Franklin Selectboard Meeting

April 15, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m.
Zoom call


Call to order

At 7:02 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. 


Present: Peter Magnant, Dave Bennion, Brooks Sturtevant, Yvon Dandurand, Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk, Andy Godin (joined at 7:26 pm)


Guests: Jeremy Barnum; Lisa Hango and Charen Fegard, State Reps.


Agenda amendments:  Add to new business: town notifications of meetings and agendas; Human Rights Day proclamation; sidewalk complaint.  Add to old business: Pidgeon Hill engineer firm for culvert work.  Review and sign bills: add R&A Enterprise contract discussion.   All members approve of amendments.


Public comment period: Lisa Hango advised all updates of the legislative work being done around Covid-19 is on Charen’s website or feel free to reach out to either of them by phone or email if you have questions.  Pete asked about the update on Rte 120 work at the problem spot in the spring; Lisa updated on VTrans plan to do soil boring once the stay home order is lifted; they plan to repair this section of road as soon as possible.  At this time the VT financial situation is in up-hevel without much fuel tax, etc. income.

Federal money may be coming in for work on infrastructure relating to the pandemic.  Charen advised most all the work being done is related to the crisis right now.  Yvon advised that the Morses Line border crossing is only open from 8 am – 4 pm daily.


Approval of minutes: April 1st, regular meeting; Yvon D/Brooks S made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  All members voted in favor; motion passed 4-0, Andy not present. 


Highway Dept: 

·                   Paving work: Pete asked Jeremy if Hutchins Paving had committed to a date for work at this time.  Jeremy has spoken with PJ at Hutchins; they would like to start as soon as possible, when the stay home is lifted.  Lisa advised Jim Cota has stated no state funded/grant projects are to take place at this time; he is keeping us updated regularly of status. Jeremy will speak with Hutchins about doing Hanna Rd work with town funds and waiting for Stanley Rd until the state grant funding is opened.  Yvon-with all the delays of dates due to the crisis, sure we won’t be punished for holding funds until after the close of year to do work later when it can be scheduled. 

·                   Budget discussion:  Highway-FY20 year end budget reviewed; Repair and Maintenance over by $1900-work for old truck; Building Maintenance; supplies for grease and oil purchased; needed to purchase new power broom, old one died.  General-misc expense over due to purchase of Covid-19 supplies/disinfectants.  Lisa is looking into reimbursement of supplies purchased for the crisis and payroll costs for employees that are required to stay home during order with the disaster CARES funds that have been established; will reach out to VLCT for details.    Yvon states the cost of fuel is at an all time low and we should fill all our location tanks now.  Charen Fegard states if you have debt, now is the time to refinance for a big savings on interest rates. 

·                   Covid-19 protocol:  Stu from VT local roads sent an email this week regarding the latest governor’s order relating to municipal highway crews.  All work should cease unless road work is necessary for safe travel of the public; must follow stay home order.  Municipalities could be fined for not following the order.  Jeremy spoke with VLCT legal dept about the issue; a first warning is a verbal one with the rules that should be followed.  Certainly don’t encourage any town to break the order. Board discussed; Jeremy states currently they are grading all roads and applying gravel where needed.  If they could finish out the week, then will assess necessities with Andy.  The crew will continue to be paid a 40 hour week until the stay home is lifted May 15th. 


Review and sign bills:  Authorize one member to sign bills; Yvon would like to have three members review and sign bills, can do so individually at different times.  Pete, Andy and Dave will sign bills on Friday.

     Abe with R&A Enterprises would like to start work as soon as first week of May, as his schedule has been shifted due to the crisis.  Discussed getting state clearance as an emergency repair of leaking roof; Lisa also states that these funds are not available for payment until next fiscal year as voter approved, could look into how to book the expense for next year.  Board would like to wait until after July 1st, as they don’t feel it is emergent and the funds are not available until then. 


