TOWN OF RUTLAND
SELECT BOARD MEETING
SEPTEMBER 15, 2009
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Board members present: Joseph Dicton, James Hall, Stanley Rhodes III and Josh Terenzini.
There was a moment of silence in remembrance of Dick DelBianco. This was the first meeting without him present. Mr. Hall read a resolution he had written for Mr. DelBianco and suggested it be put on file by the Town Clerk.
Review of the 9/1/2009 Minutes
Mr. Hall made a correction on Page four to add his name to the list of those that visited the Pezzetti property. Mr. Hall motioned to accept the minutes with this change and Mr. Terenzini seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Questions from the Floor
There were none.
Town Clerk/Treasurer – Marie Hyjek
The Grand List will be finalized on September 16th and change of appraisal notices will be mailed out the same day. On September 25th, NEMRC will come and program the system to print the tax bills. The due date for the first payment will be October 28, 2009. A meeting will need to be held so the Select Board can approve the tax rate.
Mr. Hall asked about purging the voter checklist and Ms. Hyjek said it is being worked on and a list of names of those to be removed will be presented to the BCA members at the next BCA meeting.
Mr. Dicton said that the mowing at Northwood is unacceptable, especially by the batting cage. Mr. Terenzini said he thought it was being done by the Corrections Department. Tom Terenzini, a taxpayer, thought it could be due to job cuts at the State level. Josh Terenzini offered to call Scott Stevens to discuss the subject.
Solid Waste Alternative Communities (SWAC) – Charlie Shields
Hazardous Waste Day at the Transfer Station will be on October 17, 2009 from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Mr. Shields advised the public not to bring latex paint, car batteries or air tanks.
Rutland Regional Transportation Council – Charlie Shields
There will be a meeting towards the end of the month.
Highway – Byron Hathaway
Mr. Hathaway and Mr. Zingale checked to see if there was an Act 250 permit covering the Pezzetti property on Belock Drive and there is none. Mr. Zingale said that there were five lots on Belock Drive which is the maximum without an Act 250 permit and the other four lots are on Quarterline Road. Mr. Hathaway’s recommendation to fix the water run off problem is to install a new culvert under the driveway as Mr. Pezzetti requested, repair the header on the old one and tie it into the new culvert. He also said he would supply Mr. Pezzetti with top soil to fix his own burm to channel the water. There may also be a need for some crushed slate. Mr. Hathaway asked if it was okay to use some of the Storm Water money from the State Agency of Natural Resources and it was thought this would be alright since it is an upgrade and the State would just need an account of what was done. Mr. Rhodes emphasized that he doesn’t feel that the Highway Department should go onto private property any distance to fix problems. The combined material and labor cost will be about $1,800.
Phil Alderman contacted Mr. Hathaway about water run off from the South side of Seward Road which took out part of his road. Mr. Hathaway said there are only two catch basins and water will run over Route 7 onto the Green Mountain Plaza area. He feels this could become a bigger problem if more businesses are built in the area. He wanted to know if more of the State grant money could be used to work on this problem. Mr. Zingale is to contact Peter Andrews of Stantec to see what the cost would be for him to consult on this project. Mr. Matteson added that the Credit Union, if built, in this area should have a storm water permit as part of the Act 250 permit that should cover the storm water on their property.
A resident on Annette Terrace would like a yield sign put up between Annette Terrace and Gloria Avenue. Chief Sly said that a stop sign may be better as yield signs are habitually ignored. Chief Sly will take a look to see what is needed.
Mr. Dicton said that he has had a complaint that someone is speeding on Elbern Avenue. He asked what the regulations are for warranting a speed limit sign. Mr. Zingale said they don’t have to be posted on every street. Chief Sly said the speed limit in Town is 35 mph unless otherwise noted. Some streets have 25 mph signs but also have to meet certain criteria. Mr. Hathaway, Chief Sly and Captain Faignant are to get together and decide what is needed.
Nothing to report.
Rutland Town Planning Commission – William Matteson
Mr. Matteson reported that on Thursday, 9/17, the Planning Commission will have an early meeting at 6:00 P.M. and then go to the Stafford Technical Center for an interactive TV forum on Storm Water Drainage.
He reported that lot line adjustments were done on Russell Drive.
The Select Board hearing for the Town Report will take place tonight at 8:00 P.M.
