Franklin Selectboard Meeting

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




Call to order

At 7:01 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. 


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


Guests: Jeremy Barnum, Highway foreman; Rob Evans, LCCA; Wesley Kempton; Paulette Tatro, Jim Pivirotto, ZBA; Bethany Remmers, NRPC; Oliver Pierson, David Webb, State of VT ANR; Bridget Thompson and Jenessa Gervais, Recreation Dept.


Agenda amendments:  Add to Highway Dept-Salt contract.  Add to Town Clerk concerns-truck loan rates.  Add to Old business-town sign letter from Sue Clark.  All members in favor of amendments as read.


Public comment period: None


Approval of minutes: Yvon D/Brooks S made a motion to approve the minutes of September 16th regular meeting as written.  All members voted in favor 4-0; motion passed.


Highway Dept: 

·                   Main St/Morses Line/Lake Rd intersection:  Bethany Remmers from NRPC was present to discuss this intersection of concern.  TAC has had concerns for years on the intersection; have worked to find funding to get an engineer on consult and give options; VTrans is on board as well with the concerns.  NRPC has $8-10,000 for this project scope; Bethany asks what are the priorities.  Peter advised going north from Main St onto Morses Line Rd it is so wide open that folks are confused on where to go.  Would like to see conceptual drawings on a round-about or a reconfiguration to a 4-way stop and prices associated.  Peter-the state is not really concerned as it does not see an issue with their leg of the road.  Bethany advised the state has made changes to their ranking system and have a better mechanism of how to get these local projects into their system for review with an engineer to have more influence with the state.  Yvon-the stop sign coming from the lake onto Morses Line Rd is often missed and gone through; there is to much pavement on the west side of the intersection that needs to be addressed.  Brooks-the close calls need to be documented to give leverage for the safety concerns.  Bethany feels signs and markings have been tried; need to look into redesign/reconfigure options.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to allow Bethany Remmers with NRPC to do a safety study and evaluation of the Main St/Lake Rd/Morses Line Rd intersection on behalf of the town.  Bethany advised they have several firms they work with directly to send RFP’s to and will get proposals to present to the town with a committee of members.     

·                   Rte 236 project proposals review:  David Webb and Oliver Pierson joined the meeting.  Lisa advised we have received four proposals; Ruggiano Engineering, $13,460; KAS Environmental, $24,905; Dubois & King, $51,768; and Milone & Macbroom, $89,170; that have been forwarded to all members.  Need to choose three and then interview them for further clarification to make a final choice of who to contract with.  Peter-we have worked with Ruggiano in the past and have been happy with them.  David Webb advised that KAS attended the project site inspection; he likes their proposal and the details of work for our specific project. Andy-Ruggiano is a smaller firm and they have lower overhead.  Yvon-Ruggiano’s proposal of $13,500 is good with him and would suggest them and KAS.  David Webb advised that Dubois & King know the federal grant system well as they have worked with it; but have been known to keep things out of the pricing and come back for more funds.  Jim Cota from VTrans advised his priority is a good traffic control plan and well designed construction design.  Peter would like a team to do the interviews; David Webb & Oliver Pierson, Jim Cota, VTrans; Brooks, Peter, and Lisa Andy.  David also would like to include Michael Chrastina, VTrans.  Oliver will put together questions to ask each firm; time lines and hourly budgets.  Will do interviews on Friday, Oct 16th at 1:00 pm.  Lisa will contact Ruggiano, KAS and Dubois & King for times to join the Zoom meeting.  Peter asked about the contract and who is responsible to write it-Oliver stated it is with the town, but he and David will be there to assist and give needed support. 

·                   TAP Grant-FY22:  The new Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grants are out for FY22.  Lisa asked do we have a project we want to submit for this grant? Jeremy advised the Morses Line Road culvert that was repaired several years ago with emergency state funds needs to be budgeted and replaced in the near future.  Lisa and Jeremy will work in the grant details.

·                    Pidgeon Hill project: Linda Blash has scheduled a public information meeting for the Oct 21st board meeting at 7:00 pm

·                   Grants in aid program-NRPC:  The FY22 program letter of commitment was discussed with the board; gives the town approx. $8,800 toward erosion control road projects.  Jeremy has been working with Bethany Remmers on projects for these funds.  The board agreed to sign the letter of commitment. 

·                   Salt contract: last year’s price was $86.51/ton with Cargill.  This year the price is $75/ton.  Need to warn for approval at the next board meeting.


Review warrants for approval of bills: three members will come into the office to review and sign warrants.


