MINUTES: December 3, 2013

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

The Meeting opened at 6:32 P.M.

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

Mr. Chioffi cited spelling corrections to the 11-19-13 minutes. Mr. Dicton moved to accept the 11-19-13 minutes as corrected by Mr. Chioffi. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 0 with Messrs. Faignant and Hawley abstaining from the vote.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Gave the Board an update regarding the State-wide insurance. She said everything is falling into place.

  2. The Transfer Station will be open on December 26, 2013 and on January 1, 2014.

Mr. Rhodes opened a Town Report bid submital from Rutland Printing in the amount of $3,800.90. Mr. Chioffi moved to accept the bid from Rutland Printing. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Hyjek said the price is about an 8% increase from last year.

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported

  1. Informed the Board there will be a Legislative reception at the RRPC on Thursday evening December 5, 2013.

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Mr. Hathaway presented the latest State Road & Bridge Standards for Board consideration. Mr. Hathaway cited the only changes in the Standards from the current Standards has to do with culverts and bridges placed on perennial streams. He said they now must conform to the State Hydrology manual.

    Mr. Hathaway said the other change has to do with placing guard rails in front of any road obstructions. Mr. Hathaway said by adopting the Standards the Town would receive an additional 10% cost share for structures and class two paving grants. Mr. Dicton made a motion to accept the Road & Bridge Standards for 2013. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Mr. Hathaway told the Board that unless they have something they would like to add to his “complete streets report”, he will send the report to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC).

  3. Told the Board that the Post Road Sidewalk Committee had a kick-off meeting earlier in the evening. Mr. Hathaway thanked all those who are participating on the committee. He said the draft report would be available in the spring.

  4. Mr. Hathaway said the salt shed is about half full.

Planning Commission Chairman: William Matteson:

  1. Requested Select Board members consider attending the Planning Commission's Town Plan Amendment hearing scheduled for December 5, 2013. Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. informed Board members that an amendment regarding screening would also be considered at the hearing.

    Mr. Chioffi told Mr. Matteson that he (Mr. Chioffi) got it wrong when he said groSolar for be paying the Town
    $10,000.00 a year in taxes in addition to their school taxes. Mr. Chioffi said he has since learned that the Legislature has exempted solar projects from having to pay education taxes.

Transportation Council & SWAC: Mr. Charles Shields reported:

  1. Informed the Board that the Town will have to begin to collect food waste in 2020.

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

-Calls for service within the two week period: 24

- Total calls for the year: 399

-Types of calls assigned
Directed Patrol, Motor Vehicle Crash, Animal Problem, 911 Hang up, Theft, Residential Burglary Alarm, Phone Problem, Suspicious Person/ Circumstances, Citizen Dispute and Bad Check.

Closed Cases: 23

  1. Chief Dumas: 5

  1. Captain Washburn: 60

  1. Officer Gamble: 30

Total number of Admin hours: 59

  1. Chief Dumas: 39

  1. Captain Washburn: 20

  1. Officer Gamble: 0

Special announcements : Cautioned individuals to keep a close eye on their possessions when shopping and not to carry money in their hands. Mr. Chioffi asked that Chief Dumas give the current fine amount dollars and total-to-date in future reports.

Mr. Dumas said he is working to get his NCIC files up-to-date.

Recreation Director: Mr. Mike Rowe reported: Read by Mr. Dicton

  1. Basketball is underway.

  2. Will have a proposed budget for the Board to consider at the next meeting.

The Board considered a request from the State 911 Board to change six Meadow Lake Drive home addresses. Mr. Zingale told the Board that according to Mr. Jeremy McMullen, who is with the State 911 Board, there would be increased liability on the Town if no action is taken and there is a problem due to confusion over the location of one of the six homes.

Mr. Zingale told the Select Board that the 911-Board would like a letter stating the Board did not change the six addresses, should the Select Board decide not to make the requested changes.

Mr. Zingale informed Board members that the Town of Pittsford has changed their Meadow Lake Drive resident addresses based on a similar request from the State 911-Board. Mr. Zingale told the Board that the Town of Chittenden is waiting to see what the Town of Rutland does before making a decision on whether to change the address of one Chittenden resident located off Meadow Lake Drive.

Mr. Zingale said the 911-Board has a safety concern due to the fact that both Mendon and Rutland Town have even numbered homes on the opposite side of the street. Messrs. Dicton and Chioffi cited the fact that the Town of Rutland has been participating in the 911 program since the beginning and that the Town of Mendon recently adopted the State 911 addressing system. They said now Rutland Town is being asked to change our numbers.

Mr. Zingale cited the fact that according to the 911 Standards odd addresses are on the left and even on the right. He said Meadow Lake Drive was address going from south to north, which means Rutland Town has even addresses on the left and Mendon has even addresses on the right. The Board discussed the requested changes further. Mr. Rhodes said if the numbering is going to impede emergency response time then the Board should make the requested changes. Mr. Chioffi said the whole discussion is mute if we buy into Mr. Faignant's view.

Mr. Faignant moved to comply with the 911 Board request. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 1. Mr. Chioffi voted in the negative.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Informed the Board that the Planning Grant application for funds to update and readopt the Town Plan was denied. Mr. Nicholson said if there are no major changes the Commission could freshen up the numbers and readopt the Town Plan. Mr. Zingale said the New Service Road should be added to the Town Plan.

    Mr. Chioffi asked Mr. Nicholson if he knows why the Town was not funded. Mr. Nicholson said the process is real competitive.

  2. Informed the Board that the State Agency of Transportation has again requested that the Board begin a court action against the owners of Rutland Plywood to get a portion of Rutland Plywood land, which would keep the Ripley Bridge replacement in 2014 on schedule.

    Mr. Rhodes cited a recent meeting between State / Town / City and Rutland Plywood officials and said he thought Rutland Plywood was trying to work out problems with the City and the State.

    Mr. Zingale said he believes the State officials are making their request again because nothing has happened with the talks between the State and Rutland Plywood. Mr. Rhodes asked Mr. Zingale if the Ripley Bridge replacement is a Town or City project.

    Mr. Zingale said the project is a City project but after it is finished some of the project would be in the Town of Rutland. Mr. Rhodes said Rutland Plywood has been a good neighbor and a good taxpayer in Rutland Town and that he is not going to condemn, anything. Mr. Rhodes said it is up to the State to work out their problem with Rutland Plywood.

    Mr. Faignant said he would not vote to do anything regarding the issues raised by the State and Mr. Chioffi said he is not going to vote to condemn a Rutland Town taxpayers land for a State project. Mr. Chioffi said he has not been informed as to what is the snag, with the bridge project.

    Mr. Zingale said he believes there are three issues:

    1. Rutland Plywood feels the State is not offering them enough money to replace the trees and grass area to be lost due to the construction of the new bridge.

    2. The State does not want to pay to set a temporary power pole and then replace it with a new pole in a different location when the bridge job is finished.

    3. Rutland Plywood wants to connect a waste water discharge directly to a Rutland City manhole (on the east side of Ripley Road) and they want the City to pay the cost .

    Messrs. Chioffi and Dicton said Rutland Plywood's requests seem reasonable.

  3. Informed the Board that Mr. Jay Morel, manager at the Diamond Run Mall, has offered 1,500 square feet of space at the mall to Board for a Town use. Mr. Zingale told the Board that he made the request in order to have a public place for storm water education.

    Mr. Zingale said the mall site is turn-key and ready to go. He said the town would probably have to pay for lights and heat. Mr. Zingale said the Town could display trophies and awards at the location. Mr. Zingale cited the fact that many Town residents walk daily indoors at the mall.

    Mr. Zingale cited the following as possible uses for Town space the the Diamond Run Mall:

    1. Storm Water education displays.

    2. Town service road education displays.

    3. A satellite meeting space for Town and non Town officials.

    4. Mr. Rhodes said the Town School Board has expressed an interest in using the space. He said the Town School Board is also considering holding their meetings at the Town Municipal Building instead of the Town School.

    5. SWAC and the Rutland County Highway Commissioners group could also use the meeting space.

Mr. Dicton questioned what guarantee the Town has, that it can have the space long term. Mr. Zingale said the Board would need to sit down with the Mall owners and work out a deal. Mr. Dicton said he does not want to put a lot of time and energy into the matter only to be told to get out in two years. Mr. Faignant questioned why the Board needs the space.

Mr. Chioffi said it is a pretty good idea and that the space would have a lot of utility. He said the Board would have to decide who is in charge of the space. Mr. Chioffi said if the Board decided to accept the offer then a profession looking sign sign should be made.

      1. Mr. Zingale followed up with the Board regarding the live transmission of Select Board meetings. Mr. Zingale told the Board that provided the Town upload speed is fast enough, the Board could transmit their meeting over the internet for broadcast on channel 21 or just on the internet. Board members discussed the matter further and decided to table the matter until the next meeting.

Fire Chief: Mr. Joe Denardo reported:

  1. Informed the Board that the department membership would like to amend the Fire Department's Bylaws. Mr. Denardo presented the proposed amendment change to the bylaws to the Board.

    Mr. Denardo said the amendment would allow children, of non-town residents in the Town Fire Department, to join the Town Fire Department as junior members. He said the amendment also calls for the creation of a cadet program. He said 14 and 15 year old children would join the cadet program.

    He said the cadet program is intended to get kids interested in fire service. He said the department has been working on the matter fro the past 6 months. He said cadets would not be issued pagers and would not be allowed on fire-grounds.

