Franklin Selectboard Meeting

November 20, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m.
Homestead, Felco Rm


Call to order

At 6:06 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 


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


Guests: John Tucci, EverBlue Lakes; Mark Mitchell, Oliver Pierson, Angela Shambaugh, Karen Bates, VT DEC; Pamela Fecteau & Vicky Abare, VLCT; Judith McLaughlin & Robert Cormier, FWC; Les & Nancy Johnson, Dwight & Paulette Tatro, Peter Kittell, Pam Greene,


Agenda amendments:  None


Public comment period:  None 


John Tucci-EverBlue Lakes:  Pete introduced John and welcomed him to the meeting.  John was here to give an overview of the aeration project and the results of the summer operations.  The system puts oxygen into the bottom of the lake and mixes the water temperature to give less rise to the phosphorus released.  With the start of the system at the end of June, the water had started to stratify, so it took time to get the oxygen and temp mixed.  There were some issues at startup of the system with overheating at the State Park unit.  The exhaust system will be replaced in the spring before startup.  There was oil loss of the pumps and this issue was acknowledged by the manufacturer and will be repaired.  Yvon is concerned with the compressors and pushing air rather than as a vacuum and how hot they get.  John advised they will be inspected for damage due to overheating and they will be replaced by him if necessary.  He is also requesting extended warranties from the manufacturer.  The diffusers will be cleaned annually and checked for damaged and replaced if needed before startup.  EverBlue is responsible for the first two years (2019 & 20) of maintenance.  They will train town local people moving forward or can be contracted to continue the work.  Discussed the power usage and possible savings; Town will reach out to Efficiency VT for options.  The utility bills for this summer were approx. $17,000.  Judith McLaughlin with the Watershed Committee advised they have a meeting next week and will discuss helping the town with the power costs.  Mark Mitchell from VT DEC explained the testing reports they have been doing on the effects of the phosphorus.  Other VT DEC members spoke of the extreme cyanobacteria blooms at other lakes this summer; Lake Carmi maintained a much lower level of blooms with the system in operation.  The UVM study has been shared with VT DEC and will be used to monitor the lake as well.  There is a need to continue to reduce the external loading of the lake as well as control of the internal phosphorus loading.  Paulette Tatro asked about the green particles that float in the water-what is it?  John advised it is most likely the water with aeration fitting off an algae bloom and breaking it up before it becomes a slick on top of the water. 


VLCT Insurance:  Pam Fecteau and Vicky Abare were welcomed to the meeting to review and discuss the renewal of the town insurance policy.  Rates are down with a restructure of the process of pricing and the contribution credit.  Discussed the CDL/drug testing requirements for 2020; advised to speak with Jim Curran about.  Pam reviewed our stewardship report and our policy use this year.  Brooks asked about the Recreation Dept and the volunteers regarding coverage for sexual molestation.  Pam advised there is coverage under the town liability.  They should also have a best practice policy and do background checks on everyone that volunteers.  Speak with Jill Muhr about guidelines for fingerprints.  


Approval of minutes: October 16, Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting as written.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  October 26, Zoning group meeting, Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting as written.  Pete abstained, all other members voted in favor, motion passed.



Review and sign bills:  Members reviewed and signed bills.  


Highway Department:

·                       Paving bids-bid received from Brenton with Pike Paving for Hanna Rd, Gallup Rd, and Stanley Rd.  Bids to be finalized and awarded at December 4 meeting. 

·                       Truck tank sprayer for liquid chloride is set up and ready to go.


New Business:  

·        Lake Carmi fireworks: reviewed the letter to close Rte 120 at the North end of the lake on July 3rd for the celebrations.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the letter, and Pete to sign. All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·        Town hall gutters: the town hall gutters need to be cleaned on the north upper side; Brooks will speak with Curtis about doing the task and to bill us. 

·        Library janitor: discussed the one application received from Valerie Clark. She is also the assistant librarian.  Discussed the rate of pay, to match the current other cleaning position of $12.60.  Dave B/Brooks S made a motion to hire Valerie Clark at $12.60 per hour for approx. 1.5 hrs/week.

·        Town hall use policy:  updated the use capacity for events.  Discussed the price for large functions; up to 25 people the fee is $50 and over 25 people the fee is $100.  Give a copy of the policy to the Rec Dept to give to all participants for all events they hold to follow the policy. 

·        Dog complaint: We have received a second written complaint regarding the dogs at the Jason Vaillancourt residence.  They are causing a nuisance and being aggressive as potentially vicious at the neighboring daycare facility.  Board will do a second letter and a $100 judicial court ticket per the updated ordinance.  Dennis will hand delivery in the evening; owner is also responsible for legal fees as necessary. 


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                       Letter of ZA resignation: Robert Irish has submitted a letter of resignation as Zoning Administrator and requested to be a member to fill vacant positions on the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment.  All members approved.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to appoint Mr. Irish to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.  Town Clerk will do a thank you letter to Mr. Irish.

·                       Appoint new Zoning Administrator:  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to appoint Wendy Sargeant as the new Zoning Administrator.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.

·                       VT Electric-Lake utilities:  discussed during the aeration system review. 

·                       Health Insurance review:  discussed the new rates with MVP for 2020.  We are currently in a Reflective Silver 3 plan; rates have increased about 9%.  Reviewed the rates to move to a Reflective Silver 1 plan.  Rates are a bit cheaper, as well as lower deductible and would save about 9% from the current plan to change to the new level.  The board agreed with the change to the Silver 1 plan and will continue with the 50% of HRA contribution.

·                       Cemetery mowing bids RFP: reviewed the request for bid for the Village Center/Catholic cemetery.  Bid for the entire, but share the cost.  Will need to review bids with the Catholic Church board.  Add need to have proof of insurance.  Post in the St. Albans Messenger for January meeting.


Old Business:

·        Zoning Discussion-Lake properties:  discussed the zoning letters done by Wendy, ZA, regarding the Hill Rd violations.  The board is not in favor of sending the letters yet; feel the lease owner needs to uphold the stipulations of their leases.  Would like Wendy to contact the State to advise of possible septic violations for year-round living.  Discussed the extra hours worked by the ZA for these issues; pay at minimum wages. 

·        Dog Ordinance:  Fees reviewed; first offense is a warning; 2nd offense will be a $100 fine plus impoundment and legal costs with $75 waiver; 3rd offense will be a $500 fine plus impoundment and legal costs with a $400 waiver.   Made some minor wording amendments to determining sequence of offenses.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to adopt the revised dog ordinance as discussed and written.  All members voted in favor; motion passed.



Selectboard Folder: none


Member Concerns:

·                       Yvon has concerns of the longevity of the compressors after the first summer with the overheating.  Questioned the highway budget to date with overtime.  Lisa advised fine to date, but we just started. 

·                       Pete asked about extra plow drivers-Howard Vanselette and Eric Dandurand.  December 4th meeting will do highway evaluations and discuss budgets.  FY21 budget needs-plow truck, town hall roof, lake utility, Pidgeon Hill culvert.  December 18th meeting will be at 6:00 at the FELCO Rm with pizza for town boards and meeting at 6:30 to review budgets.  January 8th will be the next board meeting due to the holiday; January 23rd will be the public budget meeting. 



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


Next meeting will be December 4th at 7:00 at the Town Clerk’s office.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

November 25, 2019


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