MINUTES: July 15, 2014

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

The meeting opened at 6:39 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Faignant moved to approve the 7-1-14 minutes as corrected. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Town Attorney Mr. Kevin Brown met with Board members and said he was present to discuss the easement agreement with Green Mountain Power and Carris Reels in open session and to discuss the well on the Foley property and to discuss issues regarding the new Fire Station construction

Mr. Brown said the Board should issue a permit under Title 19 rather than sign an easement agreement with Green Mountain Power (GMP) & Carris Reels (CR), which would allow GMP & CR to place debris up to 20 feet into the Old Falls Road right-of-way (r-o-w).

Mr. Brown said normally the Town would handle the matter with a permit issued under Title 19. He said the Town could attach any easement conditions to a permit. Mr. Brown said he would rather issue a permit rather than an easement because easements are perpetual whereas a permit can be revoked if there is non-compliance.

Mr. Brown informed Board members that the Town just completed an easement agreement with GMP, which would allow the Town to make locate an electrical panel on GMP land. Mr. Brown said the Town should require the same conditions from GMP & CR, which GMP required from the Town. Mr. Brown said one requirement had to do with indemnification.

Ms. Ashcroft and Mr. Faignant said GMP & CR should cover the Town's attorney fees since their request has no benefit to the Town. Mr. Brown will require GMP & CR to cover the Town's attorney fees.

Mr. Brown recommended that Town issue a permit to work with in the Town road r-o-w with conditions rather than sign an easement agreement with GMP & CR. Mr. Brown will work with Mr. Zingale to issue a permit.

Board members and Mr. Brown discussed the matter further. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to follow our attorney's advice and issue the permit as per his construction. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Dicton made a motion at 6:54 P.M. to go into executive session to discuss, contractual matters with the Center Rutland Fire Station, to get and update on pending litigation. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion.

Mr. Hawley declared the executive session closed at 8:03 P.M. The Board took no action.

Ms. Ashcroft made a moved to fill the vacancy of Town Clerk with Donna Zeller. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Ashcroft made a moved to fill the vacancy of Town Treasurer with Donna Zeller. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Dumas will do a complete background check on Ms. Zeller.

Town Clerk & Treasurer Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Ballots and memory cards arrived last week

  2. Both machines are programmed and ready to go

  3. Two training sessions for elections have been scheduled for August

  4. Told the Board two people are needed at the end of the election to do the paper work

  5. NEMRC is scheduled for Thursday

  6. The Tax rate is ready to go

  7. The Town's software company has suggested that in order to include the Police budget in the Grand List, which only has 10 entities, the Town will need to combine multiple items in an entity, to add the Police budget.

  8. The Town audit will begin next week.

  9. Cited the fact she had provided Board members with a quarterly budget report

  10. Said the tax rate was lowered this year by $93,000.00

  11. Said there is a small balance left in general account

Mr. Hawley said the Town tax rate is .1773. Mr. Hawley said last year the tax rate was

.1766. He said the local agreement tax rate went up .0002 to .0012 to .14. Mr. Hawley said the residential school rate increased from 1.3299 to 1.3578 . Mr. Hawley said the non-residential rate increased from 1.3299 to 1.3578.

Mr. Hawley said the school rate went from 1.5077 to 1.5305. Mr. Hawley said the total tax rate would be 1.5305 for residential and a tax rate of 1.6724 for non residential. Mr. Hawley said the tax rate is about six cents lower than it was last year.

Mr. Faignant moved to set the residential tax rate at 1.5305 and non residential property at 1.6724. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Hawley opened propane and fuel oil bids.

Keyser Energy : fixed price $3.375 per gallon with taxes included #2 fuel oil

Johnson Energy : fixed rate $3.299 per gallon and $3.226 plus 25 cents per gallon. He said the price would bounce with the season.

Irving Oil : fixed price $3.523 variable price $3.538

Mr. Chioffi made a motion to accept the low bid. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion.

Ms. Ashcroft questioned Ms. Hyjek regarding the 6,500 gallon provision in the Johnson Energy. Ms. Hyjek said 6,500 is the amount of fuel the Town has used in recent years. Ms. Ashcroft asked if the Johnson price would hold if the Town used more than 6,500 gallons. Mr. Hawley said the price would not stay the same if the Town uses more than 6,500 gallons.

The motion passed by a 4 to 0 vote. Mr. Faignant abstained from the vote.

Mr. Hawley opened the Suburban Propane's propane bid of 40¢ over terminal price. The current terminal price is $1.8076 per gallon. Mr. Dicton asked Ms. Hyjek if the bid notice was for a locked in price. Ms. Hyjek told Mr. Dicton that Mr. Frank Cioffi wrote the bid.

Mr. Hawley said Proctor Gas bid $2.166 per gallon locked price. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Faignant said they do not like a flexible price. Mr. Dicton made a motion to award Proctor Gas the bid. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion.

Mr. Chioffi asked if the bidders were asked to submit a straight price. Mr. Hawley said not according to the bid notice.

The motion passed unanimously.

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

  1. There will be no RRPC meetings in the months of July and August.

  2. He said the RRPC recently approved an application for a Verizon cell tower in the Town of Proctor just over the line with Rutland Town.

  3. He told the Board that the RRPC is working on an Energy Policy, which he said will help some in the siting of solar facilities. Mr. Sherman said the best thing that would help the Town is zoning with strong clear language regarding solar energy. He told the Board that the RRPC has did not expect to received so many solar requests.