    Mr. Denardo said the cadets would be issued whatever safety equipment, which they may need. He said most of the cadet's work will be inside the station. Mr. Rhodes raised recording keeping issues, such as trying to remember how many non-town resident firefighter children are allowed in the department.

    Mr. Denardo cited a concern that the cadets might not be able to progress to become junior firefighters, due to the fact the Fire Department could be at their 8 Junior Firefighter quota.

    Mr. Rhodes expressed a real concern with the Chief's possible scenario while Mr. Faignant said the Town should be so lucky to have too many cadets and not enough openings. Mr. Chioffi echoed Mr. Rhodes concern.

    Mr. Denardo said presently there are 4 opening for non-town residents with the Town Fire Department. He said there are space for 12 more Town residents. Mr. Denardo said presently there is one junior firefighter, who will soon become a senior member and there is one new applicant to become a Junior member.

    Mr. Denardo told the Board that at some point in the future the Town may have to open the Fire Department up to anyone who wants to join due to staffing shortages. He said presently some departments are struggling to staff their departments. Mr. Chioffi said he would have a problem opening up the Town department to anyone.

    The Board discussed the matter further and Mr. Zingale suggested the Board not vote on the amendment until after it appears on an agenda. The amendment will be placed on the next Board meeting agenda.

  2. Chief Denardo informed the Board he will like Mr. Larry Dingee to hold the new truck until such time it can be stored in the new station.

  3. Mr. Denardo said he plans to leave the wireless fire alarm system at the current rental space when the department moves into the new station. The Board said they are fine with his proposal.

    Mr. Faignant told Board members that the Town Auditors, for the past few years, have been making recommendations, which the Town has not been following. He said one of the criticism from the Auditor’s letter from last year is the way the Board breaks the budget out. He said the action is no longer an acceptable accounting practice. Mr. Faignant said he does not know the particulars and he requested the Board invite the Town Auditor to the next Board meeting.

    Mr. Rhodes asked Mr. Faignant if he wants to combine the highway, general, fire and recreation budgets into one vote. Mr. Chioffi told Mr. Faignant that he (Mr. Chioffi) would not vote to change the way the Town presents it's budgets to the people. Mr. Chioffi said an outside auditor does not run the Town of Rutland budgeting procedures.

    The matter was discussed considerably by Board members and Ms. Hyjek. It was decided to have an individual from AM Peisch attend the next Board meeting.

    Mr. Rhodes read Mr. Chioffi's proposed ballot item regarding establishing a Municipal Capital Improvement Fund. The ballot item would allow 15% of the Local Option Tax revenues to be annually placed into the Municipal Capital Improvement Fund. Leaving 85 % of the Local Option Tax revenue to continue to reduce property taxes.

    Mr. Rhodes said that years ago the Board decided that any money from Logging would be set aside for a Town Highway Garage. Mr. Rhodes said there is
    $98,000.00 in the account at this time. Mr. Rhodes said the money is just sitting there.

    Mr. Faignant asked Mr. Chioffi would consider limiting language. Mr. Faignant said putting
    $170,000.00 into the account every year is going to create a huge sum, which will just be sitting there. Mr. Faignant suggested a fund not to exceed 1 million dollars or $750,000.00

    Mr. Chioffi told the Board that the Town of Stowe did what he is now proposing. He said they checked with the State to make sure they could sequester funds in this manner. Mr. Chioffi said the Board could vote in the future to reduce the amount.

    Mr. Chioffi said that if a fund had been in place the Town could have saved
    $700,000.00 in interest payments. Mr. Chioffi said he proposed what he did because he did not want to put a set amount in the ballot item. He said with a percent figure the Town's revenue would rise or fall with the economy.

    The matter was discussed further and it was decided to send the proposed ballot item to the Town Attorney for review and to add the proper State statute citations to the proposed ballot item.

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

Mr. Hawley read a letter to the Board from Mr. Jamie Stewart, Executive Director of the Rutland Economic Development Council, regarding his support for the groSolar proposal and his displeasure with the Board's proposed Solar Facility Siting Standards.

Mr. Faignant said the letter is typical of the “pot calling the kettle black”. Quoting from Mr. Stewart's letter, Mr. Faignant said, if the rules were applied uniformly then the project would have to go through Act 250 criteria. Mr. Faignant said the Town did not change the rules, rather the rules were changed on the Town midstream. He said the Town is reacting to that rule change.

Mr. Faignant said it is irresponsible of Mr. Stewart, as someone who is in charge of commercial development, to say the Town should not be able to protect itself.

Mr. Dicton questioned how Mr. Stewart can say the use is industrial when a solar farm is not industrial.

Mr. Chioffi made the following points;

Mr. Chioffi addressed the letter from the State Agency of Natural Resources indicating the State would like dissolve groups like SWAC and require those towns to join a District Solid Waste District.

Mr. Faignant moved to close the meeting at 8:55 P.M. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.