MINUTES: April 23, 2013

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

The Meeting opened at 6:50 P.M.

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

Mr. Dicton move to approve accept the minutes with changes. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 0. Mr. Faignant abstained from the vote.

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

Mr. Hawley opened the summer paving bids.

Fuller Sand & Gravel Inc. $60.00 in place- $1.00 per sq. yd.

Wilk paving $62.90 in place - $1.26 per sq yd

Peckham Road Corp. $73.15 - $1.56 per sq yd

Pike Paving $61.05 in place - $1.30 per sq yd

Mr. Faignant showed the bids to Mr. Hathaway. Mr. Hathaway said all the bids look in order. Mr. Dicton asked Mr. Hathaway how many tons he plans to use. Mr. Hathaway said it should be a minimal of 7,200 tons.

Mr. Dicton asked if the prices would be good all summer. Mr. Hathaway said the price would not change unless there was an increase over 5% for the liquid asphalt binder. Mr. Dicton made a motion to accept the Fuller Sand & Gravel bid for $60.00 in place- $1.00 per sq. yd. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. The Scholarship deadline date is April 30th at 4:30

  2. Taxes due date is may 10th

  3. The School vote is may 14th

  4. The deadline date to vote is May 8th

Transportation Council & SWAC: Charles Shields reported:

  1. 37 individuals attended the Household Hazardous Waste collection the previous Saturday at the Town Transfer Station.

  2. Mr. Shields said there is a paint bill in the legislature that would charge more for paint, when purchased, in order to cover the cost of paint recycling.

  3. Informed the Board of the make a Wish Foundation vehicle recycling program. Mr. Shields said Ms. Hyjek has forms if anyone is interested. Mr. Hawley suggested Mr. Zingale place the information on the Town's home page.

Fire District # 1 Prudential Committee Chairman Mr. Howard Burgess, met with the Board regarding suggested changes to the Center Station water connection plan. Mr. Burgess suggested the Station be connected to Fire District water via a line on the east side of Simons Avenue and running in the State Road R-O-W to the Station.

Mr. Burgess said Mr. Mark Youngstrom feels the proposed connection to an 8” line would be cheaper to build than the proposed connection to a 6” line off, located off Simons Avenue, behind the station. Mr. Burgess said the Fire District would require a water meter to be installed at the Center station.

Mr. Chioffi asked Chief Denardo the type of analysis that was performed on the abandoned gravity sewer line, which previously served the Center Station building. Mr. Denardo told Mr. Chioffi that the Town's engineer made the decision to replace the line with a pump station. Mr. Denardo said the gravity line would often freeze.

Mr. Denardo said the line is fairly level and does not have much pitch from the Station to the manhole. He said it barely meets the minimum slope requirement. He said the problem was corrected by putting in the pump station.

Mr. Denardo said the issue was addressed in January what it was suggested the old line might be reused. He said it was decided to continue with the existing pump station.

Mr. Chioffi said he would like Mr. Burgess to comment since the plans call for removing the line. Mr. Chioffi suggested the line could be insulated to keep it from freezing. The matter was discussed further. Mr. Chioffi thanked Mr. Denardo and Mr. Burgess for educating him on the matter. He said he supported staying with the pump station.

Planning Commission: William Matteson reported:

  1. Told the Board that the Commission had discussed a 561 solar panel farm proposed for a West Proctor Road property. Mr. Matteson said the proposal seems out of scale for residential use. Mr. Matteson told the Board that the Commission had sent a letter to the Public Service Board requesting more information in order to review the proposal. Mr. Matteson said the application did not include a map or elevations.

    Mr. Dicton asked if the application is an Act 250 or Act 248 PSB application. Mr. Zingale said the application is to the PSB. Mr. Faignant said aesthetics are not a big concern in a 248 hearing.

    Mr. Burgess said it is a commercial solar farm because Mr. Knappmiller plans to use the credit from the solar farm to pay his car wash electric bills. Mr. Burgess cited the fact the land is located in a residential neighborhood.

    Mr. Faignant told Mr. Matteson to have the Town Attorney get involved in the review of the solar farm proposal. Mr. Matteson said it is one thing if the offset is used on the property and not for another property.

