Selectboard Meeting Notes – Enters Opioid Lawsuit, Settles Other, and Discusses FY21 Capital Expenses

Brattleboro Selectboard nov 19 19

The Brattleboro Selectboard decided Tuesday night to enter into an opioid lawsuit similar to the one that Bennington is undertaking. With strict warnings that local pharmacies could be added in the future if anything notable arises, the board decided not to sue local pharmacies for now.

SeVEDS gave an account of their work year and asked for their annual contribution from Brattleboro, big projects are planned at Living Memorial Park, yes we’re getting another new fire truck, the police have requested some hybrid vehicles for the first time, and the first local option sales taxes shows that things cost about $200,000 more in Brattleboro than in surrounding communities for the first quarter reported.

Comments | 11

  • Preliminaries

    The meeting starts a bit late.

    Chair Brandie Starr had no comments.

    Peter Elwell said that there were 45 minutes left to vote in the election for schools.

    David Schoales – the Diversity Workforce Committee meets Thursday.


    George Harvey – I think as everyone knows I keep a blog related to energy and climate change and look at 400 headlines every day. I’m able to watch changes take place and have come to tell you things are taking an alarming turn. We had until 2030 to reduce emissions, or we won’t meet temperature targets. New reports and studies show that all regulations would need to be in place by 2020, which is unlikely. Nancy Pelosi said it would take 10 years to get anything through Congress. What can we do? Scientists are talking about a non-disruptive approach. Climate change is happening at a multiple of what scientists expected. Cities on permafrost will collapse. Tampa Bay water levels will rise 8.5 feet this century – an inch each year. The Fed is getting involved – climate change and rising seas will have an influence on life in the US. In regions of the US will not be possible to get a 30 year mortgage. We can’t wait for the Federal govt. We have to take things on ourselves. Thanks.

  • Green Street Parking

    Brandie – opens Public Hearing. This involves having parking in front of Green Street school during school day, and …

    Elwell – aligning the periods of one-way traffic between ordinance and actual practice. Reviewed by Traffic Safety Committee. This is second reading and final adoptions.

    Brandie close public hearing.


  • Multi-Jurisdictional Opioids Litigation and Ratification of Attorneys’ Retainer

    Bob Fisher – so you have three items. Whether to join in the multi-district suit in Ohio, joining the Bennington suit, naming who you want to name. Part of the debate has been regarding the pharmacies. If we start at the top, the manufacturers create these drugs and over the last 10 years put them out there knowing they are very addictive. The distributers have also profited from getting them to as many as possible out there, and they are distributed via prescriptions at pharmacies. 80% of opioid addiction starts with a prescription. Pharmacies have a duty to not fill suspicious prescriptions. National changes aren’t doing this, but what about local pharmacies? The police department looked into it and found no criminal complaints on a local basis. Other complaints may have gone elsewhere, not to police. Board will need to decide if to join the suit and to exclude the pharmacies. Then, ratify the retainer agreement with the law firm for the suit, then the last thing is whether to opt out of the national litigation that all towns are a part of unless they opt out. It is a difficult decision for the board. You can’t have double recovery, recovering twice from same defendant. If you opt out, the Bennington lawsuit will go after many of the same defendants out there and will have its own settlement. My perspective is we’re a small town, and if there is a national settlement, it may be allocated per capita. Larger cities outweigh us in population. It may make sense to opt out. A decision for you to make. I’ll answer questions as I can.

    Brandie – thank you, Bob. I hope people have read the paperwork from the lawsuit. It’s been up on the town website. We’ve read it, and hope you are as informed as we are. Willfull blindness between customer and doctor is like banking, I said last week, and if something is fishy you have an obligation to report it. Is that wrong?

    Bob – willful blindness is a good analogy. In the complaint hey say pharmacies did nothing to stem the flow of opioids into towns. Through spread pricing – a phrase describing a reimbursement price to be higher than acquisition costs. Pharmacies stock shelves with commodities that make the most profit – that can be part of the complaint.

    Brandie – board?

