Special Select Board Meeting 7-28-2020

Select Board Minutes 7-28-2020



JULY 28th, 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 Joe Denardo
  • Meeting opened at 6:00 P.M.

New Business: Board to set the tax rate

  1. Mr. Terenzini noted that 88% of the town property taxes are school taxes.
    1. The remaining 12% is the entire municipal budget which we also anticipate taking in over 1M in local option tax revenue which includes sales, room and meals. The sales tax number was encouraging. The concern is around the rooms and meal portion.
    2. Ms. Ashcroft discussed what direction the board can take. The worksheet and budget revenue projections reviewed earlier indicated project $1,050,000. This could be reviewed at each payment and see if it is in line with what is expected and make budget expenditure adjustments as needed quarterly. We could also, spend as needed then if it looks as though there will be a deficit due to a 1% short fall, the voters could be asked in November or at Town Meeting, if they wanted to use some of the cash to open money, which has a balance over 1M currently.
    3. Any cutbacks would be based purely on a guess.
    4. Ms. Ashcroft suggested taking the monitoring approach and adjust as needed going forward. Mr. Terenzini agreed. Ms. Russell and Me. Denardo also agreed.
    5. The total to be raised by taxes is $11,852,699.70. This is school and municipal. The homestead rate increased 4.48% and the no-resident rate increased 4.49% which equates to an increase of $73.59 per $100,000 in property value.
    6. Ms. Ashcroft said the grand list increased this year.
    7. Mr. Terenzini said the education tax collected is not all for our school, some goes to the state as well.
    8. Ms. Ashcroft moved to approve the tax rate as provided by the Town Treasurer. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. After a brief discussion, the motion passed 4-0.

The board decided to postpone the executive session with the Town Delinquent Tax Collector until the next regular Select Board meeting.

Ms. Clark said the property tax bills will be printed on Wednesday, August 5th. They will all be in the mail shortly after to be to the property owners by August 11th.

Ms. Ashcroft discussed including an insert to explain changes, including Covid-19 related possible changes to the anticipated 1% income and what the board is doing to monitor it. Also, to explain why when the tax bills are sent out it does show the general budget. This is because it is fully funded by the 1% local option tax. The Police budget is decreased on the bill because the balance of the 1% local option tax revenue is used their next. Ms. Ashcroft asked if the other board members supported this idea. Ms. Clark said they will need as much help as possible to make sure the bills are out on time. Mr. Terenzini supported including the explanation page. He also encouraged her to use the office help budget to bring in help for this task. Several people offered help when they are ready. Ms. Ashcroft will create a draft of the insert and send it around to review and edit.

Mr. Terenzini reviewed the recent Select Board order. Town Attorney Kevin Brown drafted it for us and John Paul Faignant asked if the board would approve it tonight. Ms. Ashcroft asked to postpone until the next regular Select Board meeting. After some discussion, the vote will take place on August 4th.

Town Lister Howard Burgess discussed a request from the owners of the Diamond Run Mall to grieve their taxes with the Board of Civil Authority. He stated they did not follow the correct procedure and timeline to appeal. He is asking the board to deny the request. Ms. Russell moved to deny the request from the mall owners. Mr. Denardo seconded the motion. During discussion, Ms. Ashcroft commented on whether the Select Board is the appropriate body to respond to this. Ms. Ashcroft moved to table this until the next regular Select Board meeting and discuss it with our Town Attorney. Mr. Terenzini asked Mr. Burgess to reach out to him and discuss it. Mr. Burgess asked if the Town Treasurer can respond directly. Mr. Terenzini and Ms. Ashcroft agreed he should speak with Kevin Brown first. Ms. Russell withdrew her motion. Ms. Russell seconded Ms. Ashcroft’s motion to table the matter until the next board meeting. The motion passed 4-0.

Ms. Ashcroft moved to adjourn. Ms. Russell seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Mr. Bill Sweet


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


Center Rutland, VT.