TOWN OF RUTLAND
SELECT BOARD MEETING
JULY 21, 2009
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Board members present: Richard DelBianco, Joseph Dicton, James Hall, Stanley Rhodes III and Josh Terenzini.
Review of the 7/7/2009 Minutes
Mr. Terenzini corrected the terminology of the Route 7 Corridor study to the Western Corridor study.
Mr. Hall changed the wording concerning the highway projects on page three to “the funding for highway projects is generally committed…”.
Mr. Dicton motioned to accept the minutes with these changes and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed with four votes. Mr. Terenzini abstained as he did not attend the 7/7/2009 meeting.
Questions from the Floor
Mr. Dicton advised taking proper precautions with the mold clean-up due to the possibility of respiratory issues. Mr. Dicton motioned to accept James Peterson’s proposal and Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Rhodes read the Town ordinance that said a dog can be loose on the owner’s property. Therefore the Board felt that the neighbor’s request was not valid since his cat had ventured onto Ms. Levy’s property.
Captain Sly reminded the Board of a definition of a vicious dog as one that “can cause bodily harm”. The Board still felt that a dog loose on the owner’s property is allowed according to the Town ordinance and Ms. Levy need not restrain her dog on her own property.
Recreation – Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr., Town Administrator
Mr. Zingale said that he had received a Recreation Grant application from the State. He stated that Mr. Rick DelBianco, head of the Recreation Department, had applied in for grants in the past and received money. Mr. Zingale advised that the Recreation Board review the application and Mr. Rhodes said he would give it to Mike Rowe, a Recreation Board member.
Solid Waste Alternative Communities (SWAC)
Nothing to report.
Rutland Regional Transportation Council
Nothing to report
Rutland Regional Planning Commission – Fred Nicholson
Mr. Nicholson reported that there is a $40,000 grant available in September and another $40,000 grant available next year for energy projects. He said that the RRPC had two possible uses they discussed for this money. One was to give the money to the Stafford Technical School for a solar/wind demonstration project. The second was to have the RRPC act as a clearing house for future funds by having an individual who is part of the community inform the twenty-seven Rutland County communities about the funds so they may go apply for needed money as a group.
Mr. Dicton said that a local power company is already planning a solar/wind project so giving the funds to the Stafford Technical School would possibly be redundant.
Also mentioned was that the State supercedes local entities when it comes to clean energy per Act 248. Mr. Matteson said that he understood that locals still have input on an Act 248 application.
Highway Department– Byron Hathaway
Mr. Hathaway reported that they will finish paving Post Road in the current week and that will finish the paving for the year. They still have to shore up driveways where paving was done.
Mr. Rhodes brought up the abundance of poison parsnip on the sides of the roads. He said that the State had called to see if there was more of it this year.
Mr. Hathaway said that his department will be mowing the sides of the roads again and that contact with the poison parsnip often causes blisters on people who come into contact with it.
Fire Department – Joe Denardo
Mr. Denardo said that he had an application from a former Bennington fireman, Scott Kraus, for the Board to review. He also said that he had received a letter from the Asst. Bennington Fire Chief recommending the new applicant. If hired, the new applicant will be part of the eight out of town fire fighters.
Mr. Dicton motioned to accept the application from Scott Kraus and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Denardo said that they had some trouble with Engine #2 concerning the brake system but it has been fixed.
Cam-Den construction is almost finished with the approved repairs to the Center Rutland Fire Station and the McKinley Fire Station.
Mr. Rhodes said that future decisions concerning the hiring of Cam-Den construction would be made by the Board as Mr. Denardo is related to one of the partners of Cam-Den.
Rutland Town Planning Commission – Bill Matteson
Mr. Zingale delivered the Rutland Town Plan to the Select Board and Mr. Matteson said they should also have received the letter from the Planning Commission that accompanied it. Mr. Matteson mentioned that there are two new sections to the Town Plan, Child Care and Economic Development. The Select Board needs to hold a hearing on the Town Plan. Mr. Rhodes asked what the time line was for this and Mr. Zingale said he would get this information for the Board.
Mr. Matteson said that the Planning Commission had also drafted a letter in response to the Select Board’s proposed changes to the Zoning draft that he would present at the Zoning Hearing on August 4, 2009.
Mr. Hall asked if the rail road crossing on Seward Road should be covered in the Town Plan. Mr. Matteson said that the right of way is there and the only thing needed is the approval of the rail road owners. There would probably be the need for lights, gates and bells at the crossing. Since the crossing is so close to Quality Lane the hope is that this project would help the businesses in that area and alleviate truck traffic.
Rutland Town Police Department – Capt. John Sly
Captain Sly reported that they have been busy with animal complaints. He said they average about three to five a week. He said he will forward a report to the Select Board on all animal attacks. This will allow the Board to decide if they feel they need to have a hearing. Capt. Sly said that he has received a copy of the Town Ordinances from Mr. Zingale. He would like to discuss some of these with the Board for clarification and possible changes or additions.
Captain Sly said that the Town of Mendon was concerned that the Marshalls have lost another ewe from their herd. He said that the Greens do not have their dogs back so that something else is attacking the sheep.
Mr. Matteson said that Dick Hoenes has also lost some of his sheep to coy dogs.
