This page is maintained by Swanton Village, Inc and is intended to be the official online posting of public meetings and minutes in accordance with Vermont’s Open Meeting law (Amended July 1st, 2014).

Thursday, October 12, 2017

September 25, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, September 25, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Suzanne Washburn, Chamber of Commerce; Ron Kilburn, Swanton Historical Society and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.   Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

 

2.   Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3.   Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 11, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, September 11, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.                 

 

4.   Approve and Accept Village Warrants through September 22, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through September 22, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.   Discussion on Rubber Dam:  

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, first stated that the Bond Vote for the new rubber bag was passed 139 yes to 11 no. He said it wasn’t a large turnout but the results were overwhelming and humbling that the people who did vote care as much as the Village does to keep the rubber bag here. He said he wanted to thank the voters who came out and he appreciates the positive support. Reg stated that the shipment of the rubber bladder for the dam is delayed. Originally it was due to arrive the second week of October, it now is due to arrive the second week of November. Reg is supposed to have a conference call next week to discuss this matter and get everyone on board. He said he assumes the recent hurricanes have something to do with this delay but he’s not 100 percent on that. He said he forwarded back to them their emails stating an October delivery but hasn’t heard anything back as of yet. PC Construction is still planning on building the road and demolishing the old dam as planned in October. He said he would have the engineer check the anchor bolts to make sure they’re solid and if not replace them now before the bag arrives. He said the weight of this bag is 96 tons and they want everything in order before it arrives. He said the bag is coming from China into Louisiana then to New Jersey and trucked here.

 

6.   Discussion on Water Ordinance:

 

Reg Beliveau stated that the State of Vermont recommends the Village review their Water Ordinance on a regular basis. Eugene LaBombard stated he studied the Ordinance the last couple of days and didn’t see anything that really needed changing. He said there is a lot of detail in the Ordinance but said he couldn’t see much for changes. Eugene asked if anyone from the Village sees anything that needs to be changed.  Chris Leach stated that nothing has or should change as far as he’s concerned. Chris said he had a customer call him and thank him because someone from the Village office called them and said your water usage is up and had them check for a leak. The customer said they found they had a toilet that was leaking and they really appreciated the phone call. After briefly reviewing, it was decided they would continue to review and make any changes necessary at the next trustees meeting in October.

 

     7. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated a customer called him about going paperless with his utility bill and said he couldn’t find the link on the Village’s website. He asked Reg to check it out and make sure the link is there in case customers want to go paperless.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated Gordon Winters is doing a great job with the green space on the corner of Merchants Row and North River Street.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated kudos to the Arts Council for the beautiful art boards in the Village. He said they’ve all been covered up and new artwork has been painted.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated kudos goes out to the Village Police Sergeant for his new initiative that was outlined in the St. Albans Messenger. He said he’s started an initiative where relatives can register a loved one with the Village Police Department if they have early onset Alzheimer’s or Dementia. He said this is in case that person wanders off and gets lost the Police Department will have their photo and basic information. Adam stated this is a great initiative, great for the community and a great job done by our local Village Police Department and Sergeant Kachajian.

 

8. Public Comment:

 

Elizabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, stated to the Board of Trustees that she had gone to a meeting a couple of weeks back in Enosburg and they suggested because of Swanton’s close proximity to the Canadian border that they may want to have a page on their website that’s in French. She said you can use google translate and translate something into any language that you want. She said she proposed this to the Town of Swanton and is also proposing it to the Village of Swanton for their website. They said a lot of French Canadian residents look for this and appreciate the effort. She asked the Village if they could talk with their website technician and see if this is possible to do. She said the other reason for her visit tonight is that next Wednesday, October 4th at 3:30 p.m. they have representatives from other state agencies coming to do a walk-thru of the Village. She said they are going to walk through the Town Office, the park and down to the northern gateway and back through the Village. She said there are nine places she would like checked out to see if there’s any possibility to refurbish. She said these agencies have funding available to potentially help. She said this is a semi informal way of talking with people who may have some input on funding and what’s possible to do or not possible to do. She said she sent 56 letters to residents and business owners advising them of this walk-thru. She said it’s open to everyone and she’s hoping for a good turnout. Neal Speer asked Elisabeth who she had signed up to be there. She said the Agency of Commerce and Community Development as well as others from the State of Vermont. Neal stated he was asked today about the compressed gas company that was supposed to locate in Swanton. Reg stated that company purchased the property but gas prices dropped and the project is on hold as of now.

 

Public Comment: Suzanne Washburn stated that this year has been a struggle to keep the Chamber of Commerce office open. She said they have collaborated with the Swanton Art’s Council and they are going to open the office to local artists who want to display their artwork in exchange for when someone stops by the Chamber Office with questions they would be helped. She said they are going to try this for the month of October and see how this goes. She said hopefully it’s well received. She said she is there because the Village owns the land the Chamber office sits on and she’s asking permission for artists as well as members of the Chamber to be able to set up their wares on the lawn as well as banners, etc. She said this would be similar to a farmer’s market. Chris Leach thought this was a good idea and encouraged it and so didn’t Adam Paxman. Eugene stated this may end up being a very positive idea and encouraged it as well. Suzanne thanked the Board for their time and approval of her request.

 

Public Comment: Ron Kilburn stated he wanted to talk about something people drive by or walk by  every day and that is the fountain in the park. He brought pictures of an article from the year 2000 of Neal Speer and his family talking about the $10,000 renovation of the fountain in the park that replaced the original 1909 fountain, done with help from the Historical Society. He said this all started back in 1609 when Samuel De Champlain discovered the lake and in 1909 to celebrate that event they had a tri-centennial and created the fountain and the base in the park. In 1964 a plaque on the fountain was installed and dedicated to Harold Bliss for his years of service to the community. In 2000 the fountain was falling apart and the base was leaking and it needed masonry repair. He said they found a manufacturer in Boston that has the prints of the original fountain. He said in the year 2000 the Town put on their ballot an article to place $5000 toward this project and the Village voted to also place $5000 toward this project. Ron said this was 17 years ago and the fountain has deteriorated so much it will take extensive work to repair it. He said the contractor who is working on the Town is willing to give an estimate on the fountain base as well as another contractor. He said once he receives some bids they will have more to work with and is willing to do the leg work if they want him to. He is suggesting they have everything in place so that they can begin this work in the Spring. Neal asked where the Town stood on this because he talked with James Guilmette, Selectboard member, who told him the Town was ready to work on this also. Ron said the new fountain is fine, this is just for the base of the fountain. Neal said he also received a quote from the guy who worked on the bandstand a few years back. Ron said he was glad Neal mentioned the bandstand because he is recommending they do both at the same time. He said the bandstand is in need of repair also. Eugene stated 17 years ago it looked real good but not now. The Board agreed that they get some estimates so that they could move forward with this. Ron stated he could get this information for their next meeting. The Board thanked Ron for his information and agreed to move forward with this.

 

9.   Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Real Estate at 7:56 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:24 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN:  None.

 

10. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:24 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:24 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

September 11, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

REGULAR MEETING &

PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL HEARING

Monday, September 11, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Suzanne Washburn, Tony Russo, Elisabeth Nance and  Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and Public Informational Hearing and called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He asked all those present to join him in a Moment of Silence to remember the 9/11 victims. He then introduced the Board of Trustees and administration.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, August 28, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, August 28, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through September 8, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through September 8, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked about the HTE invoice for $459,720. Reg Beliveau stated that was for the rubber bag. Motion carried.

 

5.      Informational Meeting & Public Hearing – Rubber Bag Bond Vote on 9/19/17:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, presented the Board and public with a power point presentation on the rubber bag dam. He showed a video of when the bag failed because of a tear in it. He also showed how they did a slow release and said it was too dangerous to put someone inside the bag to try and fix the tear. He said right now they are having an issue with silt getting into the intake structure. Suzanne Washburn asked if there was any way to hold the silt back and Reg said no there wasn’t. This is some of the information he provided the Board with in his presentation:

 

Background:

·         Original Bridgestone rubber Dam was installed in the early 1990s as part of the hydro plant upgrades and sits on top of a 15’ concrete dam.

·         Life of the dam was estimated to be 25 years.

·         It is 220’ feet long, 15’ in diameter.

·         This brings the total dam height to 30 feet, or an operating height of 190’ above sea level.

·         Bridgestone notified the Village around 2010 that it was no longer manufacturing rubber dams.

·         Swanton’s management began researching other potential manufacturing companies in expectation of a replacement being needed in the near future (expected 2018).

June 14, 2017:

·         On the afternoon of June 14th the on duty hydro operator noticed that one of the blowers that keeps the dam inflated kicked off.

·         The blower was reset and blower #2 came on but the air pressure kept dropping.

·         A visual inspection of the dam revealed a tear causing the air to release on the east side of the dam.

·         Management decided that making a repair from the inside of the dam was too dangerous, and no possible repair could be done from the outside of the bladder.

·         The Village activated the EAP and notified Federal, State and local agencies.

·         A slow release of the air pressure to the dam was initiated and downstream was monitored by emergency personnel.

Plant Operations:

·         In the aftermath of the dam deflation, 15 feet of dam height is gone along with the impoundment.

·         The plant was not designed nor constructed to run efficiently with only a 15 foot dam (175 asl).

·         The plant is experiencing operational issues generating with only 15 feet of water. The problems are sludge, silt, and trash racks are plugging causing loss generation.

Next Steps:

·         Management and the Board of Trustees needed to work fast to get the new dam ordered because the manufacturing of it is over 6 months long.

·         Installation needs to happen before the weather gets too cold and the rubber becomes less pliable.

·         Steps could be taken to “heat” the area with a tent, but that would increase the costs dramatically.

·         The manufacturer has committed to a 3 month manufacturing time.

·         The selected contractor will be on site the end of September to prepare for the new dam.

·         The dam is expected to arrive in the middle of October.

·         Installation is expected to be finished by the middle of November.

Financial Impact:

·         Without the 15’ rubber dam, the monetary impact for the first year alone would be a minimum of $275,000, which in normal circumstances would cause a rate increase.

·         That amount is estimated to increase each year with a cumulative impact thru 2024, the year of the FERC license renewal of $1.8 million dollars. Over the life of the rubber dam, the impact is estimated to be $5.7 million dollars.

·         The new rubber dam has a life expectancy of 25 years.

·         The project costs are $2.2 million dollars.

·         The bond would be paid back over 25 years, $88,000 in principal per year plus interest.

·         Total debt service per year would be approximately $152,000.

·         The debt service (loan payback) would not impact the rates.

What Are We Doing to Keep Rates Level:

·         Swanton is 100% renewable so we were able to get out of some renewable purchase power requirements, saving over $150 thousand dollars per year.

·         The hydro facility is in the process of being taken out of the power market beginning in October 2017.

·         That means an estimated potential $1 million dollar reduction in purchase power per year.

·         Going forward we would be considered as “behind the meter” which means we will use the generation to offset our electric load.

The Future:

·         We are seeing an increase of solar in the service territory.

 

Suzanne Washburn asked if the Village had put any money away for this rubber bag. Lynn stated they are not allowed to do that and said they need to take out debt service. Tony Russo asked if there would be any State issues on the replacement of the bag. Reg said not so far and said everything is going good with the Agency of Natural Resources and the Army Corps. He said they are hoping this bond vote is approved and that the bag is installed before spring run-off. He said the Public Service Board has approved their 108 filing and now the Village needs the taxpayers to approve this. Eugene LaBombard stated that the Village was in the process of replacing this bag, this leak just moved it up. Lynn said the Village lost out on this wet summer and lost generation because of that. Neal Speer also wanted to mention that this rubber bag is cheaper than the original bag. The Board of Trustees encouraged all to come out and vote yes and show their support for this new rubber bag.

 

6.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

None.

 

7.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

8.      Executive Session to Discuss Legal Matters:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Legal Matters at 8:00 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:57 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

 

 

 

 

9.      Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting and Public Informational Meeting at 8:57 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:57 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

August 28, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, August 28, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Joey Stell, Chief of Police; and  Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, August 14, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, August 14, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he wanted to clarify that the vendor Municipal Emergency Services that was questioned at last meeting was for the purchase of air packs in the Fire Department. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through August 25, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through August 25, 2017 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator – Resolution for Municipal Planning Grant:

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, stated she wanted to give an update regarding the Resolution for Municipal Planning Grant. She said this grant would be run through the Town of Swanton but said she is requesting a Resolution Letter of Support to be signed by the Village Trustees. She said this is part of the Swanton Enhancement Project Development Task Force which Adam Paxman is a chair. She said they would like to hold a forum sometime in October of 2018. She said they have identified some areas on how to bring in new businesses and how to help existing businesses expand. She said it’s hard for businesses to expand because they just don’t have the physical ability to do so. She said for available expanding space there isn’t 10,000 square feet available. She said they are also looking at affordable, decent rental housing and child care. She said her hope is they can bring in experts from the community to help them with those target areas. She said the good news is that there is no match for this Municipal Planning Grant of up to $8000.

