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 10, 2021

January 25, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 25, 2021

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; and Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Span Members: Michelle Nordberg, Joanne Parah Reiter, Priscilla & George Connelly, Janet Dimick, and Janet Soavi; Gordon Winters, 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. Pledge of Allegiance:

 

Everyone present stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

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

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

Chief Stell had Officer Kyle Gagne come in with his K-9 Scout. He surprised him with his wife and daughter being present so he could promote him to Corporal. Kyle’s wife Harley pinned his new badge on him and the board congratulated him on being promoted to Corporal.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Minutes from Monday, January 11, 2021 as presented:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, January 11, 2021 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Warrants through Friday, January 22, 2021 as presented:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and sign Warrants through Friday, January 22, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adopt and Sign 2021 Annual Warning as Presented:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, read the 2021 Annual Warning as presented.

The legal voters of the Village of Swanton are hereby warned and notified to meet at the Swanton Village Complex, 120 First Street, Swanton, Vermont on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. to vote on the articles set forth. All articles are to be voted by Australian Ballot. The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

 

Article 1:         To elect from the legal voters of said Village the following officers:

                        President for a 1 year term

                        Trustee for a 3 year term

                        Clerk for a 1 year term

                        Collector of Delinquent Taxes for a 1 year term

 

Article 2:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton appropriate $151,242 for the

                        operation and maintenance of the General Fund for 2021?

 

Article 3:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton appropriate $517,602 for the operation and maintenance of the Highway Department for 2021?

 

Article 4:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton appropriate $80,833 for the operation and maintenance of the Fire Department for 2021?

 

Article 5:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton appropriate $686,871 for the operation and maintenance of the Police Department for 2021?

 

Article 6:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton authorize the Board of Trustees to place surplus funds in the Highway Department anticipated to be $19,131 into a capital fund for future equipment purchases and paving projects?

 

Article 7:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton authorize the Board of Trustees to place surplus funds in the General Department anticipated to be $38,453 into a capital fund for future Municipal Complex upgrades?

 

Article 8:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton authorize the Board of Trustees to place surplus funds in the Fire Department anticipated to be $13,705 into a capital fund for future purchases?

 

Article 9:          Shall the voters of the Village of Swanton authorize the Board of Trustees to place surplus funds in the Police Department anticipated to be $5,469 into a capital fund for future purchases?

 

The legal voters of the Village of Swanton are further notified that an Informational Meeting will be held on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM via Zoom for the purpose of explaining all the Budget items to the voters. To join via Zoom use Meeting ID: 851 7629 3612, join by telephone: 1-646-558-8656 or by using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85176293612.

 

Dated at Swanton, Vermont this 25th day of January 2021.

 

Neal Speer, President______________________      Chris Leach, Trustee________________________

 

Eugene LaBombard, Trustee __________________ Adam Paxman, Trustee______________________

 

Received and filed this 25th day of January 2021

 

______________________________

Dianne L. Day, Village Clerk

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and sign the 2021 Annual Warning as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. SPAN (Swanton Public Art Network) Discussion on Art Walls:

 

Adam Paxman stated he has been meeting with SPAN along with Reg Beliveau and Chief Stell in the hopes of reinstalling the art walls in the community. He said the proposal SPAN presented to them has been sent to their attorney for review and as soon as they hear back from the attorney they will notify the SPAN members. Michelle Nordberg thanked them for working with them and said they hope to establish public art in the community. She said they will also be meeting with the Town Selectboard as well and hope they can be in partnership with the Village on this request. She said their proposal defines what is permissable and how they will be monitored. Reg Beliveau stated their proposal is well thought out, well written and he thanked them for their effort.

 

  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief Stell stated in the month of December they responded to 142 calls for service in the Village. He said they had a wide variety of calls from fireworks on Christmas day to family fights and domestics. He said they are seeing more of this because of COVID-19. He said they issued 10 motor vehicle warnings and 4 tickets totalling $851. Adam Paxman asked if speeding was still an issue. Chief Stell stated they are still seeing violations but because of the pandemic they are not seeing much traffic after dark. He said traffic crashes are low and out of state vehicles is also low. Neal Speer stated he would like to mention the bridge that is falling apart on the westerly side. He said a steel plate has cracked and is missing and is supposed to be replaced this week. Reg stated this is the expansion joint and it is perfectly safe to drive over until it gets repaired. Adam reminded people to slow down while driving.

 

  1. Swanton Village Ordinance Update:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, gave the Board an update on the three new Ordinances to be adopted. Chris Leach stated he would like to see the speed limit reduced on all dead end streets in the Village. Adam Paxman stated he didn’t see anything mentioned about vehicles parking on the green spaces in the Village and thinks that should be added. Gordon Winters stated there should be an ordinance in place about people mowing their right of way (green space) in the Village. Dianne stated she would address all these concerns with Lt. Kachajian and would get back to them.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Chris Leach asked about the COVID vaccine and Chief Stell stated NOTCH is working with the State to get a site here at the Complex. He said other towns will also be having vaccine sites set up as well. Adam Paxman asked if someone doesn’t have internet how can they register for the vaccine. Chief Stell suggested they call the VT Department of Health and they can get them registered. He said older folks can also find a family member or friend to help them get registered.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated the date for the Car Show may change to July 31st instead of July 24th. He said they are working out some details and will let everyone know as soon as he hears.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said he has been in contact with Jim Cota from the Agency of Transportation regarding the bridge and he said someone will be here on Friday to assess the damage. He said repairs should begin on Monday. He said he also consulted with an engineer and with the Regional Planning office.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated there will be a meeting on Wednesday, January 27th at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom regarding the traffic and Downtown Scoping Study. He said they have been working on this for over a year and he encourages everyone to attend via zoom.

 

  1. Executive Session if Necessary:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 7:45 p.m. to discuss personnel. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:55 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

13. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:55 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

__________________________________         ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

January 11, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 11, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reg Beliveau, Village Manager and Dianne Day, Village Clerk. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; 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. Neal said everyone is trying to get through problems nationwide and also dealing with COVID-19 together. He said he hopes everyone stays safe and has a healthy 2021.

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance:

 

Everyone stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Eugene LaBombard stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss personnel.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, December 28, 2020:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, December 28, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, January 8, 2021:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Village Warrants through Friday, January 8, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adopt Swanton Village 2021 Budget as presented:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; stated she made a couple of changes in the budget. She said she changed the health insurance in the water department and also dropped testing in the sewer department. She said in the police department she changed health insurance by $25,000 because an employee is not taking the Village’s healthcare. She said she added some of that money to the equipment and supplies line because they are having trouble with their body cameras and may also need to purchase a few computers. She said this department is level funded as of now and she is hoping that doesn’t change. She said she still has some grant money to collect and that will help. She said overtime labor also played a part in this budget because they had a hard time covering shifts with their part timers. Chris Leach asked about the SRO (Student Resource Officer) position at the elementary school. Lynn said they are still working on it but it looks like that may happen.

 

Lynn also said the electric department is showing a sizeable profit but that number will go down some. She said the water department is showing a large profit as well but she has grant principle forgiveness she needs to report as income. She said the sewer department is show a small loss and the highway department is showing a small profit and this fund will break even and level fund. She said the fire department is also showing a small profit and she was able to pay for the air compressor out of their savings account. She said this department level funded as well. Lynn said overall her budgets are in pretty good shape and she would suggest that they not adjust the rates in the water and sewer departments. She said she would rather wait and see what the revenue numbers do. She said because of COVID-19 she doesn’t want to add any extra burden to the customers. The Board thanked Lynn for such a good job on her budgets this year. She told them she also included a list of anticipated purchases for each department. She said the only fund that is increasing this year is the general fund and that is going up approximately 1 ¼ pennies in the tax rate. Overall, the tax rate is going up 1.38%.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and adopt the 2021 Swanton Village budget as presented with the estimated tax rate going from .8722 to .8842. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Review and Acknowledge 4th Quarter SQRP Report:

 

