Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 7:30 pm at Chelsea Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Levar Cole, Mark Whitney, Geoff Clayton, Henry Cesari, Merrill Whitney
Other Town Officials/Employees present: Marianne McCann (Administrative Assistant) (Herald), Rick Ackerman (Road Foreman), Gayle Durkee (Treasurer)
Members of the public present: John Parker, Cindy Allen
- Call Meeting to Order
Meeting convened by Levar Cole, Chair, at 7:35 pm.
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure
- Changes to the Agenda
Admin. Asst. will add items under her report. Geoff Clayton eliminated Creamery Drain report. This item
will be moved to a future meeting.
- Town Treasurer
Gayle Durkee, Treasurer, presented the Town budget to date. Durkee stated the Town Hall is 124% of
budget for heating oil. There are full tanks now. Diesel fuel is 97% of budget. Heating fuel for
Town garage is 83% of budget. Gravel is 101% of budget. The price increases in these items have
caused the high percentages of budget amounts being depleted early in the year. Durkee stated
she expects increases in the cost of electricity and phone services.
Treasurer reported on the Audit. There were no material deficiencies, no findings, no recommendations.
There is nothing in particular to act on.
Mark Whitney moved to approve the orders. Henry Cesari seconded the motion. Motion passed
Payroll, Library: $1,489.32
- Department/Liaison Updates
Levar Cole stated Doug Lyford was scheduled to report on the Transportation Advisory Committee work
underway. Lyford couldn’t make it to this meeting. There is no report for now. Lyford’s main
priorities are the drainage plan behind the Quick Stop and the Maple Ave. bridge.
Merrill Whitney stated he spoke with the COO of the Water facility. COO was going to speak with
employee. COO has not got back to me yet.
Levar Cole stated he had a phone call with the water dept. employee. It is supposed to be a temporary
position. If the employee feels he cannot do the job anymore, we will have to find someone else
to do the work.
Cindy Allen stated at one point FEMA had suggested that the parking lot be taken down to the original
level, so that there would be more space around the sewer plant for the water to flow.
Geoff Clayton stated the river bank needs stabilizing, maybe rip rap, near the Horseshoe area.
Levar Cole stated we can look into these issues. We need a request in writing.
Admin. Assistant stated she was researching hand dryers and toilets and installation costs for the Town
Hall bathroom, per instructions from the Selectboard. Report on models chosen and plumbers
and electricians called. A.A. reported plumbers are difficult to call and schedule, one is 2 months
out with work scheduling. Hand dryer and electrician estimate is in the works.
Geoff Clayton moved to allow work on toilet and hand dryer for the Town Hall bathroom to proceed,
with a maximum cost of $1,500. For the dryer and the toilet, and not to exceed a combined
maximum cost of $3,000. , with the Selectboard Chair managing the project with the
Administrative Assistant. Mark Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Henry Cesari stated, regarding the Highway budget, at the last meeting we directed the Highway Dept.
NOT to do the roadside mowing as a cost cutting measure. Cesari suggested applying for an
invasive species grant, which might allow us to pay for the roadside mowing. Could we direct
the freelance grant writer to take a few hours and see what grants might be available?
Henry Cesari stated, regarding the Highway budget, and selling the old truck, that he met with Dan from
Allegiance, who had previously made an offer for the truck. Again, there is a potential offer for
the truck of around $30,000. Do we want money now, or wait and possibly get more money
Geoff Clayton moved to authorize Henry Cesari to sell the old truck with a floor of $30,000., and with
the understanding that the preference is to get more money from the sale. Henry Cesari
seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Levar Cole stated the Greens upkeep was on the agenda because grass seeding needs to be done. Rick
Ackerman stated the Highway Department has never done anything for the Green. The spot that
needs seeding is on the end where the Farmer’s Market sets up. Board consensus is to wait for
the Fall, with Levar Cole responsible for bringing this up later in the year.
Levar Cole briefly stated the background of the White River Valley Consortium Working Communities
Challenge. A group of towns worked together to get a grant. They did not get a grant in the last
cycle. Now, there is some other grant money available. The main initiative now is affordable
housing. Cole will give an update after June 6.
Regarding the Recreation Committee and mowing the Rec. Fields. Selectboard asks if the Rec. Com. can
mow those fields? Selectboard has considered a mowing contract for the whole town. John
Parker stated previously the Rec. Com put the mowing out to bid. When the Town took it over,
the Rec. Com. Pays the bills. The Rec. Com. would like input and to be involved. Cole asked why
the Rec. Com. would make the final decision? Parker stated the Town took over the Treasury
and the accounting, and we (Rec. Com.) just pay the bill. Clayton stated we have a Rec. Com. for
a reason. Why doesn’t the Rec. Com just make a decision, and then it comes to us? Parker
stated the Rec. Com. would be happy to do the bidding process. The Rec. Com. heard that the
Town/Highway Dept. can’t keep doing it because they have too much to do. Clayton stated the
Selectboard would not cut back on mowing fields where activities happen. The biggest
discussion was about roadside mowing. And, one highway employee was absent for awhile.
