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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

December 19, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

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

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.   Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

 

2.   Agenda Review:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated that he needed an Executive Session to discuss Personnel.

 

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

 

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

 

4.   Approve and Accept Village Warrants through December 15, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through December 15, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked about the invoice for Champlain Valley Equipment for $2,412.46. Lynn Paradis stated this was to repair the Kabota lawn tractor in the Highway Department. Eugene also asked about the refund of $42,323.09 paid to SolarSense and Lynn stated this was for the solar project on Frontage Road and that the customer purchased their own transformer so we had to refund them for that. They paid an estimate before the job and Swanton Village charged them for it. Motion carried.

           

5.     Review and Acknowledge 3rd Quarter SQRP Report:

 

Chris Leach stated he was very pleased with the 3rd quarter SQRP report as usual and thanked everyone involved with it. He noted that the Board of Trustees reviewed and acknowledged the 3rd quarter SQRP report.

 

6.    2018 Budget Discussions:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated they have made some changes to the budgets and it is now down .47%

 

ELECTRIC FUND: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said she factored in a 2.5% COLA (cost of living) increase for the Village employees. She also stated that the electric crew would like to go to an on-call basis. She said they have occasionally run into issues with a lineman not being available after hours and feels this way there will be more reliability and they can remain competitive with neighboring utilities. She said she would like to implement this in July of 2018. She said this will apply to the highway crew as well.

 

WATER FUND: Lynn stated the maintenance line item was up quite a bit and she had a chance to talk with Scott Mueller about it. She said he only needs to have $10,000 budgeted for this line item, not the $38,000 so this helps bring the budget down in this fund.

 

SEWER FUND: Lynn stated this fund is staying just as she reported last week.

 

COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Lynn stated she had nothing to report in this fund due to the upcoming sale.

 

GENERAL FUND: Lynn stated this fund is the same as last week as well.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated this department has level funded this year. She said they will put their request for two new fire trucks on the ballot this year and let the voters decide that purchase.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Lynn stated the officers will need to order new uniforms in this department because their vests, shirts and pants are wearing out. She said they are also sending Kyle Gagne to the police academy in 2018. She also stated that workman’s compensation is up $30,000 this year and this department took a big hit in that as well

 

HIGHWAY: Lynn stated this fund is up 3.3 cents due to paying out an employee’s vacation time due to a retirement and having to do training in that department as well.

 

Lynn stated that the General Fund is going from .0788 to .0798; the Fire Department is going from .0437 to .0420; the Police Department is going from .3768 to .3799 and the Highway Department is going from .2917 to .3256. She said there is an overall increase of $0.0363 cents on the tax rate from 2017 to 2018. She said Village taxpayers would see an increase on a $150,000 home of $54.38, on a $175,000 home the increase would be $63.44 and on a $200,000 home the increase would be $72.51. She said her anticipated tax rate is going to be 0.8273 for 2018. The Board agreed that 2018 is going to see a lot of increases in the various budgets and suggested they have their own informational meeting this year so they can help explain the budgets to the taxpayers. The Village Informational Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

 

7.   Any Other Necessary Business:

None.

 

8.    Public Comment:

 

None.

 

9.   Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel at 8:35 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:24 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

10. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:24 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:24 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 11, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, December 11, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Tim Girard, Fire Chief; Peter Prouty, Jason Butler, Jason Cross, Firefighters; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Gordon Winters, Tim Smith, Shawn Cheney 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, November 27, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, November 27, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.           

 

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

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through December 8, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman mentioned the VPPSA invoice. Eugene LaBombard asked what the Bergeron Protective Clothing invoice was for. Lynn Paradis stated that was for turnout gear in the Fire Department. Motion carried.

 

5.   Follow Up on Fire Department to Purchase New Fire Trucks:       

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; explained that she ran some more numbers on purchasing the fire trucks. She gave an example of a home assessed at $200,000 purchasing both trucks with a 10 year bond and a 12 year bond. The increase for that scenario would be $30.01 per year. She gave an example of purchasing both trucks with a 15 year bond and the increase would be $19.58. She stated if they purchased just Engine #3 with a 10 year bond the increase on a $200,000 home would be $1.07 and if they purchased just the Ladder truck with a 12 year bond the increase would be $7.95 per year. Peter Prouty stated he contacted a couple of leasing companies and received some numbers back today from one of them. He said he would like Lynn to look these numbers over and see if it’s feasible for the Fire Department to lease the fire trucks rather than purchase. Lynn stated at the end of the lease agreement the Village could purchase the truck for $1. She said she thought the interest rate would be higher with a leasing company. Pete said they are running around 3% and Lynn said that’s what the percentage rate is with the bond companies so it may be worth looking at. Tim Girard, Fire Chief, stated that a lot of work has gone into this project and thanked his guys for working so hard on it. He said they put in their due diligence for sure. Chris Leach stated he would like to go with purchasing both trucks and said they are looking for the best economical way to do this. Neal Speer stated the voters will have to decide and thanked the Fire Department for all their hard work.

