Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Thursday January 05, 2017 (01/05/17)

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Select Board Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
7:00 P.M.


1. Call to Order

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager

3. Comments from citizens on topics not on agenda

4. Review minutes from previous meeting(s) 12/19/2016

5. Joint meeting with School Board to review budgets

6. Hazard Mitigation Grant RFP

7. Budget (Reserves Proposal)

8. Review Warning for Town Meeting

9. Appointments
    a. Connecticut River Development Corporation
    b. Representative
    c. Alternate
    d. Connecticut River Joint Commission
    e. Conservation Commission (One four year term open)
    f. Energy Committee
    g. Parks and Recreation Commission (One Opening)
    h. River Connection Regional Partnership Representative
    i. Senior Solutions Advisory Council Representative
    j. Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. Representative
    k. Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner
    l. Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee

10. Approve Warrant

11. Future Meeting Agenda Items
     A. 01/16/2017
          - Aging In Place

     B. Future Agendas
         Act 148 Universal Recycling, Mary O’Brien and Ham Gillett
         Hazmat Ordinance
         Transfer Station
         Quarry Road Count Compared to Other Road Counts

10. Adjourn

Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT
Thursday, January 5, 2017
7:00 PM

APPROVED 1/16/2017

Select Board Members Present: Daniel Boyer
Lynn Esty
Amy Beth Main
Kelly Murphy
Select Board Members Absent: C. Peter Cole
Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Bonnie D. Dupray Nancy Heatley Charles Horton
Wanda Gropler Edith Stillson Colin Butler

1. Call to Order
Mr. Boyer called the meeting to order at 7:13PM.

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mrs. Esty asked to have a discussion regarding the cost of trucking fill taken from the
Gravelin Road pond added to the next agenda.

3. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda
Mr. Horton asked about pay raises for the Town employees. When informed it was
budgeted (thus far) at 4%, Mr. Horton objected to the size of the raise and said he
would actively work to get the budget defeated if it was not changed.

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – 12/19/2016
a. None
Motion: To accept the minutes of the December 19th meeting as written.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. Hazard Mitigation Grant RFP
Mr. Morris said he had received two responses to the RFP – one from a firm in
Massachusetts and one from Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission
(SWCRPC). He compared the pros and cons of each response and recommended that
the bid be awarded to the SWCRP.
Motion: To recommend awarding the bid for the hazardous mitigation grant to
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Main
Vote: Ms. Murphy abstained on the grounds that she is employed by SWCRPC; all
others voted in favor. Motion carries.

6. Budget (reserves Proposal)
Mr. Morris explained that he is striving for a sustainable, level tax rate by building the
reserves to where they can offset the cost of capital purchases.
At this point in the meeting, the Board took a five-minute recess to allow the School
Board to join the meeting and get set up.
Joint School Board/Select Board Meeting
The School Board had been invited to present their budget to the Select Board so that
the Select Board could be aware of the School Board's budget before the Town budget is
finalized. The School Board had just approved their budget right before joining the
Select Board.
Once settled, the two boards introduced themselves to each other. Ed Connors, CFO of
the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union, provided a summarized explanation of how
funding is derived for the school; explained the expenditures and then the tax rate.
The homestead tax rate will be 1.6724, an $0.0871 increase. The non-homestead rate will
be 1.5690.
There was a $441,000 surplus last year. The school will use half of it to lower the tax
rate. The other half will be set aside for next year. The voters will have to approve
moving the funds to a reserve.
Special education costs are being equalized across the union, which helps reduce large
fluctuations in the tax rate.
At the conclusion of the presentation, everyone expressed their gratitude for facilitating
the joint meeting and agreed to continue working together in the future to help offset
variations in tax rates from each budget.
The Select Board took another 5-minute recess to give the School Board time to leave.
Resumption of Select Board Meeting
Motion: To continue the meeting past 9:00 PM to finish the agenda.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor
Mr. Morris repeated what School Superintendent David Baker had said during the joint
meeting - that the Town's reserves are too low. However, with a $0.017 increase in the
school tax and a projected $0.053 increase in the Town budget, the Town will have to be
frugal with the reserves. The Board spent some time reviewing the various reserve
The Board then reviewed the articles on the warrant for Town Meeting.
Article 4: Fire District. Mr. Boyer and Mr. Morris summarized the discussions with the
Fire Commission regarding this article. There was discussion as to whether the article
would be voted on the floor or by Australian ballot. Mr. Morris will get confirmation of
the proper method.
Articles 7-9: Mr. Morris said that the numbers shown are subject to change due to the
outcome of the school budget.
Article 10: This was originally supposed to be a 3-year loan, but it was changed to a 5-
year loan to spread out and reduce the size of the payments. The goal is to spread out
the large expenditures and consolidate the small ones to help level out the tax rate.
The school budget was supposed to have decreased by $0.11. Instead is is increasing
because of the CLA. The Town was planning to increase its tax rate by $0.10, but that
will not be possible now.
Articles 17-29: Nonprofit requests. Mr. Morris said the agencies in Articles 28 and 29
had not submitted all of the information that the Town had requested despite several
reminders by the Town.
Motion: To remove articles 28 and 29 based on incomplete applications.
Made by: Ms. Murphy Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

7. Appointments
There were no appointments.

8. Approve Warrants
Motion: To approve the warrants for 1/5/2017 as follow:
General Funds Operating Expenses $47,238.24
Payroll $12,629.79
Highway Fund Operating Expenses $18,735.00
Payroll $11,025.37
Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $8,425.41
Payroll $1,090.75
Library Operating Expenses $351.94
Grants Operating Expenses $0.00
Agency Monies Operating Expenses $1,650.00
Reserves $325.00
Grand Totals Operating Expenses $76,725.59
Payroll $24,745.91
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor
Mr. Boyer said that the Highway Department and Transfer Station employees should be
commended for excellent work over the last couple of weeks.
The Board questioned where they stood on the FY18 budget. Mr. Morris said he hoped
it would be finalized at the next regular meeting of the Board. The Board, however, was
leery that trying to finish the budget in one meeting would be too much. It was agreed
to schedule a special meeting for January 12th to discuss the budget in detail and then
finalize it on the 16th.

9. Future Meeting Agenda Items

10. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse

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