Chelsea Selectboard Meeting Minutes (Draft)
Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 7:30 PM at Chelsea Town Hall
Selectboard Members present: Levar Cole, Geoffrey Clayton, Merrill Whitney, Bruce Hook
Other Town Employees Present: Gayle Durkee (Treasurer), Kasey Peterson (Grants Liaison),
Karen Lathrop, (Town Clerk)
Members of the Public: Clinton F. Rodger, Mark Richardson, Frank Keene, Douglas Stone
- Call meeting to order
Meeting called to order by Levar Cole at 7:30
- Conflict of interest disclosure – None
- Changes to the agenda – None
- Town Clerk
Board briefed on General Election. 937 voters, ballots were sent out, 66 back so far, full crew for
election assistants plus one person to give breaks. Noted the Logic and Accuracy test will take
place in the office, during the day and will send notices out to BCA.
- Town Treasurer
Budget submitted and hasn’t changed much. Highway is a little high due to repairs.
Submitted orders, explained there was a $250.00 penalty due to increase in pay to Library Staff
which requires her to now pay monthly to Federal Payment instead of quarterly.
Gayle still researching the online payment plans available for payment of taxes.
- Department/Liaison Updates
Re: Highway – Bruce reported Rick said there will be logging up at Charlie Ladd’s and the log
truck wont’ be able to make the swing onto Court Street and will need to use School Street which
is one way.
Geoff suggests notifying Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. and thinks the move should be done
when court is not in session. Have a person block trafficBruce to coordinate with Rick
Ackerman, Road Foreman.
Bruce stated the Beavers out behind Marty Gratz’s place and there needs to be something done
as water is backing up. There will need to be something done to prevent ice jams in the spring
that would compromise our bridges and people’s property. Discussion on trapping but illegal to
trap at this time.
Summer truck tire bill will be costly. The truck with the belly grader is in for repairs for noise in
the front end. needs some work. Check cleared on the truck sold and Rick would have a Road
Plan in soon. Garage has been put on hold due to cold weather.
Re: Transfer Station- Geoff stated he will send to the letter to the Board, as he did not bring it
Re: Waste/Water- Merrill stated has not spoken with Nolan since the last conversation on
overtime. Levar stated Macaden Lyford had been called to read meters but he is not a Town
employee. There are concerns about that, and the fact that MaCaden’s boss is receiving calls for
requests for meter reading. Merrill to check with Nolan about that concern.
Re: Health Officer – Geoff reported notices about Monkey Pox and some Covid related illness,
but that it isn’t Covid and there is no vaccine and it is not covered by insurance.
He stated there are issues up at Chelsea Court. He might have to get pictures Thursday if the
Property Management company does not resolve it. Noted the Property Management company
had threatened retaliation for complaints at the second property they manage. Could possibly be
contacting the State. Has directed residents to contact a lawyer or go to the Law School for help.
Levar asked if he needed support in the form of a letter. Geoff stated the Health Officer has
more than enough authority and power granted to the position.
Re: Animal Control – Geoff no issues to report lately.
Re: Town Hall Building /Balconey– Kasey Peterson reported there was an issue with the south
chimney and it would need to be lined and some bricks are decayed or gone. Masons are booking
out a year in advance. Due to the issue a new plan was created. She showed the Board a new
plan for the pellet furnace to heat the building. Stated that two of the old furnaces would used as
blowers for the pellet furnace. The old quote of $42,000.00, updated quote 47,200.00 for ducting
and concrete. That would be $5000.00 increase to the Town portion. Board said some of the
money in the Town Hall Renovation Fund could be used but not all of it. Levar stated when this
process started the Board had a vision of what this would encompass and it has morphed. Not all
statements have proved true but they are looking at alternatives though. Bruce concerned that the
back-up furnace would not be enough BTU’s to heat the library and the hall. Kasey said there
would be enough. But she would double check Gayle asked what the annual maintenance fee
would be. Kasey said old quote for maintenance was $500/year and it seemed low. Also, the
inlet pipe for pellets that would come out of the side of the building would need to be kept free of
snow. Kasey said Mort is trying to contact the Fire Marshall to ensure we have done all that is up
to code. Board is stilling willing to commit with the new plan.
Creamery BuildingWater Issue Update- The water comes across from the vet’s office and down
off of the school property into a drop inlet and when it can’t handle the overflow, it goes through
the Creamery building and out across the road to the river. With grants in aid money it can be
fixed but the property is school property. Kasey unsure if we need permission or ask them to pay
for part of it? Levar says we need a full Board approval. Geoff says to call Lou Maraget, but as it
is an environmental issue the Board would just take action and notify people.
Balconey Update – Kasey reported that the flats need to be moved and look at by a historian and
everything needs to be moved out of the balcony before they can get a quote. Geoff will find
some volunteers to help move flats.
a. Town Hall building: window coverings, storage, balcony-Levar
- Public Comments
Oversight of town property-cemetery, bridges, etc. Clint stated the Board gave him the okay to
use the bridge for snowmachines, He then spoke with Frank Keene about coming around the
Brookhaven trail and the cemetery to cross the bridge. Spoke with the Boys Home, Tim Courts
and then went to Frank Keene to sign the paperwork and Frank said no. Clint states Frank is
using one issue to deal with another one. Mark Richardson asked if the Town of Chelsea has
relinquished cemetery to the Commissioners? Levar said we would come back to that issue The
second issue is Clint states that Frank stated that if Tim Ward did not get a bridge then he won’t
sign it. Clint went to Treasurer of VAST because there is no money for a bridge. He feels he has
done a lot of leg work and now nothing is coming of it. Levar said that the Cemetery
Commissioners runs the Cemetery. Levar cited V.S.A. 18 ss . Mark Richardson said you can
create Cemetery Commissioners and still retain control until you relinquish it. Clint wants to
know how Town property can be used as leverage.
Frank Keene was invited to make his comments. The bridge that was just replaced was rotten.
Two years ago Frank and Clint had a conversation, about Clint speaking with the Boys Home
and Senior Housing &Town and it sat for a year with nothing done. The bridge at that point was
unsafe, and he told Clint, he was posting the bridge as unsafe and said the snowmobilers could
come through his yard. This spring, Tim decided that something had to be done about the bridge.
He claims he has tried to meet with Clint or Mark and they would not meet. Tim used an
excavator on Frank’s side and the bridge was rotted through. Tim put in a new bridge. Looks
great. He did not get any money for rebuilding it. VAST came down to talk with Tim. Informed
him there was no money left this year but would be some next year. Tim received an email from
VAST saying they didn’t want to buy the bridge, but would pay for half but they had demands.
Demands were that he would be open certain times, to take care of the snowmobilers, Frank says
he doesn’t think that you can do that but it doesn’t matter to him. He made it clear that the
bridge is no longer an emergency and that snowmobilers can go to where they want. He said
people using Brookhaven Trail a mess and Brookhaven closed the trail. So they can’t claim they
have made a plan with Brookhaven. He doesn’t believe they went to talk with Senior Housing.
So Frank made it clear to Clint that unless there was something in writing from VAST or that
Tim was paid some money for the bridge, Frank felt it was unnecessary for the Snowmobilers to
cross the cemetery. He also commented that many people do not like snowmobiles in the
cemetery. He noted that Clint and Mark refuse to work with Tim, doesn’t know why and Tim has
offered to meet with them. Just the other day he said Clint approached him to sign off on paper
and Frank refused until Tim Ward gets some money for the bridge. Mark Richardson said there
are two sides to a story and sometimes the truth is somewhere in the middle. He has never
refused to meet with Tim Ward. The club has offered to meet. He said VAST has not outright
refused him they said if they were going to put any money into the bridge,if it won’t bring
snowmobilers to a service, they need to know how much the bar is going to be open.
Levar says the Board is limited on what they can do. Geoff remarked that if you all remain
divided you will see less services in VT. You need to work together and need to try and keep it
more civil. We won’t have anything, because everyone is fighting. This hurts us as a Town. We
need to work together. Clint states he is surprised the Town of Chelsea lets someone use Town
Property to gain leverage over someone. Levar says if you have an allegation that someone is
using Town Resources for private gains to take it to the State so they make an investigation.
