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, September 13, 2018

August 27, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, August 27, 2018

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; Leonard Stell, Chief of Police; Gary Centabar 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:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would like to move Public Comment to the beginning of this meeting and would like for it to be at the beginning of each meeting from now on. Reg Beliveau stated he would like to move Net Metering to the beginning as well.

3.      Approve and Accept Village Minutes from the Monday, August 13, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, August 13, 2018 regular meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, August 24, 2018:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, August 24, 2018 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

6.      Discussion on Net Metering:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated the Village of Swanton has two 500 KW net metered projects online and they get their credits each month. She said they have three which are considered group net metered, two of which are the 500 KW projects. She said the Village reads those meters and gives them their credits each month. She said group net metered projects have off-takers which receive some of the credits. She said the Village of Swanton is an off-taker to the project on the Frontage Road along with the Town of Highgate and the Schools. She said depending on what percentage you have, the meter is read, the bill is generated and then the percentages of credit are applied to each one of the off-takers account. She said the other net metered projects receive their credits each month and then they pay the developer of that project back a percentage. She said between all the Village’s solar projects it totals approximately $40,000 per month in credits which is lost revenue for the Village. Adam Paxman stated this $40,000 loss per month goes back onto the Village’s ratepayers and Lynn agreed with this. She said that equates to a 1 to 2 % rate increase if she was to go in for one due to solar. Chris Leach asked how much per kilowatt are the solar customers being paid. Lynn said that depended on the net metering rules and said everyone is different. She said the old projects are 20 cents per kilowatt and the new ones are 15 cents per kilowatt. She said the adjusters drop off after ten years and said the Village is losing the full amount because they aren’t getting that revenue. It’s called load shedding she said. Adam stated the Village is over a half a million dollars in credits being given out each year. Lynn said July and August are around $40,000 per month but for December and January it’s not that much. In the winter months it’s around $10,000 per month. Chris Leach said it’s irritating to him that the people who don’t participate in these solar projects have their rates increased because of it. He said that is not fair. Lynn said the Board agreed to participate in one of the solar projects a while ago and because of that the sewer plant, water plant and complex building are all participants and save money in those departments. She said it’s offsetting for the Village because the rate payers are seeing an increase but the taxpayers are seeing a decrease but said the offset is not close to being equal. Chris stated it doesn’t even come close to what’s being lost and how that affects the rate payers. Lynn said the Village paid the solar company approximately $8600 in July but retained close to $3400 in the water, sewer and general fund. She said at least some of the Village’s departments saw a benefit because the solar projects were coming in whether the Village participated in it or not. Lynn said some utilities are saturated with over 30% of solar customers. She said it’s very important that a ratepayer do their homework and really find out what these developers are telling them for numbers. Reg said he is trying to educate our customers about being a public power utility and when these solar companies come in and try to sell them solar they are like a car salesman. He said educating our ratepayers by giving them the tools they need to make informed decisions is his priority. Lynn said you will always have customers who will switch to solar because it’s green and because it’s new technology even if it costs them a bit more. She said there are other customers who are thinking they’re going to get a better payback than what they actually get. Reg said that VPPSA will be here during Power Week in October and they will be showing how people can make their homes more efficient and better winterized. Chris stated these are the things that can really make a difference in your electric bill each month. He said the reality of solar is that it’s forcing rate increases on those who don’t participate for one reason or another. He said both wind and solar deteriorate over time and must be replaced. He said generators can be rebuilt and often times produce more electricity the older they get. The Board thanked Lynn for coming in and explaining net metering to them.

 

7.      Approve Amended Historic Preservation Commission Ordinance:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, explained to the Board that Elisabeth Nance is requesting a change to this Ordinance. The change is going from a 3 member board to no more than 10 members. Adam Paxman made the motion to adopt and approve the amended Historic Preservation Commission Ordinance. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.      Chief of Police – Swanton Police Department Update:

 

Chief Stell informed the Board that so far in the month of August they have handled 90 complaints in the Village. He said in July they had 112 calls and issued speeding tickets on Spring Street, Canada Street and Grand Avenue. He said so far in August they are seeing speeding on those same streets. He said they stopped one vehicle going 52 mph on Canada Street. He said once it’s paved it will be worse and said they are targeting those areas. Adam Paxman asked the Chief if the drug scene was getting any better. Chief Stell stated it hasn’t changed any. He said the bigger dealers live outside this area and the smaller quantities are being sold here. Neal Speer asked if the activity at the ball fields has declined or increased. Chief Stell stated there is no increased activity and no less. Reg Beliveau stated he has a grant for lighting and said they would like to light up the back field and also put lights at Marble Mill. Adam Paxman asked the Chief if there was any interest in bringing back “National Night Out” and the Chief said yes they are planning on doing it next year.

 

9.      Discussion on Speeding Issue:

 

Adam Paxman said he asked the public for help and said so far he’s received 12 responses. He said the concern is there and they are willing to help solve it. He said some of the suggestions have been speed bumps, dips, and bump outs. Reg Beliveau stated those would be a paving nightmare. Adam asked the public to continue sending him emails with areas of concern. Gary Centabar said he lives on Canada Street and the speeding is real bad from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. He said enforcement doesn’t work and suggested they install speed bumps or dips. He said they need to at least try something. Adam stated he will continue to compile information. He said he would like the 50 mph speed sign on Spring Street to be moved to the town line. He thinks that will help make a difference. Adam also mentioned the jake break signs that used to be up throughout the Village. He said the Village was advised by VLCT to remove those signs because you can’t tell a truck driver not to use a particular kind of break. He said this could end up being a safety issue so most towns have removed them.

 

         10. Swanton Elementary After School Corssroads Program request Coin Drop for June 22, 2019:

 

The Board asked if this program was funded by tax dollars and if so they didn’t feel this program should have a coin drop. They asked the Village Clerk to contact them and find out. Adam Paxman made the motion to table this item until next meeting. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

11.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach said the dam installation is done and he said it’s wonderful. He said now all they need is water! He said the MVUHS water line job is also done. Reg said he is having his final construction meeting on Tuesday. Chris said the NEPPA Conference went well and he took away the following information: “Quality, Quantity & Affordability.” He said that should be their theme and they also need to “tell their story”. He said they are not “publicly” owned, they are “community” owned. He said they should have footage of the dam being installed to help tell their story. Chris also wanted to thank the Town of Swanton for the fireworks show at the end of the Arts Spectacular. He said they had a great turnout and he said he also really likes the swan on the bandstand.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said the Arts Spectacular had a great day. He said the donations received for the free meal will go towards the playground fundraiser. Adam said Darcy Benoit of the Arts Council did a wonderful job on the Arts Spectacular. He also said he attended a Selectboard meeting and they are changing the name of Thibault Parkway to Summer’s Court. Reg said the signs are in they just need to be installed. Adam said there is Church Street behind the Village Green and also a Church Road in West Swanton. He is suggesting they change the name of Church Street to Park Street.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated he is concerned about the parking situation on Greenwich and First Streets. He asked Reg if they went before the Development Review Board and Reg said no they haven’t. Eugene said the Highway Department should see this and said zoning should also be aware of the large truck being parked on Canada Street across from People’s United Bank.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said there was a great article in the St. Albans Messenger about the playground fundraiser. Reg also said Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, was informed she received the sidewalk grant to place sidewalks from King Street to Brown Avenue. He said not only did they get the grant but the amount was doubled to $48,000. Reg also said the NEPPA Conference went well.

 

12.  Executive Session to Discuss Customer Accounts and Contracts:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss customer accounts and contracts at 8:25 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:49 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

13. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 8:49 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:49 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August 13, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, August 13, 2018

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; Heidi Britch-Valenta, Highgate Town Administrator; Betsy Fournier, Debbie Winters; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Tom Benton 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:

 

Adam Paxman stated they needed more information on the net metering item and suggested the Board table this item until further notice. He also stated they would now only need an Executive Session to discuss personnel and could delete customer account.

3.      Discussion and Public Hearing on VCDP Planning Grant 2017 – Heidi Britch-Valenta, Highgate Town Administrator and Jim Harrison:

 

Neal Speer read aloud the VCDP Planning Grant and it read as follows:

VCDP Planning Grant 2017

Public Hearing Notice

Notice of Public Hearing

 

The Village of Swanton and the Town of Highgate are considering making application to the State of Vermont for a VCDP Planning Grant 2017 under the Vermont Community Development Program. A public hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on August 13, 2018 at 120 First Street, Swanton, VT to obtain the views of citizens on community development, to furnish information concerning the amount of funds available and the range of community development activities that may be undertaken under this program, the impact to any historic and archaeological resources that may be affected by the proposed project, and to give affected citizens the opportunity to examine the proposed statement of projected use of these funds.

 

The proposal is for the Town of Highgate to be the lead applicant to apply for $45,000 in VCDP funds which will be used to accomplish the following activities: complete a feasibility study to explore extending the Swanton Village Water Line from MVU High School to the area surrounding the Highgate Airport.

 

Copies of the proposed application are available at the Highgate Town Clerk’s office and may be viewed during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Should you require any special accommodations, please contact Dianne Day, Village Clerk at 802-868-3397 to ensure appropriate accommodations are made. For the hearing impaired please call (TTY) #1-800-253-0191.

 

Swanton Village Board of Trustees

Copy Submitted by: Dianne Day

Phone: 802-868-3397

 

Heidi Britch-Valenta stated the Town of Highgate is happy to be engaging in this grant and said it’s a great opportunity. She said this is a small component of a very large project and that is expanding the airport. She said they will be working on hangar and runway improvements and they need a better water source. She said right now they are purchasing water. She said there are seven commercial spaces there and before they solicit business to come in they would like to secure a better water source. She said the Town of Highgate is applying for a feasibility study grant to see if it makes sense to bring water to the airport from the Village of Swanton. Reg Beliveau stated Aldrich & Elliott have been involved and can give them a good idea of what the cost would be to bring water up to the airport. Chris Leach stated this is exciting news and said they have the water capacity to do this. He said Swanton can use some economic growth for sure. Heidi Britch-Valenta stated residents are having to drive one hour or more to go to work and said it would be nice to have businesses here. She said the Town of Highgate is looking at grants and private investors to do this project. Adam Paxman asked if there would be an expense to the Village of Swanton. Heidi stated no, not at this time. Heidi said with the proximity to Interstate 89 and the Canadian border this is a great opportunity. Chris Leach agreed and said this is key for bringing prosperity to this area. Neal Speer stated hopefully this joint effort between Highgate and Swanton will spark the State of Vermont to boost this project. Elisabeth Nance stated that Tim Smith from the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation fully supports this grant application.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Minutes from the Monday, July 23, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, July 23, 2018 regular meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

5.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, August 10, 2018:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, August 10, 2018 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked about the $12,088.00 invoice to the City of St. Albans. Reg Beliveau explained that was for dispatching services.

 

6.      Sign SRF Loan Documents for the MVUHS Waterline Replacement Job:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that these loan documents were for the $435,000 MVUHS Waterline Replacement job that the Village voters approved in March 2018. All Board members signed the loan documents.

 

7.      Set Tax Rate for 2018 Village Tax Bills:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, explained to the Board that Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, has determined that the Village needs a tax rate set at 0.8266 compared to the estimated tax rate of 0.8256 that was printed in the Village Annual Report. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the 2018 Village tax rate at 0.8266. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman stated he wanted all pencils sharpened for next year’s budget. Motion carried.

 

 

8.      Betsy Fournier – Update on Marble Mill:

 

Betsy Fournier informed the Board that she received some good feedback on the survey she generated regarding Marble Mill. She said they are now looking for funds to create a master plan. She said they have talked with Northwest Regional Planning and there may be a municipal planning grant she can apply for. She stressed how much they wanted community input and said they may be able to apply for more funding to implement some changes there. Reg Beliveau stated the grant has a 10% match and the Planning Board would have to apply for it. He said there is a $22,000 grant out there and they would need to come up with $2,200. He said this grant can’t be matched with labor, it has to be cash. Chris Leach made the motion to stand in favor of applying for this grant and to approve the 10% match of $2,200. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, asked residents to save the date of Sunday, September 2 because they are having an ice cream social at the Marble Mill park. Betsy said she urges any group or individuals to go into Marble Mill, sit there and envision what they would like to see there. She said it’s such a beautiful place. The Board thanked Betsy for the update.

 

9.      Public Comment:

 

Debbie Winters came in to give the Board an update on the new Swanton Playground. First she showed the Board a map of the existing conditions of the elementary and central schools. She then showed a map of what they are planning to implement. She said there are areas that have pavement and they would like to have that removed and replaced with grass. She said she didn’t realize how many times during the winter months the children are not allowed outside to play because there is too much ice on the pavement. She said this would help eliminate that and kids would be healthier getting out in the fresh air more often. She also showed the area by the recreation path and what they would like to do there. She is proposing to put in sidewalks, benches, trees and a mulched playground area so when families are walking the recreation path they have great access to the school’s playground. She stressed this should be viewed as Swanton’s community playground and not just belonging to the schools.

 

Debbie then presented the Board with a pamphlet titled “Together We Will Rebuild Swanton’s Playground.” Some key points mentioned in this pamphlet talk about investing in Swanton’s playground and why it’s important. She said Swanton is on the rise and the Swanton library has become the hub of the community, offering amazing children’s programs and providing new, exciting opportunities for community engagement. Debbie also said the Swanton Enhancement Project and Arts Council have beautified and brightened Swanton with their creativity and inspiring artwork. She said recreational programs continue to expand, and recreational opportunities in the area are being highlighted and promoted. She said the vibrancy of downtown is continuing to expand thanks to the historic restoration project and planned commercial redevelopment. Debbie said she wants to keep this momentum going and provide Swanton’s children and families with a place where they are excited to play, to provide Swanton with another source of pride and show people why Swanton is a great place to live. Debbie listed why this playground is important: It is Swanton’s community playground and a source of community pride. It will provide a gathering place for the community and will highlight what a great place Swanton is to live. Its location on our recreation corridor along with the Fit and Healthy Path and near the recreation fields is the perfect fit. It is within walking distance of Village residents in our population center. It will give our children an exciting place to play which will help improve overall health and wellness. And when completed, this project will achieve two major goals: providing our school with an updated, safe, and exciting place to play, and our community an amazing recreational resource.

 

Debbie stated playgrounds are important to a community because recreational assets create vibrant communities and improve health and wellness. She said that 46% of Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union first, third and fifth graders are overweight or obese. She said 85% of people say proximity to parks and playgrounds is a factor in where they choose to live and 100% of the school board, the Town Selectboard and Village Trustees support this project. Debbie talked about the state of the existing playground and said the first problem is the equipment is decades old with safety hazards. There are large amounts of pavement which cause poor drainage and icing in the winter and surface upgrades are needed to improve soft fall zones. Debbie showed the Board the new playground design and then discussed the project scope. She said they need pavement removal to improve drainage and minimize ice buildup in winter, site work improvements including better grading and improved walkways, landscaping, new playground equipment for both Babcock and Central playgrounds, and improved “front door” and better connection to the playgrounds from the Fit and Healthy Path.

 

Debbie said their fundraising goal is $200,000 and every gift helps! Whether big or small, all gifts will help us achieve this goal. Together we can create a more vibrant Swanton for the next generation. Consider sponsoring or naming a piece of equipment. Contact Debbie Winters at 802-324-2323 or dwinters@firetechsprinkler.com for more information. Debbie said donations may be mailed to: Swanton School District, c/o Swanton Playground Fund, 100 Robinhood Dr., Swanton, VT 05488. Donations may also be dropped off at the Swanton school and village and town offices. The Village Board of Trustees thanked Debbie for her presentation and update.

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, said she is still working on the $4000 grant to work on the downtown area. She said she is handing out her “Design Our Downtown” maps asking people to design the downtown area how they would like to see it.

 

10.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Eugene LaBombard stated he saw the rubber bag inflated today and it looks very good. He said they will be testing it overnight. Neal Speer said all preliminary checks were good and they had no issues. Reg Beliveau said they plugged the inlet and drain in order to test the pressure overnight and then will deflate it one more time so they can torque all the bolts one more time. He said the installation has gone pretty good.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach mentioned the dam as well and suggested residents go down and take a look at it. He said it’s very impressive. Reg Beliveau said PC Construction has been doing a great job with public access. Reg said he would be working with the Town of Highgate on their Mill Hill Road Project.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he wanted to thank everyone who helped with the Car Show. He said he was sorry he had to reschedule it to Sunday but had to because of the rain. He said there were 180 cars and they were all great quality and were hard to judge. Adam also stated the Arts Spectacular is Saturday, August 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. He said there will be a free meal at 5 p.m. and Jimmy T will play at 6 p.m. and there will be fireworks at dusk. Adam also stated he was upset that the coin drop that was held on Saturday had no signage up, had no cones up and would like for them to get a letter regarding this. He also mentioned the speeding issue in the Village and said he thought of adding stop signs on certain streets. He said he would like input from the community because he’s at his wits ends. He said he sees people driving recklessly. Eugene LaBombard said he doesn’t know what the answer is but said VT is bad compared to New Hampshire and Maine. He said New York is better because they have better patrol. Adam said if anyone has any ideas they can email him at adam.paxman@gmail.com. He said he would like their suggestions and would like to keep it positive. Adam also wished Reg a very happy birthday.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the MVUHS water line job is almost complete and has gone well. He said the old IGA building is now down and you can really see the Memorial Building.

 

 

 

         11. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel at 8:14 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:40 p.m. Adam Paxman 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

 

 

 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

July 23, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, July 23, 2018

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; 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 7:00 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss customer accounts, real estate and personnel. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she printed the 2nd Quarter SQRP Report to be reviewed under Any Other Business.

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, July 9, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, July 9, 2018 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 20, 2018:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 20, 2018 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach mentioned the SS VT Solar LLC invoice for $8,059.54. He stated he wanted all ratepayers to know that this money is coming directly out of their pockets and said they could thank their local legislators for this. Motion carried.

 

5.      Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator Update:

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, gave the Board an update on the Energy Committee’s help to plan the VT Council on Rural Development Model Community visit which will be held October 8 thru 12, 2018. She also stated that the Village of Swanton applied for an AARP Livable Challenge Grant and was one of 1600 nationwide that applied. She said the Village has been awarded the $4000 grant. She said this is a demonstration project of how to fix identified issues and she would like to focus on the north end of the Village Green and the crosswalk to Cody’s Restaurant. She said she would like to see what they can do to make these areas better. Elisabeth also said there are many other options on the table and she would like to get input from the residents of Swanton. She said she has a map of the downtown area and she will be asking residents to draw in their ideas. Elisabeth gave an update on the Better Communities Grant feasibility study, the concrete planters on Grand Avenue and the AARP grant. She said if anyone wanted to help her on the demonstration project they can call her at 466-7142.

 

6.      Update on Rubber Bag Installation at Village Hydro Plant:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that this rubber mat is not an easy piece of rubber to move around. He said it weighs 96,000 lbs and they have been using a crane and two pieces of heavy equipment to move it around. He said a lot of prep work needed to be done on it this past week and it’s heading to the dam site tomorrow. He said PC is on schedule so far with this project and said he would keep the Board updated.

 

7.      Update on MVUHS Waterline Replacement Job:

 

Reg Bealiveau said they have finished coming out of MVU and are now working on Route 78. He said they are progressing good and the only delay has been with the directional bore company. He said they are putting in curb stops at each home as well as at the Town Garage for future connections to the water system.

 

8.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach acknowledged the Swanton Village 2nd quarter SQRP report. He said the electric customers are properly cared for and the company is financially responsible. He said Swanton Village still has the lowest rates in the State of Vermont. Both Chris and Adam Paxman acknowledged this report.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated there are several projects happening in Swanton right now. He mentioned the rubber bag, the MVUHS water line replacement job as well as the demolition of the old IGA building. He asked if the municipal building was empty yet and Reg Beliveau stated not yet but would be soon. He said the Teen Center has already moved to their new location.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said the Car Show was this coming Saturday, July 28th and he is hoping for good weather. Chris Leach asked if there were still spots available if someone wanted to put their vehicle in it and Adam said yes there was. He said all they need to do is show up between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and register. He said all vehicles are welcome. Adam said the Nobby Reed band will be playing after the show. Adam also mentioned the Arts Spectacular show that will be held in the Village Green on August 25 at 10 a.m. He said there will be a meal at 5 p.m., Jimmy T will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. and there will be fireworks at 9 p.m. Adam also asked residents to slow down while driving through the Village.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated the demolition project is going well downtown and said he looks forward to Gordon Winter’s project. He said there are a lot of memories gone with the old building but said there are new memories coming.

 

9.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

10.  Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Chris Leach made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss customer accounts, real estate and personnel at 7:46 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:20 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

11.  Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:20 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

 

 

Friday, July 27, 2018

July 9, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, July 9, 2018

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; Chief Leonard “Joey” Stell, Lt. David Kachajian, Kyle Gagne, Swanton Village Police Department; 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, June 25, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, June 25, 2018 meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 6, 2018:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, July 6, 2018 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Lt. David Kachajian – Swanton Village Police K-9 Program Proposal:

 

Lt. David Kachajian began this discussion by saying Swanton Village Police Department needed a force multiplier. He said purchasing a dog and using it for tracking and drugs would be an asset to the Village. He said this dog would be trained to find drugs, needles, crack pipes etc. It could also be used to track missing people. He said when the Police Department he worked for in Cape Cod purchased a K-9 for their unit there was a 30% reduction in crimes involving drugs and burglaries. Lt. Kachajian said that Officer Kyle Gagne is interested in working with the K-9 and said he and his wife have extensive experience with dogs and with fostering dogs before they are adopted. He said he spoke with VLCT and there will not be an increase in their insurance policy. VLCT would also cover the cost of the K-9 should it die. He also said he has been working with a dog breeder and they normally sell these dogs for $4500. They have agreed to sell one to the Village for $1500 and they have some grant funds they could use for this purchase. He said where they will see an increase is in outfitting the cruiser that the dog will ride in. He said they are willing to keep their oldest cruiser and set it up specifically for the dog. Officer Gagne stated they could still use this vehicle if needed. Chris Leach stated he is all for this dog but said every year he looks at the police budget and how high it is. He said he would like to look for ways to minimize this budget but doesn’t want to jeopardize officer safety. Officer Gagne said he patrols alone part of the night and having a dog would be a great asset for his safety. Lt. Kachajian said that having this K-9 could also benefit the Village financially. He said if the K-9 is used by another agency for a search and finds cash the Village would get a percentage of that cash. Chris Leach asked if other agencies would request the use of this K-9. Officer Gagne said there isn’t another one on duty so that may happen. They said coverage wouldn’t be compromised because they would swap for coverage. Adam Paxman asked about how much training was needed for this K-9. Lt. Kachajian said that after the dog’s full training they still need to do at least 16 hours per month to keep the dog up to date. Adam asked what would happen if Kyle Gagne decided to leave the Village. Kyle stated the dog belongs to the Village and said he has no plans on leaving the Swanton Police Department.

 

Lt. Kachajian informed the Board that Poulin Grain has graciously offered to supply dog food to the Village at no cost for one year. He said he is hoping they would continue to do this for the career of the dog. He also said Paws for Thoughts veterinarian in Highgate has agreed to vaccinate and treat the dog for $500 per year. He said they would need to purchase some things for the dog such as leashes, crate, beds, bowls and plans on doing some fundraising events for these expenses. Reg Beliveau stated there will be some upfront cost but it would be minimal. Chris Leach stated he may complain about the cost of the police budget but not about the service provided. He said as long as coverage isn’t compromised he is all for this. Chief Stell said there are some things to work out such as policies and not shorting the Village or the Town but said they are up for the job. Reg stated they should have a “Name the Dog” contest. Lt. Kachajian said they have discussed that but have decided to name the dog “Roscoe” in honor of the dog cruelty case on Depot Street. He said that case really upset the community and that dog received a raw deal in life and this is their way of honoring him. The Board agreed that this was a great way of honoring the dog that was killed. Adam Paxman asked if any other agencies had K-9’s and Officer Gagne stated VSP has one as well as St. Albans City and Grand Isle. Lt. Kachajian stated they have the money now to buy the dog and said they will start working with local businesses for donations. He said the dog wouldn’t be ready for training until the fall of 2019. Eugene LaBombard asked if the dog would be on duty 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. Officer Gagne said yes the dog would be on duty with him at all times. Eugene asked what would happen if Officer Gagne was on a K-9 call and another call came in. Chief Stell said routine, non-drug problem calls could wait but said a missing child or a serious drug call would take precedent. He said coverage for the Village and Town wouldn’t be jeopardized. Eugene asked what the useful life of a K-9 dog is and Officer Gagne said between 6 and 8 years but said they have seen as long as 10 years. Once the dog is no longer doing patrol work departments usually offer the dog to the handler for $1. Chief Stell said there are reports out there that say officers who work with K-9’s are happier and tend to stay with that department. Eugene asked if the rest of the department was on board with this. Lt. Kachajian said yes they are. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize the Swanton Village Police Department to move forward with this K-9 program. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chief Stell said he wanted to mention that in today’s St. Albans Messenger there was an article about the Trustees complaining about speeding and crosswalk issues in the Village. He said for the month of June the Village issued 14 speeding tickets and 8 warnings. He said he has some traffic study results and they are targeting the problem areas. He said they ticketed someone for going over 50 mph on Canada Street and 60 mph on Spring Street. Eugene LaBombard said this is not just a problem in this community but the whole state of Vermont.

 

6.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach mentioned the rubber bag installation at the Hydro Plant and said he wasn’t able to print off the schedule that Reg sent them. Reg Beliveau said the old rubber bag is being cut off today and will be re-purposed for area farmers. He said they will use it as comfort mats for their cows to stand on. He said the new bag will be delivered to the dam site this week.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach asked if the Village reached a new peak power demand yet because of the hot weather. Reg Beliveau said that report isn’t in yet.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated the Car Show will be held on July 28 and urged everyone to stop by the park and check it out. He also mentioned as a follow up to the article in the St. Albans Messenger that he will continue to ask people to slow down. He said there has already been one death and one injury and it’s not worth it. He said people need to use common sense and slow down. Adam also asked the Board to consider meeting at 6 p.m. during the summer months instead of 7 p.m. The Board asked if the Village’s meeting time was in the Village Charter. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she would check the Charter.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he received the 2018 December Transco Equity Offer/Purchase from VPPSA and is requesting permission to go ahead with this request. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau Jr. to sign all necessary documents and to assign the equity offered to VPPSA on the Village’s behalf. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed that Board that some years Village employees are paid for 51 weeks per year and other years it could be 53 weeks, depending on how the year ends. He asked the Board if they were ok with Village employees earning vacation/earned time on 53 weeks when the year ends that way. The Board stated they were fine with that, since they only earn it on 51 weeks when the year ends that way. Chris Leach made the motion authorizing the Village employees to accrue vacation/earned time by the number of weeks per year. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the MVUHS water line pre-construction meeting will be held on July 10th. He said this job should be done before school starts in the fall. Adam Paxman asked if the work on Canada Street has begun yet. Reg stated it has and they are working on manholes and risers. He said they also have paving to do.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer, Village President, stated the Town is shutting down South River Street during the week of July 22nd to do culvert work. He said there are signs up today notifying people about this. He also said there is a tree that came down behind Merchant’s Row on top of a transformer. He would like the electric crew to check it out. Reg stated he would have them check it.

 

7.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

8.      Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Chris Leach stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss real estate. Chris Leach made the motion to enter in Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate at 8:16 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.

 

9.      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

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

June 25, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, June 25, 2018

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; Betsy Fournier, Swanton Recreation;  Debbie Winters, Hank Lambert, Tree Warden; 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:

 

Eugene LaBombard stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss personnel.

3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, June 11, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, June 11, 2018 meeting as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, June 22, 2018:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, June 22, 2018 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked about the SS VT Solar LLC for $4643.49. Chris stated this is loss revenue for our existing rate payers. Motion carried.

 

Betsy Fournier wasn’t present yet so the Board moved to Item #6 first.

 

5.      Betsy Fournier – Discuss Marble Mill Survey Results:

 

Betsy Fournier and Debbie Winters were present for this item. Betsy stated she received 108 responses from her survey she recently circulated regarding Marble Mill. She presented the Board with the following results:

 

1. What would you like to see?

This comment really summed it up for me – “A safe place to enjoy time with family”

Specifically people listed:

·         Playground/natural play area/things for kids to climb on

·         Better Water access

·         Fishing pier

·         Walking path

·         River walk

·         Larger more welcoming sign more visible

·         More visually appealing

·         Artwork

·         Flowers/shrubs-

·         Better lighting – I think this could be light fixtures but also improving the natural light

·         Pavilion –

·         Indoor bathrooms

·         Picnic tables

·         Community events/Food trucks/ice cream trucks

·         Better parking

·         Place for sports – This one was interesting because people were torn on whether it is the right place for basketball and tennis, but there is no doubt that people want access to basketball and tennis.  People were also torn on the skatepark.  Some seem to want a skatepark, but is Marble Mill the right place for it?

 

·          Basketball

·          Tennis

·          Volleyball

·          T-ball fields for Rec

·          Ice Rink

·          Shuffleboard

·          Tetherball

 

2. What would you NOT like to see?

 

Not surprisingly, the majority of the comments said DRUGS, LOITERING, NEEDLES, TRASH, GRAFITTI. People were also torn on the skatepark and tennis.