Police Department – Chief John Sly
Chief Sly reported that he has followed up on the dog bite incident by the dog from Wallingford. The dog has a history of biting incidents in the area and has been banned from Rutland City. He recommends that the dog only be allowed in Rutland Town when is being transported by car to the veterinarian. Mr. Zingale is to send a letter to the dog owner and cite the Town ordinance and copy the Town of Wallingford so they will be aware of a vicious dog in their Town.
Captain Faignant investigated another dog bite incident at the Sunoco Station. A clerk was bitten by a dog owned by a homeless person using the bathroom facilities. He said the City had a dog bite incident by the same dog on the same day. Mr. Rhodes, as the Town Health Officer, gave permission to quarantine the dog and Chief Sly said that a quarantine area needs to be designated. The Humane Society will no longer take these dogs for fear of bringing disease into their facility. Paul Williams is the pound keeper for the Town and he would like to spend about $200 to prepare a facility. He will only accept dogs brought to him by Rutland Town officials. Mr. Dicton motioned to allow the expenditure of $200 to build a quarantine facility and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Chief Sly will advise Mr. Williams as to what is needed.
Transfer Station Bids
Mr. Rhodes opened three bids for work to be done at the Transfer Station from Quinn Company, Cam-Den Construction and Hazelton Construction. None of the bids were itemized dollar wise and it was decided to rebid the job. Currently there is only about $2,000 available to get started. All the work to be done was estimated in the $18,000 -$19,000 range.
Town Plan Hearing
At 8:00 P.M. the Select Board hearing for the Town Plan was held. There were no audience members present to discuss the Plan. Mr. Hall said that he would like to add some verbiage on rail road crossings and the Vermont Agency of Transportation maintaining them. He also had a write up on the Rail Yard Relocation project. There was a discussion on the Rail Yard project. It was decided that Mr. Hall’s comments would be added to the Plan in narrative form. Mr. Zingale is to check to see if this hearing needs to be re-warned if any changes are adopted. There needs to be a second hearing that needs to be warned as well.
Mr. Dicton had some questions under the “Strategies” category. He questioned the viability of encouraging the use of alternative energies without a plan to control them. Mr. Zingale said that they cannot be regulated at the Town level. Mr. Matteson added that he thought the Public Service Board would step in if there was a negative impact to either property owners or the utility companies. The hearing closed at 8:30 P.M.
Solid Waste/Recycling Bids
Mr. Rhodes opened the bids for solid waste and recycled materials at the Transfer Station. There were representatives from Hubbard Brothers and Casella Waste Management present. After a brief discussion on the bids with particular emphasis on processing fees and input from the contractors, Mr. Terenzini motioned to accept the Hubbard Brothers bid. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Hubbard mentioned that some of the containers at the Transfer station were in need of repair or replacement. He said an average box would cost around $4,000. Mr. Rhodes said that the Board would take a look at this. Mr. Zingale said that the contract would begin on October 13, 2009 and last for five years.
Rutland Regional Planning Commission – Fred Nicholson
Mr. Nicholson said he just came from a meeting of the Issues Committee and that they had two Act 250 hearings. One was for a gravel pit in Wells and another was for a miniature golf course in Danby. There was no opposition to these two items. Then they discussed a lighted sign for the Verizon building in the Green Mountain Plaza and a Commissioner from Danby said that this sort of thing needed to be stopped because it uses too much energy. Mr. Nicholson did not agree with the Commissioner but said that he thought it would be approved.
Bruce Bentley, a planner from CVPS, gave a presentation at the Regional meeting on electrical capacity and he said that there is excess reserve and spinning capacity that would last about ten years. The problem may be in distribution on the South end of Rutland and a new sub-station may have to be built.
Town Administrator – Joseph Zingale Jr.
Mr. Zingale provided a letter from Kevin Brown, the Town attorney, stating that it was his belief that should there be a vote on the Zoning document it would be the Select Board version.
The Army Reserve Center is doing a six month study in part due to finding some arrow heads on the proposed site. They asked Mr. Zingale to point out some other possible locations.
Mr. Zingale attended a meeting on the Route 7 Corridor Study and said there were twenty-two items for which the Board needed to provide input. Some of these concern zoning which the Town does not currently have but if zoning is adopted then input can be given at that time.
Mr. Zingale said that the State is suggesting that the Town have an “Open Space Plan” which would designate areas that they do not want developed.
Mr. Zingale requested an executive session on a contractual matter that will be conducted at the end of the meeting.
