Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes (draft)
January 18, 2023
Present: Geoff Clayton, Chair, Kevin Marshia, Vice Chair, Leyna Hoyt, William
Lyon and Kelly Lyford.
Other Town Employees present: Karen Lathrop, Town Clerk, Gayle Durkee,
Treasurer, Marianne McCann, Town Report, Rick Ackerman, Road Foreman
Other present: Chris Belcher, videographer.
- Call meeting to order: Meeting called to order at 6:33 pm by Geoff Clayton.
- Conflict of interest disclosure: No conflicts reported.
Changes to the agenda: Kevin -FEMA request
Marianne McCann- Discuss Town Info Meeting
Karen – Approve 1.07.2023 minutes
- Public Comment –None
- Approve minutes:
a. Selectboard Meeting January 7, 2023: Kevin requested a revision to item
16 of the meeting minutes pertaining to verbiage on wages. Karen noted
the revision was completed and sent to the Board and posted on the
website. Kevin moved to approve the January 7, 2023 meeting minutes
with Leyna Hoyt seconding the motion. No discussion. Motion passed by
b. Selectboard Meeting January 12, 2023: Bill Lyon moved to approve the
minutes of January 12, 2023 with Leyna Hoyt seconding the motion. No
discussion. Motion passed by unanimous consent.
- Approve Orders: Geoff noted he was not going to be taking the EMT course
and asked if the Board would like to go back to Tuesday night as signing on
Wednesday was causing some issues for Gayle. Brief discussion by Board
about starting date. Leyna Hoyt moved to switch back to Tuesday night
meetings at 6:30 pm, the first, third and fifth Tuesday’s starting January 31,
- Kelly Lyford seconded the motion. Kevin clarified only the day was
changing, meetings still at 6:30 at the Town Hall. No other discussion. Motion
passed by unanimous consent.
Kasey Peterson, Grants Admin, reported to the Board that there was an invoice
for the pellet furnace project in the orders and it came out to slightly more than
the $44,000.00 budgeted for the project. Total cost was $51,100.00 due to
having to build a furnace room and pour a concrete pad for the pellet boiler. She
stated that it was the final piece of documentation needed for the $22,000.00
grant reimbursement from the Vermont Arts Council. Kelly asked if all the
documentation for the grant was completed. Kasey said reports were complete
except for some math to show how often the hall was utilized during the year
and the invoice. She noted the hopper holds 9 tons and would go over costs in
the budget section of the meeting. Kevin asked Gayle the process for signing
orders was. Gayle sends the top sheet to the orders prior to the meeting for
review. To be continued below.
- Executive Session – Personnel: Kevin Marshia moved to enter executive
session at 6:49 pm for Personnel & Highway inviting Gayle and Karen. Motion
seconded by Leyna Hoyt. No Discussion. Motion passed by unanimous consent.
Kevin Marshia moved to exit executive session at 7:44 pm. Bill Lyon seconded
the motion. No. Discussion. Motion passed by unanimous consent.
Action: Kelly Lyford to review and rewrite the administrative assistant job
description and present to the board on Saturday.
Kevin Marshia stated the Board would use the VLCT Compensation and
Benefits Report and State-wide avg salaries during the budgeting process for
- Budget Discussion
a. Treasurer Comments: Remember to look at your bottom line of the
budget as you will need to raise that amount in taxes.
b. Highway: Rick reported to the Board that truck 5 needed repairs to the
front end and he needed Board approval as the cost could be anywhere
from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 depending on what was discovered wrong.
Rick stated Board approval was necessary if expending monies over
$2,000.00 which comes under major repairs section of Town Purchasing
Policy. This led to a discussion about the trucks in general and whether
the policy needed to be updated. Board asked Rick what he thought a
reasonable, realistic amount that he would need to complete repairs to
items. Rick stated $5,000.00 but would not spend that much if
unnecessary. Board felt the policy should be amended to read that
amount and just notification to the Board that repairs were necessary.
Karen to make the changes to policy and bring a draft to the Board on
Saturday. The Board went over staffing needs with Rick. Eventually the
highway will need three full time year round employees. Highway is
down to a one full time and one part time employee( 30 hour). When
asked if Rick comes to every meeting, Geoff mentioned Rick comes to
meetings as needed and when the Board appoints the liaison and they will
let Rick know when needed.
Highway Budget – Gayle brought up the income side of the Highway
budget and explained the line items. Kevin asked about the Side-walk
grant. Kasey, Grant Administrator, spoke to it. There is a piece of
sidewalk north and south of the Fire Station that needs repairs. Due
winter setting in, the request for proposals will be out again in the spring.