There is no problem with Rick doing the mowing, even with overtime, it still makes sense to
have him do it. Clayton stated, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Mark Whitney asked if there could be
a cost comparison between Highway Dept. mowing and an independent contractor mowing.
Whitney would like to see some numbers.
- Public Comments
John Parker, speaking on behalf of the Recreation Committee, requested Selectboard approval to make
two changes. The first one is to extend the lower parking lot on the south end of the area that is
used for the ice rink, extending it towards the volleyball court. In the winter, everybody parks
there. The grass does not come back. The Rec Com. would like to extend the gravel about ¾ of
the length of the ice rink. Do we have to go through Zoning to do that? Selectboard suggests
checking with Zoning, checking with Highway Dept. Mark Whitney asked if you pull the sod out,
will you put down filter fabric and put gravel back in? Parker says yes.
Geoff Clayton moved to approve the Recreation Department request upon other conditional zoning
and flood zone regulations. Merrill Whitney seconded the motion. Motion passed, with one
absention, Levar Cole.
John Parker, Recreation Committee, stated that before making any improvements anywhere, we want
to make sure the Selectboard is okay with the project. People have requested an 8 foot hoop at
the Basketball Court. The Rec. Com. seeks to place another pole with an 8 foot hoop at half
court on the river side. Geoff Clayton stated, our hoop does not need to be jumped through.
Selectboard agreed to approve this project.
Cindy Allen stated there is a big structure at Stone Road and Hook Road. It looks like some big building is
going in there. Action: check with Zoning Administrator.
Cindy Allen stated the Kate Willard wanted to make sure she wasn’t supposed to be here to talk about
the Town Forest Plan. Levar Cole stated we will take that up in late June or early July. We are
waiting on the Forrester’s Report.
Cindy Allen stated there will be a public input for ARPA money spending proposals meeting on June 14th.
The citizen committee to gather public input is holding this event. Allen learned about it on
social media. Brief discussion about notifying the public in ways other than social media.
Geoff Clayton reported receiving another complaint about vendor accessibility at the Farmer’s Market.
The complainer had stated other farmers markets policies are just to show up and pay the fee.
Clayton reportedly told the complainer to just set up on the sidewalk. Cole stated for context,
comments had been made before about alleged price protection at the Chelsea Farmer’s
Market. Cole stated the Selectboard will keep this in mind because we approve the Market’s use
of the Green.
- Administrative Assistant Report
Green Rental request from Rusty Dewees to do his MACK Truck the logger show on the Green. Report
on letter received to the Selectboard. Village Greens policy states all programs must be free of
charge and open to the public. Action: respond to Dewees letter and request more information.
Weed Whacking Chervil request from Marty Gratz. Letter received requesting weed whacking the
borders of the town lot behind the old garage, and if the town cannot do it, request is to allow
her to hire someone to do the weed whacking. Rick Ackerman reported he already did the work.
Initially he did not because he thought the Water Department employee would be doing the
mowing there. Action: respond to Gratz letter stating the Town takes care of that lot, and if you
do not think it sufficient, you can do it.
Transfer Station Switch installation was completed last week. Pictures of new switches were taken this
weekend. Grant completion paperwork is underway. Barney McRae requested an increase in
the invoiced amount due to increased costs and having to drive here for two days to complete
the job. McRae has submitted 2 invoices, one with the original amount, agreed upon in the
grant agreement, and another one with an additional $534.60. Action: pay the larger bill. Submit
grant paperwork requesting additional amount billed.
AT&T cell tower – 60 Day Advance Notice, dated May 19th, 2022, received for a new location in Chelsea:
16 Windswept Lane. Request from DRM is to have the Selectboard write a letter of
recommendation to the PUC. If requested, DRM will make a presentation to the board about
this new potential location. There was a balloon test on Tuesday, May 24th. The full Advance
Notice is on the DRM website. A paper version was given to the Chair. Cole stated, as with the
other AT&T cell tower proposed locations, the Selectboard will let the Planning Commission take
the lead on public input and writing a letter. If this board needs to write a letter, then we will.
Grant Opportunity email received. There is an application due by July 1, 2022. Downtown and Village
Center Tax Credits. There is a webinar on June 2. A brief review looks like something KC
Peterson or Doug Lyford would like to apply for. Action: Give paperwork/forward links to KC
Sidewalk Update: The State Access and Work Permit was sent in on 5-26-22. The next step is putting out
- Approve Minutes
Levar Cole moved to approve the minutes of May 17, 2022. Geoff Clayton seconded the motion.
Motion passed unanimously.
- Executive Session for Human Resources
Levar Cole moved to enter into Executive Session for Human Resources, and inviting Marianne
McCann into the Session, at 9:02 pm. Geoff Clayton seconded the motion. Motion passed
Levar Cole moved to exit Executive Session at 9:35 pm. Geoff Clayton seconded the motion. Motion
Afterwards, the Selectboard agreed Levar Cole will contact the temporary employee at the Water Sewer
Roberts Poor Fund Request. There was a brief discussion. There were 2 requests. The balance is
$80,000. Action: Distribute money from the fund.
Meeting adjourned at 9:43 pm.
The next regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting will be Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 7:30 pm in the
Chelsea Town Hall.