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).

Monday, January 16, 2023

January 9, 2023

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, January 9, 2023

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; William “Bill” Sheets, Village Manager; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Sandy Kilburn; 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:

 

Bill Sheets, Village Manager; stated he needed to add an item for a fire department purchase; he also stated he needed an executive session to discuss personnel.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, December 12, 2022 as presented:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, December 12, 2022 meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, January 5, 2023:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #116-#125 through Thursday, January 5, 2023 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Beautification ARPA Fund Request:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, stated he talked with Hank Lambert last week and they were wondering where the Board of Trustees stood regarding their request for funds. Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said that the Village is hiring two part time individuals this summer and said they used to only hire one. She said they also added another 20 hours per week and they will be able to help with watering the flowers, etc. Bill Sheets, Village Manager, said they could offer in-kind work and they will consider installing a water irrigation system. Sandy Kilburn stated this will help tremendously as people on that committee are aging out.

 

  1. Discuss Hydro Operations Internship Program:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he received a letter from Village Attorney Paul Nolan and it reads as follows:

 

Dear President Speer

I respectfully request that the Village of Swanton accept the enclosed check in the amount of $2500 for the initiation of a summer internship program for the operation and maintenance of hydroelectric plants. It is my hope that the internship program will be used to honor W. Scott Mueller in recognition of his exceptional expertise and service to the Village and the hydro community at large. Should the Village decide to initiate an internship, I pledge to provide additional support for 2023 in the amount of $2500. Sincerely, Paul Nolan

 

The Board thought this was an excellent opportunity and also wanted to pledge $2500 toward this internship program. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve setting up an internship program in recognition of W. Scott Mueller at the Hydro facility not to exceed $5000. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Review and Sign Audit Engagement Letter:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, informed the Board that she received the Audit Engagement Letter from Kittel, Branagan &Sargent for their upcoming audit of the Village’s financials. She said this audit will cost $29,875, which has increased from last year’s audit. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and authorize Village President Neal Speer to sign the Audit Engagement Letter from KBS. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Discussion on 2019 Feasibility Study/Assessment of the Complex:

 

Bill Sheets, Village Manager, said he asking the Board to re-engage with the engineering firm, Weimann & Lamphere, who did an assessment of the Village Complex in 2019. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Village Manager William “Bill” Sheets to use ARPA funds, not to exceed $50,000, to be used for an enhanced assessment of the Village Complex. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. 2023 Budget Discussion:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, informed the Board that she worked on her budgets some more and began her update with the general fund. She said there was a small increase in the accounting fees and she made some adjustments in salaries. She said the fire department had a small increase in accounting fees as well and that fund is up .0027. She said in the police department she adjusted salaries, outside services, added body cameras for the part time officers and she said property taxes in this fund were up about $25,000. She said this fund is up .0454 and it’s because of pay raises to keep them competitive. She said they also changed the retirement plan in order to retain staff.

 

Lynn said in the highway department she matched the bridge expense to the grant revenue and won’t take any tax revenue out of that. She said the general department was flat and the fire department was up by .0027% and highway is up by .0057%. She said she anticipates a tax rate of .9968 up from .9486 in 2022 with a difference of .0483.

 

Lynn showed the increase on a home valued at $175,000, $200,000 and $250,000. She said if this budget was approved at these rates there would be an increase of $84.49 for a home valued at $175k; a $96.56 increase on a home valued at $200k; and a $120.70 increase on a home valued at $250k. Reg Beliveau stated he felt this was a very reasonable budget.

 

Lynn said in the electric department salaries are up as well as retirement and FICA. She said purchase power is their greatest expense and that is up over $200,000. She said she will ask VPPSA to run numbers this summer to see if they need a rate increase. She said if they do she’d rather do small amounts at a time rather than a larger one.

 

Lynn said in the water department salaries, retirement and FICA are up. Adam Paxman said he is concerned about the revenue from sales in this fund. Lynn said they are down one large customer and it makes a difference. She said she should go in for a rate increase but because they have some money in the bank in this fund she will wait. She said after the water line job is complete she may have to have an increase in the water rates.

 

Lynn said in the sewer department salaries, retirement and FICA are up as well as accounting fees. She said the plant is fully depreciated showing a small profit. She said she doesn’t see a rate increase in this fund. Eugene LaBombard said chemical prices are through the roof. Lynn agreed and said fuel charges are up as well as testing fees.

 

The Board thanked Lynn for all her hard work on the 2023 budget. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated they need to hold a meeting on January 30th rather than January 23rd so they can approve and adopt the budget at that meeting.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Bill Sheets, Village Manager, asked about the Inclusion Declaration statement. Once both boards sign the document it can be put on the Village website but some members are out of state. He also asked what the board wanted to do regarding the joint website with the Town. The Board agreed to go with the Vermont based company.

 

Any Other Business: Bill Sheets, Village Manager, stated that at a previous meeting the Board approved the hydro department purchasing a used truck. He said the company sold it, so they were unable to purchase it. He said they have found another one and would like permission for the hydro department to purchase a 2016 truck with 55,000 miles on it for $30,436. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve the hydro department purchasing a 2016 truck for $30,436. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

Any Other Business: Bill Sheets, Village Manager, informed the Board that the Abenaki Cultural Fair will be held on June 10, 2023 in the Village Green with a rain date of June 24, 2023. He also informed the Board that regarding the Highgate Water Line that will run to the airport there was concern over the ownership of that line. He said Swanton Village owns to MVU and Highgate will take ownership

from there on to the airport. He said this is all clearly stated in their Memo of Understanding.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked for an update on the Riveria Hotel property. Reg Beliveau said things are moving forward slowly and said they are requesting another environmental study. He said this is mandated and will cost approximately $8198. Eugene also mentioned the large trucks parked downtown and said they were violating the winter parking ban. He said he’d like the police

department to check it out.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session at 8:09 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:00 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

December 12, 2022

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON TOWN SELECTBOARD

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

JOINT MEETING

Monday, December 12, 2022

7:00 PM

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; William “Bill” Sheets, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Brian Savage, Town Administrator; Ed White Sr., Steve Bourgeois, Nicole Draper, Earl Fournier, Town Selectmen; Spencer &  Lisa LaBarge; Jenn Yandow, Sandy Kilburn, Joel Clark, Hank Lambert and Ch.16. Via Zoom: Heidi Fryzell and Paul Hansen, Ecopixel Website; Wayne Elliott and Jeff, Aldrich & Elliott.

 

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. Earl Fournier, Town Selectboard Chair, called the Town meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance:

 

Everyone stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

  1. Discuss and Act on Equity Statement for the Town and Village of Swanton; also Discuss Jointly Owned Website:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, read the following Inclusion Statement: The Village of Swanton condemns racism and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, or disability, and wants everyone to feel safe and welcome in our community.

As a Village, we formally condemn all discrimination in all of its forms, commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community, and will strive to ensure all of our actions, policies, and operating procedures reflect this commitment.

The Village of Swanton has and will continue to be a place where individuals can live freely and express their opinions.

By the Swanton Village Board of Trustees on ____________ 2022

 

Earl Fournier said their board agrees with the Inclusion Statement but preferred instead of saying the Village and Town of Swanton to just say the “Swanton Community”. Both boards agreed to this and changed the inclusion statement to read as follows:

 

Swanton condemns racism and welcomes all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, or disability, and wants everyone to feel safe and welcome in our community.

As a community, we formally condemn all discrimination in all of its forms, commit to fair and equal treatment of everyone in our community, and will strive to ensure all of our actions, policies, and operating procedures reflect this commitment.

Swanton has and will continue to be a place where individuals can live freely and express their opinions.

Signed by Swanton Officials on ____________________ 2022

 

President Neal Speer _________________________________________

Trustee Eugene LaBombard  ­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________

Trustee Chris Leach __________________________________________

Trustee Adam Paxman ­________________________________________

Selectman Earl Fournier _______________________________________

Selectman Steven Bourgeois ___________________________________

Selectman Ed White Sr __________________________________

Selectwoman Nicole Draper ____________________________________

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and sign the Swanton Inclusion Statement as corrected. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Steve Bourgeois also made the motion to adopt the Inclusion Statement with the changes. Ed White Sr. seconded the motion. Motion carried.

 

The two boards then discussed the joint website they are considering and listened to Paul Hansen and Heidi Fryzell from Ecopixel Website Design give their presentation. They discussed how they would communicate, plan and consult; the design and development of the website; how it’s built for ADA compliance; and how they would implement town-specific features including: Meeting document management, calendar, notices, notifications, payment system integration, file management, site search, alert banner, forms, contacts page, resource guide and privacy policy. They also mentioned how they would migrate, organize and ADA-remediate content, provide ongoing maintenance, support and hosting web accessibility, and editor training and support. Nicole Draper mentioned marketing the community. Earl Fournier explained how he wanted to attract tourists and young people to move and live here. Heidi Fryzell then showed neighboring towns that use their website service such as Huntington and Essex Junction. The cost for this website would be $13,325 for year one and $1,800 dollars per year for ongoing support, hosting and maintenance.

 

The two Boards stated they would look this over and consider their options. They thanked Heidi and Paul for their presentation.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

The Boards decided to move some items around on the agenda and wanted public comment at this time. Joel Clark stated he wanted to inform everyone that Lamoille Valley Rail Trail head plan received the full amount of the grant and he is hoping for work to begin in the very near future.

 

Sandy Kilburn stated the governor announced a new program called IDEAL and said she was hoping Swanton could participate in that.

 

Ed White Sr., Selectman, made the motion to adjourn the Town’s portion of this meeting at 8:04 p.m. Nicole Draper seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Sign State Revolving Loan Program for Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade:

 

Wayne Elliott, Aldrich & Elliott Engineering Firm, was on via zoom for this presentation. He stated the Wastewater Plant needs a new phosphorus and filtration system so they need to apply for a State Revolving Loan in the amount of $298,800. He said the total project will cost approximately $5.9 million dollars but said the Village qualifies for 50% state funding. He said a bond vote may have to be held at a later date. He said he hopes to have construction begin in 2024. Eugene LaBombard wanted to remind everyone that this is mandated by the State of Vermont and said these upgrades need to be done. Reg Beliveau stated that the wastewater plant has been using chemicals to remove phosphorus but said this is too expensive to maintain. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and sign the State of Vermont State Revolving Loan Program Funding Application for $298,800. Eugene also moved to authorize Village Manager Reginald Beliveau sign and approve necessary documents pertaining to this loan application. Chris Leach seconded both motions. Motion carried.

 

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, November 28, 2022 as presented:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, November 28, 2022 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Wednesday, December 7, 2022:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #112-#115 through Wednesday, December 7, 2022 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Jack Farrelly Company for $63,425.87. Reg Beliveau stated that was for insertion valves. Motion carried.

 

  1. Elisabeth Nance – Resolution Needed for Riveria Hotel:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated Elisabeth couldn’t make tonight’s meeting but gave him

the following update on the Hotel Riveria:

  • Contaminated soil from the site of the underground storage unit has been removed and appropriately discarded
  • VT Department of Environmental Conservation is finishing its review of the Phase II Report from KAS; we have a call at the end of the week to discuss
  • We are working with KAS on the proposal to manage the asbestos abatement; in the meantime, the grant agreement, which will offset 80% of the cost, is being finalized
  • Asbestos abatement is expected to be completed by the end of January; we do need to go out to bid to satisfy requirements of both the village and the grant agreement
  • David Shea, the demolition guy, is in the loop.  He expects to have demolition completed between late February and mid-April.  Much of it depends upon the weather because ideally March would be best
  • The archaeological assessment report is being finalized.  We know that there is evidence of pre-contact at the north end of the building, but nothing has been found that should hinder demolition.
  1. Appoint New Village Manager William “Bill” Sheets as VPPSA Director Effective January 1, 2023:

Chris Leach made the motion to appoint William “Bill” Sheets, Swanton Village Manager, as the VPPSA Director effective January 1, 2023. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Discussion on 2023 Draft Budgets with Lynn Paradis:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated she would begin with the General Fund. She said property taxes have gone down some in the fund and said the fire department has level funded their budget for 2023. She said the dispatching bill has increased some as well as property taxes and transportation expenses but said this budget is pretty solid.

 

She said the Police Department has increased some due to liability insurance, payroll and benefits and said she still needs to finish working on the grant income in this fund.

 

Lynn said the highway budget may increase quite a bit due to the bridge repairs but she said she would explain another option when they get to the tax piece.

 

She said she checked with VPPSA so see if the Village needed an increase in the electric department. She said one is not necessary at this time. She said purchase power may be an issue but said this year they had a lot of generation. She said she is making a final bond payment in December 2023 on the 1990-1993 bond at the hydro plant.

 

Lynn said in the water department she is not anticipating a rate increase at this time. She said after the water line job is complete they may need one then.

 

Lynn stated in the sewer department revenue is down some and she said she had to increase the chemical line item from $57,000 to $81,500. She said her testing line item is also up some and she doesn’t want to adjust the rates in 2023.

 

Lynn then showed the estimated tax rate for each fund: General would go from 0.0899 to 0.0837 for a change of -0.0062; the fire department would go from 0.0505 to 0.0534 for a change of $0.0029; the police department would go from 0.4655 to 0.4954 for a change of $0.0299 and the highway fund would go from 0.3427 to 0.4223 for a change of $0.0796. She said the total tax rate would go from $0.9486 in 2022 to $1.05475 in 2023. She then showed the increase on a home valued at $175,000, $200,000 and $250,000. She said if this budget was approved at these rates there would be an increase of $185.76 for a home valued at $175k; a $212.30 increase on a home valued at $200k; and a $265.37 increase on a home valued at $250k.

 

Lynn said because of the jump in the highway department she has an option B plan. She said the Village could use the $200,000 in grant money and make the repairs to the joints and not go ahead with the full repair plan for another $323,000. She said if they did this she could reduce the highway budget and taxpayers would only see an increase of $55.00 on a home valued at $175k; a $62.95 increase on a home valued at $200k; and a $78.69 increase on a home valued at $250k. The board liked the idea of this and said they would weigh the options. Bill Sheets, Village Manager, stated he did find out that the bridge is slated to be completely rebuilt in 2029. The board thanked Lynn for her draft budgets.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

None.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Customer Accounts:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session at 9:40 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session and reenter Open Session at 9:50 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Chris Leach made the motion to approve the Village of Swanton to write off $7121.43 in the electric department for non-collectible accounts. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to transfer the current Village Manager’s SUV to the police department for $15,000 and to authorize the purchase of a new Ford Bronco for $37,877 from EJ Barrette Ford. Eugene LaBombard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve Village Manager Reg Beliveau to carry over accrued vacation time into 2023 while he works part time for the Village. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Joint Meeting of the Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:55 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:55 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Friday, December 2, 2022

November 28, 2022

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, November 28, 2022

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; William “Bill” Sheets, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Matt Sullivan, Chief of Police; and Ch.16.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

 

  1. Call to Order:

 

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

 

  1. 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, November 14, 2022 as presented:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, November 14, 2022 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Wednesday, November 23, 2022:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #108-#111 through Wednesday, November 23, 2022 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to PC Construction for $2176.00. Reg Beliveau stated that was for concrete on tailrace #5 at the Hydro Plant. Motion carried.

 

  1. Swanton Village Police Update with Chief Matt Sullivan:

 

Chief Sullivan stated he had information for the months of October for both the Town and the Village. He said they responded to 100 incidents in October in the Village. He showed the top 10 incident types being 13 suspicious person/circumstance; 9 community outreach; 8 traffic stop; 8 agency assistance; 7 motor vehicle complaint; 6 foot patrol; 5 found property; 5 trespassing; 5 citizen dispute; and 4 theft complaints. He also stated in October they had 10 traffic stops, issued 4 tickets and 8 warnings and made 7 arrests.

 

He said the department responded to 194 incidents combined with the Town. The top ten call types were 20 suspicious person/circumstances; 20 agency assistance; 20 traffic stop;16 community outreach; 14 motor vehicle complaint; 7 citizen assist; 7 juvenile problem; 7 foot patrol; 7 theft and 6 citizen dispute. He said they conducted 19 traffic stops, issued 14 tickets and 11 warnings. He said they also had 8 arrests consisting of 3 for state warrant; 2 negligent operation; 1 eluding a police officer; 1 violation of conditions and 1 driving under the influence.

 

Chief Sullivan informed the board about the vehicle that tried to elude them on Robinhood Drive and ending on the Frontage Road. He said they’ve been very busy with some robberies that took place in Swanton. Chris Leach asked if there was an update on the First Street shooting from last summer. Chief Sullivan said that is still being actively investigated by the Vermont State Police. He said he talked with an investigator a week or so ago and they are moving forward with the case and making a great deal of progress. He said it’s a very solid case. He said most of these cases stem from drug addiction unfortunately.  Neal Speer stated that this past Saturday was “Small Business Saturday” and he heard from merchants that stated they would like to personally meet some of the officers that work for Swanton and introduce themselves.

 

  1. Discuss and Approve Purchasing New Truck for Hydro and Maintenance:

 

Reg Beliveau said this isn’t for a new truck, it’s a used one. He said employees at the Hydro plant have been using the electric car over the summer and put 400 miles on it checking the dam site, etc. He said in the winter-time they are using the white pick up truck that’s a hand me down from the water plant. He said with two maintenance people that only leaves one truck so when they need to go to different plants they don’t have that ability to do so. He said the truck they’re looking at has a plow and there are two people that know how to plow so this could relieve some duties from the public works crew. He said they’re asking for the ability to purchase this truck this year. Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said they originally wanted to put it in the budget for next year but Dan stumbled upon this truck and it’s exactly what he’s looking for. She said this truck will also be used to haul debris from the trash rake at the dam. She said they usually need to come here to use a truck from one of the other departments. She said this truck should last them quite a while because it has low mileage on it. Eugene LaBombard asked what department this would be coming out of. Lynn stated the electric department. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to purchase a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD from Moore Quality Cars for $17,995. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Discussion on ARPA Funds to be Used for Local Businesses:

 

Reg Beliveau stated they have had discussions on what to use ARPA funds for. He said they talked about helping merchants with dressing up their store fronts with new signage etc. Reg said a new business in town has asked if there were any funds available to help with a sign for their business. He said if they did something like this it would have to be universal for everyone. He said he thought this was a good use for ARPA funds. Neal Speer said there is more excitement in downtown Swanton and said he heard the St. Albans City Council will be helping their merchants with storefront signage and thought Swanton could do the same. He said they’re not just keying in on Merchants Row and said this would be available for all businesses in Swanton. Adam Paxman suggested some guidelines be created. Neal said they have an invoice already for one business for approximately $400. Chris Leach said Village projects such as the bridge job and park should take priority first. Reg asked if there should be a limit on what a business could receive. Lynn agreed to this. Reg said they could also use these funds for lighting and outlets. Neal also said there are no outlets on the outside of each store at Merchants Row and suggested they put some in. He said this could be used for Christmas decorations or to light signage. He said Duane Couture is going to talk with Rainville Electric to see what this would cost to install. Adam Paxman made the motion to use ARPA funds to pay for signage in the amount of $500 for one local business on Merchants Row. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Reg Beliveau stated he wanted to introduce the new Village Manager again, William “Bill” Sheets, who started today. Neal said they all wanted to welcome Bill to the Village.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard stated a few weeks ago the beautification committee was requesting funds from the Village ARPA funds. He said he would suggest putting a separate line item on the Village warning. He said their proposal is asking for funding for five or six years. If it is to go on the Warning, should it be on for each year requested or should it go on once for their entire request. Neal said this is a two-tier approach for a certain amount of money each year plus hire a botanist to oversee some of this. He said he doesn’t think the Board should be the only ones to approve or disapprove this request. He wondered if the beautification committee presented their request to the Town yet. Eugene asked if this should be just a Town project or a Town and Village project. Adam stated if they’re using ARPA funds it should be one or the other. Chris Leach stated that the way other projects have been run in the past, it should be a Town project so that both Village and Town taxpayers pay for it through the general fund. Eugene said they need to make a decision and should also find out whether or not ARPA funds can be used for what they are requesting. Neal said more discussion will need to take place so he thanked Eugene for bringing it up. The Board asked that this be put on the next agenda.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach said Lynn sent a pretty good synopsis of how they are doing financially and said they’re pretty stable. He said looking forward into 2023 and 2024 they should at least think about being very careful with capital expenditures. He said the Christmas decorations looks very nice as well as the park. Chris also said they haven’t had a group picture in a while and before things change he’d like one done.

 

Any Other Business: Neal said speaking of pictures he had something to get and excused himself for a minute. He returned with a gift for Reg, a sign that reads “Saloon De Beliveau 1989” for him to hang in his home.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he wanted to remind everyone that the Winter Parking Ban begins Thursday, December 1st. He also asked if the public works department could remove the picnic tables from the park for the winter. He said they had a very successful Christmas in the Park this year. He said it’s a lot of work but also a lot of fun and he thanked the Chamber of Commerce. He also said the EV car chargers are getting more use. He said the Chamber has been sponsoring them and they are going up so that’s a good thing. He said the chargers are in the commuter parking lot at the Village Complex.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer also wanted to remind everyone that Wednesday morning the water will be shut off behind Merchants Row for about an hour or so, so they can replace a valve there.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Contract:

 

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

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to approve the St. Albans Police Department Central Dispatch Contract for 2023 for fire dispatching in the amount of $20,520. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to approve employees accruing their earned time for the 53rd week in 2022. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

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

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

November 14, 2022

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

REGULAR MEETING & PUBLIC HEARING

Monday, November 14, 2022

7:00 PM

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; William “Bill” Sheets, new Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Sandy & Ron Kilburn; 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. Village Board of Trustees Announce New Swanton Village Manager:

 

Neal Speer, Village President, first wanted to thank Reg Beliveau Jr. for his 11 years of service to the Village of Swanton. He read the following press release: The Swanton Village President and the Village Board of Trustees are pleased to announce the hiring of our next Village Manager, William (Bill) Sheets. Bill brings many years of leadership and management experience to this position. Bill has held the position of Major in the Vermont State Police managing Support Services Division as well as serving as Field Service Commander. Bill’s wide range of management experience will help with the continued growth of our community and maintain the services and businesses the Village of Swanton manages today. Bill’s educational background offers a Master of Justice Administration, Bachelor of Arts, and an Associates of Science. 

With a start date of November 28th, Bill will work closely with the outgoing manager, Reginald Beliveau Jr over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition.The Village President, the Village Trustees along with the employees of the Village would like to thank Reg for his dedicated service to the Village, its residents, and its employees. Reg plans to work part time on special projects under the direction of the Village Manager and Village Trustees. Please join us as we wish Reg a very happy and successful retirement life and welcome Bill into our community.  

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

Sandy Kilburn read a letter she had prepared: Under the leadership of Reg Swanton Village has made unprecedented progress. With Reg’s open door policy Swanton Village soon gained the reputation of a community on the move reaching out to neighboring towns and organizations and taking leadership roles in many. He has always been willing to go above and beyond. This doesn’t begin to do justice to Reg’s many contributions to our community. We are fortunate to have Reg and Rita staying here in our Village and we look forward to our continued friendship. Thank you Reg! Sandy then welcomed Bill to the Village of Swanton.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from the Monday, October 24, 2022 Meeting; Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Public Hearing; Wednesday, November 2, 2022 Emergency Meeting; and Thursday, November 3, 2022 Special Meeting:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, October 24, 2022 Meeting; Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Public Hearing; Wednesday, November 2, 2022 Emergency Meeting; and Thursday, November 3, 2022 Special Meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, November 10, 2022:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #100-#107 through Thursday, November 10, 2022 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked what the $345,768.49 payment made to the Town of Highgate was for. Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated that was the Village’s tax bill to the Town of Highgate and said that is based on generation. She said this is on the lower side because of drought conditions last year and said next year’s will probably be higher. Motion carried.

 

  1. Present Voting Results from Water Bond Vote November 8, 2022:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated the Village had 339 votes come in and the article passed 271 yes to 64 no with 4 blank ballots. She said even though this seems like a low turnout of voters this is actually a good turnout for the Village. She said there are approximately 1,600 registered voters in the Village and this amounts to about 21%. Eugene LaBombard stated he is very thankful this bond vote passed because he’s been worried about that water line for some time now. He said this will be a very good thing for the Village of Swanton and thanked everyone who came out and voted.

 

  1. Elisabeth Nance – Public Hearing on Asbestos Abatement at Hotel Riveria:

Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA)

Former Riviere Hotel

6 South River Street - Asbestos Abatement

Swanton, VT

October 2022

 

1.       Project Description

The former Riviere Hotel was built in the 1800’s for use first as a rooming house (Adams House) and then as a hotel/restaurant. The site has been unoccupied since approximately 2013 due to a fire on the top floors and the deteriorating condition of the structure.  The Village of Swanton purchased the property in late 2020 with an eye toward cleaning up the site, demolishing the existing building, and making the property available for redevelopment potentially as outlined in the Northern Gateway Targeted Area-Wide Plan released in 2017.

2.       Site Description

The property is located on the northern edge of Swanton’s Designated Village Center at a key intersection into the village core.  Residential development is present throughout the area, with some commercial development also present. The land is relatively flat, with a slightly southward slope into the nearby Missisquoi River. It appears well drained and no surface water or bedrock was observed. The lot size is .36 acres. There is an unused railroad siding on the northern edge of the property.  Located on the site is the primary building (hotel/apartments).  Built in the 1800s, this is a 3-story structure approximately 6,000 sq. ft.  The building has basement with a concrete foundationThe remnants of a foundation from another small structure are located in the southwest corner of the lot.

3.   Nature of Threat to Public Health and the Environment

A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment was conducted by KAS in October 2020, which identified current AST and UST, and the potential for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), asbestos and lead contaminated building materials as recognized environmental conditions that warrant further investigation.  The subject of this analysis is the evaluation of cleanup alternatives for the building material contaminants. The ASTs have been removed and Village of Swanton is pursuing investigation of the UST related concerns separately.

In June 2022, KAS conducted a Hazardous Building Materials Assessment at the Riviere Hotel Site. The work was conducted pursuant to the approved Site-Specific Quality Assurance Project Plan Addenda (SSQAPP Addendum) dated May 12, 2022. The assessment sampled for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and lead containing building materials.

PCBs:  Certain painted surfaces contain detectable levels of PCBs above the regulatory limit of 1 ppm but well below the 50 ppm threshold. All other PCB detections were below regulatory limits. The paint is considered an “excluded” material as defined by 40 CFR 761.3 meaning that the paint can remain but if removed must be properly disposed of in a certified landfill and worker protection rules must be followed if these materials are disturbed in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Asbestos:  Certain floor tiles and transite wall panels on the 1st floor as well as pipe insulation in the basement are asbestos containing at percentages above regulatory limits.

Sensitive receptors that are at risk of being affected by asbestos containing building materials include the following:

  • Inhalation of asbestos containing materials during site redevelopment activities.

Lead:  The results of the testing of painted surfaces which reflected the composition of the building materials at large indicate the waste characterization sample contained extractable lead at a concentration below the regulatory threshold.

4.   Alternatives Analysis

The objective of the remedial action is to reduce to an acceptable level the risk to human health caused by contamination at the site. The goal of the remediation is to ensure that human exposure to asbestos containing building materials remains controlled in a manner that does not pose a risk to human health during the Village of Swanton’s planned demolition of the structure.

  1. No Action Alternative. The No Action alternative would entail leaving the building as is. While this alternative is easy to implement, it does not meet redevelopment goals or protect human health. It would stop the village from utilizing this property and would leave the building in disrepair, posing a hazard to adjacent property owners and occupants as it continues to degrade. There is no cost associated with the No Action alternative.
  2. Rehab without Remediation. Renovating the building without asbestos remediation is easy to implement and lower in cost than completing abatement; however, it is not in alignment with redevelopment goals.  In addition, it violates the applicable federal and state lead and asbestos regulations. Therefore, it cannot be considered.  There is no cost associated with the Rehab without Remediation alternative.
  3. Remediation with Rehab. Performing asbestos abatement in advance of demolition complies with state and federal lead and asbestos laws. The specific requirements for all asbestos-related abatement and cleaning will be developed by a certified designer in cooperation with the Vermont Department of Health’s Asbestos and Lead Program. The estimated cost for conducting remediation is estimated to not exceed $65,000. 

 

6.   Proposed/Preferred Scope of Work

Since the no action alternative would not meet redevelopment goals and potentially put neighbors at risk, it is not an acceptable alternative. Rehabbing without remediation is also not an acceptable alternative because it is not compliant with state and federal laws and does not advance the goals of the village for the redevelopment of this property. Therefore, the selected alternative is to remediate prior to the planned demolition of the building. The scope of work for this alternative addresses the proper and safe removal and disposal of the asbestos containing materials.

Elisabeth stated they will go with the Remediation with Rehab option and will have to wait for the November 28th deadline to pass before they can begin. She said they are still hopeful this will be done by the end of the year or early next year. She said she has reached out to three demolition companies and has only heard back from one but said this should satisfy the requirements. She said this has not been the smoothest process but the building will come down while also being mindful of taxpayers money. Neal asked what the next steps would be once the public comment period is over. Elisabeth said the abatement process could start on November 29th because the money has already been allocated for this. Neal asked if Elisabeth heard anything back from the archaeological dig that took place last week. She said she is still waiting for the report but thinks they did find something in the back of the property. She said this will not preclude them from taking the building down.

  1. Public Comment on Asbestos Hearing:

 

Sandy Kilburn stated she didn’t have any questions but said the sooner this building comes down the better. She said it’s sad to drive by it and see the condition it is now in. She said people her age can remember the wonderful dances every Saturday night.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated he wanted to remind everyone about the Winter Parking Ban that is in effect from December 1st through April 15th. He also said Christmas in the Park will be held on November 26th at 3 p.m. He also said he needed volunteers to help take down the Veteran flags in the park. He said he knows people would like more flags in the park but they need more people.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard said he wanted to thank the voters for the support they gave on the water line bond. Reg said they would be doing some bore testing on each side of the bank this Thursday and Friday.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach said the flags in the park look beautiful and said he was at the American Legion and people were commenting on them.

 

  1. Executive Session for Legal Matter and Personnel:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session at 7:33 p.m. Eugene LaBombard                                      seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:12 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Betty Cheney, Delinquent Tax Collector, to open an estate at 33 Fourth Street for the purpose of collecting delinquent taxes and to also pay one half of the filing fee to Vermont Superior Court Probate Division. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to increase the Village’s linemen salaries to be commensurate with other utilities in the area. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:22 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:22 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

_____________________________________    _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date