Meeting Minutes : Select Board

July 20, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman.


Select Board members present:  Joseph Gagnon, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Thomas Hooker, Linda Weeden, and Allen Hitchcock.   Also present:  Mary Michael-Fusco (PEG – TV), Dorothy Parkinson, John Weeden, Tom Carrara, Helen McKinlay, Charles “Butch” Shaw, Lee Kahrs, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard-Recording Secretary.



The minutes from the July 6, 2011 meeting were signed with no corrections.



The Orders in the amount of $13,318.31 (FY’11); $1,352.63 (FY’12) and payroll in the amount of $17,027.60 were signed with the following comments:


FY ’11:

L. Weeden inquired about the amount of the purchase of coffee from Crystal Rock Bottled Water.  J. Gagnon inquired about the period of time that this amount of coffee was used.  J. Haverstock reported that there were deliveries on June 2, June 16, and June 30.  J. Haverstock indicated that the coffee purchases will be researched.


L. Weeden inquired about the expense to VT Digital for four computers.  J. Haverstock explained that computers are replaced periodically, based on age and performance of the machine.  J. Haverstock reported that the Police Department, Zoning Administrator, Recreation Director, and the Listers’ Office had computers replaced this year.  L. Weeden inquired what happened to the old computers.  J. Haverstock indicated that the old machines are stored in the basement until time permits to review the information that is on the machine.  There was discussion that the machines could possibly be donated to a “needy” source within Town after the information is removed.


A. Hitchcock inquired the expenses for the services that were performed on the Fire Department vehicles.  T. Hooker indicated that these services were an annual maintenance that is performed on all vehicles.



J. Gagnon inquired about the expenses for Babe Ruth baseball.  J. Haverstock indicated that it is believed that this is reimbursed with the fees that the players pay to participate, however, will confirm this with Randy Adams.



  • The Water project on Route 7, specially new services to be installed beneath Route 7, have been priced by Markowski Excavating.  Once these amounts are reviewed and approved by Otter Creek Engineering and Rural Development, the work will begin.  The distance on the Oxbow Road main replacement is cost dependent on the Route 7 portion. A. Hitchcock inquired if there was any time limitation on the funding.  J. Haverstock indicated that there is not a time limit.
  • The bids were opened on July 20, 2011 for Phase II of the Sewer Project.  There were 3 bids received. The engineer had proposed a cost of $1.3 million.  The low bidder was Belden Construction at a bid of $1.399 million, followed by Markowski Excavating and Willey Earth Moving.  The bids are currently being reviewed by Mike Smith (Weston & Sampson Engineers) and will be discussed at the July 26, 2011 meeting of the Water & Sewer Commission.
  • Bruce Babcock reports that the office space for the Water Department is nearly complete, only needing an interior door re-hung, phone service, and State occupancy inspection.
  • There will be a staff meeting on July 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM and the members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
  • VTRANS has proposed another public informational session to discuss the Route 7 upgrades.  The proposed date is August 17, 2011, following the Select Board meeting.  In the event that this proposed time is agreed upon, the Select Board and VTRANS meetings will be held at the Lothrop gym instead of the Municipal Offices.  The exact details will be announced at the August 3, 2011 Select Board meeting.
  • There is a vacancy for Pound Keeper and Fence Viewer.  Interested residents are encouraged to contact the Town Manager.
  • Eric Hansen, Randy Adams and John Haverstock walked the Town forest property behind the Town Office building to assess the recent logging operations.  Bruce Babcock will be consulted as to feasible ways of restricting ATV access at the Nickwackett Block.  Mr. Hansen indicated that there is some merchantable wood in the area of the Transfer Station.  The area will be assessed once mill prices rise.



Tom Carrara inquired about the bids for the Sewer Project.  T. Pelkey referred Mr. Carrara to discuss the bids with the Town Manager, or attend the meeting of the Water & Sewer Commission to be held on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM.


