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 13, 2019

January 28, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 28, 2019

7:00 PM

 

 

 

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

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

Adam Paxman stated he would like to add two topics to the agenda, one being a new parking design at Merchants Row and the other one being a coin drop update for 2020.

3.      Public Comment:

 

None.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Minutes from the Monday, January 14, 2019 Regular Meeting:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, January 14, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard stated that in Item #10 regarding coin drops, he made the motion to approve but didn’t second the motion as typed. Chris Leach seconded that motion. Motion carried with correction.

 

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

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, January 25, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

6.      Adopt 2019 Budget as presented:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and adopt the 2019 Budget as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Eugene stated that the Board has reviewed the budget 4 or 5 times and are very pleased with a 2.04% increase.  Motion carried.

 

7.  Adopt and Sign the 2019 Annual Warning:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, read the 2019 Annual Warning aloud. Adam Paxman made the motion to adopt and sign the 2019 Annual Warning as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.  Review 2018 4th Quarter SQRP Report:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to acknowledge the Board has reviewed and approved the 2018 4th quarter SQRP report as presented and are satisfied with the results. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried

 

9.  Parking Design at Merchants Row:

 

Adam Paxman presented his idea on parking in front of Merchants Row to the Board. Chris Leach stated this should be laid out to scale and said he’s not sure there’s an issue there. He said he knows they need access to the businesses and this should be studied and worked on. Neal Speer stated they should ask the Regional Planning office for help with this and then hold a Public Hearing so the public can weigh in on this. Adam Paxman stated he would work on this some more and come back to the Board with it.

 

10.  Coin Drop Update:

 

Adam Paxman stated he received an email from the Agency on Transportation stating coin drops can be held on a State Highway. However, they are requesting organizations use their form requesting a coin drop instead of the Village’s. He said holding a coin drop within 750’ from a traffic light would be a violation. The new form and instructions will need to be implemented for 2020.

 

11.  Any Other Business:

 

Eugene LaBombard asked how the Village audit went. Lynn Paradis stated it went good and she will let the Board know when the report is complete.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he received a phone call from someone on Merchants Row stating they need salt and sand there. The Board commented that the drug store end of Merchants Row was cleared and the other end was very treacherous. Discussion on ownership of the sidewalk took place. Adam Paxman also asked the Board on behalf of the Car Show committee they would like permission to hold a burn out this year. Eugene LaBombard said he would be against that idea. Chris Leach said he likes burn outs but not in the Village. He said he didn’t think it was a good idea but said he would entertain another location.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated that after the recent snowstorm he too noticed that the hairdresser/drug store end of Merchants Row was cleaned but the other end was terrible.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that this year the Village will join the Town and hold their informational meeting on the same evening which will be Monday, February 25th at 7 p.m. He said they are hoping to get more participation and are also having a chili cook off this year at 5:30 p.m.

 

12.  Executive Session to Discuss Customer Account:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 7:39 p.m. to discuss Customer Account. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: Chris Leach made the motion that the customer account has been reviewed and is to be paid in full. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried

 

13. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 8:41 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:41 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 14, 2019

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 14, 2019

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, Jason Butler and Jason Cross; and Ch. 16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

1.      Call to Order:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

3.      Public Comment:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, read aloud the Swanton Arts Council update to the Board.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Minutes from the Monday, December 10, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, December 10, 2018 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, January 11, 2019:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, January 11, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked about the payment made to Municipal Emergency Services for $31,182.63. Lynn Paradis stated that was for the Fire Department. He also asked about the payment made to the State of Vermont. Reg Beliveau stated that was for the railroad crossing at the P-10 site. He said the Village has to pay the state $980 per year to access their P-10 site by crossing the railroad tracks that are no longer being used. Chris Leach stated he would like this brought to Brian Savage’s attention. Chris Leach asked about the NASRO payment for $1285. Lynn and Reg both said they couldn’t remember that one but would look it up. Motion carried.

 

6.      Swanton Arts Council Request Use of the Village Park for September 7, 2019 for Arts Spectacular Show:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Swanton Arts Council request to use the Village Park on September 7, 2019 for the Arts Spectacular Show. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

7.  Swanton Chamber of Commerce request use of the Village Park for their 10th Annual Car Show to be held on Saturday, July 27th, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve Chamber of Commerce’s request to use Village Park for their 10th Annual Car Show on Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.  Swanton Chamber of Commerce request permission to hold their Annual Memorial Day Parade and Cookout on Monday, May 27, 2019 starting at 2:30 p.m.:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the Chamber of Commerce’s request to use the Village Park on Monday, May 27, 2019 starting at 2:30 p.m. for their annual Memorial Day Parade and Cookout. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried. Chris Leach also said he wanted to acknowledge Adam Paxman being the new President for the Chamber of Commerce. The Board congratulated him.

