In an agreeable meeting, Grafton board sets election date, foregoes bid process on winter sand

By Cynthia Prairie
©Telegraph Publishing LLC

Monday’s Grafton Select Board meeting was a quiet and quick affair. With only three of four board members present — chair Al Sands was away — vice chair Skip Lisle moved through the long agenda relatively quickly.

Grafton Roads Foreman Danny Taylor talks about buying winter sand. Photos by Cynthia Prairie.

Grafton Roads Foreman Danny Taylor talks about buying winter sand. Photos by Cynthia Prairie.

It would likely have been a longer meeting if, as suggested by Town Clerk Kim Record, Lisle had agreed to read an email outloud from town attorney Robin Stern concerning both a possible violation of the Code of Conduct by Sands and the propriety of an escrow account from the company seeking to build a wind farm. Lisle said that the board had just received the email and would need to read it more closely.

Board member Ron Pilette said he wasn’t even sure the email should be made public at this time.  But Record urged openness to avoid two weeks of rumor, to which Lisle suggested making paper copies available to the public now. And Record suggested that it be put on the agenda for June 20.

By a unanimous vote, the board agreed to make the documents, including an email to Stern from Al Sands, public. Because only three of the four-member panel was present, all three have to agree for an item to pass. Copies can be picked up at Grafton Town Hall, 117 Main St..

Click here for the article on attorney Stern’s email.

The board also agreed to set the special election to fill Gus Plummer’s vacated seat for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12. By deadline, two people had applied to run: Don Dougall and John Turner.

The board also agreed to a request by Road Foreman Danny Taylor to forego the bidding process for winter sand and instead go with the company Grafton used last year. “They are nearby and we can truck it ourselves,” said Taylor, adding that “If we truck it, it’s $3 a yard cheaper and he’s guaranteed last year’s price.”

Grafton Town Clerk Kim Record presents the board with documents to hold the special election on July 12.

Grafton Town Clerk Kim Record presents the board with documents to hold the special election on July 12.

Town Administrator Emily Huff said she had sent out an email to Laura Hayes of Meadowsend Timberlands, the owner of the land that Iberdrola is hoping to build on.  She was seeking answers to questions that Grafton residents had about the project that had yet to be answered and was hoping to have them in time for Monday’s meeting. The reply came in after 5 p.m. Monday, too late for Huff to have picked it up in time for the meeting. You can read those answers here.

The board accepted the Windham County Sheriff’s speed study, which concluded that Route 121/35 is properly posted at 35 mph. And it adopted a new contract with the Sheriff’s Office, which will see a rise in charges by about $8 per billing period, to about $400 per month for eight hours of patrolling a week among other duties.  And the board also set the opening date for Grafton’s town swimming pond as Tuesday, June 7.

And the board also agreed to amend a motion made at its May 2 meeting to exclude from making public “normal issues related to attorney-client privileges” when it comes to correspondence between attorneys with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and Select Board members.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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