MINUTES: September 9, 2014

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

The meeting opened at 6:44 P.M with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Board reviewed the minutes of 8-25-14. Ms. Ashcroft pointed out that she had said it would be “unusual” and not “usual” for Act 250 to require an entire building to be screened.

Ms. Ashcroft said the statement “ he will be applying for another grant” should be added to comments made by Mr. Hathaway at the previous meeting. Mr. Hawley cited the fact that the minutes do not show a second to the motion to appoint Mr. Nicholson to be the Town's voting delegate at the annual VLCT meeting. Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr., will research the matter and report back to the Board.

Mr. Faignant moved to approve the 8-25-14 minutes as amended. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Hawley said the Board would vote on the 8-28-14 meeting minutes at the next meeting.

Mr. Hawley informed those in attendance that RRPC representative Mr. Sherman Hunter, would not be attending the meeting. He said according to Mr. Hunter there was no meeting.

Mr. Matteson questioned the Board regarding the status of the Board's policy regarding use of public meeting space. Mr. Hawley said it would be ok for SWAC to continue meeting at the Town Hall but that there would not be any other Town space until the policy is approved by the Board. Ms. Ashcroft passed out copies of the Board's draft meeting policy.

Town Clerk & Treasurer Ms. Donna Zeller reported:

  1. Told the Board that she had received a lot of help from the ballot clerks at the recent election. She thanked Ms. Mary Ashcroft , Mr. Dick Bailey, Mr. Norm Cohen and Mr. Chris Howland for staying and assisting with the write-in ballots.

  2. She told the Board that she was able to electronically file the election results with the Secretary of State the evening of the election.

  3. She told the Board that the entire turnout was 250 voters.

  4. Told the Board she is beginning to prepare for the November 4th General election.

  5. She told the Board there will be a Board of Civil Authority meeting to discuss the November election protocol. Ms. Zeller said she is not Ms. Hyjek and that she is not sure if Ms. Hyjek's policies apply to her or the Town Clerk or anything. She said we would like to set up some guidelines with the BCA.

  6. Ms. Zeller said there may be two tax abatements hearings with the BCA. She said she will try to combine the election protocol meeting with the two hearings.

  7. She informed the Board that the Circle wants to use the Board room on October 2nd to assemble the Circle.

  8. Told the Board taxes are due tomorrow. She said the Town and School finances are in good shape.

Mr. Hawley read a statement regarding the filing of the 2013 Town Grand List and requested a motion to do so. Ms. Ashcroft moved to accept and file the 2013 Grand List. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Ashcroft told Board members that she and Mr. Howland, on election day, wrote a draft policy regarding signs and campaigning at the polls. She said the policy would be shared with BCA members at the next meeting. She said people will be free to comment on the draft policy.

Mr. Dicton and Mr. Hawley cited possible state laws regarding items to be addressed by the new policy. Ms. Zeller said the State allows each municipality and basically the BCA set their own rules.

Mr. Zingale said according to State law a political campaign sign can not be put in front of a public building until the day before the election and that political signs can go in the road r-o-w 2 weeks before the election.

Ms. Zeller said Mr. Zingale was correct but that the Town could regulate the number of signs and how close they can be to the building. She said the State leaves the decision to each town. Ms. Zeller said the draft policy would be sent out with the meeting notice.

Mr. Dicton requested that the Board be sent a copy of State law regarding signs and campaigning at the polls in addition tot he draft policy.

Mr. Matteson question if the grievance process would begin now that the Board has

accepted the Grand List. Ms. Zeller said the Board had earlier approved the 2013 Grand

List. Mr. Chioffi said the grievance process for this year has ended.

He said the grievance issues had to be resolved before the first tax bill is sent out.

Town Representative to SWAC Mr. William Matteson reported:

  1. He requested the Board sign a letter to SWAC stating the Town provides recycling at no charge to Town residents. He said SWAC needs the letter to show the Town is in compliance with the law. Mr. Dicton moved to send a letter to SWAC stating the Town provides recycling at no charge to Town residents and for the Chairman to sign on behalf of the Board. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Mr. Matteson suggested the Town begin providing electronic recycling at the Transfer Station. He said the Town would be paid five cents a pound for the electronic recyclables. He said presently the Town send all electronics to the Rutland County Solid Waste District on Gleason Road. Board members and Mr. Matteson discussed the matter further. Mr. Matteson will do additional research and report back to the Board.

