Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Shelly Williams, Vanessa Mills, Danielle Monroe, Dean Pierce, Paul Gallo, Lorri Byrom, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Hooker.
T. Hooker reported that there was no need to enter into Executive Session.
J. Haverstock stated that Proctor Policing can be stricken from the agenda and would like to add the Authorization of the Town Manager to bid at the upcoming tax sale. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to approve the agenda, as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The minutes of the December 12, 2019 Regular Select Board meeting were signed, with no changes.
The orders in the amount of $89,351.49 and Payroll in the amount of $13,212.00 were signed, with the following discussion:
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for a sump pump. J. Haverstock explained that this was a Water Department purchase and will check regarding the location that this will be used.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- The Tax Sale will occur on January 28, 2020 at 10:00, including one or two parcels.
- There is a vacancy on the Planning Commission. There are postings in the usual places, the newsletter and the website seeking candidates for this position. There is a modest stipend.
- There is also a vacancy for the Town Health Officer. Bruce Babcock will be retiring in May. There are postings in the usual places, the newsletter and the website seeking volunteers for this position.
- The Village sidewalk project engineering design has been received and forwarded to VTrans for their input.
- The Rutland Regional Planning Commission is working on an agreement similar to the Mutual Aid system that the Fire Departments use, only this one will involve the Highway Departments. There will be a draft agreement in future packets for review.
- There was no Structures grant funding received in FY 2020, due to a VTrans oversight. Rep. Shaw has advocated for funding and VTrans has awarded $175,000. This funding is expected to be used on Fire Hill Road in the area of the Troy Minerals bridge. The Town can apply again for FY 2021 funding for another project.
- A notice was received from Proctor officials stating that a box truck tried to utilize the Gorham Bridge. Witnesses have pictures and Proctor will be contacting a carpenter to assess the damage. There will be more information at a future meeting.
- The Town Manager expressed his gratitude to the Select Board for its patience and understanding during the recent family medical issues that had him out of the office.
Select Board Comments:
Selectman Mills inquired about the status of the possibility of swapping out one of the Highway Department trucks when the Town purchases its next new truck. J. Haverstock stated that he has the specification information from Chad Eugair and will be discussing this at a future meeting.
Selectman Malay inquired about the possibility of increasing attendance at Town Meeting. There was discussion of a potluck or making child care available. J. Haverstock will also contact VLCT to see what other towns do to increase attendance.
Vanessa Mills, a resident in the Woodland Drive neighborhood, was present to discuss the vehicle accidents that occur in the vicinity of 1025 U. S. Route 7. Ms. Mills presented the Select Board with a letter that the Town Manager will be sending as a follow-up letter to the last discussion of this section of road. Rep Shaw is aware of the situation and will work with VTrans. J. Haverstock will contact Rutland Regional Planning Commission to see if there is a study that can be conducted in this area.
Continued Discussion of Highway Vehicle & Equipment Replacement Schedule:
D. Mills stated that he has met with Chad Eugair regarding the vehicles in the Highway Department. There was some discussion that the vehicle that is “scheduled” to be replaced has just had a great deal of repair work and it is probably in better condition than the next vehicle in line. Mr. Eugair will attend a future meeting to discuss these options.
Update on Budget Preparations:
J. Haverstock reported that the current budget proposal is draft 5. There were some external auditor recommendations incorporated in this draft and the budgets are balanced. Under the current version, there would be a $67,695 surplus in the Highway Budget. The General Fund budget would result an increase of $14,797 (1.2% increase in taxation), the Highway fund budget would result in an increase of $16,559 (1.7% increase in taxation), with a net increase of 1.38% in property taxes.
Ms. Williams and Ms. Mills exited at 7:26 PM.
Remarks Regarding Maclure Library Programs and Finances:
Shelly Williams from the Maclure Library was present to explain to the Select Board the various programs that occur at the Library on a regular basis. The Library has just finished their budget process, as well as partnering with the Brandon Library to share books and resources. Ms. Williams stated that several members of the Select Board attend the library on a regular basis. There was discussion that the staff at the library are available to assist anyone with use of computers or other resources. Ms. Williams stated that she would like to attend the Select Board meetings on a regular basis to keep the board updated on events and happenings. T. Pelkey explained that the Maclure Library has comparable stats regarding Town financial support to those of the libraries of comparable towns.
Wonderfeet Childrens’ Museum Request for Special Appropriation Support:
Paul Gallo and others from the Wonderfeet Childrens’ Museum were present to explain the programs that are available at their museum. Mr. Gallo stated that he and his staff members have been attending county towns’ Select Board meetings to ask for support. Danielle Munroe, Executive Director, explained some of the free programs that are offered, as well as low-cost admission events. Mr. Gallo stated that OMYA supports the Working Families Program. Lorrie Byrom from Camp Betsey Cox was present and explained that she serves on the Board of Directors, as well as volunteers at the museum. Ms. Byrom stated that she hosts fundraisers at Camp Betsey Cox. J. Haverstock inquired the amount of funding that is being sought by the Museum. Ms. Monroe stated $2,500, which is the same as Mendon and Chittenden. T. Hooker explained that the ‘first timers’ requests go on the Town Meeting ballot for the general public to vote on the proposal. The general consensus of the Select Board was to include the request on the Town Meeting Warning.
Ms. Monroe, Ms. Byrom, Mr. Gallo and Mr. Pierce exited at 7:20 PM.
Discuss Preparations for Town Meeting and Town Report:
J. Haverstock stated that he is working on the biographies of the honorees and will also be obtaining photos for the Town Report. There was discussion concerning conducting a survey to see what the towns people would like to see to increase attendance at Town Meeting.
Consider Authorizing Town Manager/Zoning Administrator to Issue Tickets for Junk Ordinance Violations:
J. Haverstock explained the properties that are of concern. There has been communication with some of the property owners. J. Haverstock will be sending letters and citations to the Junk Ordinance offenders.
Discussion on Route 7 Through the Village:
T. Hooker stated that he has received word that the State has no intention to doing any maintenance along Route 7 from the Mobil Station to Plains Road (Segment 2) until the upgrade, which is slated to occur in 2028. The Select Board recommended that a letter be drafted stating that this is unacceptable as the road is in poor condition. J. Haverstock will draft a letter and address it to the Secretary of Transportation and copy Representative Shaw and Brian Sanderson.
Consider Authorizing the Town Manager to Bid at Upcoming Tax Sale:
The Select Board signed an authorization for the Town Manager to bid at the upcoming tax sale.
None necessary at this time.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on January 22, 2020.
Thomas Hooker, Chairman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman
Alicia Malay, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Mills, Selectman