Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, August 2, 2022, 7:30 pm at Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Levar Cole, Mark Whitney, Merrill Whitney, Geoff Clayton
Other Town Officials/Employees present: Marianne McCann (Administrative Assistant)(Herald), Rick
Ackerman (Road Foreman), Gayle Durkee (Town Treasurer), Kristianne Gale (Transfer Station Assistant)
Members of the public present: Bruce Hook, Jeremy Hook, Trudy Dowlin, Emily Reiss
- Call Meeting to Order
Levar Cole called the meeting to order at 7:33 pm.
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure
- Changes to the agenda
Admin. Assistant adds items. Pacif Grant signature. Mail items.
Levar Cole stated a Selectboard member, Henry Cesari has resigned as of today, August 2, 2022. A
Selectboard member has been added to appointments.
Add Transfer Station/ Bear Shed/ Cones/ pollution. Add truck sale and VLCT Town Fair under Admin.
- Town Clerk
- Town Treasurer
Gayle Durkee presented the budget status. Durkee stated The Transfer Station is doing well on the
overall amount now, but by the end of the year it may not be. Myers increased the “environmental fee”.
Geoff Clayton will research the Myers contract. Clayton recommends paying the undisputed portion and
not the additional fee until approved.
Mark Whitney moved to approve the orders except for the Myers invoice. Geoff Clayton seconded the
motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Durkee stated the tax rates have been determined, and she explained the mathematical process briefly.
Tax rates have gone down because the school tax rates went down. If approved, tax bills will be printed
Geoff Clayton moved to approve the tax rate as presented by the Town Treasurer, with the
Homestead tax rate of 2.3215 percent and the Non-Residential tax rate of 2.4020 percent. Merrill
Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Department Updates/Liaison Updates
Re: Highway Dept. Mark Whitney stated he asked Rick Ackerman, Road Foreman to be here tonight.
Roadside mowing is being done using Vershire’s tractor. Rick Ackerman stated we swap work. Other
than the cost of fuel, there will be no out of pocket money. Vershire brought it over and we just started
mowing with it. Cole stated the Selectboard understanding was that Henry Cesari would check on the
cost. What can we do for greater clarity? Should we have Rick take it back or continue mowing? Cole
noted that it is the Selectboard’s call to make. Mark Whitney stated some roads are mowed and some
are not. Now we are committed, because we can’t do some and not others. Merrill Whitney asked what
percentage of all the roads are mowed? Ackerman stated the main drags are done first. One pass at
least. It would be another week to get the rest of the main roads done. The more traveled roads would
be next. On Bradshaw Crossroads, the brush is growing way into the road. The mowing tractor burns
about a gallon or 2 gallons per hour. Brief discussion about the cost of Diesel fuel. Jeremy Hook
recommended not to try to save money by only doing intersections, or portions of roads. Hook
recommends keeping the mower on the ground and keep going while moving to and from intersections
even though you move slower. Geoff Clayton stated at this point in the grand scheme of things, we have
it, it needs to be done, doing it today is usually better than doing it tomorrow, just do all of it. If we had
rented a tractor it would have been 18 to 20,000 dollars. Cole stated he is thinking about the math.
Mark Whitney stated spend the money, when the tax rate goes up to 4 percent, it will just go up. Merrill
Whitney stated at this point, we should finish mowing the roads. Cole stated we just need to make
people aware that we are doing the best we can. Clayton stated we should follow up with a written
email immediately, so that everyone is clear on what we decided, and we can go back and check the
record. Cole stated we should strive to do so the very next day.
Re: General Mowing. Mark Whitney spoke with 2 contractors, who will give us a town mowing estimate.
We are getting estimates to see what our options are. Cole said we might find in-house is cheaper or inhouse costs more. The estimate will inform us, but will not be the sole factor in our decision. We cannot
make decisions without information. Cole stated we need to see what we can save. Whitney stated it
has been brought up that our highest paid town employee is mowing. Whitney wants the actual
numbers to be able to respond.
Re: Truck Sale. Whitney asked what was the code? Ackerman stated unknown. Ackerman will park the
truck by the road with a for sale sign. Re-post on Craigslist.
Re: Transfer Station. Clayton stated the Transfer Station closed early on Sat. July 30, 2022. Clayton went
down to the Transfer Station early the next morning , cleaned up, and found out who left the trash
outside the gate. Clayton proposes writing a letter banishing the person from using our transfer station
as well as reporting her to the authorities. Clayton stated he will write the letter. Inform Transfer Station
employees first. Action: put on next agenda. Admin. Assistant reported ordering 3 safety vests for
Transfer Station. Clayton reported the Bear Shed will be put together soon.
