Franklin Selectboard Meeting

May 20, 2020 @ 6:00 p.m.
Zoom call


Call to order

At 6:04 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, Andy Godin (joined at 7:15 pm)


Guests: Jeremy Barnum; Lisa Hango, State Rep, Corinna Stanley, Marc Robert; Oliver Pierson, Dave Webb, Celia Riechel for State of VT DEC.


Agenda amendments:  Add to New Business-Northwest Little League season and POW flag addition to current flags.  All members approve of amendments.


Public comment period: Lisa Hango advised she is here to listen to town concerns.  Graduation celebrations will be very minimal during this time, though it is a great accomplishment of all the graduating classes.  The Rte 120 boring project north of Rice Hill Rd will begin soon. 

Dave informed the board that the Red Cross blood drive was very successful; they had 37 participants.  Want to schedule another in two months.


Approval of minutes: April 15th, regular meeting; Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  All members voted in favor; motion passed 4-0, Andy not present. 


Lake Carmi Projects: 

·                   Rte 236 culverts-Oliver Pierson with VT DEC introduced Dave Webb-Engineer and Celia Riechel-financial consultant both with DEC Agency Facility Water Investment team.  Mr. Webb will assist the design team for a consultant engineer and procurement of a contractor. Celia covers the area of financial support with the loan applications and funding. 

Ř   Step 1- Planning loan with website application for project management and engineering services

Ř   Step 2-final design of the plans

Ř   Step 3-construction of the project

           Celia will email the application link for the planning loan to begin the process.  

           The funding can be applied for in the three steps separately to lessen the burden           on the municipality, or one loan can be done for the entire project once set to go.      The intended use plan is in draft being reviewed and the entire project will be           funded with loan forgiveness.   An engineering services contract agreement for         work would be approved and paid by DEC.  Dave Webb will aid with the RFP for a   consultant and create the scope of work, necessary permits, review design plans          and assist with technical requirements and oversight as needed with the town as    a consultant during the work.  Will attend pre-bid meetings and bid opening.            Next step is to complete the loan application for planning and do an RFP for          proposals/scope.

·       Aeration system update- Oliver advised that John Tucci and his team will be here next week to do the upgrades and service to the system to reduce the overheating issues experienced last year.  The system is due to start up in early June for the summer. 


Highway Dept: 

·                   Paving work: will begin on Hanna Rd on Thursday, 5/21, and will move to Stanley Rd on Tuesday next week. 

·                   Morses Line Rd/border work-Jeremy has spoken with Paul Anderson regarding work they are looking to do.  Add guardrails in center of road at American crossing and gates to hold border crossers as necessary.  Lisa will look into permits if necessary and forward to Mr. Anderson.

·                   Hay bid contract- reviewed contract with John Rainville for three years 19-21 for the town land behind the highway garage.   He has been contacted and is good to go. 

·                   Driveway permit- Albert Gage is upgrading a farm drive for a new sugarhouse on Gallup Rd.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve and sign the permit.  Pete will sign off.  All members voted in favor; motion passed

·                   New highway truck-Yvon has spoken with vendor; expected to be built third week of Aug; Clark’s will then have the accessories installed.  Expected delivery for early October.  Yvon will continue to communicate with them.  Pete asked if we are able to get a loaner truck if the new truck does not arrive before winter plowing time. 

·                   Yvon asked about the radiator repair that was done on the other town truck; Jeremy states it has held up fine so far.  Yvon asked about the stone we are using on roads, seems to be rolling off the roads; Jeremy states there is not a lot of fines in it at this time so does not pack well, especially with the dry season. 


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:

·       Emergency Operations Plan- Mark Toof has resigned from the position of Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC).  Marc Robert is welcomed to the meeting; a member of the Air National Guard, member of fire departments for years in other towns, Constable in Bakersfield.  Interested in serving his community, as a new resident to Franklin.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to appoint Marc Robert to the position of Emergency Management Coordinator.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  Board reviewed the updated Operations plan of current board members, Marc Robert as the new EMC and for all current positions necessary.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the Emergency Operations Plan as updated.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. 

·       School lawn mowing/town ball fields- the board reviewed the candidate to mow the lawns, time sheets will be kept separately for each entity.  Brooks S/Andy G made a motion to hire Jason Johnston to mow the school and town ball field lawns at the rate of $10.96.  4 members voted in favor, Yvon abstained; motion passed.  Board reviewed the contract with MVSD to reimburse the town for their share of the mowing.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the contract for mowing and being reimbursed by the school for their part.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·       Weed harvester grant funding- with the State funds being tight, there has been notice that Aquatic Nuisance grant funds will be trimmed.  We may not be getting funding for the operation of the harvester this year.  Lisa Hango will look into the funding.  Pete advised the work will continue to take place regardless.  Yvon has been watching the trailer of the harvester where the bed chains ride and its need to have major repairs for next year.  Will need to budget for this.  Jeremy states the new machine is larger and heavier than the old one; need to look at future needs.

