1. Dave Tatro is frustrated that the new truck is delayed again until the end of January.
2. A resident stopped at the garage yelling at Mike Brothers and Allen Desautels, angry that his road was slippery. Dave Tatro offered to show pictures of the road. He had plowed and sanded not that long before and you could see a dusting of new snow but a good amount of sand was still visible. Dave Tatro said the level of service that some people expect is ridiculous. We can’t go out for every single flurry. The Selectboard gave their support to the highway department and agreed that we do not have a bare roads policy.
3. The Ford keeps overheating and Dave Tatro will probably have to take it to Carbone’s for repair.
4. Allen Desautels will work on getting his CDL license this summer.
5. Dave Tatro reminds everyone to refrain from plowing snow across town roads. It is against the law and can create hazardous conditions.
TAM has not been able to find us a used compactor yet. Nancy Bushika will see Trevor Mance at next week’s alliance meeting and will talk to him about it.
COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECT
Jim Stimpson informed the board that he has been investigating and working with a solar company to install a solar array on his property. He said the company has identified several areas in town that would be favorable for solar fields and wanted to bring it to the board’s attention so the board could begin to discuss a community solar field. He would like to invite a representative from the solar company to a Planning Commission meeting and perhaps a Selectboard meeting also. Jim Stimpson said towns cannot regulate solar arrays, they are all permitted by the state. The Planning Commission is working with the Bennington County Regional Commission to take steps toward choosing favorable locations for the installation of windmills in Stamford.
As reported by iBerkshires.com
BENNINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
The board discussed signing the six month contract from January through June 2019. Mike Denault is researching the pros and cons between keeping the Bennington sheriff, hiring Vermont State Police to patrol, or appointing a constable. He recognizes the voters showed support for law enforcement in town at a previous town meeting. The board hopes to have information available at town meeting so the voters can make an informed decision. The Selectboard would like to invite a State Trooper to their January meeting. The Bennington County Sheriff contract was signed.
The Selectboard signed the engagement letter for the firm of Love, Cody & Company to conduct the 2018 audit of town accounts. This confirmation agrees to provide the auditors with all information necessary to conduct the audit which will begin January 28, 2019 at a cost of $10,200.00. Last year the cost was $10,000.00.
TOWN MEETING/YEAR END BUDGET PREPARATIONS
Pat Sullivan reminded the board that they had agreed to add a line item in the budget to hold any donations or grant money that the Community Building Group receives. A line item will be created.
Chris Warren provided updated language for the board’s review as a result of the attorney’s opinion from the Vermont League of Cities & Towns. The final draft will be reviewed and signed at the next meeting.
The town office will be closed for the week between Christmas and New Years.
TOWN CHRISTMAS TREE
The Selectboard thanked Robert and Debra Burchard for donating the Christmas tree, Luke McKay for providing the horse drawn wagon carrying Santa, Mary Lou McKay for organizing the event, the Denault family for buying the Christmas lights, the Shepard family for donating the candy canes, Sally Bohl for helping to decorate the tree and the fire department for directing traffic and keeping the area safe. Everything came together and it was great time. There were close to 100 people and it was nice to see such community spirit.
The Veterans Dinner was a complete success. The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable and the board looks forward to next year.
Susan Senning from the Vermont League of Cities & Towns provided an opinion as to the Selectboard’s liability for posting various events and information on the town website. She said the Selectboard has to post all or nothing when it comes to the website; they cannot pick and choose what events or what type of information they want to post. Either nothing but town business/information goes on the website, or the board must accommodate all requests, regardless of content. The board decided to only post municipal business on the website since CJ Vadnais’ website is already a place for community information. Susan Senning also suggested the board amend the website policy to reflect this. Chris Warren will prepare an amended website policy for the board’s review.
**Editor’s Note: Readership and postings have dropped dramatically with most groups creating their own web sites now – I’m not sure StamfordVT.org will be around much longer. However, I believe if one were to make a public announcement at a Selectboard meeting. This should make it into the meeting minutes (precedent has already been set for a public announcement for an event that wasn’t in Stamford, nor was it run by a resident of Stamford) which would appear on the town website and be distributed to a greater population than this site reaches.
1. Bill Levine received an email from Tyler Hermanson, the GIS Specialist on the Vermont Enhanced 9-1-1 Board. He stated that when the Selectboard changed the name of the easterly side of Old County Road to Brown Brook Road, it made the 9-1-1 numbers on the remaining portion of County Road out of proper sequence. He recommends that the buildings/residences on Old County Road be renumbered. Laura Champagne voiced her frustration over the difficulty and expense of changing addresses. The Selectboard tried very hard to avoid this problem. Bill Levine recommended that the Selectboard take no action at this time and leave the numbers as is.
At some point the 9-1-1 Board could demand that the town renumber Old County Road. Mike Denault said the board would deal with this if it happens, and discussed changing the name of Brown Brook Road back to Old County Road which would solve the renumbering problem.
2. Bill Levine will begin sending out letters to all residents who are not in compliance with state laws for 911 emergency house numbering. The first batch will have a deadline of March 2019.
1. No school directors attended to discuss the school merger and other issues. The topic will be moved to the next meeting’s agenda and hopefully someone will come to the next meeting.
2. Nancy Bushika recalled discussion about an email from Rep. Laura Sibilia concerning the state’s determination to continue to recognize our school as an isolated district.
ORDINANCE REGARDING STREET NAME AND STREET ADDRESSING
MOTION by Nancy Bushika to accept and sign the Ordinance Regarding Street Naming and Street Addressing as written. SECONDED by Chris Warren. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
The ordinance was signed and will become effective on January 15, 2019 if no petition is received objecting to the ordinance prior to that date. Lori Shepard was asked to publish the required notice in the Berkshire Eagle.
Financial reports for the first three quarters were discussed. Nancy Bushika sat with the treasurer prior to the meeting to review some of the figures. Mike Denault would like to take a more active role in reviewing the reports. The treasurer encouraged the board to come in to review reports and ask questions.
Lori Shepard received a request to post something on the town website and looked for direction from the board. Chris Warren felt it was fine to post anything discussed during a Selectboard meeting on the website. Any other requests should be approved by the Selectboard first.
MOTION by Mike Denault to give Lori Shepard the authority, if someone requests to have information posted on the website which is a public informational flyer from the state or a state agency, she is authorized to do it. SECONDED by Chris Warren. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
HIGHWAY GARAGE WATER AND SEPTIC PLANS
Trinity Engineering submitted engineerning designs for the planned well and septic system at the highway garage. Dave Tatro has requested a quote from R.I. Baker for the parts. The costs will be minimized since the highway crew will do the digging and installation work. Nancy Bushika asked Dave Tatro to obtain a quote from a well drilling company. The next step will be to forward the application to the state for approval.
Jim Stimpson stated that the Planning Commission is working with Jim Sullivan from the Bennington County Regional Commission to adopt energy initiatives into our town plan. He believes the school board has set aside funds to replace the boilers at the school and would like to see the school move toward a renewable energy source like pellets or wood chips. Jim Stimpson feels he doesn’t know much about the school. Chris Warren asked if the School Directors could be invited to a Selectboard meeting to discuss the merger and other issues they are facing. The board agreed to invite the School Directors and felt an All Boards meeting could be scheduled in January.
This and more, here