Selectboard: Christopher Dargie, Chair, David Bugbee, Nancy L. Bushika, and Sheila G. Lawrence. Thomas Houghtaling was not present. David R. Tatro, Road Commissioner. Lori A. Shepard, Administrative Assistant.
Visitors: Michael Batcher from the Bennington County Regional Commission, Erin Rodgers and Colin Lawson from Trout Unlimited, Dan McKinley from Green Mountain National Forest, Steve McMahon from the Hoosac River Watershed in Williamstown, MA, Nancy Dargie, Bill Levine, Laura Sibilia, and CJ Vadnais.
Chris Dargie called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
HEARING OF VISITORS
1. Michael Batcher provided the Selectboard with the final draft of the Hazard Mitigation Plan which summarized various hazards, assessed their likelihood, and proposed actions to mitigate each event. He recommended the board review the draft, focusing on the town’s profile and actions and either suggest additional changes or let him know they are satisfied with the final draft so that it can be forwarded to FEMA for pre-approval.
2. Trout Unlimited and Green Mountain National Forest joined forces in 2012 to evaluate all the culverts and road-stream crossings in Vermont south of Route 9. They looked at the hydrology and geology in the area. Erin Rodgers presented their findings and identified several culverts and crossings that are a problem for fish passage as well as areas that are vulnerable to flooding. They hope to work with the town to prioritize the replacement of culverts to facilitate fish passage and minimize future flooding hazards and to coordinate partial funding sources.
3. Nancy Bushika attended a SWIP Planning Meeting to discuss the implementation of the Act 148 state recycling mandates. 7 out of 12 towns were represented and the feeling seemed to be to form an alliance, not a solid waste district. The costs to the towns for providing a transfer station will need to be determined. Some questions were answered, many questions were raised. Michael Batcher advised that the state will require information from our town as well as from private haulers, so private haulers may have to be regulated in town. Rupert is considering closing their transfer station which will force residents to contract with private haulers. Michael Batcher suggested the Selectboard talk to Selectboard members from other towns to see what they are doing.
4. Michael Batcher suggested some of the culvert work recommended by the Trout Unlimited investigation be included in the Hazard Mitigation Plan before it is finalized.
5. CJ Vadnais asked for clarification on whether private roads are public ways. The board received a letter from Paul Austin providing his lawyer’s opinion concerning rights of residents who live on a private road. Nancy Bushika will contact VLCT.
6. Laura Sibilia introduced herself as an independent running for the State House of Representatives seat. She was interested in listening to what obstacles the town was facing.
Sheila Lawrence requested a revision to the July 24, 2014 minutes. The last sentence under Section 1 of the Minutes will be amended to read: Instead, it will be noted in these minutes that a corrected insurance certificate has been provided “listing both Sheila and Stan Lawrence’s names on it”.
MOTION by Chris Dargie to accept the special meeting minutes of July 24, 2014 as amended. SECONDED by Dave Bugbee. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
The Selectboard reviewed and approved the following orders:
WARRANT #32 $ 4,721.05 payroll
WARRANT #33 $25,725.94 accounts payable
1. Dave Tatro has been working on culverts and ditching. He feels the town’s roads have improved considerably since he started. 60 culverts have been replaced in the past 5 years. He does try to work with the Agency of Natural Resources when replacing culverts.
2. The state has been contacted and there will be no line painting this summer.
3. An ad to sell the Chevy will be placed in the VLCT newsletter and their online resource. Dave Tatro contacted several truck dealers who were not interested in purchasing the Chevy or selling it on our behalf.
The salt shed posts have been erected, tamped in and backfilled. The posts were heavy and Dave Bugbee utilized Dave Tatro and Jon Bohl for assistance. The permit was received from the Division of Fire Safety. The building will have to be inspected and valued when complete and if the value is higher than estimated, an additional fee will be due. The board asked Lori Shepard to contact the Fire Marshall’s office to see who can inspect the building.
DELINQUENT DOG LIST
Missy Lawrence, Robert O’Neill and Eric Mirke still have not licensed their dog(s). The next step will be sending a letter with a warrant requesting immediate compliance or the dog(s) will be confiscated by the sheriff until the paperwork is received and the dog(s) are licensed. The board hopes the residents will license their dog(s) so they do not have to resort to this last step.
A written complaint was received about a dog barking excessively on Lincoln Road and a letter will be sent to the dog owner. Two verbal complaints were received about loose and barking dogs. The Selectboard will request something in writing before taking action.
SNOW AND ICE POLICY
Deferred to next meeting.
Deferred to next meeting.
