MINUTES: December 20, 2011


Board members present: Joe Dicton, Stanley Rhodes III, Steve Hawley, Joshua Terenzini and James Hall


The Meeting opened at 6:47 P.M. with the pledge of allegiance.


Mr. Hall moved to approve the 12-6-11 minutes as printed. Mr. Terenzini made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Dicton said minutes do not contain a statement from the Town Delinquent Tax Collector, Mr. Dick Lloyd, that some of the $15,000.00 he received in 2009 –2010 went to pay some fees.


Questions from the floor:


There were no questions from the floor.


Planning Commission: Mr. William Matteson reported:


  1. Told the Board the Planning Commission conducted a sketch plan hearing for the proposed Aldi’s Grocery Store the previous week. Mr. Matteson said according to an Aldi’s representative the store would carry brand name products for individual sale. Mr. Matteson said he had been under the impression the store would carry off-brand name products, which would be sold in bulk.

    Mr. Matteson said the store will not have a butcher but will sell packaged meats. He said the store would also sell cold cuts and dairy products. He said that according to the Aldi’s representative an individual could save between 40 to 60% on their monthly grocery bill.

    Mr. Matteson told the Board that Aldi’s representative Mr. Steve Bauman said he would try to get a reference to the Town’s proposed service road put on Aldi’s site plan. Mr. Matteson said Aldi’s plans to close two of their curb cuts to US RT 7 and hope to be allowed to keep two curb cuts.

    Mr. Matteson said the access at the traffic light will be both in and out and that a curb cut to the north will be in only. Mr. Matteson said Aldi’s would connect to sewer and water in the City of Rutland. Mr. Rhodes said Aldi’s would not be charged higher water and sewer rates, because the connections will be in the City of Rutland. 


Town Clerk & Treasurer:  Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:


1)     Has given Board members draft 2011 / 2012 budgets

2)     Has not received a reply from the American Red Cross

3)     Told the Board there are no remaining 2010 tax appeals and that there are two pending 2011 tax appeals

Mr. Hall made a motion to accept the Grand List as presented to the Board with the proper documentation to support it. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


4)     Told the Board she included line shot information in their packet and that she recommends the Rutland Printing bid of $2,750.00. Mr. Hawley moved to accept the Town Report bid from Rutland Printing for $2,750.00. Mr. Terenzini made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


5)     All Department reports are due by January 23, 2012.


6)     Discussed ballot items seeking money with Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes said there is money in the miscellaneous budget and that the Board would decide in July which organizations receive funding.



Mr. John & Tom Maniery, owners of the Ponderosa Steak House Restaurant, met with the Board to complain regarding a wastewater notice of violation, which they received from Town Sewer Use Officer Joseph Zingale Jr.


Mr. John Maniery said according to Mr. Zingale letter his restaurant supposedly put grease in the town sewer line. Mr. John Maniery said he is going above and beyond controlling their grease since he took over the restaurant. He said the letter needs to be explained.


Mr. John Maniery asked the Board why he was sent a letter and not contacted personally by Mr. Zingale. Mr. John Maniery said instead of going into his restaurant to explain the matter he received a letter from Mr. Zingale. Mr. Zingale told the Manieries that his letter was their notification.


Mr. Zingale gave the Board photos of past grease in town sewer manholes, caused by the Ponderosa restaurant. Mr. Zingale used the blackboard to illustrate the series of manholes leading from the Ponderosa to a manhole where other users also discharge.


Mr. Zingale cited the fact that the Ponderosa restaurant is the only user to discharge to the first three manholes. He told the Board that the last time he looked down the first manhole it was full of grease. Mr. Zingale said the grease in the manhole came from the Ponderosa restaurant.


Mr. Rhodes questioned the owners regarding their grease trap. Mr. John Maniery said the trap hold 2,200- gallons. Mr. Zingale said his recent letter to the owners of the Ponderosa required the submittal of a plan as to how an alarm could be added to the grease trap to alert the owners when the trap needs to be cleaned.


Mr. Zingale told the Board that the Town has spent over $20,000.00 over the life of the restaurant fighting the owners over grease in the town sewer system. Mr. Zingale said as a result of a courthouse steps settlement reached with the previous owners, a 2,200-gallon grease trap was installed. Mr. Zingale told the Board that the restaurant opened in 1985 with a 50-gallon grease trap, which was located inside the building.


Mr. Zingale said based on information gathered over the years from engineers working for the Town and the owners of the Ponderosa, it appears the plates are not being wiped clean before being washed in the dish washer and that the temperature of the dish washer may be set too hot. Mr. Zingale said if the water is too hot the grease more liquid and runs right out of the grease trap into the Town’s sewer where it hardens and causes blockages.


Mr. John Maniery said he has the grease trap cleaned every three months. He told the Board he spent $3,200.00 on November 10, 2010 to have the grease trap and lines cleaned. Mr. Maniery said the lines were cleaned from the restaurant to the other side of US RT 7.


Mr. Zingale cited the fact he has not fined the owners for the grease. He told the Board he has demanded they repaid the Town $1,300.00 in cleanup cost. Mr. Zingale said a fine for the grease would have been in the thousands of dollars. Mr. John Maniery said they have been above and beyond in their handling of grease. Mr. John Maniery told the Board he is paid for his grease.


Mr. Dicton questioned Mr. Zingale regarding how many gallons A1 Sewer & Drain removed from the sewer system. Mr. Zingale said the issue is not the volume rather the blockage.


Mr. John Maniery told the Board that his brother Tom and another individual at Ponderosa check the grease trap to make sure it is flowing. Mr. Tom Maniery said the level inside the tank is about 8 inches below the outflow pipe.


