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Public Budget Informational Meeting

Public Budget Informational Meeting

Presented by the Selectboard and Treasurer

February 29, 2024

Draft, page 1 of 1

Present:

Selectboard: Fred Blanchard, Sheila Duranleau (Chair), AJ Galfetti

Town officials: Josh Bell (tree warden), Scott Blanchard (treasurer, delinquent tax collector), Peter Carbee (planning), Lois Deberville (town clerk), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA admin)

Visitors: Billy Donovan, Ethan Pratt, Bob Sherman, Sarah Teel, Kara Williams

Zoom (identified): Judy & Rob Perdue, Ryan Bresette, Norm

Introduction by Sheila, in part:

“I can just start off by saying, I know that this budget is a higher increase than we’ve had in many years. But we haven’t really had a real budget in many years. Because we haven’t had supporting documentation for the selectboard to actually build a meaningful budget in the past years.

If you look at the individual categories, there’s some ups and downs in them. The ups are very small in a lot of the individual categories although they do add up.We really have not even budgeted for what we should budget for. We should have a building reserve fund. We should have an equipment reserve fund. We should have a technology reserve fund. We should have a Grant match reserve fund.

We should start planning for things that pop up unexpectedly or maintenance and repairs. If you read the letter that I wrote in the town report, you will see that for many, many years we have deferred a lot of things that should have been put in place in order to run this town in order to run this office in order to you know, have the people who do the work have the tools that they need to do the work? We shouldn’t expect people to come here and use computers that don’t have the right software or use printers that don’t work or not even be able to scan something.

We need to give people the proper tools to do the work that they need to do.This budget is higher, as I said, then it’s been in the past. Most of that increases in road road maintenance and highway staff.”

Ben inquired on different line items, including highway and health insurance, not disagreeing with them but rather wanting to better understand them. 

Sheila addressed line items regarding office expenses, AJ and Fred addressed highway line items.

Scott answered questions on the finances, the payroll accounting, and other financial aspects. The town anticipates being able to bring some of the accountants’ roles in-house. 

Scott discussed what auditors’ roles would be if the town could find someone (s) to fill the position (s). It could cost upwards of $50,000 to have an accounting firm audit our books.

The full audio transcript can be found on Zoom, Meeting ID: 816 8286 7094.

Respectfully submitted, Lois Deberville, Town Clerk

This is a draft subject to amendment/approval at an upcoming selectboard meeting.

Candidates

Several residents running for local offices were at the Meet the Candidates gathering on February 29. 

Delinquent tax collector: Scott Blanchard, incumbent

Moderator: Ben Tiefenthaler, our town’s current FEMA admin

Planning Commission: Kara Williams, owner of the Washington Village Store (as a write-in candidate, her name needs to be written in AND the oval needs to be colored in)

School Director: Glenn Mack-long time resident who has raised his family here

Selectboard: Robert ‘Fred’ Blanchard-incumbent

Selectboard: Josh Bell-our town’s current Tree Warden

Town Clerk: Lois Deberville-incumbent

Treasurer: Scott Blanchard-incumbent

Meet candidates and the budget forum

Lois Deberville is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Meet candidates & budget forum
Time: Feb 29, 2024 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 816 8286 7094

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FY25 Budget Meeting & Meet Candidates

 There will be an informational budget meeting on Thursday 2/29 at 6:30 at the town hall.

The selectboard and treasurer will be present to answer questions related to the FY25 proposed budget.

Come at 6:00 p.m. to meet the candidates running for elected positions.

Selectboard Regular Meeting 2/6/24

Selectboard Regular Meeting

February 6, 2024

Page 1, DRAFT

Present:

Selectboard: Sheila Duranleau (Chair), Fred Blanchard, AJ Galfetti

Town Officials: Lois Deberville (Town Clerk), Josh Bell (Tree Warden), Peter Carbee (Planning), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA), Danielle Bresette via Zoom (Rec Dept)

Visitors: Gayle Callahan, Joe Callahan, Billy Donovan, Karen Johnson, Bob Capobianco

Zoom: Cheri Galfetti, Sarah Teel, Rachel Onuf, Ryan Bresette

  1. Chair called meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.
  2. Approval of minutes from January 9, 2024, meeting, motion by Fred, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.
  3. Adjustments to agenda: Sheila added law enforcement liaison as 7.7, and scholarship as 7.8.
  4. Public comment: none
  5. Visitors:

5.1         Danielle Bresette representing the recreation department: during a recent review of the rec department’s finances that have occurred over past years, there were two discrepancies: one in a transfer of money on June 5, 2019, from a memorial fund belonging to the rec department, to the town’s general fund, in the amount of $11,404.00. Also, the $4000.00 appropriation for FY23 was not paid.  AJ made a motion for the selectboard to make a plan on how to pay back the fund money, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

  • Updates/Reports

6.1, 6.2, 6.3 no reports from delinquent tax collector, treasurer, road commissioner

6.4         Town Clerk: the security system was started today. The annual mileage certificate was given to the board to be signed; this determines our state highway fund revenue.

                A town resident had asked to put a petition at the town hall. Lois checked with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and the attorney said it’s a selectboard decision. Discussion on if the town hall should be a neutral place. Fred made motion to not allow petitions in the town hall, 2nd by AJ, Billy asked for more discussion. He feels the town hall is a public place and as such a good place for a petition to be left for signatures. Josh asked about ballot petitions. Conversation by Cheri and Peter that those who want a petition should have the responsibility to gather the signatures. The motion was passed by ayes that no petitions including ballot ones would be allowed at the town hall.

                Hands Mill Dam fee is due, we have to pay it despite the planning to have it removed. The reply from the state was to pay it, and then when we show proof that it’s removed, we would be reimbursed.

                Regarding Zoom of the upcoming town meeting, consensus that it’d be impossible to set this up due to the noise of the meeting. Peter said there’s a proposed legislative bill that would make all public meetings available on a video of each town’s choosing which would also provide funds to towns to do so. It was decided that this year we won’t be able to Zoom the meeting.

                Town reports were sent to the printer today, worked on by Sheila and Lois.  Diane Donovan helped Lois put together an updated mailing list and she printed address labels.

6.5         FEMA administrator: Ben said first submission is done, everything cleared, he has a massive document to review and sign. Town will receive its first check in the near future for $5208.69. $314.39 unbudgeted funds will also be reimbursed.   

Page 2, DRAFT

FEMA continued:

The town be reimbursed for budgeted money, and it will be pretty significant as we move out of contract work into town road crew work. He is part way through the submissions for about $40,000, and one for about $20,000.

Sheila mentioned a comprehensive report that Ben wrote for the town report, and that will be our town’s historical record of the flood.

  • Business

7.1         AJ made motion to accept the resignation of Harry Roush as lister, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

7.2         Fred made motion to accept the resignation of Harry Roush as town moderator, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

                The selectboard on behalf of the town acknowledges and appreciates all that Harry has done in those two roles.

                Sheila explained how the moderator for this year’s town meeting will be elected from the floor at town meeting.

                Billy asked how many listers and auditors are on the ballots, there are none.  Sheila said the town will have to reach out to VLCT to learn how to move forward.

7.3         Previously discussed.

7.4         Meet the candidate forum will be held at the town hall, Lois will reach out to the candidates to arrange a date.

7.5         The informational budget meeting will be February 22, 2024, at the town hall, 6:30 p.m. Open to the public.

7.6         Supplemental ATV policy: Sheila had received feedback from Karen on language in the latest ATV ordinance. After discussion among those in attendance, the ordinance stands as presented.

7.7         The Orange County side judges has given a one-year reprieve to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department regarding its normal budget. Fred made a motion to appoint AJ as Washington’s liaison to the Orange County law enforcement committee, 2nd by Sheila, ayes carried.

                The committee is made up of Orange County towns to come up with a cost to run the department shared by all the towns, in hopes of keeping the sheriff’s department operational.

7.8         The Debra Sue Blanchard Community Service Scholarship was awarded to Christie Galfetti by Sheila who made the motion and Fred who 2nd it, ayes carried. There were no applicants for the Katie Beede/Chris Chaloux Memorial Award.

Fred made a motion to adjourn, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried, meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

  • Next scheduled meeting is March 12, 2024.

Respectfully submitted, Lois Deberville, Town Clerk

This is a draft subjected to approval/amendments by the selectboard at a future meeting.

