Selectboard Meeting Notes – Going Through The Motions

Brattleboro Selectboard

The Brattleboro Selectboard gathered for their last regular meeting under the current configuration of board members – Chair Kate O’Connor and Shanta Lee Gander are about to return to civilian life.

The Country Club was reprimanded for a liquor infraction, causing the board to offer them time to do some free promotion. (Note to other liquor license holders – minor infractions will lead to publicity!) Bids were accepted, the Energy Committee was reduced in size, and representative town meeting motions were assigned.

Comments | 10

  • Preliminaries

    Chair Kate O’Connor kicks things off. Just one reminder – RTM is Saturday and starts at 8:30 am.

    David Schoales – tomorrow at Green St School will be presenting their budget, and caucuses meet beforehand.

    Peter Elwell – Child care is provided for info meetings and representative town meeting.

    Shanta Lee Gander – Compassionate Brattleboro has started forums, and another is coming up. Once a month.

    Tim Wessel – It is Kate’s and Shanta’s last official meeting. Thanks for service.

    Kate – I’ve been here for six years every other Tuesday.

    Shanta – I think everyone should serve. It gave me a new respect for the process.

    Terry Carter – Public radio pointed out Brattleboro banned plastic bags and it may go statewide.

  • Liquor Commissioners

    Kate – One thing to do – renewal of permit for Brattleboro Country Club. WE asked them to come in because they had a violation. They got a warning about serving to a minor.

    (BCC got in trouble for selling a 16ox Bud light draft for $5.00. The crime wasn’t the price, but that they sold it to a 20 year old.)

    Owner Melanie Boese explained that they had a bartender for several years who carded someone – she got month and year right, but not day. They have since decided to add brighter light and a magnifying glass to the bar area.

    Kate – It was a first offense. We just like to have people come in.

    Schoales – typically we let people promote their business.

    Melanie – I’ve been doing my best, and have hired consultants to help with golf course training for myself. We’ll really focus on golf. Looking for someone to lease the restaurant from me. It’s just too much. To market it as year round has been as good as I’d like. Our focus is to build the business and make it healthy. I have a new golf professional, and he’ll build up young golf.

    Wessel – and first day of spring is tomorrow.

    Melanie – there are still skiers.

    Permit approved.

  • Financial Report with John O’Connor

    John O’Connor -The eighth report of FY2019 means that we are 66.7% of the way to July.

    General Fund is at 68.1%, Utilities at 64.1%, and Parking at 67%.

    Solid Waste revenue is at 62.4% and expenses are at 61.4%. Some revenues and fees get boked in the following month, as always.

    Brattleboro has loaned out $4,200,993, and has $664,452 available for additional loans or grants.

    There are 44 active grants and 5 being prepared.

    Elwell – One comment about a loan modification. That’s subject to the select board’s approval, and will come back to board soon.

    Kate – I’m assuming parking meter revenue will be up? (yes)

    Kate we went out to bid for auditors and you had some recommendations.

    O’Connor – we asked nine to bid and we got two bids. Our current auditor is less expensive.

    Shanta – how were the nine firms chosen?

    O’Connor – all werefrom Vermont. This with good reputations for municipal audit work. Most are having trouble retaining auditors. Auditors are overwhelmed with work.

    Schoales – the first year we went with Bachelor it was 40% lower mostly because our books were in good order.

    Batchelder Associates awarded the contract for FY2019 audit services at $22,660, with an option to renew in 2020 and 2021.

  • Seasonal Cemetery Maintenance

    Carol Lolatte said she got a single bid, and that the project is paid over two fiscal years and is within those budgets.

    Vermont Road Works will do cemetery maintenance at Prospect Hill and Morningside, and they’ll be paid $19,403 to do it.

  • Leases

    Kate – next up are two renewals of leases. First up is Experienced Goods…

    Elwell – they’ve been there since 2006, and most recent term expired in January. New lease for Brattleboro Area Hospice is from 2/1/19 to 1/31/21 for 7,068 square feet of commercial space in the parking garage. $10.18 per square foot is the price, with regular increases each year.

