Selectboard Shorts

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.

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.

Selectboard Latest

The town office will be closed for the week between Christmas and New Years.

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 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.

Selectboard Meeting Minutes 4/5/18

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.

From The Selectboard

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.

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.

Stamford PTG Fundraiser

Selectboard Minutes and Wreaths Across America

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.

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

Wreaths Across America –  Stamford Vermont Cemeteries is thrilled to announce that we have reached our goal of sponsoring enough wreaths to lay at each veterans’ grave in both Houghton and Millard cemeteries.
On Sunday we marked each grave that will be receiving a wreath with an orange flag, so that it will be easily visible to our volunteer wreath layers. If you see one of these at a loved one’s grave please leave it there until after December 16th so we are sure to get the wreaths to all of our veterans.
One change in our plan is that we have changed the date of the ceremony and wreath laying to Sunday December 16th at noon instead of December 15th. This is because of a conflict with a ceremony and wreath laying that we are participating in in North Adams on Saturday the 15th.
We will be at the Veterans Pot Luck Dinner on November 17th and hope to see you there. We will be looking for volunteers to participate in the ceremony as well as lay wreaths on December 16th.
Thanks to all who have supported our project with your donations!
Donna Whitcomb and Donna Engel

Selectboard Meeting Minutes

The Selectboard is looking for volunteers to serve on this year’s Finance Committee. Last year’s members will be contacted.

The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program has scheduled a presentation in Arlington, Vermont to discuss the emerald ash borer. This insect has been found in Stamford by the Agency of Natural Resources.

1. The highway crew has been working on the Mill Road ditching project. We are making money back on our equipment and time by using our own excavator instead of hiring out the work. Projects that took a week before can be finished in a day with the excavator.
2. Dave Tatro received the permit to repair the Creamery Brook culvert on Clough Road.
3. Dave Tatro plans to work on some culverts on Klondike Road.
4. Dan Potvin heard there was a logger working on East Road and suggested Dave Tatro check on the road.
5. Allen Desautels has accepted the full-time highway laborer position and will start on October 29, 2018.
6. Larry Arnold has been using the leaf blower to clean out the ditches. He is all done mowing.
7. Dave Tatro has heard a lot of rumors and misinformation in town. He said times have changed and people expect a level of service that demands a third highway person. He wishes people would attend Selectboard meetings and get the information first-hand. The town will save a lot of money with our own excavator instead of hiring contractors. Being able to repair equipment in house instead of paying a garage for repairs saves lots of money and the third laborer will make the highway department more efficient. The Selectboard and Dave Tatro will plan a presentation for town meeting.

Pat Sullivan and Victoria Jefferies met with an architect at Norwich University. They presented the Selectboard with a written outline. The architectural department has agreed to use our project as part of their curriculum. They will develop project ideas, prepare sketches and cost estimates for town meeting. There is no cost to the town for their services which is a tremendous savings. The group will pursue grants and the amount of grant funding obtained may ultimately decide the scope of the project and whether the project will be completed in phases. The board gave its full support. Chris Warren suggested they speak to the School Board about the interstate merger with Clarksburg since ownership of the school building and land will need to be turned over to the school district according to the draft merger documents.


Selectboard Meeting Minutes

1. There is a discrepancy between the town’s 1996 Ordinance regarding Street Naming and Street Addressing and the 9-1-1 State Board Standards for addressing. Nancy Bushika reviewed the state law which says the requirements will be set by the 9-1-1 State Board. Although the standards only require a 3” high number, our ordinance requires house numbers be 4” high. Bill Levine asked that the board keep the 4” high requirement. The standards require reflective address numbers, but our ordinance only requires numbers to be in a contrasting color from the building background. Mike Denault noted that we have another ordinance which the town is not enforcing. The ordinance does have provisions for penalties and fines for non-compliance.
MOTION by Chris Warren to add to Section IV of the ordinance that numbers be a reflective, contrasting color. SECONDED by Dan Potvin. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
The Selectboard will start the process of changing the ordinance officially.

Mike Denault would like to see a Christmas tree on the school front lawn. There used to be one years ago and several other towns have them. Electricity is available at the flag pole. Mike Denault knows someone who will donate an 8-10 foot tall tree and Dave Tatro will help put it up. Nancy Bushika suggested we talk to the principal, Micah Hayre, to see if the school children would like to have a tree lighting ceremony.

Carl Taylor asked the board to be fiscally responsible in making the decision to hire a third full-time laborer. He charged the board to look at the whole picture. Dave Tatro said this position should reduce the overtime pay and eliminate the part-time position. Nancy Bushika said safety was a main concern when making this decision because our highway guys sometimes put in excessive hours during snowstorms. We don’t want them falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident. Dave Tatro said he gets calls at home from the state police and residents wanting their road plowed and the needs of the town are growing beyond what two people can manage. Dave Tatro said he really pushed for a third laborer and told the board he would not be here next year if they didn’t seriously consider it. Mike Denault told Carl Taylor he appreciated his input. Carl Taylor expressed that he was not trying to tell the board or Dave Tatro how to do their job, he just wanted to ask them to be fiscally aware.

All meeting minutes are located here