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Selectboard Regular Meeting

December 5, 2023

Page 1, Draft

Present:

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

Town officers: Josh Bell (Tree Warden), Peter Carbee (Planning), Lois Deberville (Town Clerk), Harry Roush (Assistant Town Clerk/Lister), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA Admin)

ZOOM: Sarah Teel

In person: Billy Donovan, Gayle Callahan, Joe Callahan, Rob Perdue, Norm Vermette, Cannon Williams, Joe Pelkey

  1. Chair called meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.
  2. Fred made the motion to approve the minutes of the November 1, 2023, regular selectboard meeting, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried

AJ made the motion to approve the minutes of the November 20, 2023, special selectboard meeting, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

AJ made the motion to adopt the November 27, 2023, minutes of the bid opening meeting, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried.

  • Adjustments to agenda: Sheila added the FY25 Better Roads Grant to 7.10.
  • Public Comments on items that were not on the agenda: Billy asked process for bidding on jobs. Sheila said posted on website and put it in two public places. He asked the time period, Sheila said depends on when bids are due, there’s no time policy.
  • Visitors: Josh Bell representing the Washington Agricultural Association: due to an ox pulling event losing its venue, he was approached to see if the town would allow one at Carpenter Park. It would be held in the sandy area, would be ground level when not used. The week before, there would be fence put up and a little building brought in. The next day everything would be removed and cleaned up. He will contact the Recreation Department regarding using their area.

This would be the weekend of July 6/7. The selectboard agreed.

                 Josh said the WAA would agree to be the volunteer committee to represent Washington during Vermont’s 250th Anniversary. Fred made the motion to appoint the WAA as the commission representative, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

  • Updates/Reports:
    • Delinquent tax collector/6.2 Treasurer: gave each selectboard member actuals vs budget report which they will review before the next budget meeting.
    • Road Commisioner: AJ reported what the road crews have been working on.

Billy reminded board that there’s a tree that needs to come down in his neighborhood, AJ will talk to Jesse.

  • Town Clerk: Lois gave each selectboard member a list of all the town ordinances and policies, on her computer in one file should anyone want a copy. Sheila said the board will review and prioritize any that need to be revisited.

The town received a $100 donation to the town without any specific designation. The

board agreed to deposit the check and will use it for something the town wouldn’t normally              be able to do. The town report is being worked on. Trash pickup is now every other Thursday instead of every other Monday.

Page 2, Draft

  •  continued: Lois talked with Alan May of the Better Road Grant to discuss what paperwork and documents need to be submitted for the MacDonald Road culvert grant.
    •  FEMA Administrator: Ben spoke on transitioning between FEMA’s town reps. There are never ending forms to be filled out, we are two signatures away from Category A submission, then onto more substantial cost-share submissions. He’s had lots of emails, phone calls and scanning.  Billy asked if it’s all FEMA paperwork, Ben explained his process. Billy asked how town has been paying for the work. Fred said from taxes collected by Scott. Billy asked how the town would’ve paid if not for the taxes, and Sheila said borrowing. Discussion on how some towns may not see FEMA funds for 2-5 years.

     7.     Business:

      7.1 Draft ATV ordinance: Sheila handed out copies of the ATV ordinance in draft form. The process to review it is the board members will go through the draft themselves, then open the floor up for 3 minutes per person. The draft has red strike-through for what is to be considered deleted, and the yellow is what Sheila added. (copy attached) Sheila deleted the purpose and put one that was more practical. After looking at both the United States and Vermont constitutions, she saw that there’s no such thing as residents’ right to quiet enjoyment of their home and property, and the board doesn’t have the authority to give people that right. If the board gave people that right, then it would have to apply to everything that goes on including traffic. Sheila looked at 48 town websites and found that 28 of them have ATV ordinances with varying rules. She added state statutes for ATV riders to reference. Rob and Joe were asked their opinion on clarity of roads allowed for ATV travel, and both were fine.