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, read the Resolution for Support of an Application for a Municipal Planning Grant aloud which reads: Whereas, the Village of Swanton Board of Trustees strongly encourages and wishes to continue to promote new business opportunities, to support existing businesses, and to make Swanton a vibrant  and robust community where its residents live, work, play, shop, and worship; and whereas, the Village of Swanton Board of Trustees wishes to continue to encourage and promote the revitalization of Swanton; and whereas, the Village of Swanton Board of Trustees wishes to continue to provide property owners, business owners, and residents in our community with the opportunity to participate in and have access to planning for the future development of Swanton; now, therefore be it resolved as follows:

 

  1. That the Village of Swanton Board of Trustees strongly supports pursuing a Municipal Planning Grant by the Swanton Town Selectboard that will fund an economic development forum; and

 

  1. That Swanton Economic Development Coordinator, Elisabeth Nance, is hereby recognized as the primary contact person responsible to coordinate all activities associated with applying for the Municipal Planning Grant.

 

Neal Speer, Village President, asked if this forum was open to the whole State of Vermont. Elisabeth stated that it was for Swanton only. She said she is looking forward to some community involvement because they may have some ideas other than hers. She talked about attracting developers to Swanton and encouraged anyone with ideas to contact her. She said she is also working on a list of commercial properties and if anyone is looking to expand there will be a list of what’s available.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to sign the Resolution for Support of an Application for a Municipal Planning Grant. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. The Swanton Village Board of Trustees signed the Resolution.

 

Elisabeth informed the board that she is working with Tim Smith from FCIDC as well as the State of Vermont on a couple of projects that have the potential to be great for Swanton. She said some of her smaller projects include trying to get a local building ADA accessible. She said they are working on doing some beautification projects on some of the vacant buildings in Swanton and this is harder than she thought it would be. Reg stated that he has been working with Elisabeth on some ideas and projects and he said their collaboration is working very well. She can work on some of these projects and keep him informed as to what’s going on. The Board thanked Elisabeth for her hard work on Swanton Village and Swanton Town as a whole.

 

6.      Chief of Police Joey Stell – Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief of Police Joey Stell stated that the summer has gone fairly well and said vandalism complaints are down compared to last summer. He said the new Sergeant is working out very well and has been team building with the other officers. He said they painted their office and added some new cabinets and said the officers did the labor themselves. Chief said he has mapped out some Village streets that have consistent speeding issues and those streets are Spring Street, Canada Street and Grand Avenue. He said First Street is not an issue at this time. He said they are targeting those areas. He stated they are finalizing some details and plans but are inviting the community to their National Night Out on October 21st of this year. He said there will be a cookout and activities for the kids. Neal Speer asked about the carbon monoxide issue in the cruiser. Chief stated that depended on who you asked and said there has been no straight answer from anyone. He said modifying the vehicles after they are purchased is not the problem either. He said they are keeping the windows cracked and this is only a problem when they run the AC on max and not when they use the heater. Chris asked if they tested the other vehicles and the Chief said they did and there isn’t a problem with any of them. Eugene LaBombard mentioned a speeding vehicle on Route 207 and also stated he saw 4 wheelers on Grand Avenue today. Chief Stell stated that 4 wheelers have been an issue lately and a couple of them have been towed a couple of times this summer. He said Officers Parah, Hooper and Underwood identified who these people are and have been dealing with them. Reg Beliveau reminded people to report an incident when they see it especially when it’s vandalism. Adam Paxman mentioned the traffic at the end of the bridge and Route 78 West between 4 and 5 p.m. He asked if they could have a traffic cop there to help with the congestion. Chief stated he thought that would make it worse and he is trying to figure out why it gets so backed up there. Eugene stated he thinks drivers are not taking turns. Chief Stell stated he would talk with the Agency of Transportation and see if they have any suggestions. Adam also mentioned he would be talking with the Town regarding a traffic light by the Interstate and First Street. Chris Leach asked about the drug problem in the area and asked if they were finding syringes. Chief Stell stated yes they were but not as many as last year. He also said the heroin problem isn’t as bad as it was last year. He said with the NOTCH office expanding they’ve added more opioid addiction staff and have helped some in the community get into treatment. He said the problem is still here but they’ve added more resources and it’s helping some. Adam Paxman asked if the Chief could give them an update on Missisquoi Valley Rescue. Chief Stell said they are doing a wonderful job over there. He said they revamped their scheduling and have ordered a new ambulance. He said the old one is 10-12 years old and is breaking down too often and he said they paid off a line of credit. He said they just sent out an annual subscription drive and by doing so this will lower what they ask the Town for in taxes. He said whatever is covered by someone’s insurance company is what they’ll take for payment, if they purchase this subscription they won’t be charged anything from the ambulance service. Adam Paxman stated he wanted to do a ride along in the very near future. The Board thanked Chief Stell for coming in and giving them an update.

