TOWN OF RUTLAND
SELECT BOARD MEETING
AUGUST 18, 2009
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Board members present: Richard DelBianco, Joseph Dicton, James Hall, Stanley Rhodes III and Josh Terenzini.
Review of the 8/4/2009 Minutes
Mr. Hall corrected the name of Earth Waste Systems on page four. Mr. Hall motioned to accept the minutes with this change. Mr. Dicton seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Questions from the Floor
Howard Burgess, Town Lister, wanted to update the Board on the appraisal grievances. The grievance hearings are complete and numbered about 370. Mr. Burgess and Mr. Davis, another Town Lister, have been working evenings and Saturdays reviewing the notes and determining a possible outcome. The market on residential property has been declining and some people brought in appraisals they had done that reflected this. Therefore, the Listers are exploring whether or not to do an across the board adjustment to all residential properties, yet Mr. Burgess said that would be concerned about the CLA (Common Level Appraisal) if this is done. Mr. Dicton asked if there were commercial properties that grieved and Mr. Burgess said there were but the commercial properties did not escalate over the last few years like the residential properties.
Mr. Burgess has been talking to the Town attorney, Kevin Brown, and the State concerning adjustments. Notices need to be sent to taxpayers on the outcome of their grievances. If an across the board change is made to residential properties, then there would need to be a town wide mailing and everyone would have fourteen days to appeal again, thereby extending the waiting time for finalizing the Grand List and the ability to print tax bills. Any grievances after a town wide adjustment would have to be handled only by the Listers or the Town would have to pay the Wright Company more money. The current best guess on the timing of printing tax bills is three to five weeks.
Recreation – Rick DelBianco
Mr. DelBianco wanted to thank Burt McMahon for donating his time to install shelves at Northwood.
Chad Benz, a former major league player, wants to have a clinic at Northwood starting Sunday, 9/6/2009, that will last about six weeks until the weather turns. Mr. DelBianco asked for approval to do this. He also asked if the usual $150 fee should be charged. The Board was agreeable to both items.
There will be a PTO Golf Tournament fund raiser and the Recreation Department is looking for player. It will be held Monday. 9/14/2009. They are also looking for prizes to be donated, for example, autographed balls and bats.
Mr. DelBianco said that he reminded the Littler Softball League that they still owed $1500 to the Town for use of Dewey Field.
The Rutland Town Pool has been closed and many residents were not pleased with this. However, most of the lifeguards and other workers were getting ready to head back to school so there would not have been enough workers to keep it open another week.
Someone broke into the pool and removed the cover on Monday night, 8/17. Luckily, nothing appeared to be damaged. Mr. Rhodes suggested that Jim Hall and Josh Terenzini take a walk through to check things out.
Soccer sign-ups are in progress and soccer will start up the week of 8/24. It is early this year due to being under the guidance of Rutland City/
Mr. DelBianco said he would hold a close up meeting was soon as all Recreation Commissioners are available.
Mr. DelBianco said he would put in his resignation as soon as another person is ready to take over. He said that the other Commissioners would probably take turns coming to the Select Board meetings.
Solid Waste Alternative Communities (SWAC)– Charlie Shields
No meeting; no report.
Rutland Regional Transportation Council – Charlie Shields
No meeting; no report.
Rutland Regional Planning Commission – Fred Nicholson
No meeting; no report.
Highway Department – Byron Hathaway
Mr. Hathaway reported that they have cleaned up after paving and there are still a couple of drainage projects to be taken care of and then they will be on general maintenance.
The Park and Ride signs are available to be put up on Route 4 and in the parking lot.
Mr. Hathaway has to work on grant paperwork and financials for the bridge on McKinley Avenue.
The Select Board had invited all winter maintenance sub-contractors to the meeting to discuss issue and routes. The Hubbard Brothers were unable to attend but Tony Flory, The Quirk Brothers and Mr. McKirryher were present.
