November 16, 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: Michelle Parker, Shawn Erickson, Lucia Suarez, John Weeden, Randy Adams, Mamie Rasmussen, Philip Picotte, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The minutes from the November 2, 2011 meeting were signed, with no corrections.
The Orders in the amount of $65,792.39 and payroll in the amount of $9,675.49 were signed, with the following comments:
A. Hitchcock inquired about the expense for “sewer upgrade rock jam.” J. Haverstock indicated that this will be reimbursed by the Belden Company as it was a result of the sewer project.
A. Hitchcock inquired about the expense for rental machine for sewer/water. J. Haverstock indicated that this was an expense related to the work being performed on Depot Hill Road.
A. Hitchcock inquired about the expense for legal fees for tax sale. J. Haverstock indicated that this expense was for 6 accounts that will be going for tax sale and for legal work done on behalf of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expenses for an accident. J. Haverstock indicated that this was an accident that occurred near the library and a claim will be presented to the truck company’s insurance carrier.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Fire Department headlamps. T. Hooker indicated that there were two invoices.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Storm Irene fundraiser. T. Pelkey indicated that he authorized the expense for the refreshments for the volunteers, who were not all firemen.
L. Weeden inquired about the expense for a police vehicle “comp stand.” T. Hooker indicated that this was to hold the computer in the current police cruiser.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT:
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- The final portion of the water project was started on November 9 and 3 of the 11 Route 7 services have been completed.
- Phase I of the sewer project is completed. The status of Phase II was explained. Paving will be done on Thursday, November 17 and work at the Elm Street pump station will begin next week.
- Several applications have been received in response to the advertisement for the full-time COPS grant-funded police officer position. Chief Warfle, Lt. Notte, and the Town Manager will interview the candidates. The deadline for applications is November 21, 2011.
- The high water mark at the Hard Farm has been chiseled following Tropical Storm Irene. Tradition was that Vermont Marble had paid for the chisel work. OMYA was contacted and has agreed to continue the tradition by paying for the service.
- Congratulations to Pierre Masuy on his recent selection of “Businessperson of the Year” by the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.
- The Town Offices and services will be closed on Thursday and Friday (November 24 and 25) in observance of Thanksgiving.
None stated at this time.
Discussion of Winter Sand Bids:
J. Haverstock indicated that only one bid was received, which was included in the packets for review. Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by T. Hooker to reject the bid for winter sand from Pike Industries. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. J. Haverstock will communicate this rejection to Pike Industries.
Official Appointment of the Zoning Administrator:
J. Haverstock reported that Ken Niemczyk has been hired as the Zoning Administrator. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Hitchcock to appoint Ken Niemczyk as the Zoning Administrator. There was discussion about inviting candidates or new employees to Select Board meetings. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Review/Approval of Basic Emergency Operations Plan:
J. Haverstock has been working with Odell Johnston and Michelle Parker from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to compile this information. A copy of this information was included in the packets for review. Motion to by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the plan. J. Haverstock indicated that this information will change over time and be updated as necessary. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. T. Pelkey will sign this document and forward to the Commission.
Review of Town Report Printing Quotes:
J. Haverstock indicated that a memo from Linda Drummond was included in the packets. A Request for Quotes was sent to three vendors, with one being returned from ReproDigital. The quote is $3,200/1300 copies; $3,515/1400 copies. The general consensus was to accept this quote.
Discussion of Budget Preparations:
J. Haverstock reviewed the following highlights:
- State aid for roads and bridges
- Legal fees
- Price stability for fuel/energy costs
- Health insurance increases (working with VLCT on price quotes)
- Raised wage levels to factor in Union Contract terms and recent Master Skills rate increases
- Equipment Rental Fund
- Increase Police revenues (COPS grant) and expenses
- Compensation to the Recreation Director for cell phone usage
- Increase zoning revenues due to increase in zoning fees
- Increase for ballot clerks due to the potential increase of voting hours
- Increase in fire hydrant fees from $22,360 – $35,000 as the number of hydrants have increased from 54 – 91.
- Sewer Fund likely increase in sewer rates due to the bond. A savings will be realized when old bonds are refinanced.
A. Hitchcock inquired if the increase of hydrants would reduce fire insurance costs. Residents were encouraged to contact their individual homeowner’s insurance companies for review.
Shawn Erickson was present to discuss the work plan for the Highway Department. There was information included in the packets for review. Mr. Erickson would like to add the Kendall Hill Road paving to the work plan. Other areas discussed by Mr. Erickson were to finish the culvert work on Depot Hill Road (as the culverts are already purchased); guardrails on Furnace Road and Whipple Hollow Road; culvert replacement between the Highway garage and the Fire Station. There was also discussion of “squaring off” the stop at the area of Depot Hill to West Creek Road, as well as Furnace Road to Route 7. This will require some research and studying. J. Gagnon also recommended the sloping of the bank and clearing trees in the area of the Davenport Farm, to increase visibility. Shawn Erickson will talk with the landowners.
Randy Adams was present to discuss the proposed budget for the Recreation Department. The programs at the Recreation Area are busy with youth activities, day camps, and other events. The disc golf course has been completed with the number of holes increased from 9 to 18 holes. A tournament was held for the Tropical Storm Irene fund (with $210 raised). He noted his request for compensation for the extensive use of his personal cell phone. A Facebook account has been established to better communicate cancellations – to avoid phone trees. J. Haverstock recommended that Randy review the VLCT guidelines with regard to “social media” usage.
T. Pelkey expressed thanks and gratitude to both Shawn and Randy for their dedication and hard work. A. Hitchcock expressed that the quality of the work from both individuals and their departments show their dedication.
J. Haverstock indicated that there is information in the packets with regard to a complaint that has been received regarding an unwanted pit bull. This was discussed. A Dog Hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30 PM.
J. Haverstock indicated that there was a request from the Listers’ with regard to Parcel #1294 – owned by Murray and Helen Snyder – located at 1982 Fire Hill Road. This request is an “Error and Omission”. The Listers are requesting a change in value from $3,525 to $3,750.75 to include farm buildings that are not tax exempt. Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by L. Weeden to approve the request. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
A. Hitchcock inquired about the Orders that were for property tax credits. J. Haverstock explained that these were to repay excess taxes that were received from the State and the landowner.
J. Haverstock explained the meetings with regard to the Proctor Water situation. Further information will be forwarded upon receipt.
J. Haverstock reported that there are Personnel Issues, thus recommending Executive Session.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by A. Hitchcock to go into Executive Session for Personnel Issues where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town that may be jeopardized by public disclosure at 7:19 PM. The motion was unanimously passed.
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 Personnel Issues at 7:19 PM. J. Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:29 PM, with the no action taken:
The meeting adjourned at 7:29 PM.
The next regular meeting will be held on December 7, 2011.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Thomas Hooker, Selectman
Linda Weeden, Selectman