January 23, 2024 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes




January 23, 2024



Pete Silverberg called the Special Meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:00 PM on January 23, 2024.  Selectboard members present were Pete Silverberg, Edee Edwards, Patrick McAllister and Karen Christofferson.  Others present in person (or remote) were Patty Dow, Mike Fournier and Stephan Chait.




  • January 16, 2024 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
    • Edwards moved to Approve as Amended
    • McAllister Seconded
    • Approved unanimously, 4-0
  • January 20, 2024 Selectboard Special Meeting Minutes
    • McAllister moved to Approve as Amended
    • Christofferson Seconded
    • Approved unanimously, 4-0


Budget finalization (Line Item Updates and List of Schedules for Town Report)

Christofferson asked that Dow be provided with the opportunity to review the calculation of the Town’s Surplus (Deficit) calculation included in the Budget FY25 worksheet as the outcome could have an impact on the final budget. Christofferson noted that the Budget Worksheet distributed before the meeting has a separate tab showing the draft Surplus(Deficit) calculation, subject to Dow’s review.

Dow shared her screen and explained the elements of the calculation.  Specifically, that the numbers were taken from the (Unaudited) Cash Basis P&L for FY23.  For this purpose, the P&L accounts are organized into two categories, Revenues and Expenses from Town Operations and Revenues and Expenses from Self-Funded Accounts.  A deficit of $40,770 was reported.  Dow explained that if a deficit is not funded in the Town Budget it can grow to circa $120,000 in a few years time.

A discussion of the ARPA sourced Grant Reserve Fund ensued with a variance of $33,371 noted between the calculation estimated at the January 20th Special Meeting and Account 5440.  Christofferson offered to work with Dow to provide the Selectboard with a reconciliation.

Fournier noted his expectation that the Highway Maintenance Account will be over budget in June.

A discussion ensued.

McAllister noted that a $40k deficit against a $2.9 million budget is approximately only 1-1.5% and not material enough in size to borrow to fund the deficit.  Christofferson concurred.  Edwards asked that the Surplus(Deficit) amount be added to the Budget worksheet.  Christofferson took control of the worksheet shown on the screen and made adjustments to reflect the discussion. A discussion ensued regarding the timing and use of proceeds for the balance from the Grant Reserve fund allocated to the Highway Department.  A further discussion ensued regarding the timing and estimated size of the FEMA reimbursements.  Silverberg, Christofferson and Dow expressed the need to have a complete reconciliation to determine if the amount allocated to the Highway Department should be $90,456.46 or $57,085.00.  Dow agreed to provide the reconciliation.

Excavator (> 5 year borrowing via Australian Ballot)

A discussion ensued regarding the ability of the Town to raise capital via a municipal bond.  A further discussion ensued regarding the Town’s purchasing policy with respect to the Town’s need for a replacement Excavator.  Edwards noted that a discussion about an Excavator could be held at Town Meeting via an Article with an Australian Ballot vote held in August.  McAllister noted the opportunity to consider using a municipal bond to retire and reduce higher cost debt.  Silverberg pointed out that the Excavator is on its last legs.  Edwards noted that we can call a Special Meeting before August to discuss.

A discussion ensued regarding the 80% FEMA reimbursement.  Silverberg noted that Pike Road was approximately $200,000 so 20% equals $40,000 and Vaughn Road was approximately $123,000 so 20% equals $24,600.  The expectation is that the Town will not receive the FEMA reimbursements until FY25.  A further discussion ensued such that, in summary:

  • 80% of the $330K cost for both Pike and Vaughn Roads equals $264K in FY25
  • Approximately $124K was spent for Vaughn Road in FY24
  • Expenditures for Pike Road will occur circa July 2024

Petitioned Articles

Edwards reported that the Tree Warden is not going to be submitting a request for funding this year.

Wings has submitted a petition for a funding increase.

List of schedules for Town Report

Edwards described the process and deadlines for assembling and finalizing the Town Report before  Town Meeting.  Edwards noted that the files are in Google Drive, which all Selectboard Members have access to.  Edwards asked for an update on the Auditors Report.  Dow reported that she has a meeting scheduled with the Auditors on Saturday.

A discussion ensued regarding the contents of the Selectboard Report to be prepared by Silverberg.

Edwards  noted that she had spoken with VLCT and then provided details regarding the Town Meeting Warning.

Budget Raise and Appropriate

Edwards provided details regarding the Articles for the Town Meeting.  A discussion ensued regarding the amounts to include in the Budget Raise and Appropriate Article, specifically:

  • Amount for Total Highway and Selectboard Expenses
  • Amounts to be raised by Taxes
  • Amount to be raised by non-tax revenues

During a comparison of the draft FY25 amounts to the amounts used in FY24 Article 4, a $218,500 shortfall was noted.  Dow reported that the Town received $60K from the School a couple months ago that was unexpected.  Dow noted her expectation that cash will be depleted in April, versus what usually occurs in June.  If the $60K amount from the School is applied against the $218,500, then the shortfall would be approximately $158K.

A Special meeting of the Selectboard was scheduled for January 25th at 4:00 pm




Edwards moved we adjourn at 9:33 PM, McAllister seconded. The motion carried unanimously 4-0.

Recording stopped at 9:33 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Christofferson, secretary pro tempore

Meeting Recording: https://youtu.be/7-EY-wdKYxw