Mr. Rhodes suggested the owners put the $1,300.00 (town reimbursement) toward improving the grease trap maintenance. Mr. John Maniery said the Ponderosa sewer line is 8” in diameter and that the Town has a 6” line under US RT 7.


Mr. John Maniery said he has pictures from last year showing his sewer line after it had been cleaned and he questioned the Board as to where the grease is coming from.


Mr. Rhodes instructed the Road Commissioner to shoot elevations for the manhole in question. Mr. Tom Maniery said that for the past three years they have been over and beyond taking care of the grease problem.


Mr. Dicton said he would like for the owners of the restaurant to have an engineer inspect their system and come up with a recommendation. The owners will report back to the Town when they have more information.


Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:


  1. Passed out information regarding a proposed new Town Highway Garage. Mr. Hathaway said in 2001 Town voters authorized the design and permitting of the proposed facility. He said no additional work has been done to date. Mr. Hathaway explained the location of the proposed garage at Northwood Park. He said the Town received a proposal of $106,000.00 in 2003 from Morton Buildings for the proposed building. Mr. Hathaway said a smaller 48’ X 48’ building would cost about $70,000.00.



Recreation Director: Mike Rowe reported:


  1. Basketball is in full swing


  1. He said K through third grade basketball would start after the Christmas break


  1. Told the Board the recreation would not increase this year


Mr. Rhodes announced that the Board had decided to give a 2.5% pay raise to town employees. Mr. Hall moved to budget for a 2.5% for salary increase. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


 Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Dicton and Mr. Terenzini reviewed the Window & Door bids and have selected Giancola Construction at a price of $11,490.00.  The Board discussed budgeting matters and the Window & Door project.


Mr. Terenzini made a motion to accept Giancola Construction’s bid of $11,490.00 for the base option. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 0. Mr. Dicton abstained from the vote.


Town Administrator:  Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:


  1. Informed the Board that the Northend Pump Station would not qualify for a Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMG) because the proposed cost of the improvement would be in excess of future pay-outs for damage to the station. Mr. Zingale said the Town also would not qualify for a HMG because a minimum of three events (Damage) is required. Mr. Zingale said there have only been two events. He cited Tropical Storm Irene and flooding in 2001.

    Mr. Zingale said in order to qualify the project would have to cost $33,000.00 or less. He said the proposed project is estimated at $230,000.00. Mr. Zingale suggested the Town downscale the project and fund the project from the sewer account.


  1. Informed the Board he had sent letters to the residents on Oak Ridge Drive giving them the option to sign a waiver agreement in order to keep their current house number.


  1. Informed the Board he had participated in a conference call with The Vermont Agency of Transportation regarding scheduling a hearing for the Town’s Farrell Road Slip Lane request. Mr. Zingale told the Board that the Agency will require the Town to submit a master plan for access management for US RT 7 South, prior to acting on the Town’s request for a break in the limited access section of US RT 7 South.

    Mr. Zingale said the plan is to hire Resource System Group (RSG) to produce a road access management plan for submittal. Mr. Zingale suggested the Board attempt to get the businesses that contributed to the Slip Lane Traffic study to also contribute to the new project.


The Board discussed the procedure Town employees would use in order to be reimbursed for road mileage. Mr. Hawley said employees should list mileage on a daily basis. Mr. Hall said the Town should get a mailbox for mail delivery instead of closing the Clerk’s office while Ms. Hyjek is at the Post Office. Mr. Hall said he and others have been unable to get into the Clerk’s office because it is locked while Ms. Hyjek is at the Post Office.


Ms. Hyjek objected to getting a mailbox for Town Hall. Ms. Hyjek said she would pick up the mail prior to the Town office opening in the morning. Ms. Hyjek said especially during tax time she does not want mail delivered to the Town Office. Mr. Dicton asked what other towns do. Ms. Hyjek said the majority of the surrounding towns have a Post office box. Ms. Hyjek said the Town would receive the mail later in the day if it were delivered.


Ms. Hyjek said she would not charge the Town for mileage and would go to pick up the mail prior to opening the Town Office. The Board discussed the matter further. Mr. Terenzini said the Town is a multi million-dollar business and shouldn’t be nickel and dimming gas mileage. Mr. Terenzini said no one is abusing the system at 50 cents per mile.


Mr. Dicton and Mr. Terenzini said Ms. Hyjek should be paid for her mileage. Mr. Terenzini said he is in favor of keeping the PO Box and not getting a mailbox.

The Board decided Ms. Hyjek should submit a more detailed mileage sheet and not change the mail delivery procedure.


Mr. Hawley expressed an insurance concern pertaining to Ms. Hyjek doing Town work prior to beginning work for the day. Ms. Hyjek said the Town Clerk & Treasurer sets her own hours so she can be working when she picks up the mail. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Rhodes discussed the mater further and took no action.



Solid Waste Alliance Communities & Rutland Transportation Council:  Mr. Shields reported:


Not present


Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported:


Not present


Police Department: Chief John Sly reported:


Not present


Fire Chief: Joseph Denardo reported:


Not present


The Board reviewed packet correspondence.


Mr. Hall cited correspondence regarding the Town’s 104% common level of appraisal. Mr. Hall said the 104% would cause the Town education tax rate to drop a little.


Mr. Rhodes congratulated Mr. Hathaway on his recent highway-training award.


The Board discussed donation request from several conservation organizations and a ballot item request regarding whether corporations are people. Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Hall told the organization to get a petition in order to place the item on the ballot.


Mr. Hall said he would call an individual regarding a roof inspection at the Cheney Hill Community Center.


The Board and Ms. Hyjek discussed administrative matters concerning the Cobra insurance program. Mr. Rhodes instructed Ms. Hyjek to get an opinion from the Town attorney regarding the matter.


Mr. Hawley moved to close the meeting at 8:37 P.M. Mr. Terenzini made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.