Selectboard Minutes 2017-7-10

Town Of Fairlee Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Town Of Fairlee Town Hall
75 Town Common Road
Fairlee, Vermont 05045

Monday July 10, 2017

6:00 p.m.  CALL TO ORDER


  • Selectboard Members: Cathy McGrath (Chair); Peter Berger (Vice-Chair), Frank J. Barrett, Jr.
  • Town Administrator: Brian Hanson
  • Visitors:  Don Weaver, Alex Nuti-de Biasi, Noel Walker, Lisa Hinsley, Dennis Farmer, Jay Clark, Mark Avery, Lance Colby, Barry Larson, Gary Leach
  • Minutes Clerk: Stephanie A. Taylor


MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. (moved and seconded) made a motion to accept the agenda as amended. The vote passed unanimously.

Don Weaver of the Lake Morey Commission notified the Selectboard that the permit for the suction harvest of the milfoil in Lake Morey has been issued. He also reported that the Building Committee has endorsed the proposal by Alliance for the air exchange system for the Town Hall renovation.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. made a motion (moved and seconded) that the Alliance proposal for the new air exchange system for $179,000 be accepted. The vote passed unanimously.

Frank J. Barrett, Jr. suggested that a maintenance agreement be added to the contract.


Noel Walker explained to the Selectboard about the Change of Appraisal received for the Town except the lake shore parcel.

There will be a tax abatement meeting at 5:00 pm on July 26 at the Fire Department.  The tax rate will be set after the Grand List is prepared.


Eric Pickhardt of Go Solar reported that the company has opened a third office in Bradford. They will be offering a series of Discover Solar workshops for the public beginning in mid-August. The workshops will focus on small-scale residential projects.

Peter Lange reported on storm damage to a Class IV road – Knox Road – access to the Town of Fairlee Forest. A five-foot deep ditch has formed next to the culvert making the road impassable.

Cathy McGrath requested that residents report all storm damage to local roads to the Town Administrator. In the event of an emergency protocol having to do with access to the Town Forest the Forest Board must contact the Town Administrator who in turn will contact the Agency of Natural Resources.

Two Rivers – Ottauquechee Regional Commission will also need to be contacted regarding potential FEMA assistance for storm damage costs.

Frank J. Barrett, Jr. commended the Town Administrator for his hard work on the road construction project on Quinnebeck Road.

Cathy McGrath commended the Road Agent Mike Wright for his dedicated work responding to road damage following the recent storm.

Brian Hanson informed the Selectboard that two crosswalks have been approved by VTRANS. The crosswalks will be located across Main Street/Route 5 near Samurai Soul and across Bridge Street.

Brian Hanson has contacted the railroad company regarding extending electricity to the Transfer Station in conjunction with the Gladstone Solar Array project. He is waiting to hear back about the permit for boring under the tracks and the annual fee for the access.

The Water System Advisory Committee submitted their summary report to the Selectboard members. Dennis Farmer recommended that a water system master plan be prepared. The master plan could include the annual budget and capital expenses. He suggested that the annual contributions to the water system maintenance fund be increased. He asked several questions about current engineering investigations into the structural integrity of the 275,000 water tank.

Jay Clark noted that a twelve-inch valve on the 100,000 gallon water tank needs to be replaced. He also recommended that water meters be installed in the Town of Fairlee beginning with commercial water users. This would allow the Town to track water usage and generate revenues based on water usage. He suggested that manganese be removed at individual residences and businesses using water treatment units rather than treating the water within the water system.  

Water System Operator Lance Colby noted that the bad odor in the water at some locations is caused by sulfur in the groundwater. He advised that a filter be installed at the pump house to remove the manganese.

Frank J. Barrett, Jr. thanked the Water System Advisory Committee members for their hard work and their dedication.

Health Officer Thomas Hough has submitted his resignation. Cathy McGrath will be the new Health Officer.


Brian Hanson has been in contact with the firm ReCap Solutions on the income sensitivity study. He has also contacted the State of Vermont regarding possible grant funding for the housing study.

Two promissory notes from Dubois & King for the construction of the Lake Fairlee Dam were presented for signature to the Selectboard members. A plaque was received for the Lake Fairlee Dam project award.

Town Treasurer Lisa Hinsley informed the Selectboard that a new Town of Fairlee bank account has been set up at Union Bank. The funds from the existing account at Merchants Bank will be transferred. A small balance will be maintained in that account.

The Tata & Howard Lake Morey Road contract and the water system amendment to the existing contract were presented for signature.

MOTION:   Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr.  made a motion (moved and seconded) to approve the Lake Morey Road contract and the water system amendment to the existing contract. The motion passed unanimously.

Gary Leach, Principal Engineer, of Tata & Howard will provide a digital copy of the Lake Morey Road report to the Selectboard.

Peter Berger suggested that the Town Administrator speak with Two Rivers – Ottauquechee Regional Commission about the 2018 budget for culvert construction.


The board orders and correspondence were submitted for signature.


MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. made a motion to go into Executive Session at 8:20pm.

The Selectboard came out of Executive Session at 8:35pm. No action taken.

The Selectboard scheduled a special meeting for Thursday July 20 at 4PM at the Fairlee Library to meet with the water system operators.


MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. made a motion (moved and seconded) to accept the minutes of June 26 with corrections.


Finance Committee Discussion

ADJOURN:  Time 8:55pm.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. made a motion (moved and seconded) to adjourn the meeting.

Attest: Stephanie A. Taylor
Minutes Clerk

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