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).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 14, 2014







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

7 PM


PRESENT: Chris Leach, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Reg Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Kyle Bouchard and Jeff Austin, Fairpoint Representatives.


Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.


Chris Leach, VillageTrustee, called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.


1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 22, 2014 Meeting:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, September 22, 2014 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked if the Merchant’s Row signs have been ordered yet. Reg Beliveau stated he would check into that and talk to Mike Menard about it. Eugene LaBombard also asked if he could check signs that were blocked by trees. Reg also stated that he found out what the vendor VT Electric Power asked about at last meeting was for and it was to purchase power. Motion carried.


2. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, October 10, 2014:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, October 10, 2014 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked what Millennium Power Services for $94,093.70 was for, Reg Beliveau stated that was to purchase a butterfly valve at the Hydro Plant. He stated that regular maintenance from now on will be much less expensive. Adam Paxman asked what AW Chesterton for $4618.23 was for, Reg stated he wasn’t sure on that on but would find out for next meeting. Adam also asked about Prime Electric for $24,470, Lynn Paradis stated that was for a repair on a breaker at the Hydro Plant that Al Mosher needed. Adam also asked about the Department of Taxes warrant, Lynn stated they now pay the taxes separate like this because it’s a cleaner entry for the auditors. Motion carried.


3. Visit from Fairpoint Regarding Pole Ordinance:


Jeff Austin stated he has been working closely with Daren Plouff and Duane Couture in our Electric Department as well as with other engineers from Fairpoint. He said their relationship goes way back. He said Kyle Bouchard has gone out with Daren and Duane looking at old poles looking to see when they can do transfers and remove the old poles that have become an issue in Swanton. He stated they plan on removing some on Route 78, Spring Street and First Street and plan on having bi-monthly meetings with Swanton Village to make sure progress is being made. He said they wanted to meet with the Board, come up with a plan of reporting and address the issue of dual poles. He said they have a vested interest and want to take care of these transfers in a timeframe that works for both Swanton Village and Fairpoint. He would like to propose bi-monthly phone calls with himself or Kyle, Daren, Duane and Reg to see what they have accomplished and what needs to be done. He said they feel they can reduce this by 25-30 poles relatively quick and will continue on until completed. Chris Leach asked if they could ask Fairpoint where to prioritize their work first and said Swanton Village is very flexible. Reg Beliveau stated that since there has been a change of hands at Fairpoint progress is being made but wondered if Swanton Village could trust that work would get done and questioned whether or not to put an Ordinance in place. Adam Paxman stated he strongly feels Swanton Village needs a Pole Ordinance. Eugene LaBombard asked if a pole could be easily removed in the winter, Jeff explained yes and how they did it. Eugene asked if all three entities could transfer their services all at the same time. Kyle stated it’s possible but not likely because it’s a lot of work and very hard. More discussion took place about setting poles and what’s involved in that. They also discussed Burlington’s Pole Ordinance and Jeff said it wasn’t enforced all that much. Adam stated in some places there are dual poles that have been there for six years and they don’t know what else to do. He feels an Ordinance will stop this from happening in the future and this will protect the Village whether it’s enforced to the max or not. Jeff asked if the timeframe could be changed from 45 days to 90 days. They discussed putting language in the Ordinance that stated the Village Manager would have discretion on extending timeframes on pole transfers if needed. Jeff and Kyle stated they just wanted the Board to know they are more than eager to work with the Village of Swanton to get these dual poles removed and to continue to have a good working relationship with the Village of Swanton. Chris Leach stated the Board understood their technical difficulties and would be willing to work with Fairpoint when necessary and said their goal is to beautify the Village of Swanton and feels this Ordinance will help do that.


4. Electric Cost of Service Update:


Lynn Paradis advised the Board that Swanton Village was granted an extension to file their Class Cost of Service Study and said she had until November 3rd to get it done. She said one of the biggest changes they are looking at is the residential demand tariff. She said they will keep the 1800 kwh range for violation but it will go on a rolling 12 months average. She said this will result in approximately 140 residential customers coming off demand rates but those customers who use an average of 1800 kwh per month will remain on demand rates. She said farmers and sugar makers are more likely to remain on this rate. She also stated instead of staying on demand for 11 months if the customer can prove they can go under these numbers in 3 months they can get off demand. She said this is a work in progress but wanted to update the Board with what she had so far. She said it also looks like they may go in for another rate increase in February. She said she would update the Board further at their next meeting.


5. Financial Policies:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, handed out a Financial Policies Handbook that she would like the Board members to take home and review. She stated she would like the Village of Swanton to adopt this handbook before the end of the year. She said this covers setting purchasing limits, accounting, auditing and financial reporting policies. She feels it’s necessary to have these policies adopted and set in place and would like the Board to review them and go over it at their next meeting.


The Board moved to item #8


8. Transco Equity Purchase:


Lynn Paradis advised the Board that Swanton Village receives dividends quarterly from Velco and Transco in the form of a check. She stated she was notified that the equity purchased through Velco last year on behalf of Swanton Village will be assigned to VPPSA and that VPPSA will also refinance the units that were purchased in 2012. Lynn stated that VPPSA needs authorization from the Village to move forward with these items.


Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Reginald Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign the Notice of Intent on behalf of the Village of Swanton for the 2013 Membership Units Previously Assigned to VELCO and for the 2014 Membership Units Offered by VT Transco. Eugene LaBombard seconded. VPPSA is expected to finance these purchases for a term of 7 years at a fixed interest rate (approximately 4.4%), with principal paid based on a 20 year amortization. Motion carried.


The Board moved to Item #10


10. Hydro Improvement Line of Credit:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, advised the Board she received three quotes from area banks for a line of credit for the purchases needed for the Hydro Plant repairs, and for the new utility truck and digger truck in the Electric Department. She said the rates came in fairly close but Peoples United was the lowest with a rate of 1.05% as a line of credit, 1 year note due next year and it’s renewable. Merchants Bank came in at 1.29% as needed for a line of credit and Union Bank also came in at 1.29%. Lynn stated Peoples United came in lowest and it would be easiest setting it up online with them since we already do business with them. She recommends the Village go with People’s United for this line of credit.


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to open an $850,000 line of credit at People’s United Bank with a rate of 1.05% for Hydro Plant Improvements, a Utility Truck and a Digger Truck. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.


The Board moved to Item #11


11. Water Line Project Line of Credit:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, advised the Board that the $500,000 line of credit due on the water project came due last week and the Village paid that off. She said she got in touch with Union Bank to renew it for another $500,000 and they gave her a rate of .97%. She said she doesn’t have the paperwork in hand yet for the Board to sign but will have it for the next meeting.


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to open a $500,000 line of credit with Union Bank with a rate of .97% for the Water Line Project. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.

The Board moved to Item #12


12. Any Other Necessary Business:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, presented the Board with her new and revised Depreciation Schedule. Reg Beliveau stated this is what the Public Service Board wanted the Village of Swanton to have in place and abide by. Lynn stated they didn’t like how she was depreciating some of her items and now she has this new schedule to abide by. She said this was just for their information only and this is something the Village now has to go by.


The Board moved to Item #6


6. Copier Lease:


Reginald Beliveau stated the Village looked at a new color copier and will save approximately $160 per month on a new lease. He just wanted to keep the Board updated on this information.


The Board moved to Item #7


7. Utility Truck Bids – Electric/Vactor Bids – Sale of Old Vactor:


Reginald Beliveau stated they received two bids for the old vactor, one for $20,000 and one for $26,001. The Board agreed to award the bid to the highest bidder which was Cyrus Marsano for $26,001. The Village will notify them Wednesday morning. Drummac offered the $20,000 bid. Reg also notified the Board that the Electric crew also received bids to build their Utility truck from EJ Barrette and Champlain Chevrolet. He said Champlain Chevrolet came in $3,000 less so they will go with that bid if the Board agreed. All agreed to this so the new Utility truck in the Electric Department will be purchased through Champlain Chevrolet.


The Board moved to Item #9


9. Advertise for Lineperson:


Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, advised the Board that Swanton Village never filled Gordy Ledoux’s position after he left the Village and he said they have two guys in that department over 60 years of age. He feels they should get another lineman in there and trained. The Board of Trustees agreed to go ahead and advertise to hire for a new lineman in the Electric Department.


The Board moved back to Item #12


12. Any Other Necessary Business:


Reg Beliveau advised the Board he received a letter from the Downtown Enhancement Committee thanking Mike Menard and his crew for all they have done in helping with the flower planting enterprise.


Any Other Business: Adam Paxman said he wanted to compliment the Police Department for all their hard work they did for the speeding trucks on Spring Street.


Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked if the Village has installed anymore LED streetlights this year. He said Canada Street doesn’t have any. Reg Beliveau stated the first round was done with an ARRA grant.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated the Hydro Plant was back online as of today.


13. Executive Session (If Necessary):




ADJOURN: Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:03 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Chris Leach, Village Trustee, adjourned the meeting at 9:03 p.m. Motion carried.


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Neal Speer, Village President                           Date


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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date