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, December 10, 2019

November 25, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, November 25, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Amy Brewer and Crystal Lampman, Franklin County Caring Communities; 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.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Adam Paxman stated Item #7 can be taken off agenda as the Police Chief has a prior commitment.

 

3. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, October 28, 2019 Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, October 28, 2019 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked when the Stop Sign Ordinance would take effect. Reg Beliveau stated in January 2020. Motion carried.

 

5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through November 22, 2019:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through November 22, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked about the payment made to the Town of Highgate for $373,590.12. Reg Beliveau stated that was for property taxes and that figure is based on generation at the Hydro Plant. He also asked about the payment made to Paul Nolan for $10,620.78. Reg stated he is the attorney working on relicensing the Hydro Plant. Motion carried.

 

6. Crystal Lampman & Amy Brewer – Franklin County Caring Communities Presentation:

 

Amy Brewer from Franklin County Caring Communities and FGI Tobacco Prevention Coalition explained to the Board that they are working on Healthy Communities for Healthy Kids. She said according to recent surveys alcohol and tobacco use is up in Franklin County and this is a problem because an adolescents brain isn’t fully developed until approximately age 25. She said adolescents who use alcohol during adolescence, are 5 times more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. Crystal Lampman, Executive Director at Franklin County Caring Communities, stated they have been working on looking at local retailers in the area looking at advertising placement. She also mentioned the vaping problem and how the assorted flavors entice young people to try it. Chris Leach mentioned all the negative ads against smoking but said they should try using someone kids can identify with to say don’t smoke and don’t drink. He suggested maybe an athlete or music star. Crystal stated they met with the surgeon general last year and said they really enjoyed his message. Amy talked about a kid walking to school along First Street and said they walk by 8 stores. She said the sign placement is a real problem and said some communities are putting restrictions on businesses as to what and where they can place ads. Neal Speer stated that may be a good idea but said area business owners are trying to make a living and he wouldn’t want to place anymore restrictions on them. They also discussed the Iceland program that will be introduced to MVUHS. Crystal said they started this program 20 years ago and have had a 90% reduction in substance use. She said participants have family dinners together, spend time together and do recreational activities together. Adam Paxman stated they’ve talked about students and the community having an affect on substance use but said what kids see at home is more powerful than that. Crystal and Amy continued to provide the Board with information on alcohol and tobacco use. The Board thanked them for their presentation.

 

 

7. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Tabled until next meeting.

 

8. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if the Village had any more information on Champlain Housing Trust. Reg Beliveau stated he and Lynn gave them recommendations, background and history information on the property but haven’t heard anything back as of yet. He also said he received the latest financials from Lynn and asked how the electric department was doing. Reg stated their generation is catching up. Chris said he would like to see a graph on the generation so he could track it daily. He said people don’t realize how important the electric department is to this community. He said he would like to be able to set their own rates because there are no breaks for high users. Chris also stated the flags in the park are beautiful and wished they could do more than the 110 flags there now. Adam Paxman said it was a lot of work to put up the 110 flags and said volunteers are needed for this job. Chris also asked about the BB gun issue shooting windows at local businesses and also asked about Butch Patch’s river wall issue. Reg said he believed that was taken care of.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the new F350 being purchased for the electric department will come from EJ Barrette Ford. He also said relicensing is progressing at the Hydro Plant but he is concerned with the issue Morrisville is having with the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Reg said during their relicensing ANR and DEC wanted to increase Morrisville’s minimum flows to protect fish and also for canoeing. Morrisville said these minimum flows wouldn’t make them any money so appealed this to the Supreme Court. He said the court upheld the original request by ANR and DEC and now Morrisville doesn’t know what they’re going to do.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board he has been working on the general permit for their storm water permits because they need to conform to the new storm water rules. He said he had a meeting with Pomerleau regarding property management and wetlands. He said they will need to do something with the Hannafords parking lot and they are trying to work together with Pomerleau, the Town of Swanton and the Village. Chris Leach stated the state should be more concerned with farmers fields and how they drain. Eugene LaBombard said manure spreading is supposed to stop the first of November but the state has relaxed the rules this year. Reg said the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA) has put together a brochure explaining to people what can be flushed down the toilet and what can’t be like drugs and personal care products. He said this was done thanks to a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, with project support from VLCT. He said wastewater treatment plants can only handle the three P’s: Pee, Poop and Paper!

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that he received a letter from Northwest Access TV stating they’ve had an 8% decline in revenue and they are asking for $1193 yearly for filming the Board meetings. He said he would split this amount amongst the electric, water and sewer departments. The Board agreed to this.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau read a thank you letter from Vermont Electric Coop for the mutual aide they received during the latest wind storm. The letter stated Daren Plouff and Brendan Hurley were a tremendous help to them. Reg Beliveau stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer, Village President, said he attended the Swanton Town Selectboard meeting last week and said there was a presentation on the Town purchasing the Teen Center which is located in the old Wayside Furniture building. He said the Village of Swanton supports this as well as Betsy Fournier. He said the Town has his support for this because the community needs it and they don’t want to let it go by.

 

9. Executive Session if Necessary:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate at 8:21 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:40 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

 

10. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:40 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

October 28, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, October 28, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; Beth Crane, Mentoring Program 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.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated Crystal Lampman, Amy Brewer and Michael Monte would not be at tonight’s meeting.

3. Public Comment:

 

Beth Crane, Franklin County Caring Communities and Watershed Mentoring, stopped by to talk to the Trustees about the need for mentoring in Franklin County. She said as of know there are kids on a waiting list for mentors. She said she would like the Trustees support in raising awareness that kids need mentors and positive role models. Chris Leach asked how a child qualifies to have a mentor. Beth stated the school may notice that a child needs help or adult attention to help them stay in school, etc. She said there are all sorts of reasons and these are usually kids they don’t want to fall through the cracks. Chris Leach asked what the qualifications are for the mentor. Beth stated they are adults who can pass a background check and have a comfort level with kids. She said mentoring has helped kids stay in school, graduate and move on to a happy future. Reg Beliveau told Beth the Village would put this information on their website and also said she should talk with the Town to get this information on the E-Sign. The Board thanked her for her information.

 

4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 23, 2019 Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, September 23, 2019 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through October 25, 2019:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through October 25, 2019 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment to Champlain Valley Equipment for $3,999. Reg Beliveau stated that was for the pusher on the plow truck. Eugene LaBombard asked about the payment made to the Town of Swanton for $81,241.10. Reg stated that was for the Village taxes. Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to the Garnet Abrasive & Water Filtration for $10,076. Reg stated that was for work done at the Water Treatment Plant. Eugene LaBombard asked about the payment made to James Kiley for $11,508.07. Reg stated that was for work done on the digger truck in the electric department. Chris Leach asked about the payment to Champlain Divers for $2400. Reg stated that was for diving done at the water plant checking the input valve and for diving at the Hydro Plant. He said these are annual inspections. Motion carried.

 

6. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief Stell handed out an Incident Summary Report to the Board and said this covers incidents from September through October. He said there was 348 calls for service and covers a wide variety of calls from motor vehicle complaints to crashes to agency assists. He said they gave 47 warnings and issued traffic tickets totaling $1861.00. He also explained they have reoccurring property checks that are done every day. Adam Paxman asked if anything out of the ordinary was concerning. Chief Stell said no and said they are seeing less discarded needles and seeing less vandalism. He said burglaries are down but retail theft is the same. He said they see a lot of retail theft from the Dollar Store and from Hannafords. Chief Stell said last weekend they participated in the drug take back day along with the DEA. He said the last time they did it they collected 40-43pounds of drugs. Chris Leach asked how things were going with the Resource Officer at MVUHS. Chief Stell said violence is down and they still have minor behavior issues but nothing alarming. He said they have made a proposal to the elementary school for a resource officer because there are federal grants available to help pay for them. He said the school is working on their budget to see if they can do this. He said this makes kids feel safe at school. Chris also asked how active the K-9 was. Chief Stell said he’s been fairly active and said he found his first drugs in a car, drugs in a house and helped locate an elderly dementia patient in a nearby area. Eugene LaBombard said he received a complaint over the weekend about suspicious activity at the Swanton beach. He asked if there was nightly patrol there and asked if the gate was locked each night. Chief Stell said they do patrol there nightly but said they are leaving the gate unlocked right now because of duck and goose hunting. He said hunters arrive at 4 a.m. and that could be the activity they are referring to if they’re not used to that happening. He said they will leave the gate unlocked for the hunters and close it back up when the season is done. Chris Leach also asked about their overtime wages being up recently. Chief Stell stated they are having trouble with their part timers not being able to work weekends. He said they are in the training process again and hope to send a couple more to the academy in February.

 

7. 2020 Health Insurance Renewal Discussion:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that there is going to be a $14,900 increase for the Village for their MVP Health Insurance in 2020. He said that amounts to a 9% increase. He said as of right now they are under budget in that line item because some employees have made changes to their insurance. Adam Paxman made the motion to approve the Village of Swanton renewing their Health Insurance with MVP. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked if the Village looked around and checked prices with any other companies. Reg Beliveau said yes they do every year and because they are a member of VT Leagues of Cities and Towns they get a better rate. He said Swanton Village is fiscally responsible and he said the employees contribute to their health insurance. Motion carried.

 

8. Water Allocation Request for 408 Maquam Shore Road – Brian Benoit:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Water Commissioner’s meeting at 7:45 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Brian Benoit’s request for a water allocation of 400 GPD for his two-bedroom seasonal camp at 408 Maquam Shore Road. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Water Commissioner’s meeting and re-enter Open Session at 7:47 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

9. Approve and Adopt Updated Stop Sign Ordinance:

 

Reg Beliveau stated he would like to update the Stop Streets Ordinance in the Village to include stopping at the end of Canada Street at the Grand Avenue intersection. He said he has spoken with the Agency of Transportation (AOT) and they support this. He said AOT doesn’t recommend a yield on a street that has 6100 or more vehicles recorded and Canada Street has 9100 vehicles. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to update their Stop Street Ordinance to include stopping on Canada Street at the Grand Avenue intersection. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

10. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if the dirt on South River Street was for the new sidewalk going in. Neal Speer stated that it was for the pedestrian bike lane they are doing. He said the Town will be extending the shoulder of the road so bikes and pedestrians are much safer on that road. Chris also asked if there was a schedule for the bags of leaves to be picked up. Reg said it’s usually Monday’s and Friday’s if they have time. Chris asked if the Village is using the electric car yet. Reg said he is still working on getting it registered. Chris asked about Bruce Spaulding doing the cleaning on the monuments by the Lady Liberty statue. Reg said the four stones have been cleaned but not the statue. He said Ron Kilburn is looking into getting it cleaned. Chris also asked about how the Village taxes came in this year and Dianne Day, Village Clerk, said she handed over approximately $67,000 in delinquent taxes which is about the usual amount.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said Halloween In the Park was a great success this year and said a lot of people came out for it. He said Christmas in the Park will be held on December 7th this year but said the Chamber needs help with putting Christmas lights up in the Park. He said if you can volunteer to contact him. He said the Chamber building is looking good. He said the baseboard molding and cabinets are in and he is hoping it will be all set by the 1st of the year. He said he knew coin drop requests would start coming in and asked if the new form was being used.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked if the stump dump was closed after 4 p.m. and on weekends now. Reg Beliveau stated it was because they had issues with people dumping couches and garbage at the site. He said there are cameras there but because it was an ongoing problem they decided to lock it up. He said the dump site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and he said next spring they might try opening it on weekends again. Eugene asked if there was any word on Butch Patch’s river wall. Reg said he was told he needed to talk to the enforcement officer. He said he thought it was a permit issue and that a permit needed to be paid for ahead of time.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated Route 78 will be closed this weekend beginning Saturday, November 2 at 7 p.m. He said local residents can continue to use Church Road and Campbell’s Bay Road to go around the road work but said no big trucks would be allowed.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Village participated in a tabletop exercise on Wednesday and Dianne Day and Cathy Fournier helped keep record of it. He said this was a statewide free exercise and on Thursday there was another exercise here with the HazMat team. He said the Village did some repair on the Merchants Row bridge by the VFW on the metal plate. He said it is showing its age and he will work with the State of Vermont and Regional Planning because the bridge needs to have an analysis done. He said there are grants available for this and he will look into it. He said he has also been teaching fire prevention again this fall at the schools.

 

11. Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 8:08 p.m. to discuss Real Estate. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session and re-enter Open Session at 8:30 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau Jr. to write a letter to Champlain Housing Trust asking for more of a clarification on their recent request to suspend payment of their grant. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:32 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:32 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

September 23, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, September 23, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Philip “Butch” Patch; Crystal & Antonio Woods; Vic Woods; John & Patricia Rushlow; Rob & Ann Thomas 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.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Neal Speer stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss Real Estate.

3. Public Comment:

 

Butch Patch informed the Board that he was hand delivered a Notice of Alleged Violation on September 16, 2019 from the VT Agency of Natural Resources. He said according to this notice, it states the description of the alleged violation to be: without first obtaining a permit, you have placed or allowed to be placed more than 10 cubic yards of waste concrete on the riverbank of the Missisquoi River on property you own and/or control located at 15 South River Street in Swanton. He said the notice further states that he has to apply for a Stream Alteration Permit for the removal of the subject waste concrete and stabilization of the riverbank by October 1, 2019. Butch said he has maintained this riverbank since he’s owned his property and has spent a lot of money stabilizing the bank over the years. Butch said he is hoping he’s not going to be a pawn in the dam removal issue. He said he has even planted vegetation in the concrete wall because that’s what the state asked for and said it’s sloped like they asked for. He said he’s done everything he’s been asked to do and now all of a sudden it’s now an issue. Neal Speer stated now that they know who to contact the Board will address this and contact that individual. Butch said the State has given him 10 days to reply and he has no problem contacting them and asking for an extension. Reg Beliveau stated he should reply so that he’s not issued a fine and also do an inquiry about why these stabilization walls are allowed on the lake along Maquam Shore Road but not the river. Eugene LaBombard asked Butch how long this wall has taken Butch to complete. Butch stated several years and said he still continues to add blocks when needed due to erosion. He showed the Board pictures of his wall. Neal stated the Board would get back to him as soon as they’ve heard something.

 

4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 9, 2019 Meeting:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, September 9, 2019 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if the King Street sidewalk issue has been rescheduled. Village Clerk Dianne Day said no not as of yet, that the individual has not called to get back on the agenda. Adam stated this item should be tabled at this time. Chris Leach asked if Bruce Spaulding has worked on the Lady Liberty monument. Neal Speer stated Ron Kilburn provided them with information from the company in Boston that cleaned the monument in 1999. Ron is contacting them to see if this cleaning solution would be okay to use on it. He will let them know what he finds out. Motion carried.

 

5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through September 20, 2019:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through September 6, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Peak Motor. Reg Beliveau stated this was for the pumps at the Wastewater Plant. Chris Leach asked about the SS Solar payment and Eugene LaBombard asked if the payment to MVP was monthly. Motion carried.

 

 

6. Crystal Woods – Noise Complaint on Fourth Street:

 

Neal Speer stated Antonio and Crystal Woods were present tonight along with some of their neighbors to present their side of the story regarding the noise complaint with their rooster Onyx. Crystal introduced herself to the Board and said she and her family have lived at 11 Fourth Street for about 8 years. She said during this time the Bourgeois’ have made many complaints about their trees, their dogs and what they do on their property. She said they mostly ignore their complaints and for the most part all got along. She said in early spring 2019 her son Vic got some chicks and all were supposed to be hens for eggs but one ended up being a rooster (Onyx). She said she raised her children that when they take on an animal it is a lifetime commitment as the shelters are overrun with adoptable animals and thousands are euthanized every day. She said when they put the chicks outside because they were getting too big for the house that’s when the problems started. She said Onyx did crow as he was coming into maturity. She said the Bourgeois’ never once asked to talk to them in a respectful manner about the rooster bothering them. She said she was yelled at one morning while letting her dogs out and since then have tried different things to try and calm the situation down. She said they tried covering the cage so he didn’t crow as early, they tried a no-crow collar that they purchased from Amazon and they also moved the cage further away from the house. She said they have managed to keep him quiet during quiet times in the Village. She said when they didn’t get rid of the rooster their neighbors started calling the police on them and complaining to the Village. She said they didn’t just complain about the rooster, it ranged from the rooster to the noise from her son’s truck and from the radio playing in the garage while working in there. She said at this point it seemed pointless to get rid of the rooster to solve the problem because they were complaining about everything. Crystal said she is asking the Village to not put an ordinance in place to support the Bourgeois’ complaints. She said they are not doing anything illegal and they are Village taxpayers and take good care of their property. She said they try to follow the laws and try not to bother their neighbors and even help them out when they can.  She said if the Village puts an ordinance in place their rooster was there beforehand and grandfathered in. She said an ordinance would have to be retroactive and that is illegal.  She said Swanton has been a farming community for years and people are returning to growing their own vegetables and raising farm animals for organic food. She said putting an ordinance in place would take that choice away from them as well. She said the Bourgeois’ are wasting taxpayer dollars by using up valuable resources on trivial matters rather than important things happening as they speak. She said there are drug issues to be dealt with not roosters crowing and playing music in the middle of the day, there are far more important things to deal with. Lastly, Crystal says, if noise bothers them then living in the Village is not the place for them. She said Fourth Street is a busy street. There is a school with noisy children, there are neighbors that cut wood for their heat in the winter, and there is Swanton Limestone that makes noise all day that can be heard from Fourth Street with the blasting and drilling for stone. Neal Speer asked if those present were here in support of the Woods’. Bob Thompson stated having a rooster is no different than hearing a dog bark in the Village, he said its part of nature. He said he agrees with Crystal about this. He said back in the 1990’s his son had a race car that they would work on during the day. He said they never received one complaint. Reg Beliveau said they have made measures trying to keep Onyx quiet. Crystal said they have even looked into having the rooster neutered but it costs approximately $200. She said he seems to be more noisy when people are around and they are hoping that calms down the older he gets. She said they are hoping to get him re-homed but roosters are not in high demand. She said even if they get rid of the rooster their neighbors won’t stop making complaints on them. Neal said he appreciates their attempts at trying to remedy the situation. He said they will work together and try and come up with a peaceful resolution. The Board thanked everyone for coming in.

 

7. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated the Fire Chief, Police Chief and Board of Trustees received a letter regarding the fireworks that were held in the Village after the Arts Spectacular Show. He said he will acknowledge receipt of the letter. Adam also asked if there would be a comparison done on the health care insurance. He said Halloween in the Park will be held on October 26 and Christmas in the Park will be held on December 7th. He said the Chamber of Commerce building has been moved and the carpet will be installed soon. He also said Sam and Betty will be moved to MVUHS very soon for the winter.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated the sidewalk on Robinhood Drive looks good. He also said there was a motor vehicle accident in front of Swanton Lumber and said the pole was hit and needs to be replaced.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated the lights and soffet looks great downtown.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated while traveling in different towns he has seen numerous signs stating “Engine Brake Mufflers Required.” He said this is something to keep in mind when dealing with noise ordinances. Chris Leach stated he has talked with other town officials and asked them how they measure noise.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he received a call about littering along Maquam Shore and Lake Street. He also mentioned the Zero Energy Modular home in the Village Park that’s on display for Public Power Week.

