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, July 15, 2021

June 28, 2021








Monday, June 28, 2021

7:00 PM



PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Betsy Fournier, Rise VT; Joel Clark, Molly Lambert. Via Zoom: Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager; Elizabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; Gordon Winters 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:




  1. Public Comment:


Joel Clark said he wanted to thank the Board of Trustees for officially naming Veterans Memorial Park and for having that part of their ceremony on Memorial Day. He said he is here tonight to ask permission to have a sign installed on Grand Avenue that is visible from both directions. He said he’s done some research on it and had a hand-out for the Board. He said he wanted permission to install this sign and said he had a funding source for most of the cost but not all of it. He said he is asking the Village if they could pay approximately $300 to $500 for the sign. Joel said he is working with a sign shop in Richford also to see what she can get for materials. He said he would like to get this ordered within the next month or so. Neal Speer stated there is no problem with the permission and as far as funding goes he said he would let Reg answer that. Reg said he would see what they could come up with and could also do donations. Joel said this will look very nice and next year will have flowers planted on each side of it. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to grant permission for Joel Clark to install a post and sign at Veterans Memorial Park and to also authorize the Village of Swanton to fund this project with up to $500 for the cost of this sign. Adam Paxman seconded both motions. Motions carried.


  1. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, June 14, 2021:


Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from Monday, June 14, 2021 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


  1. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through Thursday, June 24, 2021:


Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants #57-61 through Thursday, June 24, 2021 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.


  1. Betsy Fournier, Rise VT, to discuss Parks Plans & Funds Implementation for Marble Mill:


Betsy Fournier stated she was happy that the Village secured some funds this year for parks. She said it might not have been a ton of money but it’s making a huge difference. She says she has noticed the great changes that have been happening. She asked Reg Beliveau if he could mention what’s been done so far. Reg said so far the bank has been cleared, a lot of trees have been taken out, he said they are going to do more trimming, the Fire Department is supposed be there cleaning tonight for community service, he said they re-lined the pickle ball courts and adjusted the nets. He said they are going to try and replant the poles for the fence that’s there because the cost for a new one is very high. Betsy said she wanted to discuss parks as a whole and not just Marble Mill. She said she wanted to discuss infrastructure and park plans. She said they’ve had some community discussion regarding Marble Mill and now want to see what they need to move forward. She wants to evaluate the parks and see what’s needed, what needs to be done and how it can be funded. She said she wants to give her support as RiseVT’s project manager and give her support to Reg, Lynn and Dean. She said she’d like to come up with a parks plan and evaluate the needs and see what’s needed not just at Marble Mill but at all the parks. She said she knows everything can’t happen in one or two years, but wanted to create a 5-year plan. Reg said they also redid the Swanton Beach sign and opened the bathrooms but as soon as they opened them someone stole a brand new sink. He said they cut the pipe and took the sink right out of the bathroom. Betsy said she noticed the bench that was replaced by the basketball court. She said the arts council was working on a grant to do a mural down there. Reg stated they weren’t awarded the grant. Betsy said they could still use them to do some work there. Reg said he has put the arts teacher in touch with Michelle Nordberg who runs SPAN. Betsy said she also noticed the graffiti at Marble Mill has been cleaned up and she wanted to thank the Village for what they’ve done so far and said it hasn’t gone unnoticed. She said to invest in our parks it’s going to take some time and she would like to sit down with Reg, Lynn and the Trustees so hopefully they can budget a little more each year. She said this doesn’t have to be specific to Marble Mill but they do have a master plan for Marble Mill that they’d like to plug away at here and there. She said there has been some grants they’ve applied for for safer access to Marble Mill and hopefully crosswalks and flashing beacons will go in at the top of Merchants Row and at the park. She said the master plan at Marble Mill is very specific and she would like them to stick to this plan as much as possible. She said they want to make Swanton more vibrant and parks are truly important to a community. Adam Paxman asked if a five-year plan was realistic from a financial standpoint. Betsy said she would love to have that conversation and find out what realistic is once they create some sort of plan. She said anytime a grant comes up they are asking for a match and there are no funds for that now. Adam said he is needs to make sure they are keeping taxes under control and he thinks the next two to three years tax wise are going to be tough on a lot of people. He wants to make sure and not lose sight of it but doesn’t want to put an unnecessary burden on taxpayers and this can probably wait another two to three years. Betsy said she sort of agrees with that but after going through this pandemic outdoor recreation has flourished. People needed and wanted to be outside and she is hoping that now that the state has opened back up they need to make sure those options are there for them when they want to utilize them. She said she’d like to come up with some sort of plan that shows they are investing in our parks. Adam said he agrees with that he just wants to make sure that if it takes 10 years that’s ok too. She said her main goal tonight is to set up a meeting with Lynn and Reg and Dean to start talking projects and numbers.


