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, October 19, 2020

September 28, 2020









Monday, September 28, 2020

7:00 PM




PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; Sandy Kilburn, Roger George, Eric Gaudette and Channel 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:


Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated that Chief of Police Joey Stell and Lt. David Kachajian are working on a noise complaint so that can be discussed under #10. He also stated #8 wasn’t needed because it could be discussed in open session.


  1. Public Comment:


Sandy Kilburn stated she would like to thank David Winchester for the positive art he painted on one of the art walls. She stated she misses the positive messages and hopes to see more in the near future. She also asked if the Village had received any quotes back from the RFP they put out for training on racism. Reg stated they had received three back and if memory serves one was for $114,000, one for $85,000 and one for $75,000. He said he brought them over to Town Administrator David Jescavage to review. Sandy Kilburn stated those amounts are ridiculous and asked why they couldn’t find someone local to teach the class. Reg stated the quotes would be reviewed and discussed further with the Town.


Roger George from 16 Maquam Shore Road stated he was there tonight to discuss the deteriorating condition of the water quality at the northern end of Maquam Bay. He said the beach, along with the pavilion and rest rooms are an asset to the town and village but said the beach is unusable from June on during the summer months. He said he has attended Swanton Selectboard meetings to express his concern and has also met with the State of Vermont. He said he is here tonight to meet the Trustees and to also let them know about his concerns as well as the concerns of his neighbors. He said the smell was so bad this year they couldn’t sit outside. He said he would like to offer his encouragement if they plan on any work on the water quality. Chris Leach asked if harrowing would help the issue like they did in St. Albans Bay. Reg Beliveau stated he met with Kent Anderson from the State of Vermont last week at the beach. He said they discussed possible corrective actions. He said they understand there is floating decaying vegetation and the lake is very low this year, which makes conditions worse. He said he is in communications with the State and will continue to do so. Reg said he would also call St. Albans and see where they got their tractor from. Neal Speer stated the State of Vermont is in charge of all waterways. Roger stated he met with Karen Bates from the State and said she had a lot of knowledge regarding this but didn’t offer any immediate solutions. He said he feels dredging that area would help quite a bit because he did some by hand last summer and had water movement for about a week. Chris Leach stated residents who have lake front property pay more in taxes and are unable to enjoy the lake front. Reg stated he would do some follow up with the State and keep the board informed. The Board thanked Mr. George for attending the meeting.


Sandy Kilburn stated she would like to find local people that could help teach/train classes on racism and join with all of Franklin County to share the expense of the training. She also stated she can remember how nice Lake Champlain was 40-50 years ago and said there wasn’t a problem at all there.




  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, September 10, 2020:


Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, September 10, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Adam Paxman asked Chris if he had an update from the Post Office yet regarding a drive-up window. Chris said he does not but would talk with the Postmaster there. Motion carried.


  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, September 25, 2020:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Village Warrants through Friday, September 25, 2020 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:


Chief Stell stated the Village Police responded to 148 calls for service during the month of September. He said they stopped 48 vehicles and issued 54 warnings and 14 of those stops resulted in fines totaling $2779. He said the problematic areas were First St., Grand Avenue, Canada St. and Spring St. Chris Leach said it seems like speeding is an issue on Route 78 by Gallup Court. Chief Stell stated he has done speed studies there and the average speed is 5 mph below the posted limit. Eugene LaBombard thanked the Chief for all the information he sends them regarding COVID-19. Chris also stated that everyone in Swanton respects the department and what they do. Chief Stell stated they are still delivering Meals on Wheels to the homebound and also said that every other day Officer Cleary contacts 35 vulnerable adults living in the community to check up on them.


  1. Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:


Not needed.


  1. Discussion on Possible Real Estate Purchase:


Neal Speer, Village President, stated a while back a study was done on the Northern Gateway to Swanton along Route 78 to North River Street and South River Street. He said an engineering firm studied the traffic flow as well as the economic development opportunities in that area. Neal said one area of concern was the Riviera Hotel property. He said last year the Village along with Northwest Regional Planning met with a developer about purchasing that property. He said Regional Planning wanted a Brownfield Study done and Phase 1 was completed. He said because of the cost to continue with the Brownfield Study the deal fell through. Neal said the Village approached the owner and reached a sale price. He said the Village will purchase this property and have access to funds to clean up the property with Phase 2 of the Brownfield Study. Neal said Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said there are funds available to purchase the property without using taxpayer funds. He said the Village can apply for grants to help clean up the property and then plan on re-selling it for development. Reg Beliveau said they are trying to follow suit with what St. Albans City has done and said funds are more available for municipalities. He said this building has become a public safety issue as well. Chris Leach made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to purchase the Riviera Hotel property at 6 South River Street, sign the Purchase and Sales Agreement and to expedite the clean-up of said property for re-sale. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.