Highway Subcontractors – Byron Hathaway
Mr. Hathaway requested a decision from the Board as to whether or not they would back him in his plan to change the plowing routes. Mr. Hathaway said he has talked about this for some time but no one responded to his questions in the past. He feels he will save the Town money in salt and payment to the contractors for their time. He has done quite a bit of research on both of these items. He added that he is putting the subcontractors nearer to their home turf which increases response time.
Mr. Rhodes recused himself as chair and for voting due to a conflict of interest, i.e., his professional relationship with the Quirk Brothers. It is the Quirk Brothers who do not want their route changed. All other contractors do not have a problem with the proposed change. Mr. Rhodes did say he would like the Town truck to plow the Fire Stations and Mr. Hathaway had no problem with this request. Mr. Rhodes also wanted all subcontractors to go out at the same time.
Getting a scale to weigh the salt was also discussed. This would help keep track of the amount used.
There was a long discussion with input from taxpayers and other Department heads. The main issues were how much authority the Road Commissioner has and accountability.
Captain Faignant said that he felt the Board would be wrong to usurp Byron’s authority with the subcontractors and that the chain of command should be respected. Otherwise, there would be a breakdown of government, a loss of accountability and a sense of playing politics.
Mr. Rhodes read the statute and it states that the Select Board has the ultimate authority.
Mr. Terenzini said he has talked to other towns and attorneys about the subject and advocates a one year trial of changing the routes.
Mr. Matteson said he felt the statute was changed many years ago to help the Towns if they had an incompetent Road Commissioner. He feels that Mr. Hathaway is very competent and has brought his reasons for the suggested changes to the Board. He thinks the Board should back the Road Commissioner.
Mr. Shields said that in talking to people they felt it was important for Mr. Rhodes to recuse himself and let the Vice Chair run this portion of the meeting.
Chief Sly said he felt it would set a bad precedent for the Board to override Mr. Hathaway’s decision and cause more people to think they can get their way by side-stepping their boss and going to the Board for a different decision. He said that the main point is to do what is best for the Town. The Board should only consider overriding a decision if there was a Department head with very poor management skills.
Mr. Terenzini motioned to try the new plowing routes for one winter. Mr. Dicton seconded the motion but asked Mr. Hall his opinion. Mr. Hall said that after a discussion with Mr. Hathaway he thought that it had been decided that the routes would stay the same for another year. The motion failed with two in favor, Mr. Hall voting in the negative and Mr. Rhodes recusing himself.
Mr. Zingale explained that since the Select Board is a body of five, it takes three votes in favor of a motion to carry a motion. Captain Faignant said it appears that the Board does not have the votes to override Mr. Hathaway’s decision.
The Rutland Redevelopment Authority sent a letter of intent as an offer for the Town to be a participant in the Rutland Telecom Project. Mr. Rhodes read the letter aloud and asked for the Board’s opinion as well as Mr. Zingale’s. All felt that high speed service would be a positive project and the RRA was only asking for use of the Town’s right of way. Mr. Dicton motioned to have Mr. Zingale sign the letter of intent for the Board and Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The State is requesting documentation on the use of the Storm Water grant money.
There was a notice of a meeting on the flu.
Two letters were received concerning the Town reappraisal from Tom Oxholm. He was out of town when the reappraisal notices were sent and did not meet the deadline for grieving and wanted the policy for the grievance deadline to be reconsidered. He addressed one of the letters to Mr. Burgess saying he was given incorrect information concerning an across the board lowering of the assessments.
Concerning the bridge grant, two people will have to attend a meeting in Montpelier at 9:00 A.M. on September 24th. Mr. Zingale and Mr. Hathaway will attend. Mr. Rhodes asked that any Select Board members who are free to also attend.
The City sent a notice on overdue payments for water and sewer.
Two State senators and one representative have written a letter concerning the one percent tax. The State has been charging $10.80 for each filing and is accumulating more money than expected. The legislators are suggesting not raising the fee and Mr. Zingale said that perhaps it will be lowered.
There will be a Route 4 and 7 Committee meeting on September 23rd at 5:30 P.M. at City Hall. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Terenzini will attend and Mr. Matteson asked if he could as well for an update.
At 9:59 P.M. Mr. Terenzini motioned to go into executive session to discuss the water project with Mr. Zingale.
Mr. Rhodes declared the executive session closed at 10:09 P.M. The Board took no action. Mr. Terenzini motioned to close the meeting. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 10:10 P.M.