Select Board Minutes 3-31-2020
TOWN OF RUTLAND SELECT BOARD OPEN MEETING
HELD VIA PUBLICALLY ACCESSABLE CONFERENCE CALL LINE
MARCH 31st, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution around the covid-19 virus, this meeting was held via a conference call line which was made publicly available for anyone to call into.
- Board members present: Josh Terenzini, Mary Ashcroft, Sharon Russell, Joe Denardo, John Paul Faignant
- Meeting opened at 6:00 P.M.
Approval of Select Board Minutes for March 17th, 2020
- Faignant moved to approve the minutes. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
New Business: Board to hear paving bids
- Town Road Commissioner read the bids received for the 2020 paving season.
- The bids received were
- Pike Industries bid $436,668.00
- Wilk Paving bid $426,004.80
- The bids received were
- Fuller Sand and Gravel bid $500,426.20
- Hathaway recommended accepting the bid from Pike Industries based on past performance. Mr. Terenzini discussed foregoing paving for the 2020 season based upon predicted income shortfalls.
- Hathaway said this year could be skipped and combined with a larger bid in 2021. This would allow a better estimation of available funds. He stated this has been done on the past.
- Denardo moved to reject all bids and rebid in the spring of 2021 as a larger bid if town budgets allow. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Byron Hathaway Rutland Town Road Commissioner
- Reported the Highway Department is closed, except for emergency needs, for the next 2 weeks. They will reevaluate at the end of next week if they can return to work safely.
- Meter readings for Flory Heights will be done this week and can be done without needing to contact anyone face to face.
Bill Sweet Administrative Assistant to the Select Board
- Provided an updated list of scheduled meetings and committee agenda items
- Provided paperwork and information on the deferred compensation plan. This will be referred to the person el committee for review.
- Reviewed a support letter request from the Rutland County Humane Society.
- Funds cannot be allocated directly; they would need a ballot request. Town Clerk and Treasurer will be given the request for her to follow up with them.
- Discussed renewing agreement for the federal grant program acceptance administrator. The deadline has recently been extended and will be put on an agenda in early May for discussion.
- Reviewed the grant awarded for a scoping study fort he proposed Route 7 North sidewalk.
- Faignant moved to approve accepting the award and have Mr. Terenzini sign on behalf of the board. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5 -0.
- The matching funds needed ($8000) would be used from the Highway Department engineering services line. The motion passed 5-0.
- Faignant amended his motion to authorize Bill Sweet to sign on behalf of the board. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Reviewed the Act 250 permit for the Northwood Park Storage Building.
- Discussed putting the project on hold as not to spend any more money on it.
- Hathaway stated most of the funds needed for the project have already been spent and Mr. Rowe stated most of the resources needed have already been purchased.
- Faignant moved to allow the project to be completed. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- The permit expires October of 2023.
New Business: Board to discuss draft Town/City merger letter
- Terenzini reviewed the reasons and background for drafting the letter, in response to City Alderman Paul Clifford starting discussions of merging the 2 communities.
- Russell moved to approve the draft and have it sent to the City of Rutland. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0. The motion was amended to authorize Mr. Terenzini to sign on behalf of the board.
New Business: Board to discuss the 45-day notice from Otter Creek Solar
- Faignant moved to send this matter to the energy committee. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Kari Clark Rutland Town Clerk/Treasurer
- Reported on a large number of phone calls from the public asking about the decision to limit access to the building by appointment only, limited to 30 minutes.
- Recently that has changed to stop all non-employees from accessing the building.
- Many are understanding but some are not.
- Passed along her thanks to Mary Dahlin, whose last day was March 27th, for all of her help during the transition in the office.
- Ashcroft asked about the next 1% local tax option payment which should be coming mid-May. Ms. Clark has not heard that anything is changing with the payment.
- Ashcroft asked Ms. Clark to get clarification on if we are getting the payment and to determine what 3 months it covers.
- Discussed property tax payment that is due May 10th. There is no extension on this date currently.
- Hathaway asked if payroll checks are being mailed. Ms. Clark stated they will be sent out as soon as they are able to reenter the building.
Barbara Noyes-Pulling Planning Commission Chairperson
- There are 4 siting members of the Planning Commission who are up for reappointment. They are Andrew McKane, Jerry Stearns, Sherman Hunter and Howard Burgess. Ms. Noyes-Pulling has talked to all 4 and they are wiling to remain on the commission. Ms. Ashcroft moved to reappoint all 4 members. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Discussed talking with Alco Energy, the developer of the Otter Creek solar projects. There may be a special meeting due to the timeline on their 45-day notice. This will be discussed with the Planning Commission at their upcoming meeting. Ms. Noyes-Pulling will follow up with the Select Board when it is scheduled so they may attend.