    Mr. Faignant made a motion to authorize Town Attorney Mr. Kevin Brown to work with Mr. Matteson and give the Board and outline as to where we stand as a community for these types of developments given our current infrastructure. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

    Mr. Hawley said the money for the attorney would come from the Board's Professional Services Budget.

Captain Ted Washburn reported for Chief Dumas:

  1. Told the Board the Town has received 100 calls for service in 2013

  2. Captain Washburn said he has arrested 6 individuals in 2013. He said the charges include empezzelment, retail theft, domestic assault and individuals driving without a license.

    Mr. Faignant said he appreciates the speed enforcement on the Post Road.

Mr. Chioffi reported on the recent Police Committee meeting. Mr. Chioffi said Sheriff Steve Benard said he could provide the Town with 40 additional hours per week while Chief Dumas is recuperating.

Mr. Dicton made a motion to employ Mr. Jim Gamble as a special officer for up to 15 hours per week at a rate of $18.00 per hour during his probationary period until the return of Chief Dumas to active duty and a performance evaluation at that time. Furthermore the Sheriff office contract up to 80 hours a week to provide additional hours of 40 for general patrolling, investigation and administrative duties during Chief Dumas' leave.

Mr. Faignant said the Board does not have the authority to hire and fire a police officer. He said with a Police Department that is exclusively the province of the Chief. Mr. Faignant said the only thing the Board can do is approve the Chief's recommendation. Mr. Faignant said the Chief has complete autonomy in police personnel matters because the Board may have to sit as a review Board at some point in time over issues of these individuals.

Mr. Faignant suggested the motion be modified to state that the Board is creating a position for up to 15 hours per week at $18.00 per hour. Mr. Dicton accepted the change.

Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that the additional 40 hours is for general policing, administrative work and investigative work, not traffic. The motion passed unanimously.

Recreation Director: Mike Rowe reported:

  1. The playground installation at Del Bianco Park at Dewey Field will be on May 11, 2013.

  2. Baseball is underway.

  3. Told the Board he has a recommendation for hire to staff the concession stands at Dewey and Northwood parks.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to approve Mr. Rowe's recommendation for supplying one person to facilitate the concession stand at Dewey and at Northwood Pool. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Requested doggie waste bags and signage be put up at Dewey Field. The Board told Mr. Rowe to take care of the matter.

Fire Chief: Joseph Denardo reported:

  1. Told the Board he had reviewed the letter submitted by Fire District #1 and that he agrees with everything and would forward to Tracy at Black River Design.

  2. Questioned what the Board would like to do with the split face marble to be removed from the Center Station. The Board and Mr. Denardo discussed the matter and made no decision.

  3. Briefed the Board regarding various station matters.

  4. Submitted a membership application from Mr. Nathan Boutwell. Mr. Denardo said Mr. Boutwell has considerable experience. Mr. Hawley moved to accept Mr. Boutwell as a Town firefighter. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  5. Reported the tank for engine #4 has been repaired and placed back on the truck. He said the truck is mostly reassembled.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Suggested the Board create a Storm water Committee. Mr. Zingale said it would be convenient due to the many compliance issues that will need to be addressed.

  1. Informed the Board the Railroad historical Society had submitted a map showing the location where the historic site marker will be placed.

  2. Informed the Board that the Town had received the plans for the proposed 2.2 megawatt Green Mountain Power solar farm proposed for the old City landfill.

Mr. Hawley asked Mr. Hathaway if he would have money to cover the local match for the proposed Post Road sidewalk feasibility study. Mr. Hathaway said he has enough money to cover the expense. Mr. Faignant moved to sign the application. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Jim Goss representing MTJ Enterprises, the owners of the Ponderosa Restaurant, met with the Board regarding a settlement offer in connection with unpaid Town waste water testing fees and a waste water surcharge.

Mr. Goss said his clients are proposing to clean manholes # 1, #2 & #3 once a year and to paid half the cost of cleaning manhole #4 and half the cost of cleaning the line under US RT 7 once a year.

He said his client would inspect the manholes at least once a quarter to ensure that once a year is enough. He said if it is not enough they would do additional cleanings.