    Daniel – A few things from the lawsuit. It talks about responsibilities of pharmacies – says they ignored reporting suspicious orders of sales that might be diverted. We talked of refusing to fill, but that’s not the only thing. Do you have procedures to monitor prescriptions, to protect or investigate. Walgreens nationally admitted they weren’t equipped to investigate suspicious orders. Failing to have a robust procedure in place… the person isn’t a bad place, they didn’t have what they needed in place to comply with the law. Rite Aid paid penalties and created a compliance plan to prevent diversions, after systemic violations to prevent diversions. There were concrete examples of national chains failing to do their duty. Here, it is appropriate to name those same chains in our suit. I was on the fence of including local pharmacies. Hotel Pharmacy gave out abuts many dosages as the national chains. Is it fair to include them, not include them? If we were in a town a pharmaceutical company, we’d hear from them. Do we have any ground to NOT include Hotel Pharmacy, and we don’t have any evidence that they have failed. I feel that it is a really really tough decision for us to make. I hope that Hotel and Brattleboro aPharmacy have done a good job distributing opioids responsibly, and by not naming them in this suit we are doing the right thing. WE need to take a look at what the local pharmacies did. I’d love for a way to do that without a lawsuit. If we don’t name them, I hope it proves to be wise and responsible.

    Elizabeth McLoughlin – this info says pharmacy defendants have engaged in improper dispensing and knowingly doing so. What we know is the national chains did this, but don’t know about local pharmacies. We have nothing to charge them with, so I’m of the position we exclude them at this time. If evidence emerges we can add them, but don’t want to sue without a reason. Let’s skip the second lawsuit and stick with what we have.

    Brandie – an email about 1200 bottles of oxycontin coming “keep em coming they are flying out of here like people are addicted. Oh, they are.” I’m uncomfortable including local pharmacies, but we retain the right to bring a pharmacy back into a suit if hard evidence hits this table. I take this very seriously. I don’t see us benefiting from being in a second lawsuit. It’s more of a blanket things and we’ve had more communication with the bennington suit. We need to stay with those that want to communicate with us.

    Tim Wessel – The specific examples for national chains are pretty appalling. A local pharmacy in Bennington doesn’t have specifics – don’t know why it is named. It seems irresponsible. We don’t investigate things as a selectboard. If we were presented with evidence, we should name everyone, but not here. It would be seen as scooping everyone up. Local pharmacies are doing due diligence. The newer lawsuit is vague. It’s not a fully named suit?

    Bob – national prescription opioid litigation – not all parties have been named and not all have agreed to be bound by their arrangement. There is a lot to be negotiated with regard to that. One benefit means you have a seat at the negotiation table, but you would in your own suit, too. The difficulty has to do with how a case is settled.

    Tim – We run a risk of losing a large swath of defendants if it settles out.

    David – Daniel’s clarification about the national chains… as for local pharmacies there is no evidence they’ve done anything. We’ve talked about this for months in executive session, and we’ve heard legal options and read documents and are please at where we are with this.

    Brandie – community comments?

    Franz Reichsman – not clear on some legal aspects of the car. Is this lawsuit tort law?

    Bob – yes – there are tort allegations and fraud allegations, but yes, broadly tort law.

    Franz -there would need to be a duty that was breached and damages resulted from the breach. The damages have to be to the town, not to individuals. The town suffered harm, and would be compensated – is there any contributory negligence on the part of others that would interfere. The pharmaceutical companies could blame the people who took them as the case of our damage. How will it prevail in the end?

    Bob – there are lessons learned from the tobacco litigation. It isn’t just negligence. Will we prevail – if the facts set forth in the case about the large majority becoming addicts due to prescription medication, there is likely success with the suit. I don’t see contributory negligence here. People had operations and were prescribed pills, and became addicted. In the facts here, the US is 5% of world’s population but use 80% of prescription opioids. Maybe that’s why we have this epidemic. Through a combination of many efforts – lawsuits and so on – is to stop or reduce the number of new addicts. If you can reduce the number of pills, you might reduce number who might become addicts. It’s not just money in the suit for damages. It’s also to stem the low. Towns have had more police calls and so on, and that relates to damages.

    HB Lozito – I’m stuck on the millions of doses that went out at pharmacies. That Hotel Pharmacy was the second highest provider of dosages. It’s a huge amount. I’m curious. You haven’t heard compelling evidence. Can you share more of why you want to exclude. That’s startling numbers to me.

