TOWN OF RUTLAND
SELECT BOARD MEETING
SEPTEMBER 1, 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 8/18/2009 Minutes
Mr. DelBianco motioned to accept the minutes of 8/18/2009 as written. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. All were in approval with the exception of Mr. Terenzini who abstained due to his absence at the last meeting.
Questions from the Floor
Mr. Matteson asked if the residential property owners are now taking on a greater tax burden than the commercial properties and Mr. Burgess said they were.
Mr. Rhodes asked if Mr. Burgess had a feel for how many grievances would go to the BCA level and Mr. Burgess said it was difficult to predict. Mr. Hall asked if Mr. Burgess had a percentage of properties being adjusted due to grievances and Mr. Burgess said that it may be around two thirds.
Town Clerk/Treasurer – Marie Hyjek
Ms. Hyjek said she has $1000 dollars budgeted for microfilming ten land record books and asked if she could use the revenue from record restoration to have ten more done. Previously, microfilming has been done in Middlesex but they no longer are doing any more. They will keep those books that have been done on file. Ms. Hyjek has found another company in Morrisville to do microfilming. The Board approved Ms. Hyjek’s request to use the record restoration money for microfilming ten additional books.
Ms. Hyjek reported that A.M. Peisch has started do to the audit of the Town records.
A 3.2 million dollar line of credit at 2.9% interest has been set up to run the school and town if needed in the absence of tax income. Mr. Rhodes asked why the school did not get their own line of credit. Ms. Hyjek said that they have their usual $800,000 line of credit but that according to the State, the Town is still responsible for giving money to the school to operate as they would if there was tax revenue. The school will be responsible, however, for interest paid on monies borrowed. Mr. Dicton said he had no problem with this arrangement. Mr. Hall motioned to authorize the Town Treasurer to go ahead with the $3,197,000 line of credit and Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Hyjek asked Mr. Terenzini how he made out with the Rutland Herald on securing a better rate for ads. Mr. Terenzini said he was not able to do better than Ms. Hyjek. The Herald stood firm on their offered rate of $14.75 per column inch Monday through Saturday and $15.75 on Sundays. This rate is a cost savings to the Town as previously the Town was paying $20.25 per column inch. The contract lists a minimum of twenty-six ads but said they would not short rate if the Town did not meet the minimum. Mr. Hall motioned to go with the new contract and Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Bob Burt – Timber Sale Update
Mr. Burt said that the Hancock Lumber Company had purchased $53,000 worth of timber and made a down payment of$18,000 but are requesting an extension of their contract which ends 9/30/2009. Mr. Burt said he would like to extend this contract for another year. This would require an additional access agreement with Sylvia Lio as the current one ends on September 30th , the same as the contract with Hancock. She is agreeable to this.
The right of way agreements with VELCO and Herb Johnson are valid until 2011. An additional $750 will be paid by Hancock to cover the cost of a new Lio access agreement and the remarking of timber. If the contract is not extended then the Board has to determine liquidation damages for re-advertising, remarking and the loss of timber value. Mr. Terenzini asked if the timber market was up and Mr. Burt said it was down. He added that he doesn’t advise going ahead with any more timber sales at this time.
Mr. DelBianco motioned to extend Hancock’s contract and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Burt added that Northwood Park should be posted against hunting again and volunteered to do the posting.
The Town has received $1500 from the adult softball league.
Officer Faignant said he found a group of people drinking beer at Northwood and informed them that they would not be able to use the field next year.
Mr. DelBianco informed the Board that Dewey Field was used for a two-day tournament for the benefit of the Cancer Society. The tournament was originally scheduled in the City but the City’s fields were too wet so they called Mr. Rick DelBianco for permission to use the field.
Mr. Hall said that he has done a walk through at Northwood as requested and found all to be well with the exception of some trash that needs to be picked up.
Mr. Terenzini said that Mike Rowe has expressed concern that he is losing six of his nine lifeguards next year and is planning to run an ad in the Herald for lifeguards in February or March.
