Selectboard Minutes, 05.22.2023

Monday, May 22, 2023, 6:30 p.m., 236 School Road, Guilford, VT


SELECTBOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Zon Eastes, Chair, Verandah Porche, Michael Becker, Tara Cheney, Rusty Marine

OFFICIALS/ STAFF PRESENT:  Erika Elder (Town Administrator) Daniel Zumbruski (Road Commissioner)

PRESENT in person: Austin Rice (BCTV), Mark & Sheryl Ewen, Paul Belogour, Steve Lembke, Jared Bristol

PRESENT via Zoom: Deborah McNeil, Tiana Smith (GMP) Donny Mills (GMP), Lesley Malouin, Christina Belogour, Don McLean, Barry Aleshnick, Sheila Adams, Michael Burke (GMP), Kyle Parker, Jason Herron, Anna Klein, Nancy Detra, Steve Petersen, Marty Ramsburg & Frank Larkin, Lori Robillard. James Haine, Cynthia Clark

  1. Call to Order at 6:30 (ESTIMATED Time)
  1. Rules of Procedure (2 minutes)
  1. Welcoming of Public     Community Comment Period (10 minutes)
    1. GVFD: Jared Bristol: Open house will be June 11 9:30-3:30, The March snowstorm was busy with 45 mutual aid calls. Jared is working with Dan Ingold on Emergency Management, Suggests publicizing Mutual Aid information in the Gazette.
  1. Changes to Agenda Order (2 minutes) NONE
  1. Approval of Minutes (2 minutes; Action: Motion)
    1. Minutes of the regular meeting of 05.08.23: Michael Moved and Verandah seconded to approve the Minutes of the regular meeting of 05.08.23 as written. Vote was by voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
  1. Updates & Reports
    1. Highway (5 minutes)
    2. Green Mountain Power: Tiana Smith, Michael Burke, Don Mills from GMP. GMP is currently carbon-free, 78% renewable. Storm trend is more severe, with damaging heavy water. Working on resiliency, grid storage for micro-grids, storm-hardening. Guilford-specific projects. March storm response, crews from Canada and several states. Want to improve communication to customers.
  1. Old Business
    1. Selectboard Annual Goals: appoint subcommittee (5 minutes) (ACTION: Motion)
      Zon Moved to appoint two members to a  Selectboard Goals subcommittee. Verandah seconded. Tara and Veranda volunteered to serve on the Goals subcommittee. Zon amended the Motion to appoint Tara & Verandah as Selectboard Goals subcommittee. Vote was by Voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
    2. Newspaper of Record: Budget considerations (5 minutes) (Action, Motion)
      Erika: Rate for The Commons is $15 per column inch. The Reformer is $27 per column inch plus $10 online charge. Some Notices can be shorter and refer to website. Veranda: would like to use both papers because of the different audiences.
      Veranda moved to post notices in both Commons and Reformer. Tara seconded. Paul Belogour: The Reformer circulation is 10,000 print and online with 250,000 online unique site visits. He can help Town negotiate better prices. Vote was by Voice. Four were in favor. Rusty opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. Zon: We will watch this spending for budget reasons.
    3. Speeding Traffic on Guilford Roads (10 minutes) (DISCUSSION)
      1. Law Enforcement Spending History: Erika: Prior to discontinuing, Guilford was paying $2,000-$6,000 annually for approximately 8 hours of police presence per month. 
      2. Speed Limits throughout town (DISCUSSION)
        Michael: If engaged, can we tell the Sheriff where to station the patrol cars?
        Erika: In order to change speed limits, we need to do a study. Verandah: We should encourage people to go  the speed limit. Radar signs are working well, we have a quote for additional signs, which are in the budget. 
        Jason H: These signs could be seen as an advertisement that there are no police. The signs are only for law-abiding people. Police presence is worth it.
    4. Part-time summer hire for Highway crew (5 minutes) (ACTION: Motion) Verandah Moved and Rusty seconded to approve the Part time hire. Jason H: Has this been approved by voters? Vote was by Voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.  
    5. Jason Herron, current standing of Second Appeal to Superior Court (5 minutes) (DISCUSSION) On May 1 the Town received communication of suit filed in Windham Superior court. In Nov. 2021 SB approved Engagement of Monaghan Safar. This  communication was shared with counsel, who is advising. SB has not met or discussed the matter. When filing is properly served, the suit can be clarified. Jason: Who contacted the Town’s law firm? They asked the law firm to dismiss a case. Jason feels this constitutes an Open Meeting Violation. 
  1. New Business
    1. Potash Drive standing (15 minutes) (DISCUSSION, possible ACTION)
      Potash Drive discontinuation was not completed in 2018. At that time, the Selectboard voted to discontinue the road, and it has been maintained by private landowners since then. Three interests: Belogours, Ewens, and the Town. The Town is waiting for more information before approving the Ewens’ Driveway Permit. Belogours could request discontinuation again. Mark Ewen: It’s a Class 3 Paved Road. We should clarify the ownership. Paul Belogour: would like to place the request to discontinue. Verandah: Once info is gathered, will mediation be an option? Zon: VLCT may be able to offer support for that. 
    2. Parking at Green River Bridge Inn (5 minutes) (DISCUSSION, possible ACTION)
      The Inn needs to request additional parking: Michael & Rusty volunteered to subcommittee.
      (ACTION: Motion) Zon moved to appoint Michael and Rusty as subcommittee to explore parking at Green River Bridge Inn. Verandah seconded. Vote was by voice. Four were in favor. None were opposed. Zon abstained. Motion carried.  
    3. Weatherhead Hollow Paving  RFP, approve preferred vendor (5 minutes) (ACTION: Motion) Bazin total: $313,038, All States total $332,013. Michael moved to approve the Bazin proposal, Tara seconded. Jason Herron: Guilford has 65 miles of roads, why are we repaving already paved roads and not paving dirt road? Dan Zumbruski: Guilford has 13 miles of paved roads, Dan sets the maintenance schedule. Some dirt roads may not be suitable for paving. Jason Herron: Kids and emergency vehicles can’t get through. Vote was by voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.  
    4. Repair Ditching – 4 Segments  RFP, approve preferred vendor (5 minutes) (ACTION: Motion) TABLED Zon moved to Table Michael seconded. Vote was by voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.  
  1. Finance  (5 minutes; ACTION: Motion)
    • Warrants      
Payroll – WE 05.14.23$7,554.82
Payroll – WE 05.21.23$7,588.27
Expense Warrant #2322$32,022.61
Expense Warrant #2322F$182.50
Expense Warrant #2321F$170.50
Expense Warrant#2322D$378.86

