ANNUAL TOWN MEETING MARCH 3, 2020
Tim Magnant called Town meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. Pledge of allegiance was recited and led by Eric Bushey.
1. To elect a moderator for the ensuing year.
Jean Richard/Gilbert Dewing nominated Tim Magnant, nominations were closed. Vote take, all in favor, Tim Magnant elected moderator.
Wayne Fiske made motion to suspend the rules to discuss article 15 first, being voted on by Australian Ballot. Vote taken: 49 in favor, 4 opposed. Discussion followed.
15. Shall the bonds
of the Town of
Four Hundred, Fifty Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($450,000), subject to reduction or repayment in full from available state or federal grants-in-aid, be issued to fund the replacement of two (2) culverts under Vermont Route 236 (State Park Road)?
Magnant, Selectboard chair, stated there was an informational meeting held on
March 2, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. about the project. Culverts surrounded by Dewing
Wendy-how will putting in a new
culvert help the issue with the lake? Oliver-the culvert is not working
correctly and is failing so it’s allowing more sediments called “chocolate
milk” to run into Dewing Brook which drains into
Michelle Guilmette discussed the timeline starting March 20th, for the intended use plan and the loan application? Oliver stated EPA has to approve the plan by June, 2020; the loan application cannot be submitted until July 1, 2020. They will seek alternate funding for this project if the intended use plan is not approved.
Peter Magnant spoke about the board’s support of water quality and of the project, wants to be sure people understand, not a District 8 priority to fix as they have many other projects, they have no time to oversee the project, but are supporting the project with technical assistance. Town will be responsible for hiring an engineer/consultant to oversee the project and all the administrative functions as well as many meetings to keep the board updated on the project. Timeline was reviewed. Additional administrative duties for Town Clerk’s Office with the project as the payments will be issued from that office. State is anticipating closing the road for 3 days for the project. Town will have to get a loan to cover project costs then will get reimbursed any costs incurred by the town.
Jean Richard questioned when the project is done, who is responsible if there are issues with the culvert going forward. Peter stated that the Town applies for State 1111 Permit, gives Town right to work on State highway and project must follow permit requirements. Once permits are completed and work done, State will sign off and become responsible for it; first 18 months if issues occur the Town goes back to contractor that completed the work.
Michelle Guilmette if the article isn’t approved, culverts still need to be replaced and could cost more; are there contingencies for cost overages. Peter stated additional money available if project goes over according to State, additional $75,000 available.
Marshall Ploof having a tough time supporting the project with additional time that will be required from Town Clerk’s Office and Selectboard; also have worked with the State many times, State is constantly changing the rules with projects also.
Dandurand, Selectboard, agrees with many of
2. To receive and discuss the reports of the town officers.
Auditors report page 7
Selectboard, Road Commissioner & Paving reports page 8-12
Kim Gates-Maynard questioning status of Green Up day in Franklin-Yvon stated Franklin will continue to participate, he presents Franklin on NRPC board, working with them and other Towns to see about disposing of tires at a lower cost, working with a refinery in Montreal that uses them, exploring options. Kim noted a replacement for Town Clerk’s Office was mentioned; do we have an inventory on public buildings town owns and costs for a new location? Peter stated very preliminary stages of exploring the former Dick Wright Ford garage, discussed with new owner Kevin Lothian. Town Clerk’s Office is cramped for meeting space but all the needed information is there for when meetings are held and parking is limited. Town put in for a grant for study but grant was not received, board intends to apply again and will hold public meetings along the way. Kim suggested on the road maintenance report to put length of each road. Kim-how is the brine tank working and what is the expected life of the grader? Andy stated they are using liquid calcium chloride, not saving a lot of time as they only have on one truck, using about half the amount of salt. New truck being looked at would have a built in tank. Grader replacement still being discussed, no timeline yet.
Gilbert Dewing stated road are well taken care of in Town, year-round.
Marilyn Hackett questioned difficulties with aeration project at the lake? Utility costs? Peter Magnant stated the information in the report is what we have, system was turned on late due to installation of system. Peter noted the $17,345 was the energy cost to operate system in 2019. John Tucci, EverBlue lakes stated system was turned on as soon as it could be after all permits were approved and work was completed. John noted that June 1-15, 2020 is the anticipated system turn on date. Underground piping has been done to avoid overheating of compressors, EverBlue will be onsite in May to make improvements on enclosures.
