MINUTES: February 11, 2014

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

The Meeting opened at 6:46 P.M.

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

Mr. Hawley moved to approve the December 20, 2013 minutes as printed. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 0. Mr. Dicton abstained from the vote.

The Board considered the January 14, 2014. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that Mr. Dicton's name was not list as being present for the 1-14-14 meeting.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. The ballots for the March election were mailed on Friday.

  2. She said the last day to register to vote is February 26, 2014.

  3. The Town and School warnings were posted on January 28, 2014.

  4. The sample ballot was posted February 10th, by Captain Ted Washburn.

  5. Both voting machines have been tested and poll workers have been assigned.

  6. The Town Report is being printed. Hope to have it out next week. She said the deadline date is February 24th.

  7. Told the Board she will receive something from Proctor Gas regarding the Town's propane contract for the Joseph J. Denardo Fire Station. Ms. Hyjek told the board that the Town is locked into a propane rate of $1.99 until May 31, 2014

  8. She said the Board should consider putting propane out to bid in April or May.

  9. Cited bills submitted by Mr. Richard Sweet and Frank Cioffi. Ms. Hyjek said some of the bills were included in the Board's packet and others were not because they came in late. She said they need to be approve by the Board for Bond to receive payment from the Fire Station bond.

  10. Told the Board the office will be closed on February 17, 2014 for Presidents day.

  11. Requested an executive session on a personnel issue.

  12. Told the Board that she checked with the Bond Bank regarding the leftover money from the Fire Station project. She said there are three choices. She said the Board could ask the votes to spend the money on another capital improvement or could put it into the present Fire Station for the thing you have take out because you were trying to save money or the Board can use the money to pay the interest on the bond and not the principal.

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported

  1. Not present

Transportation Council & SWAC: Mr. Charles Shields reported:

  1. Told the Board there will be a SWAC meeting in April.

  2. The next Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be on April 12th.

  3. Told the Board he attended a briefing regarding the regional airport. He told the Board that there are plans to extend the runway, which would allow the airport to get larger aircraft. Told the Board that groSolar recently gave a presentation to the Regional Issues Committee.

  4. Told the Board that a representative from the railroad recently gave quite a dissertation to the Transportation Council regarding the railroad.

  5. Told the Board that the State Transportation Board plans to hold a meeting regarding the Town's proposed “slip lane” for US RT 7 south prior to an upcoming council meeting.

  6. Told the Board that the Rutland Rail yard Project is a dead issue. He said the $1.5 million dollars spent will not have to be repaid because the “no build” option was selected.

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Submitted the certificate for annual Highway Mileage to the Board for signature. Mr. Hathaway said .003 in distance was added to the east Pittsford Road. Mr. Hawley moved to sign the certificate of highway mileage for the year ending February 10, 2014. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Mr. Hathaway told the Board he would like to upgrade Stratton Road from a class three road to a class two road and that he would like to declassify Dyer Road from a class three to a class four. Mr. Hathaway said upgrading Stratton Road would not result in any additional cost to the Town. He said if the Dyer Road is made a class 4 road then the Town would only have to maintain the ditches and culverts on the road.

  3. Told the Board that at present the winter budget is okay. Mr. Hathaway said if the bad weather continues then he will probably go over budget for equipment. He said he thinks we will get through the winter with the salt supply.

  4. Mr. Hathaway suggested the Board consider building a new salt Shed large enough to hold a year supply. Mr. Hathaway said the present shed holds about 30% of a years supply.

  5. Mr. Hathaway said the Town has two years warranty remaining on the new engine, which was recently put in the Town truck.

  6. Mr. Rhodes told Mr. Hathaway that the Board had received his letter and that it would be discussed when there is a full Board.

Mr. Hawley made a motion to go into executive session with Ms Hyjek to discuss a personnel matter and to continue in executive session with groSolar to discuss negotiations/contract purposes. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Rhodes declared the executive closed at 8:00 PM. Mr. Chioffi moved to recess the Select Board meeting in order to hold the Town Plan amendment hearing. Mr Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously

Planning Commission Chairman: William Matteson:

  1. Not present

Police Chief Ed Dumas reported:

  1. Mr. Dumas cited the types and numbers of cases the Police Department has been working on over the past two weeks.

  2. Mr. Rhodes question Chief Dumas regarding the amount of administrative time involved during the past two weeks. Chief Dumas said the 26 closed cases represents a lot of paperwork. Chief Dumas told the Board that he has to review all 82 of the close cases to make sure all the paperwork is properly filled out.
    Mr. Dumas and the Board discussed the large amount of administration time that is involved in police work. Mr. Chioffi told Chief Dumas that most Town residents do not understand the amount of time that goes into police work.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Informed the Board that up to a dozen potential bidders attended the recent pre-bid meeting at the Town Office regarding the planned relocation of the post Road Pump Station electrical panel. Mr. Zingale told Board members that Dubois & King would like an additional budget not to exceed $5,000.00 to incorporate two new pumps in the bid documents.