    Brandie – For me, I heard no evidence but tried to reason out why it was so high at Hotel – you can walk to it, it’s downtown, they deliver. Still doesn’t sit well with me.

    David – they serve many of the local institutions.

    Tim – we don’t have any numbers. There were some bits of cases we can’t share, but the numbers, while interesting, aren’t and indictment in themselves. I’m happy to see how successful they are. It is eye opening and interesting.

    Daniel – what we did do to not have evidence of wrongdoing? We were curious if there was any police activity…

    Elwell – there wa limited info we could responsibly report on. We did the typical search of police databases and we found nothing. There are state and federal agencies that may have had complaints. We can’t responsible state that there is no evidence to find, but what we believe is that due to the complexity of that, there may be information that comes later and maybe pharmacies are added later. There is a danger in the lack of information we have to lean one way or the other. After some serious soul-searching the board thinks we can proceed without local pharmacies but could add them later if something comes up.

    Brandie – a quote from the case – the subject pharmacies increased orders over town, yet Walgreens turned a blind eye but had a bonus program for prescriptions filled at the pharmacies. Profit outweighed health of the community…

    Bennington case joined!

    Lawyers retainer agreement adopted! (with SANFORD HEISLER SHARP, LLP, AND THE CICALA LAW FIRM, PLLC)

    Opt out of second lawsuit? So opted!

  • October Financial Report

    Elwell – (reads the report) We’re 1/3 of the way through the fiscal year and have spent about 1/3. Utilities is a bit higher. Parking is lower. Solid Waste as usual is lagging below 30%. All very much as you would expect. One late breaking bit of news. Since this was out, we got the first quarter of local option sales tax – slightly over $200k for this quarter. Higher than we expected, but there is a lot about they stem we don’t know before we can project revenue. Very pleased with this first number.

    Tim – I am very pleased and will resist the urge to adjust our budget thinking at all. We shouldn’t be doing that. It is good news. $202k we didn’t have last year. I believe this is an underreported quarter.

    David – the internet tax isn’t collected yet. I watch the prorated numbers each month. I can’t recall a month where we didn’t have things a bit ahead after we prorate things. Will anything take away these numbers from being so close.

    Elwell – as we get deeper in the fiscal year… oh, the general fund. There are specific reasons the numbers are close now. Unbudgetted items have been expended – the work today funds went out and then got returned. We have spent money related to portapotties and summer month expenses. They show up as expenditures. My overarching observation is these aren’t alerting numbers.

    Tim – happy update!

  • Potential Settlement of Penny Witherbee v. town of Brattleboro

    Elwell – I recommend the board authorize settlement. There was a confidentiality agreement for this, and that information would remain confidential. Voluntary settlement before trial means info will not be given to the public, which is too bad, because we believe the town would prevail at trial. Brattleboro did not commit any gender-based discrimination. The overall atmosphere in police department is healthy. management has taken action over inappropriate conduct, there has been training on the issue, and it is not tolerated. Despite our confidence the town will prevail at trial and public would agree based on relevant facts, that we agree with insurer, attny to settle. All claims will be dismissed with prejudice. All claims against Brattleboro will be dismissed. VCLT PACIF will pay Witherbee $35,000, and her lawyer $3400(?). (Reads settlement).

    Elizabeth – it was my duty to represent the selecboard . The Town was more than fair to Witherbee and the low settlement reflects the lack of culpability on the part of the town, and dismisses against parties. It brings it to a close without spending further resources.

    Brandie – no comments can be made…

    Elwell – that’s the reason for the written statement… due to the confidentiality agreement.

    so agreed!

  • Application for FY21 VTrans Better Roads Grant – Department of Public Works

    Steve Barrett and Dan Tyler

    Dan Tyler – its an annual grant program. It has four sections – inventory – we’ve complete half our gravel road inventory and outflows from structures in town. There’s $8k for that and we can continue the inventory process. Section B is for previously identified problems – we picked a section of Bonnyvale road that has erosion problems for a possible $20k grant. Stream bank related problems – we have erosion on Ames Hill Rd and hope to get engineering done on that and maybe do the repair. Section D is for large culverts or structures. There’s a small bridge on Akeley? Rd that needs repair.

    Grant applications approved!

  • Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) – Update and Request for FY21 Funding

    Adam Grinold, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation

    ( The board is handed a report).

