Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 7:30 pm at Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Levar Cole, Mark Whitney, Merrill Whitney, Geoff Clayton, Henry Cesari
Other Town Officials/Employees present: Marianne McCann (Administrative Assistant)(Herald), Rick
Ackerman (Road Foreman).
Members of the public present: Peter Amber, Frank Keene, Bruce Hook, Tyler Hook
- Call Meeting to Order
Meeting convened by Levar Cole, Chair, at 7:31 pm.
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure
- Changes to the Agenda
Tree Inventory with Peter Amber moved to around 8 pm.
- Town Clerk
- Town Treasurer
Orders presented. Document about Gillespie propane fuel costs program presented.
Rec. Dept: 370.00
Water Dept.: 1,565.31
- Department/Liaison Updates
Highway: Truck Sale: Allegiance wants the code, which Rick sent. Henry Cesari has yet to get a new
number of what price Allegiance would pay for the truck. Put a for sale sign on it? Put it on a list serve?
Put it on VT Local Roads? Action: Sell truck soon. Mowing: Cesari stated Vershire might be done with
their mowing machine and might rent it to us. Cesari stated he could get a cost estimate from Vershire.
Cole stated townsfolk are concerned about mowing in general. How much is mowing costing? How
much mowing is being done? The Recreation Committee has not responded about mowing costs. Road
Crew employees doing the mowing could be costing us more. Mark Whitney stated he wants to
compare costs between town road crew mowing and contractors mowing. Cole stated public works
dept. is an option. Cesari stated people have asked the Selectboard to use ARPA money for mowing. This
would be problematic, but we could do it. Frank Keene stated the cemeteries have the best mowing
crew they’ve ever had. Keene suggests no changes to cemeteries mowing.
Transfer Station: Cole stated safety cones and high visibility vests for employees are requested. Cones
for safety in front of the compactors. Clayton stated street signs with metal poles would be better for
safety. Vehicles backing up and hitting the metal doors on the compactors, or people that may be
standing there, is the safety problem. Action: procure vests and metal signs. Bear remediation
container: Clayton stated there is a piece missing from the shed and it has yet to be assembled. Clayton
stated people should say something if they think something will not work, like the bear shed. Other
solutions to the problem can be considered. There is no personal investment in one solution over
Riverside Cemetery/Bridge: Clayton stated the bridge is on a town right of way. Clayton recommends
allowing the VAST snowmobile group to expand the bridge. Cole stated some months ago we approved
the use of Bradshaw Crossroad to expand the VAST trail. Kate MacLean, previous Selectboard member,
advocated limited ATV and snow machine use at Bradshaw Crossroad in November 2020. That is in the
minutes and the Selectboard has not heard any complaints about that action. Because of that action in
November 2020, we need a motion for this. Clayton stated VAST people will have to go thru the DRB and
advise the adjoining landowners.
Geoff Clayton moved to approve the VAST request to expand and improve the “North Snow Machine
Bridge” (Riverside access bridge) for snowmobile use, provided the project meets all State
requirements and any Town Zoning requirements. Mark Whitney seconded the motion. Motion
Frank Keene stated the snowmachine club is not paying for a different bridge at present. I’m not sure it’s
necessary to go thru the DRB. Clayton stated the request is to widen the bridge. We need to see the
plans. Keene stated Pat Ross needs to approve it, and then they can just build it. Keene asked is the
snowmobile club paying for it? Yes.
Pear Ridge Productions/Adventure Dinners: Request to Cater Malt, Vinous and/or Spirituous Liquors;
violation follow-up: Clayton summarized action taken since the last Selectboard meeting. Clayton stated
a letter was written to the VT DLC about the violation (serving liquor without an approved liquor license)
on June 25, 2022. The VT DLC response was a fine of $260.
