Franklin Selectboard Meeting

January 23, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
Franklin School Library


Call to order

At 6:31 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 


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


Guests: Jean Richard, Michelle Guilmette, Auditors ; Pam Greene, Kim Gates Maynard, Tim Magnant, Phil & Pierrette Bouchard.


Agenda amendments:  none


Public comment period: none


Highway Dept: 

·                       Moisture concern: bid received from John Mercy for $15,620 to install an additional oil-fired furnace and ducts to aid with constant heat; no guarantee to help with moisture.  CSI quoted $37,362 to install additional oil-fired furnace with hot air ducts.  Yvon spoke with St. Johnsbury and Colchester highway departments about their systems.  They have no moisture issues, but have floor drains that go into a separator tank system to remove contaminates from the water; which then has to be disposed of.  They also have forced hot air type systems.  Would like to install a commercial grade dehumidified that can remove 30 gallons per day, approx. cost is $1000-$1800.  Also consider trenches in the floor to remove the water.  Michelle will reach out to some contacts she has for engineer questions and input.  Peter advised the board is including $10,000 in the highway building maintenance line to address the issue. 

·                       DER appointment:  Yvon has looked into the Designated Employer Representative (DER) responsibilities for the town.  The appointed person(s) must have contact with the CDL drivers on a regular basis and administer the portal on behalf of the town.  This is new Federal regulations as of January 2020.  Dave B/Brooks S made a motion to appoint Andy Godin and Lisa Larivee as DER’s for the Town of Franklin.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·                       Weight restrictions permit:  Lisa read the list of current roads that are restricted to 24,000 lbs from March 1 to May 31.  The annual posting of roads must be submitted to VTrans by the on-line portal.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the list of roads as read.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·                       Hanna Road reclassification:  VTrans denied the town’s request to reclassify Hanna Rd from a class 3 to 2 road, and explanations of why; the main reason is that there is already a class 2 road that runs parallel to Hanna Rd – Browns Corner Rd. 

·                       Certificate of Highway mileage:  reviewed the classification and mileage of roads in town; there have been no changes to any highway class in the past year.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve and sign the Certificate of Highway mileage.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.


Budget review and discussion:  Peter thanked Lisa, Sara and the Auditors for all their work on the budgets and town report. 

General Fund:

·                       Emergency Dispatch has a large increase of 24.5% for improvements to equipment infrastructure and per capita assessment. 

·                       Office expense: large increase to financial software maintenance/support due to cybersecurity; new website; computer.

·                       Library: reviewed the assessment being level funding for FY21 but future increases needed due to the full-time librarian receiving health insurance.

·                       Building Maintenance:  town hall roof of main building needs to be replaced; grant funding has been received with a 50% match of $16,500.  New town office sign for posting notices/meetings.

·                       Cemetery: money to care for the town owned cemeteries other than the Village Center as it has its own funds for a few more years that were turned over to the town. 


Highway Fund:

·                       Paving: funds from FY20 & FY21 budgets will be rolled together of $200,000 for paving projects in June-July 2020 for Hanna Rd and Stanley Rd with the grant funds received to do more paving and save on mobilization costs.

·                       Salt:  Kim stated there was a large expense for FY19 with a budget of $8500 and spent $23,590; due to weather conditions.  Have increased the budget to meet the increase in use and price increase per ton.

·                       Building maintenance:  $10,000 added for options to remedy the moisture concern in the garage.  Yvon discussed the other garages that he has spoken with; they have floor drains and no radiant heat.  Would like to purchase a commercial dehumidifier to remove excess water (30 gal/day) and move air.  Option of trenching the floor to remove water and a new heat system with modens. 

·                       Repair & maintenance:  grader tires and blade for $7,000.  Phil asked about the consideration of purchase of a new grader and cost; Yvon advised they are approx. $300,000 for a new one. 

Prior articles have been paid in full as of November 2019; just the loader remaining.    

