February  12, 2024




The meeting was called to order at 6:01pm by Pete Silverberg. Other selectboard members attending in person were Edee Edwards, Patrick McAllister and Karen Christofferson. Cara Cheyette joined remotely.  [Note: the meeting was later also joined remotely by Merritt Youmell, Mike Fournier and Bob Teree]


Edwards asked to add an Executive Session to interview a job Candidate and to discuss a real estrate opportunity.  Cheyette asked if the Hearing of Visitors could be moved earlier in the Agenda, prior to the Executive Session.


Discuss error and remedy in 2023 Town Meeting Article 4 pertaining to setting tax rate too low

Silverberg introduced the first agenda item and described the error in last year’s Article IV as published in the Town Meeting Materials.  Silverberg summarized that, as a result, the tax rate had been set too low and residents were undertaxed.

Christofferson walked through the key elements of the deficit as calculated and included in the FY25 Budget and Town Meeting materials, specifically:

Surplus(Deficit) from Operations for FY2023:                                                                  ($27,271)

FY2024 Tax Revenue Shortfall                (218,500)

Rebate from School (State Reconciliation)  64,974

Net FY2024 Tax Revenue Shortfall       ($153,526)

Total Surplus(Deficit):                            ($180,797)

Cheyette asked the board to describe the tax rate used versus what it should have been and the order of magnitude of the change. A discussion ensued, Christofferson noted that in a prior meeting held on January 25, 2024 the Treasurer had estimated a change in the budget of $150k on a property valued at $200k would generate an incremental tax increase of approximately $223.

6:10pm Merrit Youmell joined the meeting remotely and Mike Fournier joined the meeting in person.

McAllister described the rationale behind the board’s decision to use funds from the Scott Fund to cover the shortfall. McAllister further noted that the board needs to decide on the structure of the funds from the Scott Fund.  Edwards described the board’s inclusion of the shortfall into the FY25 budget.  Silverberg pointed out that the entire amount of the shortfall was added to the FY2025 budget.

McAllister moved that the Town borrow from the Scott Fund for the budget deficit/tax revenue shortfall on a drawdown schedule to be determined with the Treasurer based on Cash Position.  Edwards Seconded.  A further discussion ensued.  McAllister amended the motion to request that the Trustee of Public Funds provide funding to cover the FY2023 operating deficit and the FY2024 tax revenue shortfall.  Edwards Seconded as amended.

Edwards asked about funding for a shortfall for the Pike Road repairs estimated as $190k x 1/3 or approximately $60k.  Fournier suggested using the Bridge Account for the repair as the culvert is greater than [4 feet] so is qualifies as a bridge repair.  Edwards noted that the Article XII warning for last year’s Town Meeting specified it be used for the construction and maintenance of bridges to be funded with a current balance of $59,994.86

6:23 pm McAllister recommended that the Scott Fund motion be used only for the described shortfall.  The motion carried 4-0.

6:24 pm Cheyette began to ask a question but her Zoom connection froze.  Cheyette left the meeting.

6:25 pm Teree joined the meeting.


Silverberg asked if any of the visitors had any questions.  Youmell had none.

Teree apologized for joining late and asked how the shortfall would be funded.  A discussion ensued, Teree said that he expected a Chinese Wall between the School and the Town and asked if there would be any consequences for using the funds from the School to offset the shortfall.  Edwards noted that the Town collects all taxes and if taxes come back they go into the General Fund. Christofferson noted the terminology used by the Treasurer during the discussion to use it as an offset to the shortfall as a “rebate”.  Christofferson noted that Teree’s point was well taken and that she would speak to Treasurer and ask the question specifically first.  Then, if necessary, a conversation with Chum Sumner (Schoolboard) would need to follow.

Teree further noted the Town report used the term “borrow” rather than “use”.  McAllister explained the error of transposition. Christofferson noted that the intent was to repay the funds rather than decapitate the Scott fund by permanently diminishing the capital.  Teree then noted his understanding of the bridge nature of the Scott Fund resolution.

6:36PM Cheyette rejoined the meeting and asked if the Treasurer would invite pre-payments of taxes to cover the shortfall rather than wait until the fall. Edwards noted it was an interesting idea but that it might create more work for the Treasurer.  Christofferson noted that the Treasurer also needs to wait for the State tax rate calculations before she is able to set the tax rates and send out the bills.

Cheyette noted it (the shortfall) was an honest mistake and that people may want to preserve the Scott Fund.

Teree asked if there is a pending cash crunch coming and that it seems that we are proactively matching before we have an exact amount. Silverberg noted that the Treasurer is anticipating running low on funds in April/May.

6:45pm McAllister noted the delayed timing for the Executive Session.

Cheyette asked about the YouTube videos for the Selectboard Meetings and noted the last one she could see was November 7th.  Edwards explained the situation and the efforts being made to catch up and that there are some meeting minutes for December for which the Board needs the recordings to complete the minutes.  Silverberg reported that we ran out of space in the cloud.  Cheyette offered to help as another hand in loading the recordings.

6:46pm Cheyette, Youmell, and Teree left the meeting.


Edwards made a motion to go into Executive Session to interview a candidate and discuss a real estate transaction. Silverberg seconded.  The vote was 4-0.

6:47pm Recording Stopped (Owl muted and video stopped)

8:03pm Recording started

Edwards noted we came out of Executive Session with no decision.  Silverberg noted that there is a property adjacent to the Town Garage. Silverberg will contact the agent and make preliminary inquiries.

Sign Certificate of Highway Mileage

Silverberg noted that he had submitted the highway mileage certificate online and signed it.

McAllister then presented the Legal Notice for Conveyance of Town owned former sale lot pursuant to Section 24 VSA 1061.  Christofferson noted for the minutes that the notice relates to the property described as 149 Wheeler Road.  The notice was signed by the four members present. The original was returned to McAllister. A discussion ensued regarding publication of the Notice in the 3 physical locations in Town and also on the Website.  Edwards will post a copy to the Town Website. Christofferson will post to Town Hall and Post Office. Silverberg will post at Town Center.


8:11pm Edwards moved to Adjourn the meeting.  McAllister seconded.  The motion carried 4-0 and the recording was turned off.

Recording link: