Washington Selectboard Special Meeting
July 27, 2023
Page 1, DRAFT
Selectboard-Sheila Duranleau (Chair), AJ Galfetti, Fred Blanchard
Town employees-Josh Bell (Tree Warden), Peter Carbee (Planning, CVRPC), Lois Deberville (Town Clerk), Mike Tagliavia (Road Crew-via Zoom), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA Administrator)
Visitors- William Lyon, Billy Donovan, Matthew Oszajca, Rob Dupuis, Tim Ward, Jen Lambert
Via Zoom-James Babineau, Nick Bresette, Michele G&N, Cheri, Sara Teel
- Chair called meeting to order at 6:40 p.m. She addressed how the agenda and public comments were to be handled. Public comments allowed on agenda items, each person can speak for five minutes, then after everyone who wants to, has spoken, another round may be given for five minutes each.
- Adjustments to the agenda per Chair: accept minutes of July 20, 2023 meeting, Orange County Sheriff agreement, update on highway crew, Pray RD, bridge updates, AOT drone footage, prioritize and draft bids on roads, share bridge inspection reports, our FEMA rep, town survey and tax bill, debris removal.
- Lois had two adjustments: fees reporting requirement, citizen request.
* Update on Pray RD-AOT putting in a temporary bridge until permanent repair can be made.
* AOT did drone footage of South Poor Farm RD, McDonald RD and Notch RD, and sent it this morning to the board. Purpose is for FEMA documentation.
* Motion by AJ to accept minutes of July 20, 2023, meeting, 2nd by Fred, carried by ayes.
- McDonald road bids opening: Chair recused herself due to conflict.
- Lyon Excavation $59,350. Duranleau Construction $84,500. G&N Excavation $57,700. Avery Construction $49,430. Avery was not at the pre-bid meeting but his 2nd bid did not change from his first bid. AJ made motion to accept Avery bid, 2nd by Fred, carried by the two ayes.
- Orange County Sheriff-Sheila had contacted other police departments who do not have enough staff to take on another town. OCS contract states 2.5 hours per week. Sheila said the sheriff’s phone number given to us was one he doesn’t use, so he did not receive any of the Chair’s calls. Sheriff said emergency call 911, during the day before 4 call the OCS office, after 4 call same number and it goes to dispatch. Motion to sign the 23/24 agreement made by Fred, 2nd by AJ, carried by ayes.
- Via Zoom: Michelle G&N-from G&N Excavation concerned that Avery was not at the 2nd pre-bid meeting, asked if there was some reason no rep there. AJ: he wasn’t contacted due to all the chaos going on, wanted to make it open to all possible, all bidders were given chance to revise their original numbers, Avery did not.
- Bridge inspection reports- South Poor Farm, Hands Mill, Creamery, MacDonald mislabeled as Johnson. Chair will reach out to Michelle (Redmond) to see about Johnson. We had asked for 6 hydraulic studies. Ben: if having a return bridge inspection, on South Poor Farm Rd is there a weight limit. AJ: have to ask bridge inspection team specifically. Chair will email Michelle.
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- Sheila and Fred had met with the FEMA rep, who then visited roads with Fred.
- Update on road crew: Mike Tagliavia driving truck, he is looking at 30 hours per week, Elwin Chambers will start a week from Monday. We need two full and one part time. Elwin will be full time. Mike spoke via Zoom: he said he will give as many hours as he can as long as he’s not committed to something else.
- AJ: should contact list of contractors for bids on their time and trucking to fix the remaining roads that need work. Town will buy the material.
- Sheila: asked what process is for accepting bid. AJ: typically writes up detailed report, these are pretty clear cut as to work needing to be done. (replace culverts, ditch both sides of road) Sheila asked about writing up generic bid paper, fill in specifics. Fred: Turnpike and Ryder Roads are measured with pictures. Two culverts going in, both bigger, will give the information to AJ for bid paperwork. (formal process)
- James Babineau via Zoom: asked about Coddington RD (He had emailed a letter and picture which was shared with the board). He said no one (road crew) has been on the road since mud season, last storm really washed the road out. Still passable but becoming worse with each heavy rain. AJ: has been there, knows it needs attention, will get to it after roads in lot worse condition. It won’t be forgotten.
