MINUTES: February 26, 2013

Board members present: Jim Hall, Joe Dicton, Steve Hawley, Stanley F. Rhodes III and John Paul Faignant

The Meeting opened at 6:50 P.M.

All rose for the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag.

Mr. Rhodes presented a plaque to Mr. Jim Hall for his dedicated service to the Town Select Board. Mr. Rhodes read the inscription on the plaque and presented the plaque to Mr. Hall.

Mr. Hall thanked all in involved in presenting him with the plaque. Mr. Hall said Rutland Town is a special place to live and that he is humbled by the presentation. He said it has been a pleasure to serve the Town.

The Board reviewed the minutes of 2-12-13. Mr. Rhodes said his name needs to be added to the list of Board members present. Mr. Hawley moved to approve the 2-12-13 minutes with corrections. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. William Matteson, Chairman of the Town Energy Committee requested permission from the Board to place a table with energy efficiency information materials at the Town School during March 5th voting. He said it is a great opportunity for a resident to have a $400.00 to $500.00 energy audit done for only $100.00.

Mr. Matteson said if 60 to 70 individuals take advantage of the energy audit the Town could receive a $10,000.00 award. The money would be used to implement energy efficiency at a Town own building. Mr. Rhodes said the Board approves request.

Mr. Pete Andrews, P.E. and Mr. Blair Enman, P.E. and attorney James Goss met with the Board regarding the Ponderosa Restaurant outstanding surcharge fee of $4,340.14.

Mr. Enman told the Board that he and Mr. Andrews had inspected the Ponderosa Restaurant's kitchen practices prior to the meeting. Mr. Enman told the Board that scrape buckets are used for everything that enters the kitchen. He said the waste is place in a barrel.

Mr. Enman told the Board that the owners of the restaurant installed 125 degree temperature dishwasher a few years ago. He said the fry-o-la-tors and the griddles are separately managed. He said the grease from the fry-o-lator and the griddles goes into individual buckets.

Mr. Enman told the Board that the grease trap was pumped out a couple of weeks ago. He said the grease trap is holding grease. Mr. Enman told the Board that Mr. Andrews has suggested dye testing the sinks in the restaurant to make sure all are connected into the grease trap.

Mr. Andrews cited the fact the grease trap was added to the restaurant four years after it opened. Mr. Andrews said because the temperature has been lowered on the washer, he no longer thinks it is the source of grease. He said the grease is coming from somewhere and that dye testing would determine if the sinks are connected to the grease trap.

Mr. Faignant and Mr. Dicton asked why a second grease trap was not installed, since a second grease trap has been approved for installation. Mr. Enman said the previous owner planned to construct the second grease trap when he built a new IHOP Restaurant on the same parcel. He said the Act 250 permit for the IHOP Restaurant was denied so the second grease trap was not installed.

Mr. Enman cited the fact that the current Restaurant owners bought the restaurant after the IHOP had been denied. Mr. Dicton cited the fact the new owners knew they had a grease problem when they bought the Restaurant yet did not install second grease trap.

Mr. Goss said according to the two experts (Mr. Andrews & Mr. Enman) the grease trap is working properly and a larger trap is not needed. Mr. Goss said that if the dye testing does not uncover the problem then he will propose shared maintenance of the sewer line with the Town.

Mr. Rhodes cited the fact the Board stopped collecting Operation & Maintenance fees several years ago. Mr. Goss said the users contributing fats and grease to the line should share the cost of jetting the line once a year. Or some appropriate schedule, Mr. Enman added.

Mr. Enman will monitor the pumping of the grease trap the next time it is serviced, according to Mr. Andrews. Mr. Andrews cited the fact that pictures taken earlier in the day by Mr. Zingale show significant paper and solids built up in the Ponderosa manhole and that the Denny's manhole was clean.

Mr. Rhodes cited unpaid Ponderosa bills to the Town. Mr. Dicton said the amount owed is $4,340.00. Mr. Goss said his clients would be responsible for cleaning the manholes up to manhole number 4.

Planning Commission: William Matteson:

  1. Told the Board that the Planning Commission reviewed a two lot sketch plan at their last meeting. Mr. Matteson said the Kunzler subdivision would result in the back lot having access to Tamarack Lane. He said presently the back parcel can access Tamarack Lane through the other Kunzler parcel.