WASHINGTON SELECTBOARD AGENDA

WASHINGTON SELECTBOARD AGENDA

Regular Meeting
February 6, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Town Hall, Washington VT

Final: posted on 2/3/2024

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Review and approve minutes from the January 9, 2024 regular meeting
  3. Adjustments to agenda (changes or additions to the agenda)
  4. Public Comment (on items that are not on the agenda)
  5. Visitors
    5.1 Danielle Bresette, recreation committee
  6. Updates/Reports
    6.1 Delinquent Tax Collector
    6.2 Treasurer
    6.3 Road Commissioner
    6.4 Town Clerk
    6.5 FEMA Administrator
  7. Business
    7.1 Accept town lister resignation
    7.2 Accept town moderator resignation
    7.3 Update on town meeting and annual report
    7.4 Meet the candidate forum (schedule)
    7.5 Informational budget meeting (schedule)
    7.6 Supplemental ATV policy
  8. Next meeting: the next meeting scheduled is a regular meeting on March 12, 2024
  9. Lois Deberville is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
  10. Topic: Selectboard Agenda For 2/6/2024
  11. Time: Feb 6, 2024 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  12. Join Zoom Meeting
  13. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89404537268?pwd=lGSqxBbQGvul9l9hZGarKR1KNdDaEW.1
  14. Meeting ID: 894 0453 7268
  15. Passcode: 038238
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  37. Meeting ID: 894 0453 7268
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Washington Selectboard Regular Meeting

Washington Selectboard Regular Meeting

January 9, 2024

Draft Page 1

Present:

Selectboard: Sheila Duranleau (Chair), Fred Blanchard, AJ Galfetti

Town personnel: Lois Deberville (town clerk), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA admin)

Visitors: Dwayne Braman, Billy Donovan, Joe Pelkey, Norm Vermette

Zoom: Sarah Teel, Rachel Onuf

  1. Chair called meeting to order at 6:28 p.m.
  2. Fred made motion to adopt the minutes from the January 2, 2024, budget meeting, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried
  3. Adjustments to agenda:
    1. Dwayne discussed the possibility of improving the standard of the town’s roads due to the onslaught of climate change, discussion moved to 6.3
    1. Sheila added First Branch Ambulance to 7.7
  4. Public comment:
    1. Billy asked about town officials having public emails. Sheila said the selectboard doesn’t have the authority to require that.
  5. No visitor requests.
  6. Updates/Reports:

6.1/6.2 No delinquent tax collector or treasurer reports. Fred said tax sales will begin in February. Sheila will check the statutes for proper warning of tax sales.

6.3         Road commissioner: AJ, in talks with Jesse (Lambert) and Elwin (Chambers), had discussed the possibility of improving the standard of the town’s roads. Putting together figures, the estimate is that one mile of road would cost in excess of $300,000. Fred said that we have to be able to come up with the match for any road grants. Dwayne was complimentary about the work the road crew has been doing.

                Discussion on how a town manager and/or administrator would be able to chase down all available grants. The town would benefit from volunteer citizens to do this.

6.4         Town clerk:

a.            the state needs a new primary point of contact for the Hands Mill Project. AJ said it would be him but Ben offered to take over that role, AJ accepted that offer.

b.            Selectboard signed the 2024 excess weight permits.

c.             Quote received from Jet Service/Accura Printing on town reports, we can get more of an exact estimate once we know how many reports need to be sent out, and if the printers can include shipping for us.

d.            AJ made motion to proceed with the security system through Green Mountain Security, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

6.5         FEMA:   Ben talked about the categories for submissions, and he has still been involved in meetings/projects/documentation. Mitigation sites have been discussed with AJ. Ben has been having weekly conference calls. He was able to aggregate the town’s highway crew’s hours with each part of the damage. The estimate of damage only to the main town roads is $2.7 million.  

Draft Page 2

7.            Business:

                7.1         ATV Ordinance: AJ moved to accept it with revisions, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried. Notice of Adoption will be posted in newspapers with copies of the ordinance at the town hall.

                7.2         Due to her 40 years of dedication as Washington’s town clerk, AJ made the motion to name Carol Davis as the 2023 Citizen of the Year, 2nd by Fred, carried by ayes.

7.3         Elected positions that don’t have any (or enough) petitions at the time of this meeting are: moderator, treasurer, delinquent tax collector, lister, planning, recreation department

(clerk’s note: and auditors).

7.4         The deadline for submissions to the annual town report is Friday, January 19, 2024.

7.5         The forum for meeting the candidates will be scheduled and posted.

7.6         The public information budget meeting will be scheduled and posted.

7.7          The First Branch Ambulance needs a Washington volunteer to represent the town.

The next scheduled meeting is a regular one on February 9, 2024, 6:30 p.m., at the town hall.

