Franklin Selectboard Meeting/holiday gathering

December 19, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Homestead Felco Room


Call to order

At 6:32 p.m. Peter M called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Present: Peter Magnant, Yvon Dandurand, Andy Godin, Dave Bennion, Brooks Sturtevant, Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk


Guests: Mike Lawyer, FFD; Nancy Magnant, Bryant Reynolds, Pam Greene, Historical Society; Carole Richard, Paula Tremblay, Jeff Teitelbaum, Deb Grennon, Linda Barnum, Library Trustees; Maureen Sodaro;  Michelle Guilmette, Auditor; Bridgette Favreau, Stacey Godin, Stephanie Ho, Recreation Board; Westley Kempton; Charen Fegard, State Rep; Jeremy Barnum, highway crew


Agenda amendments:  Peter read the agenda for the audience, and requested to swap the order of the two highway items.


Public comment period:  Charen Fegard introduced herself and wanted to let people know she is always available and wants to stay in touch with communities; wants to get e-mails from everyone so she can keep everyone up to date on Legislative progress. 

Deb Grennon-Thank you for the pizza; Peter thanked everyone on town boards for working together and their assistance in running a smooth municipality.  The board wanted to have this opportunity to hear from folks.


Approval of Minutes:  December 5th minutes-Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes as written.   All members voted in favor, motion passed


Budgets of individual boards:

·        Library-Deb Grennon advised they are working on an article with Lisa for the warning to create a reserve fund for the library to move funds through for grants/donations/fundraising rather than include these income and expenses in their general budget.  As they are generally earmarked for specific items/programs it would be easier to track as well since many occur within several years.  The trustees are requesting a $39,000 assessment this year as they have not increased in many years and expenses have risen slightly over the years.  Paula Tremblay spoke of the collaboration of the library and recreation department and how well that marriage is working.  They are doing great things together.  The library is working to do more after school programs to increase younger patronage, preschool reading group on Friday, and story time for the seniors at the Homestead. 

·        Cemetery Commission-no members present

·        Fire Department-Mike Lawyer advised they are requesting the same $20,000 for the town assessment.  Advised that they are no longer doing the pancake breakfast which is a large fundraiser for them, but are looking at other options of fundraising; have money for a few years.  The pumper truck is experiencing electrical problems, it is 15 years old, will need to look at repairs.  Got federal grant funding last year for tanks, masks, and gear.  Are working on more trainings, NIMS training is required for some grant funding, have done joint training with other departments and organizations for various special elements.   Are working on an updated Homestead/Carriage House evacuation plan.  We currently have two first responders that are supplied by the FFD.  Peter advised that the town is looking at the possibility of installing electric vehicle charging stations and would like to have the option of behind the fire station.  Mike responded that they have received large memorial donations over the past several years and are discussing a permanent structure to honor these folks; the possibility of adding onto the back of the station for a conference room.  Yvon asked about the need for volunteers; Mike states there are not enough people who want to volunteer with many things.  There may be a need in the future of a regional department. 

·        Planning Commission-no one present, Lisa has their budget.

·        Recreation Dept.-budget reviewed by Bridgette Favreau.  Are decreasing the Rec Director salary to purchase the software license for “my rec”, to register for any sports team or program, pay fees associated with it, track uniform size needs, etc.  This will streamline much current paper tracking and organizing that is needed.  The remainder of the budget is the same.  The Polar Express had about 200 participants and 23 vehicles participated in the lighted parade.  Received a $3,000 Rise VT grant for a playground structure at the ball fields this year, but they are very expense so want to use some of the extra recreation account funds accumulated over the past several years with fundraising/donations and such to fund the playground structure.  Board approves as this is their give back to the community for the fundraising/donations received.  Peter advised that there will be an article again this year for the $16,000 assessment.  Bridgette advised they are looking into a ski bus program to Jay.

·        Historical Society-Bryant Reynolds stated they are booming right now.  Had a successful “Spirits of Franklin” event, which was a large fund raiser.  The cabin is open by appointment and for special events.  Next year they are planning another town surprise event.  They are collaborating with LCCA for the camp tours next summer to include other town historic locations.  Board discussed the need for window curtains and a sound system at the town hall, possibly barn quilts on the back wall to stop the echo; want the space to be used more.


