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Present: Ellen Darrow, Joseph Mandell, Peter Rysz, Guy Wachtel
Absent: Dan Dewalt
Also Present: Shannon Meckle as Administrative Assistant, Piet van Loon, Gunther Garbe, Todd Lawley, Christopher Williams, Katy Robinson

The meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m.


July 19, 2007: The minutes were reviewed and the following changes were made:

- Item # 3, Bridge 14: the word “one” was missing and should read “one foot.”
- Administrative Assistant’s Report: The Approved Amendment to the Administrative Assistant’s Job Description should be attached and filed.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the minutes of July 19, 2007. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

August 2, 2007: The minutes were reviewed. Gunther Garbe asked whether the Article pertaining to the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer took precedent over the approval of the Selectboard’s approval of raising the hourly rate of pay for the Town Clerk’s assistant. Discussion ensued. The total sum of salary for the year would not change, however, because the assistant would be working less hours at a higher rate of pay.

The following changes were made to the minutes by the board:

- Item #3F, Bridge 14: Strike the paragraph that began, “ as it was repeated from the July 19th minutes.
- Item #____ Roadside Mowing: “X” amount of miles of bandrail. It is still an unknown how many total miles of bandrail there is. The amount should be taken from the original Bid, and filled in.
- Administrative Assistant’s Report: The Administrative Assistant’s Report stated that the bid specifications for Grimes Hill Road were revised, however they were not revised, but rather some contractors took a different approach to their bidding. The Administrative Assistant’s Report was in the minutes in the form of an attachment.

Gary Katz commented regarding #4B – Rock River Public Access, in which the board approved an expenditure of $1,000.00 of matching funds for a feasibility study, that if the budget is tight, perhaps more thought should be taken before approving such expenditures. The board requested that the discussion be tabled until later in the meeting, so that the minutes could be approved.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the August 2, 2007 minutes as amended by the board.
Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.

August 7, 2007: The minutes were reviewed. Peter Rysz made a motion to accept the August 7, 2007 minutes. Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. The minutes were approved, with three members in favor of approving. Ellen Darrow abstained.

August 8, 2007: The minutes were reviewed and the following changes were made: Under the estimated costs of the culvert: Zaluzny will credit the town for the culvert based on his (Zaluzny’s) cost, but NOT the town’s cost. This portion of the minutes should be reworded to state: “The cost to be reduced by Zaluzny’s cost of the culvert, and Zaluzny will let the board know what that cost is.”

Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 8, 2007 meeting as amended. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The minutes were approved, with three members in favor of approving. Ellen Darrow abstained.

ACCESS/RIGHT OF WAY PERMITS: Thomas Bloom has applied for an Access/Right of Way Permit to change his existing permit from a temporary logging access to permanent. Todd commented that he did look at the site, and doesn’t see a problem with approving it, as long as he ditches it so that water doesn’t go into South Wardsboro Road, as it has been an issue in the past. The permit was approved.

Roadside Mowing Bid: Mike Fontaine from the Town of Brookline was present to report that Brookline has agreed to accept O’Maple for roadside mowing. Todd’s recommendation for Newfane was the same, and the board had approved Newfane’s portion with the condition that Todd contact O’Meara to work within the budget. O’Meara is willing to cut out whatever roads do not need to be done and adjust the price accordingly, and also, any overage can come from the gravel budget, which will have a surplus.

Paving Bid: Mike Fontaine reported that the Town of Brookline also decided to use Whitcombs for paving, as did Newfane. The Newfane portion of the bid had been previously approved, subject to Brookline’s decision.

The Administrative Assistant will send out the letters to the successful bidders for Newfane.

Road Commissioner’s Report: Christopher Williams reported that he’s been on vacation, and has only briefly met with Todd since he’s been back. His major concern as Road Commissioner is the covered Bridge. Something needs to be done. It is almost time for school to start, and winter is coming. The school buses and commuters cannot use Parish Hill as a detour. It’s not safe to do. He recommended that a temporary bridge be put in. Lag bolts are coming up every day, and traffic cannot go around.

Peter Rysz gave a report on the work he’s been doing on temporary bridge options. He has contacted Renaud, and Windham Regional Commission. Matt Mann at WRC is on vacation until this coming Monday, August 20, 2007, but wanted people to know that they’ve been working with everyone possible to get it moving. Renaud was going to get the board three different proposals for a temporary bridge, and he had hoped that it would come before the meeting, but it hadn’t.

Judy Egan asked what the time frame is for the temporary bridge.

The board stated that the rehab for the Covered Bridge is slated for 2009, but that with the condition of the bridge, and the concerns that the town has, it could be moved up; however right now priority is trying to get the money for a temporary bridge now so that the Town an stop spending money fixing the bridge.