- Specific procurement needed for $250,000+ roads. We have to follow FEMA rules to get reimbursed and have to be put on Vermont bid registry to be made public, per Ben’s letter from state. Also need a written town procurement policy. Town moving out of the emergency stage and into the bid stage. Billy: does the Notch work include the work at the north end town line? Straddles Class 3 and Class 4. AJ: has to be determined.
- Discussion on who may be available for engineering with FEMA reimbursement.
- Tax bills will be going out with board survey on some issues. AJ will share info on right-of-way issues. Phone number of OCS will be shared along with hours and whom to call when.
- Debris removal: Peter Carbee met with emergency services and half a dozen other agencies. Next Wednesday the FEMA contractors will be in town to meet with him to determine where debris can be picked up. Peter needs a list of residents/roads for debris pickup. Concerns are where the big trucks can go and maneuver. We would otherwise need a 3-acre area for the trucks to turn around, we don’t have an available space. Ceres and TetraTech are the two FEMA approved companies. State is billed directly, no cost to the town. The state will not pay for roll-offs. Peter is attending meetings every morning for updates. Rob Dupuis said the trucks are log trucks with wide buckets and pup trailer. Town needs to know who has debris, Sheila said only seven residents reported to 211. Peter will try to push the pickup out one more week so we can get notice out.
- Peter will try to get more water testing kits.
- Ben said he spoke with Ben Rose regarding hazardous waste, it cannot go in with the debris collection. Discussion on how to remove freon from appliances, Ben said the EPA will be coming through VT and can help. Sheila will do an email blast to the residents who have registered with 211 with information.
- Applications: board had already looked through them and will call the person agreed upon.
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- Personnel policies: discussion on needing some guidance/process that is agreed upon regarding what kind of background checks are wanted. Board will check with Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) for advice. Sara Teel via Zoom: whatever questions are asked on initial application have to apply to the specific employment.
A Drug & Alcohol Policy had been adopted previously, Lois to look for a copy.
Paid leave: Discussion on how to do paid leave, sick leave (federally mandated), whether to combine or not, how to accrue and/or carry over, probation period, whether to do calendar or fiscal year, resignations/terminations, paying out or not upon resignations. Peter offered to review what Sheila’s written up thus far.
Health insurance discussion on different plans with different employer/employee percentage paid. Town needs to budget for the most expensive plan whether or not it’s used. We want to get a plan that people can afford, and provides coverage and benefits.
Sara Teel: some employers offer a stipend in lieu of a plan. Sheila said VLCT advises against it because it adds to a salary for tax purposes, but that doesn’t mean the town can’t do it as a health stipend.
Concerns over cost of plan, town will be over budget this year.
Sheila will send the outstanding areas they are still working on to the VLCT for review.
In lieu of a personnel policy not yet being in place, a motion was made by AJ to have Labor Day be a paid holiday, 2nd by Fred, carried by ayes.
- Lois reported that Regina Manning called about a pile of rocks that have been near her home for 3+ years. She would like permission to use the rocks to fix the area between her driveway and the road. The board gave approval for Regina to do so. Lois said that per Vermont statute, the town clerk is required to publicly disclose the total amount of fees received as part of his or her compensation during the fiscal year. She sought advice from a VLCT staff attorney of how that should be done, and it was recommended that it be posted in two public places, and in or near the town clerk’s office. Lois is using the minutes of this meeting to post in two public places and near the town clerk’s office in disclosing that she received $3077 in recording fees since taking office, through June 30, 2023. She also had not realized that she was entitled to some of the dog license fees and asked if the board would allow her to collect it. The board agreed. The total from dog license fees is $160.00.
- Billy asked how board left things with Otterman (construction). AJ said it’s a public road, no bridge there so no weight limit.
Cheri via Zoom: wants to know if we will revisit the Drug & Alcohol policy. AJ said he has a copy.
- Tim Ward brought invoices for work done on flood-damaged roads with breakdowns of each. He explained work done, people/trucks hired. Invoices given to Ben.
- AJ made motion to adjourn at 8:20 p.m., 2nd by Fred, carried by ayes.
Respectfully submitted by Lois Deberville, Town Clerk
- This is a draft subject to amendment and/or approval at the next selectboard meeting.