Bruce Hook stated he wanted to know what the Town will do. Cole stated he would not advocate for
another license at this point. Merrill Whitney stated we told them no. I don’t think there is another
question. We should notify the State that it should not happen again. Clayton stated I would like to
recuse myself from dealing with Longest Acres Farm. Cole stated if we have future issues with this
applicant Mark Whitney will be the lead person. Tyler Hook asked are they applying for another license
for July 22? Yes.
- Public Comments
Frank Keene stated there are problems with speeding vehicles on Maple Avenue. One came over the
bridge fast enough so that the wheels slammed down on the other side. This has been happening on
several occasions. Can the 15 mph area be extended?
Cole stated All the roads are listed out in the traffic ordinance. If we change anything with the speed
limits, we must modify the ordinance.
Keene stated some of the other roads say 35 mph.
Cole stated Yes. All the unmarked roads are 35 mph. Cole explained he recently checked the traffic
ordinance for another speeding complaint on Hall Road. Henry Cesari asked about the possibility of
changing the traffic rules without changing the ordinance. Cesari will check into this. Cole stated some
roads are enumerated specifically.
Keene stated there was a hard rain last night. Highland on the further end took a beating. I may need
some gravel. I’ll get the tractor out and work on the road in the morning.
Cole stated if this will be specific to the cemetery, make sure Rick gets a reimbursement for the Highway
- Town Commons Tree Inventory with Peter Amber (walk to the Greens to inspect tree conditions)
Cole stated there is some controversy about the trees/Greens. We are being told the trees are dying for
a number of reasons: climate change, soil compaction, salt. Whitney suggested put in the Use of the
Village Greens request form, that you cannot drive on the Greens. Cole suggested a public service
announcement. It was noted, there exists a town policy that Selectboard approval is necessary to drive
on the Greens.
Peter Amber stated whatever you can stop (drought, soil compaction, salt) you should. We should plant
the right tree in the right place. Salt tolerant, drought tolerant trees. Amber named the varieties of trees
and pointed out which were doing well, which were dying, what types of trees that should replace the
dying trees, what growth habits should go in what location. Amber provided a thorough and extensive
overview of the South and North Commons for the Selectboard that ended around 8:52 pm. Amber
recommended to knock down the dead sugar maple, start a replanting program of Celebration Maples.
Topsoil, reseeding, fertilizing trees, and pruning and cutting was also discussed.
Cole stated he would like for this board to take action on a plan for the Greens, parks maintenance, and
tree purchases. Mark Whitney will put something together for the town, considering tree planting and
best practices for tree and Greens maintenance. Amber stated he donated some trees previously,
including a spruce tree near the church. The church offered to pay me to dig the spruce up and get a
prettier tree as a replacement. The Selectboard agreed Mark Whitney will take the lead on approving
this on behalf of the board.
- Administrative Assistant Report
United Church of Chelsea requests use of the Village Green for August 6, from 12 to 8 pm, for an Ice
Cream Social. Approved.
Chelsea Area Senior Citizens Center requests use of the Village Green, from 1-3 pm, for nine Tuesdays
beginning August 2, and ending Sept. 27, for Senior Croquet. Approved.
Moxley Bridge file presented to Selectboard. (Geoff Clayton). VTrans requests Selectboard action about
right of way, and Chelsea Questionaire. Action: Selectboard is in agreement that a Moxley Bridge rehab
is not desired by the Town of Chelsea. Selectboard is in agreement that other bridge work is more
pressing. Selectboard will contact VTrans.
Liquor License request to Cater Malt, Vinous and/or Spirituous Liquors for an event date July 22, 2022 at
Longest Acres Farm. Request by Adventure Dinner, same vendor as last license request. Letter written
by Sas Stewart, caterer, to the Selectboard apologizing for late paperwork for the previous catering
permit, and describing her catering business and the dinner event was presented by Admin. Assistant.
