MINUTES: August 12, 2014

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

The meeting opened at 6:50 P.M with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Board reviewed the minutes of July 29, 2014. Ms. Ashcroft moved to approve the July 29, 2014 minutes with corrections. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3-0. Mr. Chioffi abstained from the vote.

Mr. Hawley informed the public that Mr. Mike Rowe, the Town Recreation Director and Select Board member Mr. John Paul Faignant will not be present at the meeting. Mr. William Matteson told the Board that he is representing Town Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Andy Mc Kane, who will not be present.

Mr. Chioffi inquired if a previously authorized letter had been sent to Town officials regarding their attendance. Mr. Hawley said the letter had been sent.

There were no questions from the floor.

Town Clerk & Treasurer Ms. Donna Zeller reported:

  1. Informed the Board that she and the assistant Town Clerk participated in election training involving the voting machines the previous week.

  2. Informed the Board that the previous night she attended an election training put on by the State of Vermont. Ms. Zeller told the Board she will look into positing election results via the internet versus mailing the results into Montpelier.

  3. Told the Board election guides are available at her office for anyone that will be working the election.

  4. Informed the Board that Absentee ballots are being requested for the upcoming election.

  5. Told the Board that August 20th is the last day to register to vote.

  6. Reminded the Board that the next Board meeting would be August 25th and not the 26th due to the election.

  7. Informed the Board that Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale, had given her a invoice from Black River Design, for a check that is already cut and is waiting and she asked how she should proceed.

    Ms. Zeller said there is a note from former Town Clerk Marie Hyjek stating she can not release the check until she has Select Board approval. Ms. Zeller said the check is dated June 19, 2014 and would be invalid at 90 days.

    Ms. Ashcroft said there will probably be a Board of Civil Authority meeting after the election to deal with some of the election law changes. She said the Board will have to develop a couple of policies.

  8. Ms. Zeller told the Board that recently she and the Assistant Town Clerk spent a couple of hours determining how land is to be posted in response to a residents request. Mr. Hawley told Ms. Zeller she should have asked Mr. Zingale since he has dealt with such matters in the past. Ms. Zeller said the request was made in the middle of the day.

Mr. William Matteson, Town Representative to SWAC reported:

  1. Told the Board that he and Mr. Zingale would address the recent correspondence from Ms. Pam Clapp regarding information needed for the re-write of the SWAC Solid Waste Plan.

    Mr. Matteson cited the fact the Town's proposed share would be about $2,800.00. Mr. Matteson said the Town's share would have been less had the Town of Fair haven participated. He said the Town of Fair Haven could not participate because their Town Plan has expired.

  2. Mr. Matteson informed the Board that the Town Plan re-adoption is scheduled for September 4, 2014.

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

  1. No meeting, No report.

Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Told the Board he has completed his road work associated with the planned paving and reclaim of the Cold River Road. Mr. Hathaway said he hopes to have Wilk begin paving on September 10, 2014. Mr. Hathaway said there will be traffic delays associated with the paving work and he encourage motorist to use alternate routes when the Cold River Road is being paved.

  2. Informed the Board that he had rented an excavator to remove ledge along the Cold River Road in order to widen the shoulder as part of the complete streets program. He said the work created two to three feet wide road shoulders.

  3. Mr. Hathaway told the Board he will soon place a large order to purchase various governmental road signs. He inquired if the Board would have a problem if he does business with an out-of-state company.

    Mr. Hathaway said the out-of-state company is $2,000.00 cheaper than Vermont Correctional industries for the same order. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to go with the low bidder. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Mr. Hathaway said he should have word before the next meeting weather the Town will receive State funds for the proposed Post Road sidewalk extension.

Town Fire Chief Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:

  1. Chief Cioffi informed the Board that problems with the garage door openers at the new Fire Station have been repaired. Mr. Cioffi said the motors had to be rewired because it was not up to the manufactures installation requirements. Mr. Cioffi said the expense should be covered because the wiring should have been done to the manufacturers recommendations.

  2. Mr. Cioffi told the Board that an abutting landowner to the Joseph J. Denardo Fire Station, has informed him that he will soon lease an apartment to family with three little boys. Mr. Chioffi said the landowner is concerned with the steep bank on the Fire Station property. Chief Cioffi said the apartment owner would like the Town to something.

    Mr. Dicton said the Board has discussed the matter and now needs to expedite the matter. Mr. Dicton said he would like to move forward on doing what the Board previously discussed. Mr. Hawley said he agreed.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to authorize Chief Cioffi to find the proper fence people to help us out and remedy the wall with the neighbor issue with a fence. There was more discussion. Mr. Dicton said the fence should be whatever is standard for boundaries. Mr. Dicton said Mr. Chioffi should get a couple of prices.

    Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. Mr. Hawley asked Mr. Hathaway to get a price for a Tree company for removal of trees behind the station. Mr. Hawley said he has a meeting scheduled for Thursday with Chief Cioffi to discuss outstanding issues. Mr. Hawley said he has already discussed some of the issues with Mr. Dicton and that there would be a report at the next meeting.

    Mr. Hawley recommended the Board pay the individual who has rented the Fire department space with Town funds rather than wait for the Insurance company to pay the bill. Ms. Ashcroft and Mr. Chioffi agreed with Mr.Hawley. Mr. Hawley called for the motion for the fence at the Fire Station. The motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Ashcroft moved to pay from Town funds subject to reimbursement, the rental for the temporary relocation of the Fire department. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. Mr. Zingale cited the fact that a Town business is also waiting for payment from the Insurance. Mr. Zingale explained that Rob Stubbins Electric at the Town's request did work at the station and has not been paid. Mr. Hawley said Stubbins should also be paid and Board members agreed.

    Board members discussed the matter. Mr. Hawley cited the fact that Stubbins is a small business, which is not under the general contractor's umbrella. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Chief Cioffi informed the Board that the ISO company will be evaluating the Town at the end of August. Mr. Cioffi said an ISO evaluation was last done 10 years ago. He said he would be begin to gather insurance information.

    Mr. Cioffi said ISO is a rating firm, which determines and sets the Town's Insurance Fire rating. Mr. Cioffi said a good report from ISO would result in lower fire insurance cost for those with fire insurance in the Town.

    Mr. Zingale informed Chief Cioffi that a recent inspection of the roof at the new station shows some hail damage. Mr. Zingale will notify VLCT of the possible damage.

    Mr. Dicton told Chief Cioffi that he and Mr. Hawley have discussed putting a fall restraint in the hose tower. Mr. Dicton said even though Mr. Hawley feels a restraint is not required, they agreed it should be installed. Mr. Cioffi said he is looking into the matter.

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: 21

Total calls year to date in 2014: 519

-Types of calls assigned

Theft, Residential / Commercial alarm, Traffic Hazard, 911 Hang up, Agency Assist, Suspicious Person / Circumstances, Animal problem, Motor Vehicle Complaint, Motor Vehicle Crash, Vandalism, VIN Inspection and Welfare Check.

Closed Cases: 24

  1. Chief Dumas: 8.5

  2. Captain Washburn: 63.5

  3. Officer Gamble: 40

Total number of Admin hours: 50.5

  1. Chief Dumas: 42

  2. Captain Washburn: 8.5

  1. Officer Gamble: 0

Special announcements:

The new cruisers are in. The Rutland Town Police Department asks the Select board to authorize the Town Treasurer to cut a check for $19,000.00 to Foster Motors so we can pick up the cruisers. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to authorize a check not to exceed $19,000.00 for the purchase of the new cruisers. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion.

Mr. Chioffi said that because time is of the essence in the matter, he suggested that Chief Dumas be given a blanket authorization to make purchases which are with in the budget approved by the Board. Mr. Dumas said it is estimated to cost $5,000.00 per vehicle for new equipment at Wells Communication in upstate New York.

Mr. Dumas said it will be less than $3,000.00 for two vehicle for logos. Mr. Chioffi said the Town will pay for two vehicles and that there would be no charge for the third vehicle. Mr. Hawley said everything discussed has been authorized. Mr. Chioffi made a motion that Chief Dumas be authorized to spend within his budget the amounts required to get the job done. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Dumas told the Board that the Rutland Town Police Department will be participating in the upcoming Labor Day D.U.I. Campaign. The Campaign is being conducted by agencies across the State of Vermont and the Country. There will be an increase in Law Enforcement prescience across the county so Town residents should expect to see officers from all agencies around the county patrolling Rutland Town. The Rutland Town Police Department reminds people if you drink and drive you will be arrested.

Town Recreation Director, Mr. Michael Rowe reported:

  1. The Town pool will close on either August 23rd or the 24th.

  2. Soccer registration is ongoing.

Mr. Hawley called the Solar Facility Siting Standards (SFSS) Town Plan Amendment Public Hearing to order.

Ms. Ashcroft acknowledged that the Board has received an e-mail from Regional Planner Ed Bove in which he suggest the Board check to see that the SFSS address

not locating ground mounted solar facilities in fluvial erosion hazard areas as identified on the Town of Rutland FEMA Map.

Ms. Ashcroft said it appears the proposed amendment addresses the concerns cited by Mr. Bove. Mr. Matteson said the recommended language is in the Town Plan proposed to be readopted next month.

Town resident Mr. Philip Allen, who is co-owner of Same Sun of Vermont, addressed those in attendance and presented several photos to illustrate the various points he made.

Mr. Allen showed photos of properties in Town as well as photos of solar power generation. Mr. Allen said he would much rather look at a solar panels than the properties he presented.

Mr. Allen made the following comments:

Ms. Ashcroft asked Mr. Allen if he is aware that the Board eliminated the very wide set backs and substituted landscaping. He said he does not think the Board will succeed.

Town resident Mr. Mark Foley Jr. made the following comments:

Ms. Ashcroft announced that the Town Plan re adoption public hearing is scheduled for September 4, 2014. Ms. Ashcroft said after the Town Plan is adopted the Board would turn to zoning.

Town resident Pat Hunter made the following comments:

Town resident and representative to SWAC ,Mr. William Matteson said:

Town resident Mr. Jerry Hansen made the following comments:

Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale told the Board that in the past 10 years he is aware of three individuals who attempted to purchase the land but were unsuccessful. He said the individuals were interested in the land for housing and level 3 care.

Town resident and Green Mountain Power employee, Mr.Steve Costello, read a letter prepared by Susan and Marv Elliott, who could not attend the meeting. The Elliott's letter cited setback requirements from historic properties and screening requirements as signaling out solar development from other development in town. The Elliott letter was strongly in favor of solar development.

Mr. Costello informed the Board regarding a solar project to be built on the former City landfill. He said Green Mountain Power has received national attention for the proposed project. He said the project will cost $10 million dollars to build.

Ms. Ashcroft said the upcoming Town Plan Public Hearing will include the Land Use Map and the designated districts. She said the Town will be looking for input as to where development can and can not occur.

Rutland City resident Mr. Chris Wetherby asked for clarification regarding a statement made by Mr. Matteson regarding the Town Plan amendment up for adoption and the re adoption of the Town Plan scheduled for next month.

Mr. Allen told those in attendance that depending on the size of a solar project some have to go through Act 250 and others go through Act 248. He said he needs to get a certificate of public good and that anything mounted in the ground requires going through the Historical Society.

Mr. Allen said when he is trying to get an Act 250 permit he is required to notify all neighbors of the solar proposal. He said people are notified before hand.

Mr. Zingale inquired as to Mr. Allen's statement that some solar projects need an Act 250 permit. Mr. Allen said he was referring to the 248 process. Mr. Matteson said the two proceeding are very different.

Town resident Ms. Marsha Cassel made the following comments:

Town resident and neighbor to the proposed Cold River Road solar project, Mr. David Fucci, made the following comments:

Town resident and Town representative to the RRPC, Mr. Sherman Hunter, made the following comments:

Mr. Zingale told those in attendance that the main difference between Act 248 and Act 250 is that an abutter can appeal an Act 250 permit and an abutter to an Act 248 proceeding can not appeal the permit.

Town resident, Mr. Roy Pilcher, made the following comments:

Mr. Chris Wetherby made the following comments:

Mr. Chioffi made the following comments:

Mr. Dicton told the public that he will continue to recuse himself from the solar discussion.

Mr. Costello said if section 2 which Mr. Chioffi does not like is removed than the section above it would suggest that no part of the solar development be visible from a residence within 500 feet of a project.

Mr. Allen asked Board members for their evidence, that people other than those who live near the Cold River Road site, opposed solar development. He asked the Board how they know the community does not want to see solar arrays.

Mr. Chioffi said the Town's responsibility is to provide a document and framework that will regulate the entire town and not just the Cold River Road. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that agricultural parcels of land in town, are surrounded by residences. He said residents have told him they do not want to see solar development on agricultural land.

Mr. Chioffi said he is told all the time by people who have moved to Rutland Town that they did so because they love to look at open and farmed fields. He said they do not say they moved to town because they like to look at solar fields.

Ms. Ashcroft said the Board needs everyone's input in the Town Plan and zoning adoption process. Ms. Ashcroft cited the proposed gas pipe line and DC transmission line, which are both proposed to go through the town. She said the two need to be put in the appropriate locations in town.

Mr. Costello asked if the Board had considered removing the 500 foot set back requirement from historic buildings. No Board member said they planned to remove the 500 foot requirement. Mr. Chioffi said no development should take place within 500 of a historic property. Mr. Chioffi said is should be removed if it does not apply to all development and not just solar.

Mr. Hawley declared the meeting closed. Mr. Hawley said the Board would schedule another meeting and work on the proposed SFSS.

Town Administrator, Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

Ms. Ashcroft announced that the Town and City Intermunicipal committee will meet at City Hall on August 19th at 5:00 P.M. She said the Cold River Road solar project will be heard by the Public Service Board on August 20 through August 22.

Mr. Hawley said the Board will meet next on Monday the 25th of August.

Mr. Dicton moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 P.M. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.