    Adam – thanks for letting us speak about an impactful busy year. We helped some projects with Long Falls paperboard and have seen $6 million of payroll come into the area. Completed our second CEDS and an economic summit. Worked on improvements to wastewater at Exit I, and Long Falls Paperboard project – we’ve brought in outside capital to build capacity in others to build the regions. We’re leveraging the dollars you give to bring more in and get it out to the region. A bit of a change in our approach. The report is ready for RTM Jennifer Thompson, our chief data person, can talk about it, but first, Sara…

    Sarah Lang, of BDCC – talent specialist. Recruitment, internships, and young professionals. Everyone has heard of the young professionals, and the workshops and events for them once a month (at least!)… doing some in Bellows Falls to help that part of the region. Doing a homecoming event before thanksgiving – to get people to move back. The stay to stay program has been going on for two years, trying to recruit people who are interested in moving to the area. Southern VT economy project to build capacity… Brattleboro is grant partner in that.

    Adam – how do you want to do this? Ask question? The annual report you just got is for the 50 selectboard reports we give each year. Some communities don’t want to see glossy printing, so we reduced that. The other report is for RTM.

    Daniel – top three questions – 1. Thanks for making this and please send this in advance so I can read it in advance. 2. Wages – I noticed in the letter you wrote you talked about improving wages for residents. tell us how you do that.

    Adam – in our regional CEDS, we invested in what we have here – precision engineering, optics, food, and manufacturing. In the report you got, one source speaks to this – in 2009 there were 15% manufacturing establishment growth and now 46%. Employment and average way has gone up in Brattleboro by 14.4% over VT.

    Jennifer – that’s one way. another example is investing in workforces. We work with employers to upscale existing employees, to train people to become better skilled at their jobs, we do hospitality training for that sector to give them skills to earn more at jobs we have here.

    Daniel – at RTM, there is often confusion between SeVEDS and BDCC. Can you explain the differences, and how our money gets used.

    Adam – SeVEDS is a 501c3 with its own board and budget but no employees. We contract with BDCC to have staff to do the work. Municipal funding goes to direct pay for some employees, but gets leveraged to apply for other grants.

    Daniel – pay goes to BDCC staff… okay.

    Adam – SeVEDS creates priories for BDCC to implement.

    Jennifer – SeVEDS is like R&D lab. The pair company biomass project… we are operating, looking forward, strategically planning that other communities without a SeVEDS can’t do.

    Brandie – do outside groups come ask for the board to do things?

    Adams – sometimes, but not really.

    David – thanks. I think Spoon Agave pushed for us to do long term financial planning and he deserves credit. Thanks for getting this information together. It will prove very helpful over time. I assume it is on your website (yes), and maybe the town could post it (yes). It’s very revealing about patterns and trends. Really valuable. You talked about recruiting – it would be helpful to know how many peolple moved here, how many interns. At the end of the report, 5 objectives are outlined, but the report doesn’t address them from last year – have it correspond to the objectives.

    Adam – those objectives are for the NEXT five years.

    Brandie – Springfield has better wages than us? (pg 5)

    Jennifer – yes, these are wages paid. the jobs in Springfield are paying better wages, or worse. I don’t have my glasses on. yes, more. Brattleboro may have more retail jobs or support jobs. Springfield might have better jobs, but household incomes are better here. It’s hard to think about these things. This data has a 6 month lag, and household data comes from US census.

    Tim – I love the data. One thing that fascinates me is population changes in towns. You are estimating Brattleboro declines slightly – 500 people. The surrounding areas have gone up a tick. I’m always wondering if people are fleeing town but working here.

    Jennifer – its from Dept of Health in VT. I think people should get familiar with these resources.

    Tim – one tiny suggestion – to expand your palette…

    Jennifer – it was their color choice.

    David – what’s it called when your clothes match?

    Jennifer – we tried to include very little commentary. Ask questions about the data – we can track down info in coming years. We can’t determine causes but give you suggest of info for an informed discussion.

    David – household income has, with the rest of the nation – those with more income are increasing and those without…

    Liz – a bunch of questions – is there a similar entity in Bennington (yes. (What’s your relationship with Chamber and DBA?

    Adam – weekly – we do lots of initiatives.