  1. Discussion on Possible Poultry Ordinance:


Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, said he has received more complaints about residents raising chickens in the Village. He said because of COVID-19 more people have begun to garden and raise chickens and they tend to migrate on their neighbors’ properties. He said the police department is also working on a noise ordinance for the Village and said maybe these two ordinances could be added at the same time. Chief Stell said the Village has several multi-apartment buildings and as of now State Statutes doesn’t cover any daytime noise issues. He said with a specific noise ordinance in place they could measure actual decibels. He said this would also help with the numerous complaints received over the summer regarding fireworks. He said his office would come up with a draft and would present it to the Board at their next meeting for further discussion. It was decided that a farm animal ordinance would be drafted as well for further discussion at their next meeting. Chris Leach stated he’s in favor of less ordinances governing what residents can do on their properties.


  1. Any Other Necessary Business:


Adam Paxman stated the Chamber of Commerce would be holding Halloween in the Park on Saturday, October 31st at 5 p.m., weather permitting. Chief Stell asked how they would do this with COVID-19. Adam stated social distancing would be in place. Chief Stell said those kinds of events have been closed by executive order from the Governor’s office. Adam said people have been asking him about Trick or Treating as well. Chief Stell said the state would be putting out some guidance on that soon and thinks it will be canceled.



Any Other Business: Chris Leach said it was nice seeing activity in the park the last couple of weekends. He said those events were social distanced. Neal Speer also said how nice it was to see some activity going on. He said Bees on Broadway and Ace Hardware look good.


Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard wanted to remind everyone that taxes are due on October 15th, 2020.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau stated he has been working on the Stormwater Project which requires treating stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roof tops, roads and parking areas, and preventing pollutants from entering the waterways. He said he has been working with Pomerleau Real Estate (Hannaford’s Supermarket), Andy Avenue and Leduc Drive Housing Development as well as the Town of Swanton. He said this pertains to property by the Complex and on Jones Court. Reg said Act 64 requires all sites with more than three acres of impervious surface to obtain a stormwater permit. He said he has been in communication with Kerrie Garvey from Watershed Consulting Associates about a collaboration between Swanton and Hannaford’s Supermarket. He said Kerrie notified him that the Village and Hannaford’s have been selected for a 30% engineering design under this project and received a Letter of Intent to sign stating that the Village/Town and Hannaford’s will participate in a public-private partnership to manage stormwater. This project will include the development of 30% conceptual engineering designs by Watershed Consulting Associates and project partners for a stormwater best management practice. The Board asked Reg what the 30% design meant and asked if the Village would then have to come up with the remaining 70% design. Reg stated he wasn’t exactly sure but said he would clarify this with Kerrie and would have it ready for their next board meeting.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau informed the Board that the Wastewater Pilot Program would be in place on October 17 and said they have three prototypes coming in that will help mitigate phosphorus from their affluent. He said they are also working on the Hydro Relicensing but because the river is so low they are unable to perform maintenance on Unit #5. He said they will wait for more water. He also said the totem pole is almost ready to be erected in the Village Green. He said he is hoping the Trustees will be able to attend when they do the installation. Reg also said the Village owned land by John’s Bridge has been used for hunting over the years. He said they found someone was baiting deer and the game wardens have been notified. He said because of this the Village will now have to post all their property and only give permission to certain individuals to hunt there.


Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated he and Reg attended an event where the VFW presented them with a check to fully fund the restoration of the Dough Boy in Veterans Memorial Park. He said the Combat Veterans raised these funds by raffling off a World War I gun. He wanted them to know how much this is appreciated. Roger George wanted to let the Trustees know that the electric department had to do some work on his property recently and they were very courteous and professional and did great work.


  1. Executive Session if Necessary:




  1. Adjournment:


Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:31 p.m.  Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:31 p.m. Motion carried.





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Neal Speer, Village President                            Date







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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date