Board members questioned Mr. Goss. Mr. Goss said his client's have offered to pay the Town $2,000.00 to settle the waste water surcharge matter. Mr. Goss said under the formula used by Mr. Zingale to assess the wast water fine the amount is $4,340.14. He said under the correct formula the fee would be $3,423.30.

Mr. Goss told the Board that the three sinks that were not connected to the grease trap were not contributing grease to the Town sewer line. Mr. Faignant said he is not prepared to respond to Mr. Goss’s proposal he said the Board should take the matter under advisement.

Mr. Chioffi addressed the recently adopted Town Personnel Policy. Mr. Chioffi asked Mr. Faignant why he decided to include elected officials when the VLCT model does not include elected officials.

Mr. Faignant said by having elected officials included it covers elected officials just like liability, workman compensation and a number of other policies. He said the Personnel Policy is the Town's employment policy. Mr. Chioffi said he does not understand how he is covered under an employment policy, since he is an elected official.

Mr. Faignant said Mr. Chioffi and others are also covered by Vermont criminal statutes, which talk about disqualification from office and a host of state laws that govern a board member's conduct and behavior. He said none of these are contradicted by the Personnel Manual.

Mr. Faignant said the Personnel Policy would be used to describe the behavior of an elected official that a majority of the Board might feel violates State statute. He said the Personnel Manual is the foundation for taking disciplinary action.

Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Faignant discussed the matter further and agreed that they disagree. Mr. Chioffi pro-ported that as an elected official he is held to a much higher standard than what is pro ported in any of the Personnel Policy. He said he answers singly and collectively to the residents that elected him. He said he can be removed from office for any reason or no cause at the next election.

Mr. Hathaway questioned if the policy is in effect. Mr. Faignant said it would be once everybody has signed the acknowledgment of receipt. Mr. Hathaway said he has been asked how sick time will be handled. Mr. Faignant said the matter can be discussed. Mr. Hathaway specifically questioned if sick days can be carried over as of July 1st. Mr. Hathaway said presently they ( sick days ) go away as of July 1st. He said the new policy allows for carry over.

Mr. Dicton moved to adopt the amendments and final approval of the Personnel Policy. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Chioffi said your signature indicates not that you agree with everything but that you have read the document you that you received and understand the document. Mr. Hawley said Mr. Chioffi is correct.

Mr. Faignant said anybody that gets a check from the Town, when they are doing Town business, are required to comply with the policies.

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported:

Not Present

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

The Board discussed a request from the Town of Mendon to address safety concerns at the Killington Avenue / Townline Road intersection. Mr. Hathaway will contact the Mendon Road Commissioner and Mr. Zingale will notify the Town of Mendon of the Board's desire to work with the Town of Mendon.

Mr. Chioffi made a motion to present a plaque in Mrs. Keirstead's honor and name, a picture plaque to be place in the Town Hall. Mr. Chioffi volunteered to prepare the plaque to be presented to Mr. Rhodes as to his dissgression in presenting the plaque.

Mr. Faignant asked why award a plaque. Mr. Chioffi said for Mrs. Keirstead's 28 years service on the Rutland Regional Ambulance Service as the Town's Representative. Mr. Hawley said he supports a plaque but that it should not hung in the Town Hall. Mr. Hawley said the plaque should go to a person's home.

Mr. Chioffi cited a plaque on the wall dedicated to the “Guiding Eyes for the Blind” program. Mr. Faignant said he does not hear anyone saying a plaque should not be presented to Mary Keirstead. He said he has a concern regarding some kind of standard as to how plaques get on the Town Hall wall. Mr. Chioffi said the plaque would be for Town display. Mr. Faignant said the entire Board should discuss the matter.

Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion on the condition the plaque not be put up in the Town building. Mr. Chioffi said his motion was to put the plaque in the Town Hall. The motion died for lack of a second.

Mr. Dicton moved to go into executive session with Mr. Zingale to discuss the Ponderosa settlement offer. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Board came out of executive session at 8:54 P.M.

Mr. Chioffi moved for Mr. Zingale to have attorney Kevin Brown review Mr. Jim Goss's settlement proposal agreement. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

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