New Business: 

·                   ZBA review/hearing discussion:  Lisa discussed the ZBA hearing that was cancelled last week by Mr. Hutchins; they were looking for a conditional use permit to convert a seasonal residence to year-round use.  Upon discussion with their attorney; they have been using the camp as year-round by friends and family since purchasing in 2002, after they drilled a well, put a foundation under it, insulated, installed heating; therefore the Statute of limitation (SOL) of 15 years allows them to continue to use as a year-round home.  Lisa has spoken with Carl at VLCT regarding the issue and the 15 year SOL. Paulette T-does this set precident?  Dave B-with a .25 acre lot, is the well water really drinkable that close to the septic?  Jim P-the hearing info only had real info regarding the sea wall that was replaced, not much more detail.  Lisa-the town did not know that it was being used year-round under the rules of the zoning regulations.  Peter-should contact our town attorney to get a ruling of where the board stands on this issue.  The board is in agreement with contacting our attorney.

·                   Town meeting discussion:  discussed what our options are for town meeting in March and how it will be held.  Legislature has made a one year change for 2021  to the law to allow the Selectboard to vote to conduct  town business by Australian ballot with no in person town meeting.  How to hold a public informational meeting?  Time frame to decide on Australian ballot voting?  Other options? 

·                   Virtual meeting equipment:  discussed the equipment needs to continue to hold large group Zoom meeting; video web cam and microphones/headphones.  Brooks will look for equipment. 


Old Business:

·                   Recreation Dept personnel:  Bridget and Jenessa joined the meeting at 8:40 pm.  Bridget recommended to the board the hiring of Jenessa as the Recreation Director.  She has been active with the Rec Dept and involved with the community for several years.  Need to focus on using the  MyRec website for notices and activities.  Andy G/Dave B made a motion to hire Jenessa Gervais as the new Recreation Director.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.  Bridget updated on the winter events being planned; soccer has been good with safety protections in place. 

·                   Weed harvester update:  Rob Evans joined the meeting.  Rob wanted to update the board on the discussion of the LCCA regarding the weed harvester new engine and trailer.  LCCA board has approved paying the cost of the new engine and hydraulic conversion kit plus $1,000 in labor for professional installation to replace the engine.  Maintenance of the machine should be done professionally.  The town needs to communicate with the LCCA of the harvester status and schedule of harvesting on the lake regularly.  Yvon has been dealing with Kabota directly on the exact specs that Aquamarine uses on these machines; $5,800 for a complete engine plus freight of $350.  Is available today with all needed accessories.  The hydraulic conversion kit is approx. $1,800 from Aquamarine.  Rob-who will install the new engine?  Yvon-open to suggestions; Rob suggests it should be done by an expert to have it done right.  Jeremy-Jake went to a diesel mechanic college and has the expertise to do the work.  Rob-do we need help with the grant submission for next year?  Lisa advised the grant is due in February; so not available yet.  Brooks spoke with the three folks that were hired to operate the harvester this summer; they are still willing to operate in 2021.  Rob would like maps of the harvesting areas.  Rob asked for a letter or invoices for LCCA to commit funds to the town to make the purchase now.  Yvon will verify the warranty on engine and necessary requirements for installation.  Andy spoke with George Britch today about the trailer, interesting in doing the job to repair the current one or build a new one.  Mr. Britch will look at and give a price to fix, estimates $5,000 or less.  Jeremy suggests to get a price for just a new trailer to transport the machine and use the old one to off-load the weeds.  Will look at both options.


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                   Insurance policy renewal: Lisa reviewed the equipment list and building info with the board.  Board is in agreement with them as listed. 

·                   Cemetery policy and procedures:  Lisa discussed the prices for lots; as we have had inquires to purchase and need to advise them as soon as possible.  Discussed prices of previous association.  Board agrees to set price at $150 per 1/8 lot for one person and $120 for four corner pins to mark the lot.  Board agrees to warn for next meeting for further review the entire policy.

·                   Truck loan:  Lisa discussed the rates for the new highway truck loan of $145,000 for five years with annual payments.  Union Bank is 2.78%; Community National Bank is 1.7%.  Brooks S/Dave B made the motion to finance with Community National Bank for $145,000 for the truck loan at 1.7% for five years with an annual payment.  Lisa will have the documents to sign for the next meeting.   All members voted in favor; motion passed.  The truck is on schedule to arrive the end of October.  


Old Business:  discussion of the new town sign letter of concern received from Sue Clark.  Regarding the historical value of the building and the Americans with Disability violation of the handicap access entrance.  The board had been open with discussion of the signs design and requested input or suggestions; no input or comments were received until after it was put up.  The board tries to be very transparent with everything including this sign. 


Member Concerns:  

Lisa- the Willey dogs on Middle Rd have moved from town and the home is up for sale. Discussed the civil court fines and their waiver; the town fee requested has been paid.  The board agrees to rescind/waive the civil fines. 



Brooks S/Andy G made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All members voted in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:57 p.m.


Next meeting will be October 21st at 7:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

October 12, 2020


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

These minutes were approved at the October 21, 2020 Selectboard meeting.