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Selectboard Minutes 5/14/2024

Selectboard Meeting

May 14, 2024

Draft Page 1 of 4


Selectboard: Sheila Duranleau (Chair), Josh Bell (Tree Warden), AJ Galfetti

Town Officials: Peter Carbee (Assistant Town Clerk), Lois Deberville (Town Clerk), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA Admin),

Susan Davis (Lister), Billy Donovan (Lister)

Visitors: Dr. Robert Rinaldi, Louise Rinaldi

Zoom: Cheri Galfetti, Sarah Teel, Becky

  1. Chair called meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.
  2. AJ made motion to adopt the minutes from the March 28, 2024, meeting, 2nd by Josh, ayes carried. AJ made motion to adopt the minutes from the May 7, 2024, meeting, 2nd by Josh, ayes carried.
  3. Adjustments to the agenda: Ben said 8.3 can be deleted as the World Fish Migration Day event will not be held in Washington this year.
  4. No public comments on items that are not on the agenda.
  5. No comments from visitors.
  6. Listers: Billy-the listers had met with Frank Rossi from CAI Mapping, was given price of $5850 for updated maps, PDFs, and Source Digital GIS Data. They are noticing people building without having building permits. Lois explained the permit process from the application to Gary Winders. Billy: not catching some properties that should be taxed. Susan: need maps before reappraisals are done. Sheila: need 3 quotes from (map) vendors. Susan: networked with other listers at training on who they used for mapping. Sheila: may not have in budget until FY26 or later.

Town Clerk: Lois-need cameras for the other office and map room, and for the end of the porch. There was a gas can left there recently. Quote from Green Mountain Security for $879 for one camera and installation. Lois will find out if we can use some of our records & restoration fund to pay for the extra camera(s) as it’s to secure more files.

Motion by Josh to approve the $879 if we have the money in the fund and if not, try to find the money for it, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

The town hall needs a key box outside, Lois will check with Harry and/or the fire department on how to proceed.

Lois: We have 20 years of (3) year binders of previous tax bills. Statute states we only need to keep (3) years other than folks who may owe past that.

Town disposed of 95 tires and 1480 pounds of trash after Green Up Day.

We will issue a statement saying town is not responsible for picking up dumped tires, mattresses, etc.

Assistant Town Clerk: Peter was asked by a resident about biking through Richardson Road. The biker was told by landowners that he had to leave immediately; however, our records show that it is still town owned as a trail.

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FEMA Admin: Ben-has been going through branch directors, new one is more amenable re: culverts, during a meeting last week they walked Notch RD, now other repairs may be covered under codes & standards rather than hazard mitigation. Hazard mitigation team will visit areas with Ben. Town got its first disbursement on May 6, the federal cost share. AJ was on top of the December storm damage, got all the documentation with Elwin, it got processed and accepted. The new hazard mitigation team is invested in a broader scope while previous folks said repair to pre-disaster condition.

Ben has photographs for every site we are claiming damage on.

Ben just got final plans on the Hands Mill Dam removal. May be able to have work started in the fall, but archeological clearance needed by UVM right across the brook from the dam, hoping would happen in May but he hasn’t heard back. We can’t put out bid until that happens. We are on our 5th lead for the river conservation district on this project. The current lead will be stepping down soon, but if bid gets put out she won’t need to be involved.

Sheila: son of previous owner wants to put a bench there. AJ: have to wait until after the dam is removed as this is an access point. The Washington Agricultural Association is interested in maintaining something, perhaps butterfly garden.

  • Organizational assignments:

7.1         Annual Rules of Procedure: AJ made motion to adopt with the removal of wording: Peter suggested removing the word ‘constable’ from 6 (d), substitute ‘law enforcement’. Motion by AJ to adopt it with amendment, 2nd by Josh, ayes carried.

7.2 – 7.11 regarding selectboard assignments/liaisons

Content AreaSelectboard Member
Highway staff oversightAJ
Conflict warrant approvalAJ
Highway grantsAJ
Law enforcementAJ
Highway grantsJosh
Chair responsibilitiesSheila
Town Clerk liaisonSheila
Day to day issuesSheila
MERP grantSheila
Emergency managementSheila

Selectboard 2024 Organizational Assignments

Members are liaisons only in the following content areas: Gathering information, attending meetings/webinars, partnering with other town officials/subject matter experts and making recommendations to the full selectboard for discussion and decisions.

Draft Page 3 of 4

8.            Business:

 8.1        The insurance check will be mailed soon for the flood damage to the library in the amount of $27,270.90, of which $16,662.25 will be reimbursed to the town, and the balance into a library account.

8.2          Town reappraisal and updated parcel maps-listers have a steep learning curve with a lot of work that has to be done in short amount of time in order to lodge the Grand List.

