Meeting Minutes : Select Board Minutes – 8/19/20

Members Present – Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay, Thomas Hooker and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Chad Eugair, Town Manager John Haverstock and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary. Bill Moore and Charles “Butch” Shaw participated via conference call.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Pelkey.

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Personnel (Police Department). A. Malay also had a personnel concern. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for Personnel. Motion passed 5 – 0.

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to delete the Discussion of the Fire Lane at Kamuda’s; remove the Discussion of the Salt/Sand Shed construction bids and to add the Resignation of a Trustee of Public Funds. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed 5 – 0.


The minutes of the July 22, 2020 Dog Hearing and the August 5, 2020 regular meeting were signed with a minor correction to the Select Board minutes.


The orders in the amount of $5,335.50 (FY 20) and $97,279.23 (FY 21) and Payroll in the amount of $11,118.42 were signed with the following discussion:

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Randall Park. J. Haverstock explained the water line replacement project that took place due to several breaks over the years. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for loader tires. Chad Eugair stated that this cost was for two tires and he obtained three quotes prior to the purchase.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The Water & Sewer Commission met on August 18, 2020 and awarded the Depot Hill sewer pump station project to low bidder Casella Construction. The funding for this project is currently being sought.
  • The Chittenden reclassification of Class 4 roads to trails has been placed on hold. The Town of Chittenden has assured that there will be no disturbance to the Town’s access of the water supply or the Town forest.
  • The paving is completed for this fiscal year. West Creek Road from the truck route to the Brandon town line, the paved portion of Hollister Quarry Road were resurfaced with enough funding remaining for the paving of .8 mile of the southern end of Whipple Hollow Road.
  • There will be a Staff Meeting on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 9:00 AM. Members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
  • A letter was received from the Vermont State Police regarding their commitment to racial sensitivity and they are willing to have representatives present to discuss their commitment at a future Select Board meeting. The Town Manager will schedule this discussion.

Select Board Comments:

None presented at this time.

Public Comment:

None presented at this time.


Discussion of COVID 19 Coronavirus Response:

J. Haverstock reported that there have been 700 cloth face masks received from the State and they will be distributed on a first come, first served basis at the Fire Station on Saturday, August 29, 2020 from 8:00 AM – Noon. Currently, the Town Office staff are utilizing face masks, hand washing, using sanitizer and the office is being cleaned more with more of a focus on the frequentlytouched areas. The Recreation Area has installed a port-a-potty to replace the closed restrooms. The Municipal Office is in the process of updating the Conference Room to allow for a Zoom Friendly meeting space with updated broadband internet access. There will be submission of these expenses to the State as part of FEMA/LGER funding. The Town Clerk is in the process of seeking grant funds for the digitizing the additional land records. D. Mills inquired if the State would cover the Zoom upgrades. J. Haverstock stated that he was advised to submit everything by the early-September deadline.

Continued Discussion of Seeking Grant-In-Aid to Purchase a Leaf Blower or Hydroseeder:

Chad Eugair was present to discuss the purchase of a leaf blower or a hydroseeder with available grant in aid funds. J. Haverstock stated that the grant funds cover 80% of the cost. Chad Eugair stated that the leaf blower would help in the fall with the leaves, etc. whereas the hydroseeder would replace the bale chopper that the Highway Department currently uses. The Better Roads Program requires hydroseed after approximately September 15 of each year to establish quick grass growth. J. Haverstock stated that he has spoken with other communities to inquire the possibility of sharing any equipment that is purchased, however, there have been no replies to the offer. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Mills to purchase the hydroseeder as part of the grant program. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Update on Recreation Director Recruitment Efforts:

J. Haverstock reported that the committee is meeting regularly with Randy Adams and Bill Moore from Brandon who is assisting with the interview process. There have been 5 interviews and there will be another meeting to narrow the field, then references will be checked. There was also discussion of combining the duties of the Recreation Director with an Economic Development role. There will be a discussion at the next meeting on what should be done with the salary and benefits which will not be paid out during the vacancy.


Consider Joining Otter Creek Communications Union District:

Bill Moore was present to discuss Pittsford joining Brandon as part of the Otter Creek Communications Union District. Mr. Moore explained that Brandon and Goshen have received funds to explore the expansion of broadband internet service as part of the feasibility study that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission received grant funding to conduct. J. Haverstock explained that to join the OCCUD, the Select Board would need to appoint one or more residents to serve on the committee and authorize the Select Board Chair and the Town Clerk to sign appointment documentation. J. Haverstock reported that Samantha Jackson has expressed interest in serving on OCCUD Board. Rep Shaw encouraged the Select Board to join the OCCUD as there is little to no risk. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay to enter into the OCCUD. Motion passed 5 – 0. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to appoint Samantha Jackson as the representative and John Haverstock as the alternate. Motion passed 5 – 0. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to authorize the Select Board Chair and the Town Clerk to sign the documentation. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Review Committee Recommendation Regarding Salt/Sand Shed Construction Inspection Services:

The Committee submitted a memo, which was included in the packets for review with regard to the Salt/Sand Shed construction inspection services that are required for the project. There were 4 proposals received and GPI and DuBois and King both scored well. GPI appears to be a better value. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Malay to award the contract to GPI. Motion passed 4 – 1(Mills opposed).

Discussion of Planned Weekend Closure of Truck Route for VT Rail Work on Railroad Crossing:

J. Haverstock reported that VT Rail would like to close Kendall Hill Road on August 22 – 23 and again on August 29 and 30 to replace the crossing with concrete panels. The timing would be from Saturday morning through Sunday night. OMYA and Casella are aware that this will be taking place. D. Mills inquired what would happen if there was a fire on that section of town. T. Hooker stated that there will be additional equipment stored at the Florence substation and Brandon and Proctor are aware and could provide mutual aid services if necessary.

Review Highway Access Right of Way Permit Applications:

A request for Highway Access/Right of Way Permit was received from Greg and Donna Whitehorne at 361 Corn Hill Road. Highway Foreman Chad Eugair inspected the location and made the condition that a 15” culvert be installed and that the access be sloped away from the Town road. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the request with the stated conditions. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Assessor’s Office Errors & Omissions (Parcel #1674):

The Assessor’s Office reported an Error on Parcel #1674. The value of the property was listed as $138,800 and should have been $13,800. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the request. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Resignation of Trustees of Public Funds Member:

J. Haverstock reported that Bradley Keith has resigned from the Trustees of Public Funds. T. Hooker stated that Helen McKinlay is willing to serve the remainder of his term. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by J. Gagnon to accept the resignation of Bradley Keith and appoint Helen McKinlay to serve until Town Meeting 2021. Motion passed 5 – 0.

The Select Board recessed at 7:18 PM.


T. Pelkey made the motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for Personnel where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town and may be jeopardized by public disclosure.

In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of personnel at 7:18 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:30 PM, with no action taken.

The Select Board meeting was adjourned at 7:30 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on September 2, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman


Alicia Malay, Vice Chairman


Thomas Hooker, Selectman


W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


David Mills, Selectman