Selectboard Meeting Minutes 11-20-2017

Town of Fairlee Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Town of Fairlee Library
221 US Rte 5 N
Fairlee, Vermont  05045

Monday, November 20, 2017

  • Selectboard Members: Cathy McGrath (Chair), Peter Berger (Vice Chair), and Frank J. Barrett, Jr.
  • Visitors: Miranda Clemson, Robert O’Leary, Elizabeth Wilson, and Lisa Hinsley
  • Minutes Clerk: Joanna Bligh

Cathy McGrath requested adding the Orange County Sheriff Department Service Contract under New Business to the agenda.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to modify the Agenda. The motion passed unanimously.


Arts Council

Cathy McGrath announced that there was a preliminary meeting of the Arts Council, including Robert O’Leary, Liz Wilson, Matt Jung, Denis Lambert, and Molly Stone from Catamount Arts; however, more people will be recruited. Robert O’Leary stated that the chairs (250 seats) in the Town Hall auditorium are old and uncomfortable and need to be replaced. Peter Berger noted that grants are available for this type of expenditure. Miranda Clemson stated that it is hard to market the space with such poor seating. Cathy McGrath suggested that the Arts Council look for chairs and a grant source. Robert O’Leary suggested a $10,000 to $15,000 budget for chairs. Frank J. Barrett, Jr. queried what to do with the old chairs; perhaps sell or auction them. Elizabeth Wilson stated that they will have some information by the December 11, 2017, Selectboard Meeting.

[Elizabeth Wilson, Robert O’Leary, and Miranda Clemson left the meeting at 6:25 PM]

VMCTA (Vermont Municipal Clerks’ and Treasurers’ Association)

Cathy McGrath announced that Georgette Wolf-Ludwig, Town Clerk, completed the requirements for the Certified Vermont Clerk continuing education program and received a Magna Cum Laude for her efforts.

Declaration of Official Intent

Cathy McGrath stated that the purpose of the declaration is to ensure that the Selectboard addresses tank issues as a key responsibility. It is likely that we will borrow all non-tank expenses of the water tank project, including the construction by Brian Newcity.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to accept the Declaration of Official Intent. The motion passed unanimously.

Economic Development Plan

Cathy McGrath asked Chris Brimmer about the status of the Planning Commission and the economic town plan.  Chris Brimmer stated that he is preparing a proposal based on the three Town venues, which together could create a creative economy: the Town Common for farmers’ markets and craft/art displays and sales throughout the summer; the Town Hall auditorium performance space, and the Railroad Station as a historic building. Chris Brimmer noted that this proposal will be incorporated into the Town Plan. Chris Brimmer noted that a draft of the proposal will be available at the next Planning Commission meeting, December 8, 2017.

Orange County Sheriff Department Service Contract

Cathy McGrath stated that the contract consisted of 1 year at $43/hour and that $12,300 is budgeted for 2018.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to sign the 2018 Orange County Sheriff Department Service Contract for $12,300. The motion passed unanimously.

Water Tank Inspection Update

Cathy McGrath stated that previous construction reports and shop drawings were located in the Town Office files. As-built drawings are still to be located. 

November 29, 2017, Public Meeting: Water Tank Project

Cathy McGrath stated that post cards have been mailed regarding the notice of the Public Meeting at Lake Morey Resort and arrived in mailboxes Saturday. Cathy McGrath continued to discuss the plan for the meeting presenters–Bill  Meub, Town attorney, will discuss what is known about repairing or replacing the water tank;  Eric Law from the USDA Rural Development office will discuss funding the tank replacement; and someone to be determined will present funding information about non-tank costs. The Selectboard continued a discussion about tank costs, repairing or replacing the water tank, glass-lined tank recommendations, water main/filtration issues, and educating the Fairlee water users.

 [Lisa Hinsley arrived at the meeting at 7:04 PM]

Lisa Hinsley stated that she has compiled all water tank costs and invoices, including old and new expenses.

Purchasing Policy

Cathy McGrath presented purchasing policy documents from Thetford, VT, and from the Town of Fairlee. There was a discussion by the Selectboard about the differences between the purchasing policies, such as the bid dollar amounts. Peter Berger noted that items assigned in a previously approved budget do not need re-authorization. Frank J. Barrett, Jr. stated that the Town Administrator manages budget-approved fiscal policy with Department Heads and the Town Treasurer.


The orders and correspondences were presented to the Town of Fairlee Selectboard for signatures. These included a lease payment from NE Mailing Systems and a computer firewall appliance.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to sign the NE Mailing Systems lease. The motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to approve $1405.00 for new firewall device. The motion passed unanimously.

Orange County Budget Resolution

Cathy McGrath stated that the Town of Fairlee budget of $47, 000 was spent and that budget information is needed for next year.


MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded to approve the Selectboard Meeting Minutes form 11-6-17 with modifications. The motion passed unanimously.

Frank J. Barrett, Jr. noted that the Housing Report from Michael Woodard will be placed on the Agenda for next week.

MOTION: Cathy McGrath/Peter Berger moved/seconded to go into Executive Session at 8:00 PM. The motion passed unanimously.

The Selectboard came out of Executive Session at 8:15 PM.

MOTION: Cathy McGrath/Peter Berger moved/seconded to close the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

ADJOURN: The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 PM

Attest: Joanna Bligh, Minutes Clerk

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