New Business:

·       School lawn mowing: Andy is not interested in doing mowing this year.  Discussed the age limit for mowing of lawns; Lisa will check with VLCT.  Yvon has someone interested that will be 16 soon.  Jeremy agreed to do the school lawns until we find a replacement to do so.   We need to advertise on the website and Facebook for someone to mow school and ball fields.

·       Dog complaint:  Vezina’s on Middle Rd have sent in a complaint that the neighbor, Seth Willey’s dogs, come on their property and porch and do their business.  They are tied outside all day and night and bark constantly.  Yvon spoke with Vezina’s about it as well.  Lisa doesn’t believe they are registered in Town. Send a warning letter with ordinance about registering by May 1st, barking and being kept on own property.

·       Sidewalk complaint:  Received from a resident of the village regarding vehicles parked on the sidewalk.  Dave has looked into the vehicle is not always there, due to inaccessibility to driveway at times; it was only parked blocking half of the sidewalk.  Pete advised we should look at adopting a policy/ordinance about sidewalks as this happens around town and we should keep our new sidewalks open for pedestrians. 

·       Human Rights Day proclamation:  looking at a date in December that will be declared as.  Will warn and review at next meeting.

·       Town notifications:  request of resident to post all warnings and agendas relating to town business to the town email list.  Board discussed and feels it will be cumbersome to folks to receive emails for all town business.  The quarterly newsletter has the dates of all meetings for folks to follow.  Notices/agendas are posted on the website and Facebook as well as in Town as required, residents can find the information there.  Maybe do a new tab on website for clearer view of “official notices”.


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                   Grand list extension:  The State-PVR is extending the due date for the listers to lodge the grand list from June 4 to Aug 15. Lisa has discussed with the listers their schedule and time line to complete their work; they are working remotely to get done asap, but would like to request an extension in case it’s needed.   A letter needs to be sent to PVR advising if the Town will use the extension.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to authorize Pete to sign the letter requesting an extension for listers to Aug 15 to lodge the grand list if needed.  All members voted in favor 5-0, motion passed. 

·                   Outside sign for clerk notifications:  Yvon measured the Highgate digital sign; it is 60” wide by 24” high with 6” letters, with 10” name at the top of the sign.  Dave has found 6” letters.  Yvon will proceed with this size.   

·                   FEMA reimbursement:  Discussed previously in highway dept with budget discussions.  Librarian also will be included in any reimbursement claims the town requests.


Old Business: 

·                   Water district financing:  Lisa received a rate from Community National Bank of 2.42% for 20 years.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to rescind the previously approved motion of the April 1st meeting with People’s Trust Co at 3.75%.  All members voted in favor, 5-0; motion passed.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the Community National Bank rate as quoted at 2.42% for $175,000 for a 20 year loan for the water district upgrade project.  All members voted in favor, 5-0; motion passed. 

·                   Pidgeon Hill project:  discussed the need to choose an engineering firm through the At-The-Ready process.  Lisa will send the updated list to committee members so we can discuss; need to send names to Linda Blash to proceed.

·                   School generator:  Yvon has spoken with Dana Stetson, who has been servicing the machine; he was not aware of an anti-freeze leak, the water pump was replaced a few years ago.  Dana and Yvon will look at further.  This unit is emissions free and the new ones are not; would be better to maintain this one rather than have a new one. 

·                   Dick Wright property:  the board would like to continue to investigate options for this building.  Need to continue to look for grants for a feasibility study; Lisa will speak with NRPC about available grant funding.  Discussions need to be had of the cost to purchase the property as well.


Selectboard Folder: none


Member Concerns: 

Brooks – Carriage House and Homestead staff have been doing a great job to keep residents safe and assisting with continuity.  Brooks would like to send “Thank you” notes to them from the board. 

Yvon – we are fortunate to live in a small town and to be connected and help each other is these trying times.  He is disappointed that we will not be able to meet with Jim Cota, VTrans, to discuss town highway business due to the Covid-19 crisis.



Brooks S/Andy G made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.


Next meeting will be May 20th at 6:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

April 16, 2020


These minutes are not official until approved at the next regular Selectboard meeting.