Franklin Selectboard Meeting

July 6, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m.

Zoom virtual meeting


Call to order

At 7:18 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order, late due to technical issues.


Present: Peter Magnant, Dave Bennion, Brooks Sturtevant, Yvon Dandurand, Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk, Andy Godin joined at 7:30.


Guests: Rob Evans, LCCA; Paula Tremblay, Bridget Thompson, Dawn Fournier, Stephanie Ho, Bridgette Favreau, Recreation Committee; Keith Graham, Marty Whittemore, Joe Craig


Recreation Dept:

       Bridget T reviewed the Rec Dept safety measures and protocols with Covid-19 for the little league season that will play in July and August. Nine players from Franklin will be playing with the Highgate and Swanton teams. The league wants to be able to use our ball fields. Paula T is the safety officer for NWLL and has been actively writing the safety protocol for the league. A Franklin board member will be present at all Franklin field games to ensure distancing, port-a-potty use, max 150 in attendance, no use of dugouts, ect. Franklin Rec supports NWLL but want to make sure everyone is safe playing. Peter M supports the measures as long as they are being followed. Documents have been sent to all players of the teams of the measures and a Covid waiver. Peter advised there should be a strict one strike rule and if not followed will not be allowed to play on Franklin fields. The board agrees with the measures.

       Bridget advised the Rec board would like to change the director contract that renews July 1 from salary to hourly to be conscientious of the Covid crisis and fiscal responsibility to the town. The board is fine with that and feel it is a vote of the Recreation Board to change the contract terms.

       Town welcome sign was discussed. The Selectboard would like the Rec Board to find some local talent to repaint a new sign.


Weed Harvester operator: Interviews for operators. Joe Craig and Keith Graham welcomed to the meeting. Joe has still been operating the machine, but it is tough going as it is not running properly.

                   Keith Graham introduced himself and has lived in Franklin since 1988; is a self-employed carpenter by trade. Has much mechanical experience from military background. Loves to fish and boat on the lake; has a vested interest to keep the lake healthy. Peter advised looking for someone with patience and light fingers as the machine is slow and need to let it work at its pace. Yvon advised that the engine is gas and it works very differently than a diesel engine; were advised when purchased to go gas by the vendor. This engine is underpowered for the machine. Joe advised he has changed the spark plugs; disconnected the electric fuel pump and tested it-not sure of the problem. Upon reading the manual feels the valves need to be adjusted as it is back firing fuel into the carburetor. No pressure gauge on the fuel pump. Engine is too small for the hydraulic system. Keith asked what kind of engine it is; a Subaru engine. Board discussed looking into a diesel engine to replace it. Keith states he has flexibility and time to operate in the summer; exited the meeting.

                   Marty Whittemore introduced himself and lives in Franklin. Worked at Standard Registry Co; a printing press co for 27 years, the plant closed and he had to retire. Drove bus for 12 yrs, Champlain Country Club grounds keeper and equipment operator. Interested in keeping the lake healthy and loves to fish. Discussed the system operation, Yvon states is 100% hydraulic operated. Marty is retired and has a very flexible schedule; exited the meeting.

                   Rob Evans discussed the need to replace the engine with a diesel one. Asked what the cost is; Yvon stated when it was ordered was a $8-9,000 difference for a diesel engine, now he thought about $13,000. Rob wants to speak with LCCA about assisting to purchase a diesel engine to replace the gas. Selectboard is in agreement and willing to replace is funding becomes available. Joe asked if someone can look at the machine, to make adjustments to valves.


Rob updated the board on the aeration system operation. State Park system is down and has been for about a week, the power supply is under powered. Vendor is going to replace the compressor control head; thank you to John Tucci and Oliver Pierson for all their support of the system operation. Results show a 41% reduction in phosphorus levels in the lake over the last 3 years. Thank you to everyone within the watershed and the farmers for doing a great job to reduce the phosphorus loading.


Executive session: Brooks S/Andy G made a motion to enter executive session at 8:17 pm to discuss candidate interviews. All members in favor; motion passed. Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to exit executive session at 8:25 pm. All members in favor; motion passed. Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to hire Keith Graham and Marty Whittemore at the current rate of pay to be a cohesive team to run the weed harvester for the allowed hours. All members voted in favor; motion passed. Lisa will be in touch with the gentleman.


Yvon asked if Jake can do the valve service work/adjustments. Dave asked if it could be out of time. Yvon-the keyway could be the issue or it could be out of time. Andy-Ken Bocash has been recommended to look at the engine. Brooks will give him a call.


Brooks inquired about the Middle Rd dog issue; the barking continues to be a concern of neighbors.



Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to adjourn the meeting. All members voted in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.


Next meeting will be July 15th at 6:00 pm at the Franklin United Church basement.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

July 10, 2020


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

These minutes were approved at the July 15, 2020 Selectboard meeting.