Mr. DelBianco brought up the length of Captain Sly’s log on his activities over the last pay period. Mr. Dicton said he is happy with what the Board is receiving from the Constables. Mr. Rhodes said that it is a good thing to have on file but asked Capt. Sly how long it takes him to do the report. Captain Sly says it takes about two hours but he has to do one anyway and his laptop is in his vehicle so it isn’t difficult to do. He added that some of the background information on the report is of a confidential nature so any questions concerning the report should be discussed in executive session.
Rutland Town Clerk/Treasurer – Marie Hyjek
Ms. Hyjek was busy supervising the counting of ballots for the vote on the school roof. Mr. Rhodes said that Mr. Terenzini would help her in regard to working with the Rutland Herald on reducing advertising costs.
Rutland Town Administrator – Joseph Zingale Jr.
Mr. Zingale brought up the need for people digging within fifteen feet of the Town right of way to obtain a permit for which they put up $500. Mr. Dicton asked if people realize they are in violation when they do not obtain a permit. Mr. Rhodes said he felt that the current system has been inconsistent in this regard. Mr. Hathaway said that some contractors are digging and moving water lines with no notification. Mr. Matteson said that it may be a good idea to give Mr. Hathaway the authority to exempt some people who are only repaving their driveways.
Mr. Zingale said he is ready to turn over to the Town Attorney the enforcement problem with Chris Wilk’s improvements obstructing the flood plain. He said
the Federal Agency could pull the Town’s certificate and no one would be able to have insurance if the Town doesn’t take action. Mr. Dicton suggested that the Town give Mr. Wilk one more chance before litigating. He suggested sending him a letter stating that the Town can enforce monetary penalties and seek legal judgment. He also suggested inviting him to attend a Select Board meeting to discuss the issue.
Mr. Zingale said the Board should schedule a hearing for Ms. Kelly whose cocker spaniel was attacked by a bull mastiff on Chasanna Drive. He added that there is no time limit in which to do so and both parties should come along with the constable who investigated the incident. Capt. Sly said that the ordinance requires that the offending animal’s owner be notified and he said he would serve the notification.
Mr. Zingale reminded everyone that there is a hearing on the Zoning Document scheduled for August 4, 2009 at 6:00 P.M. before the regular Select Board meeting.
There have been complaints by neighbors about a pool on Columbus Drive having excess water on the pool cover causing a mosquito breeding ground. Mr. Zingale said that the owner cleaned this up once, but now the bank has taken over the property and is to have an auction on July 22, 2009. The bank will leave the issue to the new owner.
Mr. Zingale informed the Board that Ms. Godette has agreed to do the Select Board Minutes but would like to be paid $100 for meetings that are over three hours. Mr. Rhodes said that he would discuss with Ms. Godette capping off at $75.
Earle Miller of Miller’s Auto on Cold River Road has three mobile homes and a garage on his property. He receives water from the water line that serves the Industrial Park. He wants to put in individual meters rather than the single one he currently has. He intends to pay for this. The Board felt this was not an issue in their jurisdiction so Mr. Miller can go ahead with his plan.
Mr. Zingale said he has received a letter from Jim Peace in the State Storm Water Office concerning the grant money Rutland Town originally received for environmental improvements. Since the original plan for use of the money has been scrapped, the Town decided to keep the money local and give it to the City for the Combination Pond study. Now the State has rejected this project and wants to use the money ($12,630) for a new project educating owners of the pond by hiring a consultant.
Mr. Hathaway asked if this money could be used for the water problem on Victoria Drive and Killington Avenue.
Mr. Rhodes asked Mr. Zingale to find out what the deadline was for the use of the money. He would like to see if the Town could use the money for this project.
Mr. Zingale said that the Town has recovered 50,000 gallons of capacity for new businesses from businesses that have left and no longer use this capacity.
Mr. Zingale wrote a letter to the editor concerning the Kalish project which is responding to another letter to the editor that stated the City would not profit from the Kalish project on Route 7S. Mr. Zingale’s letter states that the City would receive substantial money for water/sewer fees. Mr. DelBianco motioned to approve Mr. Zingale’s letter being sent to the Rutland Herald as Town Administrator and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Listers – Howard Burgess, Chairman
The Board asked Mr. Burgess to update them on the finalizing of the Grand List and the grievance process. The Board reviewed the calculations that determine the tax rate. Mr. Rhodes said he felt that the School Board needs to cut their budget in order to alleviate the tax burden. Mr. DelBianco mentioned the one percent tax that the Town added this year and Mr. Zingale said that the Town should be receiving a payment in August from the State.
Mr. Burgess said that there will be 350 grievance hearings from 7/20/2009 to 8/7/2009. The feedback so far from the hearings is people’s loss of jobs, the high cost of education and the recession. The listers are contemplating a 20% cut in the residential properties assessments across the board, but there is concern on compromising the CLA for the future. There would also have to be another mailing. Mr. Rhodes questioned if the Town could maintain a 110 to 120% CLA and how that would affect the tax rate. Mr. Burgess was not sure about the ability to do so. He said that the tax bills would most certainly be late going to the taxpayers.
Jim Hall said he is stepping down from his position as Community Advisory Representative for the quarterly meetings with the State Police on crime. The Board asked Mr. Dicton if he would take over. He accepted the job.
Mr. Denardo asked if “No Passing” signs could be placed on North Grove Street as he has trouble crossing the road with his farm equipment. Capt. Sly said that he would have to check but thought that farm equipment is an exception to the no passing laws.
Mr. Terenzini motioned to end the meeting. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 9:40 P.M.