Franklin Selectboard Meeting

June 17, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m.
Zoom virtual meeting


Call to order

At 7:03 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/Treasurer, Andy Godin (joined at 7:30 pm)


Guests: Jeremy Barnum, Highway Dept; Kim Gates & Dan Clark, BCA members; Bryce Bachelder, Rob Evans, LCCA; Linda Blasch, NRPC.


Agenda amendments:  Add to Approve minutes-May 13, Water Dist joint with Selectboard; Town Clerk concerns-Tax anticipation note, truck loan discussion.  All members approve of amendments.


Public comment period: Kim Gates would like to see the metal dumpster gone once it is full again.  She has concerns with the discussion of the Dick Wright property and not involving the towns people in a public forum to discuss the future needs of the town.  With the town currently owning five properties, need to look at a plan for the future.  Pete advised we are just in the early stage of discussion and possibilities of the purchase of the sales garage.  Want to be able to put together all options before presenting to the towns people. 

          Bryce Bachelder appreciates the spirit and goal of Sidewalk policy, but has concerns with the no parking on the sidewalk.  At the north end of town, if vehicles are not parked on the sidewalk, they are into the street, creating a traffic hazard.  As the space is limited and no green space is available, may need to reconsider the policy. 

          Rob Evans with LCCA updates the board on the aeration system.  Pete thanked Rob for his support of keeping the system operational.   Rob recapped at the end of last year the compressors were taken back to the factory for coolant updates and reinstalled this spring and tested.  Patton Shore system is working perfect and is a bit quieter than last year.  Oxygen levels are very good at this time.  Two weeks ago, the State Park system went down in a lightening storm with damage to the control head.  Rob met John Tucci in MA to get a new control head and it was installed by Peck Electric; then the second one went down within a few days.  Peck Electric, VELCO, VEC, Rob Evans, Oliver Pierson and John Tucci spoke today on a conference call to trouble shot the issue.  VELCO has installed a surge/volt meter at the pole to track possible issues.  John Tucci has shipped another control head that will be here next week.  The team will be on site Tuesday, June 23 to review the issue and a plan for future concerns.  VELCO has advised at times at the end of utility line there can be issues with surge, though they do not see any of this happening; need to continue to monitor to find out what is going on.  Everblue equipment is not at fault, is within the power supply to the system.  Yvon thanked Rob for all his support; electricity can be finicky and cause issues.  Pete states the town is in support of the system, but need to figure out its issues; the town is not willing to sign off on the system and take over its operation until it is completely running ok.  State is working diligently for the quality of our lake and is all-in to support the system as well. 


Approval of minutes: June 3rd, regular meeting; Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  Pete asked for minor wording changes to clarify.   All members voted in favor; motion passed. 

May 13th, joint with Water Commission; Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the joint meeting minutes with the Water Commission.  Vote 4-0, Andy abstained; motion passed.


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                   Tax sale purchase by town:  Johanna asked if the board would be interested in bidding for properties at tax sale if there are no other bidders.  Discussion had; board does not want to get involved in this practice. 


BCA meeting: Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to suspend the Selectboard meeting and enter into a BCA meeting.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. 

·                   Lisa discussed the thought of purchasing a vote tabulator machine to use for future elections.  The State pays for the machine in full and the first $500 of cost for programming with each election; the town then pays approximately $800-900 for Primary elections and $400-500 for General elections for programming.  Once the BCA votes to approve the use of the machine, it must be used for every General election.  Kim asked what the cost of the machine is?  Lisa is not sure, was not told the cost as the state pays for them.  For this year, due to COVID19 concern and funding the State will pay for the entire programming for the Primary election.  Discussed the cost of maintenance and repairs; cost increase for programing in the future; is there a machine to borrow for this General election, due to COVID?  Lisa will check with the Sec. of State and inquire further.  8 of 10 members present; vote taken, 4-yes, 2-no, 2-abstain; no majority of vote for approval.  Will not change our process at this time; may review further in the future. 

Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to exit BCA meeting and resume Selectboard meeting.  All in favor; motion passed.


·                   Tax Anticipation Note (TAN):  Lisa discussed the current financial status of funds.  With the large paving project being done with two years of budget funding together at the end of FY20; until we receive the reimbursement of the paving grant funds, we are not able to pay the other half of the paving for July 1st from FY21 funds at this time.   Anticipate to need approx. $65,000 for July to meet expenses and payroll until the VTrans funds are received.  Lisa has not heard back from Jim Cota when to expect the payment.  Board agrees if necessary, we will need to warn a last-minute meeting to do a TAN for July expenses. 


Highway Dept: 

·                   Yield sign Richard Rd/Gallup Rd:  Pete spoke with Tyler at VTrans regarding recommendations and review of the intersection and traffic pattern.  As most traffic is traveling from Gallup Rd onto Richard road as the main travel, it was suggested by VTrans to install a “watch for turning vehicle” sign heading north on Richard Rd before intersection, rather than a yield sign, with only two residents on the end of Richard Rd.  The board discussed the use of different signs; any sign may give a false sense of security to traffic.  Members agreed there is no need for a sign-does not warrant one at the suggestion of the state.  Andy would like to look into reclassification of .10 miles of Richard Rd after the intersection to a class 4, as it is really just a driveway now.  Jeremy states they snow plow to just past Shaun Richard and turn around in his driveway. 

