TOWN OF PEACHAM
SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES
Town Hall Meeting Room
Wednesday October 21, 2015 6:30PM
Selectboard Members: David Jacobs and Nate Giroux
Clerk to the Selectboard: Melissa Laurita Kohl
Public: John Reis, Rodney Reis, Matt Kiley, Mike Bruton, Road Foreman Jeremy Withers, Eric Kaufman, Jock Gill, Craig Harrison
Nate called the meeting to order at 6:32pm.
- Recreational Soccer Program
- Nate moves to approve the minutes of 10/7/15 as amended. David seconds. So moved.
- Nate moves to approve the minutes of 9/2/15 as amended. David seconds. So moved.
- On Aug 2 a VT wildlife expert installed a beaver fence on Mack Mountain Rd.
- Recently, the beavers started to build up around it, so Mike called the wildlife expert back out. He met with her this morning. She removed over a foot of debris and stamped down the mud and grass and dug out inside where the culvert end was. The culvert had not been restricted in any way.
- Mike will go out and keep the level down until it freezes over. He will talk with Jeremy to let him know what’s going on. Jeremy is concerned about the water getting high enough to wash out the road.
- Initial Conversation about Solar in Peacham
- Jock Gill came in to discuss solar options with Selectboard. He said that if the town wanted zero investment, in terms of land and money, they could do what the Town of Norwich did. Norwich entered into a contract with a solar company and is saving 5-10% on their electric bill for the town building.
- Jock thinks the Town should have 2 or 3 companies come in to do presentations as they have different business models with different implications.
- He said that if the Town wants to save more money, the Town would have to buy equipment or dedicate land.
- David said there are a lot of good options for solar and that the Selectboard has to talk to the community to see what the community wants.
- Tom said that the Pace grant uses town resources for town benefit. Tom will forward the information to the Selectboard.
- Jock would like to see Peacham be a leader in moving away from fossil fuels. He said that the more power we produce in Peacham, the more money we keep in Peacham.
- Nate said the Selectboard can bring solar companies in to discuss options at future Selectboard meetings.
- Recreational Soccer Program
- Eric Kaufman would like to start a Peacham recreational soccer program. He would like to begin with 3rd and 4th graders starting next soccer season (fall 2016) to compete with teams like St. Johnsbury.
- Eric and Craig’s sons were on the St. Johnsbury team together and Eric was very disappointed by the coaching.
- Eric is willing to spearhead the effort. He has talked to students and parents and there is interest in it, particularly if practices can be held here in Peacham.
- Eric brought up concerns about access to the Peacham soccer field as it is not well marked and the road is in rough shape. He also wanted to make sure there would be an acceptable place to park, along with porta pottie during the soccer season.
- Nate thinks it would be nice to have those fields being used. Nate recommended Jeremy take a ride down there to get a sense of what it would take to improve the road.
- Tom said Town insurance company is very aware of the soccer field as town property. The insurance would cover soccer teams playing soccer on the field.
- Eric would like to make sure that there are no hazards in the field like holes. Eric could fill holes with his tractor.
- The Selectboard is supportive of the creation of a recreational soccer team.
- Tom asked for budget estimates by December so we can work it into next year’s budget.
- Eric and his wife would be willing to donate uniforms, and they have soccer balls and cones. Craig has a source for free soccer balls. Eric said he will work on a budget.
- Kinnerson Drive Easement
- The easement is signed. The town clerk received it for recording.
- David talked to Allen Thresher Jr. about doing the work on Kinnerson Drive. His estimate was $6400 roughly. Allen is really busy but he will do it before frost sets in. Allen was waiting for a signed easement before starting the work.
- David moves to award Allen Thresher Jr the contract and he will call him tomorrow. Nate seconds. So moved.
- Town Clerk Update
- tWO cds coming up for maturity - cemetery - 2 around $8,000= $16,000. The auditors suggested we take that quarter percent and take that and add it into general endowment as its own investment but lets move it around in ways so we can get higher yields. Tom wanted selectboard’s permission discuss investment options with Passumpsic Savings Bank.
- Passumpsic already manages $100,000 perpetual care endowment for the cemetery. In a CD the money is locked up so might be better for the town to move it into a more fluid place. At the next Selectboard he will review options with Selectboard.
- Selectboard gave permission
- Tom wants to schedule a work session for November for the budget. Nate said it would be Jeremy, Tom, and Nate.
- Anticipating some increases next yeare - rather than having a spike in taxes. think we can find a way to buffer that. tom said that if pay off the grader (about $40,000) we would lower the budget 18% and it will be much smoother on the taxpayers. we have this excess money but it stretches it out over years. would mean we have zero long term debt.
- tom said peacham has one of the lowest working capital funds in the state. we could bump that up by $50000 or 100,000.
- Nate thinks this is a good idea (pay off grader) but wants to wait to do it until Selectboard views all of the numbers.
- Nate and David signed a “Deed of Cemetery Lot”.
- Highway Department Update
- Jeremy said that the garage is switching over to winter stuff.
- The road crew is still grading and ditching until they start plowing snow.
- Jeremy is watching the budget very closely. The garage is doing very well. He would like to buy more gravel this fall so he can have it for spring time. He would overspend on the gravel line item but the garage is lower on other line items. This would be about $10,000 maybe.
- Nate said that Jeremy should get the gravel now, especially since it is not always available in early spring when it’s needed during mud season.
- Jeremy said that the Town should start thinking about replacing some of the equipment. For example, the loader is at 110% of its lifespan.
- Nate said the Town has a capital equipment fund.
- Executive Session for Private and Confidential Information about Personnel
- Nate moves to go into executive session at 7:59pm. David seconds. So moved.
- Nate moves to come out of executive session at 8:06pm. David seconds. So moved.
- No action taken.
- Review and Approve Bills
- The Selectboard reviewed and approved bills.
- Review Correspondence
- The Selectboard reviewed correspondence.
- Add Sheriff’s Department contract to next agenda
Nate moves to adjourn at 8:16pm. David seconds. So moved.