MINUTES: October 8, 2013

Board members present: Steve Hawley, John Paul Faignant, Don Chioffi and Joe Dicton

The Meeting opened at 6:48 P.M.

All rose for the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag.

Mr. Faignant moved to approve the 9-24-13 minutes. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 0. Mr. Chioffi abstained from the vote.

The Board took questions from the floor. Town resident Ester Sweat told the Board she is not opposed to solar but that she is concerned as to where it is located. Ms. Sweat inquired if there are any plan for solar on the East Pittsford Road.

Ms. Sweat inquired whether any controls, regulations or protective plantings would occur when a solar farm is put in, to keep the farm from infringing on the view of residential properties. Ms. Sweat said she thinks Rutland Town is pretty vulnerable because there is no zoning.

Ms. Sweat cited the fact that town residents voted for moderate zoning regulations and she question why zoning regulations have not been adopted. Ms. Sweat inquired as to where the Town stands on the solar energy issue and the status of zoning regulations.

Mr. Hawley said zoning is at a standstill. He said it is at a standstill partially because it was not acted on in time by the Board. Mr. Hawley said the Board missed a date. He said zoning is not dead by any means. Mr. Hawley said the process would have to start over with the Planning Commission.

Mr. Hawley said getting back to zoning is on the agenda for some time this year. Town Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Bill Matteson told Ms. Sweat that the Town attorney has prepared a preliminary document for the Planning Commission to review. Mr. Matteson said the Planning Commission review would be complete the following week.

Mr. Matteson said the document would be an amendment to the Town Plan. Mr. Matteson said the document would not do want Ms. Sweat wants it to do. Mr. Matteson said there are only certain things the Town can do. He said the Planning Commission would pursue all options.

Mr. Matteson said the Commission would be addressing aesthetic, historic properties as well as size and setbacks. Mr. Matteson explained the difference between the Act 250 and Act 248 processes.

Mr. Matteson said the 248 process is an expedited process. Mr. Matteson said the Public Service Board makes the final decision in such matters. He said a PSB decision could be taken to court.

Mr. Matteson said the Town is going to try to get stuff into the Town Plan which would give the Town a seat at the table. He said the Planning Commission would designate certain areas in town where the Commission town residents feel is a good place to have solar development. He said the hope is to steer solar projects to those areas. Mr. Matteson said landowners would have to agree to having their land designated for solar development. Mr. Matteson said the regulation would not address an individual putting a panel on their property.

Mr. Matteson cited the fact the that the State of Vermont is actively encouraging solar development. Ms. Sweat told the Board she would seek tax relief if a bunch of panels were stuck in front of her home, destroying her view. She said the panels would reduce the value of her home.

Mr. Chioffi told Ms. Sweat that both the Select Board and the Planning Commission are being as pro-active as possible given the constraints the State has put in front of us right now.

Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. cited the proposed siting standards and told those in attendance that he and Attorney had begun to come up with some numbers. He said a 10kW generator would have to be 25 feet from a property and that a project grater than 10kW 100 feet from a property line.

Mr. Chioffi said the best plan is the most thought out and specific amendment the Board can do to the Town Plan. He said short of going to court there is not anything else the Town can do.

He said the plan is to be pro-active in supporting solar within the county and the state but within reason and proportionally to the Town's responsibility to the county and the state. He said if the Town is not careful and does not have specifics in our document we will end up with a far greater proportional share than we should have. He said the issue should be addressed in the document.

Mr. Chioffi cited the following; screening, setbacks, historic sites, access, replacement funds for maintenance and a fund for decommissioning and said they are only recommendations to the PSB. He said if the Town is pro-active the PSB should listen to the Town. However, he said the PSB does not have to listen to the Town.

Mr. Matteson encouraged town residents to attend an upcoming Planning Commission meeting to work on the siting standards.

Ms. Sweat questioned Board members further regarding the future of zoning regulations. Mr. Chioffi said it would take three votes on the Board to adopt zoning regulations.

