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, September 15, 2021

August 9, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, August 9, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Carrie Johnson, St. Albans Town Manager; Brendan Deso, St. Albans Town Selectboard Chair; Daniel Handy 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:

 

Neal Speer stated he wanted to thank Dean Ryan, Public Works Foreman, and his crew for the nice job they’ve done on the bridge.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, July 26, 2021:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, July 26, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, August 5, 2021:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #72-74 through Thursday, August 5, 2021 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Brendan Deso to Discuss Infrastructure:

 

Brendan Deso, St. Albans Town Selectboard Chair, stated he wanted to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds they will be receiving. He said the Town of St. Albans will be getting just under $2 million dollars and they would like to use it toward water and sewer infrastructure. He said they are out exploring options so they can invest that money as responsibly as possible. He said the Town’s tax rate is about .40 cents with a $6 million dollar budget. He said the two largest budget items for them are their public works department and paying for policing services from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. He said they pay for 48 hours per day of police coverage. He said their north end has water and sewer services to it but they’re not exactly ok with the perimeters around that service. He said there might be a better option available for that market and he said they’ve noticed the Village has had good organic growth on Route 207. He said he’d like to get services into that southern growth district because several businesses are already there such as Tractor Supply, Gagne Brothers Auto, Mother Hubbard’s and the Church. He said he’d like to work with the Village to see if there are any options available to maybe centralize a sewer containment system for that area. He said they don’t have anything particular in mind and said the Village knows this business better than they do. He said he’d like to work with Swanton Village and Town for some sort of municipal water and sewer system. He said he’s noticed how well the Village is working with the State of Vermont and Town of Highgate regarding the Highgate Airport infrastructure expansion. He said in a couple of weeks they will be meeting with the Town of Georgia to have a similar discussion as well. He said there are a lot of options available to them and he’d like to keep working together and having discussions. Neal Speer said he appreciates the compliments and said they are working hard with Highgate to get their expansion approved. Reg Beliveau said the Village has the luxury of having one of the best engineering firms in the State, Aldrich & Elliott, to help them with their water infrastructure or water plant upgrades. He said they looked into running water services south several years ago and it was going to cost upward of $7 million dollars. He said there would need to be pump stations along the way because Exit 20 has higher elevation than their Reservoir. He said there are other options available such as Janes Road down to St. Albans Town. He said there is no sewer infrastructure down Maquam Shore Road and that would be very pricey to install. Brendan said if the Town of Highgate moves forward with the Airport expansion and fills up, companies will continue to move north and he wants to be able to support that growth and capitalize on it. He said the growth in the next 10 years should be significant and this is a once in a generation lifetime to see it happen. He said he’d love to work together to facilitate commercial or industrial growth in the Village’s south end and the Town’s north end because it would put them that much further ahead. He said they’d like to keep meeting with Reg and maybe form a subcommittee with some board members and trustees to work on ideas. Neal said everyone will need to work together to make things happen. Reg said they should begin by letting their Congressional staff know that they are partnering with Highgate and St. Albans Town and hopefully they send them some more money to get things done. Brendan said he would like the Board’s approval to continue to work with Reg and Aldrich & Elliott to see if any of these ideas are feasible. The Board agreed to this and said the more they talk about growth the better it is for everyone.

 

