MINUTES: November 5, 2013

Board members present: Stanley F. Rhodes III, Don Chioffi, John Paul Faignant and Joe Dicton

The Meeting opened at 6:30 P.M.

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

Mr. Dicton moved to approve the 10-22-13 minutes with corrections. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 0. Mr. Faignant abstained from the vote.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Gave the Board an update regarding Board of Civil Authority (BCA) appeals.

  2. Thanked all those involved in hearing the appeals.

  3. Received another delinquent property tax download from the State on November 1, 2013. She said the Town has received nearly 300 revised bills in total. She recommended property owners destroy their old bill and use the new bills they have received.

  4. Told the Board the Town would work with an insurance carrier rather than using a navigator to enroll Town employees in the new health exchange. She said it looks good that everybody will be on the system by January 1st.

  5. Informed the Board that the one of the circulators on the Town hall furnace needs to be replaced at a cost of $675.00

  6. Informed the Board that she has mail out invitations to bid for the Town Report to the six companies, which she normally informs of the bid.

Town State Representative Mr. Tom Terenzini met with the Board and inquired as to the Board's feelings regarding solar projects. Mr. Rhodes cited the fact the Board had recently adopted Solar facility Siting Standards.

Mr. Terenzini informed the Board that he would be meeting with Legislative Council and planned to discuss solar issues. Mr. Terenzini asked Board members what issues they would like him to raise with legislative council.

Mr. Rhodes cited a solar installation on a property in Countryside Estates and said the panels are not attractive. Mr. Faignant suggested Mr. Terenzini sponsor legislation, which would subject solar projects to the more important Act 250 criteria. Mr. Dicton said he agrees with Mr. Faignant.

Mr. Dicton said solar projects in town would adversely effect aesthetics and property values. Mr. Dicton said the Board does not want to stymie growth. He said the Board wants to regulate growth so that it is responsible. Mr. Dicton said solar growth must be in a reasonable manner. He said the Board needs some regulatory rules in place.

Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Terenzini does not have silver bullets and his requests may go nowhere. At least an attempt will have been made, according to Mr. Rhodes.

Mr. Chioffi said the Town's Solar Facility Siting Standards would be a good document for Mr. Terenzini to use since they were adopted by the Board. Mr. Terenzini said he does not want Rutland Town to be home to all of the proposed solar projects.

Mr. Faignant said all of the proposed projects have the potential of ruining the character of the Town. When asked by Mr. Faignant if he would support putting limitation on solar development Mr. Terenzini said he would support such legislation. Mr. Chioffi said no Town deserves to have solar projects implemented without reasonable restrictions.

Mr. Dicton said solar panels have a 20 to 25 year life and that the panels are discarded at the end of life. Mr. Dicton said there has not been a decommissioning, so we really don't know what will be done.

Mr. Dicton cited the fact that solar technology is advancing very quickly. Mr. Dicton said with intensification technology developers will be able to get more power from smaller panels. He said the new technology collectors could be placed in the mall's parking lot or on the roof at the mall or on other large roofs in town. Mr. Dicton said such locations are already impacted. He said he wants these type locations explored first rather than the landscape.

Mr. Chioffi said the Town would use the siting standards that have been developed at any hearing for solar development.

Mr. Terenzini informed the Board that he will seek reelection in 2014.

Transportation Council & SWAC: Mr. Charles Shields reported:

  1. Not Present

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported

  1. Informed the Board that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) is considering making the Transportation Advisory Council (TAC) a permanent standing subcommittee of the RRPC. He said the TAC is having trouble getting quorums. He said presently the TAC has no legal standing. He said by making it a subcommittee of the RRPC it would have standing in Act 250 & Act 248.

  2. Told the Board that Ms. Barbara Pulling has begun working as a planner at the RRPC.

  3. Informed the Board that the Town has not been properly reviewing the cutting of roadside trees. He said a hazard tree is not a tree which impedes traffic rather it is a tree that has something wrong with it, which would result in the tree falling into the road. He said the Town will be holding more public tree cutting hearings than it previously did.

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Told the Board that the Town received a 130 tons salt shipment earlier in the day. He said the salt shed should be full by the following day.

  2. Requested the Board sign the cooperative brine production agreement with the Town of West Rutland. Mr. Hathaway said the new agreement is open ended and would stay in effect until one of the Towns wants to cancel the agreement. Mr. Hathaway said he was encouraged by the results from last year.

    Mr. Rhodes said he questions whether the Town should continue using brine because several individuals have said it causes vehicles to rust quickly. Mr. Hathaway explained how brine is prepared and applied to the roads. Mr. Hathaway said he would like to continue the use of brine for at least one more year, citing the fact he can make direct application with the new trailer. Board members discussed the matter. Mr. Faignant moved to sign the agreement. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Informed the Board that he is waiting to hear back from attorney Kevin Brown regarding the Post Road sidewalk feasibility study.

  4. Mr. Hathaway cited the fact that he had send Board members a copy of his letter to drivers requesting updated CDL and insurance information.

Recreation Director: Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

  1. Informed the Board that both Dewey Field and Northwood Park have been winterized.

  2. Told the Board that basketball registration is taking place.

  3. Due to the fact no diving board stand bids were submitted, Mr. Rowe will contact the company that had submitted a price to do the work. Mr. Rowe told the Board he would hire the company to do the work if their price quote is still good.