·       Town green-flag pole and monument cleaning- the new flag pole is up with a new US flag donated by Charlie Magnant; he would also like to have a POW flag flown under the VT State flag.  The board is ok with that, but would like to wait until the other flag pole is also replaced as it is showing deterioration as well.  Lisa discussed the quotes for cleaning the monuments and benches; Champlain Monuments is $375 and Ploof’s Monuments (Franklin resident) is $175.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to hire Ploof’s Monuments to clean the stones and benches on the green for $175.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. 

·       Green up Day/Tire disposal- The highway garage lot will be used as the drop spot for the green bags where designated with the cones.  No tires are allowed-prohibited and camera surveillance 24/7.  Andy feels it is not the town’s responsibility to pay for tire cleanup on private property when dumped by others. Everyone in town and fellow tax payers bare the cost to dispose of the tires.  NRPC has been working with Casella for a better method to get rid of tires.  Northwest Solid Waste may also be a resource to get rid of them.  Lisa will ask the Forsyth’s to hold the tires until the town has a solution before committing to pickup them up.  Yvon had been looking at a truck load price to do a community tire disposal event; on hold due to the Covid pandemic.  Pete will look into the disposal of the freezer dumped on Brown’s Corner Rd. 





Town Clerk Concerns:

·                   Outside sign for clerk notifications:  Yvon has been constructing the sign and needs to know what color it should be.  The “Town of Franklin” panel on the top has 5” letters and will be black.  Members would like the message board to have 4” white letters on a black background.  Match the color to be like the other clerk/library sign.

·                   FY21 budget- discussed the budget for next year; it is conservative and there are not really any cuts that can be made.  Discussed the push back of the tax due date.  Will review later this summer. 

·                   Elections, August & November- there is discussion with Dept of Elections and legislature on how elections will be held.  Mailing of absentees to all on checklist; outside election; drive up voting.  All towns are getting PPE kits for election workers.  State looking at what costs will be funded by the CARES Act.

·                   NRPC officers list- reviewed the updates to board members.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the officers list for NRPC. All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·                   Town hall grant- Lisa is submitting a grant to VT Arts Council for accessibility for ramp upgrades, sound system and curtains in the amount of $13,940 which is the 50% match of the total project of $27,788.  Board approves of the grant submission. 

·                   Water District loan financing- the new funding of $175,000 and the existing loan of $83,539 with People’s Trust will be combined into one note of $258,539 at Community National Bank with interest of 2.42% for 15 years.  This will save the district approx. $7,700 in interest over the term of the loans.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to sign the water district note, non-arbitrage, and resolution for the loan of $258,539 for 15 years at 2.42% with Community National Bank.  All members voted in favor; motion passed and members signed documents.


Old Business: 

·                   COVID-19 updates- discussed new legislative bills that allows for tax due dates to be pushed back; also, the ability of the board to waive the penalty and interest charges on delinquents for 2020 payments due to the state of emergency.

·                   School generator:  Yvon has not looked at is again to further evaluate. 

·                   Dick Wright property:  Dave reviewed his assessment of the building as well as dimensions and layout.  He has sent it to the board and Lisa for future planning needs.  The Planning Commission has also received the information; they voiced concerns with the Environmental issues the building may have with oil usage.  There is a security system there and the power supply is more than adequate.  Pete points out the pros such as parking, access to our town land, larger meeting place; though there are the unknowns such as cost to purchase the building and need for an environmental study.   The board is in support of pursuing the options.  Need to invite Kevin Lotion to the next board meeting on June 3rd to discuss a purchase price.

·                   Dog complaint-Vezina has submitted another complaint of the Willey’s dogs and the constant barking.  Lisa will follow up with Dennis, ACO and send a second notice letter and fine for not complying with the first notice. 


Selectboard Folder: none


Member Concerns:  Yvon – Plexiglass has been installed in the clerk’s lobby.  Budgeted money to remedy the humidity in the town garage, would like to purchase the dehumidifier as quoted for $2,000 to start somewhere with a plan before winter season.  Put on agenda for June 17th meeting. The Canadian border crossing will remain closed until June 21st.

Pete – discussed office hours and a schedule to reopen.  Lisa discussed the protocol set and the plan until June 15th.  Will review again after that.  Pigeon Hill culvert project reviewed; Lisa, Dave, Andy and Jeremy need to get together to choose 3 engineering firms to make selections from for design. 

Lisa – the Catholic Church cemetery contact, David Kelley, has reached out about their share of the mowing.  1/3 of the contract cost, $880 will be billed to them for reimbursement to the town.   






Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.


Next meeting will be June 3rd at 7:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

May 22, 2020


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

These minutes were approved at the June 3, 2020 Selectboard meeting.