    Sarah – Stay to Stay is a three way partnership .

    Liz – state marketing funds go to you and not the DBA and Chamber?

    Adama – no. WE get money for regional development, but no specific funding for marketing.

    Liz – so there are other regional entities?

    Adam – yes.

    Liz – how many staff (12). Will you have the same funding request for other communities? (yes) I’m not ready to vote for their funding tonight.

    Tim – we usually kick it around for a while.

    Jennifer – we’re regional and collaborate across southern Vermont. Relationship with other Chambers of Commerce is good. Lots of our work is centered here, but our mandate is for the region.

    Brandie – this was a RTM request. I’m thinking of our reps, and how they get lots of information. I hope reps read this now, on your website. Can this be sent to RTM members? (yes) It is interesting and want to read it more, but maybe we get it out to the reps?

    Adam – the more people the better.

    Elwell – we’ll post it on the town’s website.

    Tim – remind us about funding? Traditionally this is funded through program income, which is for economic development or housing. Okay to use this pot ion funds. Doesn’t;t come directly from town budget. It started as federal money. Just to make that clear.

    Liz – we have to decide is if we want to do our own funding with that money and what portion can go to other groups. I have a problem with per capita funding. As a hub town we’re disadvantaged with that formula. It’s not proportional support.

    Tim – it is legitimate know that Brattleboro does its own economic development programs as well. You have to request something to get something. I appreciate a lot of what you do and work in the background that sometimes is heard about.

    Elwell – The other thing – as a result of the ways Brattleboro invests directly in other economic matters, we’ve given $2 per person over the last few years. Whatever you come up with it should come from Program Income.

    David – RTM will ultimately decided the amount to give. Regarding Liz’s comments – is most of your work in Brattleboro? We have the jobs and infrastructure…

    Adam – every community has to determine the value of what we offer. Last year 74% of the county supported funding. Brattleboro is getting more than its investment back, so it is determining that value.

    Daniel – I was thinking of SeVEDS not having staff and BDCC has staff – how do people get involved with SeVEDS?

    Adam – we are out in communities every week. We have 16 board members from 13 communities. A grassroots effort about future strategies. We have many opportunities to get engaged. Visit our website.

    Rikki Risatti – I went to Career Expo and was very grateful to get that exposure to SeVEDS and went to follow up meetings. I appreciate them.

    HB Lozito – I’m excited to see the report. Two questions – I hear about manufacturing, and we have many non-profits and the Grsd Center has been a resource. How much work is focused on non-profit sector vs manufacturing. 2. Municipal fund have gone to PPP programs?

    Adam – it’s part of the mix – we raised more from other sources. We leveraged the municipal funds.

    Jennifer – it pays for some internship and expo staffing. Manufacturing has data, but not as good data from nonprofits. We’ve also gathered more data from manufacturers over time. We do work with hundreds of non-profits, and some grew up and through BDCC.

    Ricardo(?) – BDCC helped me to move here and helped me prepare and find jobs. Really appreciated, and connected with the Young professionals group. Thanks!

    Jennifer – that’s very sweet to sit here just to tell us that.

  • FY21 Proposed Budget (i) Capital Projects (ii) Capital Equipment

    A break til 8:17 then….

    Elwell – if you are following along, all the information is on the Town website. First is FY21 Capital Requests, which has projects and equipment. I’ll summarize. The first item on project list is second/final phase of replacing windows ant the Library for $25k..

    Liz – it is a sustainability issue?

    Elwell – it is the least we can do, but we are replacing 50 year old windows, so it is a modern energy efficient window, but they still bleed in winter.