  4. Mr. Dicton questioned Mr. Rowe regarding taking down the green wind screens at the Northwood Park tennis courts. Mr. Rowe said the screens are in bad shape and expensive to replace. Mr. Rowe thinks he can get another year out of the existing screens and will submit a price for new replacements.

Mr. Rhodes told Board members that the new engine # 4 should be read by the end of the month. He also told the Board that Mr. Denardo has suggested that the Town donate fire engine # 4 to the Town of Alburg, Vermont rather than trying to sell the old truck. Mr. Rhodes said the Town of Alburg Fire Station recently burned to the ground and they lost all of their fire trucks.

Mr. Rhodes told Board members that according to Mr. Larry Dingee, the Town might get $10,000.00 for the truck. Mr. Rhodes said the truck is 25 years old. Mr. Faignant said it sounds like a reasonable thing to do. He questioned if the Town might get a deduction as a charitable donation. Ms. Hyjek said the Town would not receive a deduction. Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Dicton cited the fact that the Town does not have to pay taxes. Mr. Dicton said the Board should toss it around a little more before making a decision.

Mr. Rhodes informed the Board that the Town had received a zoning notice from the City of Rutland regarding the proposed Hobby Lobby store in the City. He said the Planning Commission should consider the notice.

Mr. Zingale cited the “Rutland Roadways report” and told the Board that the site of the proposed Hobby Lobby, the old Hannaford's building, is included as a traffic generator.

Mr. Dicton made a motion to post Northwood Park for No Hunting, No shooting or Trapping. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Planning Commission Chairman: William Matteson:

  1. Not present

Fire Chief: Mr. Joe Denardo reported:

  1. Not Present

Chief Ed Dumas reported: Mr. Chioffi reported for Chief Dumas

    Calls for service within the two week period:

    33- Total calls for the year: 360

    Types of calls assigned

    Littering, Animal Problem, Family Fight, Motor Vehicle Crash, Citizen Dispute, Motor Vehicle Complaint, 911 hang up, Traffic Hazard, Welfare Check, Agency Assist and Directed Patrol.

    Closed Cases: 33

    Number of Arrests: 0

    Types of Arrest

    Motor Vehicle Stops: 10

    Vermont Civil Violation Complaints (Tickets) Issued: 3

    Total Fine Amount $613.00

    Total number of Patrol Hours: 111

    Chief Dumas: 36

    Captain Washburn: 60

    Officer Gamble: 15

    Total number of Admin hours: 28.5

Mr. Chioffi said that according to Chief Dumas the number of criminal cases is significantly up from last year. Mr. Chioffi said as a result more time is needed for administration. He said the Board might need to consider Administrative help for the Police Department. Mr. Chioffi said the Town's department could lose tremendous capability that it now has through the NCIC system.

Mr. Chioffi said that the Town police would have to spend more time doing administrative work and not be out on the streets if the department does not receive administrative assistance. Mr. Chioffi said Chief Dumas will come up with a number for what it will take to get the department up to where it should be. Mr. Chioffi said once the department is up to speed it should only need up to 7 administration hours per week for assistance.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Inquired if the Board is interested in working with the Vermont Digital project to get a Wi Fi hot spot established somewhere in Town. The Board discussed the matter and decided not seek a Wi Fi hot spot.

  2. Informed the Board that the Town had 31 days remaining to comment on the proposed groSolar/Green Mountain Power solar farm proposed for the Cold River Road. Mr. Faignant said Mr. Zingale did an excellent job in his review of the proposal. Board members discussed the matter and instructed Mr. Zingale to send his review to the applicant.

  3. Informed the Board of a meeting to be held in Brandon regarding keeping forest and wildlife habitat intact. Mr. Nicholson explained that northern Rutland Town is the southern most edge of a wildlife corridor, which extends from Maine down into Vermont. Mr. Chioffi said motor vehicle use within the forest and wildlife habitat is discouraged and for that reason he would not support such an effort.

  4. Mr. Zingale informed Board members that the State 911 Board has requested the Select Board change six addresses on Meadow Lake Drive so that their house numbers are in logical progression with those of the Towns of Mendon,Chittenden and Pittsford, which also have homes on Meadow Lake Drive. The Board discussed the matter and instructed Mr. Zingale to get a letter from the 911 Board stating their request.

    Mr. Chioffi questioned Mr. Zingale regarding what would happen next with the Rutland Local Road Network study. Mr. Zingale said the Board should be able to use the study to seek and receive funds to begin engineering work on the proposed road. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact the Town should seek funding through the Route 4 & 7 committee. Mr. Chioffi said he would like to see the Board pursue receiving funding through the 4&7 committee. Mr. Rhodes said the Town and the City had been alternating projects but that the Town did not have a project the last time it was the Town's turn. He said now the Town has the new local road.

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

Regarding the Town's reappraisal activity evaluation and the state's 2013 equalization study, Mr. Rhodes said the evaluation has the Town residential and non residential properties at around 100%. He said up to this point the Town was 111% to 112 % of fair market value.

The Board discussed replacing the carpeting in the Select Board room. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Faignant will work with Ms. Hyjek to pick out the carpet and will get a price to bring to the Board. Mr. Rhodes suggested the carpet be 16 feet wide to reduce the number of seems.

Mr. Faignant moved to close the meeting at 7:45 P.M. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.