Betsy showed the board a Building Communities grant and said it required a one-on-one match and the maximum grant is $25,000 so they would need a $25,000 match. She said the project would need to be shovel ready. Eugene LaBombard thought that amount of money would need voter approval. Betsy said every year all these grants come up but they don’t have any match money. She said hopefully they can have some money put aside for parks and grants. Neal Speer said he was a little confused because they added funds to their parks budget and things are getting done at Marble Mill and at Veterans Memorial Park. He said they should focus on Fourth Street and interject some of these programs into that. He said he was overwhelmed with all the plans out there. Betsy said that’s why they need to be consolidated because there are a lot of plans but not integrated into one document with an outline, a cost and a funding source. Eugene asked who would put that together. Betsy said she could do that but would need to work with Reg and Lynn. Eugene asked if she was approaching the Town for any funding or just the Village. Betsy said all of the parks are in the Village but feels that conversation can happen because everyone uses them. She said she wished they still had joint legislative body meetings and hopes they bring them back because it’s hard to attend a village meeting, then a town meeting, then report back to the village. She said she would love to have the conversation about how the Village and Town should both support the parks and have one plan for one Swanton. Eugene agreed and said there should be a discussion. Joel Clark said the Town is working with the recreation department on issues with the rec park. He said himself and Betsy are co-chairs on the Fourth Street project and are going to the selectboard in September with preliminary plans with what they feel is the right thing for the community. He said there’s action being done by the Town as well. He said in an ideal world recreation and parks would all be covered with one umbrella, whether it was run by the Town or the Village, one hat would run parks and recreation. He said he’d like to see that done within 10 years. Betsy said the nice thing about all the parks and the Fourth Street property is that they all connect to the Village and the Town.


Molly Lambert said she just wanted to affirm what Betsy is saying about having a plan. She said the community has invested a lot and to have a plan in place it opens up doors to grants, it opens up doors to philanthropy which can be a very important contributor and when you make an investment the ledger has two sides, the cost side and the benefit side. She said it isn’t just more beautiful parks and communities, it’s that place where people want to live, where they want to invest in. She said that’s the part that’s hard to put in the ledger. She said she’s here to cheer on having a uniformed plan. Adam said he’s not against this he just wants to make sure he has a clear picture of where this is going and that the tax dollars are manageable. Betsy said that’s why she wants to start this conversation now and not wait until November or December. Joel said it would be nice if money could be put into a capital fund so if they do apply for grants they have matching funds available. He said he does encourage that piece and to at least take a look at it. Reg showed his list of projects that need to be done over the next five years and said yes they want to better the parks but his list shows infrastructure projects, road/sidewalk projects, water line and valve projects and building projects. He said these are things that keep him awake at night. He said they need community partners to help get these park plans done. Betsy said she appreciates that list and is glad parks were included in it. Neal said everything they are looking for is commendable but said she wants them to go faster than they can go. Betsy said it is overwhelming but it’s all important infrastructure work. She said the conversation has been started but would really like a joint board meeting to further discuss it. Neal thanked Betsy and RiseVT for all their hard work and help. Neal said Gordon and Debbie Winters and David Fosgate continually invest in the community and he said they need more people like them on board.


  1. Acknowledge and Sign Village of Swanton Internal Financial Controls Checklist:


Lynn Paradis, Assistant Village Manager, stated this is her Internal Financial Controls Checklist for Municipalities that she fills out each year. She said it shows that not just one employee is responsible for any particular financial task. Eugene LaBombard made the motion acknowledging receipt of the Internal Financial Controls Checklist for the Village of Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Neal Speer, Village President, sign the document. Motion carried.


  1. Any Other Necessary Business:


Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that Rusty Dewees (the Logger) stopped by the Village office last week and has asked for permission to use the Village Green for one of his comedy shows in August or September of this year. She said he is also requesting his event be held with another event in the park for a better turnout. She stated she would put him in contact with Darci Benoit and Nicole Draper to try and coordinate with their Farmers Market and Food Truck events held on the third Sunday of each month. The Board gave permission for this event and looks forward to the Logger coming to Swanton.


Any Other Business: Eugene LaBombard asked what the status was on the bridge repair grant. Reg said the State has received it but hasn’t notified him whether or not the funding is coming. He said it’s very important that this gets fixed because it’s getting worse by the day. The Board agreed with this.


Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated he wants to encourage people to slow down while driving through the Village. He said it’s getting nasty out there and people need to have more patience. Eugene LaBombard agreed with this and said you need to drive defensively here at all times.


Any Other Business: Neal Speer asked Reg if he responded back to the art teacher about the mural at Marble Mill. He said he did but said he didn’t think they received the grant for this mural art project. Reg also said there is an art board installed on Route 7 now.


Any Other Business: Reg Beliveau said the Fire Department is doing community service tonight and are out cleaning the river shoreline, marble mill, the rail trail and the fishing access by John’s Bridge. He also said the Agency of Natural Resources will be here tomorrow for an information sharing meeting about the FERC relicensing for the Hydro Plant. He said they will say what they need for further studies. Reg also said the Village will hold an electric car demonstration here in the near future. He also mentioned the four car charging stations we have in the parking lot and said the Village may need to remove them because the credit card charges are more than the revenue being made. He also said they are going to move forward with the three-way stop at the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue very soon. He said they will have a study done and put signage up but wanted to get this three-way stop up and running soon. Reg also said he has been asked to join the Maquam Shore sidewalk committee to help work on that sidewalk project.


  1. Executive Session to Discuss Real Estate:




  1. Adjournment:


Adam Paxman made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:06 p.m.  Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m. Motion carried.





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Neal Speer, Village President                            Date





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Dianne Day, Village Clerk                                Date