 

7.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach stated he would like to get a sign on Gallup Court stating “Children at Play.” He said the traffic is going too fast for that street and he’s afraid someone is going to get hit. Discussion took place as to whether or not the Village could put up one of those signs and Dianne Day, Village  Clerk, is going to contact VLCT to see what they recommend.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he received his Town tax bill and said 90% of it is for the education tax. He commended the Village for having a 2.44% increase and said he appreciates that.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated there would be a Swanton Arts Spectacular event in the Park on September 9, Halloween in the Park will be held on October 28th and Christmas in the Park will be held on November 25th. The Board also mentioned the Village would be holding their regular Board of Trustees meeting as well as a Public Informational Meeting on 9/11 at 7 p.m. here at the Village Complex. The public informational meeting will be held to explain the bond vote on the rubber bag at the Highgate Hydro Facility. They encouraged everyone to attend this meeting.

 

Reg Beliveau stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss personnel and Neal Speer stated he needed one for Real Estate.

 

8.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

9.      Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Personnel and Real Estate at 7:55 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:24 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

10.  Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:24 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:24 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August 14, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, August 14, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; and  Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

Adam Paxman stated he needed to add “Personnel” to the Executive Session.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, July 24, 2017 and Wednesday, July 26, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, July 24, 2017 and Wednesday, July 26, 2017 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach stated he would like the Agenda Review paragraph to be made clear. At the last meeting the Board moved the Executive Session to the beginning of the meeting. Eugene LaBombard commented on Adam Paxman’s statement regarding the speed of the traffic in Rouses Point, NY. He said if you are going over the speed limit there you will be pulled over and ticketed. Motion carried with changes.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through August 10, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through August 10, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if the Village has seen an increase in customers using ICloud for their payments. Lynn Paradis stated there is a steady flow and her accounts receivable aging is very consistent. He stated our Post Office checks are still pretty high so he assumes not many customers are going paperless. Lynn agreed with that statement.  Chris Leach asked about the City of St. Albans payment. Lynn stated that was the Village’s invoice for dispatching services for the year. He also asked about the Municipal Emergency Services invoice for $41,641.11. Reg Beliveau stated he believed this was for the new pump on the ladder truck in the Fire Department. Motion carried.

 

5.      Village of Swanton is requesting permission to close Community Bank Money Market for $467,984 +/- and Deposit funds in Union Bank Money Market:

 

Lynn Paradis stated the Village has a money market account at Community Bank in the amount of $467,984 and the interest rate they are paying is very low. She is requesting permission to close that account and open an account at Union Bank who is paying a higher interest rate. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Assistant Village Manager Lynn Paradis to close the money market account at Community Bank and to open a money market account at Union Bank with those same funds. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked if there was a penalty fee for closing the money market account. Lynn stated no there was not a penalty. Motion carried.

 

6.      Authorize Assistant Village Manager to Open Checking Account at Union Bank for the Rubber Bag Replacement Job at Hydro Facility:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, explained to the Board that she is requesting permission to open a checking account at Union Bank to be used for the rubber bag replacement job at the Hydro Facility. Chris Leach asked why the Loan Anticipation Note was for $2.4 million dollars but the actual number is $2.2 million dollars. Lynn stated that she didn’t have all her numbers when figuring out what they would need for this job. She said now that all quotes and pricing numbers are in, it will cost $2.2 million dollars. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Assistant Village Manager Lynn Paradis to open a checking account at the Union Bank for the Rubber Bag Replacement Job. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.      Sign Union Bank Loan Anticipation Note for $2.4 Million Dollars for Rubber Bag Replacement:

 

Board members signed all necessary documents for the Union Bank Loan Anticipation Note for $2.4 Million Dollars for the Rubber Bag Replacement job.

 

8.      Approve and Set Tax Rate for 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and set tax rate for 2017 at .7910. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Lynn Paradis stated that she estimated the tax rate to be .7949 in the Annual Report but said she was able to come in at .7910. She stated in the General Fund there is a $0.0071 cent change; the Fire Department came in at -$0.0003; the Police Department is up $0.0135 and the Highway Department came in at -$0.0015. She stated that overall there is a 2.44% increase in the Village taxes. On a home assessed at $175,000 the Village tax bill would be $1384.17, up $33 from 2016. On a home assessed at $200,000 their Village tax bill would be $1,581.91, up $37.71 from 2016. The Board thanked Lynn for her hard work in keeping the budgets in line and the tax rate as low as possible. Motion carried.

 

9.      Approve and Sign Bond Vote Warning for Replacement of Rubber Bag Vote to be held September 19, 2017:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated she is working on her 108 filing with the Public Utility Commission for the rubber bag replacement job. She said with her testimony and filing they are anticipating a vote date so the Village determined that September 19, 2017 would be their vote day and September 11, 2017 would be their Public Hearing. Lynn stated the Village will go out 25 years on this bond. She said the Village was planning on replacing the bag in 2018 but because it broke that changed things. She said the Village will no doubt go through this every 25 years or so. Chris Leach stated this is a win/win for the rate payers and the taxpayers. Reg Beliveau said the surge tank is having a lot of sediment because of the bag failure. He said it’s normally very clean but now they needed Drummac to come in and suction the sediment out. Eugene LaBombard stated that while researching replacing the rubber bag or repairing it, it cost two times more to have it repaired. Lynn said the cost for this really hasn’t changed since the last bag went in.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and sign the Bond Vote Warning for the Replacement of the Rubber Bag Vote to be held on September 19, 2017 with an Informational/Public Hearing to be held on Monday, September 11, 2017. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

10.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would like people to slow down with their driving. He said he is going to contact the Town of Swanton and propose a traffic light at the intersection of I-89 and First Street. He said the traffic is backed way up the Interstate. Eugene LaBombard agreed with Adam on this. Adam also stated he has been talking with one of the Selectboard members and they would like to do some fireworks next summer. Reg stated they did some for the 250th Anniversary of Swanton and it cost approximately $3200. They discussed when they would like to have them and agreed it didn’t have to be on the 4th of July. Adam also wanted to thank everyone who helped with the Car Show in anyway. He said they had 243 cars in the Village green. He said they received some good comments and also need to work on keeping the park handicap accessible each year. Adam also wanted to remind people about the Arts Spectacular show on September 9th. Adam also mentioned the Ford Police Cruiser being taken out of service due to the carbon monoxide leaks. Reg stated the cruiser is back in service but they need to keep the windows down when driving it. Eugene LaBombard stated he did some research on this topic and this is only happening in police vehicles. He said it may have to do with the all the adaptations made to the vehicles after the sale. He said holes are being drilled by retrofitters and this may be causing the problem. He suggested the police department check their other vehicles as well.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman asked that when things calm down at the Hydro Plant could the Maintenance Crew fix the ceiling the Fire Department. He said some of the tiles are falling down. Eugene LaBombard suggested they take a tour of the whole building and check things over.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach asked if the Highgate Converter sale took place yet. Lynn Paradis stated it went through and said VPPSA sold their share to Transco but said Stowe and Burlington retained their shares.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard said he was approached by someone that wanted to have a hot dog stand in Swanton. Reg Beliveau stated he put them in touch with the Zoning Administrator. He said there was nothing in the bylaws for the Village.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked about vehicles parking in green spaces obstructing stop signs. He also mentioned the drinking fountain in the park. Adam said he witnessed someone filling 20 gallon jugs of water. Reg stated he has a new spicket to put on the fountain. Eugene also asked about the flushing of hydrants. Reg stated they did a sprinkler test over the weekend and that’s what stirred the water up. Eugene said his water is still dirty and it’s been three days already. Reg said they could check it in the morning and see what’s going on.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that he will be doing the Channel 15 show on August 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and asked who wanted to go with him. Chris Leach stated he would go this time.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the electric car chargers have been getting used. He said there are some workers at VT Precision Tools who use them as well as some Canadians. He also stated the Teen Center will need a letter of intent to help find a suitable home for them. He said there are some grants available but they need this letter of support.

