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).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

May 22, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, May 22, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Joey Stell, Chief of Police, David Kachajian, Sergeant 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 7:07 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, May 8, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, May 8, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if Reg Beliveau had any word on ordering Municipal Parking Signs. Reg said not as of yet but would look into it. Chris Leach asked about a speed study on Gallup Court. He said their “Children At Play” sign has come up missing and he feels 30 mph is too fast for that street. He said he would appreciate more police presence in that area. Chief Stell stated that any speed limit below 30 mph would not be enforceable. He said he would work on more police presence in that area. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, May 19, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, May 19, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Meet and Swear In New Police Sergeant:

 

Chief Stell stated that after a selection committee review the Swanton Police Department came to hire David Kachajian as their new Police Sergeant. He said he has over 20 years experience and also has supervisory experience. He said he is a good fit for their department and he looks forward to working with him. David thanked the Chief and introduced himself to the Board. He said he is looking forward to this next chapter in his police career. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, swore David in as the new Police Sergeant for the Swanton Village Police Department.

 

6.      Review Revised Highgate Converter Sale/Transco Equity Purchase:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, explained to the Board that three towns have opted out of the Highgate Converter Sale Equity Purchase so VPPSA has provided them with a revised memorandum. As part of the sale, Transco will be amending its Operating Agreement to include the ability to issue equity specifically to the Highgate joint owners. VPPSA has requested that Transco include specific language in the Operating Agreement revisions so that:

  1. The equity will be offered directly to each VPPSA Highgate participant based on the participant’s project participation share.
  2. Each participant can choose to “assign” its equity allocation to VPPSA thereby allowing VPPSA to purchase the equity for the benefit of the participant, in the same manner as it does for general equity issuances.
  3. If any participant chooses not to purchase the equity offered to it (or if any VPPSA member chooses not to purchase general equity in the future) VPPSA will have a right to purchase that equity before it is offered more broadly to others.

Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to assign the Village of Swanton’s equity in the Highgate Converter Sale over to VPPSA. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

 

7.      Sign Trackless Plow Lease:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, informed the Board that the lease documents for the new Trackless Plow were ready to be signed and he had Dianne Day, Village Clerk, read the lease resolution to the Board. Eugene LaBombard made the motion authorizing Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign all necessary documents pertaining to the lease agreement between the Village of Swanton and Tax Exempt Leasing Corp for $105,000 over 5 years at 3.19% with an annual payment of $22,339.14. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.      Hydro Line of Credit Discussion:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, informed the Board that the Village has received the terms and conditions for Capital Improvements to replace the aging infrastructure at the Highgate Hydro Facility from Union Bank. He said this would be a 20 year note for $442,547 with a 3.28% fixed interest rate. Reg stated there would be an annual principal and interest payment of $30,527.39. Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept the Capital Improvement Note from Union Bank for $442,547 over the next 20 years with a 3.28% fixed interest rate to replace the aging infrastructure at the Highgate Hydro Facility. He also authorized Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign all necessary documents pertaining to this Capital Improvement note. Chris Leach seconded both motions. Motions carried.

 

9.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach stated he wanted to address the speeding issue in the Village of Swanton. He said they need to keep this under control and said he would like all smaller streets in the Village to be reduced to 20 mph. Reg Beliveau said he would discuss this with the new Police Sergeant and with the Chief of Police and see if they have any new ideas about this issue.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated traffic was jammed a few days ago over by Riverside Cemetery. He said it’s extremely busy between 3 and 4 p.m.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said he wanted to remind everyone about the upcoming Memorial Day Parade on May 29th at 2:30 p.m. He said to expect delays because Grand Avenue would be closed from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said there are some trees in the Village Green that need to come down and asked if Gabree’s Tree Trimming can come in and take a look at these trees. Reg stated they’ve been looking and identifying what tree’s that should come down and said they could put this in next year’s budget. He said the Electric crew will be taking down some of the limbs and some of the trees but said they would need to budget for this. He said they also plan on removing the sidewalk that runs through the middle of the park.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said he has no further information regarding the swans but would let the Board know as soon as he hears anything. He asked if there was an update on the paving issue. Reg Beliveau said he sent a list to the State of Vermont detailing areas of concern. He said there is standing water over near Bourne’s Energy and by Bob’s One Stop. He said they started working on all side streets and driveways, and also put top soil down and seeded those areas. He said he needs to find out what’s going to happen if the Village doesn’t sign off on this project. He said it hasn’t gone well. Eugene stated his driveway was still in poor condition.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said he is still interested in making Brown Avenue a dead end street. Reg Beliveau said it can’t be made a dead end street because of the bank but they could make it a “No Left Turn” street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adam said he wants to move forward on this because it’s a very hard street to come off from if you’re turning left.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that he was approached by a local businessman asking to make individuals selling Christmas trees, etc. to purchase a peddlers permit.

 

Any Other Business: Dianne Day, Village Clerk, showed the Board some of the books from the 1800’s that were preserved by KoFile. She also showed them the hard cover books that the Village Reports were made into. The Board was pleased with the outcome.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer mentioned the lights at Merchants Row and asked if Reg had an update regarding this. Reg stated the electric department has put together a quote for the lighting and they are getting it to the store owners. He said the new LED lights cost pennies to operate. Chris Leach stated the Village should pay for the lights on Merchants Row because they own the sidewalk there. Neal stated he wanted this topic on the next agenda because he also feels the Village should provide the lighting there on Merchants Row. Neal also mentioned the Swanton Enhancement group held a meeting last week and he didn’t know anything about it. He said he wanted it noted that they need to do a better job getting the word out there regarding their meetings. Adam said all steering committees gave an update. Neal asked when the Fairweather meeting was, Adam stated it was on 6/1 at the Town Office.

 

10.  Public Comment:

 

None.

 

11.  Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate at 8:02 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:30 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

12.  Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:30 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 8, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, May 8, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Brian Savage; Representing Star Hose Co.; Christina Forcier and Darcy Benoit, Swanton Arts Council; Elizabeth 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 called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

Neal Speer stated that he would like to move Public Comment to the beginning of the meeting to accommodate the guest present tonight. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, informed the Board that she would like to add “SQRP Report” to Any Other Business.

 

3.      Public Comment:

 

Darcy Benoit, Swanton Arts Council, stated she would like to request permission for the Swanton Arts Council to host a live event in the Village Park on Saturday, August 12, 2017 with a back up date of July 22, 2017. She said this would be a family friendly event with local merchants involved. Adam Paxman suggested we check with the Chief of Police first because they are holding their National Night Out event in August as well. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the Swanton Art Council’s request to hold an Art Show in the Village Park on Saturday, August 12, 2017 or July 22, 2017 pending Chief Joey Stell’s input. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. Village Clerk will contact Chief Stell regarding the date of National Night Out and will then let the Arts Council know what date works for them.

 

Public Comment: Elizabeth Nance stated that as of now Harold Garrett is the Town of Swanton’s NRPC TAC (Transportation Advisory Committee) representative and she is asking the Village if they are interested in her representing the Village of Swanton. Neal Speer stated that this  would be beneficial to him as he is on many other committees there. Chris Leach made the motion to appoint Elizabeth Nance as the Village Representative for TAC through Northwest Regional Planning Committee. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried. Elizabeth also informed the Board that she starts this coming Monday as the Economic Coordinator for Swanton and said she is excited to begin working on this.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, April 10, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, April 10, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None.

 

5.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, May 5, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, May 5, 2017. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked how the Village was doing on Purchase Power and Lynn Paradis stated that they were under budget as of now. Reg Beliveau said the power plant was producing a lot of power also. Motion carried.

 

6.      Brian Savage Representing Star Hose Co. Regarding the Possible Sale of the Pirsch Pumper Truck:

 

Brian Savage stated he was there on behalf of the Fire Department Star Hose Company requesting permission to sell the 1946 Pirsch Pumper Truck. He said the Fire Department members discussed and voted on this at their annual meeting. He said they have received an offer of $3200 and the pumper truck would be available if the Village ever needed to use it. He said there is lots of history with this truck because it was the first fire truck purchased for the department. He said they have no idea what it’s worth and would need to get it appraised before they sold it. He said Dan Desorcie of Highgate could appraise the vehicle. Brian said to get that truck in showroom condition it would cost approximately $25,000 to $30,000 to do. He said St. Albans had done that to one of their antique trucks a while back but said Swanton doesn’t have the resources to do that. Chris Leach asked if the members of the department wanted to sell the truck. Brian said yes they voted on it and they voted in favor of selling the truck. Adam Paxman asked why they would want to sell it. Brian said because of space issues. Chris Leach asked if the buyer was affiliated with the department. Brian said yes he was a member of the department and a mechanic. Adam Paxman stated he didn’t want to give this truck up as it is part of the Fire Department’s history. Eugene LaBombard asked if it was offered to the Swanton Historical Society, he said it should be left there before being sold. Reg Beliveau stated they knew the significance of the truck and have an agreement with the buyer saying it could be returned to the Village if something happens to him. Adam stated he doesn’t feel they should give up ownership of it. Brian Savage stated years ago they kept one at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Chris stated it was nice to have this agreement with the potential buyer, that it could be returned to the Village if something happens. He said it should be used in Village parades, etc. He said it was worth having it appraised. Neal Speer stated he wanted the Village to keep that truck. He said it belongs to the Fire Department and he helped to restore it to usable condition years ago. He also stated he helped pull that truck out of the fire years ago when the fire station burned. He said current members don’t feel the same way about it. He said he would like to get it appraised but not sell it. Chris said he understands they need more space and hopefully some becomes available soon. Brian asked if the Village would be willing to pay for the appraisal, thinking it may cost around $500. He said he would do some research on it. Brian also stated he would report this decision to the Fire Department and said he would get back to the Board regarding an appraisal. The Board thanked Brian for coming in.

 

7.      Approval to lease Trackless Sidewalk Plow with Sweeper:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated she has received two proposals for the Trackless Sidewalk Plow and they are: Tax Exempt Leasing Corp, $105,000 for 5 years at 3.19% with an annual payment of $22,339.14 and one from Municipal Leasing Consultants, $105,000 for 5 years at 3.79% with an annual payment of $22,590.69. Lynn said Municipal Leasing Consultants have been a little higher but she still wanted to check with them. Chris Leach asked at the end of the lease would the Village own the Sidewalk Plow. Lynn said yes they will purchase it for $1. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to purchase the new Sidewalk Plow through Tax Exempt Leasing Corp. for $105,000 with an interest rate of 3.19% for 5 years with an annual payment of $22,339.14. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked if the existing attachments would fit on the new plow and Lynn said yes they would and that they are keeping all attachments. Motion carried.

 

8.      Franklin Grand Isle Bookmobile Requesting Coin Drop for Saturday, October 14, 2017:

 

Franklin Grand Isle Bookmobile are requesting a Coin Drop to be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Franklin Grand Isle Bookmobile’s request to hold a coin drop on Saturday, October 14th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried with two yays, one nay.

 

9.      Review Village Speed Studies and Discuss:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, informed the Board that the Police Department did a speed study on Grand Avenue over a three day period. He said 14,013 vehicles were recorded and the average speed was 19 mph. He said the highest speed recorded was 41 mph and the heaviest volume of traffic was between 3 and 8 p.m. Chris Leach stated that he feels there are a lot of speeders on Gallup Court and would like a higher police presence in that area. Reg Beliveau said he would pass that information on to the Police. Reg said they also did a speed study on Canada Street and 7,202 vehicles were recorded. He said the average speed was 24 mph and the highest speed recorded was 62 mph. The heaviest volume of traffic on Canada Street is between 4 and 6 p.m. Eugene LaBombard said he received a complaint about speeding on Canada Street as well. Adam Paxman suggested they make Brown Avenue a “No Left Turn” street because it’s so difficult getting off that road. Eugene said because it’s a Class II road they would need to get the State of Vermont involved. Reg said they do a Walking School Bus on Wednesday and said they have a concern with drivers not paying attention to the crosswalks. He said he had the Police check it out and haven’t seen any issues as of yet.

 

10.  Review Electric Utility Lineworker Appreciation Day:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, said he sent Duane Couture and Corey Hurley down to Montpelier for recognition on Utility Lineworker Appreciation Day. He said there were eight utilities there and the Governor read something about Swanton Village. Reg said he would like to get a picture of all the linemen and frame it with the Resolution.

 

11.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, informed the Board that the first quarter SQRP Report was complete. Chris Leach said as usual the report looks good and said everyone involved does a great job. Lynn Paradis informed the Board that this report gets sent to the Department of Public Service and to the Public Service Board. Adam Paxman made the motion to accept the first quarter SQRP report as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, informed the Board that she would like to develop a Capital Asset Plan. She said this plan would document all vehicles owned by the Village for each department as well as water lines, sewer lines, etc. She said this plan would help set priorities and helps plan for future projects. She said she wanted to implement this Village wide and with the FERC license coming up lots of money will be spent on that. She said with this plan they could see what each street has for water and sewer lines and when they need replacing, paving etc. She said it’s a great scheduling tool. Reg Beliveau said there is a Capital Assets Management grant for the Water Department and they have re-applied for that again this year. Chris Leach stated this is a great idea but asked who would implement it. He asked Lynn if she would need to hire another person to do this. Lynn said no, that she would work with department heads and the office staff to do this. Reg also said there is a grant for the Wastewater Department he’s applied for because there are lines that need replacing as well. Lynn said very few municipalities have a Capital Asset Plan in place but she is hoping to get one done here. Eugene LaBombard said he recalls reviewing something like this a long time ago and said voter approval was needed for it. He asked Lynn if she would need voter approval to get this done and she said yes she would have to go before the voters for this. She said listing the vehicles wouldn’t be difficult but the water lines, sewer lines etc. would be. She said there are some retirements coming up and she would like this in place before that happens. The Board members all agreed to have Lynn go ahead and pursue this Capital Asset Plan.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach asked if the State would be coming in to finish up any of the paving issues from last year. Reg Beliveau said he just met with the State and with the Contractor and they will be starting next week. Chris also asked if any of our electric crew members needed to go to Rutland to help with their outages. Reg said no not as of yet.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman asked if it was possible to order bigger Municipal Parking signs. He said they need to be more visible and possibly have the swan logo on them and hopefully will draw people to park in the Municipal parking lots. Reg Beliveau said he would look into it.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said there was a coin drop this past weekend and asked when they can be cancelled due to rain, snow etc.? He said he would like to determine who cancels them when it’s raining, etc. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that the contact person for this past coin drop called her on Saturday morning wondering the same thing. She said she told her that if they didn’t mind getting wet if it was just sprinkling to go ahead with the coin drop and hopefully the rain would stop. She then told her that if it continued to rain hard that would be a safety issue and they should call off the coin drop. If they were out there for one hour or less they could use their rain date the following weekend. Chris Leach said that was a good answer, just using common sense. Adam said he wouldn’t mind being the person in charge to cancel coin drops if it was raining or snowing due to safety issues. Chris and Eugene felt things were fine the way they are being handled now and wanted to leave it that way.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked Lynn if there was an update yet on changing banks. Lynn said not yet, they haven’t made a decision as of yet. He also asked Reg how the aerators were working at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Reg said they are working good right now. Eugene asked Adam if there was any word on getting the swans. Adam said he is waiting to hear back from Fish & Wildlife regarding this. Reg said he received an email today asking for an MOU from the Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Swanton and from MVUHS regarding the swans. Eugene asked about the big rut on Greenwich Street and whether it has been fixed yet. Reg said he would look into this and get back to him.

 

12.  Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate and Legal Matters at 8:26 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:10 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

13.  Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:10 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m. Motion carried.

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

April 10, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, April 10, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Kathy Kneebone, Brian Barratt 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:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, informed the Board that Brian Savage came in the office today and informed her that he was unable to attend tonight’s meeting. She also informed them that MVUHS came in on Friday, April 7th and asked that MVU Football coin drop request be changed to MVUHS Substance Free Committee coin drop request.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, March 27, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, March 27, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked if there was any further information on the sale of the Highgate Converter Station. Reg Beliveau said he had sent the Board an email with some legal issues regarding the sale. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, April 7, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, April 7, 2017. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard stated that his packet of warrants was dated March 23rd through March 31st. Village Clerk Dianne Day explained that she listed the date of April 7th in case anymore warrants came through up to that point. Motion carried.

 

5.      Brian Savage Representing Star Hose Co. Regarding the Possible Sale of the Pirsch Pumper Truck:

 

Item tabled until next meeting.

 

6.      VT State Revolving Fund Loan Agreement for Contract #3 (Second St., Fourth St., Canada St. and Transmission main from Robin Hood Dr to the Reservoir) for $3,062,559.50 with a -3.00% Interest Rate:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that Assistant Village Manager Lynn Paradis told her now that the water line project is complete the State has finalized the loan documents and the Board just needs to sign them. All Board members signed the necessary loan documents.

 

7.      MVUHS Substance Free Committee Requesting Coin Drop for Saturday, May 6, 2017:

 

MVUHS Substance Free Committee came in on Friday, April 7th and requested they be put on the Agenda for a coin drop in May instead of the Football Team. They are requesting Saturday, May 6, 2017 with a rain date of Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Chris Leach made the motion to approve MVUHS Substance Free Committee’s request to hold a coin drop on Saturday, May 6th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with a rain date of Saturday, May 13th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried with two yays, one nay.

 

 

 

 

8.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if the Police Department received any responses from the drug competition form they put on Facebook. Village Clerk Dianne Day stated that they received one in the mail today.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he wanted to make sure that when coin drops are held the proper signage is put in place at the corners of Pine Street and First Street and Brown Avenue and First Street.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked if there was any action taken on changing banks. Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Lynn is having a meeting with Union Bank on Tuesday, April 11th.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked how the sidewalk study meeting went. Chris Leach stated he felt this was a very expensive project and said a decision was made to go up Route 78 to MVUHS. He said there are issues with drainage and trees. He said they discussed running the sidewalk behind some houses and the town garage but some students said they would walk up Route 78 anyways. Chris also said they are looking at a 4’ extension on either side of the road down on South River St. He said they were told there is grant money available for sidewalks so they are hoping to get one.

 

9.      Public Comment:

 

Kathy Kneebone said she was present tonight because she heard there was the possibility of the Teen Center closing because the Memorial Auditorium building might go up for sale. Reg Beliveau stated that the Trustees are considering selling the Memorial Auditorium building but they wouldn’t close the Teen Center. He said if anything happened they would relocate the Teen Center elsewhere. Chris Leach said they have no intent on closing the Teen Center. Kathy asked if there was anything they could do to help relocate the Teen Center. Chris Leach said with permitting issues this could potentially take months to sell. He said they have nothing but kudos for the Teen Center. Kathy asked if they were selling it to bring business into the Village. Brian Barratt asked if this was the reason for selling the building. He asked if this building was costing us money and said he knows renovating is very expensive. Chris Leach said they are trying to keep the nature of the building in mind because it is a “Memorial Building.” Kathy asked if the Teen Center was the only thing in that building. Chris said no that a business called BMTM is in there also and employees approximately 26 people. He said they would like to relocate them in Swanton also. He said it is their incentive to have something great downtown. Neal Speer stated regardless of what happens it will be best for the community. Reg thanked Kathy for coming in and she said she wants people to help if needed.

