Selectboard Meeting Minutes 1-2-2018

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

Monday, January 2, 2018

6:01 PM

Call to Order

Cathy McGrath, Chair, called the meeting to order.

  • Selectboard Members: Cathy McGrath (Chair); Peter Berger (Vice Chair); Frank J. Barrett, Jr.
  • Visitors: Georgette Wolf-Ludwig; Noël Walker; Lisa Hinsley; Clyde Blake; Annie Bickley; Fairlee Community Arts members: Smith Reed, Matt Jung, Miranda Clemson, Denis Lambert, Elizabeth Wilson, DeWitt Mallory, Robert O’Leary, Molly Stone, Lynn Fitzhugh
  • Prospective Town Administrator: Tad Nunez
  • Minutes Clerk: Joanna Bligh

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to approve the Agenda without modifications. The motion passed unanimously.


 [Lisa Hinsley arrived at the meeting at 6:11 PM]

 [Georgette Wolf-Ludwig, Noël Walker entered the meeting at 6:14 PM]

Public Health Council of the Upper Valley

Georgette Wolf-Ludwig stated that the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley ( requested an appropriation of $100 from the Town of Fairlee.

Cathy McGrath noted that the request is too late. Peter Berger confirmed that the cut-off date for appropriations such as this has passed.

Budget Update

Lisa Hinsley presented the updated budget document to the Selectboard. She noted the topics of discussion at next week’s open Budget Meeting, which will include all department heads. Lisa Hinsley also stated that Jason Bachus, Chief of Police, has a goal of collecting 2017 delinquent taxes equaling $68,000. Georgette Wolf-Ludwig stated that the Town did not receive the grant for assessing the structural integrity of the sills at the railroad station.

Lisa Hinsley stated that any changes to the Town Budget will be discussed at the Budget Hearing. Cathy McGrath announced that the Budget Hearing is Monday, January 8, 2018, at 6:30 PM at the Emergency Services Building and that Elizabeth Wilson, Chair of the Budget Committee, will run the meeting.

Town Hall Construction Update

Noël Walker stated that the subcontractors are working on the heat and, even though the boiler in the basement is new, replacement parts have been ordered for repairs. Frank J. Barrett, Jr. stated that the general contractor should check on the boiler on the Town’s behalf and find out why the breakdown occurred. Peter Berger noted that the boiler may be a faulty unit. Noël Walker also stated that she needs authorization for a cold-sensor alarm, which will automatically make a call if the thermometer in the Town Hall goes below 55 degrees and is required by the New Hampshire Fire Safety division. Georgette Wolf-Ludwig noted that the Town Hall sprinkler system needs an inspection and replacement of sprinkler heads, and that these items need to be included in the Town Budget. 


Prospective Town Administrator

Cathy McGrath introduced Tad Nunez, the prospective Fairlee Town Administrator, who will begin his position on January 8, 2018. Tad Nunez spoke of his past positions, including the Director of Parks and Recreation in Harford, VT, and, most recently, the Executive Director of the City Center Ballet. 

Fairlee Community Arts (FCA) Council

Cathy McGrath asked for the members of FCA to introduce themselves and state how they formerly or currently serve the Town. The members replied as follows: Miranda Clemson, Planning Commission and posting of Town website updates; Elizabeth Wilson, Budget Committee; Denis Lambert, Planning Commission; Smith Reed, Planning Commission; Matt Jung, Recreational Council; Molly Stone, Catamount Arts; Lynn Fitzhugh; Robert O’Leary, formerly on the Planning Commission; and DeWitt Mallory.

Smith Reed presented Discussion Points for the Selectboard to review. Smith Reed summarized the document stating that the six or more citizen-volunteers have met and chosen their name, Fairlee Community Arts (FCA). The FCA has filed as a 501C3 nonprofit organization in the State of Vermont with a fiscal sponsor, Catamount Arts. FCA has paid for a post office box, opened a bank account, and has created a Website and Facebook page.   

Smith Reed continued stating that FCA will draft a mission statement, work on an event schedule for the Town Hall space, survey for usage suggestions for the auditorium, and prepare a policy-and-procedures document with the approval of the Selectboard. Detailed discussion continued on the topics, such as FCA as a legal entity and who will have control and direction for the group. Discussion continued about notifying the voters of the existence of FCA. Smith Reed stated that, as a nonprofit, grants will be easier to obtain. Elizabeth Wilson stated that bylaws will be written to determine what will happen to assets upon dissolution. Frank J. Barrett, Jr. suggested that the FCA should continue fact-finding, should meet with the Town Administrator and Treasurer for clarification of fiscal responsibility, and should present an overview of their organization at the Town Meeting. Denis Lambert noted that the FCA and the Selectboard should meet again in one month because May and June event planning is imminent. Lynn Fitzhugh stated that for the FCA to be viable, seed money is needed.  Frank J. Barrett, Jr. suggested that a representative from the FCA attend the Budget Meeting, Monday, January 8, 2018, with a funding proposal.

[FCA members–Miranda Clemson, Smith Reed, Matt Jung, Molly Stone, Lynn Fitzhugh, Robert O’Leary, and DeWitt Mallory–left the meeting at 7:23 PM]

[Clyde Blake left the meeting at 7:23 PM]


Lake Morey, East Side Road Construction and Next Steps: Water Storage Tank Construction and Bond Vote

Cathy McGrath stated that the Selectboard needs updates on the water tank and road construction work with the contractors and other stakeholders. Cathy McGrath suggested a meeting with Gary Leach, Tata & Howard, at 4:00 PM next Monday before the Budget Meeting.

Fairlee Newsletter

Cathy McGrath stated that the preliminary draft of the newsletter will be forwarded and reviewed by the Selectboard in preparation for a mailing. 

[Denis Lambert and Elizabeth Wilson left the meeting at 7:50 PM]

Preliminary Outline of the Selectboard Annual Report

Frank J. Barrett, Jr. presented the Selectboard Annual Report and requested any changes be sent to him. Cathy McGrath noted that information about Catamount Arts be added.


The orders and correspondences were presented to the Town of Fairlee Selectboard for signatures, including the CAI Tech purchase order, which needed three signatures.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to sign the CAI Tech purchase order. The motion passed unanimously.

The corrected Town of Fairlee Purchasing Policy was presented to the Selectboard for signatures.

MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to sign the Purchasing Policy. The motion passed unanimously.

[Georgette Wolf-Ludwig; Noël Walker; Lisa Hinsley left the meeting at 8:03 PM]


MOTION: Peter Berger/Frank J. Barrett, Jr. moved/seconded the motion to approve the Selectboard Meeting Minutes from 12-18-17 with modifications. The motion passed unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 PM

Attest: Joanna Bligh, Minutes Clerk

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