Selectboard Meetings

All regularly scheduled Selectboard meetings will be using a re-occurring Zoom link: 

Special Selectboard Meetings may have a different Zoom link. Be sure to check the meeting agenda, on which the Zoom link is posted at the top.

Updated 11/30/2023

Draft Minutes


Monday, November 27, 2023; 7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference

Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Town Clerk and Lister Amy Pear; Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Zoning Board and Planning Commission Chair Chris von Alt; Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bruce Barker; Administrative Assistant to the Selectboard Mary von Alt

Also Present via Zoom: Lin Mixer, Andy Champagne-Willis, Jan Barker, June Lockert, Laurie and Bob Snowman

Chairman Scott Lovell called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. He introduced the Agenda for the meeting, then called on the Treasurer, Bob Champagne-Willis, to start the meeting off.

Bob introduced the background materials that he had prepared and supplied to each Selectboard member for this meeting. First was the Budget Worksheet for 2024, listing each expenditure item in the 2023 Budget for which the Selectboard must decide the amount to propose in the 2024 Budget that will be voted on at Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. For each item, the Budget Worksheet lists the amount allocated in the 2023 Budget with a corresponding line on which the amount actually spent in 2023 will be listed. Bob explained that the amount actually spent will be calculated in January after fiscal year 2023 has concluded. 

Bob also provided documents used in the extensive discussions held at Selectboard meetings in January 2023 about the calculation of the Town Clerk’s and Town Treasurer’s salaries for fiscal year 2023, utilizing the formulas with which these salaries were determined. Brad did a great deal of work at that time assembling all of the background facts and figures, calculating what should have been paid in 2022 if the formulas had been implemented as intended, and calculating the correct pay levels for 2023 according to the formulas, to which he added the amount underpaid in 2022. To facilitate the salary discussions for 2024, Bob summarized Brad’s 2023 salary information on the sheet provided to the Selectboard named “Calculation of Town Clerk and Town Treasurer Salary 2023”, and provided Brad’s worksheets detailing how he calculated his proposed 2023 salaries that were later adopted by the Selectboard. Bob said that if the Selectboard wanted him to, he would gather the information needed for the formulas.

Town Clerk and Town Treasurer Wages: After pointing out the problems with the formulas as historically implemented, Brad said that his opinion was to do away with the formulas and go to a straight salary. In the discussion that ensued, Brad suggested that the Selectboard stick with the same 2023 salary for the Town Clerk and the Town Treasurer and add a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Bob provided the Federal and Vermont COLAs - 3.2% for Federal Social Security benefits, and 2.2% for the State of Vermont union employees. The Selectboard decided to use the average of those two figures, 2.7%, for the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer salaries, resulting in a 2024 salary of $17,850 for each position. These salaries will be voted on at the next Selectboard meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, December 4, 2023.

The Selectboard then continued the discussion of town wages, following the list in the Budget Worksheet. 

Cleaning Wages: The amount allocated for that has not been fully used. Town Hall does not have a cleaning person at present and is in the process of advertising that open position. Typically, cleaning takes an hour to an hour and a half each week, with more required for occasional additional cleaning projects. Bob said the $1500 allocated should be enough, though Bruno pointed out that it might be difficult to find a cleaner. 

Assistant Town Clerk Wages: Since Suzy is retiring, this position has been advertised at $17/hour for 4 hours per week. The Town Clerk and Treasurer would like retiring Assistant Town Clerk Suzy Irwin to continue for a period of time to train her replacement. Additionally, Amy pointed out that the current allocation of $3,300 equates to an hourly rate of $15.86, which is a little low for someone who would be required to perform all Town Clerk duties in the event of Amy’s absence. Bob calculated that $4,600 would be needed to cover that overlap and a pay level of $17/hour, an increase from the current budget allocation of $3,300. The Selectboard then agreed on an allocation of $4,600.

Assistant Town Treasurer Wages:   The Assistant Town Treasurer, Kathy Intoppa, who works remotely on a monthly basis. Bob said the current allocation of $800 is sufficient.

Lister Wages: The Town has not used the entire $8,500 allocated for Lister Wages, but Bob expects that a total of $8,000 will be used in 2023. In 2024, due to the reappraisal that is happening, Bob is expecting the largest grievance hearings that have ever happened in Maidstone. Informational meetings are typically held prior to the grievance hearings in order to help people understand what is going on with the property values; Bob thinks a couple of those will be needed. Given this anticipated workload, Bob recommends keeping the Lister Wages allocation at $8,500; if not needed, the money will not be spent. 

Moderator Wages: The Town does not have a Moderator, therefore will not be spending the $100 allocated. David Atkinson was the Moderator at the Town Meeting in March 2023, but did not run for re-election. Bob explained that the Moderator elected in March will then serve as the Moderator at the Town Meeting the following year. The first item on the Agenda at the Town Meeting in March 2024 will be to elect a Moderator.

Selectboard Wages: The Auditors set the Selectboard Wages. Bob said that he will make sure they understand their responsibility in this area and meet before the budget is established.

Selectboard Secretary Wages: The Selectboard Secretary, Mary Von Alt, said she sees no need to increase this.

Ballot Clerk Wages: Currently set at $500, this needs to be increased as 2024 will have increased demand due to more elections. Bob thinks that the Town has spent $350 in 2023 for one election. In 2024, there will be three elections plus the local elections on Town Meeting Day. Additional workers will be needed to count the ballots for the Presidential Primary, also held on Town Meeting Day, which must be reported that night. Counting will not begin until after Town Meeting, as the Town Clerk, by law, is the scribe for Town Meeting. Bob calculated that $1,300 is the amount that should be allocated. 

Zoning Wages: Bob said that the Town does not yet have the final year end dollar amount spent. Zoning wages are comprised of two different payments: one is the $60/permit application that is paid for by the permit application fee of $85; the other is payment for additional hours for office hours, violations, and research. Bob said he believes the Town had 29 permit applications this year; at $60/permit, that yields a total of $1,740. Brad and Bob agreed that the allocation for Zoning Wages in the budget should not include anticipated payment of $60/permit, as that money actually comes from the permit fees that the Town charges; factoring the payment of the $60/permit into the budget allocation results in the Town raising the money twice - once from the permit fees and once from the budget. Bruno said he thinks the Town should bring the pay back to the $60/permit and get rid of the $20/hour fee. Brad said that must be done at a Selectboard meeting with it posted on the Agenda, so the Selectboard can act on it. The Selectboard also must vote to get rid of the formula for calculating the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer salaries. In response to questions from Brad and Scott regarding the timeframe within which these decisions must be made. Bob said the budget is set at a special Selectboard meeting in mid-January; this preliminary discussion is intended to help streamline that January meeting. The Selectboard therefore decided to add action on Town wages to the Agenda for the upcoming December 4th meeting. 

Bob said he had some pushback against eliminating the $20/hour for additional work by the Zoning Administrator (ZA); that $20/hour compensates the ZA for time spent on additional legwork for violations; without the $20/hour fee, there is no money to pay the ZA for that work. Scott asked what the $3000 in the budget is for, to which Brad replied, “That’s what we are doing away with." Mary reminded the Selectboard that Bruno proposed and the Selectboard voted to pay the ZA both the $60/permit and the $20/hour for additional work when Eileen Thietten was briefly the ZA in November 2022. Bruno said that was because Eileen requested that to take the job, in accordance with what she was paid in Guildhall. He continued to say that the issue is that a lot of this work is volunteer work, and he thinks that people are "taking advantage of the pay off the Town.” He remembers when the ZA did not get paid at all; Bruno said he was the one who brought up that the ZA should get paid for the job, back when Ricky Hart was doing the job. “This isn’t a job where people should make a living out of it, make money out of it. Basically, they are doing it as a volunteer and making a little money at it.” Amy said that she had asked for the additional money when Lloyd was the ZA, when he was doing a lot of extra work with research and letters, but was not getting paid for that work. The Buyak case is a perfect example, she said; Lloyd did a lot of work for that case, but because there was never a permit pulled, there was no pay. She said that wasn’t fair to do to Lloyd, that Bruno thought that the person he brought in to be the ZA was worth the $20/hour, and that sometimes there is a lot of work the ZA is doing that we just do not see. Bruno concluded the discussion with saying that this topic would be discussed at the December Selectboard meeting. 

