Franklin Selectboard Meeting

September 18, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m.
Town Clerk’s Office


Call to order

At 6:00 p.m. Peter Magnant called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 


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


Guests: Lisa Hango & Charen Fegard, Representatives; Corey Parent, Senator.


Agenda amendments:  Add to Highway business-school lot snow plowing; all in favor.  Peter wants to move to BCA hearing at 7:30 if we are on other business, ok to amend time slots.


Public comment period:  none  


Representatives: Peter welcomed, Lisa, Charen and Corey to the meeting. 

·        Discussed the status of Rte 120 and thanked Lisa for her work on getting answers regarding the project; however, it is unacceptable that it is not on a 10 year plan to reconstruct.  Corey has spoken with the Secretary of Transportation for input and forwarded complaints of other state representatives that have traveled Rte 120.  He is working with other committees to push to get it on the 10 yr plan.  Peter advised they have also ranked it as priority with NRPC Transportation Advisory Committee.  Jim Cota with District 8 has been working to get work budgeted as it affects the winter plowing maintenance and equipment as well. 

·        Peter discussed Green-up Day and the very large concern with tire dumping.  Corey spoke of the “wheels for warmth” program and how that is an avenue to get rid of usable tires that pass inspection.  Yvon discussed options of what could be done in conjunction with other local towns for a “tire redemption” event; speak with NWSWD on options or programs.  Need to consider if Franklin will participate in Green-up next year as there was also a very large dumping of other trash; that was not road side trash.

·        Lake aeration project; John Tucci will be here in November to meet with the board on an update of the project, Ever Blue will maintain the system for two years, then it will become the responsibility of the town.  The town pays the electric bills for the two systems; the cost is higher than budgeted, to date we have paid $9072 and there is still two months, Sept-Oct, of operation before it is turned off for the winter.  Town Clerk advised that we can apply for assistance with the cost through the Aquatic Nuisance grant funds, per Perry Thomas, that funding has been allocated to this project; not sure how long the funding will be available.  Corey will look at the language and policy to aid the lake with this project costs, as it has been marked as a pilot program and should have the ongoing support of the State.  Legislature is reallocating budgets for Watersheds to the local NRPC to aid in local towns’ individual funding where needed.  Maybe reach out to Efficiency VT about exempting this project from their charges as it is for the public good, to help reduce utility costs. 

·        Brooks would like to see better cell phone coverage in the area.  Corey has attended board meetings in other towns with Clay Pervus to aid with State and Federal resources and assessing the cell coverage gaps; need to get a study done of the entire town by each road to prove that there is no coverage in most areas.

·        Peter spoke of the school choice policy of the new district and the discussions with the AOE and MVSD school board.  Corey was thanked and exited the meeting.


Approval of minutes: Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the Aug 21, regular board meeting minutes as read.  All members voted, Peter abstained, 4 in favor, motion passed.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the Aug 31, special meeting with the Zoning Admin and the Meuniers.  All members voted, Andy abstained, 4 in favor, motion passed.


Highway Department:

·                       Highway storm water project update: Andy advised the highway crew has been working on it and Goodhue Excavating is coming for the lot drainage next week. 

·                       FY20 highway storm water mitigation grant-no projects to apply for at this time.

·                       VEC road crossing request- Mark St. Pierre has asked to cross Noble Hill/Stanley Rd with overhead power lines to the Colton Rd.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve of the request of M. St. Pierre to cross over the road with power lines by VEC.  All in favor, motion passed.

·                       Salt contract:  Cargill prices for FY20 at $86.51; up almost 5% over last year.  We are limited as there are no other suppliers that deliver to northern Vermont.  Yvon D/Brooks S made a motion to accept the Cargill contract price and for Peter to sign the contract.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.

·                       TAP grant-Pigeon Hill culvert:  with the Federal funded grant that has been awarded there are timelines to follow; the State is looking for the town’s submission of a Municipal Project Manager (MPM).  Lisa advised that NRPC has members that can be MPM already approved by the State.  She will contact Bethany from NRPC for this task.  We also need to have a committee to choose a design engineer.  There is an “at-the-ready” process in which you can choose three from a list of preapproved engineers by the state and rank them to interview one at a time for the job; this saves time from the bid posting process.  We have used Stantec and Hoyle Tanner in the past that are on the list.  The Selectboard and Jeremy will be the committee and will discuss the engineer list at the next meeting.

·                       Paving bids:  Andy advised Jeremy has not received all the bids yet, they will be presented at the Oct 2nd meeting.

·                       School lot snow plowing:  Peter advised that Swanton contracts their lot and Highgate road crew is no longer do, they are going out to bid.  Franklin has not discussed and are still planning that the highway crew will plow.  With the sharing of resources now and the other schools using contracted services, Franklin should be compensated as well for doing the plowing in house.  Need to discuss at the next school board meeting.


New Business:

·        Town Road naming-Ponderosa Drive:  Sara, 911 Coordinator, has requested the approval of the board for a new road name, off of Lake Rd for Ponderosa Drive.  Brooks S/Dave B made a motion to accept the new road name of Ponderosa Drive and authorize Peter to sign the request.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.  Lisa also advised she got a request of a resident of Kennison Rd; they are getting many visits from law enforcement and rescue calls that are meant for Kennison Dr. in Enosburg village, Franklin’s addressing also have a Enosburg Falls 911 address.  They are concerned with not getting the proper response when needed; Town Clerk will look into.

·        Lake Carmi Beach area radar signs-the grant that was applied for to aid in the funding was not awarded.  The board would like a traffic study done by NRPC in the early summer next year to get an actual count of speeding traffic; we can get the sheriff speed cart installed mid-summer to aid in traffic speed calming.  The board will not make any purchases at this time until they have approved funding.  