Marilyn Hackett requested sidewalk plowing. Peter stated the highway crew does care for the sidewalks to best of their abilities, difficult to get it down to bare cement, roads are a priority. Not all can be cared for due to the condition of them.
Marilyn Hackett questioned cemetery take over. Peter stated was Protestant cemetery and becomes Town responsibility when Association dissolves. Town was deeded the property and remaining funds were handed over to the Town. Town working with Catholic cemetery portion on shared lawn maintenance bid.
Marilyn Hackett could the Town Clerk’s move from current space to Town Hall and then could library expand? Peter state Town Hall is classified as historic building, many private and public people use for events, it’s getting much more use then in past years. Historical Society could also use Town Clerk space as they currently don’t have one.
Bryce Bachelder asked if there are any
plans to replace sidewalks from Square Road north on
Zoning Admin, ZBA, Planning Commission pages 13-14
Kim Gates-Maynard asked about the Planning
Commission solar energy proposal that was rejected and the seasonal use
classification. Dan Larivee-the solar energy
proposal done by John Ho was rejected by the State of
Johanna Crane-Godin questioned how seasonal dwelling violations are being enforced. Wendy Sargeant is current ZA, trying to get a handle on it by sending letters and requiring proper permits, letters advising owner of regulations, if no response then a violation can be attached to the property in the land records, this violation can prevent a property from selling; the State is also looking at septic permits on these properties.
Dan Larivee stated everyone’s on board with starting the process and working together to resolve violations.
Michelle Guilmette-seasonal use property taxes versus year-round use difference? Are there penalties/fines being charged to folks? Sara stated year-round and seasonal use doesn’t have anything to do with the rates on how it’s being taxed for property taxes; the difference is with the homestead declaration with the State if it is your primary residence to get the lower rate of taxation.
Dave Bennion stated regulations require complaints in writing to the board for action to be taken; board has received written notices and those have been acted on. These are first steps, it’s a work in progress. People have received letters and worked with the Town to rectify issues. Hoping the Town doesn’t have to impose fines; not the goal to evict folks from their homes.
Wayne Fiske discussed septic compliance for year-round living.
Charen Fegard and Lisa Hango invited to speak.
Recessed at 12:05 p.m. for lunch by Tim Magnant, moderator.
Meeting reconvened at 1:02 p.m. by Tim Magnant, moderator.
Charen Fegard and Lisa Hango continued to speak.
Cemetery Commission, Health Officer, Emergency Management Coordinator, Enhanced 911 pages 14-15
Pam Greene, on behalf of Franklin Homestead Inc (FHI) board, thanked for people’s participation on their survey.
Marilyn Hackett-inquired about having and assisted living & nursing home ability. Jean Richard, FHI board member, has been looked at before, licensure issues, not in current plan for the long term.
Franklin Historical Society, Lake Carmi Campers Association, pages 17-18
Marilyn Hackett-inquired about the farm waste getting into the lake and is there any help with it coming directly from the source? Oliver Pierson-crisis response plan is working with farmers on many topics/issues. Will take time but heading in the right direction.
Franklin Watershed pages 22-23
Kim Gates-Maynard clarification on aeration system lifespan and when the Town takes over. Peter stated State signed a 2-year contract for EverBlue to maintain the system, after that it’s handed over to the Town. Further discussion when get to that article.
Haston Library, Treasurer’s Report, Library & Eben
Marilyn Hackett-FGI Bookmobile operations and changes in hours with less evening hours. Susan Clark responded with strategic plan meetings; daytime hours allow for more preschool/younger aged children to participate in programs.
Johanna Crane-Godin questioned health insurance benefits for librarian going forward, advertised as job without benefits. Where is money coming from. Susan Clark reviewed Town personnel policy; Town offers single person insurance coverage to employees that work 25 hours or more, Vermont Department of libraries suggested follow municipal policy if we have a municipal library. First year, using carry forward money, next year may have to do more fundraising, or cutting from other areas.
