MINUTES: December 30, 2014

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

The meeting opened at 6:36 P.M with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Board reviewed the minutes of December 16, 2015. Ms. Ashcroft moved to approve the minutes with corrections. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

There were no questions from the floor.

Town Planning Commission Chairman Mr. Andrew McKane reported:

  1. He informed the Board that the Commission would be meeting shortly across the hall to review a second letter to send to the Regional Regional Planning Commission regarding the proposed Rutland Commons development.

    Mr. McKane told Board members that some Commissioners felt the first letter could have included more facts.

  2. Mr. McKane informed the Board that the Commission had received a presentation from Ms. Susan Schreibman and Ms. Kimberly Griffin regarding “Complete Streets”. Ms. Ashcroft cited the fact that a committee has been formed to meet and review possible “Complete Streets “ projects.

  3. Mr. McKane told Board members that the Commission would soon begin working on the Land Use map with assistance from the RRPC.

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

Not present.

Town Transportation Council representative Mr. Martin Wasserman reported:

Not present.

Town Recreation Director Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

Not present.

Town Clerk & Treasurer Ms. Donna Zeller reported:

  1. Accounts are up to date through November 1st.

  2. The general ledger, bank statements and the books have all been reconciled. Ms. Zeller said she should be complete by the end of the year.

  3. Ms. Zeller announced that January 10, 2015 is the second tax payment date. She said because the date is a Saturday she will accept a January 10, postmark on January 12, 2015.

  4. She informed the public that it is time to register dogs.

  5. Informed the Board that the annual pre-Town meeting will be on Monday January 26, 2015.Ms. Zeller said the Town will give a presentation at 7:00 P.M. with the school to follow.

  6. She informed the Board that a US Bond Bank form needs to be signed and turned in by the next day. Ms. Zeller said she needs a yes or no answer from the Board. Mr. Hawley instructed Mr. Zingale to prepare a letter stating the reason the Board is unable to sign the form at this time.

    Ms. Ashcroft made a motion to draft a letter to be signed by Mr. Hawley stating the reason why the Board can not sign the certification for the Bond Bank. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

    Mr. Chioffi asked Ms. Zeller if she had found out whether the Town could pre-pay the bond without incurring a penalty. Ms. Zeller said she does not know the answer to the question. Ms. Ashcroft said the Board had requested the Town attorney to look into the matter.

  7. Ms. Zeller said Candidate petitions and consent forms are available for the March election. The deadline for filing is the close of business on January 26, 2015.

  8. Ms. Zeller said all JP's need to sign an oath.

Mr. Dicton questioned whether anyone had applied for the temporary accounting

position, which has been advertised. The Board discussed the matter. Mr. Hawley said the Board could hire A.M. Peisch to do a re-audit or hire a part-time person to do the review. Mr. Hawley will contact Mr. Norm Ladabouche at A.M. Peisch regarding auditing the work recently completed by Ms. Zeller.

Mr. Hawley requested that Ms. Zeller prepare a report for the Board explaining how she has changed the accounting procedure since she became Town Clerk & Treasurer. He said the information could be included in the next packet.

Mr. Chioffi encouraged Town residents to attend the pre-Town Meeting scheduled for 1-26-15. He said residents need to inform local officials if they want to make changes to Town budgets, while there is enough time to make changes prior to Town Meeting.

Mr. Jim Knapp, who is the incoming Director of Property Valuation and Review, said:

Mr. Faignant questioned Mr. Knapp regarding whether the taxable value in the line would depreciate to zero value over time. Mr. Knapp said probably yes. He said as of today the answer is yes.

He said someone has suggested a floor for the depreciation. Mr. Faignant said if they take an accelerated depreciation schedule the line might not be paying any tax after six or seven years. Mr. Knapp agreed. Mr. Faignant said he is in favor of establishing a floor for depreciation.

Mr. Chioffi questioned if the State has any plans to tax or allow towns to tax the commodity which is flowing through the line. Mr. Knapp said there is no legal standard

for his department to put a floor on depreciation. He said the Legislature placed a 30% floor depreciation on two natural gas pipeline approved last year.

Mr. Faignant asked Mr. Knapp if he know if GMP has depreciated any of their transmission lines to the point where they are no longer generating tax revenue. Mr. Knapp said he does not do the inventories so he does not know what they look like.

Board members inquired whether Mr. Knapp's department planned to request the Legislature to place a floor on the DC Power line depreciation. Mr. Knapp said he could not respond to the question.

Mr. Zingale reported that according to Mr. Burgess the State sets the value of GMP's and VELCO's transmission lines and that the Town collects the money.

Mr. Chioffi questioned Mr. Knapp regarding whether the State might charge a franchise fee to businesses like the DC Power line. Ms. Ashcroft questioned if the State will receive a payment for the section of the powerline to be located within the State highway right-of-way.

Mr. Knapp said he does not know if the State will receive a payment for the section of the power line to be located within the State highway right-of-way. He said generally the State charges a fee.

Ms. Ashcroft inquired whether the tax Department will participate in the PSB hearings. Mr. Knapp said probably not. Board members and Mr. Knapp discussed the proposed project further and took no action.

Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. He cited the meeting with the Planning Commission regarding “Complete Streets” presentation. Mr. Hathaway said he would like the Board to appoint a Complete Streets committee and he suggested the following individuals; Mary Ashcroft (Select Board), Bill Matteson (Planning Commission), Pat Hunter (resident), Susan Schreibman (RRPC) and Ted Shadduck (resident) he said he would also be on the committee.

    Mr. Hathaway said there would probably be 2 to 3 meeting a year. Mr. Chioffi suggested Mr. Hawley be included. Mr. Hawley said he would be on the committee.

    Mr. Chioffi moved to appoint the committee as suggested by Mr. Hathaway. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. He informed the Board that FEMA teams will be in the area assessing damage

    caused by a recent storm. Mr. Hathaway said he would meet with the FEMA officials when in the area.

  3. Mr. Hathaway requested permission from the Board to get ballpark number for two local building companies regarding building a Highway Garage facility. Mr. Hawley said the Highway committee has discussed the proposal. Mr. Hathaway said he needs to get the estimated cost prior to January or else he would miss being put on the ballot.

    Mr. Faignant moved to authorize Mr. Hathaway to pursue getting a number to put on the ballot. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Brownson Spencer and Mr. Red Grover met with the Board regarding Mr. Grover's request for the Select Board to accept the unaccepted section of Grover Drive. Mr. Grover said he is presently trying to finish Grover Drive.

Mr. Grover told the Board that he has completed asphalting the roadway. He said the road had been previously paved and that a new top coat has been added. Additionally, he said about 2 feet of grave and shoulders have been added to the road to try to get the road into Town compliance.

Mr. Grover informed the Board that Mr. Hathaway inspected the road work and requested the shoulder work and drainage work. Mr. Grover said he believes he has met the requirements. He said Mr. Hathaway also found the pavement temperature to be acceptable when the pavement was being applied.

Mr. Hathaway said from a technical perspective the road is in compliance. He said the shoulders and asphalt are done and that the developer produced test pit data for a section of the roadway were Mr. Hathaway had a concerns as to what is under the road. Mr. Hathaway said the test pit data report should be in the information submitted by Mr. Grover.

Mr. Hathaway said the developer has offer an easement to the Town for an area where Mr. Hathaway had a drainage concern. Mr. Hathaway cited the fact that the road was originally approved in the 1970's prior to the Town's adoption of VTrans A-76 standard.

Mr. Hathaway said the A-76 standard applies to road curves and that one of the curves in Grover Drive does not meet the A-76 standard. Mr. Spencer said 175 of the roadway does not comply with the A-76 standard.

Mr. Hathaway said he is happy with everything except the technical issue which he cited. Mr. Hathaway said the proposed deed addresses; easement for drainage and an easement where the road is out of the center of the right-of-way.

Mr. Spencer said a little bit of shoulder gravel still needs to be applied and the slopes in some areas need to be addressed. He said the road also needs to be repaved in areas where it was damaged by construction equipment.

Mr. Dicton asked Mr. Hathaway if he has reviewed the deed description proposal. Mr. Hathaway said he had not done so. Mr. Spencer cited the location on the map where the road is outside of the R-O-W.

Mr. Spencer said Mr. Grover would give the Town a blanket easement for the areas where the road is not centered. He said the Town would get an easement extending 25 feet from the center of the road in those areas for the placement of utilities and road work such as drainage and grading.

The Board scheduled a Highway Committee site visit for 1-8-15 at 3:00 P.M. to inspect the road.

Town Fire Chief Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:

  1. The Chief informed the Board that he plans on removing a below ground heating oil tank at the McKinley Station. He said the tank has been in the ground for 46 years. He said he will come up with a budget figure to present to the Board to be put on the march ballot.

    Mr. Faignant said the tanks needs to be removed and the matter should not be relegated to the voters to decide. He said the longer it stays in the ground the worse it is going to be.

    Mr. Cioffi said the oil tank will be replaced with underground propane tanks. Mr. Dicton asked Chief Cioffi if he had heard back from the Town attorney regarding the outstanding items previously discussed regarding the fire station. Mr. Cioffi said he has not heard from the Town Attorney.

    Ms. Ashcroft asked if the Town has any other underground tanks. Mr. Zingale said the Cheney Hill Community Center may have an underground tank.

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

No meeting no report.

