Select Board Minutes 8-4-2020
TOWN OF RUTLAND SELECT BOARD OPEN MEETING
HELD VIA PUBLICALLY ACCESSABLE CONFERENCE CALL LINE
AUGUST 4th, 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 Orders
The Board approved the orders.
Approval of Select Board Minutes for July 7th, July 21st, and July 28th:
- Ms. Russell moved to approve all the minutes. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion.
- An addition was made of the worksheet being attached to the minutes of July 28th.
- The motion passed unanimously.
- Mr. Faignant abstained from voting on the minutes of July 28th
- Mr. Denardo abstained from voting on minutes of July 7th and 21st
Questions from the floor / public comment:
- Tara Pollio from the mentor connector asked the board for approval to display signs around town on town property, commercial and private property. They would be 18 x 24 to support a recruiting campaign. They would have volunteers place them and remove them.
- Mr. Terenzini stated there is no zoning nor ordinance concerning these
- Mr. Hathaway said they need to be outside of the right of way.
- Mr. Denardo commented that they should make sure to have permission from the property owner to place a sign.
Bill Sweet Administrative Assistant to the Select Board:
- Provided an updated list of scheduled meetings and committee agenda items
- The Route 7 North sidewalk planning grant paperwork was sent to us for approval. It can be digitally signed to save time.Ashcroft moved to approve the grant and have Bill digitally sign it, noting the portion the town is responsible for is $8000. We have budgeted for this in the current budget. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Provided a copy of an Act 250 land use permit which was recently filed. No action is needed.
- Harbor Freight provided follow up to the comment letter from VTrans. They are installing a sidewalk as requested.
- Provided paperwork to appoint people to represent the town at the Regional Planning Commission and the Transportation Council. Current Bill Matteson serves at the RPC and Byron Hathaway serves on the TAC. Mr. Sweet reached out to both. Mr. Matteson did not respond yet, Mr. Hathaway said he would accept being reappointed.
- Ms. Ashcroft moved to reappoint Mr. Matteson as the representative to the RPC with Mr. Hathaway as the alternate. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-1 with Mr. Denardo voting against.
- Ms, Ashcroft moved to reappoint Mr. Hathaway as the representative to the TAC with Mr. Hall as the alternate. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Provided information on the grant opportunities to get funds to digitize our land records.
- Ms. Ashcroft reviewed some of the precondition of the grant, including creating and maintaining a land records preservation fund. This is a new requirement from the 2019 legislative session. We have a fund called microfilming and recommends renaming this to the land records preservation fund. This is funded by fess in the Clerk’s office.
- Mr. Faignant discussed concerns about information being compromised and personal information stolen.
- Mr. Denardo asked about the storage location of these digital files and how is it done. More information is needed to check the security.
- Mr. Terenzini reinforced this information would not be accessible by anyone at any time. It would require users to register and login.
- Ms. Ashcroft discussed her experience with using systems like this in other towns. This is typically used for deeds and mortgages.
- The grant program appears to be first come first serve and is capped at $20,000 per municipality. The exact cost to the town is not known but needs to cover at least 5 years of land records.
- The City of Rutland has an online system.
- Ashcroft moved to treat the microfilming line item in the budget as a land records preservation fund to meet the grant requirement and put aside $4 per recorded page into this fund, which is required by statute. The motion failed due to no second.
- Harbor Freight is moving along in their process and are almost at the end of the Act 250 process. They wanted to know if we wanted a preconstruction meeting or construction requirements before they started work. Mr. Terenzini said we would like the information.
- Ashcroft asked if Andres Torizzo has made any headway with coordinating storm water work. Mr. Sweet said he has not had any follow up but will reach out again.
- The 2020 census sent us a survey to affirm our town boundaries are correct, and a map was provided. Ms. Ashcroft moved to accept the map and authorize Josh to sign on behalf of the board certifying it is correct. The motion passed 5-0.
- A peddler permit request was received from Steak and Seafood Direct to sell on the property of Tractor Supply later this week. They did receive permission from the property owner. Given some of the issues surrounding their last event the board discussed approving or denying this request.
- The police indicated they would not be in support of this.
- Terenzini reviewed some of the issues experienced last time, including their permit process and social distancing issues.
- Russell moved to deny their request. Mr. Faignant seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Kari Clark Rutland Town Clerk/Treasurer:
- Over 1000 absentee ballots have been sent out of the more than 3000 registered voters. Almost half have been received back so far. Time is short to mail them back to ensure they get here in time. There is a box outside of the front door at the office available during regular office hours to leave ballots in. Ballots returned late will not be counted.
- Residents can vote early at the office; they should call and make an appointment.
- Both polling locations will be open for voting on August 11th, the school, and the town office. Many precautions are in place. Masks are strongly recommended in polling places.
- Many calls have been received about tax bills. They should be out by the end of this week or beginning of next week and should arrive on time. Ms. Ashcroft sent proposed language to the board to be included with the bills explaining the local option tax and how the board is watching the budges. Mr. Denardo moved to include the information. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Mr. Hathaway asked about the protocol for making bank deposits, he had some people ask about checks they have written for the cemetery. Ms. Clark said it can take up to a week to process all the information needed. Their check is the deposited and money is transferred into the investment fund.
Barbara Noyes-Pulling Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair:
- The Commission is still working on the Pocket park. They are looking at designs and how to possibly incorporate much of the history of the area into it.