Henry Cesari moved to approve the Request to Cater Malt, Vinous and/or Spirituous Liquors by Pear
Ridge Productions/Adventure Diner for a July 22, 2022 event at Longest Acres Farm. Merrill Whitney
seconded the motion. 1 yes (Cesari), 3 no (Whitney, Whitney, Cole), 1 recusal (Clayton). Motion does
Discussion: Cesari stated with this second request, I don’t think bureaucracy is a good way to punish
people. Merrill Whitney stated they went ahead and knowingly served alcohol without a license. And
now they want another one. Cesari stated I think it’s our job to say ok unless it impacts the town. Mark
Whitney stated it did impact the town. If this was a bar, we would say no. They basically thumbed their
nose at the authority of the Selectboard. I have strong feelings against that. Clayton recused himself.
Town web site link follow up: Cole stated I recommend we continue our policy of no advertising or links
on the Town website. If the town had a chamber of commerce, I could support a link on the chamber of
commerce’s website. Mark Whitney stated he was in agreement. It’s not our place to be promoting or
not promoting business. Action: Leave policy as is. Cole will notify Cindy Allen.
Window Dressers: Cole stated where to store the plastic window inserts is an issue. We will not store
them upstairs. Whitney stated the Town Hall shutters might be an issue as well. Clayton stated he had
previously ordered some window inserts for a company, and he believes in the long term inserts would
save us $1,100. But, we are not really heating this space. We should meet in the library in the winter.
Mark Whitney stated several times when we opened up the Town Hall for Meetings, the heat was up to
70 degrees, with all lights off. Cole stated he was thinking of putting lock boxes on the thermostats.
Whitney asked if the inserts are rugged enough to last for a while. Cesari stated there will be other
chances to save on heating costs. No action taken.
Randy Brown, Maple Avenue Springs request: Cole stated we have considered this at two meetings.
Randy Brown did not attend either meeting. We are not directing our employees to have a meeting with
Brown. If Brown wants to attend and make a request, he can do so under public comments.
Mark Whitney stated the most reasonable thing would be a dead end sign. Whitney stated a UPS truck
might have a hard time turning around there, and a sign would help drivers. Cole stated crime is partially
controlled with environmental design. Placing a dead end sign is telling people it’s ok to go up there and
do crimes because there is no thru traffic. Statistically, when you put up a dead end sign, bad things start
happening. Geoff Clayton stated there are already concerns at the end of that road. A dead end sign
would not do much either way. No action taken.
Window Washing: Written window washing bid presented by Blakely’s Window Service because the
Library is having the window’s washed, and at the same time an estimate for the Town Hall and the
Town Clerk’s Office was offered. Action: Check with custodian. Perhaps a telescoping pole with a
squeegee, or power wash.
Regarding speed limit road signs, in response to an email request from Carolyn Boothroyd, Mark
Whitney stated the State’s recommendation for 15mph is to place a speed bump. Action: email reply to
- Approve minutes
Geoff Clayton moved to approve the minutes of July 5, 2022. Levar Cole seconded the motion. Motion
- Town Treasurer
Budget and Orders: Treasurer recommends option 2 for propane fuel fixed price plan. The set price
would be $2.10 for 2157 gallons. There is an optional downsize protection plan. The Town used 3,000
gallons last year. Selectboard has questions. Action: Mark Whitney will ask Treasurer where the propane
is used. Treasurer’s recommendation is our decision.
- Executive Session for Human Resources
Henry Cesari moved to enter Executive Session for Human Resources and inviting Marianne McCann
into the session. Mark Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Levar Cole moved to exit Executive Session. Mark Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed
Afterwards, Cesari will direct Road Foreman that the water sewer people will use the tractor to get the
work accomplished. Cesari will direct Road Foreman to limit work to no more than 40 hours. Cesari will
direct Road Foreman that he must be informed when Water Dept. needs a substitute worker. Mark
Whitney will research potential mowing contract for town mowing. Admin. Asst. will make an RFP for
mowing and snowplowing.
Meeting adjourned at 10:32 pm.
Next regularly scheduled Selectboard Meeting will be Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 7:30 pm in the Chelsea