Mr. Hawley said the Select Board dropped the ball on zoning. Mr. Hawley said at the present time the Board is concentrating on the solar issue. Mr. Chioffi said the Town is not under attack from the solar people because the Town does not have zoning. He said zoning would not make any difference.

Mr. Matteson said the Planning Commission has prepared two zoning documents over the past five years. Mr. Matteson said after reviewing the first document the Select Board gave the Planning Commission a list of concerns, which the Commission then addressed. He said there was a different Select Board when the Commission submitted the requested changes.

Mr. Matteson said even though the Planning Commission felt the document was a minimal document the Select Board allowed it to expire. He said the Select Board could instruct the Planning Commission to resubmit the same zoning document and start over. Mr. Chioffi said the Board could submit their edited zoning document to the Planning Commission for comment and then they could then send document back to the Select Board.

Town Lister Mr. Howard Burgess suggested the Board consider all Town computer needs before buying the Delinquent Tax Collector a new computer for $800.00 Mr. Burgess said he supports Mr. Lloyd getting a new computer. Mr. Burgess said the Town should research whether a server should be purchased.

Town Clerk Ms. Marie Hyjek, told the Board that Mr. Lloyd would not be getting a new computer from the Town. Ms. Hyjek said a new computer would be purchased for Mr. Lloyd to access from his home. Ms. Hyjek said the new computer would be kept in the Town Hall and would be sized to do what Mr. Burgess has suggested. Mr. Burgess said the Town could be more productive with the operation of the Town.

Mr. Burgess said there is a lot of redundant work being done that could be reduced with the use of a server. Mr. Burgess cited the fact that both he and Mr. Zingale each update their property transfer records. He said the work could be done in one place then shared with others.

Mr. Burgess also cited the fact that the Town Clerk's office uses the same Grand List from when he makes it available until the following year. He said with a server the Ms. Hyjek could access the most up to date data. Ms. Hyjek said current plans with NEMRC is to purchase a computer and not a server.

Mr. Dicton said when Ms. Hyjek has gathered all of her information there should be a meeting with Mr. Burgess, Ms. Hyjek, Mr. Zingale and Mr. Lloyd to discuss the issues raised by Mr. Burgess. Mr. Chioffi said the Board has to look at the Town as a whole and not as separate fiefdoms. Mr. Chioffi said individuals should be able to register for programs and pay online.

Mr. Hawley asked Mr. Zingale to schedule a meeting with all department heads once Ms. Hyjek has completed her work.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Reminded board members of upcoming Board of Civil Authority Tax appeal hearings.

  2. Told the Board she has processed 65 revised tax bills. Expects more after October 15th.

  3. Cited the 2013 quarterly reports she sent to the Board as well as the regular budgets and summary orders.

Transportation Council & SWAC: Mr. Charles Shields reported:

  1. Informed the Board that the new director of the Southern Vermont Airport recently addressed the Transportation Board of the activities at the airport.

Mr. Chioffi requested that Mr. Shields sit at the table with the microphone so people watching on television can hear his report. Mr. Shields said he did not want to sit at the table but did so anyway. Mr. Chioffi said the table is for department heads to give their reports. Mr. Shields said he is a volunteer and not a department head.

      1. Mr. Shields said the relocation of the airport road into 103 was discussed as well the construction of a new slip lane southbound.

      2. He said a lot of work has been done to runway #19. He said an additional 300 feet at the end of the runway was paved making the runway 5,000 feet long. Mr. Shields said the airport is under pressure from the FAA to make the runway 6,000 feet long.

      3. Mr. Shields told the Board that the Airport is looking to construct an executive hanger so planes can be brought inside to avoid to have to keep deicing the planes.

      4. Mr. Shields told the Board that a consultant from Stantec presented the final draft of the Rutland Roadway Network Traffic Analysis at the recent Transportation Board hearing. He said the report is very detailed.

      5. Told the Board of the upcoming town household hazardous waste collection and a prescription drug disposal event to be held on October 26th at the Diamond Run mall.