 

10.  Executive Session to Discuss Real State:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate at 7:26 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:35 p.m. and to re-enter Open Session. Eugene LaBombard seconded both motions. Motions carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau to write a letter of intent to sell 3 Label Lane to prospective buyer Gordon Winters. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

11.  Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:37 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:37 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

March 27, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, March 27, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Ken Nolan, VPPSA; 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 7:00 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, March 13, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, March 13, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, March 24, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, March 24, 2017. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard stated he wanted it noted that the warrants were only through March 17th. Motion carried.

 

5.      Ken Nolan, VPPSA, Discussion Regarding Sale of the Highgate Converter:

 

Ken Nolan from VPPSA was present for this discussion. He presented the Board with a summary of the proposed Highgate Converter Sale and the following information was included in the summary:

 

What is the Highgate Converter

  • A 225 MW AC-DC-AC Converter connecting the Quebec and Vermont transmission systems in Highgate, VT
  • Built in the 1980’s with the primary purpose of delivering the original Hydro-Quebec, so-called VJO, contract to Vermont utilities
  • Because of rules at the time most Vermont utilities ended up owning a share of the facility – in order to document a physical path from Quebec to individual utility loads
  • VPPSA owns a 9.36% share on behalf of its members and is referred to as VPPSA’s Project #3

 

Why Sell?

  • Financial Benefit – Because of how VPPSA financed the 2011 control system upgrade at the converter VPPSA  members are losing about $40,000 per year right now
    • A 10-year loan with 20-year depreciation
    • Annual loss becomes income in 2024
  • TRANSCO acquiring Highgate raises their “Pool Transmission Facility” value under ISO New England rules
    • Means more TRANSCO overhead can be assigned to the ISO New England Tariff
    • By coupling the sale with an equity purchase it also raises TRANSCO equity percentage
    • Roughly $5 million in Vermont costs would become regional costs
  • Reduced Regulatory Burden
    • A complaint has been filed at FERC alleging transmission owner rates of return are too high
    • As a result FERC is seeking more transparency and rigor in calculations
    • This brings increased burden/cost for VPPSA to file the Highgate cost of service
    • VPPSA will need approvals not sought before (i.e. depreciation studies and approval)

Ken Nolan stated that a complaint was filed with FERC and the rate of return is too high. He said in order to determine costs they factor in depreciation rates, audits, etc.

 

  • Reduced Capital Risk
    • Highgate is 30+ years old and major investments are on the horizon
    • The present ownership structure requires VPPSA (and VPPSA participants) to raise the necessary capital
    • TRANSCO ownership would place this burden on their $1 billion balance sheet instead

Ken said this facility is 30+ years old and will need upgrades soon.

 

The (Original) Transaction Concept

  • All Highgate owners would sell the asset to TRANSCO on May 31st
    • At Net Book Value (required to maintain PTF treatment)
    • TRANSCO would use their line of credit to pay cash
  • TRANSCO would amend its Operating Agreement to allow Highgate owners to acquire TRANSCO equity on September 30th equal to their previous ownership share of Highgate
    • Highgate Owners would give TRANSCO back its money in return for Membership Units
    • VPPSA would be allowed to buy $800,000 of additional equity to offset costs presently assigned to Highgate
  • The net effect would be that the Highgate owners would convert their ownership of Highgate into increased ownership of TRANSCO
    • Transmission payments are converted to TRANSCO dividends

He said TRANSCO owns the asset and Velco manages it. He said on May 31st Velco would pay cash at net book value and in September TRANSCO would allow the purchase of equity at a 12.5% dividend.

 

The Amended (Actual) Transaction

  • Stowe Electric Department (which is a Highgate participant through VPPSA but not a VPPSA member) decided to retain their ownership
    • Further, they believe they have a right of first refusal on VPPSA’s entire ownership (this is not clear in the contracts)
  • Hyde Park decided it did not want to retain an interest, but wanted its share sold to Stowe
  • These positions clouded VPPSA’s ability to undertake the sale without a protracted legal battle
  • To avoid litigation the deal was amended such that VPPSA will sell 56% of its Highgate interest to Stowe on May 31st and the remainder to TRANSCO
    • TRANSCO agrees to issue equity to VPPSA as though the entire Highgate interest was sold to them plus the additional $800,000 originally included
    • Stowe will have 2-years to acquire the remaining 44% of VPPSA’s interest from TRANSCO
  • This results in VPPSA’s position being the same as originally thought
    • Except Stowe ends up owning VPPSA’s Highgate share instead of TRANSCO
    • Preserves about 90% of the anticipated benefits to the state

 

Ken stated that Stowe was a member of VPPSA but left. He said he’s been in the electric transmission business for 25 years and he can’t figure out what benefit this would have for Stowe.

 

How the deal Works for VPPSA

  • VPPSA will receive cash from both Stowe and TRANSCO on May 31st in return for its Highgate ownership
  • VPPSA needs to pay the remainder of its $1.3 million loan outstanding with KeyBank related to the 2011 upgrades
    • Which is collateralized by Highgate’s revenues
  • In September VPPSA will acquire TRANSCO equity equal to the Highgate value (less Stowe and Hyde Park’s share)
    • Plus the allowed $800,000
    • A new loan will need to be obtained for some members to cover the equity purchase
  • VPPSA will receive dividends from the new equity and pass them through to members
    • The dividends received from TRANSCO will be sufficient to pay the debt service on the new loan for those needing it and will result in sending excess revenues to participants

What are the risks?

  • Elimination of TRANSCO dividend
    • The only significant threat to TRANSCO’s dividends would be a reduction in their allowed rate of return
    • TRANSCO’s return is presently 11%
    • VPPSA’s analysis assumes a 9.5% allowed return (being discussed in the pending FERC case)
    • TRANSCO has indicated they could absorb a 9% return without a dividend change
    • Since the TRANSCO dividend and allowed rate of return are linked decreases below 9% return will result in proportional dividend decreases
    • However, decreases in allowed transmission return would impact Highgate as well so retaining ownership doesn’t necessarily avoid this risk
  • TRANSCO decides to sell Highgate to someone else
    • Any sale would need Board of Director’s approval
    • Public power holds 5 votes and VLITE holds 3 votes out of 12 total
  • TRANSCO will need to demonstrate public benefit from a sale
    • It would need to occur at net book value or reimburse New England for its costs coverage
  • VPPSA believes these risks are significantly less than the risk of continued ownership

 

Chris Leach asked if Swanton Village would need to pay anything up front for this and Ken said no there is no out of pocket expense to the Village. He provided a chart showing the impact to Swanton (12.3% ownership - $279,904 and 14.07% of outstanding loan - $184,826).  The chart showed by selling the asset and purchasing the equity equal to available cash will provide Swanton Village with a dividend payment of $11,894 beginning in 2017 and going through year 2036. Ken stated VPPSA recommends selling and getting out of this risk.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau Jr. to sign necessary documents to sell the Village of Swanton’s shares in the Highgate Converter Station per VPPSA’s recommendation and also authorizes the funds from the sale to be used to purchase Transco Equity. Adam Paxman seconded both motions. Motions carried.

 

6.      Audit Report Review:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, informed the Board that Kittell, Branagan & Sargent completed their audit of the Village of Swanton for the year 2016. She said all aspects of the audit went well but they did have a couple of recommendations on two issues. She said they are recommending that the “due to” “due from” be kept at under $1 million dollars and they also recommended that journal entries be reviewed by the Village Manager on a quarterly basis. Other than that the audit went very well. They said we have a good system in place. Adam Paxman made the motion to accept the 2016 Auditor’s Report as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.      Review Banking Relationships for Village of Swanton Business:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, explained to the Board that all daily regular business is done at People’s United Bank with our main operating account. She said that Union Bank would like for the Village to move this operating account to their bank. She said she spoke with a couple of representatives from People’s United Bank today but said her government banking representatives are in Burlington. She said as it stands now the Village goes to the bank everyday and makes a deposit. She said if the Village were to move their operating account to Union Bank we would scan our own checks and do a remote deposit right here from the Village Office. She said between the Police Department and the Office staff, someone could run out there probably twice per week and deposit the cash. She said the online banking with ICloud is going great and the deposits from that have been real good. She said right now their cash flow is better than it has been. Chris Leach said he trusts Lynn’s opinion and said the choice is hers to make. She said they have been contemplating this for a while and feels this will be a step in the right direction. Chris stated as long as the Village’s funds are insured he is fine with leaving the decision up to the Assistant Village Manager.

 

8.      Discuss Tree Replacement Schedule in Village Park:

 

Adam Paxman stated he wanted this on the Agenda in May so asked that this be tabled until a later date. Item tabled.

 

9.      Review Proposed Changes to Coin Drop Rules and Regulations:

 

Adam Paxman stated he has drafted some changes to the Coin Drop Rules and Regulations and wanted to go over them with the Board. He said he added a line on the bottom of the application where it can be signed when the requesting organization has provided the Village with a copy of their liability insurance. The Board agreed to this change. He showed where he highlighted some of the existing information on the back of the application by making it bold type. He stated on Item #3 relating to liability insurance he wanted to add that the requesting organization had to have a copy to the Village Clerk 3 weeks prior to the approved coin drop. It used to say “one week”. He said he also wanted to add “Copy of insurance certificate must be present at event. Failure to have will result in closing the coin drop.” Chris Leach and Eugene LaBombard didn’t think this was necessary as long as they provided a copy to the Clerk before the coin drop. Adam also stated he wanted to add that “requesting organizations can have no more than one coin drop in a two year period.” Chris and Eugene didn’t agree with this either and suggested that all applications be presented to the Village Clerk by March 15th of each year so that they can be scheduled for the summer. They also suggested that if more than one organization was requesting the same month for a coin drop they would use a lottery system to decide who would have it. They asked the Village Clerk to make these changes and they would go over it again to make sure they all agree on the Rules and Regulations.

 

 

10.  Missisquoi Valley Rescue Request Coin Drop on Saturday, August 12, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Missisquoi Valley Rescue’s request to hold a coin drop on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with a rain date of Saturday, August 19, 2017. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried with two yays and one nay.

 

11.  Star Hose (Swanton Fire Department) Request Coin Drop on Saturday, September 9, 2017:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Star Hose’s request to hold a coin drop on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with a rain date of Saturday, September 16, 2017. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried with two yays and one nay.

 

12.  St. Albans Police Department Letter of Recognition:

 

Reg Beliveau stated that he received a letter of recognition from the St. Albans City Police Department regarding the shooting incident last month in St. Albans. He said this letter explains how this incident spilled over into Swanton Village and the City Police Department wanted to specifically thank each individual that responded and helped in some way. He said this letter recognizes Chief Stell, Don Gilbert, Officer Chad Parah, and the Border Patrol agents involved. He mentioned how quickly this incident was solved and how nice it is to have good neighbors and partners. He stated it was a good job done by all assisting agencies.

 

13.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Neal Speer stated there will be a joint meeting on April 4th at the Town Office at 7 p.m. about the Sidewalk Study done by Peter Cross.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he has received some complaints regarding vehicles on Brown Avenue and Canada Street and maybe needing a three way stop sign there. He said Chief Stell is going to monitor the area for a while and see if there is an issue.

 

14.  Public Comment:

 

None.

 

15.  Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate at 8:47 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:34 p.m. and to re-enter Open Session. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Chris Leach made the motion to authorize the Village Manager to claim a 6.4 acre of unclaimed property on landlocked property near the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to have the Village pursue selling the Commercial Building on Label Lane. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

16.  Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:43 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:43 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

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Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date