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, December 30, 2020

December 14, 2020









Monday, December 14, 2020

7:00 PM




PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reg Beliveau, Village Manager; Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; and Joey Stell, Chief of Police. Via Zoom: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; John & Debbie Winters; Betsy Fournier 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:


Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated #9 wasn’t necessary because there are no changes from their last meeting, they haven’t had a chance to work on the Ordinances. Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, stated he needed an Executive Session to discuss Personnel.


  1. Public Comment:


Betsy Fournier asked if the Village was able to appropriate any funds for Capital Improvements in the Village parks. She also asked if the Village considered hiring additional personnel to do extra work in the parks besides the regular maintenance of the parks. Reg Beliveau stated the Village added an additional $10,000 to the parks maintenance budget and are going to hire two part-timers for summer help. He said they normally only hire one part-timer for the summer. Gordon Winters stated the additional $10,000 was a good start but said they would be unable to apply for any grants unless they had specific funds earmarked for capital improvements because they needed to have match funds on a lot of the grants they would apply for. Debbie Winters stated they haven’t received any grants because the municipality needs to make a commitment and have funds earmarked for improvements in their parks. Betsy stated because there are no matching funds they lose out on grant money. Adam Paxman asked if flooding was going to be an issue with improvements made at Marble Mill and asked if it was feasible to do a lot of the work they wanted done there because of that. Gordon stated no that the opposite could happen and said they can work around that. Debbie Winters said the Village needs to think ahead for the next 10 years and said $10,000 won’t even fix the fence at Marble Mill. She said once residents see improvements over the next two or three years, they will have something great and she said they won’t get donors with how it looks now and asked the Village to think ahead. Gordon was concerned that just because there was an additional $10,000 in the budget it could be used for more maintenance and not on actual improvements.  Elisabeth Nance stated they would need at least $200,000 to get the parks where they want to see them. She said they can’t apply for grants if they don’t have matching funds and said $25,000 would be great but said maybe this year isn’t the year to ask for $25,000 with everything that’s going on. Reg stated they added $10,000 and two part-timers and they’d like to see what they can get done with that then add to it each year. He said he didn’t properly share the information like he should have regarding grant information and said he would work better on that. Gordon asked if they could put a separate line item on the ballot asking for $25,000 for capital park improvements. Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated she could run the numbers and see what that would do to the bottom line on her budget. Chris Leach stated that if a line item was going on the ballot for $25,000 there should be a detailed list of things that money would be used for in the parks. More discussion took place regarding maintenance in the parks and Betsy Fournier thanked the Board for their time and consideration. She also mentioned the beautiful greens and berries on the bridge and said Maddie Lampman, Crystal Lampman’s daughter, made them. Neal Speer said he did notice them and they look great with the solar lights in them. Neal also stated he can appreciate what they want for the parks and asked if they have approached the Town of Swanton as well. He said maybe they could pool their resources with the Town. Betsy said she was attending their Selectboard meeting on Tuesday and would ask them.




  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, November 23, 2020:


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept the Minutes from Monday, November 23, 2020 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Friday, December 11, 2020:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve Village Warrants through Friday, December 11, 2020 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


  1. Swanton Village Police Department Update:


Chief Joey Stell stated the Village Police Department responded to 129 complaints in the Village for the month of November. He said they issued 26 traffic warnings and issued 10 tickets totaling $1571.00. He said Spring Street, First Street, Canada Street, Greenwich Street and New Street were the main areas of violations.  The Board thanked him for his update.


  1. Discuss 2021 Draft Budgets:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, said her electric, water and sewer revenue numbers weren’t updated yet and also said health insurance went up only 1% overall this year. She said this is the lowest increase they’ve seen in a long time. She also said their workman’s compensation module went down and property and liability insurance went up but said everything balanced out.


Electric Fund: Lynn said there is nothing out of the ordinary in this fund. She said Hydro Maintenance includes a trash rake overhaul and their 5-year maintenance plan. She said purchase power is up and VPPSA is working on it. Lynn stated some computers need to be upgraded in the office. Adam Paxman asked about the bank charges line item going up a bit and Lynn said more people are paying online now because the office is closed to the public. She said more people are using the online bill pay features. Eugene LaBombard asked about the retirement line item and Lynn said she has to adjust that number annually using GASB rulings. She said it includes the present value and future benefit. Lynn said her goal was to try and level fund this year and said they’ve worked hard on going through the year with no increase.


