Select Board Minutes 6-9-2020

Select Board 6-9-2020



JUNE 9th, 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 and John Paul Faignant
  • Meeting opened at 6:00 P.M.

Approval of Orders

The Board approved the orders

Approval of Select Board Minutes for May 26, 2020:

  • Mr. Faignant moved to approve the minutes; Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.

Question from the floor / public comment:

  • Alex Ramage asked the board about using Northwood Park for a softball tournament. This is being organized as a benefit for one of their players who recently passed away.
    • The board discussed the request and is not able to grant permission for June or July an asked Mr. Ramage to follow up again at a later date to see if it can be accommodated.

Bill Sweet Administrative Assistant to the Select Board:

  1. The packet items were reviewed
    1. Provided an updated list of scheduled meetings and committee agenda items
    2. Provided a resolution drafted by VLCT to discuss for adoption, related to town responses to the Covid-19 crisis. Ms. Ashcroft moved to adopt the resolution. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.
    3. An outside consumption permit from 99 Restaurant was received for approval. Mr. Faignant moved t approve. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The Police Department has no issue with the application. The motion passed 4-0.
    4. A list of sewer allocations to be considered for withdrawal was provided. There has been no usage of the allocation since it was approved. The owners are listed as Brileys, Carmel Properties LLC, Rutland Commons and Carris Plastics.
      1. Ms. Ashcroft moved to withdraw the allocations. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.

Kari Clark Rutland Town Clerk/Treasurer:

  1. Provided updated budget status sheets. As of today, we are projecting a $127,492 surplus. This takes into account expenses that are expected until the end of the fiscal year. It does not include highway funds.
  2. Asked departments heads to notify her of any additional expenses or income which they have not already notified her of. Mr. Terenzini asked Ms. Clark to email all board members the summary she provided.
  3. Mr. Terenzini reminded everyone one that the surplus will be deposited into the town capital improvement fund.
  4. Reminded everyone that the office will be closed for the observance of the July 4th Signs will be posted about this as well. Mr. Faignant asked that the closure be in line with the federal holiday date being observed.

Barbara Noyes-Pulling Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair:

  1. Reported on the Planning Commission review of the Harbor Freight Act 250 application. Some areas of concern from the Planning Commission were provided to the board.
    1. Ms. Noyes-Pulling said each of the items were minor.
    2. Ms. Ashcroft asked about the results of each of the department heads weighing in. Mr. Sweet indicated no objections were received.
    3. Ms. Ashcroft asked Mr. Sweet to be in touch with Mr. Burke from the state District Environmental Commission to discuss the items brought up by the Planning Commission and to discuss the need for the traffic study.
  2. Discussed the letter received regarding the Otter Creek 3 solar project.
    1. The commission reviewed it and had a lot of discussion and recommends the project move forward without any further review.
    2. An email was received today from the developer, after they reviewed the minutes from the Planning Commission meeting which stated some incorrect conclusions. They concluded it was not the opinion on the town that it should go through the PUC process and we would waive the 45-day process. This was not discussed at the Planning Commission.
    3. Ms. Noyes-Pulling reviewed the email received from the developer.
    4. Mr. Faignant stated this email needs to be refuted since it is inaccurate. The sole action taken by the Planning Commission was to acknowledge receipt of the letter.
    5. Mr. Terenzini reviewed the intention of what should be done.
      1. Refuting the inaccuracies in their email, the town is not waving the 45-day process. Mr. Faignant stated this is necessary because that was not the action taken.
      2. A follow up letter needs to be sent. It will be drafted by Ms. Ashcroft and Ms. Noyes-Pulling. The letter should include that the town is not taking any action on the request for the 45-day waiver.
    6. Ms. Ashcroft discussed the current status of the proposed Pocket Park in Center Rutland. She has spoken with the consultant from Green Mountain Power. The Planning Commission and the ad hoc committee will be provided copies of the 2 plans which were done. One is from Otter Creek Engineering and the other from Green Mountain Power.
      1. A working session will be needed to review them and see if a blended plan can be created which incorporates the desired features.
      2. After that we can go back to GMP and discuss easements and plans.
      3. Noyes-Pulling said the commission can review it at their next meeting.