 

3. If you go to Marble Mill, WHY?

  • Beautiful, quiet
  • Access to river
  • Playground
  • Basketball/tennis

 

3. If you don’t go to Marble Mill, WHY NOT?

These 2 comments summed it up for me:

“Not much. Can seem creepy, like someone could jump out and no one would see. It is pretty though. Nice to go down there, but not alone.”

“Not much, it's very rundown and there are too many signs of drug use and vandalism. I like that Swanton has a local park that is within walking distance of the village.”

Specifically people listed:

·         Local hangout for the wrong crowd

·         Not safe

·         Drugs and alcohol

·         No place to sit

·         Not enough lighting

·         Nothing to do

·         “Too much concrete.  Not enough flora.”

 

4.Would you attend events?

Overwhelmingly YES!

Ideas included:

·         Rec Dept. Events

·         Concerts

·         Food Trucks

·         BBQ’s

 

5. Would you be interested in attending a community forum to discuss the future of Marble Mill Park?  If so, please provide your contact information.

 

10 people gave contact information

 

 

NEXT STEPS

 

            Community Forum – building a community connection –

·         SEP

·         Arts Council

·         Swanton Recreation

·         Library

·         Chamber

·         Businesses

·         Local Government

·         Schools

 

Deb Winters stated it would be nice if there could be some site work done such as grading, pavilion, water and sewer, add a bathroom facility etc. Eugene LaBombard stated this is a location that could be flooded yearly so they need to keep that in mind if anything develops there. It was suggested that they contact Northwest Regional Planning for assistance with this project. Adam Paxman stated this is a great first step and he would like to keep the public informed. They said they would contact Regional Planning and then possibly hold a public forum for more input. Betsy said there are so many great ideas and said she is excited to have more discussion on this. The Board thanked Betsy and Debbie for their input on Marble Mill.

 

6.      Hank Lambert, Tree Warden Update; and Beautification Committee Update. Also Discuss Removal of Trees in Village Green:

 

Hank Lambert stated he was recently appointed Tree Warden for Swanton and he wanted to offer some information regarding the trees in the Village. He also said he is part of the Beautification Committee and they circulated a survey recently. He offered the following information about the committee and detailed their 5 year plan. It is as follows:

 

Beautifying Swanton

A Strategic Plan

by the Beautification Committee

of the Swanton Enhancement Project

February 2018

 

Purpose of the Beautification Committee:

            To elicit from citizens a strong sense of place and community pride

                  To increase property values

                 To attract investments

     To improve the community's image.  According to community leaders across the       country, beauty is one of the most influential factors in community attachment and loyalty to one's town or village. A nice-looking neighborhood even promotes good behavior. Beautification is a key to community vitality.

Our Mission:  Enhance the visual beauty of the landscape and structures in Swanton by promoting and implementing beautification projects and other visual improvements.                                                                                                          

Goal # 1: Achieve a twenty percent increase in community appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us and beauty that is possible.  

 

Action Steps

·         By March 1, 2018, ascertain citizens' current views about the beauty / environment we live in and what could change as a result of our efforts by compiling results of the Swanton's Visual Appeal surveys distributed in late 2017 to residents, students, business owners and others for beautifying Swanton, especially question #5 (Is Swanton visually appealing?) and #6 (Can Swanton look better?).

·         By June 1, 2018, identify opportunities in the Swanton town plan, zoning bylaws, site plan review guidelines and other policies for addressing beautification. 

·         By November 1, 2018, in order to collaborate and expand community-wide efforts, identify and meet with people interested or active in beautification initiatives to include Green Up Day (alleys, river clean up), the Swanton Arts Council (public art, focal points), landlords (abandoned, unsafe or unsightly buildings), public officials (sign and lighting regulations, abandoned or unsafe buildings, streetscape, zoning, sight-plan-review standards, creation of parks, and other).

·         By December 1, 2018, develop or acquire an inventory of publicly-owned land in Swanton that could serve as potential parks.

·         By June 1, 2018, gather ideas for implementing beautification efforts through discussions with at least five other communities.

·         By February 1, 2019, develop a plan to increase public awareness of efforts to beautify the community to include awards, public outreach, formal reports, hands-on workshops, lectures, identification of new partners and other.

·         By March 1, 2021, conduct a new survey to measure citizens' attitudes.

·         At each bi-monthly meeting of the SEP Steering Committee, report on beautification activities by the committee and others, including the status of these action steps.

 

Goal #2: Develop tools and protocols for increasing, sustaining and managing beautification activities.

Action Steps

·         By April 1, 2018, solicit the support of Village Trustees and the Town Selectboard to formally adopt the recently developed Swanton Urban Forest Management Plan.

·         By September 1, 2018, determine criteria and apply for designation as a “Tree

           City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation.

·         By November 1, 2018, study and draft a list of recommendations for changes to existing municipal ordinances, policies and guidelines pertaining to beautification, such as signing, lighting and others, and work with Town and Village leadership to enact changes.

·         By October 1, 2018, determine plans, costs and feasibility for building a greenhouse to propagate flowers.

 

Goal #3: Plant trees and flowers.

Action Steps 

·         By June 1, 2018:

·         replant existing flower beds and boxes

·         plant new beds at key downtown points; at triangle by  Canada and Spring Streets

·         add two more flower boxes on the bridge

·         plant seven new street trees in the Village downtown (at Canada and Spring Streets, the Village office building and possibly the Swanton Public Library).

·         By September 1, 2018, identify at least 100 potential locations for the planting street trees on the six entrances to the Village: 

·         First Street (Grand Avenue to I-89)

·         Canada Street (Merchants Row to Dunning Street)

·         Grand Avenue (Village Green to Platt Street)

·         North River Street   (Depot Street to Brooklyn Street)

·         South River Street (Depot Street to the Railroad Museum and Rail Trail)

·         Lake Street (S. River Street to Middle Road).

·         By October 1, 2018, record new plantings in town tree plan & inventory

·         August 1 of each year, order thirty dry-root trees to nurture for future years.

 

Tentative long-term Action Steps to be assessed each January

·         In CY 2019, plant thirteen new street trees and establish three new flower beds.

Estimated Cost: ???   Record by October 1.

·         In CY 2020 plant twenty new street trees and establish three new flower beds.

Estimated Cost: ???   Record by October 1.

·         In CY 2021 plant thirty new street trees and establish three new flower beds.

Estimated Cost:  ???  Record by October 1.

·         In CY 2022 plant thirty-five new street trees and establish three new flower beds.

Estimated Cost: ???   Record by October 1.

 

Goal # 4: Increase resources sufficient to implement beautification efforts.

Action Steps

·         By April 1, 2018, hire a person to water and weed selected flowers and trees during the 2018 summer months.

·         By May, 1, 2018, increase membership on the Beautification Committee by three people.

·         By January 1, 2019, raise $5,000

·         By April 1, 2018, sponsor a fund-raising dinner

·         By June 1, 2018, sponsor a perennial plant sale.

·         By January 1, 2019, identify and apply for at least one grant.

·         Solicit donations

·         In 2019 – 2021, sponsor two events each year

·         By July 1, 2018, determine the value and cost of retaining the services of an arborist for maintaining trees in public lands and rights-of-way as recommended by the Swanton Urban Forest Management Plan.

·         By March 1, 2018, provide municipal leaders with a suggested list of expectations for an appointed tree warden to perform to support planting and maintenance of trees.

 

Summary of Action Steps

 

CY 2018

March 1                       Compile results of Swanton Visual Appeal Survey

                                    Suggest to Selectboard expectations of an appointed Tree Warden

April 1                         Adopt Swanton Urban Forest Management Plan

                                    Hire part-time person to maintain flowers and trees

                                    Sponsor a fund raising dinner

May 1                          Increase committee membership by three people

June 1                          Review municipal documents

                                    Discuss experiences with five other communities

                                    Plant seven trees, new and existing flower beds

                                    Sponsor a perennial plant sale

July 1                           Assess value of and cost for services of an arborist

August 1                      Order thirty dry-root trees

September 1                 Apply for designation as a Tree City USA

                                    Identify 100 potential locations for new trees

October 1                     Record new plantings in town tree plan & inventory

                                    Determine feasibility of building a greenhouse

November 1                 Meet with Green Up, SAC, public officials and others

                                    Recommend enhanced municipal policies

December 1                 Identify publicly-owned land for potential parks

                                    Evaluate achievement of goals.

 

CY 2019

January 1                     Apply for beautification grant            

February 1                   Develop plan to increase public awareness

                                    Evaluate achievement of 2018 goals

June 1                          Plant thirteen street trees

August 1                      Order thirty dry-root trees

October 1                     Record new plantings in municipal tree plan & inventory

November 1                 Sponsor two fund-raising events

           

 

CY 2020

June 1                          Plant twenty street trees

                                    Record new plantings in municipal tree plan & inventory

August 1                      Order thirty dry-root trees

October 1                     Record new plantings in town tree plan & inventory

November 1                 Sponsor two fund-raising events

 

CY 2021

 

March 1                       Conduct new citizen survey to assess achievement of goal #1

June 1                          Plant thirty street trees                         

August 1                      Order thirty dry-root trees

October 1                     Record new plantings in municipal tree plan & inventory

November 1                 Sponsor two fund-raising events

 

CY 2022

June 1                          Plant thirty street trees

                                    Record new plantings in municipal tree plan & inventory

                                    Sponsor two fund-raising events

August 1                      Order thirty dry-root trees

October 1                     Record new plantings in municipal tree plan & inventory

 

Chris Leach stated this is a very well organized committee and 5 year plan. Hank stated trees and flowers in the community promotes community pride, the visual beauty attracts visitors and investments and visual beauty is key to community vitality. He said the following information is the survey results:

 

2018 SWANTON BEAUTIFICATION SURVEY

RESULTS SUMMARY

 

Project Description

 

During the winter of 2018, the Beautification Committee of the Swanton Enhancement Project (SEP) developed and distributed a survey to Swanton residents.  1100 copies of the surveys were distributed through the schools and places of business in the community.  The committee received 421 responses from Swanton residents.

 

The purpose of the survey was to assess the visual appeal of Swanton from a community member’s perspective.   The committee then used the results of the survey as a tool in developing a 5 year plan to enhance the beauty of Swanton.

 

There were 6 questions on the survey:

·                     Age

·                     Are you a resident of Swanton?

·                     What do you like about the Village and Town?

·                     What would you like to change?

·                     Do you think Swanton is visually appealing?

·                     Do you think Swanton could look better?

 

Results

 

·                     Age

54% of the respondents were under the age of 15  

            16% were between the ages of 16 and 19.

            11% were between the ages of 20 and 35.

            17% were 36 and older

 

·                     What do you like?

The largest number of responses across all ages focused on the culture of the community, specifically its small and quaint feel. 

 

Swanton’s physical infrastructure was the next on the list with the Village Green, parks and bridges at the top of list.

 

The overall appearance of the community received a high ranking with a particular emphasis on the swans in the park, the holiday d├ęcor and the flowers and trees. 

Many comments also highlighted our recreation and environmental assets as well as some of our economic attributes.

 

·                     What would you like to change?

 

Again, the cultural aspects of our community received the most attention across all age groups. 

 

The highest number of comments emphasized the desire for more community activities for individuals, families, kids and a separate category of social activities for teens. 

The next largest concern identified as detrimental to our community was that of drugs and related issues.

 

The appearance of our community was the second area of importance in addressing changes that our respondents would like to see.  Above all else, our community members want to see more flowers, color, trees and planters.  Several comments related to a cleaner Marble Mill Park, as well as house and building repair.

 

·                     Do you think Swanton is visually appealing?

 

Our respondents were given 4 choices in answering this question about Swanton’s visual appeal – 1) A little 2) I haven’t paid much attention 3)Yes and 4) No.

 

Of the 421 responses only 9 responded that Swanton was not visually appealing.  An array of additional comments related to the flowers, trees and old houses.  In addition, throughout our survey, the arts and art boards were mentioned several times as being beautiful and positive additions to our community.  There were also many favorable comments sprinkled throughout about the addition of the “Swanton Lumber” park.

 

·                     Do you think Swanton could look better?

 

The surveys provided three choices in response to the question.  They were 1)No 2)Yes  and 3) Don’t Know.

 

183 responders replied YES to this question and provided several specific areas for improvement.  The top four mentioned were 1) facelifts for older buildings, homes and businesses; 2) more color, flowers along the sidewalks and curbs; 3) more beautification and 4) clean up Marble Mill.   

 

For a full and detailed copy of the survey results contact:  Hank Lambert, of the Beautification Committee of the Swanton Enhancement Project:  hanklambert@comcast.net.

 

Adam Paxman said he would like to discuss removal of some trees in the Village green. He said there are at least 8 conifers that need to come down. Reg Beliveau said the Village has the equipment to do the work. Hank stated they should identify what trees need to come out and what trees will be going in. Adam said he would like to work with Hank on that. Hank then provided the Board with the following Tree Warden information.

 

 

 

 

Vermont Tree Warden Statutes

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

 

Shade and ornamental trees within the limits of public rights of way are under the control of the tree warden. The tree warden may plan and implement a town shade tree preservation program for the purpose of shading and beautifying public ways and places by planting new trees and shrubs; by maintaining the health, appearance, and safety of existing trees through feeding, pruning and protecting them from noxious insect pests and diseases; and by removing diseased, dying or dead trees which create a hazard to public safety or threaten the effectiveness of disease or insect control programs. 24 V.S.A. § 2502.

A municipality may appropriate a sum of money to be expended by the tree warden or, if one is not appointed, by the selectboard. 24 V.S.A. § 2503.

The tree warden may not remove trees when the owner or lessee of abutting real estate annually controls all insect pests or tree diseases on trees within the limits of a highway or place abutting such real estate.

 

The tree warden shall enforce all laws relating to public shade trees and may prescribe rules and regulations for the planting, protection, care, and removal of public shade trees pursuant to the ordinance adoption procedure in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59.

 

The tree warden may enter into agreements with the owners of land adjoining or facing public ways and places for the purpose of encouraging and carrying out a community-wide shade tree planting and preservation program.

 

Only the tree warden, deputy tree warden or someone with his or her permission may cut a public shade tree. Healthy public shade trees in the residential part of a residential neighborhood shall not be felled without a public hearing by the tree warden.

 

The tree warden may request recommendations for control of suspected infestations from the Commissioner of Agriculture, may implement recommended control measures, and may enter private land to implement these control measures. 24 V.S.A. §§ 2504–2511.

 

The Board thanked Hank for all the information he provided them.

 

7.      Michael & Dianne Begnoche Request Water & Sewer Allocation for 8 Jonergin Drive, Swanton:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to enter into a Water Commissioner’s meeting at 7:59 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, explained to the Board that Michael & Dianne Begnoche are requesting a Water & Sewer Allocation increase at 8 Jonergin Drive, Swanton. They are removing a two bedroom mobile home at 8 Jonergin Drive and are replacing it with a 3 bedroom mobile home. They are requesting 450 GPD (gallons per day) to accommodate this three bedroom mobile home. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Michael & Dianne Begnoche’s request to increase their water and wastewater allocation to 450 GPD for their three bedroom mobile home at 8 Jonergin Drive, Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Water Commissioner’s meeting at 8:01 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.      Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated he wanted to welcome the swan Betty back to the community. He said there is an article in the St. Albans Messenger today and that’s great news that she’s back. He said the 9th Annual Car Show is coming up and will be held on July 28th. He said they are already working on their 10th year. He said last year they had 243 cars in the park and 250 is their limit. Adam also stated the parking at Cody’s Restaurant is a safety concern and he wants an Ordinance in place that cover’s that. Reg stated he talked with H&B Greenhouse about placing a concrete planter there. Adam said the restaurant owner is the one who parks in that spot every day and he wants something done about it. He is also asking people to slow down when they are driving through the Village.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach asked about the concrete barriers in the Marble Mill parking lot. Reg Beliveau stated the Highway Crew is getting ready to work on the storm water project.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that VPPSA is requesting the Village of Swanton to sign a Transco Subscription Waiver agreeing to waive their rights to acquire the Member Units available at this time so that VEC has the opportunity to purchase the equity offered. He said in September of this year VEC was expecting to purchase the units it previously assigned to VELCO but due to some further complications that may not happen. Since this was the original intent as these units were originally offered to VEC, VPPSA is recommending that the members sign the waiver as requested. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau to sign the Transco Subscription Waiver as recommended by VPPSA. Adam Paxman seconded. Reg Beliveau signed Transco Subscription Waiver. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Reginald Beliveau stated he had a meeting today regarding the rubber bag installation. He said GW Tatro will be moving in some stone and machinery and will get the road put it. He said they met with residents in the vicinity of the dam to let them know what is going on and said he hopes to install a live web cam so people can watch the installation of the bag. Reg said he expects this installation to take approximately 6 weeks to complete.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the MVUHS Waterline Replacement Job is expected to begin the week of July 9th and is expected to be complete by mid August. He also informed the Board that he is now a member of the Energy Committee and Chris Leach stated he would join that committee as well. Reg also stated he was in Las Vegas last week for a fire conference and training. He said a lot of good data was presented to them and said the Fire Department can pass this along to local daycares and senior centers. Chris Leach also stated that Reg was recognized for teaching fire safety to local students for the last 25 years. The Board congratulated him on that. Reg said the schools have been very open and forthcoming for the last 25 years. He said there are some new procedures for school lockdowns if there were an active shooter and there is also help available if emergency service personnel have PTSD issues.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer, Village President, stated that the bridge dedication ceremony was excellent. He also said he is glad the new swan Betty is back in town with Sam and that the ducks are in a good new home.

 

9.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

10.  Executive Session (if Necessary):

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel at 8:27 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:35 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

11.  Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:35 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

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Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date