Mr. Zingale informed the Board that Mr. Hathaway (who was not present) had submitted a grant application form for Board consideration. Mr. Hawley read the correspondence prepared by Mr. Hathaway. Mr. Hawley said the total bill would be $27,500.00 but that Town contribution would be less than the total bill. The Board decided to table the grant application until Mr. Hathaway was present to answer questions.

Town Fire Chief Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:

  1. Tree cutting at the station began today.

  2. Mr. Hawley read the three fence bids. The Middlebury fence company bid $4,320.76. Pratico Landscaping bid $3,480.00. Springfield fence bid $3,100.00 Mr. Hawley questioned if the Board wants to accept the Springfield fence bid. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to accept the low bid provided it is according to the specifications. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion.

    Mr. Dicton inquired as to whether the fence would be drilled and pinned to the block. Chief Cioffi said the fence can not be put on the wall due to the fact the wall is so close to the building.

Chief Cioffi said the fence would be on the property line, which results in a 6 to 7 foot buffer between the fence and the building. Mr. Dicton questioned if the Board should have signage placed on the fence stating private property. Mr. Dicton said he is concerned a little kid could get behind the fence then up on the wall.

Mr. Faignant cited the fact there is only a $300.00 difference between the local Pratico bid and the out-of-town Springfield Fence bid and he questioned if Board members want to give preference to the Town businesses.

Ms. Ashcroft inquired as to what the Board has done in the past when the local company is not far off. Mr. Faignant said the Board has been giving the nod to the local company. Mr. Chioffi said it is not right to ask someone to bid and not tell them there are other considerations. The motion failed by a vote of 3 to 2. Mr. Chioffi and Mr. Hawley voted in the negative.

Mr. Faignant made a motion to award the fence bid to Praticos. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 1. Mr. Chioffi voted in the negative.

Mr. Chioffi said if the Board is going to use a bid process or a bid request process that the Board be fair to all bidders unless the low bidder is in Connecticut or Rhode Island. He said it is not fair to the bidding process and sets a dangerous precedence rather than professional bidding.

He said it is an insult to the other bidders if they were not told the Board intends to give the bid to the local bidder even if he isn't the low bid. Mr. Chioffi said for these reasons he voted no.

Mr. Dicton told Board members that he and Mr. Hawley are attempting to separate construction problems associated with the new Fire Station construction into engineering and contractor categories. Chief Cioffi said the deliverables from the engineering firm have not yet been addressed. He said he would bring the information to the Board.

Chief Cioffi reminded Board members that there are still issues both inside the building and the water damage. He said he is making head way but that there will be issues he will not be able to resolve. He said he would bring those issues to the Board.

The Board discussed the Johnson Energy culvert drainage issue. Chief Cioffi said he has referred all questions regarding the Johnson Energy culvert drainage issue to Mr. Hathaway. Mr. Hawley said Chioffi should get Mr. Hathaway and the contractor that installed the culvert, together to correct the situation.

Mr. Zingale informed the Board that the Town had received the final 1% payment request from Black River Design Architects. Mr. Hawley told Mr. Zingale to hold the bill until more items are straightened out regarding the new station.

Town Planning Commission Chairman Mr. Andrew McKane reported:

  1. Mr. McKane cited the fact that all Board members had received a copy of the Planning Commission approved Town Plan 2014. Mr. Hawley said the Board would have to wait a minimum of 30 days before it could hold its first hearing. Mr. Zingale explained why there are no page numbers on the Town Plan document.

  2. Ms. Ashcroft moved to schedule the Board's first Town Plan public hearing for October 9, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. McKane told the Board that the Planning Commission will apply for a grant to work on the Town Plan Land Use map. Mr. McKane said Commissioners feel the Land Use Map needs a lot of work.

Ms. Ashcroft thanked Planning Commissioners for their work on the Town Plan.

Mr. Matteson requested that Mr. McKane be moved up on the Board's agenda.

Town Police Chief Mr. Ed Dumas reported:

These are the stats of the Rutland Town Police Department for the period of August 11th to September 7th.

-Calls for service within this period: 62

- Total calls year to date in 2014: 580

-Types of calls assigned

Suspicious person/ circumstances, 911 Hang-up, Animal Problem, Motor Vehicle Crash, Sex Offender Registry Checks, Motor Vehicle Complaint, Agency Assist, VIN Inspection, Directed Patrol, Burning Complaint, Public Speaking engagement, Residential / Business Alarm, Car Fire, Welfare Check, Background Check, Vandalism and Juvenile Problem.

Closed Cases: 62

  1. Chief Dumas: 40.5

  2. Captain Washburn: 108

  3. Officer Gamble: 72

Total number of Admin hours: 102.5

  1. Chief Dumas: 44.5

  2. Captain Washburn: 36 (19 Admin, 17 Training Hours)

  1. Officer Gamble: 22 (14 admin, 8 Training hours)

Special announcements:

One of the new cruisers has had the equipment installed and will be put on Patrol effective Tuesday September 9th. Captain Washburn will meet with Awesome Graphics to have the graphics applied to the new cruiser and the other Town Cruiser. The other new car is being outfitted with equipment and will be returned to us shortly. Once completed the second cruiser will have the graphics applied.

Chief Dumas told the Board that one of the new cruisers was damaged earlier in the day when a vehicle threw a rock and cracked the windshield. Mr. Dumas said he took down the insurance information. Mr. Faignant said the incident would be considered a road hazard and would not be covered. Chief Dumas said graphics would be put on the new vehicle the following week.

Ms. Ashcroft told chief Dumas that she is happy to see one of his officers attended a domestic violence training program. Chief Dumas said the training is required. Ms. Ashcroft informed Chief Dumas that vehicles are speeding on the Creek Road. Mr. Dumas informed Board members that there is a problem with the Lidar unit. He said the unit was shipped back to be programmed.

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

  1. No meeting, no report.

Town Recreation Director Mr. Mike Rowe reported:

  1. The pool is closed and winterized

  2. The pool filter system will be maintained at the end of the month.

  3. There are approximately 100 children in the K to 6 soccer program.

  4. The annual Halloween party will be at the Town School on October 30, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

  5. Basketball registration will begin in mid October.

  6. Thanked Mr. Zingale for posting soccer information on the WWW.

Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:

  1. Presented a sewer manhole inspection and evaluation contract with the Dufresne Group Consulting Engineers for consideration. Mr. Zingale said the work would involve inspecting a number of Town sewer manholes to determine their condition and whether any repairs are needed.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to approve the request to do the manhole inspections and evaluation to be done by Dufresne Group Consulting Engineers. Mr. Chioffi asked how many days the work would involve. Mr. Zingale said he expects to complete the project in one day.

    Mr. Hawley said the cost for one day would be $1,900.00 or $1,100.00 if the Town provides a person. Mr. Hathaway will try to be available and will discuss with Mr. Zingale. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Informed the Board that he planned to issue the GMP/Carris Reels excavation and construction permit to work within the Old Falls Road right-of-way. Mr. Zingale cited the fact that the permit requires the applicant to pay the Town's legal cost of $637.50.

  3. Mr. Zingale cited the correspondence from the Resource System Group regarding the status of the Farrell Road slip lane permit request.

  4. Mr. Zingale informed Board members that he had met with Mrs. Cunningham regarding the Town's proposed Hitzel Terrace Storm water project. Mr. Zingale said he explained to Mrs. Cunningham that by holding more water in the Town's wetland it would also result in a very small increase in the water level in her yard, which is adjacent to the Town's land. He said Mrs. Cunningham said she would discuss the matter with her husband.

  5. Informed the Board that the Town would soon receive the first bill from the Champlain Construction Company in connection with the Post Road electrical panel relocation. Mr. Zingale said the bill does not reflect the additional paving charge.

  6. Mr. Zingale submitted two network storage device backup quotes for consideration. Mr. Zingale said he had asked Mr. Dicton to review the two bids to make sure he is looking at apples to apples. Mr. Zingale said the two bidders bid different hardware brands, which both do the same thing.

    Mr. Hawley inquired as to whether the cloud storage price of $250.00 is an annual fee. Mr. Zingale said the price is an annual fee. Mr. Dicton said the Board had previously said it wanted to have such a device installed. He said the two bids are apples to apples.

    Mr. Dicton said the equipment in both bids do the same thing and he likened the difference as being like a Chevy or a Ford. Ms. Ashcroft said there is a big gap between the two prices. Mr. Dicton and Mr.Chioffi said at $250.00 a year the Town should also do cloud storage.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to go with Larry Gold's Computer EZ bid for the network and cloud storage. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  7. Mr. Zingale informed Board members that he planned to issue two Conditional Use Flood Hazard Zoning permits for two projects planned for Town. Mr. Zingale said Mr. Fred Nicholson and Mr. Blair Enman had reviewed and approved the two applications, as members of the Town Flood Hazard Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Informed the Board that he had just returned from the catch basin stenciling project. Mr. Hathaway said approximately 20 students from Saint Joseph College and one Town resident assisted with the stenciling. He said the stenciling was done on Elbern Ave, East Mountain View Drive, Gleason Road, Cannon Drive, Town Line Road and Killington Avenue. Mr. Hathaway thanked the Rutland Conservation District for their assistance with the event. Mr. Hathaway explained why the Town did the stenciling and door hanger project.