Clerk & Treasurer: Ms. Marie Hyjek reported:

  1. Said her office would be open to 5:00 P.M. the following day because it is the last day to register to vote.

  2. The Town Meeting is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. At the Town School March 4th .

  3. The polls will be open on election day from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

  4. Told the Board Mr. Fred Washburn and his son would set up and take down the voting booths at the Town School. She said Mr. Dick Lloyd would be available if they need help.

  5. All of the poll workers have been notified

  6. Told the Board that the 1% tax revenue for the third quarter was $286,157.91. She said this brings the total for the year up to $823.584.00. Ms. Hyjek said we anticipated $1,037,246.00. She said if she subtracts $1,037,246.00 from cash on hand, by the end we should have $213,661.98. She said last year we were good at it and could still lower the tax rate by $76,000.00. She said whatever is left will go to lowering taxes.

    Mr. Rhodes said he thinks the Town is close to being on target. He said with the State increasing the (education) base rate by five cents. He said technically it chews up half of the 1% option money. Mr. Rhodes said the increase would be $100.00 in taxes for ever $100,000.00 of assessment value.

  7. Cited a liquor license application submitted by Burnham Hollow for an event to be at the Diamond Run Mall. Ms. Hyjek said it is something we have never done before. Ms. Hyjek said because Burnham Hollow does not have a Liquor License they took a class and talked to the Liquor control person.

Transportation Council & SWAC: Charles Shields reported:

    Not present

Regional Planning Commission Mr. Fred Nicholson reported:

Not Present

Town Road Commissioner: Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:

  1. Informed the Board that the Town was successful in securing the government surplus trailer he described at the previous meeting. Mr. Hathaway said he planned to pick-up the trailer the following week.

  2. Cited the 2013 Road & Bridge Standards revisions to be considered for adoption by the Board. The Board will vote on the standards at the next meeting.

Mr. Rhodes questioned Mr. Hathaway regarding the status of winter maintenance. Mr. Hathaway said the Town is doing very well. Mr. Hathaway said he is slightly more than half way through the winter budget. He said he expects to end the winter well under the budget.

Mr. Hathaway told the Board that liquid prices for asphalt are about the same as last year.

Mr. Hawley suggested the Board consider paying half-time holiday pay to part time employees when full time employees receive holiday pay. The Board discussed the matter and took no action.

Fire Chief: Joseph Denardo reported:

    Not present

Recreation Director: Mike Rowe reported:

  1. Reported that basketball is winding down. He thanked all of the coaches for their time and efforts.

  2. Informed the Board that Alderman's Chevrolet donated $500.00 to the Town's baseball program. Mr. Rowe said the name “Alderman's Chevrolet” will be on all the T-Ball and mighty-mite players shirts.

  3. Baseball registration will take place on march 13th & 14th at the Town School. He said march 22nd is the last day to register for baseball.

Town Administrator: Mr. Joseph Zingale reported:

  1. Informed the Board that he had traveled to Montpelier and offered testimony regarding the Mid-Vermont Properties request to extend the break in limited access highway permit for two more years. Mr. Zingale said the Transportation Board approved the request.

  2. Informed the Board he is soliciting bids to repair so-called Manhole #2, located at the northern entrance to the Diamond Run Mall.

  3. Told the Board that he had registered the Town with the RRPC to have a Mitigation Plan developed for the Town.

  4. Informed the Board that the Town has an easement for the abandoned sewer line extending from the Center Rutland Station eastward. Mr. Zingale said he previously said he did not think the Town had an easement. Mr. Hawley said the decision was made to continue with the pump station. Mr. Hawley said the pump station may have to be relocated as a result of the new building construction.

  5. Told the Board he had begun discussions with an individual at Vtrans regarding the Fire Department's desire to access Business RT 4 in a location not presently being used as an ingress and egress.

  6. Told the Board that a 1952 photo of the Town Hall shows ice bars on the roof to prevent snow and ice from sliding off the roof. Mr. Faignant said he is also concerned with the snow and ice falling off the back of the building, where people must walk to enter the back stairs. Mr. Faignant suggested the shed roof could be extended to provide protection. He said someone would get seriously hurt if they were there at the wrong time. Mr. Zingale will contact VLCT staff and inform them of the Town's proposed changes.

