May 24, 2021 Minutes – DRAFT
Mike Klopchin, Chair
Bob Bixby, Clerk
Heidi Congdon, Treasurer
Katie Nop, Secretary
William Chmielewski, PEG-TV
Ed Bove, RRPC
Steffanie Bourque, RRPC
Call to Order
Chairman Klopchin called the meeting to order at 6PM.
Selectman Bixby requested a moment of silence to remember our fallen heroes in observance of Memorial Day (5/31).
Selectman Congdon motioned to add a discussion about cemetery maintenance under Old Business, and Selectman Ruane seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Selectman Congdon motioned to add an executive session to discuss the legalities of a flag located on Airport Road; Selectman Bixby seconded and all approved.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Selectman Congdon motioned to approve the regular meeting minutes from May 10 subject to any corrections, Selectman Bixby seconded and all approved. There were no errors.
Selectman Congdon motioned to go out of order per the agenda and skip to Steffanie Bourque and Ed Bove. Selectman Ruane seconded and the motion passed unopposed.
Steffanie Bourque, RRPC, Local Hazard Mitigation Plan- Steffanie presented the current working draft of the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP). Cash Ruane, Matt Jakubowski, Katie Nop, and herself make up the Clarendon Planning Team and have worked on this for several months. Steffanie has facilitated the meetings and drafted it so it will meet all the current federal requirements. The Plan has to meet FEMA approval. The last LHMP was completed in 2016 and expired early this year. Steffanie included a review tool for the Board to show them what was required for preliminary approval to VT Emergency Management. She explained that the Planning Team is following their agreed upon process for this Plan. The current draft has reached a critical milestone that now requires public input. After the 14 day public comment period has concluded the Team will continue on working through the sections. The next step will be presenting the final plan to the Board later this summer, than submitting to Vermont Emergency Management, approval/adoption by the Board, and lastly, submission to FEMA. Steffanie explained that notices have been posted in multiple locations to inform the public about the comment period. Comments will be accepted through June 7. Steffanie walked the Board through the different sections of the plan. The next planning team meeting will be June 10.
Ed Bove- RRPC, AARPA funds- According to Ed’s calculations he thinks the Town may be eligible to receive about $240,000 give or take. Legislation is still deciding how the funds will be used. So far, it sounds like the funds must be used for Covid 19 related projects, broadband, wastewater, and water supply, and housing. Ed explained that VLCT has hired someone specifically to help answer questions about these funds. RRPC will be available to answer questions as well but will mainly help with project planning and implementation. Chairman Klopchin questioned what Clarendon might be eligible for with the funds. Ed asked the Town to start thinking what might be on their wish list. The Board immediately thought that funds would be helpful for the roads. Unfortunately, these moneys cannot be used towards roads. Ed advised to start thinking about anything that needs to be done or updated and then try to think how it may relate to one of the above-mentioned categories. Right now, it’s a waiting game until legislation is finalized on how these funds can be spent. The Board discussed how they would like upgrade the Town Garage. Selectman Bixby mentioned his interest in seeing a waste water system in the village. Money is retroactive from March 1, 2021 through December 31, 2024.
Road Commissioner Report- The Road Crew has been busy grading roads and hopefully by Thursday all Town roads will have been graded. They received another load of MagChloride, the product used for dust control. Cash is hoping to get the roads ready to pave, depending on grant awards. Selectman Congdon passed on praise from a resident of Sunny Hill Drive who said that the road has vastly improved since the Town taking it over. Selectman Bixby asked if the new truck was back from the shop. Viking ordered the wrong wiring harness and that has caused delays so it’s still there. Cash said that he has been doing research on different excavators and will be looking at 2 different ones tomorrow.
Approval of Select Board Warrants
All new warrants and warrants previously signed by the designated Select Board Member were approved and signed by all Select Board Members.
Uniforms discussion- Katie let the Board know that the Unifirst contract expires June 28. The Board had decided during budget season that they would discontinue working with Unifirst to cut costs, and instead issue a stipend to the Highway Dept. employees for their uniforms. The stipend for the year will be $500/employee beginning July 1. Katie asked the Board when and how they would like to distribute the money. Heidi, Treasurer, had suggested a policy be made regarding a uniform stipend. Selectman Congdon asked the Board if the money should be issued to them in a lump sum or quarterly based. He also questioned if it will be reimbursable. The Board discussed ordering coveralls for the Road Crew so their uniforms wouldn’t be as soiled. The Board asked Katie, Cash, and Heidi to look over the personnel policy and come up with recommendations and to draft up a policy for the uniform stipend.
Cemetery Maintenance – Heidi spoke on behalf of this issue. She explained that Chippenhook had only been mowed once and there are dead tree limbs on the ground. The Board discussed that the Marsh Cemetery fence line was not getting mowed the entire length. Her recommendation was that Katie speak with the mowing company and remind them of their contractual obligations. Selectman Congdon asked that that this issue get taken care of tomorrow because of the upcoming holiday (Memorial Day). Katie asked if the trees had been trimmed at the Smith Pratt Button Cemetery. Chairman Klopchin asked Katie to contact Kevin to set up a time to trim the trees.
Firework Permit- Katie read an email from Jeremy Bishop that demonstrated his compliance with the fireworks permitting process. Selectman Congdon motioned to approve his permit for July 4, Selectman Ruane seconded, and all approved.
VMERS audit engagement letter- Heidi explained that Clarendon was selected for an audit on the information that they submit for retirement information for FY20. Sullivan Powers will be doing the audit. Heidi presumes this will go very smoothly; she has all the data pulled for it. A Sullivan Powers rep will be here June 10 to review information. Selectman Congdon motioned to engage in the audit and have the Board members sign the letter; Selectman Bixby seconded. The motion passed unopposed.
Transfer Station metal pile- Katie explained that she had played phone tag with RCSWD and Casella to try to sort out the issues regarding Clarendon’s metal bin at the transfer station. Casella was upset with Clarendon for having appliances that contained freon in the pile, as well as propane tanks. To correct this issue, RCSWD suggested banning those appliances. Selectman Congdon motioned that the transfer station will not accept appliances with freon and have Katie order signs for the Transfer Station relaying this info; Selectman Bixby seconded and all approved. Selectman Congdon further motioned that the Transfer Station not accept propane tanks, Selectman Bixby seconded, all approved. Selectman Congdon also motioned that Katie include “no propane tanks” in the signage. Selectman Bixby seconded and the motion passed unopposed.
Town Officer’s Report
Selectman Congdon motioned to go into executive session not to exceed 15 mins (7:22PM) to discuss legal issues, Selectman Ruane seconded, and all Board members approved.
Selectman Ruane motioned to come out of executive session at 7:29PM, Selectman Congdon seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
There was a legal discussion regarding a flag on Airport Road, one of which contains an obscenity. The Town has gone to the extent that they can do to resolve this issue, and there is nothing further the Town can do to take action.
Select Board Member Concerns
Selectman Ruane asked the Board how to handle a noise issue on Middle Road. The Board said there’s not much they can do as there is no noise ordinance in Town. Selectman Bixby expressed his concern about cars and motorcycles speeding through the village. Katie said she would mention it to the Sheriff’s Department.
Selectman Congdon motioned to adjourn at 7:34PM, Selectman Ruane seconded, and all approved.