Mr. Chioffi suggested Mr. Sherman submit the Town SFSS to the RRPC for consideration as they develop their policy.

Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Roadside mowing is underway. He told the Board that two passes will be made on every road to get things partially mowed. He said there would be more mowing in the month of September.

  2. Shoulder work associated with summer paving is almost complete.

  3. Informed the Board that he had received a request from the Vermont State Fair to do some mowing using Town equipment at the fair grounds. Mr. Hathaway said it would take about three hours to do the work. Mr. Hathaway said either he or Mr. Walter Tripp would donate their time to do the work.

    Mr. Dicton said he has a concern regarding a Town employee being hurt while doing work off hours rather than during working hours, because an employee would be covered by our insurance. He said if the work were done at another time the Town would not be covered.

    Mr. Hawley said as long as the Town has insurance coverage he does not have a problem with the request. Mr. Faignant said he does not think the Board can donate money to private causes outside the Town. Mr. Hawley cited the community nature of the request.

    Mr. Faignant said the Board should ask the tax payers if we should be spending money outside of the Town. Mr. Zingale expressed a concern whether the Town's insurance coverage would extend beyond the town. Mr. Hathaway said the Town would be using public equipment to do private work. Mr. Hathaway cited the fact that the Town of Rutland only owns half of the mower. He said the Town of Clarendon owns the other half.

    Mr. Chioffi said he made the request because he is trying to save his men, who are trying to mow the area with brush hogs. Ms. Ashcroft encouraged anyone with the needed equipment to contact the Fair Association.

  4. He told the Board he would contact Ms. Pennington and inform her as to what the Town will be doing about her drainage problem.

Ms. Ashcroft suggested the Board have a speaker phone installed in the Board meeting room, which would be used by Town officials not able to attend the meeting. Mr. Zingale will get a phone installed.

Mr. Zingale informed the Board that the Planning Commission and Regional Planner Mr. Ed Bove are updating the Town Plan. He told the Board that the Planning Commission intends to incorporate the new SFSS into the new Town Plan to be considered for re adoption.

Board members discussed the the fact that several Town officials listed on the Select Board agenda have not been attending meetings. Mr. Zingale will prepare a letter reminding Town officials they should be attending Board meetings.

Town Police Chief Mr. Ed Dumas reported:

These are the stats of the Rutland Town Police Department within the past two week period.

-Calls for service within the two week period: 37

- Total calls year to date in 2014: 463

- Total calls year to date in 2013: 185

-Types of calls assigned
Safety Hazard, Agency Assist, Animal Problem, Citizen Assist, Motor Vehicle Crash with Bodily Injury, Vicious Animal, Motor Vehicle Crash Property Damage Only, Trespassing, Residential / Business Alarms, VIN Inspections, Motor Vehicle Complaints, Threatening, Thefts, 911 Hang up, Found Property and Suspicious Person / Circumstances.

Closed Cases: 34

  1. Chief Dumas: 21.5

  2. Captain Washburn: 58.5

  3. Officer Gamble: 40

Total number of Admin hours: 35

  1. Chief Dumas: 29.5

  2. Captain Washburn: 5.5

3. Officer Gamble: 0

Special announcements:

Rutland Town PD has purchased a LIDAR speed enforcement unit. It should be here around July 23rd, 2014. Rutland Town PD is also looking into a grant to possibly purchase a License Plate Reader (LPR). An LPR unit is used for traffic enforcement for locating suspended drivers, expired registrations, stolen vehicles and other motor vehicle related violations.

Mr. Dumas told the Board he is considering purchasing a plate-reader device, which would alert officers to vehicles with violations, stolen vehicles, wanted individuals as well as other information. Mr. Dumas said he will research to see whether there is any grant money available. Mr. Dumas said he does not no the cost of a plate reader.

Mr. Dumas told the Board that the he does not know the status of the new cruisers. Ms. Hyjek thanked Captain Ted Washburn for his assistance in resolving the recipient of a check, which the Town incorrectly received.

Ms. Ashcroft asked Chief Dumas the number of open police cases. Mr. Dumas said he would have to get back to Ms. Ashcroft with the information.

Town Recreation Director, Mr. Michael Rowe reported:

  1. The pool will be closing on August 24th.

  2. Soccer registration will begin the first week in August

  3. The 4th of July Fire works went well. Mr. Rowe said the concession stand made a decent amount of profit. Mr. Rowe thanked the Police and Fire Departments for their assistance.

Town Administrator, Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:

  1. The Public Hearing for the Solar Facility Siting Standards Town Plan Amendment is scheduled for August 12, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. Informed the Board that copies have been sent to the Town Clerk and Planning Commission.

  2. Informed the Board that Town Resident Mr. Charlie Flanders had inquired as to whether the Board will allow groSolar to cut the native vegetation in the Town road right-of-way.

    Board members, Mr. Zingale and Mr. Hathaway discussed the matter. Mr. Faignant said a permit would be require to cut within the r-o-w. he cited the fact that groSolar has yet to receive permission for highway access.

Mr. Hathaway cited the fact that landowners along the Cold River Road may own to the center of the road. Ms. Ashcroft said the Town needs to be careful.

Mr. Hawley instructed Mr. Zingale to get someone to inspect all of the Town's roofs for possible hale damage.

Mr. Faignant moved to close the meeting at 9:56 P.M. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.