Water Fund: Lynn said the Reservoir needs to be cleaned out this coming year and said it’s done every five years. She said chemicals are stable and testing costs went up a bit. She said overall there isn’t much change in this fund.


Sewer Fund: She said they are working on their test pilot study and said the costs for chemicals and testing is up in this fund. She said there is very little debt right now and the engineering that’s being done can be deferred until their bond vote which will be in 2022 or 2023.


Highway Fund: Lynn said she adjusted the labor in her summer and winter streets and said the total is the same it’s just split differently this year. She said their last payment on the sidewalk plow will be in 2021. She said they need a new street line and crosswalk line painter as well as a new plow truck but have funds in their savings account for this.


General Fund: Lynn said she increased lawns and parks to $20,000 and they are hiring two summer part-timers next year. She said they’ve discussed the need for more space at the complex and have asked their engineer to come up with a different plan. She said the original plan would cost approximately $5 million dollars and Reg said he talked with a local contractor and something could possibly be done for approximately $500,000. Lynn said hopefully in 2022 they can present this to the voters for work to be done in 2023.


Fire Fund: Lynn said they worked hard and have level funded this department for the first time ever. She said they added tablets in their trucks which sends them GPS information and more details regarding the incident they are responding to. She said their dispatching fee didn’t increase and the price is a two-year hold. She said they made their last air pack purchase and would like permission to order a new gear dryer. Uniforms need to be washed and decontaminated between calls so this is very important. Otherwise, they would need two sets of gear which cost approximately $2000 each. She said the dryer cost approximately $9500. The Board of Trustees agree and gave permission for the fire department to go ahead and order it so the pricing doesn’t go up.


Police Fund: Lynn said she level funded this department as well. She said they need a new fingerprint machine and will do a three-year lease on a new one. She said there is a slight increase in the Student Resource Officer (SRO) and Town of Swanton contracts. Chris Leach asked if there is an SRO officer at the elementary schools. Chief Stell said not at the moment but this is something they are working on. He said there are grants that help defray the cost and their goal is to have one. Lynn said she adjusted some of the labor numbers in this fund because some of their hours are covered by grants such as Stone Garden. She said their cruiser lease ends in September and their new cruiser will be on the road in the next day or two.


Commercial Building Fund: Lynn said the only information in this fund is the Hotel Riviera property and the State of Vermont Recapture funds.


Lynn provided the Board with a list of anticipated expenses in each department. She then explained the Village’s estimated tax rate will go from $0.8722 to $0.8787 for an increase of $0.0065. The Board thanked Lynn for all her hard work on the budgets. Chris Leach said he wanted it noted that they are not looking to defund their police department.


  1. Village of Swanton Ordinance Update:


Tabled until next meeting.


  1. Any Other Necessary Business:


Adam Paxman informed the Board that he is working on something called “Hometown Heroes” in which a family of a service member can purchase a banner and it would be hung on utility poles throughout the community. He said he is hoping the municipality could hang the banners and he is looking to get this started.


Any Other Business: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator gave an update on the downtown scoping study. She informed the board that there is a $60 grant available called “Better Places” that requires no match and she’d like to apply for it. She said this would take alternate ideas from the downtown scoping study and try some of them out. The Board agreed and told her to apply for the grant. She also informed the Board that she has submitted a letter of intent for a USDA Rural Grant program to begin Phase II of the cleanup for the Riviera Hotel property. She said the cost for Phase II is approximately $30,960 and the grant is for $30,000. The Board was pleased with this information.


  1. Executive Session If Necessary:


Chris Leach made the motion to enter Executive Session to discuss Personnel at 9:02 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to exit Executive Session at 10:15 p.m. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.




  1. Adjournment:


Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 10:15 p.m.  Adam Paxman seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 10:15 p.m. Motion carried.





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Neal Speer, Village President                            Date







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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date