Town Police Chief Ed Dumas reported:

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

-Calls for service within the two week period: 34

- Total calls for the year: 861

-Types of calls assigned

Agency Assists, Animal Problems, Motor Vehicle Crashes, 911 Hang ups, Restraining Order Violation, Theft, Traffic Hazards, Fraud, Juvenile Problems, Citizen Assist, Motor Vehicle Complaint, Service of Abuse Prevention order, Littering, Alarms, Welfare Check and Directed Patrols.

Closed Cases: 15

  1. Chief Dumas: 21.5

  1. Captain Washburn: 32

  1. Officer Gamble: 29

  1. Officer Sly : 27

Total number of Admin hours: 20

  1. Chief Dumas: 8

  1. Captain Washburn: 48 (Vacation)

  1. Officer Gamble: 12

  1. Officer Sly : 0

Chief Dumas requested permission for Town Police officers to work for private contractors when not on Town duty. Mr. Dumas said a town officer could make as much as $70.00 per hour.

He said additionally, a payment is received for the cruiser as well as an administrative fee. Chief Dumas said the Town would receive the cruiser fee as well as the administrative fee.

Mr. Faignant said he is concerned regarding insurance coverage outside of the municipality. Mr. Faignant said the issue should be cleared with VLCT the insurance


Mr. Dicton said he would like to keep Town staff in the Town. Mr. Dumas said the work would be above and beyond town work. He said it would be overtime at no expense to the Town. Mr. Chioffi said he is opposed to the plan.

Mr. Dumas said the new police cruisers might pay for themselves through the overtime pay. He said the City of Rutland made thousands of dollars from the use of one vehicle over the past summer. Mr. Faignant suggested setting up a depreciation fund for the cruisers.

Ms. Ashcroft said she is concerned the Town's officers will not have the hours left in the day to perform the outside work. Mr. Faignant said most officers are working another part-time job because they can't make it on their pay. He said it give an officer another opportunity to make money and not from the Town. He said it is also an opportunity for the Town to make money off the cruisers.

Mr. Chioffi said he wants to make it very clear that there is accountability to the Town regarding the extra time worked. He said the total number of hours worked by an officer should not exceed a certain amount, which has to be discussed. Mr. Chioffi said he does not want to put a Town police officer out on the street that is working 60 to 70 hours. The Board scheduled a Police Committee meeting for 1-5-15 at 4:00 P. M. at the Town office.

Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:

  1. Mr. Zingale informed Board members that there is a problem with new Kolher Generator connected to the relocated pump station electrical panel. Mr. Zingale told the Board that upon start-up some components in the generator were damaged. Mr. Zingale said that according to the Generator Representative on-site at the time of the problem, the generator had been incorrectly wired.

    Board members discussed the matter with Mr. Zingale and instructed Mr. Zingale to tell the general Contractor to issue a certification that the generator is 100% or else provide a new generator. Mr. Faignant said the issue is between the contractor and whoever sold the Town the generator.

  2. Board members told Mr. Zingale to run the manhole repair bid notice with the added language regarding bonding

  3. Mr. Zingale requested a brief executive session in order to brief the Board regarding a real estate matter.

  4. He informed the Board that the City of Rutland has requested permission to place a sign in front of the Town Hall, which would notify motorist as to the construction work on Dorr Drive in the City of Rutland. Board members said they would make a decision after viewing a photo of the proposed sign.

  5. Mr. Zingale told the Board that he purchased an additional 100 Gb of cloud storage space for $100.00 for the year due to the fact the Town had exceeded the 250 Gb quota by 16 Gb. Board members said they did not have a problem with purchase of additional storage space.

Board members revised the proposed Solar Resolution. Mr. Zingale will edit the document and make the Board changes and then send to Board members. Mr. Faignant moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the letter after it has been revised. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Board members reviewed packet correspondence.

Mr. Chioffi made a motion to accept the low bid for the new heat/cool pump. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. Mr. Dicton said the Town needs an agreement to hold back money until the Board tests the systems and knows all the answers. The Board discussed the need to hold back money on all projects until the Board is satisfied with the work.

Mr. Hawley said there is a motion on the floor to award the bid to McGee Mechanical Services bid for $9,428.00. Mr. Hawley said the Smalley Contractors bid was $9,830.00

The motion passed unanimously.

The Board reviewed the proposed generator maintenance contract for the Town school and took no action. Mr. Zingale will get prices from two companies.

Mr. Hawley questioned whether the Town is participating in electronic collection. Mr. Zingale said the Board recently decided to do so. After discussing the matter the Board decided not to collect electronics. Individuals will be told they can dispose electronic items at the Gleason Road facility at no charge to them.

The Board scheduled a General Budget meeting for 1-6-15 at 4:00 P.M. at the Town Hall.

Mr. Faignant made a motion to appoint Mr. Fred Nicholson as the Town's alternate representative to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 1. Ms. Ashcroft voted in the negative.

Ms. Ashcroft moved at 8:59 P.M. to go into executive session to discuss a land purchase. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.