 

6.   Update on Rubber Dam:

 

Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager, informed the Board that the rubber bag has arrived at Port in New Jersey so he is hoping it will be shipped in 3 to 5 days. He said they will be storing the bag in the sub-station.

 

7.   Chief Stell – Update on Police Department:

 

Chief Stell stated things are going good in the Police Department and said their call volumes are about the same. He said they have one officer out right now and he expects him back next week on light duty. He said they are seeing some of the same problems as always but wanted to also remind people to report a crime when they see one. He said the opiate problem is still there but said they’ve seen a great success with the “Take Back the Drugs” event. He said residents can bring in their unused prescription drugs at any time and they will be disposed of properly. He said this will help with people taking someone else’s prescription drugs. He said because of this they have seen a decrease in burglaries. Adam Paxman stated he stopped by the Police Department on Sunday and an officer told him he was working on 35 cases in 3 days. He said that’s a lot of case loads piling up. Eugene LaBombard asked if Chief Stell was aware of the ATV issue in Highgate and Chief Stell said he wasn’t following it. Adam stated he is going to contact VAST and invite them to come in and discuss the issue here in Swanton with ATV’s. Chief Stell said they have caught individuals driving them through the Village and Town but said there are several more right behind them not getting caught. Neal Speer mentioned the study being done on the intersection of I89 and First Street. Adam stated a street light is much needed there and said it only makes sense. The Board thanked Chief Stell for the update.

 

8.    Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, Discussion on Model Communities Program:

 

Elisabeth Nance stated she is requesting a letter of support from the Board of Trustees for the Enhancement Project’s Climate Economy Model Communities Program application. Neal Speer read the letter of support aloud:

 

Dear Mr. Copans,

 

The Swanton Village Board of Trustees writes this letter in support of the Swanton Enhancement Project’s (SEP) Climate Economy Model Communities Program application.

Since 2013 the SEP has been working with village officials to revitalize Swanton’s downtown, including concerns identified as priorities during the 2015 VCRD Community Visit.  During this time Swanton has made great strides in addressing those issues, having established several task forces that continue their work and hiring an Economic Development Coordinator.

The Board of Trustees sees the Model Communities Program as an important next step toward continuing to address high priority concerns and toward beginning to address issues identified during the visit but deemed lesser priority, like improving energy efficiency.  Swanton Electric is municipally-owned, produces power from the Orman Croft Hydroelectric Plant and Dam, and boasts some of the lowest rates in the state, all of which is something Swanton needs to better promote.  In addition, Swanton has previously identified smart growth, working lands business development and business incubation as possible initiatives.  As Village Trustees we are encouraged by the SEP’s willingness to continue conversations about these areas as they directly impact efforts by the village and the SEP to revitalize Swanton’s economy. 

Working with the Town Selectboard and other partners, the Village Board of Trustees seeks to improve Swanton’s economy in the face of climate change and shifting economic conditions through initiatives like VCRD’s Climate Economy Model Communities Program and therefore fully supports the Swanton Enhancement Project’s application.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village Board of Trustees to support and sign the Swanton Enhancement Project’s Climate Economy Model Communities Program application letter. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

9.    2018 Budget Discussions:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated she has been working on the Village budgets and said tonight she would give a few highlights and details in each department.

 

ELECTRIC FUND: She said she factored in a 2.5% COLA (cost of living) increase for the Village employees. She also stated workman’s compensation is up $30,000 this year and every department sees an increase in this line item. She said health insurance is up by 4% as well. She increased the right of way tree trimming line item so they can get caught up from the wind storm. She said this is back up to $75,000. She said the net income is at $92,375 and she is expecting to do a rate increase in 2019. She said this is driven by the large solar projects going in and because of lost generation at the power plant.

 

WATER FUND: Lynn stated maintenance is up in this fund quite a bit and she still needs to sit with Scott Mueller to see why. She said there have been less water line breaks in this department and she doesn’t expect a rate increase in this fund for 2018.

 

SEWER FUND: Lynn stated she budgeted for a new employee in this department because they have someone retiring in 2018. She said they saw a huge increase in chemicals this year, workman’s compensation is up and health insurance is up. She said she is expecting a rate increase in the sewer department in 2018. She said a 1.74% increase in the fixed rate and a 3.42% increase in the variable rate would take care of what she needed in this fund.

 

COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Lynn stated she had nothing to report in this fund due to the upcoming sale.

 

GENERAL FUND: Lynn stated the Village office is out of space and is very cramped. She said the Human Resources position really needs their own office for privacy reasons and said the Police Department is out of room also. She said if net metering keeps growing like it has they may need to hire another person to keep up. She also said the labor is up in the parks due to longer good weather and upkeep.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated this department has level funded this year. She said she just made the last payment on the fire truck and said the air packs are on a five year plan. She said workman’s compensation is up in this fund also. Lynn said the Town’s share for fire protection is now up to 76% and the Village is at 24%. She said dispatching was reduced this year but they moved that money to personal protective gear.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Chris Leach stated this is a lot of money for this department. Lynn said workman’s compensation is up $11,000 in this fund. Lynn said the Town Contract is up by 2% but said Joey has extended their coverage time in his proposal. She said they have budgeted for a new vehicle in this fund because the Tahoe only gets 10 mph. She said they will do a lease agreement on a new vehicle.

 

HIGHWAY: Lynn stated this fund is up substantially this year. She said the whole work load will shift due to a retirement in late 2018. She said streetlighting is now considerably lower than it has been. She said she has a $21,000 trackless payment, paving was pushed up to $50,000 and she budgeted $50,000 for equipment in 2018.

 

Lynn stated that the General Fund is going from .0788 to .0797; the Fire Department is going from .0437 to .0420; the Police Department is going from .3768 to .3799 and the Highway Department is going from .2917 to .3293. She said there is an overall increase of 4 cents on the tax rate from 2017 to 2018. She said Village taxpayers would see an increase on a $150,000 home of $59.81, on a $175,000 home the increase would be $69.77 and on a $200,000 home the increase would be $79.74. Lynn is asking the Trustees to take these budgets home and look them over and if they see anywhere she can cut to let her know. The Board thanked Lynn for her hard work on these budgets.

 

10. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked if performance appraisals were done yet. Reg Beliveau stated not yet.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman read a letter that was written to the Police Department stating that officer #433 helped this person’s daughter tremendously and she really appreciated it.

 

Reg Beliveau stated he would need an executive session to discuss real estate.

 

11. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

12. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss real estate at 8:36 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:00 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion that in order to keep jobs in Swanton the Village Board of Trustees will sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Village of Swanton, Swanton Town, FCIDC, Alain Morrisette, Gordon Winters and a local business man to relocate BMTM into Swanton Town and authorize the Village Manager to sign all pertinent documents. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau stated that if you look back to the April 10, 2017 St. Albans Messenger, it states in the article that their goal is to find a new home for the Teen Center and to keep the 25 jobs in Swanton. He said this goal was successfully completed. Motion carried.

 

13. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:05 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:05 p.m. Motion carried.

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

November 27, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, November 27, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Tim Girard, Fire Chief; Peter Prouty and Jason Butler, Firefighters; Sandy & Ron Kilburn, Gordon Winters, Hank Lambert, Suzanne Washburn 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 personnel.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through November 22, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman mentioned the State of Vermont invoice which is sales tax paid to St. Albans. Motion carried.

 

5.   Follow Up on Fire Department to Purchase New Fire Trucks:       

 

Neal Speer stated the Fire Department was here tonight to discuss the purchase of two new fire trucks. Reg Beliveau stated that Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, figured what the impact would be on a home valued at $200,000. If the Fire Department was to purchase just Engine 3 there would be an estimated increase of $16.24 on a 15 year bond and an increase of $13.71 on a 20 year bond. If they were to purchase just Ladder 4 there would be an increase of $24.33 on a 15 year bond and an increase of $20.53 on a 20 year bond. And if the Fire Department were to purchase both new trucks at once there would be an increase of $40.57 on a 15 year bond and an increase of $34.24 on a 20 year bond. Fire Chief Tim Girard looked at these numbers and said he feels a 15 and 20 year bond is too long to go because the life of a fire truck is approximately 20 years. The Board discussed that for a while and agreed that they would ask Lynn to run the numbers again but with a 10 and 12 year bond. They said they would also ask her to run the numbers on a home valued at $175,000, a home valued at $200,000 and a home valued at $250,000. Adam Paxman stated that they have a need now for these trucks, not a want. Peter Prouty stated he is also a taxpayer but said if they delay doing this they would be worse off. Reg Beliveau stated he knows the Fire Department does what they can to be fiscally responsible and said the last two ladder trucks were purchased by the Fire Department alone through their Star Hose fund. The Board said they would ask Lynn for more information and requested this be put on the next agenda for further discussion.

 

6.   Discuss the Sale of the Memorial Auditorium Building:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, stated that the Village Manager and the Board of Trustees have been negotiating for a year or so with the Winters family regarding the sale of the Memorial Building. He said they have come to the mutual agreement that this is what is best for the Village and the Town of Swanton and community to move forward with their Downtown Revitalization. Chris Leach stated the downtown has been shrinking and with a beautiful new Ace Hardware store downtown he guarantees this will spur other retailers to come forward. He said this is a win/win for our downtown area. He said more activity and other retail outlets is the way to go. He said the trend used to be for stores to go outside of the Village and go into shopping centers on the outskirts of Town. He said normally it’s too expensive to do it in the interior and said this is so unique, so special and so perfect. He said other Ace Hardware stores in the area are beautiful, state of the art, well thought out, and priced great. He said this is exactly what will be an impetus to grow their Village Center. He said the drawings of the project are tasteful and appropriate. He said this is a no brainer for him. Adam Paxman stated this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for their community and he’s very proud to be a part of it. Eugene LaBombard said for many years they have been looking for a way to improve the appearance and vitality of their downtown. He said they’ve been listening and watching as well as have other people but said this opportunity is the right one. Gordon Winters thanked the Board for their kind words and the support. He said Chris hit it on the head because they used to go to Ace conventions 10-15 years ago and would be told to get away from the downtown area and go to the strip malls next to a drug store etc. He said within the last five years the message has been to get anywhere you can in your downtown area so that it’s walkable. He said it’s almost impossible to develop in the middle of downtown because stores need an acre or so of land. He said usually there are no empty lots and if so they are brownfields that need work. He said the support he’s received is exactly what is needed to get this kind of project off the ground and he said he appreciates that support and the community’s support. He said he looks forward to getting started. Reg Beliveau said they can sign a Purchase and Sales Agreement tonight and said it would be posted for 30 days and if anyone opposes it they have 30 days to get a petition in with 5% of the registered voters. Neal Speer stated they wouldn’t go into the terms but said they are available at the Village office or with any Trustee. He said they know there is some opposition out there about this but said they believe this is the best opportunity. He said every board this has come before agrees with their decision to go with the Winters family proposal. He said the Board, the Development Review Board (DRB), and the Town Selectboard are in favor of this proposal.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into a Purchase and Sales Agreement with the Winters family on the Memorial Building and to give Village Manager authorization to sign all necessary documents. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau stated he has dealt with contracts for many years and to have Gordon and Debbie Winters come in and to see their emotion and their sincere proposal was refreshing. He said you can question that they’re going to make money, of course they are he said but money will flow back into this community. Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, and Gordon Winters signed the Purchase and Sales Agreement. Motion carried.

 

7.   Update on Rubber Dam:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the abrasion sheets have arrived. He said he talked more about making a repair and they have been watching the weather and it’s not conducive to making any repairs at this time. He said PC Construction said they want to be kept in the loop and if they have a window of good weather maybe they can do something then. He said they’ll have to wait and see. He said the rubber bag is on its way and should be here next week. He said if the water gets too high they have to deflate the bag some but said they are figuring it out. He said they are still producing power.

 

8.    Adopt and Sign Ordinance for the Establishment of Historic Preservation Commission:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and adopt the Establishment of a Historic Preservation Commission Ordinance as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. The Board signed the Ordinance.

 

9.    Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would like Chief Stell to be at their next meeting for an update on the Police Department. He also stated he wanted to thank everyone for their Christmas in the Park event last Saturday. He said it was a great time and a lot of fun. He said they are going to try and do a little bit more next year and said on behalf of everyone involved thank you.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach said he wanted to talk about the Teen Center or Community Center. He said he’s not sure if people really know what that means and said they think it’s just a big hall with events going on. He said there’s more to it than that and if people understood programs, usage and the good things that can happen from those activities. He said the Teen Center was more than just a place for the kids to hang out and if they’re going to move it people need to understand what it means and what goes on there. He said he would like a director to come in and explain what really happens there. He said a lot of people are making negative comments but said he feels that comes from a lack of understanding. Reg Beliveau stated he joined the Board of Directors for the Teen Center as well. He said there is more funding available for grants if they make it a community center rather than just a teen center. He said this is a great opportunity for people to get involved and help support the youth of the community. He said this is a positive and he wished more people would come out and help and get involved.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated he wished the Police Department would start issuing tickets or towing vehicles that are parking on the streets and blocking the snow plows. Village Clerk Dianne Day stated the Winter Parking Ban goes into effect on December 1st. Eugene stated he thought it started on the 15th of November and said they should change that because he doesn’t like cars parking on the streets when they need plowing. Eugene stated after December 1st he hopes the police department issues tickets for this violation.

 

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked about the soffet lights on Merchants Row. Reg Beliveau stated he was supposed to hear something back today. Neal said he is hoping to get some grant money so it won’t cost the Village to put them in. He said he and Elisabeth Nance met with the State of Vermont and said there is some money available for this. He said it really does need to be lit up over there. Eugene stated he supports Neal’s efforts.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that Joel Clark stopped by his office today asking if the Monument in Flat Iron Park could be lit on each side with some low voltage lights. He said the veterans names are printed on both sides of this monument and they’d like for it to be lit at night. He said Joel will do the fundraising to do this. The Board agreed with Joel’s request and said he should make it vandal proof. Reg also stated that next year marks the 100th Anniversary of Cpl. Leonard Antoine Lord, the first Vermonter killed in World War I. Reg stated the Armory on Ferris Street was dedicated to him in August of 1960. There was a parade in 1960 and 10,000 people came to see it and honor Cpl. Lord by dedicating the Armory in his name. Reg said that Joel wanted to bring public awareness to this and they are hoping to plan a celebration next year to honor him.

 

10. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

11. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

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

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:37 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

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

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 13, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, November 13, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; William “Peanut” Cheney, Shawn Cheney; Ron and Sandy Kilburn, Gordon Winters, Hank Lambert; Swanton Fire Department Chief Tim Girard, Jason Cross, Jason Butler, Peter Prouty, Alex Bourdeau and Nick Schuster; Tom Benton, St. Albans Messenger 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 Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and from Thursday, October 26, 2017:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and from Thursday, October 26, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if the water ordinance that was approved at their last meeting needed to be posted for 30 days. Chris Leach stated no it didn’t need to be because nothing changed with the ordinance. Eugene LaBombard asked how much the rubber bag weighed because the Minutes state that it weighs 2200 pounds. Reg said no it weighs 96,000 pounds which is equivalent to 2200 metric tons. Motion carried with stated change.     

 

4.   Approve and Accept Village Warrants through November 9, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through November 9, 2017 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.   Fire Department to Discuss the Capital Purchase of a New Fire Truck:    

 

Fire Chief Tim Girard stated he met with Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, last week and is proud to note that the Fire budget for 2018 is level funded depending on what Workman’s Compensation will do. He said the reason they are here tonight is to discuss the Capital purchase replacement of Engine 3 and the Ladder Truck. He presented the Board with a 2018 Apparatus Presentation. Former Fire Chief Peter Prouty acknowledged the Board and stated this wasn’t the first time he has had to do this presentation. He said he wanted to give some background information, introduce the new fire truck committee and how they calculated the cost. He said they have more than one proposal because the numbers are very large. The first thing Pete mentioned was the call volume trend for the last 22 years. He said there has been a steady incline since 1995. He said in 1995 they responded to 101 calls and in 2016 they responded to 268 calls. Chris Leach asked how many calls they’ve responded to so far this year and Pete said as of September 2017 they have responded to 264 calls. Pete said the truck committee is comprised of Assistant Chief Cross, firefighters Alex Bourdeau and Nick Schuster as well as himself. He said their mission was to look at the vehicle needs of the department for the next 10 years and offer solutions to that 10 year need. Pete said this is a very complicated and involved endeavor and some of the things they considered were the condition and age of their present vehicles, budget stability, maintenance costs, mutual aid, ISO rating, call volume and public expectations. He said they also took into consideration the pump capacity, water capacity, hose bed, compartments, NFPA requirements, engine size, standardization, wheelbase, maneuverability, needed options and primary mission. Chris Leach asked how the Village’s ISO rating compared to other towns. Chief Girard stated with the upgrade to the water plant they received a 4 rating in the Village and a 9 for the outskirts of the Village because they needed to haul water. Pete said some of the things that need to be considered in 2018 are: the Ladder Truck 4 is 28 years old, Engine 3 is 18 years old and the Tanker is 22 years old. Pete said that apparatus suppliers have told them the prices have increased 3.5% per year over the last few years. He said diesel engine emission changes have driven additional increases in 2007, 2010 and 2017. Pete said they contacted HME Dealer and they gave them an “optioned” estimate for both trucks. Pete said Proposal “A” would be to purchase two vehicles in 2018, liquidate Engine 3, Ladder 4 and the Tanker after delivery of the new apparatus and training period. They would bond over the shortest reasonable term to not impact the 2026 fleet needs. Pete said Proposal “B” would be to purchase one vehicle at approximately $600,000 in 2018, liquidate Engine 3 and the Tanker after delivery of the new apparatus and training period and bond over the shortest reasonable term. Pete said the Truck Committee’s conclusion is they believe Proposal “A” is the best overall choice. He said the ultimate cost is dependent on the options the truck(s) have, terms and interest rates. He said they are asking the taxpayers for approximately $1,450,000 to replace two fire trucks in 2018. He said the estimated price for the Engine Truck is $577,500 and the Aerial Truck is estimated to cost $865,000 for a total of $1,442,500. The Board thanked the Fire Department members for coming in and giving their presentation. The Board stated they would ask Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to figure out what this Capital purchase would do to a taxpayer’s home valued at $200,000. They said they would ask her to show three examples, one with the purchase of two new trucks, one with the purchase of just the Engine truck and one with the purchase of the Aerial truck. Pete said he knows just because they feel this is the right thing to do it may not be the best financial thing to do. He said the engine truck is more needed at this time and if they had to they could hold off on the ladder truck. He said the ladder truck is older and will need to be replaced soon. The Board said they would think about this, look over the numbers and will put this back on the agenda for more discussion.

