MINUTES: December 2, 2014

Board members present: Steve Hawley, Mary Ashcroft, Don Chioffi and Joe Dicton

The meeting opened at 6:30 P.M with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ms. Ashcroft moved to approve the November 18, 2014 minutes with corrections. Mr. Chioffi made a second tot he motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Board took questions from the floor. Ms. Abby Noland, who is the new Director of the the Rutland Free Library, introduced herself to the Board and she told the Town what she plans to do as Director.

Ms. Noland said she hopes to develop a technology plan and build up children's programming as library Director. Ms. Noland said she is happy to be in Rutland. Board members welcomed Ms. Noland.

Mr. Dicton requested that Ms. Noland make periodic reports to the Board. Ms. Noland said she would do so. Ms. Noland cited a science club meeting planned for the weekend. Ms. Noland said any Town resident interested in serving as a Library Trustee should contact Ms. Noland.

Town Planning Commission Chairman Mr. Andrew McKane reported:

Not present.

Town Representative to the Solid Waste Alliance Communities Mr. William Matteson reported:

  1. Reporting for Mr. McKane, Mr. Matteson told Board members that the proposed Rutland Commons project will be reviewed under Criterion 9 (L), which has to do with strip development.

    Mr. Matteson told Board members that the Planning Commission would be writing a letter to Act 250 regarding changing the rules mid-stream.

  2. Mr. Matteson said the Commission has begun reviewing a proposed one lot


  3. Ms. Ashcroft cited the fact that the Planning Commission has been awarded a State Planning Grant to work on the Town Land Use map. Ms. Ashcroft thanked Mr. Zingale for his assistance in preparing the grant application.

  4. Mr. Matteson announced that Ms. Susan Schreibman from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) will attend the Commission's December 18th meeting and will discuss Complete Streets. Ms. Ashcroft said she planned on attending the meeting and that the goal is to create a Committee to work with Mr. Hathaway.

  5. Mr. Matteson informed the Board that as of July 2015 the Town must provide recycling bins along side any solid waste container provided by the Town for public trash.

Mr. Dicton told Board members that he is very concerned regarding the status of the Rutland Commons project. Mr. Dicton said the proposed project will be vital to helping the area get out of the current economy and economic issues we are having.

Mr. Dicton said the project will create a lot of jobs as well as 1% tax money. Mr. Dicton said the Board needs to work hand-in-and with the Planning Commission and should talk to the Town's elected State representatives to make sure the project goes through in an expedient way.

Ms. Ashcroft cited the fact that both she and Board member Chioffi had met with the developer a few weeks ago regarding traffic concerns. Ms. Ashcroft said the issue has to do with Act 250 criterion 9(L). She said the section was recently changed. She said previously 9 (L) had to do with rural growth centers. Ms. Ashcroft said 9 (L) now addresses strip development.

Mr. Matteson said requiring a pedestrian walkway makes no sense for a Big Box store. Mr. Matteson said he has never seen anyone walking to a Big Box store. Mr. Fred Nicholson said that had the project gone forward with out any changes there would not be a 9 (L) review. He said there is a 9 (L) review because the new owners have applied for an amendment to the existing permit because the buildings have changed.

Mr. Nicholson said if the proposed development is determined to be infill then it would receive a permit. He said it would not receive a permit if it is determined to be strip development.

Town State Representative Mr. Tom Terenzini said the 9 (L) change was sponsored by left-leaning State Representative Rebecca Ellis from Waterbury. Mr. Terenzini said the democrats in the legislature want all business to be located in Vermont's cities and towns and no strip developments.

Mr. Hawley said that is wonderful, however, he cited the fact that the Town of Rutland does not have a community center.

Mr. Chioffi said the area of the proposed development is the Town's business district. Ms. Ashcroft cited the fact that both the Select Board and the Planning Commission have statutory party status at the Act 250 hearing.

Town Transportation Council representative Mr. Martin Wasserman reported:

  1. The Council has discussed streets and sidewalk issues associated with schools. Mr. Wasserman told Board members that he had met with the Elementary School Principal and offer to work with School officials if they have any questions.

  2. Mr. Wasserman requested to be replaced as the Town's alternate to the RRPC. He said his knowledge of the Town is limited. He said he would not be representing the Town, the best, it could be represented. Mr. Hawley instructed Mr. Zingale to warn on the next agenda that there is a vacancy for the position of alternate to the RRPC.