 

9.  Missisquoi Abenaki Nation request use of the Village Park for Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 4 to 8 p.m. for Social Event:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the Missisquoi Abenaki Nation’s request to use the Village Park on Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 4 to 8 p.m. for their Social Event. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

10.  Fire Department Request Coin Drop for Saturday, September 7, 2019; Lions Club Request Coin Drop October 19, 2019 and Swanton Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary Request Coin Drop for July 13, 2019:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Coin Drops for Saturday, September 7, 2019 for the Fire Department; for Saturday, October 19, 2019 for the Lions Club and for Saturday, July 13, 2019 for the Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, all from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried with two yays and one nay.

 

11.  Renew Electric Interfund Due To Due From Borrowing Agreement for 2019:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve renewing the Electric Interfund Due To Due From Borrowing Agreement for 2019. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Lynn Paradis stated the Village’s checking account is run through the General Fund and there are times when that fund will owe money due to or due from other Village funds. Motion carried.

 

12.  USDA RED L&G Program Discussion:

 

Reg Beliveau stated he received a letter from the Highgate Selectboard saying they were interested in the program that USDA presented to the Village on December 10, 2018. He said they were hoping Swanton Village would be the lender for some Economic Development Projects. Adam Paxman said any money borrowed would need voter approval as well as the Public Utilities Commission. Lynn Paradis said the electric department is already holding $6.6 million dollars worth of debt. She said the Village would be on the hook if they did lend this money out and that company went bankrupt and said the loan has to be paid back in 10 years. She also said a municipality cannot lend to another municipality. Eugene LaBombard stated he wanted it noted in the Minutes that the Village has received this letter from the Town of Highgate at this time.

 

13.  Village of Swanton Request Permission to Write Off Uncollectible Accounts:

 

Eugene LaBombard stated he would like this moved to Executive Session in case they need to discuss an account or invoice. Moved to #16.

 

14.  2019 Budget Discussions:

 

Lynn Paradis informed the Board that this is their 3rd draft and said her previous draft had an increase of 6.5%. She said that information was incorrect and this budget as an increase of 2.04% overall.

 

ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT: Lynn said she received her purchase power numbers and that came in at $2.9 million dollars. She said it will cost an additional $180,000 next year because the rubber bag was out of service and they are fighting to get their 100% renewable status back. Chris Leach stated that because the rubber bag was delayed this is now costing them $180,000 more per year. Lynn said her and Reg are going to Montpelier on Wednesday to address the Legislature regarding this. Chris said the Village better win this battle because every lick of electricity going over that dam is renewable and if they can’t see that and give the Village credit for that than he wants the Village to sue them. He said the State wants 100% renewable energy by 2050. Reg said from what he can see it’s not the State doing this it’s Green Mountain Power and another utility that are making the stance if you go outside of this you can’t get back in because they’re not allowing anybody back in. Lynn said after the Village got their exemption they weren’t allowing any other utility to do the exemption. Chris asked how the Village moves forward with this. Lynn said VPPSA has been working on this diligently. Chris asked that the Board be kept up to date regarding this. Adam Paxman stated the Village is being punished for something that’s out of their control. Lynn said the fact that this rubber bag only has a 25 year life, in 25 years the Village will be in this same boat again. Chris said if the bag doesn’t fail, the old one can come out and a new one can go in in its place. Lynn said the only other thing that changed in the electric department is an adjustment to the linemen wages and the offsetting additional Social Security and retirement on that. She said the other change to the electric, water, sewer and highway funds were the change in pay to the Trustees and Clerk pay. She said that pay hasn’t been changed since before she started working for the Village 14 years ago.

 

WATER DEPARTMENT: Adam Paxman asked if Lynn expected water sales to go up. Lynn said she based that on the revenue received this past year. Adam asked if Lynn knew what drove that number up and she said it’s just consumption because there hasn’t been a rate increase since 2017. Lynn said she doesn’t anticipate a rate increase in this department for 2019.

 

 

SEWER DEPARTMENT: Lynn said the only change in this fund was the Trustee and Clerk pay. She said she will need a rate increase in this fund for 2019. She thinks she’ll raise the fixed rate a little bit and leave the variable rate where it is and said this should cover their revenue needs. She said she has some special sewer accounts that can be very unpredictable from year to year and that’s hard to calculate in her rates.