 

 

8. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

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

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:25 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

9. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:25 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

Friday, September 27, 2019

September 9, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, September 9, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Elijah Emerson, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer; Michael & Sherlyn Bourgeois; Desireah Ladieu, Isabel Bennett; Bruce Spaulding; John Lumsden, MVUHS;  Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; 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.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that Adam Noel contacted her today and cannot make tonight’s meeting so #8 is removed from the agenda. The Board suggested John Lumsden be heard under #8 instead, as well as Bruce Spaulding. Adam Paxman stated he needed an executive session to discuss personnel.

3. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, August 26, 2019 Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, August 26, 2019 meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through September 6, 2019:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through September 6, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked if the large payment made to VPPSA was due to the Hydro Plant shutdown. Reg stated that was part of it but said they had very minimal water. Motion carried.

 

6. Elijah Emerson, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, Presentation on Electric Regulatory Industry:

 

Eli Emerson from Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, was present for this discussion and stated that the Board as Trustees are in charge of the operations of the electric department but said it is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. They discussed VPPSA being a good resource for the Village of Swanton because they are larger and have better buying power. He said they purchase power out of state on the Village’s behalf. Eli’s presentation included discussion on financial activities such as issuance of debt, ratemaking, regulated vs. unregulated service and out of state investments, construction and out of state energy purchases. They talked about regulated utility projects including the rebuilding of and repairing existing structures. Discussion took place regarding projects and construction and what activities are subject to Section 248/Certificate of Public Good Proceedings. They also discussed Act 250 – environmental considerations, water quality considerations, etc. Eli informed the Board of issues unique to municipal utilities under Title 30, Chapter 79; Title 17 and Title 24. Chris Leach stated they are in the process of relicensing the Hydro Plant and asked Eli if his firm needed to be involved in this. Eli stated they don’t tend to do FERC work. He said they are Vermont specific and work in water quality certifications, etc. The Board thanked Eli for his presentation.

 

 

 

7. Michael & Sherlyn Bourgeois, Rooster Causing Noise Complaint on Fourth Street:

 

Michael and Sherlyn Bourgeois, along with Desireah Ladieu, all residents from Fourth Street were present for this discussion. Michael stated he didn’t want to pick on one bird so suggested this be called a “noise” complaint and not a “rooster” complaint. He said the noise is incessant and after talking with the Zoning Administrator and Village Manager, he found out there is no noise ordinance in place for the Village of Swanton regarding farm animals. He said they need to make sure quality of life is here and they need that piece of mind. He said certain animals in the Village could affect one’s property value. Neal Speer asked them if they have contacted the Animal Control officer for Swanton and said he can’t understand how this has gone on this long without being resolved. Mr. Bourgeois stated he has and was told he doesn’t handle these kinds of issues. Elisabeth Nance suggested he contact Gary Centabar on the Town Selectboard as he works with the Animal Control Officer. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she was contacted today by a lady from Enosburg who will be offering a class in October at the Swanton Public Library teaching residents how to care for chickens. She said the lady wanted to know if there was an Ordinance in place and said she would call back prior to her class. Desireah Ladieu stated she lives on the other side of this residence with the rooster and said in crows constantly and is a nuisance. The Board stated they would look into this further and would research a noise/farm animal ordinance.

 

8. Adam Noel – Discussion on King Street Sidewalk:

 

Item Tabled. John Lumsden, MVUHS Athletic Director, was given this item #. He said MVUHS will be holding their pep rally on Friday, September 20th and he is requesting permission to have their parade on Canada Street this year instead of First Street. He said they should be coming through the Village at approximately 6 p.m. and said the MVU band will be marching this year too. He said it is also the 50th anniversary of their alumni and some of those members will also march in the parade. He said they will also have a firework display at 8:45 p.m. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve MVUHS’s request to hold a parade on Friday, September 20th at 6 p.m. on Canada Street in the Village of Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Bruce Spaulding stated that about a year ago he met an individual who cleans military and war veterans headstones two days per week. He said he introduced him to this and showed him what product he uses to do so. Bruce stated he knows the Board is interested in having Lady Liberty in the Village Green cleaned and he is requesting permission to clean the four monument stones that sit at the base of the Lady Liberty. He said he is very confident this product won’t harm the stones or the statue. He said he is also looking for any individuals who would like to join him in cleaning veterans’ headstones at our local cemeteries. He said he has been doing so all summer and has a goal of getting 50 stones cleaned before winter. He said he would show anyone interested how to use this product. Chris Leach stated he thinks this is a great idea and thanked Bruce for cleaning the military headstones. Chris Leach made the motion to approve Bruce Spaulding cleaning the four base stones that sit at the Lady Liberty statue in the Village Green. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

9. Economic Development Coordinator Update:

 

Elisabeth Nance stated the words “no more than” need to come out of the Historic Preservation Commission ordinance. She also informed the Board that the Village of Swanton was awarded a VTrans grant in the amount of $34,000 to complete another traffic pattern study downtown. She said there is a 20 percent match required from the Village and she is requesting the Village budget $6800 for this next year. She said this was done in 2001 but can’t be used and needs to be done again. Chris Leach said there needs to be a steering committee that looks at traffic from the First Street intersection, Grand Avenue and Canada Street. He said he would like to be a part of this committee as well. Adam Paxman made the motion authorizing Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign all necessary documents pertaining to this downtown traffic study grant. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

10. Approve and Adopt Swanton Electric Department’s Privacy Policy:

 

Chris Leach made the motion for the Village of Swanton to approve and adopt Swanton Electric Department’s Privacy Policy as written. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

11. 2019 December Transco Equity Offer/Purchase:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Vermont Transco is expecting to issue equity in November and December of this year. He said the Village of Swanton is eligible to purchase $109,810 worth of equity and said VPPSA will finance this purchase on the Village’s behalf. Chris Leach made the motion to approve VPPSA financing $109,810 worth of equity for the Village of Swanton and to also purchase any other members share if they decline. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

12. Efficiency Vermont’s Zero Energy Modular Program and Open House September 23 through October 6, Church Street on the Park Side:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Efficiency Vermont will have a Zero Energy Modular home set up on the Village Green from September 23 through October 6. He said there will be open houses on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He also said Public Power Day will be held on October 5th and on September 25th the Village of Swanton along with Efficiency Vermont, the VT Council on Rural Development and VPPSA will be interviewed on Channel 15. He urged everyone to come and check out this Zero Energy Modular home.

 

 

13. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, read aloud a letter written by Hank Lambert on behalf of the Swanton Beautification Committee of the Swanton Enhancement Project about planting 16 new trees this year. This letter also mentioned the flower boxes and additional flower beds that drew many positive comments from citizens and visitors. He thanked the Board of Trustees for their generosity and support.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman gave a shout out to the Arts Spectacular Show, especially Darci Benoit for putting on such a great show. He said the ribs and salads were a big hit and the entertainment was great too. He said it was a great show.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach mentioned the new sign at the Hydro Plant and said how nice it looked. He said he also wanted to compliment the art show held in the park and said he enjoys seeing downtown activities. He also mentioned moving forward with cleaning the Lady Liberty statue and said he feels they did that tonight.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer also wanted to thank the Swanton Arts Council for a great show as well as all people who were involved from the Arts Council, the food vendors and the entertainment. He said everything went great.

 

14. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Personnel at 8:38 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:50 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

15. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:50 p.m.  Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date