 

6.   Sign Declaration of Intent for Municipal Bond Bank – Rubber Bag Bond:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to sign the Declaration of Intent for the Municipal Bond Bank to reimburse certain expenditures related to the Rubber Bag replacement. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.   Update on Rubber Dam:

 

Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the abrasion sheets would be delivered this week. He said they removed a piston that was leaking and they are unable to clean the racks right now. The bladder has been shipped and is scheduled to be here the first part of December and our engineers are still saying it would be too dangerous to try and install during December. He said he met with the manufacturer of the rubber bag a few weeks back and toured the site again. They proposed an emergency repair on the rubber bag for approximately $50,000. He said he talked with someone from Maine to see if he has any ideas and to see if this is even possible. He said if they unhook it and lay it over and the river comes up it could flood the inside of the bag. He said there are so many variables involved it can be very distressing. Chris Leach stated it was worth looking at the dollar amount and seeing if it’s feasible to do a repair. The Board thanked Reg for the update on the rubber bag.

 

8.    Discussion on ATV usage in Village of Swanton:

 

Adam Paxman stated there was a meeting a couple of weeks ago in Highgate where a couple of people from VAST were present. He said they had a candid conversation about ATV’s in their community. Adam said he would like to extend an invitation to them to attend a Village Board meeting about the same topic. Adam would like the Village Clerk to contact Highgate to get their information so he could reach out to them and ask them to attend a board meeting. The Board agreed with this.

 

9.    Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, was present and stated she had an Ordinance for the Historic Preservation Commission that she would like the Board to look at and possibly adopt. She said this Commission could have 3 to 9 members and she would like this Commission to have three. She has two individuals already interested and just needs one more to start this Historic Commission. She said she added that this Commission would have to meet at least four times per year. Chris Leach made the motion to adopt an Ordinance for the establishment of a Historic Preservation Commission for the Village of Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, presented the Board with a copy of the Hyde Park Tax Stabilization Program and Policy. She wanted the Board to review this and see if the Board was interested in developing a program like this. She said this could help reduce the municipal tax in Swanton but not the education tax because that’s statewide. She said this would be used as an incentive to attract new businesses to Swanton. Chris Leach stated in the past they couldn’t offer anything like this. She said she thinks this is worth having for any new businesses or for any that do a renovation project. The Board asked why they didn’t know about this before. She said the Town already has one and have used it once. She said Hyde Park asked their voters if they were in favor of this and they approved it. Neal Speer said they needed to run this by Lynn Paradis and have her check it out to see if it’s feasible for the Village. The Board said they would look it over and discuss it further. They said they would put this back on the agenda as well. The Board thanked Elisabeth for coming in.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman wanted to remind everyone about the Christmas in the Park event to be held on Saturday, November 25th from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Village Green. He said many organizations have come together to make this event happen. He said there will also be an Ugly Sweater contest held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Swanton VFW. He said there will be a DJ and lots of fun for everyone.

 

10. Public Comment – William “Peanut” Cheney wants to Discuss Greenwich Street:

 

William “Peanut” Cheney asked Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, what he found out about the water issue on Greenwich Street. Reg said when the CSO project came through that’s where the storm water and sewer were put in. He said there was a certain amount of footage in that area and over the years that resident has been cutting in and mowing more and more of the wetland area. Peanut asked who determined this to be a wetland. Reg stated the State of Vermont. Reg said he looked at the blueprints and it was delineated out. He said himself and Mike Menard looked at the prints and this is what they have determined, that the resident has mowed more and more into that wetland area. Reg said the area where it slopes down and gets wet was already deemed by the State as a wet area. He said they didn’t want any disturbance in that area. Eugene LaBombard stated the land has been deemed a wetland by the State of Vermont and Peanut said he disagrees and said this is not a wetland area. Peanut also asked about getting his report from the Police Department. Reg said this is a civil matter but said a new report was written and  was mailed out to him. Reg said he saw the new report and saw the pictures and said he knows it’s done. Peanut also stated that on Pole #7 on Greenwich Street there is no streetlight on that pole. Every pole down there has one and there was an attempted burglary at Mrs. Devaney’s house. Reg stated he would have the electric crew check it out.