·                   Vermont Electric Coop ROW-Gallup Rd:  Albert Gagne is building a new sugarhouse and installing a new power supply within the road ROW and needs a permit from the town to do so.  Jeremy advised he is also putting sap lines under the road.  Brooks S/Andy G made a motion to approve the VEC ROW road occupancy permit on Gallup Rd for Albert Gagne.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·                   Garage humidity concern:  Pete stated that $10,000 was budgeted for FY21 to address the moisture concern in the town garage.  Yvon would like to purchase a commercial dehumidifier that removes about 35 gallons of water a day and install in Sept to start using as soon as the heat is turned on.  It should be raised up to move the air in the middle of the building on the back wall and needs to be plumbed outside.  Jeremy-need to continue to discuss a plan to remove the water issue from the melting snow.  Yvon will research the humidifier a bit more before fall.


Review and approve bills:  board members reviewed the warrants; Three members will be in to sign off on the bills-Pete, Dave and Brooks.


New Business:

·       Pidgeon Hill culvert: Linda Blasch-MPM with NRPC joined the meeting to discuss the RFP process to choose a design engineer.  Reviewed the At-The-Ready process vs. a traditional RFP posting. With At-The-Ready process you choose a firm by qualifications and skills and then negotiate price after rather then having competitive bids to review and choose.  The board agrees to proceed with a traditional RFP bid posting.  Linda will update the RFP and get the approval of Peter Pochop at VTrans.  It will need to be posted for three weeks, Linda will post to the VT bid system, Lisa will post locally.  

Old Business:

·                    Rte 236 project-planning loan:  Lisa has completed the loan application with assistance from Oliver Pierson.  Peter will sign application for submission.  Next step is to post an RFP for the design engineer.

·                   Dog complaint-Willey/Middle Rd:  Lisa advised the dogs have not been registered.  Continue to get complaints from neighbors of the constant barking all day long.  Yvon spoke with Vezina’s about the concern.  Dennis-ACO has spoken with Mr. Willey and he was uncooperative.  Send third letter and ticket of fines $500/$400 waiver- must comply with ordinance and register dogs as well as preventing the nuisance of constant barking.  Contact Franklin County Sheriff office with notice to visit with ACO after June 26, if not compliant. 


New Business:

·       Sidewalk policy- reviewed the concerns of Bryce Bachelder with not parking on the sidewalk.  Temporary short time parking may need to be considered.  Creates a hazard of parking into the street for vehicles.  May have to redesign sidewalks in the future before updating them to create a green space between the street and sidewalk.  Pete also has concerns that sidewalks are not designed to have vehicles parked on them, causes damage.  The board will continue to consider options and seek input before adopting the policy. 

·       Park & Ride line stripping: needs to be updated; discussed if this is the State’s responsibility.  Lisa will speak with the State about doing the stripping of the lot and the new paved roads.

·       Use of village green-Franklin United Church: Jason as requested to use the village green area to have Sunday services at 10:00 starting July 12th.  For the safety of members, are not ready to use the church; they will bring their own chairs and must comply with distancing and protocol.  The board is ok with the use. 


Dick Wright property:  Dave reviewed the size of the lot with the survey the town has on file, about .69 acres.  Yvon spoke with a firm for an estimate to construct a new 30x50 building on a slab with A/C and meeting handicap needs.  Have not gotten a price yet


Yvon D/Brooks S made a motion to enter executive session to discuss negotiation of confidential information for purchase of the Dick Wright property at 9:22 pm.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to exit executive session at 9:34 pm.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  No action taken.


Member Concerns:

Lisa-need to have a cemetery policy on the old lots that are still open at the Square Rd cemetery.  Heirs are inquiring about new burials at open available plots of older lots that were purchased.  Will review with Dwight Tatro the plot site/layout.  The board is ok with use if space is available.

Dave-to do an appraisal of the Dick Wright property we would need to have Kevin’s permission. 

Brooks-will not be here for the July meeting.

Andy- concern of dust on roads and excessive use from Ag traffic/practices.  Spoke with Kyle from Highgate board, they are also concerned.  Andy has reached out to Anson Tebbetts-VT Dept of Ag; want to speak with him next week on the phone about the concern with Highgate as well, if anyone wants to join in.  Pete states it is an issue county wide, has been discussed at the TAC meetings too; need a plan of action to support communities with this issue.  Joe Craig has been operating the harvester, but feels there is a motor issue.  Has a contact that will look at it; Andy advised nothing is to be done until he is contacted. 

Yvon- with the remote control on this harvester, it is different then the old machine, and need to know how to properly operate.  Maybe the remote device should be removed.  Yvon has been looking into a new trailer for the machine; need to get pictures of the trailer.  A new one cost $27-47,000. There is a used one on Finely Lake in NY for sale.  Canadian border crossing will remain closed until July 21st.

Pete-the next meeting on July 15th at 6:00 will be outside at the town hall or in the church basement.  There is WIFI for public to access via Zoom virtual meeting.






Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:56 p.m.


Next meeting will be July 15th at 6:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

June 19, 2020


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

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