MINUTES: September 10, 2013

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

The Meeting opened at 6:30 P.M.

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

Mr. Faignant and Board members acknowledged and congratulated Mr. Rhodes for turning 55 years old.

Mr. Chioffi cited the following grammar corrections:

Page 1, 3rd full paragraph. Change to “as opposed”. Same page, two paragraphs from that, add “an”. Page 2, third paragraph add “nor”. Page 5, Police report, change to “closed”. Third paragraph in Mike Rowe's report, change to “spoken”. Page 6, midway down, change to “who”. Page 7, 2nd to last question, changed to “provided”. Next sentence, changed to “who”. Page 8, 4th up from the bottom, change to “from”. Last paragraph, correct spelling is “censure”. Page 9, 2nd paragraph, change to “four”. Under the Ms. Hyjek paragraph, change to “gives”. Page 10, 3rd paragraph “ that he has left elected officials with no choice other than to either not sign it...”

Mr. Hawley cited page 2, 3rd paragraph from the bottom, and said he is not sure Mr. Rhodes made the second to the motion. Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr., said he thought it was Mr. Rhodes that made the second to the motion. The Board discussed the matter and took no action.

Mr. Hawley made a motion to accept the minutes with corrections. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Informed the Board that representatives from VLCT will attend the 9-24-13 meeting and will give a 45 minute presentation as to how the new State Insurance will effect municipal employees. Mr. Rhodes asked if all of the employees had been notified. Ms. Hyjek said they have been notified to be at the meeting. Ms. Hyjek said town employees will have the option to join either Blue Cross Blue Shield or MVP. Mr. Dicton questioned if the Town is covered under the VLCT umbrella. Ms. Hyjek said the Town is not covered by VLCT.

  2. Told the Board she would wait until later in the week to download new revised tax bills. She told the Board that all of the individuals with the revised bills would be penalized because they filed late.

  1. Transportation Council & SWAC: Mr. Charles Shields reported:

    Reminded town residents that the next Household House Hazardous Waste collection will be on October 19, 2013. Mr. Shields said Town residents are doing a good job recycling their household waste.

Mr. Chioffi told Mr. Shields that it would be good if he gave his report from the table so the people at home can hear what he has to say. Mr. Chioffi said he is sure town residents did not hear what Mr. Shields had to say, because he did not speak into a microphone. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact Mr. Shields often announces dates for events.

    Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

    1.Roadside mowing is complete.

  1. The Tractor is with Clarendon so they can finish their mowing.

  2. Have begun updating road signs.

  3. Discussed an e-mail from Mr. Pete Chase regarding the Quarterline Road. Mr. Rhodes questioned what advantage there would be to making a photograph of the Quarterline Road. Mr. Hathaway said it could be done a lot quicker and simpler. Mr. Hathaway said based on the Quarterline Road layout of Timothy Boardman of 1763, the Quarterline Road is a straight line. He said based on aerial photography the Quarterline Road is not straight. Mr. Hathaway said the extent of the right of way needs to be know before he begins digging. Mr. Hathaway suggested the Board discuss the Quarterline Road R-O-W with Mr. Chase. Mr. Hathaway said Mr. Chase could give the Board an estimate as to what it might cost to determine where everything is located. Mr. Hathaway said he doesn't have the money in his budget to pay for any research. He suggested the Board talk to Mr. Chase and come up with a budget item for next year. Mr. Hathaway will talk to Mr. Chase and report back to the Board.

  4. Informed the Board that beavers have plugged up the 4' culvert that goes under Post Road near the sub station. Mr. Hathaway said he has permission from the game Warden to trap the beavers. Mr. Hathaway said he is working with Mr. Don Isabelle to trap the beavers.

    Mr. Dicton cited a letter, which the Board received, commending the Town for the excellent roadside grass cutting. Mr. Dicton said it was a good move to purchase the mower, which Mr. Hathaway purchased for the Town.

Mr. Rhodes asked those in attendance to rise for a moment of silence for the memory of lifelong town resident and member of the Town Fire Department Mr. Steve Pulling, who recently passed away. All stood in silence in memory of Mr. Pulling.

Mr. Chioffi reported to the Board regarding a meeting he attended pertaining to building a natural gas pipeline to Middlebury, Vermont and possibly to Rutland. He told the Board that Vermont Natural Gas Systems (VNGS) is in the application procedure for extending their line from Chittenden County to Addison County. He told Board members that VNGS made the presentation at the Rutland Chamber of Commerce. He said the presentation was very well done. Mr. Chioffi said it was precise and accurate.