 

Reg Beliveau stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss real estate.

 

11. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss real estate at 8:30 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:17 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:18 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:18 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

October 24, 2017

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; William “Peanut” Cheney; Attorney Steve Marshall 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, October 9, 2017:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, October 9, 2017 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.                       

 

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

 

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

 

5.   Update on Rubber Dam:       

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he had a conference call this past week and the rubber bag is due to arrive the first week of December instead of the second week of November. He said HTE sent him photos of the bag being loaded and it is now on its way. He said he asked HTE for a detailed description as to why the bag was delayed and he said all he received back was a page full of excuses. He said rather than being upset he’s just going to move forward with this. He said Pizzagali and HL Turner have been discussing the average river flows in December and feel it would be too dangerous to do any work during that month. He said the old construction site was washed out a few times in the past and for safety reasons he would rather wait until the flow is safer. Chris Leach asked if the Village was subject to any penalties if they waited. Reg said their Army Corps permit deadline was 2018 so they are all set. He said he needed to notify the other proper agencies. He also informed the Board that the warranty starts after receipt of the bladder and will extend to the date of installation. Adam Paxman asked if HTE expected full payment upon date of receipt. Reg stated that they are having a meeting next week and they will discuss that. He said they would also discuss how stupid HTE made the Village office look by committing to a delivery date that they couldn’t keep. Reg stated he is hoping the impact of this delay is less than he has anticipated. He said they’ve also discussed doing a repair internally on the old rubber bag to possibly raise it by 5 feet. He said 15 feet would be too much to handle but raising it some would help in keeping the racks clean.  Neal Speer asked about the storage of the new rubber bag when it arrives. Reg said storing it outside will be fine and they are looking at a location now. He said Pizzagali will be able to pick it up with their crane and place it where it needs to be. Reg said the bag is 57 feet long, 9 ½ feet wide and almost 5 feet tall. He said it weighs 2200 pounds. Chris Leach stated this news is disappointing but thanked Reg for being on top of it. Adam Paxman stated the production was on schedule but the shipping was delayed and that was out of their control.

 

6.   Approve Swanton Village Water Ordinance as Printed:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into a Water Commissioner’s meeting to discuss the Village of Swanton Water Ordinance at 7:15 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Discussion: Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she talked with Lynn Paradis about this Water Ordinance and she said there was nothing she would change or add at this time. She said Mike Menard, Public Works Foreman, was also fine with the Ordinance as printed. The Board of Trustees also reviewed it and have no changes at this time. Reg Beliveau stated the State of Vermont SRF Loan representatives require the Village to review this Water Ordinance from time to time.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept the Village of Swanton Water Ordinance as printed as of October 2017. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to exit Water Commissioner’s meeting at 7:18 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.   Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman asked if the Village hired anyone yet for the Hydro Plant Operator. Reg Beliveau stated they have made an offer to someone and are waiting to hear back from them.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked how the swan was doing. Adam Paxman stated he is doing pretty good and has been moved to MVUHS along with the two ducks for the winter. He said Betty the swan had a fungus and there was nothing they could have done for her. He said Sam is on an antibiotic and seems to be doing well.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard said there are places in the Village where people are parking on the green spaces. He asked if they were allowed to park there in the winter months. Reg Beliveau stated no and the Winter Parking Ban Ordinance takes effect December 1st and runs through April 15th. Reg stated the Village needs to re-visit all their Ordinances and deal with the parking issues, etc.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked if there’s been anything done regarding the lights on Merchant’s Row. Reg stated not that he knows of and said he would talk with Duane Couture about this in the morning.

 

8. Public Comment – William “Peanut” Cheney wants to Discuss Greenwich Street:

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, was present to give the Board an update and to discuss the Village of Swanton becoming a Certified Local Government.  She stated the ACCD is going to be in Swanton on Friday, October 27th to meet with four property owners and will be back on November 8th to meet with another one. She said the property owners need to apply for the tax credits individually. She said as part of that, when they were here on October 4th they were talking about the Neighborhood Development Area program as well. She said they will meet at the Town Office and then walk over to Merchants Row. They will look at the buildings and see what makes sense to do. She said they will address the lighting as well. They will look to see if there’s enough handicap access as well. They will then talk about the Neighborhood Development Area and this may require some Zoning Bylaw changes which they plan on looking at over the winter months. Reg Beliveau stated that the Agency of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife were going to be here on Friday as well to do a meet and greet. He said they were going to do a walk around also. He said he may be available later in the afternoon.