Jeff Hayes, a property owner adjacent to the covered bridge, commented that he sees that the bridge has major problems and supports the town’s efforts to correct the problem. His concern is that the temporary bridge will become a defacto permanent bridge because the urgency will not be there as it is now.

Peter Rysz answered that the money is earmarked with the Federal Government for the Covered Bridge Rehab for 2009, which is very likely that it will come through. The state now has to come up with its portion of the funds for 2009.

Jeff Hayes noted that he wanted his concerns on record: that the temporary bridge will become permanent and will be an out for the state not to fix the bridge.

It was reiterated that the current bridge situation is a safety and liability issue, as well as a financial issue.

The timing of the temporary bridge and the covered bridge rehab was discussed further. It was noted that the bridge problem doesn’t just effect Newfane residents, as Dover Road is a through road from East Dover to Route 30.

Road Foreman’s Report: See attached Report.

In addition to his report, the road foreman discussed the following:

• Radway Hill Road: The speed limit has been changed from 35 to 25 miles per hour. Notice has been posted and sent to the Reformer.
• Grimes Hill Road: Todd talked to John Alexander who said to not pave the swale. Mike Fitzpatrick said some money will come off the original bid then, because of the price of the pavement; although some of that money will have to be put back in for stone to line the swale. The bid acceptance needs to be signed and returned to Fitzpatrick, and then it can be started in September.
• Culhane Corner: Todd stated that he went by and everything looks good. Culvert is in. It looks like they’ve ditched and put stone in; there is filter fabric about four feet up the bank.
• FEMA: Joe explained that FEMA held back about $130,000 that should have been paid, and the town must appeal. He spoke to some different agencies earlier in the day and had some encouraging conversations. Todd and Joe will get together Friday morning to work on the appeal. Until the appeal happens, FEMA withholds the entire amount to be paid.
A member of the public stated his concern regarding bales of hay that had been placed in an abutting land owner’s field entrance. More bales have been added, and the runoff is now entering his property and causing damage. The Highway Department will go and look at it and remove whatever is necessary. It was suggested that they bill the land owner for the highway crew’s time to go and remove the bales.

Guy Wachtel made a motion that the Highway Crew go and remove any additional items blocking the opening above and beyond what they had put there and send a bill.

Discussion ensued regarding the town’s responsibility to keep the original bales of hay, and taking pictures first of what is there before moving anything.

Guy Wachtel amended his motion to leave it to Todd’s discretion as to how many bales of hay, if any should remain. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


VELCO/CVPS: Kerrick Johnson from VELCO, Tim Upton from CVPS and Bill Somebody from Somewhere gave a technical presentation regarding their preliminary plans to run transmission lines through Dummerston and Newfane. This would be 51 miles of line running from Vernon to the Ludlow/Cavendish line. These are just preliminary plans, and no decisions have been made as to which option they will actually apply for Section 248, Public Service Board, Certificate of Public Good.

The applicants are just giving information at this point, but would like to request an initial indication of the boards’ thoughts by September 19. This is of course preliminary, and the board reserves the right to hold public meetings and stay involved during the whole process.

Two members of the Dummerston Planning Commission were also present for the presentation.

It was the consensus of the board that there is enough interest that the town should hold public meetings on this issue.

It was noted that closer to Dummerston, there are some Newfane residents that may be affected by the transmission lines, as Lost Mile Road is in Newfane, and needs to be considered when notifying land owners.

The board will make a statement for the applicants at a later date.

TRAFFIC CALMING COMMITTEE: Chris Petrak reviewed his Report to the Selectboard, dated August 16, 2007.

The Traffic Calming Committee’s Recommendation was to put flexible signs on the center lines. He reviewed the specs of the signs, and noted that the cost of a sign with two 25 mph signs (so it’s visible from both directions) is about $82.00 plus shipping and handling. The base would be bolted to the asphalt and removed on November 1, or prior to the first forecasted snow storm. These are not permitable on state highways, however because it is a deliberate decision of the board and not an inadvertent action, according to the Committee’s interpretation of the statute, it is permitable in this case.

The issue of safety was discussed, as well as logical placement of the signs.

Paul Bowen, a Williamsville resident, noted that the speed of the bridge traffic is a concern as well; and that trucks ignore the signs for height restrictions on the bridge until they get to it and end up backing into his driveway to turn around.

Chris reiterated that the Committee is continuing to look at all signs in the community.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the placement of two delineator signs as recommended by the Traffic Calming Committee, providing the committee consults with Todd as to where the signs be placed. Peter Rysz seconded the motion.