Frank also commented on the Beavers that are damming up the First Branch. He noticed that
they were having a lot of wild animal around. He checked out where the beavers were building
and he said it is a problem as it is well built and collecting. He has been flooded in the past due
to ice jams. He spoke with Pat Ross, as he has worked with him before on river work around his
property. Mr. Ross told Frank that the Town has to do what it needs to do. Levar said he has
talked with the State and they don’t want anything in the river. This might be different as they
are beavers and could be considered a nuisance. Frank spoke with Sheilagh, the lady next door,
and asked if an excavator could go in, would you mind it, if they made you a better approach to
the river. The Game Wardens haven’t done anything but looked. The beavers are now trying to
chew down a foot and a half tree on Town Property. Kasey Peterson, offered to call people about
it as she had done it when she worked for Brookfield. Board decided Kasey and Bruce would
work on the Beaver Dam.
Geoff also wanted to know if the Board would get someone had spoke to Rick about riprap the
bank ( prior board approved) by the sewer plant and the horseshoe pits. Bruce said he would do it
but doesn’t have a truck to put it in. Geoff said talked with Tad and he would do it but need a
truck you can put stone in. Geoff said it has been waiting for almost three years.
Re: Other Public Comments – Doug Stone said someone reported a person illegally riding in a
field on Burger Road and he wanted the Board to know he had addressed it. He also thanked the
Board for all their work on the Ordinance. Lastly he would like the Board to mark the Town
Boundaries on the Class 4 Roads that border Vershire so four wheeler know where to stop. Levar
said they would put it on the next agenda to be discussed.
- Approve minutes: – Revisions to be made. Pass over
a. 20 September 2022
b. 6 September 2022
- Administrative Assistant Report/Grants Administration:
Re: Village Greens/Roberts- Field requests- no request yet, but one coming for next meeting
Re: Hiring for water/wastewater – no applications sent in
Re: Hiring for Administrative Assistant – no applications sent in
Re: Update for 2023 budget planning/discussions (notification) – Karen said she emailed
many of the people on the Budget Timeline and sent a draft of the letter to the Board.
Levar said the Board doesn’t need to sign, just send from Admin. Send to appropriations.
Geoff said there would be increases for First Branch Ambulance. Mark was trying to get
The Library asked the Board to push back their budget. Levar said we just need to give
them support/platform for their printed material
Re: Arts grant/pellet furnace update
Update on other grants Kasey- generator. She spoke to the Historical Preservation and the
most important item is will our old wiring support a generator if it switches it. Karen
suggested Rick Allen. Kasey also said if money were available that it would be a tough
sell to get Historic Preservation to grant it because we are in the historic district. Karen
stated try VLCT for grants. Karen concerned that power was necessary to run tabulator
and we might need to come up with an emergency procedures for elections. Levar though
Marianne and Tracy had someone check our building and suggests giving Tracy a call.
There was discussion about where people will go in an emergency. Board requested
Kasey speak with Tracy Simon
Re: Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development Tour-Chelsea
Levar stated White River Valley Consortium was able to get some Federal funding.
Some people were going around to see if they could help with the housing issues in
Vermont. Levar stated WRVC received around 200,00.00-300,00.00 for housing. Kasey
and Levar attended. Geoff wanted to know why they weren’t around two years ago when
we were tearing houses down for FEMA. Levar said he brought that up. Levar will let the
Board know if a letter of support is needed.
Geoff wants it on the record: “This is another example of the Government taking
something and destroying it, then saying we have tax money we are going to pay you to
rebuild it and create something that you had before, before we made an idiot PHD out of
touch decision on what to do. Why do they pay us to destroy stuff in order t take our tax
money to pay us to build the same stuff.
Action: Merrill Whitney moved to approve orders. Bruce Hook secondrf the
motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Employee Vacancies -No Applications
- Elected and Appointed office vacancies: None
- Executive Session for Human Resources (1 VSA 313 (a)(3))
Action: Levar Cole moved to enter executive session for Human Resources per 1 VSA
313(a)(3) at 9.06 PM
Action: Levar Cole moved to exit executive session at 9:22 PM
Levar state there would be change to water staffing – A thank you letter to Mr. Hook for his
work on the temporary water position as staff support to Mr. LaFrancis.
- Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.
The next regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting will be on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 7:30
pm at the Town Hall.