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JULY 2, 2008

Selectboard: Gary Katz, Jeff Gouger, Guy Wachtel, Joe Mandell, Peter Rysz
Also Present: Ed Druke, Chauncey Berdan, Judy Egan, Gunther Garbe, Michael Gould, Virginia Grabowski, Frank Suponski, Steve Levine, Myra Fassler, Jon Julian

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Gary Katz, Chair.

June 19, 2008 – The board reviewed the minutes. J. Mandell made a motion to approve the minutes as written. G. Wachtel seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously.

June 30, 2008 – The Board reviewed the minutes. G. Wachtel made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Joe Mandell seconded the motion. Discussion: Peter commented that there was an omission in the minutes, he wanted it as a matter of record that he had objected to the reporter from Brattleboro Reformer expressing her opinion, as she’s not a resident of Newfane. Further discussion ensued, and possible changes suggested. The vote was 3 in favor of approving the minutes as written, 1 against, and 1 abstention. Motion carried. Minutes were approved as written.


Road Foreman/Road Commissioner’s Report: See attached report.

Gary reported that he met with John Alexander at the Covered Bridge. As the possibility of money from the state is still remote, John Alexander suggested that the town use cold patch to fill in the holes in the deck. So far, that is holding fine. John also suggested that if the town puts the $55,000.00 into the deck, the State may decide to hold off on the re-build for another 5 years. Todd noted that Renaud was going to try to call the state and inquire about what happened. Also, he will try to sell the lumber he’s ordered to get his money back.

Joe noted that Walter Phelps handed him a note stating that replacing the planks on the bridge would be fairly simple. Todd responded that they could do that but it brings them back to the fact that there’s nothing to bolt the decking to.

Gary reported that John Alexander and he also visited Stratton Hill Bridge, and two bridges on Hunter Brook Road, to check any abutment deterioration, John said that if it looks like more separation occurs at the base, we there are fixes that can be done to avoid any fines.

Excess Weight Permits: None Received.

Radway Road project: Gary signed the letter to Mercede, but the town has not heard back. Peter noted that there has been concern about the area not being marked as a private way, so the town faces liability, Todd responded that they have placed rocks, trees, and signs blocking it, but they continue to be moved.

This portion of the meeting was tabled to allow the Scheduled Members of the Public to arrive.


Zoning Bylaw: Gunther Garbe and Chauncey Berdan were present to present the Draft Zoning Bylaw to the board. They noted that the Selectboard needs to schedule a hearing within the next 120 days. The board will need to place a Legal Notice in the paper, hold the hearing, vote to accept the changes, or send it back to the planning commission for further action.

As it is the board’s responsibility to review the bylaw and suggest changes, the board decided to take the Draft Bylaw for review, and tabled the scheduling of the Hearing until the next meeting.

Judy asked why the Auditor had been meeting with personnel and members of the board. Gary explained that the Auditor comes in each year to get background information for planning the year’s audit. The basic point was focusing on an issue that had been brought forth by the previous board. No direction was given by the current board.


Old County Road: Frank Suponski was present to discuss Old County Road and the letter he received from the board. He stated concerns about Conflict of Interest. Frank agreed to take out the culvert and put a water bar back in, and to go in and clean up all the trees, and take the brush out of there. The board asked Todd what he thought about Frank’s proposal. Todd noted that the only issue he saw was that the water bar needed to be a little more defined. Gary asked the board that given that Frank is willing to do what needs to be done, it strikes him that the remaining concerns are issues that logically might be resolved among affected property owners. Guy noted that she wasn’t happy about the damaged trees, but noted that she couldn’t do much about that, but felt that the Town has some responsibility since they gave Suponski permission. Gary read Marcia’s letter regarding the damage that she was concerned about as well as her wishes for mitigation.

Todd stated that his concern is that if the town gets involved in this issue, it would create a precedent for every dispute on every private road in Newfane.

Michael Gould noted that the difference was that this wasn’t caused by mother nature, it was caused by man. The board scheduled a site visit for July 17th at 5:45 p.m.

Frank said he would be willing to deliver the wood to Irving Pike’s house, but that he would not be willing to deliver firewood to farther destinations.

Discussion ensued regarding the board’s responsibility to deal with disputes between neighbors, and whether this instance was different because it occurred in a town right-of-way.
After lengthy discussion, the consensus of the board was that it is the board’s responsibility.

Michael Gould noted that Marcia Melnyk’s intention was to turn a negative situation into a positive one, by having the offender do the work to mitigate the problem, and at the same time, benefit someone in need.


Jon Julian noted that the General Store Group has been organizing an LLC, they’ve met with the Health Dept., have hired an attorney to help with the necessary paper work.

The Williamsville Hall Committee had questions regarding Use Policy, as there is an inconsistency regarding the need for renters to have insurance coverage. After discussion, the board decided to table the discussion until it was warned specifically on the agenda, as well as to give time for a VLCT PACIF underwriter to be able to attend.

Gary noted that Attorney Steve Saltonstall is reviewing the policy coverage for the town as well, and hopefully that information will be available as well.