Highway Department: 

·        Water operator contract was discussed of time spent and the breakdown of each department.  Need to have a contract for the individual work of the water district separate from the highway dept.  Working on the water district budget to include pay rate and related taxes.  Brooks has called several banks for interest rates related to the upgrade project.  Mike Lawyer has spoken with the Engineer on the final plans and invited him to the January 8th meeting to discuss progress and timelines. 

·        Budget discussion – Mike L spoke of the changes at Central Dispatch with new communication towers and service they have installed.  These are expensive upgrades that he wants to be sure Franklin is not paying a part of as we do not get service from them.  Lisa will advise of the assessment when we get it.

-          Highway budget reviewed:  Gas and fuel increase to $21,000 due to price increase; telephone to $1,220  with internet ($540); Blacktop for Gallup, Hanna and anticipate grant funding to do the rest of Stanley and Swamp Rds.; pavement sealing to $8,000; tools-Jeremy will put together a list of needs; building maintenance add $1850 for bottom door panels; miscellaneous add $3,500 for sand pusher with narrative note.


Review and sign bills:  Members reviewed and signed bills.


Town Clerk concern: 

·                       Scoping study Main St sidewalk- There is a simplified bid process with the State for these scoping projects.  Need to select 3 firms from the state approved list and advice state of selection, than send RFP to first choice.  Lisa will speak with Peter Pochop, VTrans Coordinator, about attending the Feb meeting to discuss the project.

·                       Highway time sheet review:  Clerk’s office wanted to confirm the policy with vacation time and overtime in the same day.  Board agreed that if the crew have a planned vacation day and have to come in to plow, they get the 8 hours vacation pay and then o/t for the extra hours worked that day.

·                       Budget-reviewed the general fund budget:2% increase for clerk & assist, other salaries increase due to minimum wage increase. With the school merger there may be some changes in the clerk’s office.  Discussed the highway pay raises; board approved an approx. 3% ($.60) increase for both men. Lisa will talk to Claudette Carswell about funds needed for the cemetery upkeep, need to budget a line for future upkeep by the town.  Building maintenance-include repair of one front storm for town hall of $2,250.

·                       Articles for warning:  1. Town hall sound system -$8,500 and curtains for $9,500 to be offset by potential grant funding; 2. Lake quality $10,000; Rec Dept. of $16,000.

·                       Dog hearing: Yvon has concerns with being sure that the dog owner is very clear about paying for medical expenses of victim and what is required of the dogs to keep anything from happening again.  Letter needs to be forceful to dog owner (renter) and property owner.


School Act 46 lawsuit: 

            Julie Regimbal, Superintendent, met with the town clerks/treasurers this week regarding the merger and what that means for us in the future.  With the unified district there will be only one clerk and treasurer for the entire district.  So the job of the Franklin school fiscal bookkeeper will no longer exist, all these duties will be done by the central unified district office in Swanton.  There will be an organizational meeting on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 pm at MVU for the vote on several items that need to be decided for the unified district.  If an injunction is granted regarding the lawsuit that meeting will be canceled, otherwise the process moves forward.  


Old Business: 

·                       School land purchase – Joyce advised last week that they were meeting with a surveyor for the boundary lines and required permits to try to get this done by March town meeting. 


New Business: 

·        Sign the finance and maintenance agreement with VTrans regarding the high risk roads program where new signs are being installed on town roads by the State for safety to prevent crashes on dangerous roads/curves.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to authorized Peter to sign the agreement.  All members voted in favor, motion carried.


Selectboard folder:  nothing


Member concerns/other business

·        Peter – Devin Bachelder, school board, would like to meet with the board at the January 3rd meeting to discuss Act 46.


Next meeting date is January 3rd @ 6:00 pm at the Town Clerk’s office.



At 10:00 pm Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vote taken; all in favor; motion carried.



Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

December 20, 2018


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

These minutes were approved at the January 3, 2019 Select board meeting.