Submitted,

Lois Deberville, Town Clerk

This is a draft subject to amendment/approval at the next selectboard meeting.

Selectboard Meeting Agenda/Zoom

WASHINGTON SELECTBOARD AGENDA

Regular Meeting 

January 9, 2024 at 6:30 pm

Town Hall, Washington VT

1. Call meeting to order

2. Review and approve minutes from the January 2, 2024 special budget meeting 

3. Adjustments to agenda (changes or additions to the agenda)

4. Public Comment (on items that are not on the agenda)

5. Visitors (no requests)

6. Updates/Reports

6.1 Delinquent Tax Collector

6.2 Treasurer

6.3 Road Commissioner

6.4 Town Clerk

6.5 FEMA Administrator

7. Business

7.1 ATV Ordinance (action needed)

7.2 2024 Citizen of the Year

7.3 Elected positions without petitions at this time 

7.4 Deadline for submissions to the annual town report

7.5 Meet the candidate forum (schedule?)

7.6 Informational budget meeting (schedule?)

8. Next meetingthe next meeting scheduled is a regular meeting on February 9, 2024

1

Final: posted on 1/7/2024

Lois Deberville is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Selectboard Monthly Meeting
Time: Jan 9, 2024 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 816 1749 2092
Passcode: 201889


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Selectboard Special Meeting

Selectboard Special Meeting

January 2, 2024

6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall

DRAFT, one page

Present:

Selectboard members:  Sheila Duranleau (Chair), Fred Blanchard, AJ Galfetti

Town officials: Josh Bell (tree warden), Peter Carbee (planning) via Zoom, Lois Deberville (town clerk)

Zoom: Nick Bresette, Ryan Bresette

Visitor: Chad Hewitt (Sullivan Powers & Co.)

  1. Meeting called to order at 6:33 p.m. by Chair
  2. Adjustments to agenda: minutes of December 19, 2023 meeting, letter from Washington Electric.
    1. AJ asked to strike incorrect sentence from the 12/19/23 minutes that reads: ‘We are almost $57,000 budget over on vehicle expenses.’  Fred noticed a correction needed on ‘Gravel=$51,000’. (was missing one zero)

AJ made motion to accept the minutes with the above revisions, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

  • A letter was received from Washington Electric asking to extend power line on Turnpike Road. Motion made by Fred to accept the request, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.
  • Public Comment: Peter commented on vehicle maintenance for FY24.

FY25 budget review:

  • Chad discussed the new childcare tax implemented by Vermont. He increased the payroll tax numbers slightly to reflect.
  • Chad discussed the new way he heard that the state is sending revenue due the town.
  • Discussion on health insurance budget for the highway crew.
  • Discussion on vehicle repairs and maintenance, sand and gravel budgets.
  • Discussion on how to make up the deficit due to the last two tax rates. Chad will write a narrative on what the board agreed upon so it can be presented to the voters at Town Meeting, and will be discussed at public meetings prior to Town Meeting Day.
  • Discussion on perhaps changing the property tax due dates.
  • Discussion on how some town articles can be warned and voted upon. Sheila will check with the Vermont League of Cities & Towns.
  • FY24 Budget:  current cash flow
    • Chad had some comments/questions on the current budget, discussed with the board to get clarification.
  • Next meeting: January 9, 2024, 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.

AJ made motion to adjourn, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried, adjourned 8:15 p.m.

These minutes are a draft, subject to amendment/approval at the next selectboard meeting.                                                                     Submitted: Lois Deberville, town clerk

SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA

WASHINGTON SELECTBOARD AGENDA

Special Meeting
January 2, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Town Hall, Washington VT

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Adjustments to agenda
  3. Public Comment
  4. FY24 Budget: current budget year cash flow
  5. Next meeting: the next scheduled meeting is a regular monthly meeting on January 9,
    2024, 6:30 at the Town Hall

ZOOM INFORMATION: (if the connection allows)

  1. Lois Deberville is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
  2. Topic: Selectboard Special Budget Meeting
  3. Time: Jan 2, 2024 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  4. Join Zoom Meeting
  5. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89796972291?pwd=ZYAUC0HaWHbaV7aOQ8SuajaBfY8acC.1
  6. Meeting ID: 897 9697 2291
  7. Passcode: 132626
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  29. Meeting ID: 897 9697 2291
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