Town Auditor Wages: This is $100/auditor to do their work. Bob said that Towns pay a lot of money for audit work when they bring in outside firms. Maidstone is a small town, not legally required to do any extra auditing. The Town did eliminate local auditors and hire an outside firm at one point, but then returned to electing local auditors, which seems to be working. Maidstone’s three Auditors are Jack Donnelly, Donna Bouthilier, and Sandy Gray. The Auditors basically work in January and early February, a tight window in which to prepare their report. This year Bob has been providing the Auditors on a regular basis with the bank reconciliations, the warrant, and a copy of all of the receipts that have come in, to give them a basis for their work. Bob says the Town is getting a bargain at $100/auditor. The Selectboard decided to leave the allocation as is. 

The rest of the information on the Budget Worksheet will be filled in by Bob after the end of the year. As he has reported earlier, we have gone over budget for software; that will be addressed at the January budget meeting. The Town over-budgeted for Trash and Recycling based on what Dottie had told them about how much she would increase the fees; the increase was not as much as originally thought, so the cost for the year will be under the amount budgeted. The numbers for Landfill Transport, Tip Fees, Scale, Waste Pickup, Recycling, and Additional Trips will not be nearly as high in the 2024 Budget. 

Brad brought up the amount of money allocated for trash bags, $7500, and wonders if the Town should move to using stickers like Guildhall does. Amy said that $7500 was for a two year supply of trash bags, which was required because the company would not handle a smaller order. Brad said that he thinks Guildhall pays $900 for stickers for a year. Bruno commented that he hates the stickers because they do not stay on; Amy concurred that everybody hates stickers. As the money in the 2023 Budget covered a two year supply, the Town does not need to consider trash bags for this 2024 Budget. 

Overall, Bob anticipates that our municipal budget will be reduced this next year with the costs of trash bags eliminated and waste pickup related costs decreasing. Amy pointed out that we have not yet received any of the contracts for our emergency services. Bob thinks those costs will go up, but the decrease in other costs will offset that.

Chris von Alt suggested that in the Appropriations for Town Meeting, the Town might consider returning any money to the Planning and Zoning Fund that is used this year. We do not yet know what is happening with the Municipal Planning Grant Application, but eligibility for other grants that may be needed requires that the Town vote to put money into the planning process. Bob said this would be an appropriation on the Town Warrant this next year to refund the Planning and Zoning Fund.

Scott asked if we could address the donations on the list, but Bob has not heard from everyone who requests donations yet. He has heard from about half of the organizations that typically request donations, and none have increased the amount requested. 

Bob said the Town has used only a minimal amount of the $3,000 allocation for the Direct Fire Support, therefore he does not think the Town will need the same amount in the 2024 budget.  Scott brought up the email sent to the Selectboard by Amy this morning, which Brad pointed out requested a donation to the State fund for dry hydrants. Scott asked if dry hydrant funding comes out of the Direct Fire Support fund. Bob said it does, but this year it has been used only minimally. Bob had not yet seen the email and will check it out when it is forwarded to him. The email instructed Petition Towns to ignore the donation request. Amy said she believes that Petition Towns are those towns that put each petition on a warrant, because then the Selectboard would not be making the decision. Brad expressed concern about the numbers listed on the spreadsheet attached to the email recording the amount of money collected for this grant fund and the amount actually spent on grants. Bob will read the email and get back to the Selectboard.

Bob introduced the topic of the proposed Twin States Clean Energy Link project, which he said he would address in more detail at the upcoming Selectboard meeting. The money that would come into the Town through grants from the NVDA,  if the proposed project is implemented, would be a good source of funding for any dry hydrant work, rather than coming out of the Town coffers. 

The rest of the items on the Budget Worksheet will be addressed in January.

Amy said she had put a copy of a letter on the Signing Desk that she received regarding a marker that might have been moved at Taylor Cemetery. Brad said he never gave anyone permission to move any gravesites. Amy will give the Selectboard any information she can assemble with regard to this. The Selectboard will look into this matter. 

The business of the meeting concluded, Bruno made a motion to adjourn; Brad seconded the motion. All voted in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 7:56 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary von Alt

Posted November 13, 2023



Monday, November 27, 2023


Hybrid Meeting Held In-person at Town Hall at 508 VT-102, Maidstone, VT

and via Zoom

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Call to Order

Begin preparing for the 2024 Annual Budget, including discussing salaries, and taking action as necessary


Meeting ID: 810 2623 3010

Passcode: 307811

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Posted November 10, 2023

Draft Minutes


Monday, November 6, 2023

7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference

Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Town Clerk and Lister Amy Pear; Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Zoning Administrator Mike Otis; Assistant Town Clerk Suzy Irwin; Zoning Board and Planning Commission Chair Chris von Alt; Lister, Auditor, and Health Officer Sandra Gray; Administrative Assistant to the Selectboard Mary von Alt

Also Present via Zoom: Lin Mixer, Sam and Carol Gorham, Bonnie Lovell, Andy Champagne-Willis, Sandy and J I Ireland, June Lockert, Burt and Carol Kline, Laurie and Bob Snowman

Chairman Scott Lovell called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. He reminded everyone that the Rules of Participation are in effect. The first order of business was to approve the minutes for the October 9, 2023 Selectboard meeting.

Approve October 9, 2023 Selectboard meeting Minutes:

Bruno made a motion to accept the October 9th minutes; Brad seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Report of the zoning administrator:

The Zoning Administrator reported that since September the Town has received these permit applications:

Mike reported that part of the Tanguay farm on Route 102 is being sold. The farm includes land in both Brunswick and Maidstone. The eastern part of the farm that is between the railroad owned by Maine Central and the river is being purchased by The Nature Conservancy. Lawyers for The Nature Conservancy say the railroad legally creates a natural subdivision. Mike spoke with the Planning Commission, which had no objection. He checked with a licensed surveyor to find out how such a situation is handled in Vermont; the surveyor confirmed that the railroad is considered a natural subdivision. Mike relayed that information to The Nature Conservancy, telling them to go ahead with the project without any other request for subdivision. 

Lastly, Scott and Heather Lafoll who own the farm across Route 102 from Maidstone Town Hall are interested in subdividing their land. However, the farmland is conserved permanently and therefore cannot be sold off as anything other than farmland. They have two choices: to sell the whole farm, or to divide out the farmland that is conserved from the property that is not conserved, which is the house and the woodlot. There is enough road frontage for the house and woodlot to comply with Maidstone Bylaws, but Scott wanted to subdivide without having a survey done. Mike advised him that a survey is required for a subdivision. It could take 6 months to have the property surveyed, so Scott is now considering possibly shelving the idea or selling the whole farm.

That concluded the Zoning Administrator’s Report. 

Report from the planning commission:

Step One in the updating process is to seek public input. That is the reason the Planning Commission created the 2023 Town Survey that the Town Clerk just distributed by mail. The Survey can also be completed online; the Town Clerk sent out an email to all on her distribution list that includes the link to the Survey, which is posted on the Town website. The Survey was developed based on what’s been done historically in the Town, incorporating questions from the 2006 Town Survey. The questions were also shaped to get input related to the 12 Required Elements that the State says must be included in the Plan. (If anyone would like a copy of the 12 Required Elements, please contact Mary von Alt at Scott asked if there is a deadline for completing the Survey; Chris said no deadline has been set; the Town will accept them for quite a while. Once the Commission has compiled and analyzed the survey results, public meetings will be held to discuss the results and to discuss any individual concerns about the questions; these meetings will be a vehicle for gathering more public input to use in updating the Town Plan. Chris stressed the importance of everyone in Town participating in the Survey and all public input opportunities. Planning Commission meetings are public, held via Zoom; there have been 5 concerning the Survey and Town Plan this year. Updating the Plan is a community-driven process, so public participation is very important.


Brad reported that the mowing along Maidstone Lake Road and Westside Lake Road has been completed and looks pretty decent. His focus now as Road Commissioner is getting ready for winter. Laurie Snowman thanked Brad for the great job on mowing. 

Lin Mixer thanked Brad for getting the signage back up on the Lake Road. He asked if there is an update about putting gravel on the Lake Road; Brad responded that he would like to get some graveling done and is hoping that the snow will hold off, so that he can get some gravel on the rock put in earlier this year.