  1. Approve and Set the Village of Swanton 2021 Tax Rate:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated the grand list has gone up a bit and she estimated the Village tax rate to be .8843. She said she has figured it to now be .8805 which is less than a 1% increase. She said the Village will raise $1.4 million dollars in taxes. Adam Paxman stated he was very happy that there is a less than 1% increase and the board thanked Lynn for her hard work on the budgets. Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and set the Village of Swanton 2021 tax rate at .8805. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman stated SPAN is about to install their third art wall at the Swanton Beach. He said the art walls are going well and the positive outweighs any negative. Neal Speer said he agreed and said they have done a great job. Adam also asked residents to stop speeding, to slow down because people are out walking and bike riding. He also said the Car Show was a great success with 197 cars. He said “Best of Show” went to a 1956 Chevy Nomad. He said the 50/50 raffle generated $1597 with two winners each getting $399.50. He said the balance of the raffle would go toward more community events.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated National Night Out had a great turnout with good music and good food. He said it was really nice to see real support for the Village and the Police Department. Neal said it was a great time and said TDI Repair did a great job with the BBQ.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated the Village welded a plate on the Merchants Row bridge and said more work will be done on it soon.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer said he has a cleaning and tree removal crew ready to go on the Riviera Hotel property to get rid of the excess growth there. He said there may be some Brownfield funds available and said progress is moving slower than he’d like.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Customer Account:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss customer account and personnel at 7:40 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:25 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to move ahead with the opportunity to increase the Village water line from a 2” line to an 8” line on Upper Ferris Street. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to accept the retirement letter from Chief of Police Leonard “Joey” Stell. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:28 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:28 p.m. Motion carried.

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

July 12, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, July 12, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; and Ch. 16. Via Zoom: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator.

 

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:

 

Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, informed the Board that the three-way stop they wanted at the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue needs a design and construction study done before they can implement it. She said it will now just take a bit more time but it will get done eventually. She also said she is hoping to get some funding for Phase II of the Riviera Hotel clean up. She said there is grant money available in August and it is earmarked for the Riviera. Reg Beliveau said he emailed Bethany Remers with Regional Planning and is hoping she can help with the three-way stop. He said they helped the Village in the past with crosswalks. Adam Paxman asked if they will have to do striping work for the stops. Elisabeth said yes they would and it cost approximately $2500 for the striping. Adam also asked if the Riviera Hotel would be down this year and Elisabeth said in depends on the Phase II work clean up.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, June 28, 2021:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, June 28, 2021 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, July 8, 2021:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #62-65 through Thursday, July 8, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked about the payment made to Atlantic Tactical for $5261.49. Reg Beliveau stated that was for weapons in the Police Department. He also asked about the Rock River Arms payment for $3640. Reg stated that was also for the Police Department. Motion carried.

 

  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:

 

Chief Joey Stell said the Village Police Department responded to 184 calls for service during the month of June. He said they also did some directed patrols for speeding and issued 42 warnings and 15 traffic citations totaling $2480 in fines. He said they put a huge effort into this patrol and the bulk of the tickets were from Spring Street. Chief Stell also mentioned the shrinking national police force and said Vermont has been hit hard in the last few years, ultimately affecting small police departments. He said in 2018 there were 913 authorized and funded police officers. Out of that number there were only 820 actual full time officers and 115 part time officers. In 2019 there were 921 authorized officers and only 808 were actual officers with 80 part time officers. He showed in 2020 there were 896 authorized officers and only 801 became full time officers and 82 were part time officers. He said this continued to decline and as of May 2021 there were 875 authorized and funded officers, 745 became full time and only 71 became part time officers. He also showed the number of officers in Vermont who either retired or quit and in 2018 there were 74 new hires and 102 left the force. In 2019 there were 72 new hires and 87 left the force; in 2020 there were 51 new hires with 91 leaving and as of May 2021 there were 23 new hires and 144 left the force. He said according to an article in the NY Times police officers have become the “bad” guys and they are leaving in droves. He said a lot of the officers admitted they just have too much to handle. Adam Paxman said it’s important to say to the public “support the police department.” Chris Leach said the court system doesn’t help when officers are arresting people and the courts are letting them go unpunished. Chief Stell also mentioned Kevin Cleary retiring from the SRO position at MVU and said Officer Dean Scott has taken that position on. He said there is a grant available to them that will allow them to bring Kevin back part time and they will have an SRO officer at the elementary school one or two days per week. Eugene LaBombard asked if they had any success in finding who’s been riding the dirt bikes on Village streets. Chief Stell said they have had a number of complaints and they believe they’ve identified the drivers as being a 15 and 16 year old. He said they don’t want them to get hurt but they also want them caught. Chief Stell said their K-9 Officer Scout has been deployed a few times and said he would have Cpl. Kyle Gagne attend one of their meetings to give an update on him.

 

  1. Discuss Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF):

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, informed the Board that the Village of Swanton will receive $248,633.41 over a two-year period from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF).  He asked the Board if they wanted to accept this funding along with the required Award Terms and Conditions and Assurances of Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements.

 

Adam Paxman made the motion that the Village of Swanton accept its allocation of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF) from the US Treasury, along with the Award Terms and Conditions and Assurances of Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements that are requirements of accepting these funds. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to appoint Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager, as the Village of Swanton’s authorized representative as required by the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF) from the US Treasury, to sign the Award Terms and Conditions and Assurances of Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements by July 13, 2021. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to name Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager/Controller, as the contact person for the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding Award from the US Treasury. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman asked if the Village received the grant funding for the bridge repair. Reg Beliveau said they were awarded $175,000 but the quote for minimum repair came in at $330,000. Adam asked if the Village could use the Covid funds for the balance of the repair. Reg said he wasn’t sure but would check into it and see. Adam asked if they are able to deem the bridge unusable. Reg said the engineers from the State do not deem the bridge unsafe as this time. He said repairs need to be made before winter and the board said if not look into getting a new engineer and construction firm. The board said they didn’t want to drag their feet on this job. Adam said what would happen if they needed to shut that bridge down. Reg said they are not at that point yet. Chris Leach mentioned the culvert damage on Route 78 and how that affected traffic. Reg said VTrans learned they can fix things fast when needed.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard said he travels Route 78 West often and he urges everyone to call their local representatives because that section of road is very dangerous and the worst road out there. He said they need pressure to get it done. Chris Leach said the State of Vermont changes priorities and spends the allotted money on something else. Eugene said he would call Brian Savage. Reg Beliveau said that road was supposed to be done in 2017 and they are still in the process of making it happen. Neal Speer said it’s not the Department of Transportation’s fault, it’s the people appointing them.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach asked how the relicensing at the dam was going. Reg said it’s going as expected and they have had some push backs along the way. He said they are being asked to increase minimum flow which decreases production. He said a lot of these environmental agencies ask for studies during hydro relicensing because it’s the only time to get them approved. He said they had a real good crew here a couple of weeks ago at their meeting.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Village is having a hard time getting crosswalk paint this year. He said they have one 5-gallon pail left and know the crosswalks need repainting. He said the Energy Committee will host a EV car event on July 28th from 3:30 to 6:30 at the Village Complex.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss personnel at 7:50 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:40 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

July 26, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, July 26, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Chris Leach, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; and Ch. 16. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Jen Cortez.

 

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 he needed an Executive Session for real estate.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

None.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, July 12, 2021:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, July 12, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, July 22, 2021:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #66-71 through Thursday, July 22, 2021 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked about the payment made to Peoples United Bank in the amount of $329,417.12. Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated this was for bond payments in the water department. Motion carried.

 

  1. Swanton Energy Committee Update:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, introduced Jen Cortez and said she helped revitalize the energy committee. He said she was a member of the planning commission and wanted to help with the energy committee as well. Jen Cortez said she wanted to talk about the event they have planned for this Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. here at the Complex. She said they will be hosting an EV (electric vehicle) test drive event. She said as people are aware, vehicles are the largest impact to transportation in Vermont. She said at the last EV test drive event in 2019 the feedback was that it was great to test drive a vehicle without the pressure of a salesman and feeling like they needed to buy a vehicle. She said they coordinated with EJ Barrette’s for a Ford and Handy’s will be here with a Chevy and a Toyota. She said she also has a couple of private Tesla owners who will be here to talk about their experiences. She said she can also demonstrate how the car charging stations work. She said taking fears away about how these cars work and the salesman pressure off will help people get more comfortable. Neal said one of his customers has a Tesla and is leaving for the west coast this week. He said he’s had it for a few years and is real happy with it. Jen said just talking with people and having conversations about these vehicles is very helpful. Adam asked if there was a map that shows the car charging stations available. She said there was but said most EV car owners use their own power to charge their vehicles. Neal said they are looking forward to Wednesday and they hope to see everyone there.

 

  1. Merchants Row Bridge Repair Update:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, said the highway crew went over and inspected the bridge today and will be getting the welder back because what he had done broke loose so they will be welding it straight across. He said the Village highway crew hopes to get it done this week. Reg said the Village received $175,000 from the State of Vermont for a structures grant. He said he talked with the engineer and will again on Wednesday to talk about the repairs. He said basically they probably wouldn’t get done the true repairs this year but would in the spring. He said they can do some of the repairs now which will last until spring but then if they can’t get any more funds they will have to ask the Village voters for $550,000 to do bridge repairs. He said they would put this on the March ballot. Adam asked if there was an opportunity to restrict traffic during certain times of the day. Chris asked if he see what happened on the bridge the other day. He said the traffic was backed up beyond Fournier’s Farm Equipment. Adam said he thought they could talk with the State to say the bridge would be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. He said it doesn’t make sense.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman said their 11th Annual Car Show will be held this Saturday in the Village Green. He said they should have had one last year so this is long overdue.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked if there was a good turnout for the Fourth Street Property discussion. Adam said he heard 9 people attended and said on Front Porch Forum a survey was sent out.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach said Lynn Paradis has done a great job sending them the financial reports but requested a report or summary on how well collections are going. Lynn said she has noticed they are under a little bit in revenue in the electric department. She said the numbers look pretty good and she said she will be asking for a tax rate at their next meeting. Adam asked if they were able to collect arrears in water, sewer and electric. Lynn said they are now able to disconnect water but can’t electric. She mentioned the VERAP grant and said they are now able to get into it. She said the VCAAP II grant is now open as well and the Village will be uploading information to both those grants. She said their electric disconnect has been approved and they should have those soon. Chris also mentioned the Downtown Scoping Study and said it should reflect an accurate number of tractor trailer trucks going through the Village on a daily basis as well as the amount of destruction done by this traffic. He said this amount of traffic is a very big deal. Reg said he’s been complaining about this for 10 years. Chris said they need to stress it more. Chris also mentioned the new art wall up and how nice it is. Adam said SPAN has done a great job managing this and he appreciates the rules and regulations.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel:

 

Chris Leach made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss real estate and personnel at 7:30 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

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

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

June 28, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, June 28, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Betsy Fournier, Rise VT; Joel Clark, Molly Lambert. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Elizabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; 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 stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  1. Agenda Review:

 

None.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

Joel Clark said he wanted to thank the Board of Trustees for officially naming Veterans Memorial Park and for having that part of their ceremony on Memorial Day. He said he is here tonight to ask permission to have a sign installed on Grand Avenue that is visible from both directions. He said he’s done some research on it and had a hand-out for the Board. He said he wanted permission to install this sign and said he had a funding source for most of the cost but not all of it. He said he is asking the Village if they could pay approximately $300 to $500 for the sign. Joel said he is working with a sign shop in Richford also to see what she can get for materials. He said he would like to get this ordered within the next month or so. Neal Speer stated there is no problem with the permission and as far as funding goes he said he would let Reg answer that. Reg said he would see what they could come up with and could also do donations. Joel said this will look very nice and next year will have flowers planted on each side of it. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to grant permission for Joel Clark to install a post and sign at Veterans Memorial Park and to also authorize the Village of Swanton to fund this project with up to $500 for the cost of this sign. Adam Paxman seconded both motions. Motions carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, June 14, 2021:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, June 14, 2021 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, June 24, 2021:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #57-61 through Thursday, June 24, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Betsy Fournier, Rise VT, to discuss Parks Plans & Funds Implementation for Marble Mill:

 

Betsy Fournier stated she was happy that the Village secured some funds this year for parks. She said it might not have been a ton of money but it’s making a huge difference. She says she has noticed the great changes that have been happening. She asked Reg Beliveau if he could mention what’s been done so far. Reg said so far the bank has been cleared, a lot of trees have been taken out, he said they are going to do more trimming, the Fire Department is supposed be there cleaning tonight for community service, he said they re-lined the pickle ball courts and adjusted the nets. He said they are going to try and replant the poles for the fence that’s there because the cost for a new one is very high. Betsy said she wanted to discuss parks as a whole and not just Marble Mill. She said she wanted to discuss infrastructure and park plans. She said they’ve had some community discussion regarding Marble Mill and now want to see what they need to move forward. She wants to evaluate the parks and see what’s needed, what needs to be done and how it can be funded. She said she wants to give her support as RiseVT’s project manager and give her support to Reg, Lynn and Dean. She said she’d like to come up with a parks plan and evaluate the needs and see what’s needed not just at Marble Mill but at all the parks. She said she knows everything can’t happen in one or two years, but wanted to create a 5-year plan. Reg said they also redid the Swanton Beach sign and opened the bathrooms but as soon as they opened them someone stole a brand new sink. He said they cut the pipe and took the sink right out of the bathroom. Betsy said she noticed the bench that was replaced by the basketball court. She said the arts council was working on a grant to do a mural down there. Reg stated they weren’t awarded the grant. Betsy said they could still use them to do some work there. Reg said he has put the arts teacher in touch with Michelle Nordberg who runs SPAN. Betsy said she also noticed the graffiti at Marble Mill has been cleaned up and she wanted to thank the Village for what they’ve done so far and said it hasn’t gone unnoticed. She said to invest in our parks it’s going to take some time and she would like to sit down with Reg, Lynn and the Trustees so hopefully they can budget a little more each year. She said this doesn’t have to be specific to Marble Mill but they do have a master plan for Marble Mill that they’d like to plug away at here and there. She said there has been some grants they’ve applied for for safer access to Marble Mill and hopefully crosswalks and flashing beacons will go in at the top of Merchants Row and at the park. She said the master plan at Marble Mill is very specific and she would like them to stick to this plan as much as possible. She said they want to make Swanton more vibrant and parks are truly important to a community. Adam Paxman asked if a five-year plan was realistic from a financial standpoint. Betsy said she would love to have that conversation and find out what realistic is once they create some sort of plan. She said anytime a grant comes up they are asking for a match and there are no funds for that now. Adam said he is needs to make sure they are keeping taxes under control and he thinks the next two to three years tax wise are going to be tough on a lot of people. He wants to make sure and not lose sight of it but doesn’t want to put an unnecessary burden on taxpayers and this can probably wait another two to three years. Betsy said she sort of agrees with that but after going through this pandemic outdoor recreation has flourished. People needed and wanted to be outside and she is hoping that now that the state has opened back up they need to make sure those options are there for them when they want to utilize them. She said she’d like to come up with some sort of plan that shows they are investing in our parks. Adam said he agrees with that he just wants to make sure that if it takes 10 years that’s ok too. She said her main goal tonight is to set up a meeting with Lynn and Reg and Dean to start talking projects and numbers.

 

Betsy showed the board a Building Communities grant and said it required a one-on-one match and the maximum grant is $25,000 so they would need a $25,000 match. She said the project would need to be shovel ready. Eugene LaBombard thought that amount of money would need voter approval. Betsy said every year all these grants come up but they don’t have any match money. She said hopefully they can have some money put aside for parks and grants. Neal Speer said he was a little confused because they added funds to their parks budget and things are getting done at Marble Mill and at Veterans Memorial Park. He said they should focus on Fourth Street and interject some of these programs into that. He said he was overwhelmed with all the plans out there. Betsy said that’s why they need to be consolidated because there are a lot of plans but not integrated into one document with an outline, a cost and a funding source. Eugene asked who would put that together. Betsy said she could do that but would need to work with Reg and Lynn. Eugene asked if she was approaching the Town for any funding or just the Village. Betsy said all of the parks are in the Village but feels that conversation can happen because everyone uses them. She said she wished they still had joint legislative body meetings and hopes they bring them back because it’s hard to attend a village meeting, then a town meeting, then report back to the village. She said she would love to have the conversation about how the Village and Town should both support the parks and have one plan for one Swanton. Eugene agreed and said there should be a discussion. Joel Clark said the Town is working with the recreation department on issues with the rec park. He said himself and Betsy are co-chairs on the Fourth Street project and are going to the selectboard in September with preliminary plans with what they feel is the right thing for the community. He said there’s action being done by the Town as well. He said in an ideal world recreation and parks would all be covered with one umbrella, whether it was run by the Town or the Village, one hat would run parks and recreation. He said he’d like to see that done within 10 years. Betsy said the nice thing about all the parks and the Fourth Street property is that they all connect to the Village and the Town.

 

Molly Lambert said she just wanted to affirm what Betsy is saying about having a plan. She said the community has invested a lot and to have a plan in place it opens up doors to grants, it opens up doors to philanthropy which can be a very important contributor and when you make an investment the ledger has two sides, the cost side and the benefit side. She said it isn’t just more beautiful parks and communities, it’s that place where people want to live, where they want to invest in. She said that’s the part that’s hard to put in the ledger. She said she’s here to cheer on having a uniformed plan. Adam said he’s not against this he just wants to make sure he has a clear picture of where this is going and that the tax dollars are manageable. Betsy said that’s why she wants to start this conversation now and not wait until November or December. Joel said it would be nice if money could be put into a capital fund so if they do apply for grants they have matching funds available. He said he does encourage that piece and to at least take a look at it. Reg showed his list of projects that need to be done over the next five years and said yes they want to better the parks but his list shows infrastructure projects, road/sidewalk projects, water line and valve projects and building projects. He said these are things that keep him awake at night. He said they need community partners to help get these park plans done. Betsy said she appreciates that list and is glad parks were included in it. Neal said everything they are looking for is commendable but said she wants them to go faster than they can go. Betsy said it is overwhelming but it’s all important infrastructure work. She said the conversation has been started but would really like a joint board meeting to further discuss it. Neal thanked Betsy and RiseVT for all their hard work and help. Neal said Gordon and Debbie Winters and David Fosgate continually invest in the community and he said they need more people like them on board.

 

  1. Acknowledge and Sign Village of Swanton Internal Financial Controls Checklist:

 

Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated this is her Internal Financial Controls Checklist for Municipalities that she fills out each year. She said it shows that not just one employee is responsible for any particular financial task. Eugene LaBombard made the motion acknowledging receipt of the Internal Financial Controls Checklist for the Village of Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Neal Speer, Village President, sign the document. Motion carried.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that Rusty Dewees (the Logger) stopped by the Village office last week and has asked for permission to use the Village Green for one of his comedy shows in August or September of this year. She said he is also requesting his event be held with another event in the park for a better turnout. She stated she would put him in contact with Darci Benoit and Nicole Draper to try and coordinate with their Farmers Market and Food Truck events held on the third Sunday of each month. The Board gave permission for this event and looks forward to the Logger coming to Swanton.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked what the status was on the bridge repair grant. Reg said the State has received it but hasn’t notified him whether or not the funding is coming. He said it’s very important that this gets fixed because it’s getting worse by the day. The Board agreed with this.

 

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he wants to encourage people to slow down while driving through the Village. He said it’s getting nasty out there and people need to have more patience. Eugene LaBombard agreed with this and said you need to drive defensively here at all times.

 

Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked Reg if he responded back to the art teacher about the mural at Marble Mill. He said he did but said he didn’t think they received the grant for this mural art project. Reg also said there is an art board installed on Route 7 now.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Fire Department is doing community service tonight and are out cleaning the river shoreline, marble mill, the rail trail and the fishing access by John’s Bridge. He also said the Agency of Natural Resources will be here tomorrow for an information sharing meeting about the FERC relicensing for the Hydro Plant. He said they will say what they need for further studies. Reg also said the Village will hold an electric car demonstration here in the near future. He also mentioned the four car charging stations we have in the parking lot and said the Village may need to remove them because the credit card charges are more than the revenue being made. He also said they are going to move forward with the three-way stop at the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue very soon. He said they will have a study done and put signage up but wanted to get this three-way stop up and running soon. Reg also said he has been asked to join the Maquam Shore sidewalk committee to help work on that sidewalk project.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:06 p.m.  Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date

 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

June 14, 2021

SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX

120 FIRST STREET

SWANTON, VT 05488

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

Monday, June 14, 2021

7:00 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT: Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; 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:

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:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss real estate.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

Reg Beliveau stated he thought Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, was going to join the meeting to discuss the Village receiving ARPA funds in the amount of $124,000 yearly for two years. He said he would provide more information once he receives it.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, May 24, 2021:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, May 24, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, June 10, 2021:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #48-56 through Thursday, June 10, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.

 

  1. Approve and Sign Amendment to Owner Engineer Agreement for Missisquoi River Water Crossing Job:

 

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he needed board approval to sign the amendment to owner-engineer agreement for an additional $44,900 for services to be performed by the engineer. He said the original agreement amount was $12,400 and now with the $44,900 the loan amount for engineering is $57,300. He stated he also needs a motion to submit the State Revolving Loan Program for $57,300. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager, to sign the Amendment to Owner-Engineer Agreement for $44,900. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried. Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize the Board of Trustees to sign the State Revolving Loan Program in the amount of $57,300 for engineering services for the Missisquoi River Waterline Crossing Job. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

  1. Any Other Necessary Business:

 

Adam Paxman asked if there was a plan for re-opening the Village office. Reg Beliveau stated he would do a soft opening tomorrow, allowing no more than two people in the office at a time. Reg said he doesn’t plan on renting out the auditorium for at least another year. Adam also stated there would be no coin drops allowed until next year.

 

Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked if Reg heard anything back about receiving grant money to repair the bridge. Reg said he hasn’t heard anything yet other than they have received his application. He will let them know when he hears something.

 

Any Other Business: Chris Leach stated he walked through Marble Mill Park and said it’s opening up nicely. He said he would like to be more involved with the Marble Mill renovation project. He also said it would be nice to have a pavilion there. Reg said that was something that’s on the long-range plan as well as the bike/pedestrian path coming down Webster Terrace. They talked about the basketball courts and pickleball and thought porta-potties might be a good idea to have at Marble Mill and in the Village Green. Adam said they cost about $400 for the weekend when they hold their car show. Eugene LaBombard stated if the porta-potties are needed that should be handled by the event planner not the Village. The board agreed with him. Chris also said there is a lot of history at Marble Mill and he would like to see that highlighted more. Reg talked about potentially installing an arch at the entrance of the park and detailing some of the history there.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said he met with select person Nicole Draper and she advised him that Amy Brewer from NMC and Rise VT received a $1500 grant for kids to do artwork. He said they’d like to do a mural on the retaining wall at Marble Mill in the parking lot. The board thought this was a great idea and said to go ahead with it.

 

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said he met with Rep. Lisa Hango last week and gave her a tour of the hydro plant, water plant and sewer plant. He said he received a thank you note from her and she was very impressed with how clean and well maintained the plants are.

 

Any Other Business: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, advised the Board that the Village can now begin the process of disconnecting delinquent water and sewer accounts. She said those funds are in arrears approximately $11,600. She said they are still waiting on the moratorium to be lifted so they can begin the electric account disconnect process because that fund is in arrears totaling approximately $92,500. She said all utility companies also want an end to this. She said there is a VERAP grant program now available to help pay unpaid rent and unpaid utilities and said the Village was working with customers to get them to apply for this. She said there may also be more VCCAP grant money coming soon. The board advised her to go ahead with disconnects as soon as the Village is able to.

 

  1. Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:

 

Adam Paxman made the motion to enter Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate at 7:28 p.m.  Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

ACTION TAKEN: None.

 

  1. Adjournment:

 

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 7:45 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Chris Leach, Village Trustee, adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________             _______________________________________

Neal Speer, Village President                            Date

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________    ___________________________________

Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date