Town Clerk & Treasurer Ms. Donna Zeller reported:

  1. Told the Board there are two tax appeals in progress. She cited the fact that the Board of Civil Authority (BCA) met the previous night. She said there will be site visits and deliberations in the month of December.

  2. Bids for the Town Report are Due December 15th.

  3. Ms. Zeller said the Transfer station will be open on December 23 and closed on the December 24. She said the normal hours are in effect for December 31, 2014.

  4. She informed the Board of a request from the School's Four Winds program to use the Cheney Hill Community Center the first three months of 2015. Ms. Zeller said the group has previously used the center. Ms. Zeller explained what the Four Winds Program does. She said the building would be used the first Tuesday of the month. Mr. Hawley said to schedule the program in for the requested dates and times.

  5. Ms. Zeller cited the upcoming dates the Town Hall will be closed due to the Holidays. She said the second tax payment is due January 10, 2015.

  6. Ms. Zeller told the Board she is preparing a budget and arranging training in order to accept credit card payments.

  7. Ms. Zeller discussed the upcoming budgeting process with the Board. Mr. Hawley said the full Board would meet to review the General budget after all the department budgets are set.

  8. Ms. Zeller requested an executive session to report to the Board regarding a personnel matter.

Mr. Dicton made a motion at 7:10 P.M. to go into executive session to meet with Town Attorney to discuss the Cunningham land swap, Fire Station possible litigation to include the Chief Cioffi and to discuss strategies for the Rutland Commons Act 250, discussion regarding Flory Plaza and the appeal of the groSolar decision. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Hawley declared the executive session closed at 8:55 P.M. Rutland Town Attorney Mr. Kevin Brown told Board members that the Hearing Officer in the groSolar Public Service Board (PSB) permit application has proposed the approved the application.

Mr. Brown said the PSB can make changes to the proposed decision. He said typically changes are not made to the proposed decision. Mr. Brown said he will file the Town's objection to the proposed decision.

Mr. Hawley sought Board consensus regarding the Board drafting a resolution stating the Town's position to the PSB decision. He said the resolution could be circulated among towns and then sent to the legislature. He said if the Board agrees with the proposal then Mr. Brown would draft a resolution for the Board to consider.

Mr. Chioffi made a motion to have the Town Attorney draft a resolution. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Town Fire Chief Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:

  1. Chief Cioffi asked the Board to approve an amendment to the Town Fire Department Bylaws. Mr. Cioffi said presently for a member to participate in an election to be an officer they must have attended 40% of the Fire calls for the previous year.

    He said the change reduces the percentage to 25 %. Chief Cioffi said he checked around and found most other departments required 25 % participation. Ms. Ashcroft questioned if the proper procedure for notification of the bylaw amendment was followed.

    Chief Cioffi said the amendment was approved at a warned meeting. Mr. Cioffi said the meeting was well attended and the matter was thoroughly discussed. Chief Cioffi said the vote was taken at a regular monthly meeting.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to accept the changes to the Fire Department's Bylaws

  2. reflecting a reduction from 40% to 25% for induction of officers status. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Ashcroft informed the Chief that local Boy scouts will be camping on her farm over the weekend and that they planned to have a fire in a fire pit.

    Mr. Cioffi informed the Board that a Town Fire truck will be used to transport Santa from the McKinley Station to the Town School and then back to the Station. Board members had no problem with the request.

Town Representative to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission Mr. Sherman Hunter reported:

  1. Told the Board that a lot of time was recently spent discussing the proposed New England Clean Power link DC Line proposal. He said a representative from transmission company will attend the RRPC's next meeting to answer questions.

    Mr. Dicton invited Mr. Hunter to attend the Board's planned meeting with an official from New England Clean Power Link. Mr. Hunter said one of the RRPC's primary questions is who will benefit from the new power line.

    Mr. Hunter said another question has to do with the amount of blasting required and whether any issues will result from the blasting. Mr. Hunter said the line will pass through 11 town in Rutland County. Mr. Hunter said the RRPC has not found any problems but do have questions.

    Mr. Hunter said a second question has to do with a town's ability to tax the new line. Board members reviewed correspondence from a Clean power Link official and said the answer is not good enough and instructed Mr. Zingale to request someone from the Public Service Department to attend a future Board meeting.

    Mr. Hunter said he will try to get answers to questions raised by Board members.

    Mr. Hunter also reported on a wireless facility proposed for the Town of Killington and a lot merger proposed in the Town of Rutland. He said the lot merger would allow a resident to build a single home on the lot.