 

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated the only thing she adjusted in this department was the equipment replacement fund so there’s a minimum impact on the taxpayers. She wanted to keep their tax rate as close to last year’s as she could because last year it went up more than she wanted. She said she was able to put $40,000 towards their next plow truck. She said the one they’re using is a 2005 and they’re hoping to get a few more years out of it but need to start putting money away for a new one.

 

GENERAL FUND: Lynn said all she adjusted in this fund was the Trustee and Clerk pay and she said she didn’t adjust the fire or police budgets at all.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Adam Paxman asked if once the fire trucks were sold he’d like to make sure the money goes into the Fire Department because he knows there’s a need for a compressor. Lynn said the fire trucks are an asset in the Fire Department so that money would go in their fund. Tim Girard, Fire Chief, asked if his budget has been cut. Lynn stated the Fire budget has stayed the same since the first draft. He asked if draft #2 was null and void and Lynn said the fire budget has remained the same for all three drafts. Tim said he hasn’t seen a draft of the fire budget and Lynn stated drafts 1 and 2 were emailed to him and draft 3 is what was printed for this meeting and the fire budget hasn’t changed at all.

 

COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Adam Paxman asked if this fund could be deleted and Lynn stated no because she runs a CBDG grant through there. She said she might change the name of the fund but can’t get rid of it. She said the Village receives a $6000 payment each year which is from a 0% interest loan that was done prior to her working here. She said they have to revolve a portion of $67,000 that they have in that fund and the State has been on her about it. She said they haven’t revolved any of it since the Blake Commons project but in the last two years they’ve had three projects they thought they could revolve to but they received financing elsewhere. She said she can use some of those funds for sidewalks, water and sewer line replacement so there is an opportunity that the Village can do that. She said she would have to go to the voters for approval on that and revolve it themselves. She said she has a fair amount of money in the Highway Department for sidewalks because they also received a grant for sidewalks on First Street. Lynn said if the State wants they can take that money back. Adam Paxman said they should make a point to use those funds. Lynn also said the funds could be used in both the Town and the Village.

 

SUMMARY: Lynn said her projected tax rate for 2019 is .8436 which is a 2.04% increase from 2018. She said the increase is coming from the Police and Fire budgets. Adam Paxman stated this is an acceptable increase. Lynn said the general fund (Complex) and parks are staying the same and the highway department is up about a quarter of a penny. On a house valued at $200,000 there would be an increase of $33.77. Eugene LaBombard stated this is lower than previous years. The Board thanked Lynn and said 2% was a very acceptable increase.

 

PURCHASES: Lynn provided the Board with a list of items that need to be purchased in 2019 for each department. Those items are: snow pusher, insertion valve for Fourth St., aerator, sidewalk plow, insertion valve for First St., lagoon curtain, HVAC for Complex, dog kennel, air switch mitigation project, Village car, motor operator switch – SV 48M, lighting on Canada St., two distribution air switches, inventory, bucket truck (2020), Scott air packs, and gear. Also electric upgrades will be needed on John Drive, Parizo Road and St. Armand Road. Adam asked if a generator could be added for the Fire Department. Lynn stated this is the first she’s hearing of a generator, no one in the Fire Department asked that one be put in the budget.

 

Lynn said she would take another look at everything with Reg and will present the budget for approval at their next meeting. She said her audit starts on Monday, January 21 and she has been sending them information up front over the last couple of weeks.

 

9.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to identify what it would cost to replace the water line that runs under the bridge and bore it through the river instead. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Reg Beliveau said he has talked with the Village’s engineer regarding this. He said they are also working with Regional Planning on their Hazard Mitigation Plan for Swanton and because of the flooding and how close it came  to the bridge, there may be a grant opportunity to get this replaced. He said he’d like to investigate that option. Eugene stated someone should contact VT Gas regarding this as well because they were close to losing that line as well during the flood. Lynn said this didn’t need to go on the Warning at this time because they are not asking for a bond for the project yet. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated he really liked the new skating rink in the Village Green and said it would make a great cover for the Annual Report.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman wanted to remind everyone about the Legislative Breakfast being held here at the Village Complex on January 28th at 8 a.m. He said come out and meet your new representatives. He also said the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year dinner is Friday, January 25th at the Holy Trinity Hall from 5 p.m. social hour and 6 p.m. buffet dinner. He also stated the Memorial Day parade is on May 27th and if you’d like to help organize contact him.

 

11.  Executive Session to Discuss Personnel and Customer Accounts:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 8:09 p.m. to discuss Personnel and Customer Accounts. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session and re-enter Open Session at 9:15 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to approve the Village of Swanton’s request to write off uncollectible accounts in the amount of $8051.05. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 9:15 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date

 

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

December 10, 2018

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, December 10, 2018

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Ben Doyle & Cheryl Ducharme, USDA Rural Development; David Jescavage, Swanton Town Administrator; Taylor Wunsch 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 p.m.

 

2.      Agenda Review:

 

None.

3.      Public Comment:

 

Ben Doyle and Cheryl Ducharme were present for this discussion. Ben thanked the Board and Reg Beliveau for having them. He stated he was in Swanton when they held the Community Visit three years ago. Reg stated that Ben and Cheryl gave a discussion at one of his VPPSA meetings to discuss the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program and he wanted them here tonight to explain this to the Board of Trustees. Ben said this is a Federal agency and their purpose is to promote rural economic development and promote job creation projects in rural communities. He said they invest in housing mortgages, are very active in business development working with non-profits who support small businesses with revolving loans and are also very active in essential community infrastructure such as fire stations, libraries, water and wastewater infrastructures, etc. He said they have 46 different programs at rural development and there are some programs they haven’t used in 20 years. He said two years ago they went to North Dakota and they talked with them about a program they use a lot which is the Rural Economic Development Loan Grant Program. He said this is a loan which USDA Rural Development makes to a municipally owned electric company or an electric coop. He said then the municipally owned power company or coop can re-lend that money to a private business or non-profit organization to do an economic development project. He said a good example of this would be if a company in an industrial park wanted to do an expansion but couldn’t afford it, they could work with the electric company in their community. He said USDA would loan money to the power company and they would then re-lend the money to the company to do the expansion. He said the utility could borrow up to $2 million dollars with zero percent interest for up to 10 years and would have to relend this money to a preselected borrower at identical loan terms. He said the utility isn’t making money on this, it’s making an investment in the economic development of their community. Ben said the benefit to the rate payers is the utility is more stable with a major user in the community.

 

Ben stated he hasn’t done one of these loans in 20 years and said Vermont is very regulated. He said it’s a very popular program in the Midwest and has helped with numerous projects. He said he’s done a lot of homework on this in terms of meeting with VPPSA and Ken Nolan who is very supportive of this. He said they’ve talked with the Public Utilities Commission about this and the Public Service Board as well. He said they would be willing to sit with them and an applicant if one comes of this. He said a lot of utilities don’t want to get involved with this because they aren’t a bank and don’t want to add extra work to their staff. He said some of this could be contracted out. Cheryl stated a utility could work with their Town who has a background with revolving loans, etc. She said the Town could be the fudiciary agent and handle the loan piece of it. She said the utility could add a 1% fee to the loan to cover those expenses. Lynn stated she has concerns because not only does the Village have PUC rules, she asked how the Village would skirt Title 24. She said the Village would still have to deal with the lending laws and having to get voter approval and go out for a bond if the loan is over 5 years. She said the Village is Australian Ballot so whether it’s a 12 month loan or a 20 year loan she needs to go to the Village voters for approval. Cheryl stated she didn’t think the Village could skirt those issues. Cheryl said she believes if the utility borrows a million dollars they didn’t have to get the licensing. Ben said their advice is if they can get one utility to go ahead with this and find that it’s economically beneficial that would be great. He said they are not trying to talk anyone into anything, he said they’re a federal agency who’s seen such great success in North Dakota he said he’d like to see it here in Vermont. Lynn said the Village already has revolving loan funds and are having trouble relending that money out. Lynn asked what happens if they find a customer who wants to do this and borrows the money and then goes out of business. She asked if the Village would be on the hook for the loan and Cheryl stated yes, the Village would be responsible. Lynn said this is a huge concern. More discussion took place regarding collateral and how this process works. Ben said a utility shouldn’t lend to anyone who doesn’t have the collateral to back the loan. Cheryl said USDA Rural Development would assist the utility with the paperwork and look at the borrower along with them. She said they are in this to make good loans and get that money out there for good economic development. Neal Speer stated his concern is this program has been around and available for 20 years but USDA Rural Development hasn’t had one loan go through in those 20 years.

Cheryl said they are seeing all the good this program is doing in North Dakota and they would like to see that happen here in Vermont and in New Hampshire. The Board thanked them for their information and time.

 

4.      Approve and Accept Minutes from the Monday, November 26, 2018 Regular Meeting:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, November 26, 2018 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

5.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, December 7, 2018:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, December 7, 2018 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Jack Farrelly Co. for $7297.87. Lynn Paradis stated she believed that was for the live tap on the water line job. He also asked about the payment made to CE Power. Lynn Paradis advised that was for maintenance at the Hydro Plant. Motion carried.

 

6.      Missisquoi Valley Rescue Request Coin Drop for August 17, 2019:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve MVR’s request to hold a coin drop on Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with a rain date of Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried with two yays and one nay.

 

7.  Fire Department Update:

 

Jason Butler, 1st Assistant Chief, stated that Engine 3 should be completed in late February and have a delivery date of March 2019. He said the ladder truck should be in after that and he is hoping to have both in service by May. He said the Fire Department was presented with an opportunity to bid on a 21’ SeaRay rescue boat the Town of St. Albans had and they have won the bid. He said Star Hose bid $7,000 and won the bid. He said Star Hose would now like to donate this boat to the Swanton Village Fire Department so it can be used for lake/river rescues, etc. He said they can fight fire from this boat if needed and will require a minimum amount of training to do so. Jason also said the boat comes with a 200 HP engine motor and that alone is worth $11,000. Chris Leach made the motion to accept Star Hose’s donation of a 1991 Tri State Sea Ray boat, trailer and 2011 Mercury 200 HP OPTI XL motor. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

8.  2019 Budget Discussions:

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated the 2018 retirements affected all the budgets because of how she splits their time. He said health insurance is up 1% and that’s the lowest increase she’s seen. She said the property insurance looks to be level funded. She said outside services are up in all departments as well because the Village needs a software update in 2019. She said the two new fire trucks has caused an increase and the Town/Village split is 74/26% based on the grand list. She said she kept salaries the same and they are under budget for the year. She said she put dispatching in for $15,000 for 2019 and said that’s her only unknown item at this time. Lynn said the tax rate for a Village taxpayer versus a Town taxpayer is almost the same. She said it’s approximately .4 cents per thousand for fire protection.

 

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated the amount of money to be raised in this department is going down a bit due to the supervisor retiring. She said she has a grant in this fund with a match that’s up a bit and State Aid is the same. She said property insurance is up a bit, they have a new ton truck and workman’s comp insurance is up also. She said they go through VLCT for this insurance and do get a better coverage and dropped premiums. She said they offer a lot of free classes and get their CDL drug testing at no cost.

 

GENERAL FUND: Lynn said this budget is up a by 3.55% because the Village Complex needs a new furnace. She said she budgeted $40,000 for maintenance for electric, water and sewer. The 2018 budget was 0.0787 compared to 2019 at 0.0816 for a change of .0029.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Lynn said this budget is up a little too because of a change in insurance plans.  She said they need a new cruiser for the K-9 unit. Eugene LaBombard stated he thought the department told the Board they would use an old cruiser for the K-9 when they got the dog. Chris Leach said he thought they were told the same thing also. The budget for 2018 was 0.3834 compared to 2019 at 0.4130, for a change of 0.0296.

 

COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Lynn said  all she has in this fund is the Revolving Loan Fund and the $6000 payment from the Central School loan each year.

 

ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT: Lynn said residential sales are down in this fund because of energy efficiency and because of solar. She said between residential and commercial solar they are paying out over $300,000 annually in credits. She said this budget is very similar to last year. She said they are caught up in maintenance at the plant. She said retirement affected this department as well and she has budgeted for a lineman to be hired in March. She said Invoice Cloud charges are up for running credit card payments and health insurance stayed level funded.

 

WATER DEPARTMENT: Lynn said she doesn’t anticipate a rate increase in this department for 2019. She said they had an increase in property insurance also.

 

SEWER DEPARTMENT: Lynn said she may need a rate increase in the sewer department. She said they have two special sewer accounts and because of the phosphorus issues out there they may be looking at a plant upgrade in the near future.

 

SUMMARY: Lynn said the 2018 tax rate was 0.8267 and the 2019 estimated tax rate is 0.8806 for a difference of 0.0539 which is a 6.52% increase.

 

The Board thanked Lynn for this first round of budgets.

 

9.  Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman said he would like to make a change to the coin drop policy and that would be if you were approved to hold a coin drop in 2018 you would need to skip a year before you can request another one. Eugene LaBombard stated he isn’t hearing from groups that they can’t get in. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she isn’t hearing that either but said she would keep track of it for him and see if it’s a problem.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he was asked about placing the Playground Fund sign out front and the Board advised him to check with the Zoning office first to see if a permit was required. Reg said he would look into it.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated he saw a lady skating on the rink today and said how nice it looked in the park.

 

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

 

11.  Executive Session If Necessary:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 9:37 p.m. to discuss Contracts. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 10:30 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

12. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 10:30 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

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Neal Speer, Village President                           Date

 

 

 

 

 

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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date