 

11.  Public Comment:

 

Heather Buczkowski stated that the Dam Duck Derby will be held on September 9th as well. She said tickets can be purchased in advance.

 

12.  Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Personnel and Real Estate at 7:52 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:42 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

13.  Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:53 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:53 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

July 24, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, July 24, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Mark Rocheleau, Chamber of Commerce; Frank Huth, and  Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he needed to add Personnel to the Executive Session and requested the Board move that item to the beginning of the meeting. He stated he would like to go into Executive Session right after Item #4.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, July 10, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, July 10, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 21, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 21, 2017 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Personnel at 7:07 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session and re-enter Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

6.      Fill Village of Swanton Vacancy on Northwest Regional Planning Commissions’ Board of Commissioners:

 

Chris Leach informed the Board that Elizabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, has submitted a letter expressing her interest in filling the vacancy at Northwest Regional Planning Commissions’ Board of Commissioners. Chris Leach made the motion to accept her letter of interest and to have her fill his position at Northwest Regional Planning Commissions’ Board of Commissioners. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.      Approve and Sign Electric Line of Credit:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, informed the Board that Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, had received a quote from the Union Bank for a Bond Anticipation Loan to finance the replacing of the rubber dam at the Hydro Facility. She said the amount of the Bond Anticipation Loan is $2.4 million dollars with a one year term and an interest rate of 1.35%.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to accept the Union Bank’s quote for a Bond Anticipation Loan with a one year term and an interest rate of 1.35%. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

8.      Review SQRP Summary on 2017 2nd Quarter:

 

Chris Leach stated the Village of Swanton is still doing an exceptional job and thanked them for that. He said this is a tool that keeps track of the Village’s work orders and billing performance. He said the Village scores perfectly in their baseline. Chris said he wanted to thank the Electric Department and the Office staff for their extremely good service and stated the Board has reviewed and is in receipt of this 2nd quarter SQRP report.

 

9.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if the State of Vermont paving job was done yet. Reg Beliveau stated no they still have some jobs that need to be done. He said the rain has stopped the Village from doing some jobs so he thought the State was having the same issue.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated while driving around the Village he has noticed there aren’t as many “garage sale” signs attached to utility poles. Reg Beliveau stated this is against the law and he strongly encourages residents not to nail garage sale signs to the poles. He said you could be saving the life of a lineman by not doing this.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he drove through Rouses Point, NY the other day and noticed how slow the traffic went through that area. He wondered what they are doing that the Village isn’t. He said their speed limit is posted at 30 mph but people drove much slower through the Town. He asked that drivers please slow down and care a bit more about each other. He asked that drivers also take notice of people trying to cross the street using the flashing crosswalks.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated there have been some issues with vehicles parking on the green spaces near corners making it difficult for other vehicles to see around. He stated the Board should review some of their old Ordinances and update them.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that he has been working on some permits pertaining to the rubber bag at the Hydro plant. He said he is talking with the State of Vermont and also with the Army Corps of Engineers and said they shouldn’t have any issues with permits and with limitations on their timeframe. He said things are moving along and feels the Village is on track with this job.

 

10.  Public Comment:

 

Mark Rocheleau asked if the Village had any plans on paving Canada Street in the near future. Reg Beliveau stated that Mike Menard has been looking at it but said with this road being a little rough it slows traffic down a little. Mark stated his other issue has to do with the drinking fountain at the north end of the Village Park. He said over the weekend he watched a pickup pull up and fill a 55 gallon tank with water. He said this same truck came back about 4 hours later and filled that tank again. He said he would suggest the Village take the spicket off from the fountain so people use this as a drinking fountain only. Reg stated they had this same issue a few years back and they approached the individual who was filling tanks of water and he would come into the Village office and pay for it. He also said he thought the Village had put a spring loaded faucet on a while back. He said he would check it out and remove it so that people cannot fill large tanks of water. Mark also said he wanted to remind everyone about the Car Show this weekend and said he is hoping for a lot of cars. He thanked the Village for making the park look so nice and also said he was happy the Swans are back in the park. The Board thanked Mark for coming in.

 

11.  Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 7:53 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date