Proposed new articles:  Lake Carmi water quality $10,000

                   Pidgeon Hill culvert replacement $55,200 to match grant award

                   Sidewalk $5,000 if request for reserve fund is approved

                   Highway truck $29,000 if article for purchase of a new one is approved

Kim asked what the lake electricity costs were; $17,000 this year and that was a short season due to start up dates and the systems being down for a time.  Peter advised the State has awarded a grant of $20,000 over two years to assist with utility costs; at which time they will review further for additional funding. We will also be responsible for the maintenance of the system after the first two years. Yvon has concerns with the compressors that run very hot and their life expectancy.  John Tucci from EverBlue Lakes is aware of the concern.

Projected Revenue and tax rates:  increase of 3.5% overall on tax rate if all articles are approved. 


Old Business:

VTrans Rte 236 culvert replacement loan – Oliver Pierson from the State of VT Lakes and Ponds has asked the town to bond for a Clean Water loan of $400,000 to replace two culverts on State Park Rd that are vital to the clean up of Lake Carmi.   The State is looking to secure funding to replace these culverts in the spring/summer 2020 before runoff into the lake.  This will have to be an Australian ballot vote at town meeting.  There would be an informational meeting on March 2 at 7:00 with the State present for questions.  The loan would be to the Town of Franklin, but 100% forgiven by the State as a grant.  The town will be responsible for the RFP, bids, contracts, administration and oversight of the project.  Peter read the “necessity resolution” and warning language.  Kim asked if there is an out of the bonding if the vote is approved, but the funds are not secured with the state, can the board opt out of the loan? Michelle-need to have language in the warning contingent on state funding to allow us an out.  Need to leave the option to the board to apply for the loan.  Peter would like to postpone approval and signing of the warning for further language discussion.  Lisa will reach out to the Secretary of State about the bond approval by the voter; can the selectboard refuse to apply? 


Approval of minutes: January 8th, Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting as written.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. 


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                       Aquatic nuisance grant:  Lisa has completed the application for the grant funding; risk assessment must be reviewed by the board and signed by the Chair and Treasurer.  Peter read; Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the risk assessment.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  Peter and Lisa signed.  The grant application is for $9,969; the state will determine the funding award based on applications and available monies.


New Business:  

·         Dog complaint:  Carol Dunphy submitted a written complaint on Jan 14th.  The neighbor’s dog is running at large and jumping on people and cars.  Is an issue with her dog when she is in heat and he’s always at her door step whining.  Letter will be sent to register the dog and about keeping the dog on their own property. 


·        St. Albans Central Dispatch:  contract of services for FY21 in the amount of $17,004 annually.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the St. Albans Central Dispatch contract for $17,004.  This is a large increase for equipment infrastructure improvements; Mike Lawyer from the Fire Dept has been speaking with other county departments about this cost increase.  The board is going to hold off signing the contract until discussed further with Mike. Brooks S/Dave B rescind the motion and postpone until further discussions.    

·        Emergency Generator:  discussion of the age of the generator and the need for repairs.  There is a loss of antifreeze and where it is going?  There is a need for having the system for the town’s emergency shelter.  Yvon wants to look at the engine further and will stop by the school.  Need to speak with the fire department about emergency grant funding that may become available to apply for replacement. 


Review and sign bills: done by board members.


Selectboard Folder: Summary of permits for January by Zoning Administrator.  


Member Concerns:

·                       Yvon:  Jeremy also spoke with the vendor that does the school heating system; they are going to get us a quote relating to moisture issue options.  Concern with the Rte 236 culverts loan and their responsibility of the town for administering the project.  Peter will contact the state as well about the concerns.

·                       Peter:  advised the school is doing a Q&A roundtable at 9:00 on March 3 before our town meeting. 



Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vote taken; all in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:22 p.m.


Next meeting will be February 19th at 6:00 pm at the Town Clerk’s Office.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

January 24, 2020


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