Thetford Select Board Meeting


March 17, 2003


PRESENT: Mary Spata, Sara Ferguson, Mark McMahon, Rick Barrows (arrived



AGENDA: Highway Department, Elizabeth Mine, Selectboard Clerk, Executive

Session, Annual Appointments, Recycling, Minutes.

Guests: Frank Thurston, Road Commissioner; Phil Call, Police Chief;

Mike Brown; and a cast of thousands to discuss the Elizabeth Mine

(including Ed Hathaway- EPA, the head of VT Emergency Management, a rep

from Sen. Jeffords office, members of EMSG, Thetford residents and two

members of the Strafford Selectboard)


Called to order at 6:35.


Highway Dept: RC Frank Thurston in to discuss muddy roads. Overweight

limits are in effect as of 3/18/03. There is damage to the 550 truck

engine, apparently due to poor maintenance on the vehicle dating back to

last spring which was never reported to Frank. The engine has been

destroyed. The "cheap" repair is $9,500, and still leaves us with old

parts. A new engine is $15,000. This is the truck that was purchased

new a year and a half ago.


The board was disappointed to hear that members of the crew are unable

to maintain their equipment. We reviewed maintenance procedures, log

books, and common sense in the hope that the highway department will

take better care of their trucks. The Selectboard agreed to postpone

purchase of a new dump truck this year, and reschedule the equipment

replacement fund.


The Board was also disappointed to learn that at least two different

members of the crew were observed loading straight salt (rather than a 3

or 4 to 1 sand/salt mix. Notes about failure to follow proper

procedures will be added to the personnel files of the crew members



The Board discussed updating the Personnel Policy to better explain the

paid holidays (including Town Meeting day). The Board agreed that

personal time and holiday time could not be added to straight time to

achieve overtime status.


Elizabeth Mine: After three years of study, the EPA has just learned

that the large tailings pile at the mine site is in fact a tailings dam,

which, if it collapses, will have a catastrophic impact along the West

Branch of the Ompompanoosuc.


The EPA is monitoring the site, will arrange to have large capacity

pumps put into place, and will work with the Army Corps for some

short-term repairs. The EPA needs Thetford and Strafford to develop

emergency response plans to handle a potential disaster.


The EPA will be meeting with the Elizabeth Mine Community Advisory Group

to explain the situation in detail April 9, 7PM at Barrett Hall in S.

Strafford. The public is encouraged to attend. EM guests left the



Selectboard Clerk: The Board will seek a Clerk to work 4-6 hours per

week at the rate of $10 per hour.


Mike Brown left the meeting.


The Board went into Executive Session at 10:15 to discuss personnel

evaluations, and staff disciplinary measures (Spata/Ferguson). The

Board left Executive Session at 11:05 (Spata/Ferguson).


The Board reviewed annual appointments (all unanimous):


Mark McMahon was voted chair of the Selectboard (Spata/Barrows)

Historic Preservation Committee reappointed (McMahon/Spata)

Energy Committee reappointed (Spata/Ferguson)

GUVSWMD reps Judy Bowden and Jim Masland (alternate) appointed


Emergency Management Coordinator David Goodrich reappointed


UVA representative Wendy Cole appointed (McMahon/Spata)

WR Council on Aging representative Ruel Barrett appointed


Agent to Prosecute Suits and Convey Real Property Charlie Buttrey

appointed (Spata/Ferguson)

Fence Viewers reappointed (Spata/McMahon)

Tree Warden Elmer Brown reappointed (Barrows/Ferguson)

Historian Marian Fifield reappointed (Barrows/Ferguson)


The board reviewed the minutes of the meeting on 2/17/03 and approved

them, as amended, unanimously (Spata/Ferguson).


The board reviewed the minutes of the meeting on 2/24/03 and approved

them, as amended, unanimously (Spata/Ferguson).


The Board moved to pay Bob Walker (Spata/McMahon) for damages to his

vehicle from an accident on the Sayre Bridge. The VLCT insurance policy

has settled with some individuals, but Bob Walker's amount is below the

deductible. Passed unanimously


Recycling: Sara Ferguson reported on the first meeting of the recycling

committee. The group is still deciding how to approach all the issues

we face.


Meeting adjourned at 12:05 am. Submitted by Rick Barrows

Last Modified 3/2003 by Bill Weyrick