Discussion on curfew, agreed on 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sheila suggested the board will review the ordinance every two years in November. If board has it on agenda in December and adopts in January and there’s a town petition submitted, then it’ll go to the annual town meeting for vote. The part was struck that said property owners can give permission for ATVs to go in front of their property, there’s no criteria that says anyone has the right to allow or disallow traffic on public roads.

Harry asked if Australian ballot or floor vote, Sheila said statute requires Australian ballot.

Peter asked about when property owners change (if owner is named), and so the parcel number will be substituted.

Rob and board discussed the Carpenter Park access.

Billy commented that permission based is fair compromise between ATV riders and property owners. Law enforcement discussed. 

Sarah spoke to the permission-based system. One person should not have veto power over an entire road, but historically that was deemed reasonable by previous selectboard members. Would be ATV club asking permission, not the town. She said the right to quiet enjoyment may not belong in this ordinance but we do have that right which is why we have zoning. She thanked the board for the two-year timeline of review.

Final review will be voted on in January, then ordinance process starts, then residents have 44 days to submit a petition if desired, then a vote will be held at town meeting.

Page 3, Draft

7.2 Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP): The executive director of planning commissioner had been to a previous selectboard meeting, this technical assistance will help find and apply for grants. This excludes highways. Peter and Sheila met with Eli of the program, projects include looking for funding to address impacts on drinking and wastewater infrastructure, funding for technical assistance ie: radios, security. Identify technical assistance. Town may be able to be reimbursed for money paid out for the water equipment discussed last month. AJ made the motion to accept the above scope of work, 2nd by Fred, ayes carried. Fred made motion to designate Sheila as principle contact person, 2nd by AJ, ayes carried.

7.3 Town Report: Sheila, Harry and Lois have started drafting the 2023 town report. Sheila wants it to the printer in the beginning of January, it won’t have a ballot as it will be too early for that.

7.4 Road crew and capacity for plowing during storms: AJ said 2 people have offered to fill in during storms, one being Jesse as road commissioner and other Gary Carrier. Discussion on how to hire, decided to put out ads for qualified on-call help.

7.5 Town hall building maintenance consultation: Sheila met with the 2 out of 3 people she contacted, the 3rd does not work in Washington. The others said we have significant rust and mold on the outer building, and while they could clean the dirt, it would be a waste of money as it needs to be chemically cleaned in the spring. It will be included in next year’s budget and we will readdress this in the spring.

Ben asked if Lois noticed any continuation of mold odor from the basement, she hasn’t been back down. He does have the town hall as a placeholder line item on the FEMA paperwork.

7.6 Meeting dates for 2024: Selectboard will keep it as the first Tuesday of each month normally. Exceptions: The January will be on the 9th as it gives us 60 days to town meeting in case anyone submits a petition. The March meeting will be on the 12th due to town meeting the week prior. 

7.7 Special budget meeting for FY 25 will be December 19, 2023, 6:30 p.m., at the town hall.

7.8 Open positions for 2024 town meeting elections: Sheila had posted the open positions, only change should be it’s not Lee Gardner who will be done, but there is one open.

7.9 Free walk-in clinic Covid and Flu vaccines: December 7, 10-2 at town hall.

7.10 Better Back Roads Grant FY2025: will apply for work on the area in front of the library’s side entrance which has drainage issues.

Harry said the state program that is paying for the removal and clean-up at 16 Woodchuck Hollow Road will increase the budget, and when they do so, he can have winning bid contractor sign the contract. He also has received 3 security system update proposals and is going to try to find one that stores information in the cloud. Josh questioned the recent bid process. The board reiterated that it had voted to abide by the bid committee’s decision.

8. Tuesday, January 9, 2023, 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.

Submitted, Lois Deberville, town clerk.

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

TOWN OF Washington
ORDINANCE REGULATING ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES (ATVs)
SECTION 1. AUTHORITY. Under authority granted in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, 24 V.S.A. §§
2291(1),(4), 23 V.S.A. § 3506, and 23 V.S.A. § 3510, the Selectboard of the Town of
Washington hereby adopts the following civil ordinance regulating the time, manner, and
location of operation of all-terrain vehicles within the town.
SECTION 2. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote and protect the public
health, safety, and welfare of the Town, and to preserve residents’ rights to quiet enjoyment of
homes and properties by regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of all-terrain
vehicles (“ATVs”) within the Town.
The purpose of this Ordinance is to inform Town residents and ATV operators of the rights and
responsibilities related to the legal use of ATVs in the Town of Washington. The provisions of this
Ordinance are intended to supplement, but not to contradict, the regulations of all-terrain vehicles as
set forth in Chapter 31 of Title 23 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated
SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS.
A. “All-terrain vehicle,” or “ATV,” means any non-highway recreational vehicle, except
snowmobiles, having not less than two low pressure tires (10 pounds per square inch, or
less), not wider than 64 inches with two-wheel ATVs having permanent, full-time power to
both wheels, and having a dry weight of less than 2,500 pounds, when used for cross country
travel on trails or on any one of the following or a combination thereof: land, water,
snow, ice, marsh, swampland and natural terrain. An ATV does not include an electric
personal assistive mobility device, a motor-assisted bicycle, or an electric bicycle.
B. “Enforcement Officer” means any law enforcement officer certified by the Vermont criminal
justice training council.
C. “Operate” includes any attempt to operate and shall be construed to cover all matters and
things connected with the presence and use of all-terrain vehicles within the town whether
they be in motion or at rest.
D. “VASA” means the Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association.
E. “TAD” means VASA Trail Access Decal
F. Other definitions found in 23 V.S.A. § 3501 are incorporated herein by reference.
SECTION 4. OPERATION OF ATVs
ATVs may be operated only on the following town highways.
 All Class 4 Roads in Washington
 Turnpike Road from the trail crossing at Duranleau Construction to Hart Hollow Road to
No Name Road to Pepper Road to Grass Road.
 Hart Hollow from Clay Side Road where the trail system enters Leon Beede’s property.
 Hart Hollow Road from Grass Road to Turnpike Road.

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Town of Washington ATV Ordinance: draft revision 12.2023
 East Carrier Road from the trail crossing at Duranleau Construction to Carrier Road to
the Williamstown town line.
 West Corinth Road from TH-31 to East Orange Road.
 East Orange Road from the intersection with West Corinth Road to where the trail
system leaves the roadway at Farnham’s sugarhouse.
 Class 4 section of Woodchuck Hollow Road
 Class 3 and Class 4 sections of the Notch Road from the Woodchuck Hollow
intersection.

Only those all-terrain vehicles conforming to the following requirements may be operated on the town
highways listed in this Ordinance:

  1. All ATVs must be registered, insured and operated according to the requirement of 23 V.S.A Chapter
    31.
  2. Any person operating an ATV on any town highway shall have on his or her person a valid driver’s
    license, or a Vermont State Police education card (required for 12 to 17 years of age while accompanied
    by an adult).
  3. ATV operators and passengers must be in full compliance with Vermont state statues with regards to
    helmet laws when driving or riding on any town highway.
  4. ATV operators traveling on any town highway shall maintain the vehicle on the right side of the
    highway, in single file and with headlights on, at a rate of speed not exceeding the posted speed limit.
  5. A valid VASA TAD must be attached to the ATV in order for the same to be operated on VASA trails
    within the Town.
    State law provides that, during any season, an ATV that is being used for agricultural purposes on a farm
    or for forestry purposes may be operated three or more feet from the traveled portion of any highway
    within the confines of that farm or forestry operation, respectively. 23 V.S.A. § 3506.
    The selectboard has a process for opening additional town highways, and holds the right to
    open or close additional highways to ATV use at any time. This is done under a voice vote at a
    selectboard meeting. Written permission from each property owner along a class 2 or 3 roadway
    is required before the board will consider a voice vote on opening additional roadways.
    Additional Road way requests are typically made by the ATV club or the general public at a
    monthly selectboard meeting.
    SECTION 5. SPEED LIMITS AND TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES. All posted speed limits and
    traffic
    control devices on Town highways shall apply to the operation of ATVs unless otherwise posted.
    Notwithstanding the above, no person shall drive an ATV on a public right of way at a speed greater than
    is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard to the actual and potential hazards there
    existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid collision with any person,
    vehicle, bicycle, ATV, or other object on or adjacent to the ATV trail. If the trail system speed limit is
    posted lower than the highway’s posted speed, ATV’s will follow the posted speed limit for the trail
    system.
    SECTION 6. DATES AND TIMES OF OPERATION. ATVs are allowed to operate from May 15 th to
    September 30 th and from 6 7am to 10 9:30pm.