Expectations are that it will completed before the end of summer. It is a
50/50 match of funds. Kasey to send all reports and the Town to be
reimbursed the $29,000.00. Kevin asked about Grants in aid and
budgeting. Rick stated they have a class 2 grant in aid in the amount of
$175,000.00 for paving with an end date of December of 2023. Kevin
asked if that should be in the budget? Rick stated it had never been
included as it was a wash. In one side out the other. Gayle said they
would see it in resurfacing expenses then on income side it could go
under other grants.
Geoff & Kaseyspoke to bridge grants. She noted Doug Lyford gave her a
folder of items. Kasey stated that Maple St Bridge is a long way down
the list according to Rita Seto at TRORC. Kevin said the Maple Street
bridge went through a prioritization project. It made the list but was not
chosen. The box culvert is an AOT project. Kevin said there were Town
structures grants available. Gayle stated we had $35,000.00 in the
highway match fund so there is money if the Town needed to come up
Highway Personnel – Kevin based on previous discussions they should
budget for the three full time employees and suggested a budget amount
of $175,000.00 and to budget the line items that go with the salaries. In
discussion, Rick thought overtime would go down if they hired three full
time person. Board discussion on it. Gayle to update budget numbers and
bring to next meeting.
Garage – Gayle noted technology was up due to computer purchase and
heating oil is at $2.10/gallon.
Town Equipment – Equipment Rental went up substantially. Rick
reported he traded work with Vershire last year. Worked well though
Town has to wait until they make it available. The budget number was
what it would cost to rent from Tenco. Discussion on how many weeks it
was needed. Bill reported to the Board, Town could rent a tractor for
$2,500/wk from Adam. Board asked Rick to schedule a rental. Rick said
he might need it for three week to four weeks and Board budgeted
Equipment Repairs- Leyna questioned the equipment breakdown. Rick
reported all the trucks were 8 years old with no warranty so all bills
would be all out of pocket. Rick reported the Board needed to think about
replacements as it might take two years to get a truck at this point, as you
can’t buy one right now. The loader was now 22 years old. Leyna asked
if we had an equipment fund and Gayle reported yes, and they had been
putting a little more in it as payments had gone down as vehicles were
paid off. Kelly asked if there was a replacement schedule. Rick reported
he did have one but they haven’t been able to keep to it. Board discussed
all the trucks and the equipment repair line item with Rick. Budgeted
Highway Maintenance – Board discussed diesel fuel with Rick. Cost at
this time is $4.50/gallon according to Gayle. Board stated it needed to be
a realistic number and left it at $80,000. Two high items are Gravel and
Sand. Rick reported last year 70% of what they used for gravel was due
to the extremely bad mud season. McCullough’s upped their prices. Rick
said he thought they had enough sand this year that they could cut down
on it a bit. They put up 4,000 yds are year. Average year usage is 3,500
yds. Board left the budgeted amount as is for now.
Ditching- never had a line item for it. Usually use the backhoe, and hired
Tad to do grants in aid work.
Construction/Projects – Rick stated the three first lines are our percentage
match. Culverts 10% Class 2 Roads 20%. Gayle explained the process
and Rick noted some of it is in kind matchs. Grants in aid is stone lined
ditching. Gayle noted Town reimbursement would be $29,000. Gayle
noted they put in $6,000 for bridges and culverts. None was budgeted for
Debt & Capital Funding – Gayle explained each line. Equipment fund is
there for future equipment needs. Kevin said that might be an area we go
back and tweak. Rick said they need to remember that the bottom line
shows grants that are not part of the highway budget, for example the
sidewalk grant which makes the highway budget look inflated. Gayle
said she would make the changes and bring it to the next meeting.
c. Capital Funds/Critical Needs-Geoff felt this could be put off till the next
meeting. Water and Sewer would be done on Saturday.
d. Any other items which need to be covered- Kevin wanted to go over the
rest of the budget items if necessary. Gayle noted the items under the rest
of the budget items are pretty much set. Kevin asked about all the rec
committee and other small items. Geoff replied many of the line items
are just funds that are balances.
Rick asked if he should be going to the sewer plant every day. The guy
who comes three times a week brings his wife. Board said it was a
liability issue Town and there should be a Town employee there when
someone is not our employee. If Rick can’t make it do to plowing, then
let someone know and maybe one of the Board members could go.
Gayle asked the Board to go back to Town Hall for a look at pellet costs
and maintenance. Kasey reports that the Town has to empty one of the
three fuel tanks down in the hall and Lyme Green would pump it and
take it to the Town Garage if Rick has room. Board took out the oil costs
for this year. Kasey noted 9 ton of pellets were $2,100 for the budget.