 

Elisabeth said there are six steps to becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG) and one of them is to adopt an Ordinance. She said they also need to set up a Commission of 3 to 9 people. Reg asked if the  Economic Development group could be the Commission. Elisabeth said she asked because the Town and the Village have to have separate CLG’s do they need to have separate Commissions. She said the same people can be both the Town and Village Commissioners. There are certain requirements such as someone would need to have a historical architect degree and that person can be from another community. She asked if this is something the Village wants to move forward on. She said they would need to develop a commission, adopt an ordinance and meet one time to do this. Adam Paxman asked why the Village was doing this and not the Town. Elisabeth said because this has to do with historical preservation and most of that is in the Village. She said she would like to see the Town move forward with this as well but that is less pressing. She said there is money out there and they would be fools not to do this. Reg stated he would recommend they form a committee, meet and review the bylaws or ordinance and move forward from there. They agreed they would discuss this further at their Economic Task Force meeting.

 

Public Notice: Gordon Winters stopped by and wanted to express his gratitude for having faith in him and his family on being a small part of the Downtown Revitalization. He said this idea started out small and branched off into something great. He wanted to publicly thank the Board for their support. He said they are going for the beginning of their permits on Thursday of this week and he thought it was a good time to show the Board what they will be presenting. He showed the Board his development plans for his Ace Hardware store. He said unfortunately they couldn’t save the old Prouty building but are saving the old theatre building. He said they looked structurally at what they could save and the Prouty building is beyond repair but he said they have a good shot at saving the theatre building. Chris Leach stated how nice the plans look. Gordon said the square footage is just what they need. He said the old metal building will come down and they will use the same footprint but resurface it with matching brick. He said this will be used for storage. He said they added a few more parking spaces in the front and added a nice front brick patio. He said most of the store parking will be on the side of the building. He said they talked with the bank and will open up that road and remove the curb that’s there now. Adam Paxman asked if there was anything they could do to help. Gordon said he is hoping Thursday’s meeting goes well and he will then be going after his state permits. The Board thanked him for coming in and showing his plans and told him how nice it will be when complete. Gordon said he is hoping for spring/summer construction.

 

Public Comment: William “Peanut” Cheney stated he wanted the Board to take a look at a police report he has. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated it has to do with his rental property on Greenwich Street in which he had a complaint about some trees being trimmed and cut by the neighbor. Peanut said he needed to show this to a judge. Chris Leach then read the narrative from the police report aloud. Peanut said it doesn’t say that they came onto his property 5 feet but rather trimmed the tree up 5 or 6 feet. He said he planted those trees 28 years ago. He said this property has been surveyed and he also said he spoke with an attorney and the attorney told him he should contact the Board of Trustees about this. Peanut said when you read this report you get nothing out of it and it doesn’t make sense. Chris asked who cut the trees. Peanut said to ask the Police Department, he said they’re investigating it and it took six months to get this report. He said he’s been to the police department eight times and feels nothing is being done. Reg Beliveau asked who cut the trees, the property in the back. Peanut said yes to this. He said if you call there you don’t get an answer and he never calls him back. Peanut said the neighbor trimmed his trees 5 feet in and as high as you could reach. He said they are cedar trees that he planted 28 years ago and now you can see right through them. Reg Beliveau stated he would get more information from the police department so he could understand it better. He said he believes this is a landowner dispute. Peanut agreed to this but said he needed a better report to clarify it. Peanut said his attorney said to go back to the police department and get a better report because this one doesn’t make sense. Reg said he would talk with the Chief of Police and have the officer write a more detailed explicit report for Peanut. He said they would figure out the property owner, take some pictures, etc.

 

He said another issue he has on Greenwich Street is the brook near Gerald Wells’ house. He said he hates to see someone like him get abused. He said nobody is watching over him and he’s going through hard times. He said they need to do an onsite visit of that brook because the culverts are plugged. Reg said when the CSO project came through that’s where the storm water and sewer were put in. Part of the process was that had to be replanted with wetland plants in that area. Neal asked if the water was backing up over at Gerald’s. Peanut said when they cleaned out the ditch they put the fill in the brook by Gerald’s. He said now it’s all over by Grand Avenue. He said the Village could use their vactor and clean this out. Peanut said Gerald can’t even mow his lawn now because it’s too wet over there. Reg said he would do some research on the CSO project and go talk with Gerald about this. He said if this is deemed a wetland they have to get permission to go in and dredge it. He said if the culverts are plugged that’s one issue but if they want to dredge the brook they need permission from the state. Peanut said he didn’t think the brook needed to be dredge but said the culverts need to be cleaned out. The Board thanked Peanut for coming in with his issues.

 

9. Executive Session (If Necessary):

 

None.

 

Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 7:55 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 7:55 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

__________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date