Solid Waste Alternative Communities (SWAC) – Charlie Shields
No meeting, no report.
Rutland Regional Transportation Council – Charlie Shields
Mr. Shields reported that his group did a walk from Pine Hill to the College of St. Joseph, which is the path of the proposed walk/bike path.
He also attended a presentation by the airport director on a new lighting system for the runways.
Mr. DelBianco asked about the proposed extension to the runway and Mr. Shields said due to the economy it would be some time before this is done. Mr. Zingale added that he is a member of a committee including the Chamber of Commerce studying this issue and if the runway is not extended, commercial airlines will not be allowed to land per law.
Rutland Regional Planning Commission – Fred Nicholson
No meeting, no report.
Highway - Byron Hathaway
Mr. Hathaway reported that he has completed a grant application to cover the culvert work on Creek Road and the papers need to be signed by the Board. Mr. Hall motioned to sign the grant paperwork and Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Mr. Hathaway said that a curb stop had been damaged while doing a drainage project on Gleason Road. The City replaced the box and the Town will be receiving a bill for this work.
Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Hathaway did a site visit to Belock Drive concerning a water run-off problem on Dave Pezzetti’s property. He has lost a portion of his driveway due to this run-off. Several options for fixing the problem were discussed. An adjoining property owner, Laura Whitehead, said she does not want any more water diverted to her property. Mr. Rhodes said that he doesn’t feel the Town should venture too far onto a property owner’s land to fix this type of problem. Mr. Hathaway said he needs to get the underground power marked out and Mr. Hall said the right of ways need to be checked to see if easements are needed in order to do work in the area. Mr. Zingale is going to check on drainage rights.
Paperwork from the State on the construction done on Route 7 North had yet to be signed. Mr. Hall motioned to sign the paperwork and Mr. DelBianco seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hathaway asked where things stood with the plowing contractors and Mr. Rhodes said it is up to the Board. Mr. Rhodes added that he had a private talk with Mr. Hathaway on the discussion at the last meeting.
Mr. Hall motioned to keep the plowing routes the same. Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. Mr. Rhodes said he would abstain from voting as he has used the Quirk Brothers in the past for his private business. A discussion ensued. Mr. Hathaway wanted to know why the motion was made to overrule his decision.
Mr. Dicton asked Mr. Hathaway if the Board’s Committee had talked to him and if he has changed his mind. Mr. Dicton also wanted to know why the changes were made to plowing routes. Mr. Hathaway said he has not changed his mind. No contractor will lose money and he feels a bad precedent will be set if the Board overrides his decision. Mr. Faignant asked the Board why they feel they need to overrule another elected official and Mr. Hall said he has had no complaints from people on the Quirk’s route. Mr. Faignant added that there has been an overall movement to cut costs and this is in line with this movement as Mr. Hathaway is trying to save the Town money in the cost of salt and time. Tom Terenzini, a Town resident, spoke up and said that he was appalled at Mr. Hathaway’s disrespect for the Board at the last meeting. He asked if the Town attorney has been asked if the Board has the authority to override Mr. Hathaway’s decision and the answer was yes. Mr. Josh Terenzini decided to retract his second to the motion in order to further study the issue. He asked that the Board wait another two weeks to make a decision.
Mr. DelBianco asked why the Highway Department took down the swings at Dewey Field and Mr. Zingale answered that a child had received a concussion when a swing broke and the insurance company advised to take them down immediately and Mr. Hathaway was the most available at the time.
Mr. DelBianco also asked about the Beaker house on the East Proctor Road allowing a mobile basketball hoop to be set up so that children would have to be in the road to use it. It was mentioned that it is a common practice around the Town but mostly in low traffic areas. Mr. Rhodes said that this was more of a police issue and Officer Faignant volunteered to speak to the parents.