Mike Rowe Rutland Town Recreation Director:

  1. Discussed the possibility of the pool being allowed to open. Ms. Russell asked the topic being tabled for 2 more weeks, due to the unknown affect the demonstrations could have on the spread of the virus.
    1. Mr. Rowe discussed the plan he has developed to limit attendance and cleaning processes.
    2. Mr. Rowe said Rutland City is opening their facilities on June 15th and the Town of Pittsford is opening theirs on June 20th.
    3. The concession would not be open for this season.
    4. Ms. Ashcroft asked how many people a day this could accommodate. Mr. Rowe said it would be less than 100 per day.
    5. Mr. Faignant said most of the comments made sense, but it was a good idea to wait two weeks and review it again.
    6. Ms. Ashcroft asked if a decision were delayed 2 weeks, would Mr. Rowe be able to ramp up and open on short notice. Mr. Rowe indicated they could.
    7. Ms. Russel moved to table a decision for 2 weeks. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.
  2. Discussed the possibility of reopening the tennis courts, staying in line with the latest executive order from the governor’s office. Baseball is also on the new list of allowable activities.
    1. Ms. Russell moved to open tennis, but not basketball or baseball. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion.
      1. Ms. Ashcroft expressed concerns about the spectators coming to watch the games.
      2. The motion failed.
    2. Ms. Ashcroft moved to allow tennis to resume at Northwood Park and Dewey Field. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-1 with Mr. Faignant voting against.
    3. Ms. Russell moved to keep basketball and baseball closed at this time. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. Mr. Terenzini asked Mr. Rowe to develop a clinic to allow baseball on a small scale. The motion passed 4-0.
  3. Discussed the possibility of poles being installed for overhead power lines for the proposed solar array. Mr. Faignant commented that this is an option being looked at by the committee, but a final decision has not been made yet. That, and other options, are being investigated.

Byron Hathaway Rutland Town Road Commissioner:

  1. The Highway fund has a current surplus of $143,799. The board thanked him for this.
  2. Discussed the status of the plans for the town easement area on Grover Drive. He has tried to contact Bronson Spencer but has not talked with him yet.
    1. The problem still exists. Ms. Ashcroft asked Mr. Hathaway to try reaching out again, and if necessary, we can go back to an enforcement approach.
    2. Mr. Terenzini will attempt to reach Mr. Spencer to get the balance of information needed.
  3. The homeowners association for Carmel Place is still interested in the board coming up for a site visit about the town taking over the road.
  4. Asked for a committee meeting to review the list of proposed projects. Ms. Ashcroft said a date will be set soon.
  5. Roadside mowing is moving along well and should be finished by the end of next week.
  6. A road closed sign which was in place at Northwood Park has disappeared and will need to be replaced.
  7. Mr. Terenzini asked about placing a deer crossing sign on Post Road near Chasanna Drive. Mr. Hathaway said it takes a request and he can order one for it. Mr. Terenzini said a neighbor asked about it recently. Mr. Hathaway will work on that next fiscal year.
  8. Ms. Ashcroft thanked Mr. Hathaway for his help with recent inquiries about the Cheney Hill property.

Ed Dumas Rutland Town Police Chief:

  1. Recent calls for service were provided.
  2. Reviewed the Vermont SIU grant program and MOU provided. This covers the reimbursement to the town which covers the cost of the Police Chief compensation.
    1. Mr. Faignant moved to approve and authorize Mr. Terenzini to sign on behalf of the board. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.

Committee meeting updates:

  1. Mr. Terenzini reviewed the recent Fire Committee meeting. An existing fire truck is needing to be replaced sooner than expected due to some frame issues. A committee is being formed to bring recommendations for a replacement. This is a busy truck in the department, as it responds primarily to car accidents.
    1. Ms. Ashcroft asked if another truck is being bypassed in the replacement schedule. Mr. Terenzini stated this was the next truck in the rotation anyway, it is just happening early.
    2. Ms. Ashcroft asked about the possibility of purchasing used fire trucks. Mr. Faignant commented it is difficult to find late model trucks available which would fit our needs.
  2. Mr. Faignant reviewed the recent energy committee meeting. The committee was informed the array as proposed was not financially feasible. This was largely due to the cost to bury the power cables from the array to the transformer. The committee asked the developer to investigate the possibility of having 2 utility poles installed to have the lines go over head.
    1. Ms. Ashcroft reached out to the local Act 250 office about any restrictions on power poles. Further work is needed to research this topic.
    2. Mr. Hathaway said there could be other options for the power cable without going overhead. Including using existing lines going to the salt shed or using an existing single-phase conduit and replacing it with a 3 phase.

Mr. Terenzini discussed resuming meetings in person and gave options for alternate sites. A majority of board members wanted to wait until the next meeting to decide.

Mr. Faignant moved to adjourn. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 7:34 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Mr. Bill Sweet


Joshua C. Terenzini, Chairman
Mary Ashcroft, Clerk
John Paul Faignant
Joseph Denardo
Sharon Russell


Center Rutland, VT.