Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

Location:   Town offices Date: October 30, 2020
Opened:    9:00 am continued: 12:00 pm to 8:00 am, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at Wells Memorial School for Elections

Select Board Members: Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson

The Select Board reviewed the preliminary tax rate from the Department of Revenue Administration, discussing both the overlay amount for potential abatements and the unassigned fund balance amount and how adjustments by the SB to each would affect the final rate. The board also compared the calculations to last year’s rate. Following additional discussion, the board moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the Municipal Tax Rate of $5.08, as presented by DRA. Amy Roberts will submit the approved rate to DRA. Once confirmation is received from DRA, the Assessor will run the Warrant. The Tax Collector anticipates a due date for taxpayers of December 15, 2020.

GOPHER application – Amy Roberts reported the remaining balance available to the town for final reimbursement for covid-related expenses is approximately $12,000. The town’s total allotment was $22,749. This month’s request relates to payroll reimbursement for emergency services personnel from September 1 through October 15. Ms. Roberts noted that, separately, the CARES Act covered $3,300 in election expenses related to covid for town clerk, not including additional PPE provisions covered by the state.

The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $28,044.41.

SB signed the WB Mason contract for maintenance of the office printer in amount of $660.00.

Employee benefits– Melissa Briggs of HealthTrust will update option estimates for short-term disability, long-term disability and life insurance and will respond with numbers in 10 days. The SB will discuss with employees and make a decision to offer or not and if participation will be contributory or not. 75% of eligible employees will need to sign up.

The SB signed the meeting minutes of October 15, 2020.

The SB discussed Golder and ChemServe on the matter of the town’s Groundwater Management Permit through DES. The town will look into potential alternative testing firms and, in the meantime, will coordinate with both Golder and ChemServe for well-testing at the highway barn.

Building maintenance
Jeff Cady reported that the new air filters are being installed at library, PD and town offices and, on the heating system at the Recycling Center, Art Sussman will be providing a recommendation for cost control.

The SB held a preliminary discussion with the Police Chief regarding transition plans in light of his retirement in late February. Discussion will continue.

Town Clerk/Election – The SB will set up Monday afternoon for the election at Wells Memorial Schools. Polls are open from 8:00am to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3. Separately, the board moved and voted unanimously in favor to disperse $1328 as recommended by Town Clerk and as voted on at town meeting.

Boards and Committees
EAC – Andrea Hodson reported that on November 13, the EAC will announce that topic #2 for the next Community Conversation will be the Electric Aggregation Plan. Following the Community Conversation, the SB will host 2 public hearings, tentatively December 10 for the first. By February 26, 2021 the Warrant Articles have to be posted. Board members raised and discussed concerns about the timing of the initiative, asking if this is enough time for the public to absorb the complex information. Ms. Hodson noted the committee feels it is prepared to move the project forward.

Planning Board/Ordinance Review Committee – The first public hearing on the proposed zoning amendments will occur at the PB Meeting on Tuesday, November 10, at 7:00 pm. Separately, the SB revisited the idea of a noise bylaw in terms of what makes sense and what is logically enforceable. They will review the draft once again.

Two final matters
Kathy Scott presented Jay Jacobs with the Eager Beaver Award on behalf of the Trails Committee for his work on the rail trail between Main Street and Brown Road.

SB reminds townspeople and asks all to please remain vigilant about following Covid guidelines.

The Select Board continued its meeting to Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, at 8:00 am at Wells Memorial School.