    Elwell – the next two items are recurring annual items – street paving for $330k, and the price of asphalt and state aid will determine how much we can do. Sidewalks – we could spend several times this money and still not catch up. It’s an old infrastructure in deteriorated condition. We’ve been inching this up toward $100k, but this year we ask for $75k. Then the roof at the skating rink needs engineering work for $15k before replacing it. Also, the maintenance bad needs $15k of engineering before doing work there. That’s the projects list. The rest of request is equipment. This is the first year, and it is exciting for us regarding stability and long range planning. No wild fluctuations following the plan. We used to have old fire trucks failing, and those things required emergency spending. Now we have planned spending. Equal amounts increasing a bit over years to replace equipment. With prudent lifespan observations we can balance this. We can see end of life coming. We keep the fleet in better condition because we aren’t wearing them all the way to failure. Replaced before they completely wear out, so we get trade in value on the equipment. There is a lot of variation in trade in value, but the overall principal is important and hope you fund this as the first year of the png range capital plan. A tractor $28k , a walk behind mower $12k, computer hardware $30k, DPW $15k rough mower for roadside maintenance, two police vehicles (there’s a memo explaining this) – hybrid vehicles for police! They were introduced last year, and we watched how they performed. Chief says performance is so favorable that we replace our vehicles with hybrid vehicles. Not just more sustainable, but for police use, when they pull up and get out of the car the car must be left idling to power the equipment. Because this is hybrid with robust batteries, the car doesn’t have to idle now, so air quality is improved.

    David – plug in hybrids?

    Captain Carignan – not plus in. The battery is charged by motor when running.

    Liz – how does this relate to our chart?

    Elwell – it replaces a Chevy Trailblazer and a Ford Explorer… Fire dept wants a radio box – same as the one in dispatch. The National Fire Protection Association creates standards to measure readiness of fire departments, which relates to insurance ratings, and rates in the community. Redundcancy for radio boxes is one newer standard, in case there is a problem at dispatch the fire department will get notified of fires. Biggest issue is replacing 1994 fire engine. This is 25 years old and in poor condition. We want to replace every 20 years. You have a memo and we recommend it is purchased. In the fleet of fire engines, they have been reduced by two over the last decade. While expensive, they are replaced occasionally and we use the minimum of fire engines to serve the community. This will be the last time to come up with $550k in one year for fire truck. In future, we’ll be setting aside money so we’ll have the money available in the fund without borrowing or spike the tax rate. WE need to replace this one, then years before we need another and we’ll accrue the funds for that one.

    Patrick – a minor correction – the DPW is the fine mower, not the rough mower.

    Elwell – it is significant but we recommend it.

    Brandie – not a surprise to any of us…

    David – an estimate to replace the pool house and if we could add this? It needs to be done.

    Elwell – it is old and sad. It has dropped off the list. It’s like waiting the house – you want to and need to, but as you approach the day, the furnace goes, so you fix that… it is our estimation that the work needed for the rink roof, from 1975, and the refrigerant system for the ice.. the emergence of those as significant costs (over $1 million) means we put off the pool house. It is old and sad but rink needs work more urgently. Your request is for a cost, and we could get a ballpark cost for you.

    David – rink repairs over $1.5 million is two years off, I understand the metaphor but lets look at ballpark costs. We only have a certain amount of money but also a responsible to maintain what we have, especially for our most marginal. Another question – at 2023, we’re planning on $5 million of bonding? (yes) Why all at once?

    Elwell – two things going on there. When we legalize equipment, we can better plan projects. When we are catching emergencies, we can’t manage flow of funds. Because of equipment replacement fund needs ($763k) and increasing over time then level for a decade. To get those benefits, we have to increase funding for projects this year. We have less money for projects now, but will spend millions at LMP and at DPW facilities. We need to go out for bond approval as a package project. If we are going to bond facilities, (they are wearing out at the same time) it makes sense to plan them together to get a larger borrow and a better position in the market. Water utility not included here. That is separate and will be borrowed from the State. We have significant planning to do.

    Tim – what did we do for sidewalks in recent years?

    Elwell – it stated a lot lower – $25k about five years ago. Maybe $60k last year. Want to get to $100k.

    Tim – how does this related to operating funds – sidewalks?

    Steve B – within operations there is money for small fixes. The capital request is for larger projects. The last large project was Birge to Maple Street at $100 per foot. We hope to double or triple that with seasonal employees in-house to get the most out of what we have.

    Tim – lots of people ask about sidewalks.

    Elwell – we’re open to spend more, but there is a balancing act. We are using it higher – walking is important in the community. Lots of catching up to do.

    Tim – you keep track of conditions?

    Steve – a full survey of all sidewalks was done this year and will help us plan repairs.

    Tim – why replace a 2016 Ford Explorer.

    Elwell – a frontline vehicle on a 4 year replacement schedule. Patrol vehicle that gets a lot of use.

    Daniel – will hybrids have longer lives?