    Mr. Dicton inquired as to whether the Board plans on considering switching insurance providers. Mr. Rhodes said he was waiting for the general budget to pass to see how much money is available.

    Mr. Faignant said the Board needs to get an insurance consultant to assess the Town's needs and then generate a proposal and solicit bids from insurance companies. Mr. Faignant will take care of the matter.

Police Chief: Ed Dumas reported:

  1. Informed the Board he had reviewed the Sherman V. Allen Liquor license application and that he sees no problem with the application. Chief Dumas informed the Board he is working with an individual at castleton State College regarding the upcoming Moe Concert at the Field House. Chief Dumas said he would inform the State Police of the planned concert.

    Mr. Dumas said there were no incidents at the first concert three years ago. He said last year a couple on individuals had to be taken away. He said there was no concert last year. Mr. Zingale said a Public Assembly permit will not be required since the concert will be indoors.

    Mr. Dicton made a motion to approve the Sherman V. Allen for a second class liquor and tobacco license. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Dicton inquired as to whether Mr. Hall would be replaced on the Fire Committee. The Board discussed the matter. Mr. Rhodes said said Mr. Dicton would take Mr. Hall's place on the committee.

Mr. Rhodes reviewed packet correspondence.

Regarding the Rutland City speeding tickets provided to the Town by the City of Rutland, Mr. Faignant said the tickets were filled out incorrectly by the City Police personnel. He said they should have written the words “ Rutland City” in the municipality box not “Rutland”.

The Board discussed the matter. Mr. Faignant said the problem has been ongoing for eight or nine years and asked the Board to consider applying an administrative charge for the Town processing the tickets. Mr. Dicton asked if anyone had spoken to City officials regarding the matter. Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Faignant and Mr. Dumas said City police have been told to write “ Rutland City”.

Mr. Faignant suggested an administrative fee of $10.00 per ticket be charged to the City of Rutland for each ticket returned. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Dicton said the amount should be more. It was agreed the amount would be $25.00 per ticket. Mr. Rhodes cited the fact the State paid the City $260,000.00 for the ticket writing problem and now the Town is paying the $260,000.00 to the State. Mr. Rhodes said there is $43,000.00 still to be pay back.

Mr. Faignant moved for Mr. Zingale to write to Lieutenant Geno informing him of the Board's decision. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. Mr. Rhodes said he would like to review the letter before it is sent. The motion passed unanimously.

Regarding a letter from the Bennington Economic & Community Development Director seeking Town support for a Senate Bill that would allow all towns in Vermont to charge an additional 1% sales tax, Mr. Hall he opposes the effort to do so.

Mr. Hall said there is not enough money now to pay for all that which the State is obligated. He said the 1% local option tax was put in place for towns that were considered to be gold towns and having a significant tax burden. He said we should keep the original concept in place and not open it up to everyone.

Mr. Faignant said in Rutland Town residents are paying more to the education fund than it cost to educate town children. He said the 1% option tax was to compensate the Town and attempt to recoup some of the money paid into the education fund.

He said if the door is now opened to everybody then those towns already receiving money from Town's like Rutland will be able get additional money from a 1% tax. He said it destroys the whole intent of the 1% tax. Mr. Faignant said he opposes allowing all town to be able to charge 1%.

Mr. Hall said last year the Town paid about in $7 million dollars into the fund and only got back between $700,000.00 to $800,000.00. Mr. Faignant moved to have Mr. Zingale prepare a letter to the Town's State representatives stating the reasons why the Board opposes the proposed bill and that they should oppose it as well. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Rhodes cited his letter to the Board regarding the unfilled Center Rutland Fire Station Clerk-of-the-works position. Mr. Faignant made a motion to appoint Mr. Rhodes as the Clerk-of-the-works for the Center Rutland Station project. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The Board discussed the matter further The motion passed by a vote of four to 0. Mr. Rhodes did not vote. Mr. Rhodes thanked the Board for their trust.

Regarding leaving the Board Mr. Hall said the Board has their work cut out for the next year or two. He said in some ways he feels bad he can not be part of the work. However, he said the time has come to cut loose and that is what he is doing. He thanked everyone for their support and cooperation. Messrs. Dicton & Rhodes thanked Mr. Hall for his time on the Board.

Mr. Dicton moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:51 P.M. Mr. Hall made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.