Marilyn Hackett attended recent library meeting, FGI Bookmobile was discussed; a collaborative funding effort with area libraries was being discussed.
Franklin Water District pages 27-28
Peter Magnant asked for update on upgrade project. Marshall, water department commissioner, long battle with State and engineers. Phase one of project is to put in meters, valve controls, and more monitoring devices; contract awarded to Ron Desroches, set to begin in April and hoping to be completed by end of June.
questioned if users would lose water during the project.
Recreation Department pages 29-30
Peter Magnant state they are very pleased with Recreation Department; they are in attendance and invited to speak. Bridget Thompson, chair of recreation board, 7/1/19 went live with their new website, can register for events and receive notices about upcoming events also. She noted they are still working on website quirks’. The recreation department still has a board seat vacancy. They are continuing to add new programs and have been excited with participation of the programs that are taking place.
Marilyn Hackett thanked Franklin Telephone for adding bill stickers advertising upcoming community events.
Equipment Fund, Dog Licenses page 32
Treasurer’s Report, Comparative Balance Sheet, Reserve/Liabilities Report and Long-Term Debt pages 33-36
Delinquent Tax Collector page 44
Johanna Crane-Godin tax sale April 14, 2020
Selectboard General Orders pages 45-50
Franklin Rescue & Franklin Fire Department page 56-58
3. Will the voters of the
Magnant/Jean Richard made the motion for the Town of
in conjunction with the support of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
Peter Magnant invited Oliver Pierson and John Tucci to speak on the project and energy costs & grant. Oliver stated they have $20,000 in the “VT lakes in crisis” fund, $10,000 will be awarded as a grant in each of 2020 and 2021 toward energy costs of the aeration system, hoping it would continue past 2021 with 50% funding energy match. John states the power costs of the system are what was estimated and was provided to the State, takes a lot of energy to run it. Hoping to have system up and running earlier this year. Yvon spoke about possible other local funding/assistance in regard to energy costs. Peter Magnant asked John how he sees EverBlue being involved in the long term and the data that was collected last year. John- plan to be up and running earlier and design problems are being worked out, will also be training Town employees on compressor use and system. Option open to hire EverBlue to maintain more difficult parts of the system after initial contract ends. Yvon asked about compressors overheating. John stated it was in the ground that created problems as ground had been recently excavated and was very dry, re-piped with different materials and underground issues were resolved for last year. Other heat problem was the compressors generating the heat in the buildings and the extreme air temps, oil & leaks in compressors caused them to overheat. Modifications have been made on how the compressors handle oil and breaths, doubling air exhaust system for each compressor to clear hot air out of unit; also working with State on planting some good-sized trees by fencing to create natural shade. Oliver stated some funding left from initial project can be used to get the trees. Peter Magnant still anticipates EverBlue being involved even once the Town gets trained on parts of the system. Town is working on energy issue and ways to cut costs.
Mayo-money is well spent on the system, supports the efforts of the Town and
State on improving the quality of
Vote taken: majority in favor, motion passed.
4. Will the voters of the
Godin/Peter Magnant made the motion for the Town of
Peter Magnant stated federal grant was received April 2019 and Town agreed to accept the grant and ask the voters to approve the match. Town has been working with Northwest Regional Planning and hired a Municipal Project Manager to oversee the project. May not spend all the match money this year; could ask for half next year, it would be a line item in the budget for the balance, not another article. Johanna Crane-Godin asked since Town accepted the grant, couldn’t it just be put in the budget? Peter stated board likes to be transparent and they considered it a large item, put as article for voters to have all information they need to decided.
Michelle Guilmette-approved articles are reserved money for a specific purpose; line item in the budget can be used on anything.
Gates-Maynard/Johanna Crane-Godin amended the motion; the Town of
Wayne Fiske asked about the cost of the project in two years when it’s completed and will it go up? Also, the details of the exiting culvert and plan for the replacement. Yvon replied it is a concrete culvert that is in section, 4 ft long that connected together and 16 ft long, the concrete headers are cracked and falling apart. The erosion happening is going under and around the culvert as it is not aligned with the road any longer. Plan to replace with a steal aluminum culvert.