·        VLCT annual meeting voting delegate-board members are not available to attend the annual meeting in Oct; at this time we will not elect a voting delegate. 

·        Laroche methane digester-notice from the State of VT Public Service of the project and the public comment period if the town wants input.  The board has no concerns with the project and has no input. 

·        Review and sign warning of Water District vote November 5th-Peter read the warning aloud for the November 5th Australian Ballot vote for the State mandated upgrades to the water system.  Voting will take place at the Town Clerk’s office from 7 am to 7 pm.  Informational meeting will be Oct 30th at 6 pm in the Homestead Felco Rm.


Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to suspend the Selectboard meeting and enter into the BCA hearing at 7:30.  All members in favor, motion passed.


BCA hearing:

Members present:  Lisa Larivee, Peter Magnant, Yvon Dandurand, Brooks Sturtevant, Dave Bennion, Andy Godin.


Lisa, BCA Chair, opened the hearing at 7:33 and discussed the request to move the location of the November 5th Water District Australian Ballot vote to the Town Clerk’s office for this one special vote.  The clerk’s office will post notices around town so the voters know of the change.  Peter M/Brooks S made a motion to approve moving the location for the special Water District vote on Nov 5th to the town clerk’s office from 7 am to 7 pm.  All members voted in favor, motion passed. 


Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to exit the BCA hearing at 7:40 and reenter the regular Selectboard meeting.  All members in favor, motion passed.


·                       Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to accept and sign the warning for the special vote of the Water District on Nov 5th.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.  Board members signed the warning.


Town Clerk Concerns:

·                       Town office-hot water heater:  Lisa discussed the quotes for replacing the 2.5 gal in the wall as it exists ($509) or moving to a 6 gal heater and installing it in the back office to get it out of the confined space of the bathroom ($1450).  Andy G/Yvon D made a motion to replace as is with a 2.5 gal as quoted for $509 with John Mercy.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.  Dave also suggests to expand the casing of the opening with a spacer to allow a bit more room for the water heater; the board approves of Dave doing that. 

·                       Clerk computer:  Lisa advised that the clerk’s computer is approx. 10 years old and has been having issues with hard drive.  Prices will be presented to the board at their next meeting for upgrading the computer and also for the website upgrade to keep it up to date.   With the state request for computerization of land records, we need to upgrade the system.  Brooks has spoken with a resident about assisting with the website upgrade.

·                       Letter of ZA resignation: not yet received

·                       PACIF-VLCT letter of insurance bids:  Lisa presented a letter written to PACIF-VLCT regarding seeking outside bids for town insurance coverage; board approves. 

·                       Franklin Center Cemetery: with the dissolution and transfer of the cemetery and the association’s funds to the town, board approval for opening a new checking account and the signers is needed.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to open a new checking account to encumber the funds of the cemetery and authorize Lisa Larivee and Sara Rainville to be the signers on the account with People’s Trust Co.  All members voted in favor, motion passed.   VLCT has been notified that the property was acquired, no additional coverage is needed for fences, signs ect at this time.    Need to go out to bid for the mowing for summer 2020 during the winter; consider a spring clean-up day.

·                       Municipal planning grant (MPG): Lisa discussed with the board the MPG and the option to apply for funding to study the feasibility of the “Dick Wright” building for expansion and rehabilitation for an option as possible future relocation of the town clerk’s office. The board will need to meet with Kevin Lothian to get permission to study the building before accepting the grant.  Would allow for the contracting of an architect/engineer to assess the building and give options and prices of what the project would entail.  The grant is a 10% match from the town.  Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to approve the application for the MPG to study the “Dick Wright” building site.  All in favor, motion passed.


Review and sign bills:  Members reviewed and signed bills.


Old Business:

·                       Town hall roof insurance claim:  Lisa is still awaiting a reply on the insurance claim for the wind damage to the roof.  If it is rejected, there is a Historic Preservation grant funding application available for roof replacement/repair of the town hall due Oct 7th.  It requires a 50% match and funding of up to $20,000.  The board is in approval of applying for the grant if the claim is denied to replace the roof with standing seam, as is there now. 


·        Year round use of camps:  Discussed the email letter from Judith McLaughlin.  Reviewed and discussed the draft letter from Wendy, Asst. Zoning Administrator, to the Hill Rd residents; required to apply and obtain the proper documentation for a change of use to year-round.  Would also require state approved potable water and waste water permits.  The board approves of Wendy sending the letter to all Hill Rd residents at this time.  Want to have a meeting of the Planning Commission, Selectboard, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Zoning administrator to discuss a plan of action.

·        Dog Ordinance:  discussed the board’s authority to order the restraining of dogs on personal property.  Only allowed to act on bit incidences that happen if a dog is running at large, otherwise do not need to hold a dog hearing.  Will review further the VLCT policy and amend to meet the town needs. Review further at their next meeting. 


Selectboard Folder:

- FEMA flood map updates of the Missisquoi River, does not really affect Franklin. 

- Tick study being done by UMass Institute.

- VT State Police notice of change of Commander.


Member Concerns:

·        Dave-is meeting with a painter for a quote to finish the back (east) side of the town hall on Sept 28th.

·        Andy-sand shed is full.  Not sure if the harvester is out of the water yet.

·        Yvon-will not be here for the Oct 2nd meeting, may call in.

·        Peter-should get the Town Cemetery Commissioners and Dwight Tatro together with the board to discuss the newly acquired cemetery and the mowing, cemetery care, and available plots.



Brooks S/Yvon D made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vote taken; all in favor; motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:03 p.m.


Next meeting will be October 2nd at 7 pm


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Larivee, Town Clerk

September 19, 2019


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

These minutes were approved at the October 2, 2019 Selectboard meeting.