    David – it could be more costly.

    Captain Carignan – these hybrids just have gas mowers. No electric function to move the cruiser. The hybrid aspect is the battery for not running while stopped. No mother to cause locomotion, but runs all electronics and air conditioning, heat… it will reduce idle time significantly. About 40% of run time is idling, which is terrible for gas mowers. Maintenance could eb lower or higher. We’ll see.

    Brandie – glad something is coming on the market.

    Tim – joked that we just but them a firetruck… can you talk about the truck?

    Lenny – we did replace an engine in 2018. Wetook two trucks and turned it into one, and got a new ladder truck, and now we’re on to engine two. The frame went out on it. Engine One needs to be replaced now. Once purchased, it will be much easier to replace these trucks.

    Liz – I see on capital plan that next big item will be 2028

    Lenny – 2028, and 2032

    Elwell – the plan shows setting aside the funds starting next year, to buy them in the future.

    Daniel – setting aside money – the money market is doing well? (yes) Can we invest this?

    Elwell – eys, we’ll earn interest on money as we set it aside to buy these, rather than paying interest through loans. It will take management of those funds to make sure this works.

    Rikki – Upon hearing batteries are lithium based – a general message to make sure whatever resources come from fair trade and ethical resources. I’ve hear that US coup in Bolivia was about exploiting lithium resources. I hope natural resources in all our services are sustainable and coming from fair practices.

    Daniel – the roof at the rink. Tell us more?

    Carol Lolatte – rink built in 1975, so over 40 years old. 30k sq feet of metal roofing. Engineers need to be involved to check girders to see if they can support the new insulation to the roofing.

    Daniel – Ford compact tractor from 1984 – what does it do?

    Carol – it maintains the hill at LMP. The rough terrain, 3 point attachments like augers and rakes. It does mowing of the hill.

    Brandie – we’ll give you a good deal on it Daniel.

    Daniel – I want to propose a policy. I thought about fossil fuel use in town. maybe one way we can plan to get off fossil fuels is in our long term capital equipment plans. Some of these pieces will emend past 2030. If it will last past 2030, we should see if there are non-fossil fuel options. Equipment and buildings – glad to hear rink roof will be insulated and hope DPW building will be heated by something other than fossil fuels.

    Elwell – it will be big changes for that, and we can upgrade many systems then.

    Brandie – people want us to show commitment. We need it in the long term plan.

    Elwell – also recruiting for the sustainability coordinator and they can look closer at those things.

    Richaldo – sustainability – what plan do you have for vehicles you dispose of? Are they donated? Sold for parts? Could bring income.

    Elwell – almost al get traded in, and those that get junked we get what we can. In most cases we trade it in, and we hope to trade them in while they still have some value in the future. Some specialty equipment has some special issues, like the ladder truck. We were able to resell one we used while we got another.

    Liz – and a police car was given to the fire department last week.

    Elwell- yup, sometimes we rotate vehicles into other departments.

    Tim – can I get a ride in the new fire truck? (for John Allen)

    Elwell – we’ll get you a pool house estimate.

  • Brownfields Grant

    “$200,000 for a Brownfields Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inventory, characterize, assess and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites”

    Elwell – a request for us to apply for an EPA assessment grant. We had one before looking at petroleum sites and general hazards, and brownfield money has been useful to assess buildings for redevelopment and new development. Lots of projects in town assisting readiness and redevelopment of properties, but we struggled to spend the petroleum funds. There are legal aspects that are very specific, so this time we’ll focus on general hazards this time. We have a good relationship with the EPA.

    Liz – as a member of the Planning Commission – Sue Fillion got these really large grants and is an expert at it, and she strategically uses these funds around town to help property owners. I support this effort.

    application approved!

  • Committee Appointments

    RAYMOND DOYLE to the Cemetery Committee

    MILLICENT COOLEY to the Energy Committee

    NICHOLAS BIDDLE as a Fence Viewer

    Brandie – a great way to be involved in the town.

    Jan – Rikki Risatti is listed in minutes as mentioning an endangered tree list and it is actually the treasured tree list and she’d like that changed. (so changed)

  • Thanks!

    Thank you for this, great read, good to catch up on what’s going on. Now off to try and find results from yesterday’s vote.

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