Amy asked if Brad has any more information on the logging operation scheduled for this winter. Brad said he thought it would start somewhere about the first of the year, with the log yard being opened before it freezes. A curb cut permit application has been filed. Brad is supposed to meet with the people responsible, but that has not been scheduled yet. Amy asked if the Town can do anything about them starting at 4:30 in the morning with all the associated noise; Brad said he does not know of anything - there is no noise ordinance in Maidstone. Amy asked if there are not regulations in Vermont regarding quiet hours. In response to Bruno’s question, Brad said that the work is being done by the State. Lin said the cutting this time is being done well away from the road, so he doesn’t think noise will be an issue, other than trucks moving.



The only part of unpaid property taxes considered delinquent are those for 2021 and 2022; the rest (2023 taxes due on October 15, 2023)  are considered late and therefore not in the purview of the Delinquent Tax Collector. There has been very little activity concerning the three properties with delinquent taxes on the Report. 


The study done on the Town’s valuation came out fine and has been approved by the State. The Statistical Reappraisal is now underway and will continue into the Spring. 



Amy suggested some questions to consider: does the Town want to look at solar with cold climate heat pumps with an oil burner as a backup system? Or cold climate heat pumps with electric only? Or with propane as a back-up? A propane furnace would be smaller and probably more efficient to run for that forced hot water in the vault, probably easier and cheaper to run than the oil burner.  But without doing a lot of research and without knowing what the Selectboard is interested in prioritizing, Amy said she would not know how much money to apply for. Brad said the report about the energy audit is supposed to include recommendations about the furnace and what to replace it with, if the Town decides it should be replaced. Brad suggested that we wait until the energy report is received and then decide what to apply for. In response to Brad asking if there were a deadline, Amy said she did not yet have any information about the application process. The Selectboard then decided to table this authorization request until we have more information.


Other business:

Chris von Alt said that he had received an email from Jesse Noone of NVDA telling him that Maidstone has now been pre-approved to get money from the State through the Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) to which Amy had referred earlier. Chris did some research online and found that to get any more information about the program, he had to fill out a sheet stating that he was representing the Town. He did not want to start poking into this without approval from the Selectboard. Amy explained that you have to meet a certain threshold to be eligible for MTAP. She will continue looking into it, as it appears to be a means of getting money for Maidstone for planning and bylaws.  Bob explained that the program is offered by the Vermont Agency of Administration through the Regional Planning Commissions (RPC), NVDA being our RPC. Maidstone did not meet the criteria initially, but now does after a reassessment by the Agency. The Legislature set up this program because it realized that while larger municipalities with larger administrative capacity were able to reach out for State and Federal grants and assistance from State agencies, smaller towns with limited administrative capacity were not able to do this and therefore were not tapping into eligible funds. This is a new development about which the Town has just been notified. NVDA is responsible for informing and helping us. Chris said it looks like a way to get funding to help with the Town Plan if Maidstone does not receive a Municipal Planning Grant. Bob said that if there is a form that must be filled out, we will make sure it is on the Selectboard agenda for either the Special Meeting or the December meeting. Amy will leave paper copies in the Selectboard’s mailboxes of the email regarding this that she forwarded to the Selectboard in mid-October.

The business of the meeting concluded, Brad made a motion to adjourn; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:22 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary von Alt

Posted November 3, 2023


Maidstone Selectboard Meeting

Monday, November 6, 2023 @ 7:00PM

Hybrid Meeting In-person at Town Hall at 508 VT-102 and via Zoom

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Meeting ID: 825 2344 5058

Passcode: 093810

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Posted November 6,  2023

Approved Minutes


Monday, October 9, 2023

7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference

Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Officials Present at Town Hall: Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Warden Bill Sanborn; Administrative Assistant to the Selectboard Mary von Alt

Also Present at Town Hall: Representative Terri Williams of the Essex-Caledonia District, John Kascenska of the Vermont Community Development Board in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Town Clerk and Lister Amy Pear; Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bruce Barker; Zoning Board and Planning Commission Chair Chris von Alt; Lister, Auditor, and Health Officer Sandra Gray

Also Present via Zoom: Lin Mixer, Sam and Carol Gorham, Bonnie Lovell, Andy Champagne-Willis

Chairman Scott Lovell called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. The first order of business was to approve the minutes for the September 11 Selectboard meeting.

Approve September 11, 2023 Selectboard meeting Minutes:

Brad pointed out that “A&R” in the Report of the Zoning Administrator needed to be corrected to “ANR” (Agency of Natural Resources). Brad made a motion to accept the minutes of the September 11, 2023 Selectboard meeting with that change; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Scott then welcomed Representative Terri Williams and John Kascenska of the Vermont Community Development Board in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.  He invited them to speak at the beginning of the meeting. Amy had notified them of the meeting, in case they wanted to be part of the discussion about the Essex North Supervisory Union (ENSU)/NEK School Choice District meeting that was held at Maidstone Town Hall on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, as well as the discussion about the Peaslee Bridge project and the Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP) grant.

Representative Williams began by reporting that she had sent a message to Spencer Howard, the Bridge Management and Inspection Program Manager for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, asking for an update about the repair of the Janice Peaslee bridge. He replied that they are waiting for the design to come back from the consultants; they will move forward when they have contract plans and have hired a contractor.  Terri told him that did not sound promising for completion of the work by the end of 2023. Mr. Howard replied that they would have a contractor within a few months, but the bridge structure is complex, so he doesn’t know how long the project will take. Once plans are in place, the timeline will be more clear; the fact sheet will be updated once they have more information.

Terri moved on to the MERP grant, verifying first that Maidstone had been awarded the $4,000 grant, which was step one of the overall MERP grant application process. The grant-required free energy assessment of Town Hall is scheduled for October 25, 2023; it must be done on a day when Town Hall is closed. Amy asked if Terri knew when the State would open the application process for the $500,000 Implementation Grants, part of the MERP. Terri said that she would find out and report back to the Town. 

Amy said that the Town’s energy burden assessment posted on the State website is lower than that of most towns and wonders if Maidstone has been assessed properly. She is concerned that this possibly inaccurate energy burden assessment will affect the Town’s ability to be awarded the grant. Amy has contacted Allie Webster, Energy Planner for Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA); Allie said she would look into this. Terri said she will look into this as well.

Next up for discussion was the ESNU/NEK Choice School District meeting on October 3, which Brad, Bob, and Terri attended. Terri asked Bob for his thoughts about the meeting, so Bob moved his report up from its scheduled place later in the Agenda.

The purpose of the meeting was for guest speaker Brad James, Education Finance Manager in the Agency of Education, to discuss the Vermont Pupil Weighting forecast. According to Bob, that forecast does not look good for Maidstone. The current focus of Bob’s concern, however, is his belief that the Homestead Education Tax Rate this year was higher than it should have been for Maidstone as well as for other towns in the NEK Choice School District. 

Bob explained how the Homestead Education Tax Rate for Maidstone is calculated: 

The problem is that the official student count submitted to the State for FY2023, which was actually taken over a two week period in September 2022, was understated; the student count was reported as 261, when it should have been around 312. That made the Equalized Student Count lower than it should have been, which resulted in a higher Homestead Education Tax Rate than should have been. Bob raised this topic at the NEK School Choice District meeting with Brad James of the Agency of Education. The response was that it is too late to change the Homestead Tax Rate that is on our tax bills due on Monday, October 16th, with the second half of the payment due in April 2024. Brad James told Bob that the situation needs a legislative fix. The legislature must direct the Agency of Education to return to the towns the amount of money that was overpaid. The administration of our NEK Choice School District has changed since last year. The ENSU Board is reaching out to the schools in the District, asking for an accurate FY2023 student count, a process that takes some time. Bob asked Representative Williams if we as a Town need to weigh in, i.e., to write to the Governor, the legislature, the legislative committees, etc. Terri responded, “Not at this time.” She said the School Board will come up with the accurate count and will present that to Brad James and the Agency of Education; the amount due back to the Towns will then be calculated. That information will go to Terri who will present that to the Education Committee, of which she is a member, with an explanation of what happened. The School Board will also explain the situation. She thinks all of this probably won’t happen until January. At that point, if she feels it is necessary, she will reach out to the Towns for them to take supportive action.  

John Kascenska of the Vermont Community Development Board asked Bob if the error had been acknowledged. Bob said the error has not been acknowledged by anyone at the State level.

Bob reported that the Town’s poverty count, which is privileged information calculated by State agency/agencies, also appears to him to be incorrect. The poverty count also affects the tax rate, but there is no way for the Town to assess or correct that count. In the future, new reporting of the poverty count will require parents to fill out an income statement form, a system which may also experience accuracy problems. Representative Williams agreed with Bob that there is no action for the Town to take that would aid in recouping possible losses due to an inaccurate poverty count. Terri said that is a topic for conversation in the Education Committee; Bob offered to testify, which Terri said she will keep in mind.

John Kascenska spoke next. He was appointed to the Community Development Review Board by the Governor. He said that grant money might be available through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development for which the Town could apply. He will send more information to the Town about such possible grants.

Both John and Terri urged Maidstone to take advantage of the help that NVDA can provide with grants, in particular.


The box culvert work on Westside Lake Road will not be done this Fall, Brad reported. Brad has applied for two grant extensions, one for the box culvert and one for the Grants-in-Aid project at the Lake. 

Mowing of the roadside of Maidstone Lake Road has begun. Brad would like to mow the roadsides around the Lake, which has not been done in his lifetime. The Town can only mow to the further edge of its right-of-way, which is at the back pins of the lots. Such mowing is made difficult by property lines that sometimes extend to the edge of the existing road or beyond, while others have markers that are difficult to see. On the Lake Road, Brad asked the man doing the mowing to clear the area between the road and the big trees. While the mower is here now, Brad said it would be great to get some of the mowing on the roads around the Lake done; next Fall would be another opportunity. Anyone on the Lake who is interested in having the roadside along their property mowed should contact Brad to let him know. Prior to that mowing, property pins should be marked or otherwise made evident. Ideally, the mowing would be done to twice the width of the mower, which equals about six feet, although that is not feasible in some places. Amy said that if Brad would write a brief message about the Town’s interest in mowing roadsides around the Lake and perhaps suggest addresses for properties he would specifically like to mow, she will send out an email to those people for whom she has email addresses.

Bruno suggested that the dead trees along the Lake Road on which Sam Gorham has placed his creations present a hazard to drivers and snowplowing. Brad did not think they caused problems with plowing, but Bill Sanborn agreed that a couple are close to the road. Lin Mixer said that almost all of the figurines that Sam created and placed on these dead trees have been stolen, along with a couple of speed limit signs. After a brief discussion, it was decided that Bruno will cut down the dead trees discussed.

Lin says he has put up signs near his property marking the area where a number of landowners want the roadside mowed. 

Bob asked if the STOP sign would be returned to the intersection of Westside Lake Road and Maidstone Lake Road, which Brad said it will be as soon as he gets up there to do some work.

Announcement of award received by the town treasurer:

Scott read the following:



Three parties remain on the Delinquent Tax Collector’s Report, totaling below $10,000 in delinquent taxes. Bob has talked with each of them. Current taxes are due on Monday, October 16th, after which taxes that have not been paid will be considered “late”. They are not labeled as “delinquent” until after the April deadline in 2024.


The data study required to do the statistical reappraisal has been completed. Sandy Gray and Bob accompanied the professional assessor in visiting the properties selected at random for the data study; nothing unexpected was discovered. The study results have not yet been tabulated, but Bob expects that all will be fine and that the statistical reappraisal will be conducted in the Spring.



Bill Sanborn reminded everyone that the EMPG grant was for the generator and the radio that the Town is getting for Town Hall. Bill installed a 16” x 16” cement pad on which the antenna will be placed. The antenna and mast have been received and will be hooked up soon; the radio will be plugged in when it arrives. 

Bill requested that the Selectboard approve Town funding for the CPR/AED training of 12 persons at $45/ person, for a total of $540. Twenty people have expressed interest in the training, but having to pay the $45 fee may deter some people, Bill suggested. Bill has asked the Maidstone Lake Association (MLA) to fund the training of an additional 12 people. Bob said that ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding can be used for this; those funds must be spent down, and this is an appropriate use for them.

Bruno made a motion to take $540 out of the ARPA funds to fund the CPR/AED training for twelve persons; Brad seconded the motion. All voted in favor.


There was no Old Business.


The business of the meeting concluded, Brad made a motion to adjourn; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary von Alt

Posted October 11, 2023



Monday, September 11, 2023

7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference


Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Officials Present at Town Hall: Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Warden Bill Sanborn

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and

Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Zoning Board and Planning Commission member

Bruce Barker; Zoning Administrator Mike Otis; Lister, Auditor, and Health Officer Sandra Gray

Also Present via Zoom: Laurie and Bob Snowman, David Kamis, Jan Barker, Linwood Mixer, Sam and Carol Gorham, Burt Kline, Bonnie Lovell, and Andy Champagne-Willis (acting scribe for this Selectboard Meeting.)



Chairman Lovell reminded attendees about the Selectboard rules for public participation.


The Chairman asked if the board members have had the opportunity to read the minutes as submitted for the 8/7/23 meeting.  

A motion was made by Selectboard member Bruno McKenzie to accept the minutes as submitted.  The motion was seconded by Selectboard member Brad McVetty, and the motion was passed unanimously.


The electronic zoom link stalled when the Zoning Administrator was addressed.  The Chairman decided to come back to the Zoning Administrator (ZA) Report agenda item after the electronic zoom link with the ZA was re-established.


Selectboard member Brad McVetty was recognized by the Chairman.

Brad McVetty reported:  He has been in touch with Darryl Matthews, the contractor for the box culvert [project] which Brad stated is supposed to be scheduled for the end of September.  Brad stated - Mr. Matthews told him “[the] box culvert is in the process of being made and he [Matthews] is expected to start this week, or thought he was going to, as it takes a couple of weeks, to do that, and he feels if there is going to be any hold up it would be with the state bridge, for the bypass road.”  

Brad continued: “He [Matthews] says ‘ANR’ has two bridges and they’re both loaned out to towns for a quite a while [and] until they can get their bridges repaired, so, I [Brad McVetty] don’t have an answer if it’s going to be done this September or not, I guess it all depends on [the availability of the] ANR’s bridges.”  Brad reported he spoke to the state already and we [the town] can have an extension for this until next year [2024].

Brad added “…he was supposed to start the paperwork, but I [meaning, Brad McVetty] haven’t seen anything yet.”  

Brad McVetty then reported he is going to start road work on the lake road; grading, graveling and some ditching, in order to satisfy a grant, we have.  Bob Champagne-Willis asked Brad if the grant Brad was referring to was the “grant in aid”.  Brad affirmed it was.  Brad outlined some of the terms in the grant.  Bill Sanborn also had a follow up question for Brad regarding any update Brad might have heard about the Maidstone Bridge.  Brad told Bill he believes the state hired an engineer [Thomas French] to inspect the bridge but to date, as Road Commissioner he hasn’t heard or seen any reports on the matter.  Laurie Snowman also had a follow up question regarding “mowing on the side of the roads” and whether Brad had been making this a practice as part of the upkeep of Maidstone Lake Road.  Brad answered affirmatively.  Bruno McKenzie had a follow up question for Brad about any correspondence the town received about the bridge.  Brad responded a written notice was sent to Chairman Lovell and to himself as Road Commissioner.  The Chairman stated he would send Selectboard member McKenzie a copy of same.


Bob Champagne-Willis reported that there was nothing noteworthy about the August Budget to Actual report.  Tax bills were mailed on Monday, August 28, and tax payments have been steadily coming in since then.  There have been a few property owners who wanted to discuss the increase in their tax bills.  The August Selectboard Warrant is on the signing desk.


Bob Champagne-Willis reported that the list of delinquent taxpayers has been reduced to five.


Bob Champagne-Willis reported that the listers, with James Deshone from NEMRC, will be going to twenty randomly selected properties on Thursday, September 14.  The purpose of these visits will be to collect data and compare that to the data we have in the CAMA system.  It is the first step in processing a statistical reappraisal.  Once the data collection results have been approved by the state, the statistical work will be happening over the winter and into the spring.  The property owners of the twenty randomly selected parcels were notified by mail of the process.


Bob Champagne-Willis reported:  Amy Pear, Town Clerk is not here tonight, so there is no prepared report from the Town Clerk.  

Bob Champagne-Willis also reported the electronic zoom link for Mike Otis the Zoning Administrator (ZA) has been reestablished.  The Chairman recognized Mike Otis, ZA.


Mike Otis reported: “Things have quieted down a bit”.  The ZA reviewed the following permits for the Selectboard; Landowner Morris – driveway work and sewer [septic] system; Landowner Bennett –  replacing a trailer with a modular building; Landowner Sanborn -  (Westside Lake Rd.) had enclosed an outside porch last year and town listers asked for a permit to be completed on the work in order to update the building record on the property; Landowners Baker-Barker – a remodel of camp next to their house; Landowner Bernotavicz on Rt. 102 – who is re-doing a milk house by putting a farm stand inside the structure; Landowner Scarinza – Permit denied as the owner is trying to increase a structure within 25’ of Maidstone Lake shore.  The ZA says he is working with the landowner to select an alternative that may be approved in the future.  

Selectboard Member McKenzie brought up the ZA’s timesheet which showed hours worked and compensation for the Scarinza permit. Mike reported the time in question was not related to any matter involving the Scarinza property but rather reflected his time spent at Town Hall at the behest of the Selectboard.  A discussion ensued concerning Mike’s year-to-date employee hours and the Selectboard wish to tie an explicit accounting by the ZA for same to the Selectboard.  The ZA again noted for the Selectboard the hours in question were and is for time spent solely at Town Hall per the behest of the Selectboard and not site work.  Site work, the ZA explained, is only reflected in the permits the ZA has issued/denied to date.  

The Selectboard would like to see the ZA itemize his hours against his time sheet while at Town Hall.  

Once more, the ZA repeated his response that his time sheet is solely for hours spent at Town Hall and stated he is prepared to forego all hours at Town Hall should the Selectboard wish him to do so.   The Selectboard explained they were concerned the ZA may go over budget however the ZA assured the Selectboard this will not occur.

The Selectboard also made an inquiry with the ZA about Landowner Steve Sanborn and supposed payment for a required permit.  The ZA said he neither charged nor made the landowner pay any fee for this matter.   Selectboard Member Bruno McKenzie then stated he received notice from the landowner. Bruno said that when he was Temporary Zoning Administrator, he told the landowner that he did not need a permit. The ZA reported to the Selectboard member McKenzie it was the town listers who were looking for the permit since it was a change of use which might change the overall property valuation.  

Selectboard Member Bruno McKenzie stated he didn’t know why the listers were “offering” the ZA this information.  Selectboard Member McKenzie then suggested that any improvements on a property using this logic might therefore require permitting for any improvement(s) on any property.  The ZA pointed out that maintaining and improving property are two separate matters.  

This matter was dropped by the Selectboard Member, however relating to this conversation, Bob Champagne-Willis (Town Lister) then brought up a similar matter occurring some time back in which the listers encountered almost the same undertaking and the resolution issued then had been dealt with in the same manner.  Selectboard Member McKenzie then stated he had never seen anything like this on a Zoning permit in the past.  Bob Champagne-Willis explained to the Selectboard Member both incidents were due to a change of use policy as noted by the ZA, and as such permitting is required in these kinds of matters.

Selectboard Member Brad McVetty brought up the Morris property about town jurisdiction over septic systems.  The ZA stated the matter here should be resolved, from his point of view from the perspective of the excavation.  The matter here had been discussed previously and noted against “land development” needing a town permit.  Selectboard Member McKenzie stated the Selectboard will not push the issue on this adding “we’ve already had this discussion a while back on how technical you’re going to go on permitting.”  The Selectboard Member also offered “…if someone is going to go rough raking their driveway or putting fill in to fix their driveway, I mean they’re still improving the driveway, are we still going to get a permit for that?”  The ZA said, “Well, I wouldn’t.”  

Selectboard Member McVetty added he had viewed the same statue and offered “…it is in the excavation for a gravel pit or landfill, it’s all in the same sentence…like I said before, that should be a question for a lawyer.  And if we need to start doing the permitting, I think it should start with new zoning when it’s done.”  The ZA confirmed the new bylaws need to be clear especially on this matter.  The ZA conceded “…so for now I won’t ask for a permit for those things.”  


Bill Sanborn reported:  Requesting permission to use Town Hall for CPR Training.  Twenty-four folks have signed up for classes and we will probably need two separate training events comprising 12 people per class.   The cost per person is $45.00 per person.  

Bill has reached out to Maidstone Lake Association (MLA) to inquire about financial assistance and is also wondering if the town would be able to participate in lending financial support.   Chairman Lovell recognized Bob Champagne-Willis, Town Treasurer to comment on such.  Bob reported he believed the forthcoming opioid settlement money might be a good use of these funds, however there is no time frame or outcomes settled on the matter so perhaps the reserve fund or ARPA monies might be considered.  Bob counseled the Selectboard that they probably should not make this decision at this meeting since has not been published for this meeting.

The Selectboard questioned Bill as to when these funds will be needed.  Bill stated he believes classes will start in October and continue with the second group in November (2023).  The Selectboard stated they were “on board” with this.  The Maidstone Lake Association (MLA) hasn’t had a meeting on this yet.  First Aid classes might be available too.  These matters should be put onto next month’s Selectboard meeting agenda.  Linwood Mixer made a statement of thanks to the participants and to the Selectboard for their support in these worthy endeavors.

Bill Sanborn talked about the new Town Trailer status.  He reported it’s moving along and will discuss further details in the New Business portion of this meeting.


Chairman Lovell hearing no old business from the floor moved on to the next agenda item.

NEW BUSINESS (Taken out of order.)

Discuss and act upon Jim Bennett’s offer of $100.00 for the Town’s military forestry trailer

Bill Sanborn started a discussion with the Selectboard on an act to offer and to purchase the old Town Trailer for $100.00 by a resident.  The Selectboard members discussed the funds might be used for or towards the expense for “classes” [CPR & First Aid].  The Chairman asked for a motion on this matter however another point of issue was raised by Bob Champagne-Willis as to the actual ownership of the old trailer and seemingly the lack of paperwork thereto. Bill Sanborn offered the old trailer was formally held by Raymond Lovell and when Bill acquired it from Raymond the trailer had not been registered, nor has it been registered since.  Selectboard member Brad McVetty guessed that in the 1970’s, Guildhall and Maidstone went together to make a forest fire fighting truck unit and the trailer was a component of that.  Bill Sanborn will provide the serial number to Amy or Bob who will issue a bill of sale.  

A motion was made by Brad McVetty to accept Jim Bennet’s offer of $100.00 for the Town’s Military Forestry Trailer.  The motion was seconded by Bruno McKenzie.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) and sign the Certificates of Local Adoption

LHMP, according to Bill Sanborn, is a lengthy document with some minor issues mostly grammar and spelling.  Brad McVetty brought up concerns about bridges on North Road & flooding of Rt. 102 in Maidstone.  These concerns might be brought up later in order to sign it now and make any such corrections afterwards.  Also, the plan will need to be approved first by the state emergency management before signing, which was pointed out - already approved.  Discussion ensued regarding when to sign, now or after corrections.  Input offered to take time to re-review as a few months may not make too much of a difference.

A motion was made by Brad McVetty to approve the local hazardous mitigation plan for the Town of Maidstone.  The motion was seconded by Bruno McKenzie.  The motion was passed unanimously.  The completed signature page for this plan will be left on the signing desk. 


Hearing none.  The Chairman requested a motion to adjourn the meeting.

A motion was made by Bruno McKenzie to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Brad McVetty.  The motion was passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 PM.

Submitted by Andy Champagne-Willis (acting scribe for this Selectboard Meeting).

Posted September 16, 2023

Approved Minutes


Monday, August 7, 2023

7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference

Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Officials Present at Town Hall: Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Warden Bill Sanborn

Also Present at Town Hall: Representative Terri Williams of the Essex-Caledonia District, Senator Russ Ingalls of the Essex-Orleans District, Andy Champagne-Willis

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Town Clerk and Lister Amy Pear; Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bruce Barker; Zoning Board and Planning Commission Chair Chris von Alt; Zoning Administrator Mike Otis; Lister, Auditor, and Health Officer Sandra Gray; Administrative Assistant Mary von Alt

Also Present via Zoom: Alexa Bernotavicz, Ed Tully, Jan Barker, Lin Mixer, Sam and Carol Gorham, Burt and Carol Kline, Bonnie Lovell

Chairman Scott Lovell called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. He began the meeting by saying that there was no need to remind everyone about the Rules for Participation, with which all are now familiar. He then said that if there were any problems with Zoom, as had occurred at the July 10, 2023 meeting, the discussion of any serious topic beyond routine reports would be tabled until the next meeting.


Brad made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 10, 2023 Selectboard meeting; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.


Senator Russ Ingalls encouraged Maidstone to “think big” when pursuing the $500,000 grant for energy efficiency and resilience improvements to municipal buildings, in this case, our Town Hall. (According to the State, the intent of this grant is “to increase comfort and reduce operational costs while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding reliable access to critical services for Vermonters.”) The Senator urged the Town to take advantage of this opportunity to include all possible improvements to the Town Hall, equipping it to be a fully functioning emergency shelter. The Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), our Regional Planning Commission, will help with writing the grant, including providing counsel about what to include. 

Bob Champagne-Willis reminded all that there are three components to the program:

Scott asked if there is a timeline for the grant. Both the Senator and Bob said Maidstone is already on the path, with the expectation that the timeline will be in the next year or possibly two.

Bruno asked if the grant would pay for a generator. The Senator responded that he thinks the preference is for a battery back-up, but that the grant would cover a secondary power source to be used if we lost power.

Representative Terri Williams was pleased that Maidstone is already pursuing this grant opportunity. She stressed the availability of State-funded grant writing assistance, which she has worked hard to achieve. 

Bob asked if the Senator had any update about the Peaslee Bridge, which is currently closed. The Senator did not. He had spoken with Secretary of Transportation Joe Flynn right after the Maidstone Lake Association meeting on July 8th when the topic of the bridge came up, so he knows the bridge was on the Secretary’s  radar, but that was before this recent flooding catastrophe. Bill Sanborn, Emergency Management Coordinator, emphasized the crucial role of the bridge to emergency services being able to respond to need in the Town. At present, it is taking approximately 20 additional minutes for emergency services to arrive, due to the need to drive around through either Bloomfield or Guildhall. Amy reported that the Town had received an email last week about the bridge that she had forwarded to Scott, who said he had seen the email. Vermont and New Hampshire are working together on the bridge, hoping that within the next two weeks they will have a team at the bridge with the proper equipment to assess the damage. 

Lin Mixer asked if the Senator had followed up on his intent, expressed at the Maidstone Lake Association meeting in July, to contact Direct TV and Nexstar. The Senator said he had, including reaching out to the State Attorney General, highlighting that these services are not just for viewing pleasure, but also a necessity for receiving news. Thus far, he has not had much positive response from these world-wide companies.

In closing, the Senator stressed that people should contact either him or Representative Terri Williams if they have any concerns or problems. 

Representative Williams said she has also been working on the State formula for the education tax. Brad James of the Agency of Education is willing to have a meeting with people in the Essex-Orleans District. Sharon Ellingwood-White of Lemington will facilitate that meeting, probably at the Guildhall building. Bob pointed out that Maidstone could host as well. Maidstone will be kept updated about this meeting.


Mike reported that nine permits have been approved since he last updated the Selectboard at the June 5, 2023 meeting. He has had numerous requests for help with zoning permit applications, so he expects more to be submitted. There have been several violations of the Bylaw by people building without permits. Bruno asked for more details, to which Mike responded: (1) the Elmendorfs were building an addition for which they had a Shoreland permit, but did not have a Town permit; now they have the Town permit and are good to go; (2) Ann Ford was putting an addition on her deck; all is within the Town Bylaw, she now all required permits, and she is all set; (3) the Robertsons were building a shed without either a Shoreland permit or a Town permit; they now have the Town permit and are waiting for the Shoreland permit; (4) Sean Morse put in a septic system without a Town permit; he did have the State Wastewater permit, and now has the Town permit as well; (5) the Schaefers are adding a big addition to their garage; they have applied for a Shoreland permit, but have not yet received it; they are waiting to receive it before they apply for a Town permit; meanwhile, they have ceased all building.


Brad said he did not have a lot to report; the roads have held up pretty well despite all of the rain. The only concern that could be coming up involves the replacement of the box culvert on Westside Lake Road at the north end of the Lake near the intersection with Maidstone Lake Road. Brad talked today with Tim Ruggles, the engineer on the project, who thinks there might be a delay in getting the box built. At present, due to the many emergency situations demanding attention, all the cement companies are handling those. We will just have to wait to see what happens. In response to Bob commenting that the grant runs out at the end of this year, Brad said he thinks an extension will be available, for which he will have to apply. He will monitor the situation.


*Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) and Current Use

Option #3: This is the option Bob is more in favor of - using the Local Option Tax. The Local Option Tax is a way for towns to raise additional revenue by charging a 1% tax on any of the following: meals and alcoholic beverages, rooms, or sales. Some towns have a Local Option Tax for all three, some for just one or two of the categories. With regard to the rooms tax, Bob said that the Town has more and more places available for short term rentals on North Road, Percy View, and around the Lake; a rooms tax would apply to those rentals plus to rental of campsites in the State Park. Anyone who rents for more than any combination of two weeks is required to register with the State and to collect taxes and submit them. Entities such as AirBnB, VRBO, etc. are notified of the rooms tax by the State and do the collecting. The same principle applies to tax on sales or meals and alcohol. Entities such as Amazon, E-Bay, etc. would be notified by the State and do the collecting. The taxes are received by and managed by the State, which then gives towns their share. We could use the Local Option Tax monies received from the State to reduce the amount that we need to raise and therefore reduce our Municipal Tax Rate. The process for instituting such a tax is for the Selectboard to recommend it and the voters to then approve it. After such approval, it takes about a quarter of a year for the taxes to be implemented and received by the Town. A Local Option Tax approved this year would help next year. Bob recommended that, if the Selectboard is in favor of this, a Special Meeting be held in September for the voters to either approve or disapprove the tax. Some towns include all three options in one article to be voted on; some break the options into separate articles. Bob gave examples of wording for such articles. Bob said he has not been able to find information about the amount of money the State Park takes in. Typically, the Park books campsites in the first quarter of the year, which is part of the reason Bob thinks it would be advantageous to put a Local Option Tax in place soon, so that it would apply to those first quarter State Park bookings. Bruno asked if the State Park was tax exempt as State entities often are, but Bob said that the Park does have to charge a room tax.

In summary, Bob said that there are three options: 

#1: Set the Municipal Tax Rate at 0.3691;

#2: Use some of the surplus to reduce the amount of money that the Town has to raise this year, which would reduce the Municipal Tax Rate;

#3: Recommend a Local Option Tax on any or all of the three areas described; hold a Special Town Meeting in September for voters to either approve or disapprove; if voters approve, notify the State. Any tax monies collected would be used to reduce the amount of money that the Town has to raise next year, which would reduce the Municipal Tax Rate.

Scott said he was in favor of leaving the surplus where it is for at least another year. Brad said the Town has used the surplus in this way before; the last time, we were then short of money to pay our bills. Bob said that in the past the surplus has sometimes been used to put money into different funds within the budget. Brad recalled that historically, the Town has tried to keep $250,000 in surplus. Bruno said he would rather leave the surplus for now, rather than use it now and have people be hit that much harder next year. Bob said no motion was needed if we were not using the surplus.

Bruno and Brad said they would like to think about the Local Option Tax for a while. Scott asked Bob if it were time sensitive. Bob said the only time sensitive aspect is that the sooner the Town puts such a tax in place, the sooner it will receive revenue from it. Scott suggested tabling it for another month. Brad questioned if we might have more people present to vote on it at the Town Meeting in March. The Selectboard decided not to make a decision about this tonight.

Brad asked if Bob had run any numbers for different scenarios of using part of the surplus. Bob calculated that using $50,000 of the surplus to reduce the amount of money the Town needs to raise would reduce the Municipal Tax Rate from 0.3691 to 0.2952, which would bring the Total Combined Tax Rate for Homestead down from 2.3350 to 2.2611 and the Total Combined Tax Rate for Non-Homestead down from 2.1939 to 2.12. It is not possible to predict what the amount of the surplus may be at this time next year.

Brad recommended not using the surplus this year; Scott agreed, saying to leave it for possible use next year to relieve the expected heavier tax burden; Bruno agreed. From the paperwork, Bob read that the motion would be to set the Municipal Tax Rate at .3691 and the Local Agreement Tax Rate at .0017. Brad said, “I’ll make that motion, just what Bob read.” Bruno seconded it, saying also, “Just what Bob read.” All voted in favor.

Andy Champagne-Willis said that he would like more information about all that Bob had just discussed about taxes, perhaps at an informal meeting with other people in the Town; it would be an opportunity to be educated about the various options that the Town has. Bob said he was happy to talk with anyone at any time about this. Scott said that if anyone is interested, they should email Bob and he could put something together.


There has been steady progress on reducing the delinquent taxes due.


The process of Statistical Reappraisal is starting. We have paid NEMRC for two of the twelve months for which we have a contract with them. Bob has received a list of the random properties selected to verify that the data in our system is accurate. This is a Data Integrity Check performed on 5% of our 364 properties, which Bob believes is 20 in number. The property owners will be receiving a letter informing them that their properties will be visited by the Listers and the Assessor sometime in September or October. Their property data cards will be redone, and the results of the Data Integrity Check will be reported to the State. Then the Statistical Reappraisal will be performed by Ed Clodfelter of NEMRC. Sales prices for properties have not peaked, but continue to increase, said Bob, citing as an example of the sales that are factoring into the reappraisal the recent sale of a property on North Road, listed by the Town at $28,000, but sold for $79,000. Bruno and Bob spoke of the negative impact of increased taxes on people, causing some to decide to sell their homes despite having planned to live in those homes for the rest of their lives. Bob expressed his feeling that this will be as detrimental to our community as when Champion sold the lots around the Lake in 1996. The appraised value of all properties in Maidstone will be going up. 


Amy gave the following updates:

There is a request for reimbursement for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) Conflict of Interest training on the Signing Desk.  Brad made a motion to reimburse the Town Clerk the ten dollars for the VLCT training; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor. 

Amy said the Town Clerk’s office has received some complaints and phone calls indicating some confusion about the weight of trash bags. The Town Clerk is trying to get the word out that people should not  overweight the trash bags, as it takes a toll on Vaughn. Bob added as a side note that Vaughn had dropped off the signed Waste Collection and Disposal contract today. 


Bill Sanborn reported that the Local Emergency Management Plan (LEMP) has been updated. A few spelling corrections were made, and the contact for the Emergency Operations  Center was changed from Assistant Town Clerk Suzy Irwin to Town Clerk Amy Pear. The Plan needs to be signed annually and updated as needed. Brad made a motion to approve the updated LEMP; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.


Review and approve updated Town Clerk job description: Amy said she had sent the updated Job Description to the Selectboard a week or two ago. Bruno asked if this was a State job description. Amy responded that it was the job description in place when she became Town Clerk, but she does not know if it came from the State. She and Suzy went through it and updated it to be as accurate a description of the Town Clerk’s job as possible. Brad made a motion to accept the Town Clerk’s new Job Description; Bruno seconded it. All voted in favor.

Continue review of Purchasing Policy; decide upon revisions needed: After discussing and agreeing to increase the dollar amount for incidental and regular purchases, Brad made a motion to accept the Town of Maidstone Purchasing Policy with the two amended figures for Regular Purchases to go up to $10,000 and the Incidental Purchases to go up to $4,000; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.  

Update about progress with flagpole purchase: Scott was hoping to get some money from the grant that Senator Ingalls was discussing to use to purchase a flagpole, but he said he wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be just for energy related items. Bob said that would be a question to ask Dave Snedeker of NVDA, but that the purpose of the grant is for energy resilience. Bruno said that Amy had spent a lot of time on the grant for the generator. He would like to put that on the $500,000 grant. Brad asked if we still could do that, but Bob pointed out that the process is well under way. The generator is arriving on Wednesday. The discussion moved to the meeting with Dave Snedeker about work to be included in the application for the $500,000 energy resilience grant, including perhaps replacing the furnace and waterproofing the basement. In conclusion, Scott said he would talk with Dave Snedeker about the flagpole and table that topic for a while.


Bill Sanborn said that he and Health Officer Sandy Gray are interested in scheduling a CPR course for which they would like permission to use Town Hall. The Selectboard said that sounded like a good idea and expressed support. Bill said they would put together a letter or notice to inform everyone.

Brad asked Amy if there was any information about how the LHMP has to be adopted. Amy said that she and Bill had been discussing that, and it will be at the top of her list to address when she is at work on Thursday. She will relay any information she is able to find to the Local Hazard Mitigation Committee. Bill said there is an adoption procedure that must be followed; he and Amy will contact Jesse Noonan of NVDA and find out exactly what the Town has to do. 

The business of the meeting concluded, Brad made a motion to adjourn; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary von Alt

Posted August 7, 2023

Approved Minutes


Monday, July 10, 2023 7:00 pm

Hybrid Meeting, both in person at Town Hall and by Zoom Video Conference

Members Present in Town Hall (in-person): Scott Lovell, Chair; Brad McVetty, Bruno McKenzie

Town Official Present at Town Hall: Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Warden Bill Sanborn

Also Present at Town Hall: Duncan and Melissa Dano

Town Officials and Staff Present via Zoom: Town Clerk and Lister Amy Pear; Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bob Champagne-Willis; Zoning Board and Planning Commission member Bruce Barker; Lister, Auditor, and Health Officer Sandra Gray; Administrative Assistant Mary von Alt

Also Present via Zoom: Laurie and Bob Snowman, Jan Barker, Lin Mixer, Sam and Carol Gorham, Burt and Carol Kline, Bonnie Lovell

Chairman Scott Lovell called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. He began the meeting by reminding everyone that the Rules for Participation, with which all are now familiar, governed the meeting as usual.


Brad had several corrections for the June 5, 2023 minutes:

Bob added that the reference to a $102 application fee in the line, “Bruno McKenzie reviewed the $102.00 application fee” needed clarification - $102 is the fee for the Appeal of Zoning Administrator Decision and for the Variance Request Application, not for all zoning related applications. Brad made a motion to approve the minutes as amended; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.


Brad said he has finished up the Better Roads Grant work on the Hall Road. The Town will submit the paperwork and then expects reimbursement from the State for the $18,500 amount, Brad thinks. The replacement of the box culvert at the head of the lake on Westside Lake Road is still scheduled for shortly  after Labor Day. The Town has received the Better Roads Grant for the ditching work starting at the campground and continuing about a mile down the Lake Road to the telephone building. There has not been a lot of damage from the heavy rain - a little bit of washout on some of the hills, but that can be taken care of with the grader and 2 or 3 loads of gravel. The rain and heavy traffic have beat up the Lake Road, as expected. 

Lin Mixer had several comments:


Bob reported that the Town has received the Homestead and Non-Homestead tax rates from the State. There is no dispute over the Non-Homestead Tax Rate, but Bob is currently working with our Legislature and Brad James of the Vermont Education Agency on the Homestead Tax Rate. Bob hopes to resolve that before the Selectboard meeting in August at which the municipal tax rate will be set. That will be on the Agenda for the August Selectboard meeting.


The Delinquent Tax Collector Report has been submitted. There has been steady progress on reducing the delinquent taxes due.


We are entering the period of reappraisal for the 2024 Grand List. Reappraisal work will start later this Summer or early Fall. The Town has received its first download of the Homestead Payments. Everyone who files a Homestead Declaration and receives an Income Sensitivity Reimbursement from the State should be receiving a letter from the State. If you have questions about whether your expected Reimbursement has come through, you can check with Bob to see if your payment has been included in the Homestead Payments received by the Town thus far.



Bill Sanborn said the new forestry trailer is now sitting in his yard. He has registered the trailer and is now working on how best to store tools and equipment in the trailer. Scott will be helping with some of that. 

The bridge on Lamoureux Road is currently closed. This bridge is normally used by our fire protection and emergency medical services; the necessity to drive around to use the bridge either in Bloomfield in the north or the bridge in Guildhall in the south will add an additional 15 minutes or so to response time. Therefore, both Groveton Fire and Stratford Fire have agreed to respond simultaneously to any issues here in Maidstone. Bill said we need to push for action on the bridge repair because of the impact on emergency response time. Brad has been told that information regarding the length of time anticipated for repairs to be completed should be known by the end of this week. Amy has spoken with Logan Perron of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTRANS), who said he has added Maidstone to the State bridge update email distribution list. Prior to the new flooding due to heavy rains, he had said that he expected it would be one to two weeks before assessments were made to determine what needed to be done and to then estimate how long the repair work would take. Due to the State-wide flooding, that may be delayed. 