Discussion: Liability of the Town was discussed, in the event that someone had damage done to their vehicle by one of the signs; the discussion of deliberate vs. inadvertent action as presented in the statute (purposeful deviation) was discussed again as well.

The vote was unanimous.

The other sign, which was donated by Walter Phelps, is easily movable, so it can be put out and taken back in. Chris Petrak has volunteered to do this, and would like it placed just beyond Bridge 14, near his home. The committee will try the bolted down ones in the Williamsville village, and if they work well, the committee will request the same type for South Newfane as well next year.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the placement of the temporary, movable 25 mph delineator at the West end of South Newfane, beyond Bridge 14. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The third recommendation of the Traffic Calming Committee was to replace the yield sign at the Arch Bridge with a stop sign and a “Yield to Bridge Traffic” sign placed under the stop signs (the Dover Road one to be placed, and the current Grimes Hill Road stop sign.)

Guy Wachtel made a motion to suggest to Todd the change of signs and authorize Joe to talk to Todd regarding these changes to be made.

Discussion: The benefits of the wording “Yield to Bridge Traffic” vs. “One Lane Bridge” was discussed, as was general traffic rules that should be followed, but generally aren’t.

Guy Wachtel withdrew his motion in the interest of discussing it with Todd and possibly law enforcement officials.

It was also noted that the foliage on the banks creates an obstruction, making it impossible to see if anyone’s coming over the bridge. Todd has spoken with some of the land owners in that area, and will be taking care of the foliage in the near future.

The legality of adding certain signs that aren’t uniform was discussed. It would be treated s an advisory sign and not a regulatory sign.

Peter Rysz made a motion to approve installation of a stop sign as well as a “Yield to Bridge Traffic” sign under both stop signs (Dover Road and Grimes Hill Road). Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

The last recommendation of the Traffic Calming Committee is that the Highway Department continue to undertake the project of replacing and repairing damaged road signs. Guy Wachtel commented that the crew has been out working on them as they can. Todd, Chris and the rest of the highway crew are busy. But if any member of the public notices a sign that needs attention, send an email, with the specific sign, to a Selectboard Member, and they will forward it to Todd. The board reiterated that the highway crew is working on it, but with rebuilding roads, and other flood damage, they have to prioritize.

Joe Mandell announced that Roger Whitcomb will be meeting the board at the schoolhouse near Bridge 14, on August 30, 2007 at 4:30 pm. to stake out the preliminary drawings that VTrans has come up with.

Peter Lilienthal voiced his concerns about an incident that occurred last week in which two cars were racing down Auger Hole Road in front of his house. He estimated that the cars were doing about 60 miles per hour. Enforcement of the speed limits needs to become a priority.

Katy Robinson brought to the board that there is no speed limit posted on Browns Road. She has come close to being hit coming out of her driveway many times. Cars take the road at about 40 miles per hour when they should be going 25 miles per hour. There are spots on the road that two cars can’t pass by each other, and there needs to be a sign.

Guy Wachtel made a motion that two speed limit signs be posted (one at each end of Browns Road), speed to be determined by ordinance. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

The Administrative Assistant will look up the speed limit and let Todd know what sign he should order.

Piet van Loon requested that the board authorize spending of up to $400.00 for the Janice Litchfield Memorial Garden, and to authorize a town truck and driver for obtaining mulch in Guilford, and that it be ordered on a town purchase order for the tax exemption.
Motion was made by Guy Wachtel to authorize spending of up to $400.00 for the Janice Litchfield Memorial Garden, and to authorize a town truck and driver, when they’re available, for picking up mulch, and to order on a town purchase order.

Budget discussions ensued, and it was suggested that donations could be sought, and perhaps the Reformer could do a short story about it. It was also suggested that perhaps the funds could come from grounds maintenance and replaced as donations come it.

Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Judy Egan brought her concerns regarding the Williamsville Hall Committee to the board. The discussion was tabled until later in the meeting.

The Planning Commission has forwarded revised subdivision regulations to the Selectboard. Gunther Garbe, Chair of the Planning Commission reminded the board that they needed to hold a hearing. It can be part of a regularly scheduled meeting. The Planning Commission’s meeting lasted approximately fifteen minutes and two members of the public attended. The hearing has to be held by September 15, and has to be posted and warned for two weeks. It also needs to be sent to the Reformer. There were no major changes made. The board set the meeting for Thursday, September 6, 2007. Selectboard meeting to start at 5:30 p.m. instead of the regular 6:30 start time, and the Public Hearing will convene at 7:00 p.m. Gunther will go to C&S Print Shop and have 25 copies made, since the Planning Commission received a grant for printing for this project.

Judy Egan was given the opportunity to voice her concerns regarding the Williamsville Hall Committee and the legality of the committee itself, as well as a possible conflict of interest issue.

