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November 15, 2016
1. APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to accept the agenda as presented. The motion passed 3-0.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING: Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to approve the Minutes of the Meeting of November 1, 2016 as written. The motion passed 3-0.
3. DEPARTMENT HEAD / COMMITTEE CHAIR UPDATES: No updates offered.
4. OLD BUSINESS:
A. Library Walkway: Jennifer Roux reported that Milton Fabrication informed her that the railings are all done and measuring for the placement will take place tomorrow.
B. Rear Stairs: Mrs. Roux stated that the stairs should be finished within the week.
5. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Department of Transportation Regarding Ben Brackett Bridge: Bob VanLuling representing the Department of Transportation spoke with the Board regarding the Ben Brackett Bridge at the New Hampshire state line, built in 1922, the condition of the bridge is seriously deteriorated. The State is imposing a 15,000 pound weight limit on the bridge based on its condition. He noted that a six wheel plow truck weighs 34,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. The question arose regarding school buses and if there were any routes in the area that required travel over said bridge. He believes that a school bus weight approximately fifteen ton. Mrs. Roux will contact the school to determine school bus traffic across the bridge.
Davis Winchell expressed concern that he would not be able to back up the hill before the bridge to avoid crossing the bridge. It wouldn’t be feasible to turn down French Street. Also he noted that propane trucks cross the bridge daily. The Chairman asked the Road Commissioner to contact the propane company and advise them of the weight limitation and determine if there were other routes available.
Mr. VanLuling stated that he will place a sign on Route 109 stating the weight limitation so that heavy vehicles will avoid using the bridge. Mr. Winchell noted that fire and rescue might need to use the bridge in responding the emergency situations. Scott Mooney felt that it would also be helpful to post signs on the Sanborn Road and County Road to prevent drivers from turning onto Milton Mills Road to access the bridge.
The Chairman asked Mr. VanLuling to request that the weigh limit either be raised to allow for the plow trucks or to seek an exception for plow trucks.
B. Snow and Ice Controls: Elise Miller discussed a flyer that had been distributed about a workshop in Sanford on December 8th that addresses snow and ice controls; she thought it would be a good resource for the Road Commissioners, the Road Committee and the Finance Committee to consider. She thought it might be a good alternative road treatment that is environmentally and financially responsible.
Scott Mooney noted that the Town’s road equipment would have to be converted, which can be expensive and that it would take a couple of years to seek town meeting approval to fund the expense. David Winchell expressed doubt that this would be affective for the Town.
Mrs. Roux will register Elise Miller and anyone from the committees that are interested in attending the workshop.
Tom Gore noted that because the Town’s roads are somewhat deteriorated, salt filters down through the road material and contributes to the road breakdown. Scott Mooney felt that water when it freezes could be just as damaging as built up salt.
C. Special Town Meeting - Romac Orchard: Mrs. Roux reported that there was a workshop held last week to discuss the grant process that Three Rivers is seeking. Brad Morin explained that his understanding is that Annual Town Meeting approved appropriating $100,000 from taxation to go towards the purchase of the property with another $75,000 to be raised by Three Rivers Trust. As a result, Three Rivers Land Trust is seeking a grant in the Town’s name to pay their share of the purchase price. Mr. Morin’s expressed the opinion that the Board of Selectmen has no authority to sign some of the documents required to apply for the grant. Mr. Morin suggested, based on discussion that came out of the workshop, to hold a special Town Meeting to consider three articles:
to authorize the Selectmen to apply for the grant and to enter into the conservation restrictions that go along with the grant;
to treat the grant money as credit towards the Three Rivers Land Trust contribution towards the purchase price. Because the grant exceeds the portion of the purchase price for which the Trust is responsible, the difference would defray the Town’s contribution, if the grant allows using the money in that manner;
to appropriate the money received from the grant, to the purchase price of the Romac property.
Because the deadline for applying for the grant would precede scheduling a Special Town Meeting, Mr. Morin drafted a letter to Lee Brunett, who is administering the grant, explaining the process. Elise Miller read the letter into the record:
“To Whom it May Concern: The Board of Selectmen is writing this letter in support of the application for a grant under the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This letter is confirmation that the Town of Acton intends to provide certification and copies of the Town Meeting articles by December 31, 2016.
At a meeting on November 15, 2016, the Acton Board of Selectmen voted to call a special Town Meeting to request authority to use grant funds for the acquisition of conservation land and to enter into a Land and Water Conservation Agreement of the State of Maine subsequent to Federal approval of the project. And to appropriate the necessary funds for the closing.
Thank for your assistance in this matter....
Also, because the grant is a reimbursement grant, Three Rivers will have to pay the down payment. Carl Davis noted that the Trust most likely will take a loan to pay the down payment.
Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to hold a Special Town Meeting relative to the acquisition of the Goat Hill property off the H Road on Tuesday, December 13th at 6:00 p.m.. The motion passed 3-0.
Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to approve and sign the letter to the Land and Water Conservation Fund as read into the Minutes. The motion passed 3-0.
Carl Davis expressed hope that any money realized from the grant in excess of the Three Rivers Land Trust’s portion of the purchase price can be used to develop trails on the property. Mr. Morin responded that it would depend on how the grants stipulates the use of the funds.
D. Road Committee Appointment: Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to approve the appointment of William Williams to the Road Committee through June 30, 2018. The motion passed and the appointment was signed by all three Selectmen.
E. Warrant / Finance Committee Appointment: Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to approve the appointment of James Driscoll to the Warrant and Finance Committee as a regular member through June 30, 2017. The motion passed and the appointment was signed by all three Selectmen.
Mrs. Roux noted that the appointment leaves a vacancy as an alternative member on the Warrant and Finance Committee until June, 2017.
F. Pole Permit: Elise Miller requested further information regarding approving the placement of a pole. Tom Gore explained that the only time he recalls a Board not approving the placement of a pole was when an application requested placing a pole on a private way, therefore the Board had no authority to approve the application.
Moved by Bill Shields, seconded by Elise Miller, to approve the application to place pole #18 on Buzzell Road. The motion passed 3-0 and the approval was signed by all three Selectmen.
G Deputy Contract: Mrs. Roux distributed a copy of the proposed two-year contract to begin January 1, 2017 for the Board Members to review and to be considered at a future meeting.
6. PUBLIC COMMENT: No comments were offered.
A. A.E.D. Training November 16th; Town Hall Closed 12 - 1:30 pm
B. Town Hall and Library Closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th
C. 2017 Dog Licenses Now Available
D. Old Sand/Salt Bldg Demolition Bid
E. Tree Lighting December 3rd at 5:00 pm
8. MEMBERS PRESENT: Ed Walsh, Bill Shields, Elise Miller
9. OTHERS PRESENT: Brad Morin, Scott Mooney, David Winchell Jr, Carl Davis, Tom Cashin, Cindy Hart, Pat Stevens, Jennifer Roux, Eric Dawagna, Tom Gore, Bob VanLuling