- Public Comments
Emily Reiss is a vendor at the Chelsea Farmer’s Market and shared her concerns about trees on the
Green and parking on the Green in response to recent discussions about maintaining the Greens and
tree maintenance and parking vehicles on the Greens. Reiss stated she is a vendor who has parked on
the Green. Reiss recognizes there is a 1984 ordinance that allows the Selectboard to approve parking on
the Green. Reiss stated parking feels really tight as it is, she is invested in growing the Farmers Market,
and is wondering about where vendors and patrons should park, what are the possibilities? Reiss sent
an email to the Chelsea Selectboard. Reiss suggested having lines drawn to regulate the parking around
the green. Reiss requests that the Farmers Market is considered in the Selectboard plans for the Greens
Cole stated we have not made a decision on a Greens plan, or any enforcement yet. We are concerned
about trees dying and how we can meet the agenda of the town and have a nice Green and healthy
trees and incorporate public comments. We will need to do some kind of renovation on the greens to
mitigate the damage. Clayton stated we will not make more parking spaces. Lines will not change that
Kristianne Gale recommended having unloading zones on both sides of the Green, so that vendors can
drive in and unload for events. Jeremy Hook stated that 110 and 113 are State roads. Cole stated any
decisions will be made publicly and candidly. Gale asked if it is permissible to place cones to reserve a
parking space for large vehicles occasionally. Clayton replied yes, on the town side. Cole stated as a
board, we can consider and give special permission for a food truck, or anyone to drive on the Green.
Trudy Dowlin requested her water bill be reduced to one unit, from two units. Dowlin stated when she
bought the house, they turned it into one unit. The water bill is confusing and does not say anything
about two units. Dowlin believes she is being over charged. Cole stated we need to make the change at
a Water Dept. Board Meeting. (next meeting is Sept. 20.) Clayton asked if Dowlin physically changed the
building. Dowlin stated yes, there was a wall. Action: Gayle: check with Nolan.
- Approve Minutes
Levar Cole moved to approve the Selectboard Meeting Minutes of July 19, 2022. Mark Whitney
seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Admin. Assistant noted that changes were made to the first draft of the minutes.
Bruce Hook asked to be appointed to the Selectboard. Hook stated he has been wanting to do it for
awhile, and my wife passed away, and I have a little bit of free time.
Cole stated he will open the floor for the Selectboard term expiring in 2024. Appointments are until the
next Town Election or the next Town Meeting. Mark Whitney nominated Bruce Hook.
Cole stated if appointed, no action can be taken until you are sworn in by a Justice of the Peace or a
Town Clerk. Cole read the list of names of people that could swear in a Selectboard member. Cole stated
generally, the State allows us to go into Executive Session to discuss appointees. In this case, no board
member requested it, so an Executive Session was not necessary.
Selectboard voted unanimously to appoint Bruce Hook to the vacant Selectboard seat.
Hook was advised about the rules for public records, have a separate email for town business, and other
Selectboard adopted rules and meetings.
- Administrative Assistant
No Village Green Requests, No Roberts Gould Field requests.
Moxley Bridge Renovations. Geoff Clayton has the file. Was VTrans contacted? Not yet.
Request for proposals – sidewalk renovation. McCann stated Kasey Peterson is taking over managing the
entire sidewalk project. Request for proposals are on the website and will be in the Herald for the next
two weeks. Bids will be opened August 16th at the Selectboard Meeting.
ATV Ordinance follow-up. Levar Cole stated I’ve had a number of phone calls to my house regarding the
ATV Ordinance disapproval. They voted to disapprove because they got a flyer in the mail, and saw on
facebook, and on front porch forum, posts giving the impression that it would be illegal to ride an ATV
on Chelsea roads anywhere if they did not disapprove. Is that correct? Mark Whitney stated unless we
(Selectboard) pass an ordinance making it legal, it is not legal. So, all of our roads right now are closed to
ATVs. Cole asked, so, if there was some literature put out saying that if you did not vote to disapprove
the ATV ordinance, then ATVs on any roads would be subject to civil penalties, that would be an
inaccurate statement. Mark Whitney agreed. Cole stated a number of comments were made about
opening all roads to ATVs. Cole asked Whitney, when you were on the ATV Committee, you were looking
at a limited benefit, only a small section of roads opened. Whitney stated the committee was largely
made up of people that were not for ATVs. The compromise that was made was just a tiny area, a loop.
Cole asked can we send Geoff Clayton to Town Fair? Clayton stated he thought Bruce should go. Maybe
we can send Bruce and Merrill. There is also a Leadership conference. Admin. Assistant will send info on
this to all Selectboard members.
Municipal Health Equity survey was filled out by Levar Cole. Cole read his statement out loud. Cole
explained what initiatives the Selectboard was working on in Chelsea.
It was noted Dickson Corbett will be moving away from Chelsea. The Town Planning Commission will be
director-less. Also, Chelsea will need a new moderator. Action: Admin. Asst. will send a note to Bob
Brannon, vice chair of the Planning Commission. Selectboard recognizes Dickson is moving. Please put
Selectboard members on all Planning Commission emails and communications as though we are
members. Copy Cole.
Rick Ackerman wished to clarify with the Selectboard that he is not supposed to be mowing any water
and sewer facilities. Nolan and Jason are supposed to be doing the mowing inside the plant. Ackerman
asked, but what about the other water locations? Away from the plant? Brookhaven, Kennedy, Behind
the old Garage, water tank. Merrill Whitney stated let Ackerman handle anything away from the sewer
plant. Merrill will talk to Nolan. Cole stated this goes to a bigger question, of whether or not to think of
this as a public works department. We could change the name of the job and these are your
assignments, and we compensate you for those other things. Clayton stated for clarification, when you
do the rec field, Nolan takes care of everything inside the fence, plus weed whacking the exterior. Rick
does everything else. Ackerman stated I will not mow the plant this week anyway. Talk to them and tell
me what to do.
- Executive Session for Human Resources.
Meeting adjourned at 9:19 pm.
The next regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting will be Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 7:30 pm.