Chris Leach stated this report stands for service quality & reliability report which is a self-graded report on how well the Village delivers services to its customers. Chris Leach stated the employees of the Village of Swanton at all have done a wonderful job and he thanked them all for their hard work. He acknowledged the Board was in receipt of this report for the 4th quarter.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Reg Beliveau stated that he and Chris Leach were invited to be on the Energy Committee and there will be a meeting on January 20th. He said this is a spin off from the Swanton Planning Commission and said every Town should have an energy committee.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated the Christmas lights are down in the Village Green and said he had some good feedback about the tree that was in the bandstand. He said he would also like to add more lights to the park next year and would be looking for volunteers to help with that. He said the Chamber of Commerce will be holding their 11th Annual Car Show in the Village Green on Saturday, July 24 come rain, shine or Covid, it’s going to happen. Chris Leach asked if they were going to put a skating rink in the park this year. Reg said they were going to but the Governor requested they not put them in because of covid.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated he would like to clarify some information that was in the St. Albans Messenger about the Riviera Hotel property. He said the Village purchased this property a couple months ago and are currently cleaning it up. He said Phase I has been completed and now they are on Phase II and hope to have that done by the end of January. He said an engineering firm from Williston is working on a proposal for testing the site and building to see how much, if any, Brownfield tainting there is. He said they would entertain any ideas ideas about retail or housing that could go there. He said today they removed the trees that were in front of the building. He said this project is moving slow but predict the building will be torn down by the end of September. He said they are looking to improve that section of town.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss Personnel at 7:28 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:10 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:10 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

December 28, 2020

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, December 28, 2020

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; and Reg Beliveau, Village Manager. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; and Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

Chris Leach, Village Trustee, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance:

 

Everyone stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, December 14, 2020:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, December 14, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Wednesday, December 23, 2020:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Village Warrants through Wednesday, December 23, 2020 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve Village of Swanton Delinquent Tax Collector to use Attorney Vaughn Comeau if Necessary for Upcoming Tax Sales:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Delinquent Tax Collector Betty Cheney to use Attorney Vaughn Comeau for upcoming Tax Sales if necessary. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Economic Development Coordinator – Grant Information Update:

 

Elisabeth Nance informed the Board that the consultant for the Downtown Scoping Study wants to make sure they’re on the right track with all alternate plans. She said there will be a zoom meeting on January 27th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. when they present the alternative projects. She said they can pick pieces and parts of different ones and see if any of them make sense to do. She said she wants people to have the opportunity to see what they have been working on. Adam Paxman asked if the Agency of Transportation is involved. Elisabeth said they will be invited to the meeting. She said there is a one-time grant opportunity called Better Places and has no match. She said the idea is to use funds from this grant and do some of those quick demonstration projects. She mentioned a few of the projects they could work on such as reverse parking and crosswalks. She said she would like permission to do the application which is due January 22nd. She said projects need to be completed by August 2021. Adam asked if she is expecting to receive the max amount of this grant. She said she’s anticipating $15,000 to $20,000. Reg said they need to notify VTrans ahead of time in case they have any issues. The board agreed that Elisabeth will go ahead and apply for the grant with Better Places. She then mentioned the Better Connections grant which does have a 10% match. Better Connections is an integrated planning process that funds municipal efforts to increase multi-modal transportation options, improve land use, water quality, public health, and economic vitality in Vermont’s community centers. She said this helps to provide targeted assistance to connecting places and connecting people. She said she would like permission to go ahead with the Letter of Intent for the Better Connections grant. The Board agreed to this as well. Adam asked where they were at with the MVU sidewalks. Elisabeth said they have an upcoming meeting but said it’s moving right along. Chris Leach asked if she had an update on the Carroll Concrete property and the Riviera property. She said she will be talking to Carroll Concrete next week and said she has a meeting with the Brownfield people in January regarding the Riviera.

 

  1. Discuss 2021 Draft Budgets:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said the only big change she had was on page 19 in the police department budget. She said she will be renaming the line item “cruiser lease” to “equipment lease”. She said they do have a cruiser that will be paid off in September and she added the fingerprint machine lease to that so it brought it up some. She said other than that she went through and fine-tuned the salaries more and said she put in for a 3% increase. She said there were some savings in the health insurance rates as well. She said she would like the Trustees to adopt the budget at their first meeting in January. Adam asked how the water and wastewater rates are looking. Lynn said the year-to-date numbers are not final yet but will be as soon as our cycle 4 billing goes out the end of December and that will help those revenue numbers. She said sewer will come in with less revenue but there is money in the bank in that fund. She said she is hesitant to raise sewer rates because of the economic climate they’re now in. Adam said he noticed testing in the sewer fund was up and asked if that was because of phosphorus. Lynn said they need to test more things this year in the water department and the state requires more testing in the sewer department as well. She explained in more detail what testing would be done in each of those departments.