  2. Sought the Board's permission to mail in the final cost share payment request for the recently completed Post Road sidewalk project. Mr. Hathaway said the Town's share would be have of the $27,400.00 amount. He said the state needs a sign off that everyone is happy with the completed study. Ms. Ashcroft said she was impressed with the work that had been done by Broad Reach.

    Mr. Faignant moved to authorize Mr. Hathaway to send in the final payment request. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Mr. Hathawy said he would apply for a Transportation Alternatives grant for the Post Road sidewalk in October. He informed the Board that he has already attend a training session, which is required in order to file a grant application. The Board and Mr. Hathaway will schedule a public meeting at a Select Board meeting in the Month of October.

  4. He informed the Board that he has begun working with Ms. Susan Schreibman and Mary Ann Goulette regarding the Stronger Communities grant application. He said they divided the grant up into sections and that he is working on his section.

  5. Mr. Hathaway told the Board that the Cold River Road reclaim project would be delayed one day due to equipment break down. He said the road could remain a gravel road for a little more than a week.

  6. He informed the Board that the trees were cut at the Fire Station earlier in the day and that there had been an altercation with a landowner. He told the Board that landowner Mr. Keith McIntyre felt the trees were on his property.

    Mr. Hathaway said based on the information he has been provided, the Town property line goes through the middle of Mr. McIntyre's shed. Mr. Hathaway said the shed was behind the trees that were cut. Mr. Hathaway said that Mr. McIntyre planned to speak to Mr. Howard Burgess regarding the matter.

    Mr. Zingale cited the fact that the Courcelle survey of the old Clarendon & Pittsford rail line shows anything within the old rail r-o-w. Mr. Hathaway said he had looked at the map cited by Mr. Zingale. Mr. Hathaway said Mr. McIntyre said to finish cutting the trees.

  7. Mr. Hathaway told Ms. Ashcroft that he had emailed her a scope of work proposal for planning a sidewalk from the Adele Stanley Apartments to Route 7. Mr. Hathaway will get the other Board members email addresses for future mailings.

  8. Mr. Hathaway informed the Board that he has placed the winter road salt order with Cargill. He said it was a time sensitive matter so he filled out the information and sent it in. He told the Board that Cargill had reduced their salt price $3.00 to the same as the State of Vermont. Mr. Hathaway said the price is up significantly this year.

    Mr. Hathaway said he would come up with a budget figure for outfitting contractor's winter maintenance vehicles for brine application. He said he would have the information for the next meeting.

Ms. Ashcroft questioned if any town permits would be required for the DC Transmission Line to go under the Creek Road. Mr. Zingale said the Town would have to issue a excavation and construction permits.

Ms. Ashcroft said she would email Mr. Zingale information she has received regarding the proposed DC line. Ms. Ashcroft said the estimated construction cost is 5 million dollars a mile. She said there would be a payment to the Town based on the buried wire.

Ms. Ashcroft said the Town would not benefit from the use of the current. She said she understands the power would be distributed down country. Mr. Dicton said the power would get distributed to the Vermont grid. Mr. Dicton said there would be sales in Vermont and outside Vermont.

Mr. Hawley said if any Board members have any comments regarding the VLCT Policy Statement for 2015 then they should contact Mr. Fred Nicholson.

The Board reviewed packet correspondence.

Mr. Dicton requested an executive session to discuss three separate personnel matters. Ms. Ashcroft requested more information be posted on the Board's agenda so that the public will know what the Board is doing.

Ms. Ashcroft said she would like the Town to be very pro-active investigating what can be done so that Rutland Plywood rebuilds in Town. Mr. Zingale will contact REDC to see what is being done.

Mr. Chioffi questioned the nature of the requested executive session. Mr. Chioffi said he is not prepared to discuss any personnel issues, since he is not aware of any issues.

Mr. Dicton made a motion to go into executive session to discuss three personnel issues. Mr. Faignant made a second to the motion. Mr. Chioffi said the motion is too general and needs to be more specific.

Mr. Zingale said the motion should explain the nature of the matters to be discussed. Mr. Dicton said the first matter is to go over a request for information regarding a zoning administration employee. He said the second matter is to go over a position of an official in Town, who is no longer in the Town. He said the third matter is to go over a scheduling conflict for a Board member.

The motion passed unanimously.