Solid Waste Bids
At 8:00 P.M. bids were opened on the cost for disposing of solid waste and recycling. Two bids were discussed: one from the Hubbard Brothers and one from Casella Waste Management. Mr. Randy DeBraun from Casella’s was present to answer questions. He brought up co-mingling of recyclable plastics. Mr. Matteson said he was concerned about contamination i.e., different types of materials in the same container and said there is a fine for this. Mr. DeBraun said that the advantage to the Town would be the ability to recycle more types of plastics and it would only require another container or section of a container. It was decided that Mr. Zingale would make up a spread sheet to help the Board in making a decision on a contractor.
Rutland Town Planning Commission – Bill Matteson
Mr. Matteson said the Commission was working on a subdivision. There is a new member to the Commission, Mr. Andrew McKane. Mr. Matteson said that he and Mr. Zingale had attended a meeting with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the Town of Mendon on the Corridor study. He said that he had brought up the idea of adding a rail crossing on Seward Road. In two weeks for their regular Thursday meeting, the Commission will be attending a seminar on storm water drainage at the Stafford Technical School.
Police Department – John Faignant
Officer Faignant said that he had attended a taser training session and was tased. He said it doesn’t affect the heart or breathing just the muscles and nervous system. Mr. Hall asked if someone was present to monitor blood pressure, etc and Officer Faignant said no since there have been multiple studies on the affects and overall, they are very similar amongst the population. He added that the use of tasers has significantly lowered injuries to suspects and police.
Officer Dumas was present at the request of the Board and said he would probably be attending one meeting a month.
Mr. Rhodes reported that the Fire Department attended a firefighters convention in Bennington and received four-second place awards and the Ladies won first place in sportsmanship.
Town Administrator - Joseph Zingale Jr.
Mr. Zingale reported that the north end sewer study showed 29, 000 in additional capacity so if the Army Reserve Center was to go in there would be enough capacity for their facility.
The storm water $6,000 grant from last year was originally slated to be given to Rutland City but Byron Hathaway has decided that theTown could use for it for a catch basin on Victoria Drive. Mr. Zingale will check with Ms. Hyjek on where the funds are currently.
Mr. Matteson and Mr. Zingale attended a meeting on the Route 7 corridor and there are some issues that the Board should discuss before they attend the next meeting. Mr. Terenzini said he would like to schedule the meeting for Wednesday, 9/9/2009. Mr. Zingale said he would warn the meeting.
Mr. Dicton is going to lead a group of contractors through the transfer station and Mr. Rhodes said to make sure that everything is itemized.
Mr. Zingale is going to attend a management seminar at the Rutland Library.
The Rutland Planning Commission is having a presentation on weatherizing roads.
There is no update from Kevin Brown, the Town attorney, on which zoning document should be voted on if a petition is filed. Mr. Zingale said it would be costly for Mr. Brown to do the research necessary and feels that it is only necessary if a petition is brought forward for voting on the zoning document.
Mr. Nicholson suggested just starting the clock over with the zoning document and for the Planning Commission to have a hearing on whatever version they want and then give it to the Select Board. Mr. Matteson said this is not allowed.
The Town Plan hearing is scheduled for September 15th at 8:00 P. M. It has been properly warned.
The Board received an invitation to attend a presentation by Rutland Telecom at the West Rutland office. Mr. Dicton is to attend.
VLCT bylaws have changed and Mr. Nicholson said that he is to vote on them at the next Rutland Regional Planning Commission meeting. He asked for input from the Board since he will be voting on the Town’s behalf. The bylaws in question are in regards to education.
Mr. DelBianco said that the solid waste contract should be for five years but the paperwork says four. Mr. Zingale will fix this.
Mr. Terenzini said that one of the listers is putting in more time than budgeted and perhaps a letter should be sent to clarify what is expected. Mr. Zingale will write up a letter and present it.
Mr. Terenzini asked if there had been any more dialogue on the water and sewer contracts with the City. Mr. Rhodes said there would be more meetings.
Mr. Dicton motioned to end the meeting and Mr. Hall seconded the meeting. The meeting ended at 9:07 P.M.