Mr. Chioffi also commented:

    Chief Ed Dumas reported:

    1. There have been 253 calls for service this year.

    2. There were 17 call for service this week.

    3. 15 cases were closed.

    4. There were two arrest made for retail theft & driving license suspended.

    5. There were 6 vehicle stops, 3 tickets were issued, for a total fine of $704.00.

    6. A total of 70 ½ patrol hours, Chief Dumas said he is back on duty and put in 10 hours on patrol.

    7. Chief Dumas inquired whether the Board is going to do anything with the Sheriff's hours, now that he is back on the job. Mr. Dicton said the matter needs to be discussed at some point.

    Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson

        Not present

Recreation Director: Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

  1. Soccer is well underway. Mr. Rowe thanked the coaches for volunteering their time.

  2. The Halloween party will be on October 30th at the Town School for 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

  3. Informed the Board that the diving-board platform was not replace this year. Mr. Rowe submitted a quotes from an individual qualified to do the work. He asked the Board to consider the two quotes. Mr. Rowe said the individual that submitted the two quotes is fully insured. Mr. Rowe said the individual has an extensive list of references.

    Mr. Rowe said the individual would sandblast the equipment and recondition the equipment and receive the same warranty as if it was new. Mr. Rhodes cited the fact there is $70,000.00 in the depreciation fund.

    Mr. Rhodes said he would like the Board to act on the request presently so the diving - board can be installed in the spring. Mr. Dicton said normally the item would have to go out to bid. However, he said it is limited and he questioned if there are any local companies who could do the work.

    Mr. Zingale said if the item is advertised locally it would get picked up by national companies and that the Town could get bids from all over the country. Board members discussed whether the item should be put out to bid. It was decided to advertise the item for bid. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Zingale will write the bid notice.

Mr. Rhodes informed Board members that he and Mr. Rowe had met with Castleton State College (CSC) President Mr. David Wolk regarding CSC constructing an inflatable field house type building next to the Spartan Arena, at the Diamond Run Mall.

Mr. Rhodes said the Rutland City Mayor and the City Recreation Director were also present. Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Wolk requested their attendance because he (Mr. Wolk) wanted to pick the brains of City and Town officials regarding recreation needs. Mr. Rhodes said the facility would include much of what would have been offered at a regional recreation center. Mr. Rhodes said CSC will run the facility and will offer single and family plans regardless of where an individual lives. He said the rate would be the same for all individuals. Mr. Rhodes said there will be basketball courts and a walking track in the facility. Mr. Rowe said the facility will be a tremendous asset to the community.

Mr. Dicton questioned if CSC has specific needs they will be desiring from the use of the facility or whether it is a donation. Mr. Rowe said Town recreation fees might go up in relation to the cost of using the facility. Mr. Rhodes said due to a Town of Castleton zoning height restriction CSC decided to locate the bubble in Rutland Town. Mr. Rowe said CSC will also be using the facility for their many programs.

Mr. Chioffi requested that Mr. Rowe survey town residents to determine approximately how many Town residents would use the facility. Mr. Chioffi said it would be good to know the information as a potential trade off feature. He said the facility is taxable,however, he said because it is also a recreation facility it could come under some special provisions in the Town for recreation.

Mr. Rhodes said the facility is not taxable because it is connected to an educational institution. Mr. Chioffi said if it were taxable the Board cold abate the taxes and make it even more palatable to CSC. Mr. Rowe said said CSC is not out to make money. He said they want to build community relations.

Mr. Rhodes informed Board members that the Fire Department plans to purchase a 95” diagonal smart board for the training room. He said the item would be purchased through the Fire Station bond. Mr. Rhodes said the cost is around $7,700.00 . Mr. Rhodes said the item had been figured into the mix. Mr. Rhodes said he would also like the Board to vote to approve the purchase.

Both Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Dicton raised concerns regarding using unspent money from the Fire Station bond to pay for items such as the smart board. Mr. Faignant moved to approve the request. Mr. Chioffi asked if there is extra money in the bond amount, that was not bid. Mr. Rhodes said that is correct. Ms. Hyjek said the bond was for $1.8 million to allow for additional things. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion.

Mr. Dicton questioned how much money is left from the bond. Mr. Chioffi said his attitude is that we are not going to spend $2 million dollars just because the voters approved $2 million dollars. Mr. Rhodes said the Town bonded for $1.8 million dollars.

Mr. Chioffi said the Board ought to stick as close to the bid amount as possible. Mr. Dicton inquired as to what would happen to any left over bond money. Ms. Hyjek said there would be a discussion with the bond bank regarding left over money. She said left over money can only be used in a certain way.

Ms. Hyjek said the bid was for $1.2 million and that the bond is for $1.8 million. Ms. Hyjek said $7,000.00 has already been spent. She said the $7,700.00 would come from the remaining money. Mr. Chioffi said he is not going to quibble over $7,700.00 given the amount of money that is available. However, he said he does not want to set a precedent that we have a $550,000.00 slush fund. He said it would not be fair to the taxpayer to do so.

Mr. Dicton said he is in favor of getting the white board but that he is not sure this is the proper means to use to get the smart board. Mr. Dicton said the item should come out of the right fund in the Fire Department Budget.

Mr. Dicton said the smart board is a luxury item. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Hawley said it is a planned item. The matter was discussed further. Mr. Rhodes called for the question. The motion passed unanimously.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Reminded the Board they have a joint meeting with the Planning Commission and Town Attorney Mr. Kevin Brown on September 19, 2013 to discuss solar type issues.

  2. Need to schedule a meeting with West Rutland officials regarding the proposed water and sewer line extensions in Center Rutland. Mr. Rhodes will discuss with Mr. Hawley and get back to Mr. Zingale with a date.

  3. Informed the Board that Ms. Meg Horrocks, a town representative to the Rutland Free Library will attend the meeting and give the Board a report.

  4. Informed the Board that the Post Road pump station electrical panel relocation plans are ready to be put out to bid. Mr. Zingale told the Board that according to the engineer who developed the plans, it should take less than 30 days to complete the project. Mr. Zingale said the engineer with Dubois & King recommended a two week bid period.

  5. Mr. Zingale explained why the Board should sign an agreement for $4,500.00 with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) to provide storm water education through pamphlets and hands on public education. Mr. Rhodes read from the proposed agreement. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to appropriate $4,500.00. Mr. Hawley made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Rutland Town Delinquent Tax Collector Dick Lloyd requested an executive session with the Board. Mr. Rhodes said the Board needs a reason to go into executive session. Mr. Lloyd said the reason is because personnel are involved. Mr. Rhodes asked if Town Personnel are involved. Mr. Lloyd said personal property and individuals are involved.

Mr. Lloyd said he would like to discuss the matter in executive session. He said it is in reference to tax sales. Mr. Rhodes asked Mr. Faignant if the matter would qualify for executive session. Mr. Faignant asked if there is litigation with the tax sales. Mr. Lloyd said no, not yet. Mr. Dicton said it is personal information. Mr. Lloyd said he would prefer not to divulge the information in public at this time.

Mr. Rhodes asked if it would be anything other than what would be published in the Town Report. Mr. Lloyd said, yes. Mr. Faignant said if it is personally identifiable information then you would have an executive session on it.

Mr. Hawley made a motion to go into executive session with the Delinquent Tax Collector Dick Lloyd to discuss upcoming tax issues. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Board went back into open session. Mr. Rhodes said one of the parcels of land discussed is a land locked piece of land, that is delinquent with the Tax Collector. Mr. Lloyd said the tax liability is only $291.00. He said the parcel has been in arrears for the past four years. Mr. Lloyd said the parcel is owned by Dream Investment.

Mr. Lloyd said he is unable to locate the primary owner. He told the Board that his letters to the owner have been returned for the past year. He said he can not locate the individual.

Mr. Lloyd said the other parcel is the last lot on the right on Ruth Avenue. He told the Board that DBS Incorporated owns the lot. He said the last know address was in Maine. Mr. Lloyd said he has been unable to reach the owner for the past year. He said $2,026.00 is owed for the past three years.

Mr. Rhodes said at this point you are just keeping the Board informed as to what is going on. Mr. Rhodes asked if Mr. Lloyd would use the statutory remedies that he generally uses to take care of the delinquencies. Mr. Lloyd said that is right.

Mr. Lloyd said he would be meeting with an attorney and that he would turn it all over to the attorney. He said the sale should be complete by the end of October.

Mr. Lloyd said he concerned that the small parcel back of the phone company is really not worth much of anything. Mr. Rhodes said he doubts they would be any bidders other than adjoining property owners. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Chioffi asked if Mr. Lloyd was going to move ahead with the foreclosure process. Mr. Lloyd said he would do so.

Mr. Lloyd said he had a Selectman at the beginning and at the end of the last tax sale he did. Mr. Lloyd said he just wanted to keep the Board abreast of things.

Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Dicton cited previous discussions with Mr. Lloyd regarding his computer equipment. Mr. Dicton cited the age of the computer and the backing up of the material on the computer as a concern. Mr. Chioffi said he and Mr. Lloyd are also concerned.

Mr. Dicton said the Board needs to budget money or find money in order to purchase a new computer for Mr. Lloyd. Mr. Dicton said the computer Mr. Lloyd is using is old and that Mr. Lloyd is worried about the hard drive crashing and then all of the records are problematic.

Mr. Hawley asked if the records could be copied to a flash drive for storage. Mr. Lloyd said the computer is so old they are on a 3.5” floppy disks. Mr. Zingale said it would not be a big deal to copy the data to a removable drive.

Mr. Rhodes said he has no problem budgeting for a computer if the computer stays in the building. Mr. Dicton said he is not so sure about that. Mr. Dicton said it could be the Town's property but that Mr. Lloyd has to take his computer to where ever to have his records with him.

Mr. Lloyd told the Board that NEMRC has a way so people could only look at the information. He said it is called read only. He said if someone calls and asks Ms. Hyjek how much someone owes in taxes, right there, she has the information.

Mr. Chioffi asked Mr. Lloyd if he knows how to copy the information off the individual floppy disks with out having to do one at a time, into the NEMRC system. Mr. Lloyd said Ms. Hyjek will talk to Mr. Ernie Saunders and see if see can work it in down the road. He said apparently the software is all there to do what needs to be done.

Mr. Dicton said number one we have to secure what he has and then see about getting him a new computer. Mr. Chioffi said he does not have any problems buying a laptop as long as the laptop goes with the position of tax collector. Mr. Chioffi said the Board could easily say, your the tax collector go buy your own computer.

Mr. Rhodes cited the fact that the Road Commissioner has a Town laptop computer for culverts and road repairs. Mr. Dicton said there is no difference. Mr. Chioffi said the greater issue is securing the information for the Town in a saveable format, that is accessible so the Town has a back-up.

Mr. Zingale informed the Board that Mr. Hathaway does not take his laptop home. He said Mr. Hathaway keeps the laptop at the salt shed. Mr. Zingale asked Mr. Lloyd if his data is only on floppy disks or on the hard drive.

Mr. Lloyd said it is on the hard drive. Mr. Zingale said it would be easy to connect a removable drive to the computer and copy the data. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Lloyd said a profession should copy the data. Mr. Rhodes told Mr. Zingale that Mr. Dicton did not mean Mr. Zingale is not capable rather he wants someone outside of the Board.

Mr. Chioffi said he would like to get the computer updated and the Board get control of the information. Mr. Zingale said if Mr. Lloyd were to bring his computer into the Town office Mr. Zingale could copy the data. Mr. Lloyd said he would get a professional to copy the data. Mr. Zingale questioned why the Town would pay $80.00 an hour to have the data copied. Mr. Zingale told the Board that he regularly copies data for Town officials in the Town Hall. Mr. Lloyd said he wants to make sure it is done right. Mr. Zingale said he understands computers unlike some of the individuals Mr. Lloyd knows. Mr. Zingale said he is aware Mr. Lloyd has a lot of trouble with computers, which had to be fixed in the past.

Mr. Lloyd said he would have to work with Ms. Hyjek and NEMRC to do the job. He told the Board he has gone over the software with Rutland City Treasurer Ms. Wendy Wilton and it appears to be the same thing we have here. Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Zinagle and Computer EZ would be a involved.

Mr. Zingale told the Board that Mr. Lloyd might need a Fair Point connection to access the NEMRC site. Mr. Dicton and Mr. Zingale discussed the matter and Mr. Dicton said a Fair Point connection should not matter.

Fire Chief: Mr. Joe Denardo reported:

    Not present

Planning Commission: Mr. William Matteson reported:

Not present

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

Mr. Hawley cited a letter sent to the Board for Town resident Ms. Ida Sears congratulating the Town for doing a very good job with road side mowing.

Regarding the language taken from the Town of Waitsfield's Town Plan pertaining to alternative energy, Mr. Chioffi said the Board needs to have further discussion regarding the proposed language. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact the document goes much further than just solar. Mr. Chioffi said he is not comfortable taking a document from Ms. Annette Smith to a meeting and quoting from it.

Mr. Hawley said it is not a one size fits all. He said the Board would have to tweak the document.

The Building committee will review the roof replacement proposal.

Mr. Faignant moved to close the meeting at 8:27 P.M. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.