Chris Dargie reiterated that Dave Bugbee is the highway representative and all questions, comments and complaints should be brought to his attention or brought directly to the board.
TOWN OFFICE SIGN IN SHEET/BUILDING CODES
The Selectboard agreed to use the sign in sheet if they need to use the town office when a meeting is not in session. It does not appear to be cost effective to recode the alarm system to create different codes for different town groups.
Nothing to report.
TRI-PARTY SECURITY & CUSTODIAL AGREEMENT WITH BERKSHIRE BANK
Berkshire Bank’s membership with the Depositors Insurance Fund will end on July 11, 2015. This membership provided insurance for all deposits in excess of the $250,000 FDIC’s insurance limit. In order to continue to provide insurance to its customers for deposits in excess of $250,000, the bank will collateralize the excess deposits with Government Agency mortgage backed securities and investment grade rated municipal bonds. There will be no cost to the town. MOTION by Chris Dargie to accept and sign the agreement. There was no second. Motion FAILED. Before signing the agreement with Berkshire Bank the board would like to meet with a bank representative.
Nancy Bushika asked about the school’s funds. When the letter from Berkshire Bank was received, Lori Shepard forwarded it to the WSSU for review and direction on who should make the decision and who should sign the letter. WSSU was familiar with the protection, made the decision to accept the agreement, and authorized Lori Shepard, the school treasurer, to sign the letter on their behalf.
2014 TAX RATE
Lori Shepard presented a spreadsheet explaining the calculation of the 2014 tax rate. MOTION by Dave Bugbee to set the 2014 tax rate as follows: to accept the state education residential rate of $1.2306 and the non-residential rate of $1.4683 as calculated by the State of Vermont. The Selectboard set the municipal tax rate at $0.2026 and the highway rate at $0.4099. The total residential tax rate will be $1.8431 and the total non-residential tax rate will be $2.0808. SECONDED by Chris Dargie. All in favor. Motion APPROVED. The 2014 tax bills will be mailed to property owners shortly.
Lori Shepard also discussed the possibility of changing internet providers since ENA Internet has not been able to unblock the firewall to allow the town clerk and listers to access the state’s network for weekly downloads. Greg Betti and NEMRC have been working with ENA to resolve the problem for several weeks now without success.
The approval of the bill was deferred since the board feels there has been very little action on the state’s end.
Sheila Lawrence spoke with the Agency of Transportation representative. The plans were sent to BCRC for review. They were approved and returned to the Agency of Transportation.
USE OF TOWN OFFICE
The Vermont Transportation Advisory Board is requesting permission to hold their Advisory Board meeting on September 16, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The request was denied since the room isn’t large enough for their needs. The school gym or conference room will be suggested.
Sheila Lawrence recused herself and passed out a letter received from Cynthia DiBartolo authorizing Sheila and Stanley Lawrence, Jr. to speak on her behalf. Sheila Lawrence said Ms. DiBartolo was very unhappy with the work Dave Tatro did when ditching in the town’s right-of-way along her property. After a lengthy heated discussion, Chris Dargie stated that he was unhappy with the way the issue was handled and that the board supports Dave Tatro’s work around the property in question. He again stated that no board member has any authority to act individually outside of a Selectboard meeting. Cynthia DiBartolo was welcomed to attend any regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting.
Nancy Bushika passed out the current Dog Ordinance and the draft for the Ancient Roads for review and discussion at the next meeting.
MOTION to adjourn by Chris Dargie. SECONDED by Dave Bugbee. All in favor. Motion APPROVED. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Sheila G. Lawrence
1. The due date to license all dogs at least 6 months old was April 1, 2014. Please come in as soon as possible if you have not yet licensed your dog.
2. The statewide Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at the Stamford School Hall. Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
3. Absentee ballots are available at the Town Office for early voting through Monday, August 25, 2014 at 5 p.m.
TOWN OF STAMFORD, VERMONT
986 Main RoadStamford, VT05352 Tel: 802-694-1361
STAMFORD TOWN OFFICE
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Welcome to a meeting of the Stamford Selectboard. If you have a matter to discuss that is not included on the Agenda, you may do so by addressing the Chairperson and stating your name and address.
CALL TO ORDER
HEARING OF VISITORS (time allowance: 5 minutes per visitor; 15 minutes per topic)
READING AND APPROVAL OF RECORDS AND ORDERS
Minutes of August 7, 2014
Salt Shed progress
Act 148 Mandates
Delinquent dog owner update
Snow and Ice Policy review
Ancient Roads acknowledgement
Dog Ordinance review
Sign letter authorizing treasurer to collect taxes
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