    Mr. Hunter said the RRPC also has received a 45 notice regarding a planned fair Haven solar project. He said the RRPC also reviewed an Act 248 permit request for a planned solar project in the Town of Poultney.

Town Police report: Mr. Hawley read the Police report.

These are the stats of the Rutland Town Police Department for the previous two weeks:

-Calls for service within this period: 32

- Total calls year to date in 2014: 798

- Total calls year to date in 2013: 377

-Types of calls assigned
Animal Problem, Directed Patrol, Agency Assist, Suspicious Persons / Circumstances, 911 Hang Up, Public Speaking, Welfare Check, Juvenile Problem, Residential / business alarm, Threatening, Public Speaking, Service of Abuse Prevention Order, Family Fight, Citizen Assist, Juvenile Problem, Safety Hazard and Theft of an Automobile.

Closed Cases: 31

Motor Vehicle Stops: 9

  1. Chief Dumas: 0

  2. Captain Washburn: 54.75

  3. Officer Gamble: 42

Total number of Admin hours: 15.25

  1. Chief Dumas: 14

  2. Captain Washburn: 1.25

3. Officer Gamble: 0

Town Recreation Director Mr. Mike Rowe reported: Mr. Hawley read the recreation report.

  1. A senior dinner is scheduled for December 16, 2014 at Seward's Family Restaurant at noon.

Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

Not present.

Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:

  1. Mr. Zingale inquired whether the Board would like to begin battery collection at the Transfer Station. Board members discussed the collect batteries and decided not to collect batteries. Mr. Dicton discouraged Board members from beginning batter collection. Mr. Dicton said a lot of work is involved in the collection and storage of batteries prior to shipping. Board members decided not to participate at this time.

  2. He told Board members that according to RRPC Staff Planner Ms. Laura Keir, no one from the Town has been attending the Rutland Regional Local Emergency Planning group meeting.

    Chief Cioffi said he believes a Mr. Mike Carlson has been attending the meetings for the Fire Department. Mr. Hawley asked Chief Cioffi to find out if Mr. Joe Denardo wants to remain as the Town's representative or whether he would like to be replaced.

  3. Mr. Zingale cited the recent manhole inspection report prepared by the Dufresne Group. Mr. Zingale said the report cited $30,000.00 in needed repairs to approximately 26 town manholes. Mr. Dicton made a motion to put out to bid out to bid the recommended sewer manhole work to satisfy deficiencies current with the system. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Zingale will prepare a request for proposals to advertise the repair work.

  4. Mr. Zingale told the Board that he believes the proposed agreement with the Cunninghams is a good deal for both the Town and the Cunninghams. Mr. Hawley instructed Mr. Zingale to contact Mr. Mark Courcelle to do a survey of the property so the Town Attorney can write a description for the parcel.

    Mr. Dicton told Mr. Zingale that the elevated manhole addition to the US 7 / Post Road Pump Station is unsightly and needs to be landscaped. Board members discussed the matter and instructed Mr. Zingale to get some landscaping prices to present to the Board.

Board members reviewed packet correspondence.

Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Faignant will review the two heat pump proposals from McGee

Mechanical Services and The Smalley Contractors and report back to the Board.

Mr. Hawley cited the third quarter 1 percent revenue amounts for the Town. He said the local 1% tax generated almost $300,000.00 in revenue for the Town of Rutland.

Mr. Chioffi, who is the Town Rutland's Regional Ambulance Service (RRAS) representative, read from the RRAS annual report to the Town. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that the RRAS $4.00 per capita dues have not increase for the past 31 years. He said that since 1990 the RRAS has decreased the assessment rate by 36%

Mr. Hawley said Town residents would vote on the request as an article item on the March ballot. Mr. Chioffi said the Town's payment would be $16,216.00. Mr. Chioffi encouraged Board members to include the RRAS annual report in the Town Report.

Mr. Chioffi requested Ms. Ashcroft present her proposal to resolve the wording problem

regarding the Army Guard/Reserves Post Road sign. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that the Board has not presented a former Town official with an award. Mr. Hawley said he would contact the individual and may deliver the award to the individual.

Ms. Ashcroft inquired regarding the installation of new carpeting in Town Hall. Mr. Chioffi said the Building committee would be proposing new carpeting.

Ms. Ashcroft made a motion at 9:46 P.M. to go into executive session to discuss a personnel matter with the Town Clerk. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.