        Mr. Chioffi asked Mr. Shields if the State has taken a position on the new roadway. Mr. Shields said the State has not done so because the study is in the initial stages. Mr. Shields cited the fact that all but one of the business in the area of the proposed road support the road. He said only one business opposes a new road.

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported

  1. Told the Board that the RRPC Executive Committee spent most of their meeting discussing the Affordable Health Care Act.

  2. Told the Board that the VLCT position paper went through quite nicely with the exception of local involvement in section 248 hearing before the PSB. Mr. Nicholson said after an hour of discussion the original wording was approved.

    Mr. Chioffi questioned Mr. Nicholson regarding the recent Killington Village Act 250 permit conditions. Mr. Nicholson said the affordable housing language was not included.

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Informed the Board of a request from a resident on Sunset Drive for the Board to do something about vehicles parked in the road and in the right-of-way waiting to pick up children from the Town School Bus. The Board discussed the matter and instructed Chief Dumas to look into the situation.

  2. Informed the Board that the sidewalk selection committee did not choose the lowest Request for Proposal. Mr. Hathaway said he, Mr. Mike Rowe, Mr. Erin Boyton, Mr. Paul Gallo and Ms. Susan Schreibman. Mr. Hathaway said committee members reviewed the proposals not knowing the cost factor. Mr. Chioffi questioned Mr. Hathaway regarding whether all the applicants submitted the correct information. Mr. Hathaway said two did not comply with the requirements.

    Mr. Hathaway said the committee felt the firm Broad Reach had a better understanding of the project than the other submittals. He said they proposed more public meeting then the RFP required. Mr. Faignant moved to approve the committee's recommendation. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. Mr. Chioffi said he wants to know how the Board feels as to whether the Town's bidding policy was violated.

    Mr. Chioffi said Mr. Hathaway requested certain things and some of the firms did not meet his expectations. Mr. Chioffi said he does not have a problem if there is justification. Mr. Hathaway said under the State bidding process the committee is to select the most responsible submittal. The vote passed unanimously. Mr. Hathaway said the sidewalk could go up the Post Road or down Chasanna Drive.

  3. Mr. Hathaway told the Board that typically in the past the Town has followed the State bidding process for road salt. He said American Rock salt was awarded the bid this year at a price of $54.00 per ton and change. He said last year the Town paid $62.17 per ton.

    Mr. Hathaway told the Board that he has opened an account with Cargill. He said he does so each year. Mr. Hathaway said a fuel adjustment cost of up to
    $3.00 is likely to be added to the $54.20 per ton price. Mr. Hathaway said he is waiting to hear from Cargill. Mr. Hathaway cited the fact that salt is exempt from the Town's purchasing policy.

Fire Chief: Mr. Joe Denardo reported:

  1. Submitted a non-resident application from Ms. Chris Condon to join the Town Fire department. Chief Denardo said Ms. Condon is from Hudson Falls in New York and is a level 2 firefighter. He said she now lives in Rutland City. Mr. Denardo said he and the membership committee have approved her application. Mr. Denardo said the department has 37 resident members and 5 non town residents. Mr. Faignant made a motion to approve the application. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Chief Denardo informed the Board that the department needs to purchase a cabinet to house a new computer and equipment at the new station. Mr. Denardo said the new Center Rutland Fire Station computer would be linked to the computer at the McKinley Station.

    Chief Denardo told the Board that the department hopes to get a couple of used computers from Green Mountain Power. He said the computers would cost a couple of hundred dollars each. He said the department is also considering the purchase of servers at a cost of
    $800.00 per server.

    Chief Denardo said it could cost up to
    $7,000.00 to get all of the equipment and hardware required by the department. Mr. Denardo said such items were not included in the bid since the department had decided to cut items from the budget.

    He said there are funds available to purchase the equipment as a result of the favorable bid price the Board received. The Chief said the phone system would be upgraded at the same time. Mr. Denardo said the contractor is willing to install the equipment. The Chief said there would not be any contractor mark up on any items purchased by the department.
    Mr. Chioffi said just because the bids came in low the Town does not have a $600,000.00 slush fund. Both Mr. Faignant and Mr. Denardo objected to the term slush fund. Mr. Chioffi said they could object all they want.