- The Regional Planning Commission have municipal planning grants available and this could be used for economic recovery, affordable housing, corridor planning, growth centers and the RPC can help with the process. Applications are due October 1st.
- Ms. Ashcroft mentioned using it for the Northwood Park, Chasanna Drive connection. This would be under the bike / pedestrian grant program.
Mike Rowe Rutland Town Recreation Director:
- Thanked Jim Hall for putting together the senior luncheon held at Sugar and Spice earlier today. The holiday dinner planning is underway, and details are being finalized.
- A town resident, who is an avid bird watcher, helped produce some signs showcasing all the various species of birds in our park. A thank you note will be sent to the Elliott’s.
- A new brush hog attachment has been purchased for the tractor at the park which will help with maintenance.
- The pool is planning to remain open past Labor Day. Enough guards should be available until close to September 8th.
- People coming to the pool have been very cooperative with all the safety measures in place.
- Mr. Rowe was asked about creating a pickle ball court. A space at Dewey Field is available, on the expanded parking lot. Lines have been painted there and it is ready to go. 3 courts have been prepared.
Byron Hathaway Rutland Town Road Commissioner:
- A culvert on Town Line Road has started to fail. A small dip in the road has appeared. Some of the carryover money may be needed to fix this. It is a 5’ diameter pipe and is 50’ long. This is an expensive pipe. It could be a few weeks to get the pipe and replacement could be done by October if everything goes well.
- Discussed the storm water permit for the storage building at Northwood Park. The $6000 price from Otter Creek Engineering was due specifically to the project being “disconnected” from the Highway garage. This makes it easier to design.
- Ms. Ashcroft moved to hire Otter Creek Engineering for the storm water permit for the storage building for a cost not to exceed $6000. Mr. Denardo seconded the motion. The funds will be taken equally from Rec, Highway and the Police Department. Mr. Hathaway suggested taking the money from the highway carryover fund initially to allow it to get underway and reimburse that fund from rec and PD if it is appropriate. The motion was amended to include this. The motion passed 5-0.
- Mr. Terenzini asked Mr. Hathaway to stay at the end of the meeting for a short executive session.
- Mr. Denardo asked if Mr. Hathaway was monitoring the project going on across from the entrance to the State complex. A lot of fill has been added and Mr. Denardo is concerned about how this may affect drainage in the area. Mr. Hathaway said he would be in touch with the person working on it.
Chris Clark Rutland Town Fire Chief:
- Discussed an application for a new member. He lives on North Grove Street in the town. He has passed the background check. Mr. Denardo moved to approve the applicant. Ms. Ashcroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
- Reviewed the recent training at the mall with several area departments. 6 departments participated.
Ted Washburn Rutland Town Deputy Police Chief:
- 63 calls for service were answered in the last 2 weeks.
- Information from the speed cart was forwarded to the board members. Discussed publishing the information on the website for anyone to be able to review.
- This will be added to the police page on our website.
- A letter from the Westminster Dispatch center was sent to police departments highlighting what they will not do and the limited services they will do. DC Washburn has already noticed issues with some requests for assistance, such as a VIN verification, being missed.
- DC Washburn has heard of times where the dispatch center is being staffed by only 2 or 3 people and shifts are not being back filled. There is concern there could be safety issues relating to this.
- A fee schedule was passed in the state legislature and our town, as well as all others, have 3 years to find a funding source for the service.
- Discussed options for moving away from the State Police dispatching for us. NO firm solution has been found.
- Mr. Hathaway asked if they are going to stop calling highway departments. DC Washburn said this was not addressed specifically in their letter.
- Town Assistant Fire Chief Mike Carlson said there is a county meeting coming up soon to discuss alternatives including a county system.
John Paul Faignant Rutland Town Health Officer
- Some cases are in progress now but nothing to report currently.
- Ms. Ashcroft was asked about the property on Perkins Road. Mr. Faignant said he is negotiating with the owner now and should have a report in 30 days on it.
Mr. Denardo asked about ratifying the ordinance requiring masks to be worn in public in the town. Mr. Faignant moved to ratify the ordinance as written. Mr. Denardo seconded the motion. Ms. Ashcroft asked if there was a difference between our ordinance and what the governor issued. Mr. Faignant indicated there was not. The motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Terenzini commented on a new issue with the group at the Holiday Inn, and the police department has received over a dozen 911 hang up calls from there. This disappointed the board members. Some noise issues have also been reported from there.
Mr. Terenzini reviewed a recent conversation with the owners of the Diamond Run mall site. They have assured the town they will clean up the property. They will have monthly contact with the town about the status of their effort. They have an employee on site who check s the building security regularly and is actively looking for new tenants for the property. The monthly meetings should be helpful. The owners did offer the location for a overflow site for covid-19 assistance for the hospital.
Mr. Denardo moved to enter executive session for a tax sale with Town Delinquent Tax Collector Jim Scholtz attending and for a personnel matter with Road Commissioner Byron Hathaway attending. Ms. Ashcroft seconded motion. The motion passed 5-0. The board entered executive session at 7:40 PM.
Upon leaving executive session at 8:25 PM with no action being taken, Mr. Faignant moved to adjourn. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 8:26 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Mr. Bill Sweet
|Joshua C. Terenzini, Chairman|
|Mary Ashcroft, Clerk|
|John Paul Faignant|
Center Rutland, VT.