8.4         Tree removal in right of way grant-AJ is the lead.

8.5         Hazard mitigation funding program due June 21.  Ben: used to be called State 404 hazard mitigation, competitive for projects that federal won’t cover. AJ: thinking of using for Notch RD. Other projects may be submitted to see if covered. Ben will be attending a symposium on flood recovery program on June 6.

8.6         Notice submitted to the selectboard: Sheila read the notice (see attached), that was submitted on April 3, 2024, with 92 signatures. Sheila: selectboard has no authority or oversight over the listers and their work. Their work is important to the town. The listers need to obtain permission though if they have been put on notice or if there’s a no trespassing sign on the properties. The notice does not imply that the work of the listers can not occur, rather that one lister can not go on the property. Susan: my name is on some as well (that have come in since). Sheila: if people have concerns, reach out to the Secretary of State or law enforcement.

Property owners can appeal if they don’t accept the listers’ value of the property.

Billy: no trespassing signs are respected by all listers in all towns as well as individual requests. He believes the document was given to the town clerk 8-9 days before the listers were given it. He said such documents needs to be show sooner as they don’t always feel safe. He read a prepared rebuttal to the public notice.

 Response by Cheri: it was her property which is posted ‘no trespassing’.  At no time was the mention of a list put into play. I was discussing how you need to make an appointment; you can’t show up unannounced…See if someone is home and introduce yourself, say reason you are here, don’t just start doing whatever you need to do.

Billy: didn’t see the sign. He believes they don’t have to make an appointment. Sheila: not a requirement, but in the past it’s been the approach the listers have taken.

8.7         MERP: Municipal Energy Resiliency Program: 2 phases: (1) energy assessment on municipal building and the library (done). Phase (2): no-match grant up to $500,000 to improve the energy resiliency of the building. Our current emergency shelter now is the school which the flood showed doesn’t work out.

8.8          ATV ordinance: went into effect on April 20, 2024, the date of the vote of the petition that was defeated. Signed by the selectboard members.

                Discussion initiated by Billy who says there are ‘renegade trails’ at Carpenter Park that people can use, would be a violation to let ATVs into the park without asking the conservation department first. Sheila: it’s a violation now for ATVs to go into the park. She read the parts stating where ATVs may operate, and Carpenter Park is not on there. AJ: the only way could have worked is if there was part of the trail system and it’s not.

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8.9         AJ made motion to sign the VT Community Foundation Fiscal Sponsor Agreement for the town to receive a donation on behalf of the fire department which can’t sign it due to not having a 501C3 designation, 2nd by Josh, ayes carried. The town will receive the check and give to the fire department.

8.10       Josh will work with Scott on how much money the town may need to borrow in anticipation of FEMA reimbursement and for the new truck.

8.11       AJ made the motion to move forward with Jack O’Conner’s request for the town to throw up TH47, 2nd by Josh, carried ayes. Mr. O’Conner will pay for all costs, the town will not incur any.

8.12       Josh made the motion to accept the new town hall key policy, 2nd by AJ, with the change of removing ‘must’ to ‘will’.

8.13       AJ made the motion to reappoint Gary Winders as the town health officer, 2nd by Josh, ayes carried.

8.14       AJ made the motion to re-appoint Sandy Edmonds and Volney Gordon as representatives to the governing board of the East Central VT Telecommunications District (ECFiber), 2nd by Josh, ayes carried

8.15       VTrans Grant of Temporary Rights agreement for bridge #15 on TH 48 (Pray Road): Josh made the motion for AJ to sign it, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

Peter: been in contact with the RPC and enlisted their support with the grant for urban foliage and trees, for possibly putting a fruit and nut orchard at Carpenter Park. The grants go from $5000-$75,000, and these are no-match. He will work on the January 2025 application with the RPC (regional planning commission)

Sheila: the Washington Agricultural Association may be interested in partnering with the recreation department depending on what is involved.

Peter: he plans on writing into the grant request for a smaller mower.

Susan gave contact for someone who does similar in Corinth.

Josh will receive the ProFleet, LLC,  quote next week, they also do grade certification.

The next scheduled meeting is June 4, 2024.

Josh made the motion to adjourn at 8:07 p.m., 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

Attest: Lois Deberville, Town Clerk

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


We, the residents of the town of Washington, State of Vermont, request the town to disallow William Donavan aka Billy Donavan aka newly appointed Town of Washington Lister, to enter our property for any reason. Furthermore, we do not feel any information reviewed by this person will be used for the good of the town or the residents within.

There have been claims that the above person has harassed many residents of the Town of Washington, both in person and by email, demanding to be heard and demanding information that is not his to have. When not given the information he demanded, more correspondence and threats of further action have been made by this person and also false accusations made to the town by this person that he was victimized by ones who he has demanded information.

We do not feel safe allowing the above person on or near our properties nor do we feel safe with this person being allowed to determine values of our properties.”