Franklin Selectboard Meeting

Public budget

January 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Franklin School Library



Call to order

At 7:00 p.m. Peter M called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


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


Guests: Jean Richard & Michelle Guilmette, Auditors; Bridget Thompson and Stacey Godin, Rec Dept; Jay Denault, Phil and Pierrette Bouchard, Westley Kempton, Deb Grennon, Library Trustee; Pam Greene.


Agenda amendments:  Pete read the agenda aloud, no amendments


Public comment period:  None


Budget discussion:

·        Peter reviewed the General fund budget highlights. 

-          Salaries increase of approx. 2% but have been reduced due to the change in Lisa, Town Clerk, hours as of June 30th.  She will no longer do the books for the school.  With the software changes again, the payroll requirements and reporting, changes at the Supervisory Union, they will take over these duties.  Town clerk will reduce her hours and there is more demand on the clerk for town work such as grant writing and additional responsibilities. 

-          Insurance is down as there have been no claims and a change in rating.

-          Sheriff increased due to the rate from $48 to $49 and additional hours.

-          Building Maintenance down as the projects are caught up, much town hall work has been completed. 

-          Cemeteries are needing funds from the town to maintain, the East Franklin Cemetery Association has been funding in the past; also will be taking over the Protestant cemetery in town next summer. 

-          Watershed same funding.

·        Highway budget review:

-          Salaries increase of 3% and increase in needed overtime and an extra driver when needed. 

-          Equipment rental-same funding just split for tracking purposes.

-          Gas and fuel-have had a real increase this year with price and usage. 

-          General Rd permit-two pieces necessary with the State, one is annual, the other every five years.

-          Miscellaneous- $3,500 for a sand pusher to get more sand into the shed, with the ends it is difficult to dump when it gets filled up.  They will purchase the attachment and build themselves. 

-          Salt and sand-salt cost is up and more usage.

-          Telephone-up due to internet for the garage, needed for the work of the crew with repairs, ect.

-          Tools-need to purchase items to do maintenance of the equipment themselves.

-          Grants/NRPC and Better Roads-match funding needed to these annual grants.

-          Deb Grennon asked about the highway crew having the proper safety/reflective wear to keep them from injury.  The board responded they have gear, will need to be reminded they have to wear it.

·        Weed harvester:  Westley Kempton asked about the expenses being below budget.  The board responded that the harvester has had mechanical engine issues and therefore the hours operated are down.  Hope to have it resolved and operate more hours next summer. 

·        Reviewed the prior articles and the expiration dates.  Plow and fire truck will be paid in FY20; Loader in FY22.  Snowblower was purchased in Nov 2017.





Reviewed FY20 articles:

·                       Recreation Dept-third year of $16,000, after this year approval will go directly into the budget as a line item.  Bridget review some highlights; reduce the hours of the director to purchase a website platform “my rec” for registration, schedules, pay fees; will make this much more streamline and organized.  Have been working with RiseVT and regional rec departments for programs.  Need a storage shed for gear and equipment. 

·                       Lake Aeration project-week of January 24th the State was picking a vendor from the bids received.  GZA needs 3-phase power and cost is $1.6M to install and energy cost is $32K and $12K to maintain.  Ever Blue is $800K-1.0M and energy is $17,500 and $12K maintenance of compressors, offering a two year maintenance free of service.  The State is requesting that the Town of Franklin share in the annual energy and maintenance expense of the system at a cost of $15,000; planned to be installed by June 2019.  The town will open a separate fund for the project to keep a cleaner accounting of expenses and funds needed to operate.  Will also make it easier for donations to be made by groups or individuals if wanted.  Should not affect lake usage as little as possible as it sits at the bottom.  No known effect on fish population.  The phosphorus needs to be stopped from entering the lake and reduce the current levels in the lake, than further treatment can be done.  The aeration project is a stop gap until such time.  This is expected to be a ten year project.

·                       Town hall- would like to install a sound system to include curtains for echo reduction and light blocking.  The town hall is being used more by the community and would like to continue to increase opportunities for it use. Would consider quilts or some sound absorbing device on the back wall to prevent echo as well.  Curtains cost $9500 as they need to be fire rated and able to open/close.  Sound system is $8500.  Pete states “this building is a town treasure and like to see the continued use.” 

·                       Liquid sprayer.  Would like to set up one of the trucks with this feature.  At the current time, the truck returns to the shop with a sand/salt mix for the paved roads, dumps and refills with just sand for the dirt roads.  This would be used for paved vs. dirt.  Would turn on to spray over the sand on paved roads and not on the dirt roads in which we do not apply salt to.  Pete spoke with an Environmental Scientist at the State about pros/cons.  Positive with the use to keep sand on the road, keeps working longer at lower temps.  Needs to be kept calibrated to keep the proper mix with the sand.  Would use less product over the season and cut fuel usage with no return trips.

·                       Sidewalk scoping study- there are safety and congestion concerns on the west side of the street from Hanna Rd to Square Rd in front of the businesses.  Would like to study for suggestions of parking and pedestrian traffic.  Have been awarded a grant of $26,400 with a 20% match needed of $6,600.  Looking for voter approval to make it a safer and less congested area. 

·                       Haston Library-Deb spoke of the budget and the memorial donations that have been significant over the recent years and for a specific purpose of programs and grant awards.  Having a reserve fund would make these funds more transparent and easier to track as they would be outside of the regular budget.  They are also working on updating the gifting policy to meet the purpose of this fund.


Warning review:  Pete read the warning and articles aloud.  Important note that town meeting will start at 10:00 A.M. this year.  Need to add an article for a town moderator, was deleted in error.  Change article 10 to read “liquid sprayer”.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to add the article to elect a moderator and accept the warning as read.  Westley noted the change to article 10 as well.  Yvon rescinded his second to the motion.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to add an article for a town moderator and change the language of Article 10 to read “liquid sprayer” and accept the warning as written.  All members voted in favor, motion passed. 


Approval of Minutes:  January 3rd minutes-Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the minutes as written.   All members voted in favor, motion passed.  January 8th minutes of emergency meeting for the resolution of waiver for Act 46 judge.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.


Town Clerk concerns: none

Old Business: none

New Business: none


Review and sign bills:  Members reviewed and signed bills.


Selectboard folder: none


Member concerns/other business: Brooks would like to publicly say “Thank you” to the Towns of Berkshire, Sheldon and Highgate for their assistance with Sunday/Monday storm last week with both of our trucks broke down.  Lisa and Andy will do letters to the towns.  Yvon asked about the use of ¾” pee stone on the icy dirt roads, seems a bit large and protrudes from ice. 


Next meeting date is February 6th @ 7:00 pm at the Town Clerk’s office.  There will be no February 20th meeting.



At 8:41 pm Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vote taken; all in favor; motion carried.



Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

January 26, 2019


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

These minutes were approved at the February 6th, 2019 Selectboard meeting.