    Kate – what are they paying now?

    Moreland – just a bit lower than $10.18.


    Elwell – A new lease, too, for Vermont Dept. of Buildings and General Services for 423 sq ft of commercial office space at the Municipal Center from 4/1/18 through 3/31/21. (the lease expired a year ago…) This is home to a Vermont Emergency Management office, and they’ll pay $10.83 per sq ft, with regular increases.

    Kate – same as what they pay now? (yes)


  • Reduction of Energy (Committee)

    Kate – the bylaws for the Energy Committee. Request to reduce membership to 7 rather than 8-10, to be able to reach a quorum more easily.

    Elwell – they have had trouble having meetings over last year with quorum. (The committee attempted to amend their own bylaws, but not enough members were present.) They ask you to make it easier. With seven, it will require only a minimum of four to keep business flowing. Better this way, with active participation. Jan Anderson will track term limits as this changes.


  • Tire Removal

    Kate – next up is an update on tire clean up efforts. Last year, the Connecticut River Conservancy helped.

    Terry Carter and Sue Fillion

    Terry – Kathy Urffer of Connecticut River Conservancy has helped and we’ve gotten positive feedback. Clean-up went okay last year. Got about 130. We decided to do it next to avoid amphibians that are breeding, watch water levels, etc. So November, or this time of year. Sue’s helping.

    Elwell – we have a situation where a cleanup has occurred, more work is planned with consent of private property owner, and we support this efforts. There is a nesting habitat, and we helped remove tires, and assisted with coordination of event. We plan to do it again as a supporting planner. It’s a volunteer effort on a private property. This isn’t town action – it’s private property.

    Terry – yes. Could it be mandated that people that initiated that people who do this can be kept in the loop? I’m a Rep and want to update my constituents. People involved with this should be in communication. I don’t own a business, but should be in on the discussion between businesses and landowners. Can it be mandated?

    Kate – because this is a nonprofit and private landowner, we can’t do…

    Sue – not sure if Kathy was working as individual or CT River Consv. It is private property, so she needs to get permission. We need to arrange for tire pickup. Figure out how many tires are there, where they are, and how deep. Nesting… so she wants to work toward may 4th, but doesn’t want to commit.

    Terry – who owns the land?

    Jason Cooper – land is owned by the people there, but there is an easement for trail use.

    Kate – sounds to me that if Kathy does it as individual or as conservancy, she is trying to do something, and none of us can mandate anything, so we have to see what Kathy can do.

    Brandie – April might be expecting too much.

    Terry – but it also would be an ideal time. How would I get a map?

    Sue – Maps Online on town website, or stop by my office.

    Wessel – there are lots of moving parts. I was reassured that she’s really committed to working on the project. Part of challenge is the large tire pickup not being part of free tire disposal.

    Terry – more people would like to volunteer. It would be great if it could be more of a community thing. I respect the bureaucracy around this. I was offended I was left out of the communication around this. There is enthusiasm and interest in this.

    Kate – we appreciate people getting the word out.

    Brandie – please stop dumping towards.

    Terry – Brattleboro Tire is helping.

  • JAG Police Grant

    Police Grant for $17,264 from US Department of Justice to help pay for “community policing activities, supplement the Outreach Team and purchase equipment to upgrade our IT infrastructure and forensic capability.”

    Brandie Starr – Project CARE has been very helpful so I’m glad this is getting some funds.

    accepted, and appropriated!

  • Going Through The Motions

    Kate – next we go through TM articles and assign the motions for each of us to read on Saturday.

    (They go through the motions. Who will get the long list of Human Services? (There are many long articles this year) Tim will do the 1% tax request. Kate volunteers for Human Services! )

  • Committee appointments

    Kate – we just lowered the number for the Energy Committee and just got new applications, so let’s put this off until April.

    They adjourn.

    Applause for Kate and Shanta.

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