    Board members discussed the matter with Mr. Zingale and approved a
    $2,500.00 budget to research the new pumps to be included in the pump station work. Mr. Zingale said the bid opening will be pushed back two weeks to give the bidders time to prepare their proposals.

  2. Informed the Board that he is checking to see whether the Town would qualify for an additional 12.5 % in State disaster recovery funds provided several criteria are met. Mr. Zingale said he is waiting to hear whether the Town's Flood Hazard Regulations are fully approved by the State of Vermont.

  3. Informed the Board that the Fire department has returned 40 personnel policy acknowledgments. Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Denardo said that the department is not going by the bylaws because everyone has not received a copy.

  4. Informed the Board that the Town had received the fall 2013 landfill monitoring report. Mr. Zingale told the Board that according tot he report there has been little change in water quality since 1995. He said the report has been submitted to the State.

  5. Informed the Board that Rutland Town High School students would be available on March 19, 2014 to work for the Town for a day as part of a civics project, if the Board is interested.

  6. Told the Board that he had met with Mr. Tom T. Garden, a Boston developer, who has the Thomas property around the Army reserve center under contract for a solar farm. Mr. Zingale said the plans show a facility as large as 6 MW. Mr. Zingale told Board members that Mr. Garden planned to met with local officials in the near future regarding his solar proposal.

  7. Informed the Board that the State Senate could vote on Senate Bill S 210 as soon as the following day, which would require the Public Service Board to give Town Government “Substantial deference” verses “Due consideration”. Mr. Zingale told the Board that he had sent emails to the Town's three Senators encouraging them to support the bill.

  8. Informed the Board that he has scheduled a meeting for March 25, 2014 with the Town's Storm water consultant and the affected landowners, regarding a possible Town Storm water retrofit project off Randbury Road.

  9. Informed the Board that he had Captain Ted Washburn check out possible junkyard violations for a property on Victoria Drive and another property located at the corner of Pinnacle Ridge Road and US RT 7 North. Mr. Zingale said a violation would exist if four or more unregistered and non inspected trailers or vehicles are on the property. Mr. Zingale told the Board that an individual with the State of Vermont has contacted the Town and said they are also looking into possible violations and would report back to the Town.

  10. Showed the Board the Water Wise brochure produced by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Zingale suggested that the Town host its new storm water web site on the same server the Town is presently on verses hosting the site on a different server for $100.00 a year. The Board agreed to host the storm water site on the server the Town is presently on.

Fire Chief: Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:

  1. Not present

Recreation Director: Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

  1. No meeting, no report.

Mr. Rhodes informed the Board that the Short Stop gas station on US RT 4 East has applied to renew their liquor and tobacco licenses and that K-Mart, Hannaford's, Restaurant 99 and the East Asia restaurant have applied for liquor licenses only. Mr. Rhodes said all have been review and that there are no violations. Mr. Dicton moved to approve the list as read by the Chairman. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Dicton cited item # 8 in the Board's packet regarding Fire Station expenditures and Mr. Rhodes said the items listed were items which were cut out of the project and then provided by the Town. He said this was done to get the project cost under $2 million dollars.

Mr. Dicton questioned if someone was requesting $4,904.53 in additional expenditures. Mr. Chioffi questioned if the items were cut in the first round. Mr. Hawley said most of the items have to do with the hose tower and building hardware. Mr. Hawley said department members wanted to purchase the items and do the work themselves rather than have someone spec them out.

Board members discussed the expenditures. Mr. Chioffi said it would be a lot easier to understand the payment request if they were cross referenced to the item number they represented on the original document, we have. Mr. Rhodes read the list of items included in the expenditure request. Mr. Rhodes cited an $8,000.00 payment request from Reynolds.