Complete review and approval of the new and revised zoning related application forms: Bruno has reviewed the forms and is fine with everything on them; Brad said he is all set. Bruno made a motion to approve the forms for the Appeal of Zoning Administrator Decision, Conditional Use Permit Application, Curb Cut Permit Application, Variance Request, and Zoning Permit Application; Brad seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Review and approve corrections to “Basic Job Requirements” in the updated Town Clerk job description: Amy went over the changes needed, including removal of a reference to a Vermont Statute that no longer exists and removal of the responsibility for E911 files that now belongs, according to Vermont Statute, to the E911 Coordinator for the Town, Bill Sanborn. The other change would be to the requirement to obtain and maintain Certified Municipal Clerk designation. This would require membership in the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, costing approximately $1200/year. In Vermont, it is more relevant to require Certified Vermont Clerk designation (CVC), to which all of the training provided by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) and the Vermont Municipal Clerk Treasurer Association (VMCTA) applies. After a brief discussion, the Selectboard decided that Amy should make the changes she proposed to the job description. Once those changes have been made and copies of the job description have been given to the Selectboard, the revised job description will be officially voted on.

Open and review bids received for the Taylor Cemetery Project; decide on winning bid: A letter was received from Dirty Rock saying that they could not do the work. One bid was received from R & S Tree & Landscaping. Scott read the description of the work included in the bid and the total amount of $1827.50 (eighteen hundred and twenty-seven dollars and fifty cents). Amy said that because of the concern about about getting vaults into place in the cemetery, she and Bruno had reached out to the funeral home; the people at the funeral home explained how they do that, which does not require any more road work. That is why R & S Tree & Landscaping did not include any road work in their bid. Brad made a motion to accept the bid from R & S Tree & Landscaping; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Open and review bids received for Trash and Recycling Pickup; decide on winning bid: A bid was received from Hodgdon Trucking for $54,221.40 (fifty-four thousand two hundred twenty-one dollars and forty cents). A  lower bid was received from Duncan and Melissa Dano, but they would only be able to pick up trash and recycling on Wednesdays, as they are committed elsewhere on Mondays. Brad pointed out that trash is often left out after people have spent a weekend at the lake. After some discussion of concerns about leaving trash out two more days for a Wednesday pickup, which would attract attention from animals, and the fact that the Selectboard did not have to take the low bidder, it was decided that the Danos’ proposal could not be accepted. The Selectboard thanked the Danos for bidding and for attending the meeting. Brad made a motion to accept the Hodgdon’s bid proposal for $54,221.40; Bruno seconded the motion. All voted in favor. Bob said he would pursue this and get a contract for the Selectboard to sign. Laurie Snowman suggested that the requirement for a Monday pickup be included in the request for proposal. The Selectboard and Bob  responded that it had been included; the Danos chose to submit a bid anyway for this three year contract. Amy thanked the Selectboard for making the Monday pickup a requirement; she pointed out that trash is frequently left out after the weekend by people on North Road and Bear Hill Road as well as by people on the lake, so the Monday pickup is important.

Continue review of Purchasing Policy; decide upon revisions needed: The Selectboard began discussing changing some of the dollar thresholds and correlating requirements to obtain quotes or to follow a sealed bid process. Concern was expressed about unexpected road problems that require unplanned expenditures; Amy pointed out that the emergency expenditure clause addresses such road emergencies. 

Approving a sole source vendor was discussed, which Brad said was in our policy, but has never been done. That’s a person to whom the Town just goes to for the work, he said, which is how Guildhall operates. Scott asked if the $10K threshold they had been discussing would apply to the sole source vendor; Brad said the sole source vendor would be for all the expenditures/work. Amy said McVetty Construction is effectively the sole source vendor now for Maidstone’s road work, according to the way the Town operates; we don’t go out seeking bids for that work. Brad said that he does that as the Road Commissioner and because he has the equipment to do the work. Amy said she thought that the Road Commissioner job was different from the job of the  Construction Contractor doing the road work. Brad said it has always been one job since he has been doing it; he assumes that is why he was appointed, because he had the equipment to do the work. 

Bob pointed out that there are instances where getting bids has come up recently, specifically naming the cemetery mowing, the work on the website, and the landscaping project at Taylor Cemetery. The real reason behind getting a bid, he said, is to get the best number for the Town; for example, Amy did a really good job at getting several different bids for the website work. Brad said with regard to the Taylor Cemetery, “if I remember right, I was going to do a lot more work than this, and I was going to donate my time, and have the Town pay for gravel for the roadway to put in there for, I guess, maybe five or six hundred dollars. So now you are getting less work, and you are paying more money for it. I don’t see where this actually amounted to anything other than costing the Town money.” Scott agreed. Bob responded,“At that meeting, there were two Board members present; you were one of them. We could not advance at that moment to award that work.” Brad said, “I am not saying that we could have. But I’m just saying the Town could have had all this work done for $600, until I got a two page email telling me what a conflict of interest it was and I wasn’t following the purchase policy. That ended my thing right there, when someone sends me an email telling me how I need to handle a conflict of interest. And I think that person knows who.” Bob said, “I’m just bringing up the point that at that particular meeting, there were two Selectboard members present.” Brad said, “Right. We could have postponed it for another meeting. In fact we did. We talked about it at the next meeting when Bruno came back. I’m just saying I don’t think common sense should be overruling some of this stuff here. We got somebody who is willing to do the work for very little, and now we are paying 1800 to have the same, actually having less done. I’d like to know what the bid would have been if they’d have fixed the road going in there.”

Amy said, “But Brad, there is no reason why you couldn’t have put in a bid and articulated all that,” to which Brad responded, “Yeah, I could have.” Amy continued, “I sent you the email just like any other vendor, because you had shown interest at that meeting. You had the same opportunity. Nobody is saying you can’t do this, and nobody is saying you can’t be kind to the Town.” Brad said, “That is not what I am saying. I am saying it cost the Town more money by sending this out to bid than if they had just hired me to do the job for the price of the gravel.” Amy said, “But if that’s the case, then how do I handle building a new website, and why do I have to get three separate quotes and bring them to the Town for websites, for garbage bags, for annual reports? Why do I have to do all that work for the purchases I make for Town Hall, if other stuff doesn’t have to follow the same rules? I just want it to be consistent. Because if you guys tell me for that for five thousand I don’t have to follow these rules, I’ll just go out and get people to do the jobs and have whoever I want do it. But I think it's fair for the Town to have competitive bidding, and it’s fair for us to be consistent all across the board.”

At this point, technical difficulties caused more problems with the video and audio from Town Hall freezing, as had happened several times during the meeting, probably due to all of the rain. Intermittent snatches of conversation were heard. The Selectboard had apparently moved on to the Update about progress with flagpole purchase. With regard to that, Bob reported that he had run into the limit on the amount of money allowed for purchases with the Town’s debit card online, so he phoned the company involved currently with the flagpole purchase, which is when that company started giving him the runaround. Scott said he would contact the company. Technical issues arose again. Mary and Laurie had questions about what had happened to the discussion about the purchasing policy, if perhaps the Selectboard had tabled the issue. 

Bruno then phoned Mary to say that they had decided to table both the Purchasing Policy and the Flagpole Purchase issues until next month, a conversation that the attendees on the Zoom were able to hear. 

Bruno then made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Brad seconded the motion. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:04 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary von Alt

Posted July 7, 2023


Maidstone Selectboard Meeting

Monday, July 10, 2023 @ 7:00PM

Hybrid Meeting In-person at Town Hall at 508 VT-102 and via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting

Call to Order

Reminder about the Rules of Participation

Approve Minutes

Report from the Road Commissioner 

Report from the Treasurer:

Report from the Delinquent Tax Collector

Report from the Listers

Report from the Town Clerk:

Report from the Emergency Management Coordinator and Fire Warden:





Meeting ID: 825 2344 5058

Passcode: 093810

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2023 Selectboard Meetings

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