Meeting Minutes : SELECT BOARD MINUTES June 16, 2021



Members Present – Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Alicia Malay, David Mills, Thomas Hooker and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Jennifer Popp, Ariadne Will (via Zoom), Chuck Greeno, Chip Greeno, Atty. Charlie Romeo, Atty Gary Kupferer, Attorney Jared Blake, Shana Louiselle, Dan Poulin, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Alicia Malay.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Legal (fireworks). Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for Legal. Motion passed 5 – 0.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to table the discussion of the truck fleet. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed 5 – 0.

The minutes of the June 2, 2021 regular meeting were signed, with no corrections.

The orders in the amount of $90,682.65 and Payroll in the amount of $11,701.55 were signed, with the following discussion:

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for the Depot Hill Road project. J. Haverstock stated that this was for the engineering, which is nearly complete. J. Haverstock explained that once the new generator arrives and the additional $100,000 of the bond funding is spent, the last batch of loan and grant money can be requested. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense of $58,000 for the water loan. J. Haverstock explained that this is a yearly bond payment.

Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The Neil H. Daniels Company will begin working on the Kendall Hill Road bridge deck on June 22, 2021. Omya and Florence Crushed Stone have been made aware of the traffic control that will be in place at the time of the project. The anticipated project duration is 2 – 4 weeks.
  • The policing and animal control contract with the Town of Chittenden has been signed.
  • The Town has received notification that the Class 2 highway and structures grant applications have been denied.
  • There will be an Amtrak re-opening ceremony at the Rutland station on July 19, 2021 at 7:30 AM. Attendees can ride the train to the Castleton station and be bussed back to Rutland. Any Select Board member is invited and should RSVP to the Town Manager.
  • The Town Clerk has stated that the tax rates may be available for review and adoption at the July 7, 2021 meeting.
  • The final bills have been received for the Salt/Sand structure and the bills have been submitted for the town to receive the final batch of 80% grant funding.
  • The Select Board members should be aware that they may be contacted to sign orders on June 30, 2021 as this is the Fiscal Year End.
  • The engineers will be in Town on June 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM to review and walk the Town roads on which future sidewalk construction may be viable. There will be a dedicated web page for updates to the public.
  • The Rutland Regional Planning Commission has reported that the Town’s 2021 Local Emergency Management Plan (LEMP) has been approved by the State.
  • There will be an in-person staff meeting on June 24, 2021 at 9:00 AM. The members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
  • The Municipal Office and related Town services will be closed on Monday, July 5, 2021 in observance of Independence Day.

Select Board Comments:
D. Mills stated that VELCO representatives made a presentation at the last meeting of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the RRPC took no action.

Public Comment:
None presented at this time.

Update on Purchase of Land for Relocated Florence Fire Substation:
Selectman Hooker and Fire Chief Hemple met with Chad Eugair, Jeff Biasuzzi and the Town Manager at the site of the project. The boundary lines have been flagged and permitting requirements will be reviewed.

Continued Discussion of Proposal for Additional Parking Area at the Recreation Area:
J. Haverstock reported that the members of the Select Board recently met at the Recreation Area to review the proposed parking area. Rob Ketcham and Jennifer Popp were also in attendance representing the Recreation Department. Chad Eugair explained the project being completed in-house and that the grade difference may allow for stone to be placed over the ground, without the need for excavation. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by J. Gagnon to perform the project in-house with no excavation work. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Update on Florence Bridge Construction Project:
J. Haverstock stated that he recently met with Chad Eugair, the engineers, Greg Markowski and Tom Markowski. J. Haverstock stated that he would be meeting with Brian Sanderson of VTrans at the site to discuss options. D. Mills stated that he has had recent conversation with Shawn Erickson, who described this area as “muck”. D. Mills inquired if a culvert would be a cheaper alternative as opposed to the proposed concrete structure and would like to research the options. J. Haverstock explained the various permitting entities and their various protocols and requirements. There was discussion on the grant funding and other options.

Update on Federal Funding Through American Rescue Plan Act:
J. Haverstock reported that he attended a VLCT webinar to discuss plans for acquiring ARPA funds. There will be a State website portal available for towns to use to request funds through the grant and to commit to the funding terms and conditions. Following discussion of available funds, D. Mills made a motion to appoint the Town Manager as the “Authorized Representative” and Bookkeeper Pat Johnson as the “Additional Contact.”. Motion was seconded by T. Hooker. act. Motion passed 5 – 0.


VELCO Presentation on its Planned Florence Substation Upgrade:
Shana Louiselle and Dan Poulin of VELCO were present to discuss the proposed substation upgrade in Florence. Mr. Poulin presented, outlined and discussed the proposal via Powerpoint presentation. Mr. Poulin stated that VELCO is hoping to file an application for a Certificate of Public Good in August and is looking for the Select Board to submit a letter of approval and support for the project. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to instruct the Town Manager to write the letter, which will be reviewed at the July 7, 2021 meeting. The motion passed with general consensus.

Ms. Louiselle and Mr. Poulin exited at 7:00 PM.

Discussion of State and Local Fireworks Laws and Town Permitting:
J. Haverstock stated that the Select Board members are aware that Rutland Town recently revoked its permit allowing C & C Fireworks to sell fireworks. Atty Charlie Romeo was present with the owners of C & C Fireworks, Chuck and Chip Greeno. Atty Romeo stated that they have worked with Rutland Town and reviewed the court ruling and confirmed the mutual understanding that State law requires that retail sales may only be made to customers who hold town permits for the display of fireworks. Atty Romeo explained that the permit has been reinstated by Rutland Town. Attorney Romeo asked that Pittsford proceed on the same understanding. This topic was deferred to Executive Session.

Mr. Greeno, Atty Romeo and Mr. Greeno exited at 7:11 PM.

Discussion of Highway Department Fleet:
This topic was tabled.

Consider Seeking Grant-in-Aid Funding for Roadside Ditching Projects:
J. Haverstock stated that a letter of intent, noting the Town’s desire for grant funding, is due on June 25, 2021. Chad Eugair has proposed ditching on Fire Hill Road as a worthy project. The members of the Select Board signed the Letter of Intent.

Update on Depot Hill Road Sewer Project:
J. Haverstock stated that the Water & Sewer Commission met and that the portable generator has been ordered with bond funds. The final portion of the project (aeration automation of the sewer plant) is still a concern due to price spikes. The Water & Sewer Commission is considering alternatives. A. Malay inquired if the ARPA funds could be used for this project. J. Haverstock stated that the bond authority allows for 50% loan forgiveness which is a good deal for the Town. He explained that the Town can use ARPA fund for additional water and sewer projects, down the road.

Remarks on Declaration of Inclusion:
There was no one present for this discussion.

D. Mills made the motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for legal 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 legal at 7:39 PM. Town Manager Haverstock, Atty Gary Kupferer and Atty Jared Blake were invited to remain for Executive Session.
Atty Kupferer and Atty Blake exited Executive Session at 8:01 PM.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:07 PM with the following action taken:

Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to issue a revised permit to C & C Fireworks for the retail sale of fireworks. Motion passed 5 – 0.

The Select Board adjourned at 8:12 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on July 7, 2021.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard
Recording Secretary
Alicia Malay, Chairman

David Mills, Vice Chairman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Selectman