- The original application was rejected by the state PUC, in part, because the Planning Commission was not given the notice. By the developer.
Mike Rowe Rutland Town Recreation Director
- Asked the board to determine by next week when summer employees can start beginning their maintenance duties at the parks. Spring clean up and mowing is the only task currently.
- Discussions are ongoing with other recreation directors about contingency plans for spring and summer sports.
- Signs have been put up at both parks regarding the closure order issued by the Health Officer.
- He has not observed anyone gathering in groups yet.
- Some towns have removed the basketball hoops and other nets to discourage people from being there.
- The pool is still at about 1 week to open if we can.
Chris Clark Rutland Town Fire Chief
- Informed the board that all non-emergency duties have been suspended.
- Reported on several mutual aid calls the department has responded to out of town recently.
Ed Dumas Rutland Town Police Chief
- Recent calls for service were provided.
- Thanked Fire Chief Chris Clark for helping him develop a plan for decontamination if needed for the police officers.
- Discussed the on call pay rate for Deputy Chief Washburn should he be needed to be called out to assist one of the other officers while he is not on duty. Mr. Faignant asked for a written proposal to be provided to the board for review.
- Terenzini stated he has been in contact with Brittany Gilman regarding her ongoing noise complaint with her neighbor’s dogs. She did not feel like there has been any improvement. Chief Dumas will investigate and states that issuing a municipal ticket is the next step.
- Denardo suggested having the parties back in for a meeting as soon as the current pandemic conditions would allow.
- Chief Dumas will discuss the situation with the town attorney about the next steps and possible resolutions. He will ask the town attorney to write a response to include the full board.
- Faignant moved to authorize the Town Police Chief to discuss the matter with town council. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
John Paul Faignant Town Health Officer
- Reviewed the current status of Town Hall. If the employee who is being tested for covid-19 comes back positive the building will need to be sanitized. Mr. Sweet will source contractors who could complete this.
- If the results are positive an emergency meeting would be needed. If the results are negative the closure of the building to the public would remain in effect until April 15th at the earliest.
Review of Committee Meetings
The Energy Committee met with Green Lantern Solar at Northwood Park to discuss the locations of the power connections for the proposed solar array. They would be located just west of the salt shed. A bore would likely need to be done under the road to connect to the 3-phase power near the pool.
New Business: Board to discuss committee appointments not previously voted on
- Russell moved to appoint Don Chioffi as the representative the Regional Ambulance Service. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0 with Mr. Faignant abstaining.
There will be no change in the acceptance deadline for scholarships at this time.
New Business: Board to discuss a spending freeze
- Discussed the recent message sent out to all department heads regarding a spending freeze, life safety excluded. Mr. Denardo stated spending should be limited to necessities only. No wants just needs.
New Business: Board to discuss Northwood Park Easement Agreement
- Hathaway discussed correspondence with a property owner on Chasanna Drive who has indicated they would be in favor of selling an easement to town so the path to Northwood park can be completed. The agreed upon price is $3000 and the town attorney is in the process of drawing up the documents for the board to review.
- Russell moved to approve the $3000 needed to secure the easement on the Warwick property, and to let them know an agreement is being drawn up and a check will be sent soon. The funds will be taken from the Highway budget. Mr. Denardo seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
New Business: Board to discuss spending freeze
- Faignant moved to instruct all departments and employees to reduce spending and limit purchases to items that are needed to operate. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Noyes-Pulling asked about payroll for the Planning Commission. Mr. Faignant clarified all committee and commission work will still be paid.
New Business: Board to discuss tax extension
- The dates were voter approved, no change will be made at this point.
New Business: Board to discus the operation of the Transfer Station
- Transfer station manager Larry Dellveneri stated they are taking several precautions.
- Denardo proposed opening the end doors of the station only. Also recommended limiting people in the building at any time and possibly having people punch their own tickets.
- Recommended everyone be wearing gloves.
- Discussed eliminating the punch tool and use markers to check off tickets instead.
Mr. Denardo moved to adjourn the board meeting and convene as the Board of Health. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0, with Mr. Faignant abstaining, at 7:42 PM.
Ms. Russell moved to close Town Hall immediately, due to an employee possibly being exposed to covid-19. The building would remain closed until the results come back. Mr. Denardo seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0 with Mr. Faignant abstaining.
Ms. Russell moved to adjourn the Board of Health. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0 with Mr. Faignant abstaining. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Mr. Bill Sweet
|Joshua C. Terenzini, Chairman|
|Mary Ashcroft, Clerk|
|John Paul Faignant|
Center Rutland, VT.