    Mr. Chioffi said because the price came in low the Board does not have money left, he said it belongs to the taxpayers. Mr. Chioffi said he wants to know if this is it or whether the Chief plans to keep piece mealing, and coming back for more money.

    Mr. Denardo said that the further the department gets into the project they realize that items were cut or not addressed. Mr. Denardo said the requested equipment should be installed now while they are doing the sheet rock. He said there will be other requests. He cited an expected
    $6,000.00 furniture purchase.

    Mr. Denardo said because the bid came in low there is money to purchase the items which were cut from the project. Mr. Denardo said he does not know of all of the other items that will need to be purchased.

    Mr. Denardo said the Town bonded for $1.8 million dollars, which the Town must pay back. He said if there is
    $500,000.00 left over it can not be given back. He said the money could be spent on the Fire Station project or other fire service projects. He said the money could also be spent on anything the voters approve.

    Mr. Zingale told the Board that he spoke at the VLCT Fair with a representative of the Bond Bank. He said the individuals said the Town has only three options. Mr. Zingale said the Board can spend the additional funds on the station project, go to the voters and ask permission to spend the money on something else or put the money in the bank and use it to pay future Fire Station related expenses.

    Mr. Chioffi said you can certainly give it back if you put it in a fund for future Fire department expenses. Mr. Chioffi said his position is that any money that is over
    $1.2 million to the $1.8 million, which was bonded be somehow used to reduce taxpayer burden in the Town. He said it can't be a special fund that can be drawn on above the $1.2 million.

    The Chief cited the fact the department would be getting used computers and said the department is very cost conscious. Mr. Denardo cited the fact that other Town departments will have use of the meeting room and smart board at the new station.

    The matter of the uncommitted funds was discussed further and no action was taken.

    Mr. Faignant moved to approve the request for the cabinets. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. Mr. Chioffi said he does not know what the request is for. He questioned it it would be construction or the equipment in the box or just the
    The Chief said he does not have a dollar amount. The Chief said he would inform the Board of the costs when he knows more. Mr. Burgess asked if there is enough money to pay for the new water line to the station. Mr. Hawley said he is sure there is enough money to pay for the line. The motion passed unanimously.

    Mr. Dicton questioned the Chief regarding computer issues. Mr. Denardo said the objective is to have identical equipment at both stations so the same information is available at both stations.

    Mr. Denardo told the Board that they have not spoken about a security system in the new building. Mr. Denardo said the Royals has said it would be easy to do a security system using the brain and box form the old fire alarm system.

    Mr. Denardo cited the fact several fire stations have been broken into. He said motion detectors would be installed. Mr. Faignant said the system is an essential need for the building. Mr.Denardo said the Fire Committee never discussed the subject since they are no systems installed presently in either station. Mr. Denardo said the building should also have temperature sensors.

    The Chief suggested the Board consider getting a stand-by generator for the Town Municipal Building when they do their budgeting.

    Mr. Chioffi suggested a discussion which is separate from standard budget discussion in order to discuss what to do with the remaining funds in the Bond.

    Chief Ed Dumas reported:

    Calls for service within the past two weeks

    Calls for service within the two week period:24

    Total calls for the year:300

    He cited the types of calls received

    23 cases closed

    1 arrest

    Arrest for Driving License Suspended Criminal

12 motor vehicle stops

Vermont Civil Violation Complaints (tickets) issued 6

Total fine amount $1,170

Total number of patrol hours 107.5

Chief Dumas 37.5

Captain Washburn 70

16 total number of administration hours

Chief Dumas 6 hours

Captain Washburn 10

Chief Dumas reminded residents not to leave packages in their vehicles when doing shopping. He also cautions individuals not to leave their vehicle title in their vehicle. Mr. Faignant said individuals should move their vehicle around in a parking lot after putting packages in the vehicle and then going back inside to shop.

Mr. Dicton reported to the Board regarding the Rutland County Sheriffs Office Open House. Mr. Dicton said the Sheriffs Office has a finely tuned business plan in place. Mr. Dicton said the talent at the office is extraordinary.