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Town of Washington ATV Ordinance: draft revision 12.2023
SECTION 7. OPERATION ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
ATV use is restricted to private property with permission, the trail system and the highways listed in this
ordinance. Pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 3506(10). ATVs shall not be operated in Carpenter Park, in any of the
Town Forest property, on school property, on VAST snowmobile trails, in any burial grounds or in any
parking lot of any church, or Town owned building. Special one-time exemption/permit may be
permitted by the Selectboard in advance.
SECTION 8. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.
Violation of this ordinance shall be a civil matter which may be enforced in the Vermont Judicial Bureau
in accordance with the provisions of 24 V.S.A. §§1974a and 1977 et seq. For purposes of enforcement in
the Judicial Bureau, any Enforcement Officer shall have authority to issue tickets and may be the
appearing officer at any hearing.
The Enforcement Officer is authorized to recover civil penalties for violations of this Ordinance or to
recover a waiver fee, in lieu of a civil penalty, in the stated amount, for any person who declines to
contest a municipal complaint and pays the waiver fee.
Failure to be registered and/or insured
Failure to wear a helmet when driving or riding
Failure to ride single file
Failure to abide by the required speed limit
Failure to attach a valid VASA TAD to the ATV
Operation during hours when operation is prohibited
Operation on public property
 1 st Offense: $150, waiver fee $50.00
 2 nd Offense $300, waiver fee $100.00
 3 rd Offense $500, waiver fee, $250.00
SECTION 9. SCHEDULED REVIEW
In the absence of an emergency situation, this ordinance will be reviewed by the selectboard every two
years. The initial review will take place in November. If there are no proposed changes, no action is
required. If changes are proposed in November, a revised draft will be on the agenda for discussion at
the December meeting. A final revised ordinance will be on the agenda for action at a late January
selectboard meeting. This ensures that if the selectboard adopts revisions to the ordinance in January
and a petition for a public vote to disapprove the newly adopted ordinance is submitted within the
required timeframe, a public vote can take place on Town Meeting Day which won’t result in an
additional expense for the Town.
Requests by the ATV Club or residents to open/close new public highways or any other revisions will be
considered at the two-year review. The selectboard supports and encourages the usual practice of Club
officials contacting property owners along any newly proposed highway to inform them of the intent to
request opening the highway to ATV usage and provide them with information related to this activity.
SECTION 10. OTHER LAWS. This Ordinance is in addition to all other ordinances of the Town

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Town of Washington ATV Ordinance: draft revision 12.2023
and all applicable laws of the State of Vermont. All ordinances or parts of ordinances,
resolutions, regulations, or other documents inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance
are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
SECTION 11. SEVERABILITY. If any section of this Ordinance is held by a court of competent
jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding shall not invalidate any other part of this Ordinance.
SECTION 12. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after its adoption
by the Selectboard. If a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A. § 1973, that statute shall govern the
taking effect of this Ordinance.
Date of adoption by the Washington VT Selectboard: March 28, 2023
Signatures of Selectboard members:
Sheila Duranleau, Chair: ______________________________________

AJ Galfetti: _________________________________________________

Robert Blanchard: ___________________________________________

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