Gary Katz gave an update on the Newfane Development Review Board/Chandler litigation matter. Sam Angell is the attorney handling the litigation matter. Jim Barlow, attorney at Vermont League of Cities and Towns has stated that as long as the litigant has the money to continue paying filing fees, he can continue without consequence. Sam Angell is taking the approach that will cost the least money.

Ed Druke requested that the board change the agenda schedule to make Unscheduled Members of the Public before Scheduled Members of the Public out of respect for the townspeople who want to come and say what they need to and go home; and also voiced his concern that open meetings should be in a central location. It was explained by the board that the meetings which require an executive session, when the Town office is being used, is difficult, and meetings regarding certain sites, need to be held at that site.

Ellen Darrow made a motion to change the agenda to allow Unscheduled Members of the Public to come before Scheduled Members of the Public. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

It was mentioned that another way to streamline the meeting process and be respectful of the public would be to email the minutes to the board when they become available to allow them to review them before the meeting, saving time at the meeting. Some members would prefer to continue receiving hard copies as well. The Administrative Assistant will both email the minutes and continue the practice of hard copies as well.

Joe mentioned that VLCT suggested that the minutes that are posted on the website be corrected minutes, rather than draft minutes, eliminating confusion.


Appointments: Discussion ensued regarding the necessity of having a Town Agent as compared to the requirement by statute to have one. They are generally called upon for legal issues.

Junk Ordinance: Discussion ensued regarding entrance to property to look at the trailer in question.

Williamsville Hall: The Committee submitted a memo concerning heating issues. It seems the thermostat was turned up to approximately 85 degrees and was left like that. Thermostat guards are on it, however they can still be accessed.

Peter Rysz reported that he looked at the list of Registered Historic Places in Vermont, and there were areas of Newfane and South Newfane on it, including West Street, and the Williamsville Covered Bridge, but the Williamsville Hall was not on the list he looked at on the website. There is a woman names Susan Jamal, who he will contact on Monday.

The Hall Committee would also like to have two people added to the Committee.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to add the two names to the Committee. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

The make-up of the committee was discussed. By statute, a committee is not required to have a chair.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to create a resolution in support of the Williamsville Hall Committee, as it is currently construction, including the two new members. Ellen Darrow seconded the motion. The motion carried with three members in favor. Peter Rysz abstained.

The Williamsville Hall Committee wants to hire the Community Workers to clean out the cellar. The price includes five guys working for $50.00 a day.

Gary Katz voiced his concern that there may be some historically significant items in the cellar, and wouldn’t want the items to be thrown out. The memo did state that it would be with supervision and direction. It was suggested that perhaps the Historical Society could come and take a look first. There are also some items that are fine to stay in the basement. If there is any doubt about the significance, the workers should not throw it out, but put it aside.

Insulating the hall was also discussed. Guy Wachtel will take a look at the Hall and recommend what should be put in for insulation.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to hire the workers for $50.00 a day to clean the basement of the Williamsville Hall, with a provision that there be safeguards in place to ensure that nothing historically valuable is discarded. Ellen Darrow seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The insulating and fire proofing of the Town Offices was mentioned and discussed at this time. Todd should have the figures from when they originally looked at options. The Administrative Assistant will ask Todd for those figures and forward them to the board.

At this point, a discussion regarding the possibility of using spiral fluorescent bulbs in the over head lights in the Town Office building, ensued.


Administrative Assistant presented Town Clerk’s request for approval of purchasing a new photocopier, the better deal of the two proposals given to the town.
Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the purchase of the copier from OCE, with the condition that the purchase was bid out correctly. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Administrative Assistant forwarded a map from Doris showing the Town Offices property lines, and a suggestion from a resident that the Town look into purchasing the adjacent land. The discussion was tabled until more information becomes available.

Administrative Assistant forwarded an order form from the Town Treasurer for a Fair Labor Standards Manual, which would cost the board $349.00. This could perhaps, be available online for no cost. The board chose not to purchase the manual.

A bill from Harrington Engineering was discussed. The bill was not in the pay orders, therefore the discussion was tabled.


A letter was received from Zoning Administrator, Katy Robinson, requesting that the board approve her position becoming a full-time position. The board reviewed her letter.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to enter into Executive Session at 10:20 p.m., inviting Katy Robinson, Gunther Garbe, Piet van Loon, and Shannon Meckle as Administrative Assistant to join the Executive Session. Ellen Darrow seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Ellen Darrow to come out of Executive Session at 11:13 p.m. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PAY ORDERS: The board reviewed and approved pay orders.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to adjourn at 11:45. Peter Rysz seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously, and meeting was adjourned at 11:45 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Shannon Meckle

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