The Store Committee noted that in an article written by Nicole Orne for the Reformer, it was incorrectly stated that they asked the town for money to build the outside staircase, and they wanted to reiterate that anything that the store committee does will not cost the town any money, and will be raised by the store committee.

Discussion ensued regarding the board’s willingness to approve of the General Store before the Store Committee does more research work, or money on projects.

Chauncey Berdan stated that he would like to see a total package presented, regarding use, plans, in detail before any decision is made.

Myra Fassler noted that the Store Committee has been pursuing different avenues, but that if we shouldn’t be, they should know that. If the board approves of the concept, then the Store Committee can continue to go ahead.

J. Mandell made a motion to approve of the general concept of a non-profit general store in the downstairs of the Williamsville Hall, at no cost to the town. G. Wachtel seconded. Discussion:
Gunther Garbe noted that this project is converting a social hall into a commercial space, which is a change of use. A formal relationship between the town and the committee needs to be formed. Gunther noted that a commercial business cannot be operated within a municipal building, and that they need to own the building separate. All that needs to be decided before a decision is made.

VOTE: 4 in favor. 1 opposed. Motion passes.

Joe wanted to mention that Judy was instrumental in getting the Williamsville Hall going and she should be thanked.

Discussion continued regarding the plans for the store, and the board’s request for a full detailed plan for this concept. Jeff wanted to know, if the town sold the building for a dollar, how the committee would go about maintaining it. The board asked if the Committee could address the points brought up during discussion in a detailed report by the next meeting.


G. Wachtel made a motion to enter Executive Session. J. Mandell seconded. Jeff and Peter were asked to recuse themselves.

Disscussion regarding the purpose of the Executive Session: Gary explained that it was to sign an agreement with PACIF in relation to what’s happening at this point in time, and that it is a standard procedure that’s used in these types of cases. Joe questioned why this should be in Executive Session. Gary stated that at the advice of the insurer, we need to do this in Executive Session. Board entered executive session at 8:32 p.m.

8:45 p.m. A motion to sign the non-waiver agreement was made by G. Wachtel. J. Mandell seconded. Unanimous, with J. Gouger and P. Rysz recusing themselves.

Rules of Procedure: Gary read the Roberts Rules handout printed by Joe Mandell. Discussion about the use of Roberts Rules as it relates to less formal boards, smaller boards. A suggestion that the board refer to Roberts Rules as questions arise. G. Wachtel made a motion to adopt the Rules of Procedure for Selectboards. J. Gouger second. Discussion: The board will review what Joe provided. The Rules of Procedure can be amended as needed. Unanimous.

Conflict of Interest: Tabled.

Law Enforcement Contracts: Jeff Gouger reported that after his research, his suggestion is to cut the Vermont State Police Contract from 166 hours to140 hours, and award the additional hours to the Sheriff’s Department, for weight enforcement and to specify directly, that those extra hours go to only weight enforcement.

G. Wachtel moved to authorize Jeff to talk to Sheriff and see if he can go along with the 26 hours of enforcement, and if so, he has the authority to make that decision and sign the agreement, with the understanding that it’s in addition to any excess weight enforcement that would have already been budgeted by them. J. Mandell seconded. Unanimous.


Town Treasurer: Gary read Maureen’s email that outlined her concerns regarding rumors circulating about her performance. The board will give her a letter showing that she didn’t do anything wrong and state openly at the Town Meeting that the deficit is not her fault. The board didn’t feel that it was an unreasonable request. Gary asked if it be okay with the board if he talked to Maureen. The board was comfortable with that.

Jonathan Bodge: Gary read letter regarding property owner dispute. The board look into it and respond. The board authorized Shannon to write a letter, stating that the board will look into any possible remedies.

Laflamme/VanDyke: Peter Rysz went to court, representing the Board, with the attorney, but Van Dyke/LaFlamme failed to appear. Arrest warrants were issued.

Elana Baron needs the board to authorize her to contact the Judicial Bureau to get three certified copies of the Original Judgements. G. Wachtel made the motion. P. Rysz seconded. Unanimous.

Shannon will contact someone for prices on removing the trailer.

Overweight Truck Committee: Letter received from Judy Egan regarding the committee. Motion made by J. Mandell and seconded by G. Wachtel to renew the committee, with membership consisting of Bryan, Judy, and Fred.

Discussion regarding the differences between committees, sub-committees, and task forces.
Gary’s inclination was that, unless the board has a specific charge for them, they don’t need to renew. In the absence of the board having a specific charge, there will be no need to renew it. If there are any other charges, they can reform it. The motion was withdrawn.

10. PAY ORDERS: – Jeff Gouger made a motion to approve the pay orders as follows. Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Pay Orders: 07/03/08 - $11,121.35
06/30/08 - $5204.48

Payroll: 06/25/08 - $2,824.43
07/02/08 - $3,154.55
04/02/08 - $3,282.45

IRS Electronic Payment:
07/02/08 - $906.63
07/09/08 - $1021.67
07/09/08 - $612.86


Motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Jeff Gouger to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m. Unanimous.

Respectfully Submitted,
Shannon Meckle

Posted: Town Clerk's Office, Newfane Store, W.W. Building Supply,
S. Newfane/Williamsville Post Office and the South Newfane General Store & Deli.
(after approval)

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