Tom Carrara inquired if the mining at the Hogback Quarry would occur in the winter months.  J. Gagnon indicated that this information would be included in Omya’s Act 250 permit application.



Discussion of Uses for Used Fire Equipment:

Charles “Butch” Shaw, Assistant Fire Chief, was present to discuss the inquiries that occurred at a previous Select Board meeting with regard to the “passing along” of fire equipment that has been replaced.


Mr. Shaw explained the life expectancies of various pieces of equipment and explained that some equipment, such as hose, can be tested, whereas turnout gear and SCBA bottles have different exposure to heat and elements, making the life expectancy shorter.  There would also be a liability issue if turnout gear was given to another department.


There were some flashlights recently replaced.  The original flashlights were purchased for $110 and the battery for replacement in the older lights was $65.  Flashlights are now available for $53.


Mr. Shaw explained that there is a budgetary process that is followed to replace equipment on a rotating schedule. However, when a grant was received for equipment a few years ago, equipment that was purchased and is now nearing the end of its acceptable life span and will need to be replaced.


J. Gagnon explained that his past comments were basically to receive information, which he thanked Mr. Shaw for providing.


T. Hooker explained that there had previously been “County Swap Meets” where area departments would bring equipment.  However, the County Firefighters Association has discouraged this type of event, due to liability possibilities.


Salvage Yard Permit:

J. Haverstock included a draft letter to the Brown’s Auto Salvage in the packets for review with regard to the new regulations that have recently been set forth by the State of Vermont.  The members reviewed the letter and instructed J. Haverstock to send the letter to Brown’s Auto Salvage.  J. Haverstock explained the hearing process to the public.


Warn Vermont:

A. Hitchcock explained that the Water & Sewer Commission agreed to be part of a program called “WARN Vermont”, which provides mutual aid to other towns in the event of water or sewer system failures.  J. Haverstock explained that this program is no charge to the Town.



Discussion of Tax Rate:

Helen McKinlay was present to discuss the proposed tax rate.  The tax rate proposed is:


General Fund              $0.2539

Highway                     $0.2200

Village                         $0.0410

Local Agreement        $0.0014

Education                    $1.3721


General Fund              $0.2539

Highway                     $0.2200

Village                         $0.0410

Local Agreement        $0.0014

Education                    $1.4219

T. Pelkey explained that there are no surplus dollars available as they have been disbursed in the past years tax rate.


Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Hitchcock to approve the proposed tax rate.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


Appointment of Zoning Board of Adjustment Member:

J. Haverstock indicated that John Mitchell is currently an alternate to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and is interested in appointment to fill a vacancy as a permanent member.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Hitchcock to appoint Mr. Mitchell to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


Discussion of the Police Department Fleet:

This topic was tabled to a future meeting.



J. Haverstock reported that the FY2011 General Fund expenses are at 98.5 % of budget; Highway Fund revenue are at 118% and expenses are 125% of budget.



There was discussion concerning the use of the Proctor Gun Club property.  J. Haverstock indicated that he has had communications with Mr. Fiske and the Club and the NRA evaluation is still outstanding.


Dorothy Parkinson inquired if the Census information has been released to the Town.  H. McKinlay explained that some of the information, such as the population count of 2,990 has been released, showing a decrease in population.



J. Haverstock reported that there are Personnel Issues and Contract Issues, thus recommending Executive Session.


T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by J. Gagnon to go into Executive Session for a Personnel Issue where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town and a Contractual Issue where the Town’s position may be jeopardized by public disclosure at 7:43 PM.   The motion was unanimously passed. J. Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.


In accordance with 1VSA 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 a Personnel Issue and a Contractual Issue at 7:43 PM.


The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:55 PM, with no action taken.


The meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.


The next regular meeting will be held on August 3, 2011.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman


Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman


           W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


             Thomas Hooker, Selectman


Linda Weeden, Selectman