Select Board Meeting
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Select Board: Andrea Hodson and Pegg Monahan; Absent: Kathy Scott
Attendees: Road Agent Wes Tarr
The chair called the meeting to order at 9:10 am.
Agenda and minutes of 9/8 and 9/13 – Board members approved the agenda and the meeting minutes of September 8 and September 13.
Departments and committees – Highway
– Eastside Road – The Road Agent is exploring culvert and catch basin installation on Eastside Road to remediate sections that have been washing out into neighbors’ driveways.
-Salt quotes – The Town typically purchases from both Cargill and Morton Salt. Cargill has not submitted a quote and may not due to supply chain issue. The board and Road Agent reviewed the quote from Morton Salt and agreed to purchase Bulk Safe T salt at $84.50/ton. The Board signed the agreement for return to Morton Salt, and authorized Mr. Tarr’s to stock as he needs.
-Church Alley – In discussion about prior Town maintenance of Church Alley, between the Post Office parking lot and School Street, the Road Agent confirmed that it was over 40 years ago, in the 1970s, that the Town paved it and more than 5 years since the Town has maintained it. The board also discussed that, historically in town, the Highway Department plowed driveways of elderly residents.
In light of safety concerns about ongoing public vehicular and pedestrian travel on this privately owned land, and the condition of it, the board and road agent agreed to schedule a meeting for late October and invite property owners to attend. Further, the board will draft letter to the property owner explaining the town’s position based on ownership of the road, state statutes and the former policy of plowing driveways of older residents. The SB and Mr. Tarr also discussed a possible sign, “Private. Road not a Thru Street”.
– The Select Board will meet with the Select Board of Marlborough, at the Marlborough Town Offices next Friday, Sept. 30, at 9:30 am to discuss shared police services. The Dublin Select Board had not yet responded to the overture to discuss shared police operations, but did express possible interest in discussing shared Transfer/Recycling Center services.
-The Road Agent found a used, leased truck with 82,000 miles on it for sale for $86,500. A new truck would be $256K. Mr. Tarr will go look at it and get back to the SB with his recommendation, so the board can address the budgetary impact.
-Fuel and utility supply – Request for Proposals went to six fuel vendors for quotes for the 2022-23 season. Andrea Hodson is talking to 3rd party suppliers for electricity quotes, as Eversource rates per kw hour are projected to go to $.48 in January 2023. Separately, the EAC has identified 5 potential sites for solar installations and is exploring whether streetlights could be run by solar power.
-The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $172,065.06 and payroll warrant in the amount of $21,378.45.
-Andrea Hodson noted that, now that the PUC and JLCAR have taken legislative action to pave the way for Community Power to launch, the next step is for the EAC to add additional detail to the Community Power Plan on the topics of partnering with suppliers and holding customer data confidential. She emphasized that the Plan isn’t changing; only detail is being added to sections previously without it, because of the pending PUC rulemaking.
-Chesham Road/Junk case – This case is with legal counsel for recommended action.
-Chesham Road/Noise complaint – The board will invite the home-based business owner to meet October 13 to discuss the noise complaint.
-Chesham Road /Speeding concerns – Southwest Region Planning will coordinate with the DOT on a traffic study to assess next steps and the possibility of reducing the 40 mph speed limit along the subject section.
-Repurchase of deeded property – The SB awaits an update from counsel on the closing with the heirs of the former owner, from which the Town will receive payment for back taxes.
-Trails/e-bikes – Andrea Hodson met at the Harris Center with trails group volunteers and property owners to discuss the riding of e-bikes on Eastview rail trail and how usage fits within state and town guidelines. State regulations allow Class I and II e-bikes on trails but this is town trail. The attendees considered the complaints of property owners over whose land the trail easement passes. All agreed the next step is a public meeting on the subject. The SB will add to its October 6th agenda.
-Employee/Personnel Policy Manual – The SB has finalized the draft and will share with department heads for review. The board anticipates the updated policies to be effective January 1.
-Roadside Digital Sign – Pegg Monahan noted that the ZBA has granted the Town a special exception and variance to replace the roadside billboard with an internally illuminated, digital sign, slightly smaller in dimension. The estimated purchase cost is just over $11K, with the cost covered by a grant through the Locality Equipment Purchase Program. Ms. Monahan will connect with Jeff Cady on installation for this as well as to discuss details for a sign for over the entrance to town hall. ZBA review will be required for this signage as well.
-Halloween – The SB discussed the patrol schedule with the officer in charge for 5-7 pm on Monday, October 31.
The board adjourned at 11:52 am.