 

She said the General Fund is anticipating a tax rate for 2021 of 0.0931 which is up from 0.0811 for a difference of 0.0120; the fire department is going from 0.0497 to 0.0498 for a difference of 0.0001; the Police Department is going up to 0.4249 from 0.4228 for a difference of $0.0021; she said the Highway Fund is level funded and their new truck will come out of their savings account. The rates in that fund are the same as last year, 0.3186. She said in total they are looking at an increase in the tax rate of just under a penny and a half. She said she feels they have what they need in the budget and it’s not asking too much from their taxpayers given the COVID environment they’re in. She said the basic services will stay on track. She said Ace Hardware added to the grand list. She said a home assessed at $150,000 would see an increase of $21.25; a home assessed at $200,000 would see an increase of $28.33 and a home assessed at $175,000 would see an increase of $24.79. Adam asked her to show taxes on homes assessed at $200,000, $250,000 and $300,000. She said she would update that information. The Board thanked her for all her work on the budgets.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman said the park lights will be coming down Saturday, January 9th and if anyone would like to help just show up and help. He asked Reg if there was an update on the relicensing for the Hydro Plant. Reg said not at this time, everything is at a standstill. Reg also said one of the Trustees would need to fill out a questionnaire for the auditors.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked if there was an update on the broadband topic. Reg stated Elisabeth would sit in on the meetings to gather information for both the Town and the Village. Eugene said they are looking for a representative so they can actively support this issue. He feels it’s a very important issue because there are places with no broadband services. He urged someone to step forward and help with this. Reg said they would need to join the CUD in order to help. Reg said just because they have chosen to not join the district at this time, they should still gather information.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach said he noticed there isn’t an American flag in the park. Reg said they have one on order because the other one was tattered. Chris also said as far as the drive-up mailbox issue goes the Post Office is in a terrible deficit right now so they aren’t able to add anything. He said because they have mailbox pick up available to their residents, they can’t set up a drive thru mailbox at this time. He said not all community’s have this feature available to them.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he received a call about the crosswalk by York and First Streets and said it’s very difficult to see people in it during the evening. It was suggested they have flashing lights there as well. He said he would look at what they can do there.

 

  1. Executive Session If Necessary:

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:15 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Chris Leach, Village Trustee,  adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

November 23, 2020

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, November 23, 2020

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reg Beliveau, Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Shaun Coleman, Northwest Regional Planning; Shawn Kio, Northwest Communications Union District; 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. Pledge of Allegiance:

 

Everyone stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

Neal Speer stated that Chief of Police Joey Stell can’t make tonight’s meeting so Item #8 will be tabled until next meeting. Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss real estate.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, November 9, 2020:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, November 9, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, November 20, 2020:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Village Warrants through Friday, November 20, 2020 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Falcon Communications for $4803.51. Lynn Paradis stated they worked on one of the police cruiser radios as well as one of the Village truck radioS. Chris Leach asked about the payment made to Wind River Environmental LLC for $1113.45. Reg Beliveau stated they had to vactor out the Hydro Plant. He said they need to do this about two times per year and said the Highway Department is working on trying to modify their truck so they can do it instead. Motion carried.

 

  1. Shaun Coleman, Northwest Regional Planning, Update on joining Northwest Communications Union District:

 

Shaun Coleman stated he was present tonight to see if the Village Board of Trustees on behalf of the Village of Swanton municipality, would be willing to join the Northwest Vermont Communications Union District. He said the purpose of this district is to establish universal broadband internet service to rural areas in Vermont to ensure those communities can flourish. He said they want to promote and enhance connectivity to communities within the district and increase broadband coverage. He said because of the COVID-19 pandemic it has changed the way our children learn, how we receive health care, how we work, how we participate in our government and how we communicate with our families and loved ones, near and far. He said they are working with state and federal funding sources and private companies to bring universal broadband service to its member communities in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. He said so far 12 communities have joined the district. He said a few of their goals are to work toward universal access to all homes and businesses in our region, to run fiber to the nearest utility pole/vault and provide a 500 ft drop to the premise, bring equal services to all homes and businesses, provide a lifeline service for residents and partner to improve digital literacy. He said per state statute Title 30 Chapter 82 Section 3056, there are no fees or charges associated with any municipality or its residents to join this district. He said he wanted to clarify that so taxpayers know this will not increase their taxes if their municipality joins the district. He said the whole idea is to not burden the tax base. He said Regional Planning is applying for a $60,000 grant to help develop broadband coverage in the region and just went under contract and will be working with Alburg and Isle La Motte to begin with. He said there has been a lot of work done on trying to bring WIFI hotspots to the region as well. Adam Paxman asked if St. Albans City and Town have been approached about this and have they joined the district?  Shaun said they have been approached and they are still thinking it over.