Leyna asked about the grant that is available for the Sewer plant. Kevin
gave an update on that. The Town match would be $150,000. Marianne
McCann reported she sent an email to the Board. Project $750,000,
match is $150,000 and it will take a long time to apply and there is a
possibility that the $150,00 could be waived but more reading needs to be
Geoff said he could put a small blurb in the newspaper to get the word
out. Kevin said there is language for rural communities and demographic
lines. He said he has drafted and email for informational reasons only and
if the Board was okay with it he would send it out and let the Board know
what information he receivesback Geoff said to go ahead and reach out.
Just cc the admin or chair on it and just do it in the future, no worries
about getting information
Kasey asked to go back to the Pellet Furnace Maintenance line. She
reported there are two maintenance items. The yearly maintenance plan is
$400/ year and it covers the basic stuff, for example for parts and service
and then there is $210/year fee for a midwinter cleaning for the air filters.
There are four oil furnaces for backups if the pellet furnace has issues but
they are also the blowers for the pellet furnace and they all have to have
filters changed out. She thought the $400.00 includes having them come
switch out the ash box but they don’t do that until 20 ton of pellets have
gone through. Bill Lyon asked about the warranty and Kasey to find out
and report back to board.
Kasey asked about a couple of workshops she would like to go to and
wanted to check with the Board before going. Board is fine with that.
Leyna questioned whether the ARPA money could be used for some of
the Town expenses. Gayle said she would look at it but the government
has been changing the rules. Geoff said wait till the Board saw the final
budget numbers and then see what we have upcoming for expenses. He
reported they had until June to make decisions. Marianne McCann said
they have till 2024 to decide and 2026 to use, but using it right away
could happen. Kelly asked about the criteria and Marianne said you could
go online and see what it can be used for. Kevin noted there was a group
that had a meeting and came up with ideas. Kevin said should the Board
ask them what the recommendations. Geoff stated they had already
submitted a list. Kevin, said he would like to hear from them because he
thought they would have researched it further. Kevin would like to see
this for a future meeting, not at budget time. Gayle noted you can go to
the VLCT website and look at what it could be used for but we have a lot
of sewer issues that need to be addressed. Kevin noted that ARPA can’t
be matched to the sewer grant. Kelly asked if the money in the sinking
fund had criteria attached to it. Gayle to research and get back to the
- Town Clerk- nothing.
- Administrative Assistant- Town Report- Marianne McCann went over the
Town Report calendar. She made up a sheet on Nolan to go into the Town
Report. She reported she needed the Selectboard report, she made some dates of
when the info meeting should be and she stated she needed a warning and
Gayle’s reports as well for it. The contact list still needs the admin assist. She
made the auditors report. She reported there were two info meetings last year.
The Selectboard only needs to have one and it probably should be the second of
March as it must fall within ten days prior to Town Meeting. Kevin asked if
motion were needed for the auditors report and Marianne replied no. She thinks
the books might be mailed on the 21st of February She stated the last day to
complete the warning is February 5, but it needs to be done asap.
10.Town Meeting- The Town Warning is a Hybrid and numbers need to be entered
asap to it, appropriations would be in a day or so. Karen said she could go in get
it on Friday. She thinks the books might be mailed on the 21 of February.
Board wants another meeting Special Meeting January 24, 2023 at 6:30pm at
the Town Hall.
Kevin noted for the public that the Selectboard would be meeting as the Water
Board at 9 am at the Water Treatment Facility then go to the Town Hall after.
Geoff noted he put Selectboard meeting right after for the budget part of the
water and sewer.
10.Rules of Conduct at public meetings- Pass over and tabled to a future meeting,
because of time and there will need to be a long discussion of what the Board
can do and what they cannot and what they can do for policy besides statutory
laws. He feels the Board needs to look at what they can do for legal recourse if
there are issues at meetings.
Kevin wanted to know who to speak to about putting the Chelsea Spotlight
Somewhere in the foyer. Karen said there would be no problem with that.
Kevin also reported he worked with the owl but did not get it to work with his
computer yet but getting closer. Next step to budget a zoom account and it is a
work in progress. He would work with Gayle. He looked at cost of storage but
does not know how much space needed per meeting.
Back to approve orders- Kevin asked for clarification of orders – Gayle stated
pink Top Sheet is Selectboard Orders & Rec, Green is Highway and Blue is
water. Geoff gave a brief synopsis of the Sheriff Dept Billing. He felt the
services received were at times where there was no speeding. Many hours of
paperwork. The Board asked if the contract had been signed and he stated it had
been. The only recourse the Town has would be not to sign a contract. Kevin
would like to invite the new administration to a future meeting to hear from
them and touch base with them.
Bill Lyon moved to approve orders with Leyna Hoyt seconding the motion. No
discussion. Motion passed by unanimous consent.
11.Adjourn: Motion to adjourn: Kevin moved to adjourn at 9:44 with Leyna Hoyt
seconding the motion. No discussion. Motion passed by unanimous consent.