CREDIT CARD COMPANY BREACH
The town office accepts credit card payments through the Satellite.Biz Company. When the account was created no password was needed. Their business was hacked in March. Because the town’s accounts were not password protected, our accounts were affected. The Satellite.Biz Company reversed many of the transactions, but a property owner’s payment was also reversed in error. The treasurer has been working with the credit card company to resolve this matter, but after several weeks there are still problems. The Selectboard encouraged the treasurer to aggressively seek a resolution with the company and gave permission to find another credit card company for the town if needed.
LISTER CLERK POSITION – JOB DESCRITPION
1. Nancy Bushika spoke with five other towns and the current and former town listers about the position. She provided a draft help wanted ad and proposed job description which the Selectboard approved. The job will be posted at the town office, Bilmont’s Store, the library, the recycling center, on CJ Vadnais’ website and will be sent by email to everyone on the Selectboard’s email list. Anyone interested should apply at the town office by noon on April 18, 2018.
2. Helen Fields suggested the town implement background checks for our own safety as well as the school children. She said the Seed Savers Group who use the school grounds for their gardens will follow whatever requirements are put in place. The board agreed to look into it.
GAZEBO IN FRONT OF SCHOOL
Dan Potvin is part of the community group who would like to build a community gathering area. A gazebo in the front of the school will give the town a central focus and a place for people to meet. The group is exploring grants for funding and is hoping the building permit and zoning board permit fees can be waived. Micah Hayre, the school principal, is supportive and said kids are looking forward to having a place to visit with their friends. The size has not been determined and the Heather Torres memorial tree may have to be relocated. The structure can be added to the town’s insurance since it is on town property. Nancy Bushika asked who would maintain the building in the future.
APPROVAL OF FENCING AROUND SCHOOL YARD
Micah Hayre submitted a hand drawn proposal for the Selectboard’s review. He would like a chain link fence where the current orange fence is near the slide and Leo Ethier memorial garden with a 10’ wide gate. He would like a fence on the south corner of the building near the middle school section with a 3’ wide gate. He would also like a fence from the corner of the library running north behind the dumpsters with a 10’ wide gate. The gates will not be locked but will provide a visual barrier for the safety of the children. There will be signs on each gate requiring all guests to sign in at the main office. The gates will allow mowing machines and vehicles access to the building. Bill Levine felt the 3’ gate would not allow a fire truck access in the event of an emergency and offered to pay for the difference between a 3’ gate and a 10’ gate with his emergency management funds. Dave Tatro initially suggested a jog in the fence behind the dumpsters, but then felt if the dumpsters were gone, there would be more room and the parking lot could be plowed easier. Helen Fields wanted to ensure that the Seed Savers would still have vehicular access to the tennis courts. Richard Cristofolini, the school custodian, was summoned to the meeting to participate in the discussion. Both the trash and recyclable dumpsters are filled every two weeks. The Selectboard felt if the custodian could bring the trash up to the recycling center, the two dumpsters would not be needed and could be removed. The Selectboard felt the money they saved by removing the dumpsters could be used to pay the custodian for this additional work. The Selectboard approved the fences as long as all the concerns voiced at the meeting were addressed.
As always the full minutes, as well as minutes from past Selectboard meetings can be found here.
James Stimpson advised that the Planning Commission feels he will be enforcing the town ordinances and policies in the future. Mr. Stimpson felt he should have a conversation with the Selectboard as to how this will happen. The Selectboard stated that our ordinances are designated as civil and certain individuals are already in place to issue tickets and appear in court if needed. The Judicial Bureau appointments will be reviewed at the next meeting.
- The weather has brought a roller coaster of conditions. The town sustained around $7,000-$8,000 in damages from Friday’s storm. There was a small washout on Mill Road. A large culvert on Lincoln Road was undermined by water and traffic was diverted through Dave Tatro’s yard while the road was being repaired. Both Sportsman Road and Sumner Road had minor shoulder damage. Dave Tatro had to call Jon Bohl and Tietgens Excavating for excavator work during the storm. There are a few more repairs to be completed and the total cost will be around $10,000. Bill Levine asked that Allison Strohl at the Bennington County Regional Commission be contacted with that estimate. If the county sustained enough damage as a whole, FEMA money may be available. Dave Tatro noted that a representative from the Agency of Natural Resources was in town on Saturday and issued a permit for the bank work needed on Mill Road.