Mr. Dicton told the Board that the Sheriffs office uses a gps vehicle tracking system which automatically logs vehicle location and duration of time in a specific area as well as many other functions. Mr. Dicton said he will be talking to the Chief about doing the same thing in the Town.

Recreation Director: Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

  1. Informed the Board of a recent sewer problem at Dewey Field. He said the line will be cameraed in the spring.

  2. The Halloween party will be on October 30, 2013 at the Town school form 6:00 P.M. To 8 P.M.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Reminded the Board that the sewer contract will expire either at the end of the year or early next year.

  2. Informed the Board that a Flory Heights sewer user had requested that he notify the resident prior to taking a water meter reading. Mr. Zingale said he did not think it is a good idea to have to knock on a door and tell the individual he was present. He told the Board if he offered this service to a resident he would also have to offer the service to all 22 sewer users. The Board said Mr. Zingale does not have to notify the homeowner.

    Mr. Dicton questioned Mr. Zingale regading the status to the Town Hall Roof repair. Mr. Zingale said the Building Committee was to review the bid which the Town received.

    Mr. Zingale briefed the Board regarding some of the set back distance requirements he has begun to fill in, in the draft solar siting standards the Town is developing.

    Mr. Chioffi said the Town should consider soliciting proposals for placing solar panels on the capped landfill in Northwood Park. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact there are solar panels on the Town School.

    The Board discussed Town Employee Health Coverage. Mr. Hawley referred to a spreadsheet comparing current Town health care cost vs the new options available to the Town.

    Mr. Hawley said presently the Town is paying 90% and the employee pays 10%. Mr. Hawley said the Town premium is $16,847.38. He said presently the Town pays $15,000.00 of the premium.

    Mr. Hawley said in the two person category the Town has three employees and is presently paying $60,649.00 a year. He said a total of $68,000.00 has been budgeted. He said the employees pays 10 % which is $6,738.00.

    Mr. Hawley said the Blue Cross Blue Shield 90% policy, budgets out at $55,947.00 ( annual premium) if the employee pays the out of pocket 10%. He said the employee amount would be $5,594.78.

    He said if the Town paid 100% there would be no 10% for employees to pay. He said the 100% employer pay would equal out to
    $56,000.00 a year. Mr. Hawley cited the fact the amount is under the budgeted $68,000.00. Mr. Hawley said the new policy would be essentially the same thing the employees have now except for the out of pocket expense difference.

    Mr. Chioffi said the Town could pay $5,000.00 less and the employees would not have to contribute. Ms. Hyjejk said there is and out of pocket cap of $1,250.00 for one and $2,500.00 for a two person for both medical and perscriptions.

    Mr. Hyjek said the new policy would have an out of pocket deductable. She said the current policy does not. Mr. Hawley said there would be a $5,000.00 out of pocket for the new policy. Ms. Hyjek said the amount would be $2,500.00 for a single and $5,000.00 for two.

    Mr. Hawley said that under option # 4 one Town employee would go to Medicare, which would reduce the number of two person plans from three to one. He said the Town would have an employer payment of $50,300.00 verses $56,000.00 in the # 3 option.

    The Board discussed the matter further. Mr. Dicton made a motion to offer health care plans to employees, to select Bluecross Blue Shield as the carrier, the Town to pay 100% and to select the platinum plan. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

    The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

    Regarding a request from groSolar to use the Town Municipal Building to hold a meeting pertaining to their proposed solar farm for the Cold River Road Mr.Dicton said he would like the Planning Commission and the Select Board to attend the meeting.

    Mr. Faignant cited the proposed meeting date would conflict with a scheduled meeting for the Board. Mr. Faignant suggested the Board schedule a meeting with groSolar so Board members could attend. Mr. Zingale will contact groSolar and get some new meeting dates.

    Mr. Chioffi said he has a problem with outside groups using the Board's office and his desk for their meetings.

    Mr. Faignant moved to close the meeting at 9:05 P.M. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.