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).

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

January 27, 2020

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 27, 2020

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; Wayne Elliott, Aldrich & Elliott Engineers; and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would like to move Item #6 to #10.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Minutes from Monday, January 13, 2020 as presented:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, January 13, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau stated the invoice they asked about at their last meeting was for their new server. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Warrants through Friday, January 24, 2020 as presented:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and sign Warrants through Friday, January 10, 2020 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment of $111,580.42 made to VPPSA. Lynn Paradis stated that was for November’s power supply bill. Motion carried.

 

#6 Moved to #10.

 

  1. Adopt 2020 Budget as Presented:

 

Lynn Paradis stated there are no changes from their last meeting to this budget. She said as long as the grand list doesn’t change, she is asking for an estimated tax rate of .8838 from .8431 last year. She said most of this increase is due to the new fire trucks and the police budget. She said a home assessed at $150,000 would see an increase of $60.99; a home assessed at $175,000 would see an increase of $71.15 and a home assessed at $200,000 would see an increase of $81.31. Lynn also stated the sewer rates needed to be adjusted and she is requesting that go into effect in March of this year. She said the overall increase in sewer rates for a residential home would be approximately $18 per year. She said most of the increase is coming from commercial and industrial customers. Chris Leach stated he would like to see a comparison of rates between Swanton Village and our neighboring towns. Lynn stated she would not need a rate increase in the water department or the electric department in 2020.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the proposed sewer rate increase to be in effect for March 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the 2020 budget as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

 

 

  1. Adopt and Sign 2020 Annual Warning as Presented:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, read the 2020 Annual Warning as presented. It was decided that the wording on Article #9 be revised. Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and sign the 2020 Annual Warning as presented after revising Article #9. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Review 2019 4th Quarter SQRP Report:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to acknowledge receipt of the 4th quarter SQRP report as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach stated the Village of Swanton is well run, well represented and our customers are well served. Eugene LaBombard asked if this only applied to the electric department. Reg Beliveau stated yes because the state doesn’t govern the water department. Motion carried.

 

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

None.

 

  1. Review and Sign State Revolving Loan Program Funding Application for Missisquoi River Waterline Crossing:

 

Wayne Elliott, Aldrich & Elliott Engineering, stated he was present tonight because the Village has been discussing redundancy of the water line that crosses the Missisquoi River underneath the bridge. He said if something were to happen at the water plant there would be no way to get water to the Village. He said Lynn has completed the State Revolving Loan Program funding application and they are requesting $12,400 for the preparation of a preliminary engineering report and environmental report for a new water line across the Missisquoi River. Eugene LaBombard stated he brought this up a couple of years ago and it really needs to be looked at. Chris Leach stated the Village needs this done and asked if this new line would be a replacement or a secondary line. Wayne said they will look at that and see what makes the most sense but said he would envision keeping both lines. He said they would need to directional bore under the river for the new line. Wayne said the state has reviewed their Scope of Services and is accepting of the $12,400 requested. Adam Paxman made the motion to the approve the State Revolving Loan Program Funding Application in the amount of $12,400 for the engineering fee to study a new river crossing water line and to also authorize Reg Beliveau to sign the engineering agreement. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Contracts:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 7:43 p.m. to discuss contracts. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session and re-enter Open Session at 8:35 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign the agreement between the Village of Swanton and Swanton School Housing and to also sign the Subordination and Priority Agreement between the Village of Swanton and Rural Housing Service. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau stated he needed the date changed on the agreement and would get that done this week. Motion carried.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

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

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January 13, 2020

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 13, 2020

7:00 PM

 

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would need to add Real Estate to their executive session. Reg Beliveau stated Wayne Elliott would like to be present for Item #9 so they will table that for tonight and reschedule it for their January 27th meeting. Reg also stated he would recommend the Board not adopt the 2020 budget tonight because they had a few changes to it. He said they should review it tonight and adopt it at the January 27th meeting.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Minutes from Monday, December 23, 2019 and Monday, January 6, 2020 as presented:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, December 23, 2019 and Monday, January 6, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Warrants through Friday, January 10, 2020 as presented:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and sign Warrants through Friday, January 10, 2020 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the Broadberry USA invoice for $6838.48. Reg stated he couldn’t remember and would let them know at their next meeting. Motion carried.

 

  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief Stell stated the police department responded to 167 calls for service in the Village. He said they wrote 39 traffic warnings and issued 6 traffic tickets totaling $869. He said they had some pretty significant calls and wanted to mention that when they show their daily log with property watches that doesn’t include a residential home. He said they don’t want to draw attention to the fact someone might be gone on vacation. He said their traffic warnings were issued on Grand Avenue, First Street and Spring Street. He said the tickets came from stops on Pine Street, Spring Street and Grand Avenue and were not speed related. Chris Leach asked if there were any major crimes in 2019. Chief Stell stated the more high-profile case was the two juveniles who did a home invasion and beat up a teenager and his grandmother. He said both those individuals are still in custody and being charged as adults. Chief Stell stated they are finding less needles around the Village and he’s happy about that. Chris stated they only complaint he hears from people is that they say they don’t see the police out canvasing the streets. Chief Stell stated they track mileage and an officer can put on 75 to 100 miles per day in the Village. He said or they could be targeting speeders and they wouldn’t be putting on that much mileage. Adam Paxman asked if the Chief had any concerns about the new stop sign put up on Canada Street. He said Sgt. Parah monitored it last week and said only one vehicle stopped for it. He said they would issue warnings until residents are used to having to stop there. He said it may need to be lit up so people can see it better. The board thanked the Chief for coming in.

 

  1. Adopt Village of Swanton 2020 Budget as presented:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said this should be her final draft for the 2020 budgets. She said she calculated the bond payment on the fire truck incorrectly and has refigured it. She also said they received their dispatching invoice today from St. Albans City and it increased by about $5000 so she needed to account for that also. Lynn said the overtime figure in the police department has been reduced and there is an increase in salaries, social security taxes and retirement. She said salaries and retirement amounts were adjusted in the highway department as well. She said  the general fund is increasing from .0814 in 2019 to .0822 for an 0.92% increase; the fire department is increasing from .0468 in 2019 to .0504 for a 7.72% increase; the police department is increasing from .3926 in 2019 to .4284 for a 9.12% increase and the highway fund is increasing from .3223 in 2019 to .3228 for a 0.16% increase. The overall increase for the Village for 2020 is 4.82% which will take the tax rate from .8431 to .8838 for 2020. Taxpayers would see an increase of $71.15 on a home assessed at $175,000 and an increase of $81.31 on a home assessed at $200,000.

 

Lynn said she adjusted salaries in the electric and water and sewer departments and said she anticipates $603,825 for net income in the electric department. She said a bond from the 1980’s was paid off in the electric department and she doesn’t anticipate a rate increase in that fund for 2020. She said they still have a bond from 1990 which is $440,000 per year, a bond on unit 5 which is about $70,000 per year, a bond on the rubber dam which is about $88,000 per year and a bond on hydro upgrades which is about $18,000 per year plus interest. She said they are carrying about $6 million dollars worth of debt but it is going down. Reg Beliveau also stated they are up for relicensing at the Hydro Plant and that can be very expensive as well. Lynn said the water department is in good shape and she doesn’t need a rate increase in this department but said the sewer rates are not sufficient and would like to increase them beginning March 2020. She said their chemical cost and maintenance issues are causing this. She would like to take the customer charge from $35.71 to $37.86 and the variable rate from $3.89 to $4.11. She said she would rather raise rates in smaller increments as to not burden the ratepayers that much. She said they have been skating around doing a sewer plant upgrade but may need to do one very soon. 

 

 

  1. Review, Approve and Sign Declaration of Intent for Sewer Department, Water Department and General Department:

 

Lynn Paradis informed the board that when the Village goes out for bond on any project they cannot capture any of the engineering fees, etc. unless they have a Declaration of Intent signed by the Village Clerk. She said when they go to the voters for a bond they want all their expenses covered. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Dianne Day, Village Clerk, to sign a Declaration of Official Intent for the General Department, Sewer Department and Water Department and to sign all necessary documents. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

 

  1. Review and Sign State Revolving Loan Program Funding Application for Missisquoi River Waterline Crossing:

 

Tabled until 1/27/20 meeting.

 

  1. Approve the following Coin Drops Requested for 2020: MVUHS Class of 2020 Substance Free Party Coin Drop for May 9, 2020; Swanton Village Fire Auxiliary Coin Drop for July 11, 2020; Relay for Life American Cancer Society Team Wellness Warriors Coin Drop for August 1, 2020; Swanton Village Fire Department Coin Drop for September 12, 2020 and Swanton Missisquoi Valley Lions Club Coin Drop for October 17, 2020:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve all of the above-mentioned coin drops and dates requested. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if the Relay for Life Team was local. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated they are from Franklin County. Motion carried with two yays, one nay.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman asked if the Village was having any trouble with the Utility Pole Ordinance that is now in place regarding dual wood. Reg Beliveau stated there is still dual wood in some areas but said Fairpoint changed to Consolidated Communications and are having difficulty with having enough staff. Reg said he would discuss it with Duane Couture, Electric Foreman.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Arts Spectacular will be held on September 12, 2020 in the Village Park again this year. He also wanted to inform the Board that the State has been asking the Village to revolve their CBDG funds for some time now and he said the highway department needs to replace a water line this year so he would like to revolve $25,000 to do this. He said they can do it with a 0% interest rate and would put this on their ballot for their taxpayers to vote on. He said if they didn’t use any of these funds they would lose them and the funds can be used for sidewalks and infrastructure work.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated January 29th marks the 50th anniversary of the Merchants Row fire downtown. He said there will be an events held at the library and at the Village Complex on January 28th.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated the lights look really good on Merchants Row but said they could stand to have more lights on Grand Avenue from the corner to the Post Office. Reg said he would check it out.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated the Village was supposed to get hit with an ice storm but thankfully the temperature didn’t start to drop until 3:30 in the morning and that helped quite a bit. He said there were 3 small outages and the Village lucked out.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Contracts:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 8:10 p.m. to discuss contracts and real estate. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

13. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach 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

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

December 23, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, December 23, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

 

PRESENT: Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Christine Sweeney; and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, is unable to attend tonight’s meeting. Eugene LaBombard, Village Trustee, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3. Public Comment:

 

Christine Sweeney, Healthy Community Task Force member, stated she would like permission from the Village Board of Trustees to apply for a grant from RiseVT to purchase and install a bike tower in the Village of Swanton. She said this is a no match grant and part of the 2015 community visit to make Swanton more bikeable. She said there is a $1500 grant available that would enable them to install this bike tower which would hold tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools are security attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. The locations they are thinking about to install this tower are in front of the Chamber of Commerce, the Swanton Beach area, the Swanton Recreation Department or at the Railroad Museum on South River Street. Adam Paxman and Eugene LaBombard both thought this was a great idea. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the Healthy Community Task Force to apply for this $1500 grant through RiseVT. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Public Comment: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, stated she is seeking permission for the Marble Mill Steering Committee to apply for the Outdoor Recreation VOREC Grant for a phase of the Marble Mill Master Plan. She said this grant ranges between $10,000 to $100,000 and she believes they will apply for approximately $50,000. She said this is also a no match grant and if awarded it’s a reimbursement grant. She said these funds would be used to implement part of the Master Plan for Marble Mill Park. She said once they have more information after their January 2nd meeting she would come back and present more information to the Board. Elisabeth said the work must be completed by May 31, 2021 and grant recipients will be announced in February 2020. She also informed the Board that herself along with Reg Beliveau, attended a workshop on the VT Young Project being considered by MVUHS. She said this is an Icelandic model and Vermont is the only state in the nation who has requested this program. She said it is geared toward reducing alcohol and substance use by students.

 

Public Comment: Chief of Police Leonard “Joey” Stell presented Sgt. Chad Parah with an Outstanding Leadership plaque for all his hard work, dedication and leadership to the second shift crew. The Board thanked Sgt. Parah for his service.

 

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

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, December 9, 2019 meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

 

 

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

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through December 20, 2019 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Fitzgerald Environmental Association for $1355.85. Reg Beliveau stated that was for work done on the storm water and wetland issues. Eugene LaBombard asked about the payment made to EJ Barrette & Sons for $54,926. Reg stated that was for the new truck in the electric department. Motion carried.