- There is an ongoing water issue on The Lane. Dave Tatro stated that the culvert on Poplar Drive is squashed and water from the Beaupre residence is running from the ditch line into the road and freezing, making dangerous icy conditions. Dave Tatro wonders if there is a drain in the Beaupre’s basement because he recalls having this problem before and after he spoke with the former owner, the water problem ceased. Ruth West spoke about the icy conditions, problems with the snow plowing contractor, and a water pipe easement. She requested the Selectboard’s help as fence viewers concerning a water easement and ditch line. She thinks the pipe is leaking which is where the water problem is coming from. The Selectboard did not want to get involved. They felt it was a private matter and not a town issue. The Selectboard agreed to send letters to the Poplar Drive residents and Mr. and Mrs. Beaupre concerning the water running and freezing on the Lane which could cause an accident.
- It is time to replace the Ford. Dave Tatro has the specifications for two different trucks: a Freightliner for about $140,000.00 and a Dodge Ram for about $100,500. The Freightliner is a bigger, stronger truck that should last for 10 years. The Dodge is the same size as the white Ford and will last 5-7 years. It was noted that for 40% more in price, the town would get double the use from the Freightliner. Dave Tatro described the advantages and disadvantages of each. The truck could be funded by using the Equipment Replacement Fund and borrowing from the town’s Land Sales fund like the Fire Department did five years ago.
Mini-Green Up Day
Join us on December 9th at 9 am in front of the school for a mini green up day. Green trash bags will be provided. This our chance to clean up the roads before the snow falls. Come one and all!! Contact Pat Sullivan with any questions.
All Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday December 6th at 6pm. Open Meeting Laws by James Barlow, Esquire
Minutes for the comment session for the Town Plan can be found here.
Minutes for the November 16th Selectboard Meeting can be found here.
Notice that a public hearing will be held Thursday November 15th at 5:30pm to receive comments regarding the proposed town plan.
Luke McKay picked up a stray dog on County Road near the Klondike Road intersection last week. It has no collar or tags and is not friendly. He has posted notices in town to find the owner without luck. He contacted Pownal and hung a notice at Stewarts. He has tried twice to reach Clarksburg but has not received any call back. Mike Denault will put a picture of the dog on face book. The town is required to hold the dog for 10 days after the notice is posted which is this Saturday, November 4, 2017. If the owner is not determined, the town can put the dog up for adoption or turn the dog over to a shelter to be re- homed or euthanized. Because of the dog’s personality, Luke McKay recommended that the dog be given to a shelter.
ALL BOARDS PRESENTATION
Attorney James Barlow will be coming to Stamford on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. for a presentation on the Open Meeting Laws. All town boards will be invited to attend.
The full Selectboard Meeting Minutes can be found here.
Peter Gruden would like everyone to know that “Buzz Wheeler (recycling center) condition is improving. When we saw him today, his pain had diminished and he was able to walk. Nonetheless, he is still getting important therapies. Anyone who wants to contribute to Buzz’s recovery fund can simply send a check to Karen Wheeler Box 185 Readsboro, VT 05350-0185. Buzz and Karen appreciate cards and contributions very much.”
You can also contact Peter Grudin at firstname.lastname@example.org
A draft of the proposed Town Plan can be found here if you would like a copy to study prior to the public meeting for the adoption of the town plan scheduled for November 16th at 5:30pm.
The complete meeting minutes can be found here
Halloween Hours are 6:00pm to 7:30pm October 31st.
SEED SAVERS GROUP
Helen Fields reported an excellent and productive first year for the Seed Savers. They received grant funds to help with their project, had a fun Harvest Day and have one final work bee planned for Saturday.
DINNER TO HONOR STAMFORD VETERANS
Dan Potvin has flyers and is trying to spread the word. He said the Planning Commission is very supportive. The potluck dinner is scheduled for Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 5 p.m. and everyone is invited. Dan Potvin would like flyers mailed to all vets in town. Nancy Bushika does not want to spend town funds. The Selectboard named as many vets as they could think of. Dan Potvin hopes this will become a yearly event. Two middle school teachers and their classes have volunteered to help. Nancy Bushika will donate the paper products, another will donate drinks. Dan Potvin will contact Big Y for a donation.
The following and more can be found here
THE LANE BRIDGE
Work began today and the bridge is closed. Paul Ethier, the Fire Chief, has alerted neighboring fire and ambulance services of the road detour. Bill Levine wanted it noted that the Fire Chief requested the dry hydrant near the bridge remain useable. Dave Tatro has spoken with the contractor who couldn’t guarantee the dry hydrant would be accessible throughout the duration of the project. It is necessary to have this bridge work done. Dave Tatro asked how the fire department obtained water before the dry hydrants were installed.