There was a lively discussion concerning the changing of routes. The Quirk Brothers did not want to change routes after forty years. Mr. Hathaway said he felt they used too much salt and that it would be easier for sub-contractors to plow closer to their own home area. He also said his decision as Road Commissioner should stand since the taxpayers had voted him in to run the Highway Department and he doesn’t’ think the Select Board needs to micro manage. Mr. Shields spoke up as a taxpayer and said he agreed with Mr. Hathaway.
Don Quirk said one reason he didn’t want to take over Post Road was because of past issues with well contamination. Mr. Zingale said that there should no longer be an issue since those wells at risk are now on public water. Mr. Quirk said he was expecting more reports from Mr. Hathaway during the last winter season and they only got one at the end of the season which he felt was too late. He also said that he felt that Mr. Hathaway had an agenda to buy more town trucks and hire fewer sub-contractors.
Mr. Rhodes said he would like to meet with Mr. Hathaway and Mr. Hall at a later date to discuss the issue further. Mr. DelBianco said he felt the discussion should have been in executive session.
There was no one present to represent the Fire Department.
Planning Commission – Bill Matteson
Mr. Matteson reported that Ann Marie Dickinson is in the process of a sub-division on Route 3 and that the Planning Commission is planning on a site visit on Thursday, August 20th, prior to their regular meeting.
Police Department – Chief John Sly
Chief Sly reported that the annual roller ski climb was held and there was a good turn-out.
He reported that there was a dog bite incident on 8/17 and that the dog involved has had four other such incidents. The dog was off leash and not under the owner’s control on each occasion. Chief Sly is investigating and will prepare a report for the Select Board along with his recommendation. The dog owner lives in Wallingford and Chief Sly said that it is possible for the Town to go to Superior Court to get an injunction to bar the dog from Rutland Town.
Chief Sly said he received a letter from a Town resident expressing a concern about a conflict of interest if Chief Sly investigates a city officer. Mr. Sly said that there is help available to the Town in such cases from the State Police and the Sheriff’s Department. They are particularly helpful in major crime cases as they have more resources.
Mr. Dicton asked about the dog shooting in the Town. Chief Sly said that he was not on duty the evening of the incident but that an official report will be given to the Board after an investigation.
Officer Faignant reminded people to watch their driving speed and mentioned in particular the newly paved roads.
Mr. Rhodes asked that Officer Dumas attend an occasional Select Board meeting.
Mr. Hall asked who to contact if he felt someone was burning without a permit. Chief Sly said the Town Police could come and check to see if a permit was issued.
Mr. Flory asked who was in charge of closing the gates at Northwood Mr. Rhodes said it was typically the last coach off the field. Mr. Flory said the gates are not being locked and people are bringing in their brush at night.
Town Clerk/Treasurer – Marie Hyjek
Ms. Hyjek reported that the Town received $184,000 from the State for the Local Options Tax for the second quarter.
Mr. Lloyd has collected money for delinquent taxes reducing the amount from $269,000 to $60,000.
The tax bills are on hold pending the finalization of a new Grand List. Ms. Hyjek has worked with the bank to secure a loan to operate the Town in the meantime.
The Herald contract is on hold until Ms. Hyjek can get together with Mr. Terenzini.
Ms. Hyjek has talked to the CPA that Mr. Dicton recommended for Town Audits. It was decided that this year is not the time to change auditors. However, Ms. Hyjek said that it could be looked at for the next year if the Select Board so chooses.
The cost for the Town audit with A.M. Peisch is $14,300 with another $200 possible out of pocket expense. The cost for the School audit is $11,000.
Mr. Hall motioned to approve the audit with A.M. Peisch and Mr. DelBianco seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Hyjek had provided some figures to Mr. Dicton on the amount of money available to upgrade the Transfer Station. There is about $2,000 which won’t cover the major items that need addressing. Mr. Dicton has a list of smaller items that Mr. Zingale will put in the Rutland Herald for bids. Mr. Zingale added that the rails at the Transfer Station that were discussed at the last meeting do not fall under OSHA regulations per the State. Mr. Dicton said he would like to check with the insurance company on this.
Town Administrator – Joseph Zingale Jr.
Mr. Zingale provided the Board with paperwork that the State would like the Town to sign off on concerning the construction that was done on Route 7N. Mr. Zingale advised that this could be liability as the Town could be sued if anything went wrong in that area. It was discussed that perhaps the paperwork could be signed but with a written disclaimer.
The State does not have any Planning grants available this year.
Mr. Zingale received a request from Hans Ettinger for a street sign for his development off the East Pittsford Road. The Town does not usually assign one unless there are at least three houses on the road and in this case there are only two. The two homes are having trouble with UPS deliveries. Mr. Zingale also said that Mr. Ettinger does not want “Place” after the name of the street even though this is typical of streets that are privately owned or unapproved. Mr. Ettinger asked for the Name of Thistle Hill. Mr. Zingale said that for 911 purposes it is considered part of the East Pittsford Road. The Board felt that there was no need to deviate from the usual procedures at this time. Chief Sly said he thought that the residents could name the street themselves at their own expense.
There will be a ribbon cutting on Thursday, 8/27, at 10:30 A.M. at the new Hillside Market owned by Mr. Dicton and the Board is invited. The Chamber of Commerce will also be there. Mr. Dicton said he will double check on the date and time with the Chamber.
Mr. Zingale asked the Board about whether he should send out the sewer allocation letters as discussed at the last meeting. MR. Rhodes said he would prefer to wait on a decision when the whole Board is present.
Mr. Zingale spoke to the Hubbards about the proposal from New England Quality Services of a 60/40 split with the Town on metal revenue. He said the Hubbards may respond in their yearly contract proposal for re-cycling service in October.
Chris Wilk has submitted a flood hazard application but needs more information on it per Peter Andrews of Stantec.
Mr. Zingale reported that the Town has received the first payment on the sewer non-payment issue from REDC. Mr. Zingale added that he would like to apologize for his wording at the last meeting concerning this and said he did not mean to offend anyone.
A letter was received from Mike and Linda Leonard who live on the West Proctor Road. They are having problems with water drainage into their driveway and garage. Mr. Hathaway said this is caused by wheel ruts funneling the water in their direction. A berm was tried in the front of his driveway but Mr. Leonard didn’t like it and Mr. Hathaway removed it. Mr. Dicton suggested that Mr. Hathaway get together with Mr. Leonard again to work out a solution.
Mr. Zingale reported on research he did for an eagle to put on top of the monument in from of the Town office. The least expensive quality eagle is bronze, six feet high and would cost about $3,000. The Board said to put it on hold for now as fund raising may be needed. Mr. Matteson suggested a marble finial and Mr. DelBianco will check on the price of this.
Dues need to be paid to the Vermont Coalition of Municipalities. Mr. Hall said he felt that this organization has been helpful in keeping the tax rate down. Mr. Hall motioned to pay the dues to the Vermont Coalition of Municipalities and Mr. Dicton seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board reviewed the rules for hiring a Recreation Commissioner.
Mr. DelBianco motioned to approve sending a letter of approval signed by Chairman Rhodes to The Bus for adding another vehicle. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board received a timber harvest update from Bob Burt. Mr. Zingale said that Mr. Burt would be in to see the Board in one month.
The Board received an offer to possibly lower the Town’s interest rate on its sewer loan but Ms. Hyjek said she didn’t think there were enough payments left to bother with refinancing. She will check to see just how many payments there are left.
The State is contemplating having a grant fund for people to repair their septic systems.
John Sly is to investigate a claim that $250 in traffic revenue is owed to the City.
Mr. DelBianco heard from a resident on West Ridge Terrace that the pavement is breaking up on that road. Mr. Hathaway said it was paved tow seasons ago.
Mr. Zingale reminded the Board that a new procedure needs to be formed for collecting sewer revenue from the Airport Industrial Park. In order to do this a meeting should be set up with Rutland City as the City reads the meters. The Board authorized Mr. Zingale to set something up.
Mr. Hall motioned to end the meeting. Mr. Dicton seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 9:05 P.M.