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).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

September 28, 2015









Monday, September 28, 2015

7:00 PM





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


Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.



1.      Call to Order:


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


2.      Agenda Review:


Adam Paxman stated he would need an Executive Session to discuss Real Estate.


3.      Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 14, 2015:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, September 14, 2015 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


4.      Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, September 25, 2015:


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through Friday, September 25, 2015 as presented. Chris Leach seconded. Discussion: 
Adam Paxman asked about Advanced Emergency Products. Lynn Paradis and Reg Beliveau stated they couldn’t remember that one but would look it up and let them know. Lynn stated it would be for either the Fire Department or the Police Department. Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Northrup Grumman was where they purchased their meter reading equipment. That question was asked at the last Board meeting.  Motion carried.


5.      Sign Electric Digger Truck Loan Documents:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, explained to the Board of Trustees that the loan documents were prepared and ready to sign for the Electric Digger Truck that Swanton Village voters approved in August 2014. She said the truck should arrive in October. She stated that she checked rates at Union Bank, Peoples United and Merchants Bank. Union Bank was 2.25%, Peoples United was 2.5% and Merchants Bank was 2.75%. The loan amount is $212,000 and she went with Union Bank because they had the lowest interest rate. Lynn advised the Board she needed approval to secure the loan through Union Bank as well as signatures from the Board.


Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, to secure a loan with Union Bank in the amount of $212,000 with an interest rate of 2.25% to purchase the Electric Digger Truck. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.


Chris Leach asked if they would be selling the current truck and Reg Beliveau stated they would. He said the Village of Swanton would put a bid out “as is” for the old truck and said he believes they will get more for it selling it outright rather than trading it in. The Board members signed all necessary documents pertaining to the loan.




6.      August Financial Statements:


ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, advised that the bucket truck has been ordered for this department and said it would take a year to get it built. She also said that the September 2015 billing is the first bills under the new tariff so this is showing a little bit more revenue for the Village. She also said they are approximately $300,000 over budget in purchase power because KW sales are higher than what VPPSA budgeted for. She said power supply expenses are forecasted to be over budget at year end and distribution expenses are under budget by about $72,000. She said Duane Couture, Electric Line Foreman, still has tree trimming to do and said they have been extremely busy with line jobs and estimates. Lynn also said bond payments are coming due and it looks like there is a profit on paper but in reality there isn’t. She said the Village has a bond payment due this fall and one more next year and that will free up about $500,000 per year. She said as of right now the numbers aren’t supporting a rate increase. She said they need to start working on their FERC renewal next. Chris Leach asked if their new strategy of managing the pond has helped any. Reg stated they need to look at the generation. Lynn said the KW’s are going up but they are being paid less for them because there is too much product on the market.


WATER DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated at year end they will be under budget but not too bad. She said water sales are off a little bit maybe because people are conserving more. She said this department is looking good overall. Labor is over budget because of heating costs. She said maintenance of plant labor is under budget and maintenance of service is over budget because of frozen pipes in the winter. She said overall this shows a profit on paper but she will be paying off debt service. Chris Leach asked if a rate increase was necessary at this time and Lynn said she was hoping to not have a rate increase in 2016. She said their first bond payment on the current project will be due in 2017 so a rate increase will be necessary then.


SEWER FUND: Lynn said they haven’t raised the rates in this department in a couple of years but said they will need to in 2016.  She said sales are off track and one of their special sewer accounts is using less water. She said as of right now they are over budget by about $17,000 because the solar aerators are not functioning properly. Reg stated he had a phone call with the company and is contemplating hiring an attorney to negotiate a new contract with them. He said they seem to only get about 8 months of the aerators working properly then they have trouble with them. Lynn said chemicals were over budget by about $7000 and said this could be a timing issue but said she would check it out further. She said they will end the year with a net loss in this department. She said they have one final payment on the CSO project and she is funding depreciation in the rates. Chris Leach asked if they heard any more about the storm water issue. Reg stated there is one resident holding them up but is hoping to get it resolved soon. Adam Paxman asked why outside services employed was up and Lynn said that was for engineering services at Marble Mill but said grant money will be coming in to offset that.


HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Lynn said street lighting in this department is over budget but said she doesn’t have cost of service factored in yet. She said the Village hasn’t completely changed to LED lighting yet but would be phasing it in over the next couple of years. She said summer streets labor is under budget and they will break even in winter streets labor. She said the crew just finishing a new sidewalk in the Village Green, She said if everything goes as planned they will profit approximately $1500 in this department. Chris Leach asked with oil prices going down are paving prices down. Reg said he needed to check on that and also said he is going to bargain with the chemical companies to get shipping costs down.


GENERAL FUND: Lynn said the Downtown Enhancement grant is in this fund and she doesn’t have the offsetting numbers yet. Adam Paxman asked about the miscellaneous general expenses and Lynn said the Village received a wellness grant and planted a garden with the funds as well as a healthy lifestyles coach, and purchase fruits and vegetables for the employees. She said this fund also shows a profit at year end.


FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lynn stated there are some miscellaneous billings not budgeted for such as hazmat calls. Because of this their salary line is over budget by about $6000. She said as of now they are under budget on transportation, fuel and testing. She said last year they had a $12,000 repair on one of the trucks so that can blow their budget real fast. She said as of right now they are showing a profit in the department.


POLICE DEPARTMENT: Lynn said salaries are over budget by about $10,000 and she is not sure why. She said full timers must be covering shifts that the part timers cannot. She said as of right now they are showing a $3600 profit. She said they sold the old Crown Vic cruiser. Chris Leach asked what they were doing with the Army surplus vehicles. Lynn said one is being used in the maintenance department and they are looking into selling the other one.


COMMERCIAL BUILDING FUND: Lynn said plant maintenance and supplies are under budget and that is what is driving the profit for year end in this department.


Lynn said she is budgeting for next year so asked the Board to let her know if there is anything they want added to her budget. Chris Leach said he would like to see the Village continue to fix old water pipes throughout the Village. Lynn said when the transmission line project is done they plan on doing one street at a time.


7.      Any Other Necessary Business:


Eugene LaBombard stated he noticed some tree stumps on Taylor Drive that need removing if possible. Reg Beliveau stated he would check it out. He said he also plans on doing a tree replacement program where the Village will replace a tree cut with a new tree. Eugene also said he has noticed a lot of overgrowth on the Village sidewalks. Reg stated the Village plans on pulling the sidewalk near the Civil War Cemetery on Church Street.


Any Other Business: Neal Speer said there is a light in front of Swanton Rexall that is out. Reg asked if they noticed a difference over there because one of the store owners changed a light and it brightened that area up quite a bit.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that he had a discussion with the State of Vermont regarding the 2016 paving project. He said the State confirmed they are going to put in bike lanes where they can, and two new crosswalks – one on Liberty St. and one on Greenwich St., using high visibility paint. He said Merchants Row will be striped and have new signage. He said Mark Fenton will be here on October 9th working on the traffic flow and walkability of downtown. He said he also asked the State about raising the railings on the bridge and bringing it up to code.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated there has been a lot of talk lately about the sluice way on the lower dam. He said he contacted the State of Vermont and asked if they knew of any funds available to help with repairing the dam. He was told no. Reg stated they have money to help take it down but don’t have any to help repair it. He said they are claiming that when the water is low this is starving endangered fish in the river by Marble Mill, on the other side of the river. He said he has contacted an engineer regarding some restoration on the dam and is also waiting to hear back from their attorney Paul Nolan. He said he would keep the Board updated.


8.      Public Comment:




9.      Executive Session (If Necessary):


Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate (attorney-client privileged information) at 8:07 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to exit Executive Session and re-enter Open Session at 9:08 p.m.


ACTION TAKEN: Adam Paxman made the motion to authorize Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to move forward with an RFQ for the Lower Swanton Dam and to also take into consideration repairs/restoration of the dam. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.


10.  Adjournment:


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:09 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:09 p.m. Motion carried.




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Neal Speer, Village President                           Date




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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                               Date