and insects. In the past pine shavings were used. Kelly mentioned reading in our recent inspection report or permit, that pine shavings are required as part of our compliance to collecting compost. Kevin asked Billy to obtain a barrel of pine shavings for the compost.
It was mentioned that Steven Thomas of Chicken Wiggle Farm may be interested in talking to the Selectboard about having a contract with the town that could be mutually beneficial for the farm and the town. It was identified that feeding it to pigs may not be an option because the compost has meat scraps and bones which are likely prohibited from being used as animal feed and would need a separate barrel. Leyna will contact Steve Thomas to see if he would like to pursue the conversation with the SB.
Leyna has obtained a list from Rick of all the town properties that require mowing: Heath Field, Chelsea Sign, Sewer Plant, tennis courts, two commons, town hall, the welcome to Chelsea sign on route 113, the water pump house by Brookhaven, water tank by Kennedy’s with the old town garage in the area behind it, new town garage and 3 (three) FEMA properties, the Allen, Babcock and Richard Dybvig properties.
The horseshoe pits are not being mowed by the town. Weed whacking is done three times a year and the transfer station is done monthly.
Leyna spoke with Rick to consider contracting out the mowing. Board agreed. Mowing will be back on the agenda for April 11, 2023, SB meeting to set a date for pre-bids. Leyna and Billy will work together on the mowing bid request proposal.
Highway Equipment and Capital Equipment:
Leyna reported on the age of the town’s highway equipment and the replacements that will be needed in the next two years, as well as more extensive maintenance. Leyna requested an evaluation be done on the loader, and a full maintenance workup to be done on the grader, as it has been 6 years since a full maintenance was completed. A very loose estimate was provided of $6,000.00. The Board will look at the Town’s Purchasing Policy and revisit the request for the grader maintenance on Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Paul’s truck will need to be replaced as it will be ten years old in 2025 and it takes two years to receive a new highway truck. Leyna to ask Rick to inquire information on a timeline and cost of a new highway truck. The Board discussed having VLCT help with a Capital Equipment replacement plan.
Planning Commission: The Board will invite the Planning Commission to attend their next
SB meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 2023, so that we can begin planning for the updated town plan that is due on November 19, 2023.
Executive Session: Roberts Poor Fund and Town Employee salaries
William Lyon motioned to move into Executive Session at 9:30 pm.
Leyna Hoyt recused herself from the Roberts Poor Fund discussion due to a conflict.
Patty was invited to stay for the Executive Session.
The motion to distribute funds from The Roberts Poor Fund was accepted and approved.
Due to time restrictions the Board took no action as it related to the town employee salaries that will be taken up at our next meeting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, once we have further conversation with employees.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 pm.
Chelsea Selectboard Administrative Assistant