 

6. Swanton Village 2020 Budget Discussion:

 

WATER FUND: Lynn Paradis stated this fund is collecting sufficient money and she doesn’t feel an increase is necessary in the water department. She said the solar credits they receive are helping with the electricity costs. She also said they are overbudget because of work that had to be done on the filters. Reg stated he is looking for a resolution on this with the manufacturer and said the Village initiated repairs on the filter with their guidance. Lynn said chemical cost are up as well as property insurance, workman’s compensation is staying about the same and health insurance is up overall by about 9%.

 

SEWER FUND: Eugene LaBombard wanted the public to know that the water, sewer and electric departments are not supported by tax dollars. He said these departments are supported by ratepayers. Lynn said she feels the sewer rate needs to go up. She said the maintenance of plant has increased as well as their chemical cost. She said the plant is 30+ years old and is in need of some repair. She said the chemicals needed to help reduce the phosphorus levels are not sustainable. Reg stated the Village met with Aldrich & Elliott and said they are meeting the standards needed with chemicals but that causes the sludge levels to increase. Lynn said they have started the engineering process looking at their options and said it would be a multi-year project to overhaul the plant. Eugene stated this is going to be very expensive and said they should have future meetings on this topic. Reg stated the State of Vermont has mandated they reduce their phosphorus levels and they are looking at anything they can to reduce this. He said it’s very difficult to manage. Adam said he fails to see how the Swanton is the problem with they contribute less than 2% to the lake Eugene stated that Lake Champlain is shared with New York and Canada and Vermont is the only state that has rules to follow, New York does not.

 

HIGHWAY FUND: Lynn stated the Highway budget is level funded this year. She said they have $40,000 in the equipment replacement fund and this year she can only put $10,250 in this account. She said their dump truck is pretty old and she thinks they will need to replace it in five years. She said they need a sidewalk blower and a skid steer. She said fortunately Dean Ryan is able to do a lot of the mechanical work in this department.

 

GENERAL FUND: Lynn stated this department is level funded this year too. She said the bulk of this fund is the complex and the parks downtown. She said they have talked with an architect on the new building design and she is hoping to get it ready for the taxpayers to vote on. She is hoping to present the design and potential cost after the first of the year. She said they are looking to see if there are any grants available because it’s a multi-use building which houses police, fire and rescue. She said the money for the architect is not in this budget.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn said this budget is still based on the grand list which is 24% Village and 76% Town. She said the department has one truck left to sell this year. She said they should at least get $20,000 for that truck and the department is requesting a new dryer and gear rack which totals $20,510. She said they also need an air compressor and this fund is up by approximately 10%. She said workman’s compensation and property insurance is down in this department. The Board discussed the wish list items and thought it was best for this year if the Fire Department purchased their air compressor and waited on the other two items they wanted.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated salaries are overbudget in this department due to full time officers having to work overtime because they have very few part timers who are willing to come in and work. She said they are working with two part-timers now trying to get them on the road by June. She said the department has also done some grant work this year. Health insurance is up because a couple of officers had changes in their insurance plan. Reg stated he checked with other nearby police departments and Swanton Village is not paying their officers what other departments are paying. Adam Paxman stated he would like to see how they can reduce the numbers in salaries and health insurance.

 

COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Lynn said there was nothing to really report in this fund. She said other than the CBDG funds there isn’t anything. She said she will work on changing the name of this fund.

 

ESTIMATED TAX RATE: Lynn said overall there is a 4.46% increase and the estimated tax rate is going from 0.8431 to 0.8807. She said a 2020 Village Tax bill on a home assessed at $200,000 would be $1761.44, for a difference of $75.24 from last year’s tax bill.

 

Lynn informed the Board that her water rates are good for right now but said she is looking at a rate increase in the sewer department. She said she would like to increase the customer charge from $35.71 to $37.73 and the variable rate from $3.89 per thousand of gallons to $4.11 per thousand. She said the electric department revenue is down and she is expecting it to remain flat next year. Chris Leach asked if consumption was down due to solar and Lynn said yes it was. She said if she took solar out she would be where she budgeted.

 

The Board thanked Lynn for all her budget information.

 

7. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman asked if any thought has been given to replacing the water line underneath the bridge. Eugene LaBombard stated that is being looked at. Lynn Paradis stated that whatever money goes into the study of this can be recouped when they incur debt with this project. She said the Board just needs to sign some paperwork for that.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he received a letter from a local attorney stating he is trying to sell a piece of property in the Village that has four mobile homes on it. He said he has a couple of interested parties in it and they would like to remove the mobile homes and build a triplex on this land. The State of Vermont Environmental Conservation committee is denying this because they say it’s too close to a wetland. They said four mobile homes could remain because that’s the original footprint. The attorney is asking for Village and Town support regarding this. The board agreed that this is illogical and doesn’t make any sense. Reg stated this would improve the property value and aesthetics of the area. He said he has a meeting in January with the State and would bring it up to them.

 

8. Executive Session to Discuss Customer Accounts, Personnel and Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 9:10 p.m. to discuss customer accounts, personnel and real estate. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:24 p.m. and to re-enter Open Session. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Chris Leach made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to write off $1495.43 in the electric department as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

9. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:25 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Eugene LaBombard, Village Trustee, adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

 

January 6, 2020

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL MEETING

Monday, January 6, 2020

6:00 PM

 

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Joel Clark, Selectboard; Jason Butler and Jason Cross, Swanton Village Fire Department and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

 

  1. Swanton Village 2020 Budget Discussion – Fire and Police Budgets:

 

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated she sat down with Chief Stell and they carved out some overtime labor hours in the department. She said they have two people going to the Academy in May or June and putting them on the road will cover some shifts. She said there is still some overtime that will happen in 2020. She said some of the increase in this department is coming from a 3% COLA increase and this will also affect retirement and social security taxes as well. She said they are purchasing a new cruiser and taking the money out of their savings account for this so it won’t affect taxes. She said Chief Stell is thinking about possibly adjusting their work schedule to 10-hour shifts and if they decide to do that she will need to adjust a few things in the personnel handbook. She said if they went to this shift officers would have every other weekend off. Adam Paxman asked why health insurance was up $9000 and Lynn said that is because a couple officers family had babies and they went on the family plan. He also asked about office supplies and Lynn said they need a new computer. Chris Leach asked if the Village was reimbursed for the SRO position at MVU. She said they are reimbursed 100% and she bills MVU quarterly for his wages. Eugene LaBombard stated the fine line item was down and Lynn said they only get a percentage of what the state collects on fines. Lynn stated this budget is labor intensive and Reg Beliveau stated their police officers are not getting paid what their neighboring police officers are getting paid.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn said she removed the dryer and gear rack from this budget like she was asked to do. Eugene LaBombard stated the increase in this budget is coming strictly from the two new fire trucks. Jason Butler stated the air compressor they need was to be purchased with the proceeds from the sale of one of their old trucks but it’s costing more than he anticipated. Reg Beliveau stated a Village taxpayer would see an increase of approximately $12 on a $200,000 home from the fire department budget that the voters approved last year. Reg also stated Village residents are paying slightly more for the fire budget than Town taxpayers are. They discussed the 76-24% grand list formula that is used to figure what the Town’s share of the budget is.

 

Chris Leach stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss personnel.

 

3. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 6:51 p.m. to discuss personnel. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 7:06 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

 

4. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Special Board of the Trustees meeting at 7:06 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 7:06 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December 9, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, December 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; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; 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.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

3. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, November 25, 2019 Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, November 25, 2019 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked if Reg heard back from Champlain Housing Trust yet. Reg Beliveau stated he hasn’t but would reach out to him. Motion carried.

 

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

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through December 6, 2019 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

6. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief Stell stated the Swanton Village Police Department responded to 161 complaints in the month of November. He said they issued 10 traffic warnings and 2 traffic citations totaling $382.00. He said there are more warnings and tickets but because those were done with their new E-ticket the data isn’t available yet.  He said the police investigated a rash of vandalism calls because a group of individuals used BB guns to damage several businesses, homes and vehicles in the Village. He said his officers spent several hours investigating this and are ready to wrap up the case this week. He said most of the BB guns used have been recovered and the individuals involved range in age from their early 20’s to almost 30 years old. He said this is not typical behavior for this age group. Adam Paxman stated he noticed there were more “crash damage” calls listed. Chief Stell said this is directly related to the weather and said the first couple of snow falls there are several more crashes to investigate. Chris Leach mentioned the home invasion incident on Blake Street. Chief Stell stated this was an isolated incident where the juveniles involved knew the victim. He said in the process the juvenile and his grandmother were assaulted by a 15 and 16-year old. He said the two juveniles are now at Woodside Juvenile Detention Center. Chief Stell said there was no threat to the general public. Neal Speer asked if the individuals being charged with the BB gun vandalism would have to pay restitution. Chief Stell said that would be up to the court system but said none of them have jobs so it would be a struggle to get restitution out of them. Chris Leach stated they would be working on budgets soon and asked if the police budget was going to be level funded this year. Chief Stell stated the only increases so far with his budget are workman’s comp, liability insurance and health care, all which are out of his control. He also asked if the elementary school planned on having a student resource officer (SRO) like the high school does. Chief Stell stated Lt. Kachajian has been working on that with the school because there are going to be federal funds available which would pay for a SRO officer for three years. He said the school would have to agree to pay for the fourth year. He said they are in the early talks and stages of this at this time. The Board thanked Chief Stell for  his update.

 

7. Close US Bank Account – Fire Truck:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank Account – Fire Truck as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

8. Close US Bank R&C Fund ’89 Account:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank R&C Fund ’89 Account as requested. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

9. Close US Bank Bond Fund ’89 Account:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank Bond Fund ’89 Account as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

10. Withdraw Funds from US Bank R&C Fund 2010 to Pay Current Expenses:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to withdraw funds from the US Bank R&C Fund to pay current expenses as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

11. Update on Highgate Airport Water/Sewer Feasibility Study:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Aldrich & Elliott have been working on the feasibility study to bring water and/or sewer services to the Highgate Airport. He said they sent out surveys looking for potential new customers in that area. He said they need to find out if the State of Vermont can contribute to this project or not. He stated there are a lot of opportunities for state funding as well as local and they are looking at both options. Chris Leach stated it is disappointing that the State didn’t follow through on their upgrades they talked about to entice businesses to come there. He said there isn’t much room for growth left in the Village but there is at the airport. Elisabeth Nance stated they don’t want to overbuild like they did in Milton, but they want to put in just enough for growth. Reg stated this is progressing and Aldrich & Elliott gave Highgate their preliminary numbers on what it would cost them. He said they now need to find the money to do this.

 

12. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if Reg had heard anything more on the Morrisville flow issue. Reg stated he heard they were back in environmental court appealing the Supreme Court’s decision. Chris stated the state wants green power but would decide something that would reduce Morrisville’s production. He asked if this decision could be an issue for other hydro plants. Reg stated he thought this issue was strictly for Morrisville.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach mentioned the letter he received about the electric system and how solar credits are higher than anticipated. He stated there should be caps in place so that existing rate payers aren’t negatively affected because they don’t have solar panels. He said there should be a class action lawsuit about this. Reg Beliveau stated he has worked with VPPSA over and over on this topic and said he would keep his eyes open. The Board agreed this is very concerning.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated they had a pretty good turnout for Christmas in the Park even though it was very cold. He wanted to thank Mark and Leslie Rocheleau for all their work decorating the park this year and said the Chamber still needs volunteers to help with this. Reg Beliveau stated Swanton Village used to help with the lights but the Chamber wanted to take it over. Adam also asked when the next budget meeting would be held. Eugene LaBombard stated healthcare is going up approximately 9% so be prepared about that. Neal Speer asked if VLCT recommended a healthcare company. Reg stated the State has their own health insurance. Adam also asked about the sewer plant and if we need to do anything there yet. Reg stated their land application is going good and said Jim can reduce the phosphorus levels there but needs to add more alum. He said his chemical budget has doubled and the Village has Aldrich & Elliott working on a phosphorus reduction plan. Adam also asked if the Village could install some “EV Charging Station” signs so that people know about the car chargers at the park and ride.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated the Christmas decorations downtown look good. He said the new ACE Hardware store is coming along nicely too. Chris Leach stated he would like to have a drive through mailbox in the downtown area placed somewhere. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she would ask the Postmaster about this.

 

Any Other Business: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, asked everyone to save the date of January 28th for the 50th anniversary of the Merchants Row fire. She said there will be a ceremony on January 28th at the Village Complex.

 

 

13. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel and Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate at 8:03 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:20 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

14. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:22 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:22 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date