Tara Moved to pay the Warrants. Zon seconded. Vote was by voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.        

  1. Other Business
    1. Correct Minutes of 05.03.23 Selectboard Goals Workshop to reflect Rusty Marine’s attendance. (Action: MOTION) Verandah moved to correct the Minutes.  Zon seconded. Vote was by voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried. 
  1. Communications (5 minutes)
    Mike Bocon, public nudity questions
  1. Actions from Previous Meeting
    1. Approved 4.24.23 Minutes 
    2. Approved MERP application
    3. Approved Commons as Newspaper of Record
    4. Approved 5 Liquor License Applications
    5. Approved Warrants
  1. Action Taken
  1. Approved minutes
  2. Named Tara and Veranda as SB Goals subcommittee 
  3. Named both Reformer and Commons as Newspaper of Record
  4. Approved part-time Highway Crew
  5. Named Michael and Rusty to subcommittee on Green River Inn parking
  6. Bazin Paving approved for Weatherhead Hollow paving job
  7. Tabled Ditching Repair Bid
  8. Approved Warrants
  1. Actions to be Taken
  1. Work on Potash Drive issues
    Jason Herron: The SB should vote to contact attorney about this. Zon: That’s not correct.
  2. Further consideration on speeding traffic
  3. Approve bid on Repair Ditching four segments
  1. Adjournment
    Rusty moved to adjourn. Vote was by Voice. All were in favor. None were opposed. No one abstained. Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 8:31 p.m.

Next Meeting Monday, June 5, 2023 at 6:30pm

Meeting video: