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, December 17, 2012

Trustee Meeting Minutes - December 17th, 2012


7:00 P.M.

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

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

Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.

1. Approve and Accept the Minutes from Monday, December 3, 2012:

Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, December 3, 2012 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Ron Kilburn stated the wording regarding Kevin Cleary should be changed to “needs this relationship” instead of “needs this connection.” He also requested the words “Village Complex” be added to paragraph 4 discussing the heating cost savings due to insulation and new siding. Motion carried.

2. Approve Village Warrants Through December 14, 2012:

Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants (#505-#507) through December 14, 2012 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked what vendor Charbonneau’s Body Shop was for. Reg explained that was for repair to the police cruiser after hitting a deer. The insurance company paid the Village and the Village paid Charbonneau’s. Adam Paxman asked what Mountain Air was for, Reg said they worked on the heating systems doing quarterly maintenance. Eugene LaBombard asked if this was the last payment to NECCO. Reg stated the upgrade was complete as of December 14, 2012 except for some miscellaneous small jobs. Motion carried.

3. Discussion on Marble Mill Improvements by MVUHS Students:

Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, explained to the Board that he emailed MVU and asked them to attend this meeting but he hadn’t heard back from them. He said he would keep this item on the agenda to see what they can do to make Marble Mill more appealing than in the past. Chris Leach asked if the Village planned on rejuvenating the tennis and basketball court. Reg said the Teen Center had done some painting there but it does need more. Chris stated that he was asked this summer about paving the loop from Marble Mill up Webster Terrace for walking, biking, etc. He said it would also need lighting through there. The Board suggested looking into Fit & Healthy about possible grant money to achieve this. Reg stated that the MVU students discussed planting shrubs and flowers and possibly making a couple of picnic tables to put in the park. Reg said he would like each junior class to continue this project each year. Ron Kilburn asked if the Highway Department would be able to help the students, Reg stated they would and said they have already cleared a lot trees there. Reg said the Rain Garden project has been abandoned by the State because it’s a flood plain area but he said he may still put one in. He said the State is still looking at installing catch basins on Webster Terrace.

4. Evelyn Lane Ownership:

Reg Beliveau stated that Andre Leduc contacted the Village about plowing Evelyn Lane and he said they agreed to this. He said the road bed is sturdy and they have agreed to plow it. He said there’s a Right of Way issue going on with one of the lots and he wants that resolved before the Village will take ownership of Evelyn Lane. He will update the Board when the issue has been resolved.

5. Winter Parking Ban Ordinance Discussion:

Chief Stell was present for this item and stated that Mike Menard had approached him asking to extend the dates on their existing Winter Parking Ban. Now the Ban is in effect from December 1st to March 15th each year. They are requesting it be extended to April 15th due to several late spring snow storms. Chief Stell said that many municipalities currently have their Parking Ban in effect to April 15th. He stated he would ask to extend the Ban to April 15th, remove paragraph B allowing the Police Chief to allow individuals to park on the street, and add paragraph C stating they would fine individuals $25 for their first offense and $50 for their second offense. Paragraph D states vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. Chris Leach stated it should be clear that they are referring to no parking on the traveled portion of the roadway. Chief Stell advised the Police Department has been placing warnings on vehicles for first time offenses. He said this was a rough draft and said it would be ready for adoption at their next meeting if they so choose.

6. 2013 Budget Discussion:

Reg Beliveau explained that the overall budget increased .0242 cents and that would affect a home assessed at $180,000 by $43.20. He said that salaries have decreased approximately $180,000 due to overtime hours at the Water Treatment Plant, the Hydro Plant and two retirements. He said after the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) the total reduction in salaries is $80,000. Eugene LaBombard asked if the Fire Department budget was finalized yet. Reg stated all the numbers are in, it has increased 16% due to the truck purchase. Reg stated that the proposed tax rate for 2013 is .6766 and that in 2012 it was .6524. The Board decided they would hold a special working meeting to discuss and review this budget on December 19th at 6 p.m.

7. Discussion on Water Transmission and Distribution Lines:

Eugene LaBombard stated that this item is on the agenda per his request. He said he feels they should go ahead and ask for a bond on the March ballot to replace the transmission line and some distribution lines in the Village. He requested they meet with Aldrich & Elliott to get firm numbers to do these upgrades. Reg stated that he spoke with Kirsten Bourgeois and she advised him to speak with Tim Smith from Franklin County Industrial Development to see if there are any grants available for this project. He advised he would do so. Chris Leach stated he wanted to stay with engineers Aldrich & Elliott because they have already done most of the work on this project. He said he wanted to keep the water rates as reasonable as possible. The Board suggested we invite Aldrich & Elliott to the first meeting in January to discuss this further.

8. Any Other Necessary Business:

Chris Leach mentioned the school shooting in Newtown, CT and expressed their condolences to the families involve and asked if our schools were protected. Chief Stell advised they have an Officer on duty at MVUHS and said for the last 5-6 years Leon Begnoche and Pete Prouty have a good safety plan in existence for our area. Reg Beliveau stated that it’s a joint effort with our Police Department, Fire Department, EMS personnel and even Border Patrol and VT State Police. Chief Stell stated they meet on a regular basis to train and also run drills at the schools to keep the children aware of it. Ron Kilburn asked if there is an actual plan in writing and asked how he could get a copy of it. Chief Stell advised anyone can see a model plan on the Homeland Security’s website but said the actual plan in place at our schools is confidential.

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated that the Solar Aerators arrived for the Sewer Plant and said the Village employees worked with Dimitri Hudak from Efficiency VT during the installation process. Mr. Hudak wrote Reg a very nice letter complimenting the Village employees on his experience working with them. Reg read the letter to the Board. Adam Paxman requested the letter be put in the Village Report this year.

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he would like to thank Reg Beliveau and the Village staff for their Christmas in the Park celebration. He said the horse rides and dog sled rides went well. Reg thanked the Chamber for letting the Village do their tree lighting ceremony at their event.

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman asked if while working on the Parking Ban issue if they could permanently make designated parking areas in the downtown Village area a no parking area. He said the cars on the streets look bad and said they have available parking but choose to park on the street instead. Ron Kilburn asked if Adam was talking about year round and Adam stated yes. He suggested the perimeter around the Village Park, in front of the stores, and Post Office. The Board asked if the Police Department could check throughout the night to get an idea of how many vehicles are parked on the streets. The Board requested this be put on their next agenda for further review. Eugene LaBombard stated this would require an Ordinance. Ron Kilburn stated there are three Municipal parking lots – Marble Mill, behind the Town Clerk’s Office and behind the Part’s Store.

Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated that on Tuesday, December 18th the Police Department was presenting their contract to the Town for a three year term. He said he is very concerned about the Town not accepting it even if it was $10 over. He said he would like to see the Village and Town stay united in support, and that he is very concerned about rumors he has heard. He said he hopes they consider the taxpayers and residents before making their decision. Ron Kilburn stated they are rumors and should be treated as such. Eugene LaBombard stated the PD coverage has been satisfactory. Ron stated he has heard widespread satisfaction.

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he is still working on the Lower Swanton Dam removal issue. He said they still have a FERC permit in place and they are reviewing the numbers to do a feasibility study. He said HL Turner will present a public hearing on this issue. Ron Kilburn stated he has read the Missisquoi Bay Watershed Plan and that ANR is advocating for removal of the Village dam. He said they want to improve fish spawning habitat between the lower dam and Highgate Falls. This plan is not supportable in his opinion because it does not take into account Village plans to develop additional hydro at that location as well as continued utilization of the impoundment for fire protection and recreation activities. Ron further stated it does not demonstrate how removal will improve the water quality of Missisquoi Bay.

Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau received VLCT’s Pacif 25th year resolution and he read that to the Board.

9. Executive Session (If Needed).

Chris Leach made the motion to enter into Executive Session at 8:28 p.m. to discuss Real Estate with Neal Speer, representative to the Regional Planning Commission. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:05 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.


ADJOURN: Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 9:05 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand Ron Kilburn, Village President; adjourned the Regular Board of Trustees meeting at 9:05 p.m.

_____________________________________                      _______________________________________
Ronald Kilburn, Village President                                Date

_____________________________________                      _______________________________________
Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                           Date