The Planning Commission met on September 25, 2017. Although one resume was submitted, they did not make a recommendation for an appointment and extended the application deadline to October 16, 2017. The town has received two building applications which need attention. MOTION by Mike Denault to appoint David Bugbee Interim Administrative Officer until the recommendation from the Planning Commission can be considered and a permanent appointment can be made. SECONDED by Carol Fachini. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
The Selectboard reviewed an email received on October 5, 2017 from the town attorney concerning the pending tax appeal. The attorney has requested that Dan Potvin recuse himself since he is related to the appellant. The attorney has requested that the Selectboard appoint a liaison whom she can speak with directly regarding this matter. The Selectboard will give Dan Potvin a copy of the attorney’s email.
MOTION by Mike Denault to appoint Nancy Bushika and Carol Fachini to speak and correspond with the attorney on this tax appeal matter. SECONDED by Dave Tatro. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
Nancy Bushika would like to advertise once and hold one public hearing for the adoption of the recycling ordinance and the town plan.
The attorney was not able to reach the tax appellant’s attorney and so she was not able to provide her opinion. The attorney suggested the board consider adopting the Conflict of Interest policy she previously sent. The board briefly discussed the perceived conflict with Dan Potvin and the difference between abstaining and recusing. Dave Tatro made it clear that another board member cannot make you recuse yourself, they can only suggest it.
Luke McKay as Dog Officer received a complaint from a resident that their neighbor’s dog is tied up outside and barks constantly. The dog also gets loose and goes in the neighbor’s yards. The neighbors have tried to talk to the dog owner directly but the matter has not resolved. The Selectboard will ask Luke McKay to follow up and make a report to the board and come to the next Selectboard meeting.
NEW DOG BITE INCIDENT
Pat Sullivan stopped in to hand deliver a written complaint to the Selectboard concerning a dog bite while she was walking around East Road about six weeks ago. She instinctively put her arms up in protection and was bit on the elbow. She did not need medical attention and stated that she likes the dog and doesn’t want to see anything happen to it. The Selectboard noted that this is the second dog bite incident that has come to their attention from the same dog. Kurt Gamari will be asked to investigate the matter as Health Officer and Luke McKay as Dog Officer. The Selectboard scheduled a potentially vicious dog hearing for Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
The deadline for applications for the Administrator Officer’s job has been extended to October 16, 2017. Click the link to right if your interested.
After making a stop into the Stamford Community Church Annual Bazaar and then going across the street to the library to lend a hand to the Seed Savers Community Garden Harvest Festival, stop on by Many Forks Farm between 3PM and 6PM for a Work/Play/Learn – Get the Farm Ready for Fall/Winter session. All are welcome! We’re at 1360 River Road, Clarksburg. We’ll have some simple fall farm tasks for your ready hands, remove the big plastic from the caterpillar tunnels, and Beekeeper Tony Pisano will be on hand for questions about hives, and more. Questions – call Sharon at 413-281-1814.
The Selectboard would like to have a Finance Committee for the upcoming budget season. Anyone wishing to serve on the Finance Committee should contact a Selectboard member. The committee members from last year will be contacted to see if they would like to serve again.
DINNER TO HONOR STAMFORD WAR VETERANS
Dan Potvin would like to organize a potluck dinner to honor the town’s veterans. The Selectboard supported the idea and thought this Veterans Day would be a good time. Nancy Bushika suggested the Historical Society could bring out some of their civil war memorabilia for viewing that night.
DOG BITE INCIDENT
The Selectboard received a report from a local veterinarian about a dog bitten and treated over the weekend. Luke McKay advised that two loose pit bull mix dogs ran out in the road and attacked another dog being walked on a lead. The two dogs are not licensed with the town and there is no information as to whether they have had their rabies shots. Both dog owners are related and the injured dog owner does not want to file a complaint. Kurt Gamari as Health Officer viewed the dog and said he has a nasty bite that required several stitches. He has been unable to reach the owner of the dogs that caused the incident. The Selectboard discussed scheduling a potentially vicious dog hearing. A letter will be sent requesting that the dogs be licensed with the town within one week, that the owners follow the town’s dog ordinance, and the dogs be quarantined at home for ten days from the date of the attack.