Gates-Maynard/Michelle Guilmette amended the motion, the Town of
George Godin/Johanna Crane-Godin motion to call the question, vote taken, all in favor.
Vote taken on amended motion; motion failed.
Bryce Bachelder called the question, vote taken, all in favor.
Vote taken on original article as read by Moderator, majority in favor, motion passed.
5. Shall the voters of the
Michelle Guilmette/Jean Richard made
the motion for the Town of
Bouchard questioned having sidewalks on both sides of the roads. Peter stated
the board’s intent is to maintain all existing sidewalks as was done on the
east side of
Michelle Guilmette scoping study denied last year at Town meeting, is that study funding available this year. Lisa stated they turned back and declined the grant that we had received. They come around every year in some fashion, not sure of deadline dates.
Marilyn Hackett perceives the sidewalks as a safety issue and necessity. Marilyn feels the need for curbing in front of the Franklin General Store as well. Bill Mayo noted history of store and hardship on parking this may cause.
Michelle Guilmette would like to see a study done to see state ROW regulations and cost to tax payers.
Mark Racine called the question, all in favor.
Vote taken, majority in favor, motion passed.
6. Will the voters of the Town
Yvon Dandurand/George Godin made the motion to appropriate a sum of $5,000 for the “Sidewalk Reserve Fund” for installation and repair of village sidewalks.
Vote taken: majority in favor, motion passed.
7. Shall the voters authorize the Town to borrow a sum not to exceed $145,000 and to be repaid over a term of not more than five (5) years, to purchase a highway truck and accessories?
George Godin/ Jean Richard made the motion to authorize the Town to borrow a sum not to exceed $145,000 and to be repaid over a term of not more than five (5) years, to purchase a highway truck and accessories.
Yvon presented new truck options as well as current truck trade-in value. Money from the equipment fund will also be used. Trade-in values from 2016 truck purchase changed due to emissions. Same truck as purchased in 2016.
George Godin-will this have the plow included as part of the package, Yvon replied yes.
Bill Mayo trade-in value of $25,000 on 2010 truck, could it be used as back up truck? Yvon stated is costing $10,000 approximately a year in repairs for this truck, better to trade it in.
Vote taken: all in favor, motion passed.
8. Shall the voters authorize total fund expenditures for operating expenses, deficit reduction, and debt repayment of the town, as indicated in the proposed municipal budget?
Jean Richard/Gilbert Dewing made the motion to authorize total fund expenditures for operating expenses, deficit reduction, and debt repayment of the town, as indicated in the proposed municipal budget in the amount of $788,054.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed.
9. To elect the following town officers:
A. Town Treasurer for a term of three years. (by ballot)
Jean Richard/Pam Greene nominated Lisa Larivee. Jean cast one ballot. Vote taken, all in favor. motion passed. Lisa Larivee elected Town Treasurer for a three year term.
B. One selectboard member for a term of three years. (by ballot)
Nancy Magnant/Marilyn Hackett nominated Dave Bennion. Nominations closed; Jean cast one ballot. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Dave Bennion election Selectboard members for a three-year term.
C. One selectboard member for a term of two years. (by ballot)
Josh Worman/Johanna Crane-Godin nominated Brooks Sturtevant. Nominations closed; Jean cast one ballot. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Brooks Sturtevant elected Selectboard member for a two year term.
D. One lister for a term of three years. (by ballot)
Sara Rainville/Johanna Crane-Godin nominated Jean Richard. Nominations closed; Gilbert Dewing cast one ballot. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Jean Richard elected lister for a three year term.
E. One auditor for a term of three years. (by ballot)
Johanna Crane-Godin/Bryant Reynolds nominated Michelle Guilmette. Michelle declined the nomination.
Jean Richard/Dave Bennion nominated Wendy Sargeant. Nominations closed; Gilbert Dewing cast one ballot. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Wendy Sargeant elected auditor for a three year term.
F. A trustee of public monies for a term of one year.
George Godin/Bryant Reynolds nominated Susan Clark. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Susan Clark elected trustee of public monies for a one year term.