Ms. Hyjek told the Board that the department would like the expenditures to be paid from the Fire Station bond and not their regular fire account. Mr. Dicton question if the Board had approved the work by Mr. Richard Sweet for $2,700.00. Ms. Hyjek said the $2,700.00 Sweet bill is a reimbursement because Mr. Sweet charged the items to his account. Board members agreed that someone from the Fire Department has to meet with the Board and explain the payment requests.

Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Dicton questioned a $3,100.37 bill submitted by Firefighter Matt Voity. Mr. Dicton said Chief Cioffi does not know anything about the various payment request.

Board members reviewed and discussed more payment requests. Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Dicton said the work that has been done by members of the department should have been done by the contractor. Mr. Chioffi said he would have volunteered his time to do the work if he was in the department and not charge the Town for his labor. Mr. Dicton said the Board did not know anything about the work that was done by Mr. Voity. Mr. Dicton said he has a bill in for 40 hours labor. He said it just showed up on their desk.

Mr. Chioffi said the Board are the owners of the Fire Station project and that he would like things to go according to plan. He said when things do not go according to plan he feels that as an owner he is responsible to be informed of it and not just be considered a rubber stamp. Mr. Chioffi cited $78,000.00 in change order requests. Mr. Dicton said he agrees with Mr. Chioffi. Mr. Dicton several times cited a bill submitted by Mr. Matt Voity for services rendered and said the Board had no idea he would be doing the work.

Mr. Rhodes said the correspondence cited by Mr. Dicton is an estimate for work to be done. Mr. Rhodes said the Board needs to speak to someone from the Fire Department.

Mr. Dicton asked Mr. Rhodes (in his capacity as Clerk-of-the-works) whether the phone system has been installed in the station. Mr. Rhodes said the installation had nothing to do with the Clerk-of-the-works. Mr. Rhodes said Chief Denardo was handling the matter. Mr. Rhodes said he does not know how many lines or numbers the department needs.

Mr. Rhodes informed Board members that Earl's Truck Repair has submitted a price of $2,112.00 to put hand rails inside the new station above the hazmat room and the locker room.

Board members discussed a request from Chief Frank Cioffi to purchase 18 pails of foam at a cost of $140.00 a pail and to pay for the purchase with money from the depreciation account. Mr. Dicton moved to approve the Chief's request for foam for the new engine and training foam and not to exceed $2,857.97 . Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Chioffi requested the Board vacate its decision made on the 14th. He said he asks for consideration for several reasons. He said the primary reason is that it does not follow Board policy because it was not a warned agenda item. He said the second reason is because he has headr numerous times that we didn't want to conduct certain business without having a full Board here.

Mr. Chioffi said the actions taken deserve full discussion with all Board members participating. Mr. Chioffi said he was hurt and not angry regarding the Board's action on 1—14-14. He said he was personally offended that the Board did not afford him the respect to be able to participate in a discussion on an issue. Mr. Chioffi asked the Board to vacate the decision they made.

Mr. Chioffi said he is not opposed to the decision but that he had a right to participate in the discussions that led up to the motions being made and the dedication of the station.

Mr. Chioffi said he had brought the matter up at two previous public meetings. Mr. Rhodes said he first heard of the dedication when Mr. Faignant presented the matter. Mr. Chioffi said the decision was not made in accordance with Board policy.

Mr. Chioffi said as far as he is concerned the dedication does not exist until there is a full Board discussion and that everyone that sits in this room has a chance to participate. Mr. Rhodes said it (the dedication) exist, it was dedicated to Joe Denardo.

Mr. Chioffi said it is not a matter of opinion. He said it is a matter of legality as to how the Board is operated. Mr. Chioffi said we do not operate this Board by not putting items of importance on the agenda, so that they can be fully understood by everybody so that they have a chance to decide if they want to participate in the discussion or the action.

Mr. Chioffi said the matter also involves an expenditure of funds which were not discussed. He said it is not proper to have such discussion absent a Board member, that everyone knew was gone. He said there was no particular urgency to take action when the Board did. Mr. Chioffi said he does not think the vote is valid.

Board members discussed payment requests from VMS. Ms. Hyjek told the Board that nothing has been paid. She cited the fact that VMS had submitted a revised payment request the previous day.

The Board discussed the VMS payment request further. The recording tape ended.

Mr. Hawley made a motion to pay $209,328.10 but $50,000.00 retainage will be kept. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Dicton moved to close the meeting at 11:18 P.M. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.