 

Shawn Kio said Shaun did a good job explaining what they have been working on so far. He said they recently received some additional funding from the state and there are specific funds for CUD’s. He said they are working with the state to deploy some WIFI Hotspots and doing a surveying program. He said the funds are attached to the CARES Act so they are running out of time. He said they are working with libraries in every community and would like to have some form of connectivity done before the December 20th deadline. He said they’re looking to bulk order devices for all libraries and that’s something they are working on now. He said these are short term solutions. Shaun Coleman said they are also trying to educate people on internet use because some segments of the population don’t fully understand it. He said especially now with telework, tele education, and telehealth. He said these things are huge right now and it’s nice to not have to drive to a doctors appointment from Richford to Burlington when it can be done in 20 minutes over the internet. He said the unserved and underserved in the far reaching areas have next to nothing and they want to reach out to everyone. Chris Leach said there are a lot of people who don’t fully understand their internet options and it would be nice to do some kind of an educational pamphlet to really focus on what it is, how to use it and how to access it. He thought that would be really helpful. Shawn Kio said they are working on doing some workshops teaching these things. He said their end goal is to build an open access fiber network and to collaborate with municipalities and local utilities. Chris stated that through education that could create more demand. Eugene LaBombard stated that if there were any connectivity issues it would be in the Town of Swanton, not the Village. Shaun Coleman said he believes they had a miscommunication with the Town and are going to revisit the issue with them. Elisabeth Nance stated that the Town wants to opt out for now. Eugene said this is raising havoc with school kids having to learn from home with no internet service. He said this is necessary and asked if they should have a town and village representative. Neal Speer stated they are having a hard time finding representatives now. He said as long as Elisabeth is going to start this off with the Town why doesn’t she represent the Village as well and get a feel for what’s going on and what’s needed. Eugene suggested they table this again for now, have Elisabeth report back and then make their decision. Shaun Coleman also wanted the Board to know that if they do join and decide they want to opt out they can unjoin at any time. Elisabeth asked if there was anyone in the public who has an interest to represent the Town or Village to please get in touch with her. Item tabled until further notice.

 

  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Item tabled until the December 14,2020 meeting.

 

  1. Approve Village of Swanton COVID-19 Policy:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adopt the Swanton Village COVID-19 Work Policy as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau asked if he could share this policy with the Town of Swanton and the Board said yes that would be great. Chris Leach thought there should be an end date attached to the policy. Motion carried.

 

  1. Sign Loan Documents for Electric Department Bucket Truck:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau to sign the Letter of Commitment from Union Bank for a $260,000 loan with an interest rate of 2.20% for 10 years to purchase a bucket truck in the electric department and to also authorize the Board of Trustees to sign all necessary loan documents. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said the bucket truck should be here by the first of the new year. Motion carried.

 

  1. Village of Swanton Ordinance Update:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, informed the Board that herself along with Lt. David Kachajian have been working on updating their ordinances. She provided the Board with a draft of the parking and noise ordinances. She said they would recommend that if a chicken/rooster ordinance is needed that should be handled by the Zoning office because this can get quite involved. She said in the noise ordinance they are working on, it includes noise complaints from animals so they feel these complaints can be dealt with in that ordinance. She said they plan on revoking all old ordinances and adopting any new ones at the same time and said she would keep the Board updated as they go.

 

 

 

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated at the last Selectboard meeting Missisquoi Valley Rescue (MVR) presented their 2021 budget. He said it shows an increase of $4000 but another line item shows an increase of $51,000. He would like Chief of Police Joey Stell to help explain this budget to the Board.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated there are some intersections in the Village where vehicles are parked on the sidewalks or too close to the intersection and it makes it nearly impossible to see. He said he almost hit a bicyclist a few nights ago because it was getting dark and he had no light on his bike and was wearing dark clothes. He said he is hoping something can be done about the vehicles parking incorrectly near intersections.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Village received their dispatching bill for the Fire Department from St. Albans City and it’s the same amount as last year. He said they didn’t increase their fee and they will enter into a two-year agreement for $19,542.00.

 

  1. Executive Session If Necessary:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss Real Estate at 8:12 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:35 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:35 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date