The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman.
Select Board members present: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Thomas Hooker, Vice Chair, Jane Cornell, W. Joseph Gagnon, and David Trombley.
Also present: Ted Gillen, Craig Ferreira, Chuck Greeno, John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need for Executive Session for two Personnel matters(Police Department). Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel. Motion passed unanimously 5– 0.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a request to amend the agenda to remove Homestead Declaration Penalty Request discussion. D. Trombley would like to add a discussion of Select Board packets to Old Business. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to adopt the agenda as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The Select Board minutes from the December 20, 2017 regular meeting and the December 20, 2017 Town Plan Hearing were signed, with no corrections.
The orders in the amount $32,880.16 and $12,999.87 (Payroll) were approved, with no discussion:
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- The two additional Public Hearings for the Town Plan will be held on January 17 and February 7 in conjunction with the Select Board meetings. Due to the 2018 adoption date, there is additional language that must be included to be compliant with State law. The Planning Commission will be meeting in the next week to draft this language.
- The Zoning Board of Adjustment will be reconvening their Public Hearing on the proposed Dollar General store on January 22 at 7:00 PM at the Lothrop School gym.
- The Tax Sale resulted in 1 property being sold. There were initially 10 parcels that would have been included, however, arrangements or payments were received regarding those parcels. The parcel that was sold was the property of David and Michelle Flanders on Long Trail. The Flanders have 1 year to resolve the debt, including costs and interest, to regain ownership of their property.
- Following discussion with the Rutland County Solid Waste District, it was determined that the Transfer Station must accept brush per State law. The Town Manager and the Highway Foreman will be meeting to discuss this issue to work on a solution to avoid burning at the Transfer Station. J. Gagnon recommended speaking with Jim O’Gorman. Other alternatives were discussed and there will be more information coming on this topic.
- The Emergency Management planning meeting that was originally scheduled for January 4 has been postponed to February 1 at 6:30 PM due to the weather forecast.
T. Hooker stated that there was recently a structure fire in Brandon that the Fire Department responded to. The Florence portion of West Creek Road to Brandon was very slippery and very sparsely sanded. There was a fire on Oxbow Road recently and the roads were glare ice. D. Trombley stated that there was a noticeable difference in the roads between Brandon and Pittsford. Brandon roads were easily and safely passable. The Highway Foreman will be invited to the next meeting to discuss the amount of material that is applied to the roads in these conditions.
None presented at this time.
Consider Enacting a Fireworks Ordinance:
T. Hooker reported that Fire Chief Hemple was not able to make the meeting, however, Chief Hemple stated that he had no issues or concerns with the proposed ordinance. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to adopt the Fireworks Ordinance as presented. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. Mr. Greeno stated that the $15 non-refundable application fee may be a little excessive. The Board agreed that the fee would remain.
Discussion of Select Board Packets:
D. Trombley stated that the packets of information are delivered to the members on the Friday before the Wednesday meeting and the last packet was 42 pages, copied on both sides, then another packet was waiting for members at the current meeting. The discussion stated that there were times that certain items require absolute immediate attention, however, the other things can come with the packets for the following meeting.
Presentation of Fourth Draft of Town Budgets:
J. Haverstock read the memo that was presented with the fourth draft of the Town budgets. The budgets that were presented included the reduction in the Hydrant Fund to $25,00; reduction of the proposed paving fund by 50% (Shawn Erickson is aware of this reduction and understands the reasoning); reduction of the Bridge Replacement Fund appropriation by 50%, resulting in an overall increase in the budget of 3.9% in the General Fund and 6.2% in the Highway Fund with a combined tax increase of 4.9%. This overall increase is reasonable considering the health insurance cost increased by 9.5%; an additional insured costing $18,000; increase in Workers Compensation costs; additional $10,000 in the Fire Truck Replacement Fund; $2,000 increase in the Police Cruiser Replacement Fund; $5,000 increase in the First Response allocation and $10,000 increase in the Library allocation. J. Haverstock made the Select Board aware that the next meeting (January 17) will be the last presentation for approval and that the Town Meeting warning will need to be approved so the Town Report can get it to the printer in a timely manner.
Consider Homestead Declaration Penalty Abatement Requests:
This topic was tabled.
Consider Making Appointment to Trustees of Public Funds to Fill Vacancy:
J. Haverstock reported that there is a vacancy following the resignation of Jim Rademacher. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Trombley to appoint Tom Hooker to the Trustees of Public Funds until Town Meeting. J. Gagnon inquired why the Board should make the appointment now instead of allowing this to remain vacant until Town Meeting. J. Haverstock explained that the Trustees have some issues to handle before Town Meeting and that the position would be up for election at that time. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Consider Removing a Planning Commission Member:
J. Haverstock reported that Planning Commission member Colleen Hobbs was appointed to the Planning Commission in April 2016 and has not attended a meeting since March 23, 2017. J. Haverstock has been in communication with VLCT and they reported that the Select Board can remove a member of a committee, if the vote is unanimous. J. Gagnon inquired if the Planning Commission has had any input on this topic. J. Haverstock stated that he and the members of the Planning Commission have tried unsuccessfully to contact Ms. Hobbs. Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by T. Hooker to remove Ms. Hobbs as Planning Commission member effective immediately. J. Haverstock reported that there have been some residents interested in the position, however, the position must first be posted. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for personnel where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town, and may be jeopardized by public disclosure.
In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of personnel at 7:04PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session. The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:20 PM, with no action taken.
The meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on January 17, 2018.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman
Jane Cornell, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Trombley, Selectman