G. A trustee of the Haston Library Fund for a term of one year.
Johanna Crane-Godin/Bryant Reynolds nominated Kim Gates-Maynard. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Kim Gates-Maynard elected trustee of the Haston Library Fund for a one year term.
H. Two Haston Library trustees for three-year terms.
Linda Hartman/ Bryant Reynolds nominated Jeff Teitelbaum.
Linda Hartman/Bryant Reynolds nominated Maria Studebaker.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Jeff Teitelbaum and Maria Studebaker elected Haston Library trustees, each for a three-year term.
I. A collector of delinquent taxes for a term of one year.
Jean Richard/Michelle Guilmette nominated Johanna Crane-Godin. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Johanna Crane-Godin elected collector of delinquent taxes for a one-year term.
J. A constable for a term of one year.
Michelle Guilmette/Bryant Reynolds nominated Burt Maynard. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Burt Maynard elected constable for a one-year term.
K. A town agent to prosecute and defend suits in which the town is interested.
Jean Richard/Johanna Crane-Godin nominated George Godin. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. George Godin elected town agent for a one-year term.
L. One or more grand jurors.
Johanna Crane-Godin nominated Irene Robear.
Johanna Crane-Godin nominated Stacie Kittell-Godin.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Irene Robear and Stacie Kittell-Godin elected grand jurors.
M. One representative to serve on the Franklin Homestead, Inc. Board of Directors for a term of three years.
Jean Richard nominated Dwight Tatro.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Dwight Tatro elected to serve on the Franklin Homestead Inc Board of directors for a three-year term.
10. To elect a person, or persons, to act as cemetery commissioner(s) to care for the cemeteries in town where there is no one responsible to act in such a capacity.
Jean Richard/Johanna Crane-Godin nominated Nancy Wilson, Jennifer Dewing, Ellen Magnant and Howard Vanselette.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Nancy Wilson, Jennifer Dewing, Ellen Magnant and Howard Vanselette elected cemetery commissioners.
11. Will the voters set the date of payment of property taxes paid to the treasurer to be October 15, 2020 before close of business?
Jean Richard/Gilbert Dewing made the motion to set the date of payment of property taxes paid to the treasurer to be October 15, 2020 before close of business. Johanna Crane-Godin noted that there will be a tax sale occurring in Town on April 14, 2020.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed.
12. Shall the Town publish the names of all delinquent property taxpayers and amounts due and owed to the town as of December 31, 2020?
Jean Richard/Gilbert Dewing made the motion to publish the names of all delinquent property taxpayers and amounts due and owed to the town as of December 31, 2020.
Marilyn Hackett spoke about bad practice of posting this list in the Town report every year.
Vote taken, majority in favor, motion passed.
13. To elect any town officers to fill any town office that may be vacant at this time.
Jay Hartman stated Kay Papazoni resigned in February 2020 from FHI Board.
Jay Hartman/Jean Richard nominated Patricia Whittemore.
Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed. Patricia Whittemore elected to serve on the Franklin Homestead Inc Board of directors for an unexpired term ending 2022.
14. To transact any other non-binding business thought proper when met.
Jay Denault reaffirming support of
constitution and asks to suspend the rules to vote to approve the designation
Marilyn Hackett page 3 questioned voting, registration, absentee wording. Lisa stated just listed as a State requirement on the article 15 bond vote; no changes have been made to the law.
Linda Hartman thanked everyone for their support of the libraries lunch.
Linda Hartman thanked Paula Tremblay for her time as a library trustee.
Michelle Guilmette recognized Marshall Ploof, Brian Barnum and Phil Bouchard for 50 years of service to Franklin Fire Department.
Peter Magnant thanked Lisa and Sara at the Town Clerk’s Office for all their work and assistance as well as all Town boards.
Peter thanked Michelle Guilmette for her time as an auditor.
Gilbert Dewing/Jean Richard made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Vote taken, all in favor, motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 3:21 p.m.
Peter Magnant ________________________________
Yvon Dandurand ________________________________
Andrew Godin ________________________________
Brooks Sturtevant ________________________________
Dave Bennion ________________________________