Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Monday January 16, 2017 (01/16/17)

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Select Board Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall

5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT

Monday, January 16th, 2017

7:00 P.M.

Regular Meeting

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. Aging in Place

6. Weatherize Kick-Off Event / January 28th, 2017 / Weathersfield School

7. Budget Review and approval

8. Approve warning for Town Meeting

9. Selectboard town report submission

10. Zoning Board of Adjustment Resignation - Kevin Christie


11. Appointments

     Connecticut River Development Corporation



    Connecticut River Joint Commission

    Conservation Commission (One four year term open)

    Energy Committee

    Parks and Recreation Commission (One Opening)

    River Connection Regional Partnership Representative

    Senior Solutions Advisory Council Representative

    Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. Representative

    Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner

    Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee

12. Approve Warrant

13. Future Meeting Agenda Items

          A. February 6th, 2017

               Municipal Planning Grant RFP/Award

               Town Plan Public Hearing

               Conflict of interest discussion

         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

12. Adjourn

Select Board
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5, Ascutney VT
Monday, January 16, 2017
7:00 PM

APPROVED 2/6/2017

Select Board Members Present: Daniel Boyer
Lynn Esty
Amy Beth Main
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent: C. Peter Cole

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Note: There was no SAPA TV coverage of this meeting.

Others Present:
Wes Hazeltine Beverly Howe-Fluette
Julia Lloyd Wright Vic Hall

1. Call to Order
Mr. Boyer called the meeting to order at 7:00PM.

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mrs. Esty announced that there will be public hearings on the Town Plan at the Select Board meetings on February 6th and February 20th. Ms. Wright said there had been some last-minute changes and those dates may have to be changed.

3. Comments from Citizens on topics not on the agenda
There were no comments.

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – January 5, 2017 (Note: the date on the agenda was incorrect)
a. None
Motion: To accept the minutes of the January 5th, 2017 meeting as written.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Main
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. Aging in Place
Ms. Kehew was not present.

6. Weatherize Kick-Off Event/January 28th, 2017/Weathersfield School
Energy Coordinator, Julia Lloyd Wright and Vic Hall (from the Windsor energy committee) announced the kick-off of the “Weatherize the Upper Valley” program which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 28th at the Weathersfield School from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. According to materials distributed by Ms. Wright, this is a pilot program that will provide guidance and assistance to homeowners in the upper valley in weatherizing their homes. They asked for assistance from the Board in getting the word out about the program and kick-off.

7. Budget Review and Approval
The board once again turned to reviewing and discussing the FY18 budget. Mr. Morris proposed reducing the employees' raises from 4% to 3% with the exceptions of Officer Muldoon and Mr. Butler, both of whom were due raises during the wage freeze. (Mr. Morris said he estimated that the amount they were each due is about 2%.) He stated that this across-the-board raise would be followed by a full compensation study and compensation plan to be put in place in the FY19 budget.

(Note: The Zoning Administrator will also receive a raise that is slightly above the 3% given to the other employees due to the terms of his employment.)

Mr. Morris then proposed using $30,000 from the unspecified reserve fund to lower the tax rate by one penny. This would leave $65,000 to put into the unspecified reserves. The Board members were not in favor of this proposal because it won't make a significant difference in the tax bill and because it philosophically goes against what they have been working toward, i.e. restoring the reserves.

If all of the articles on the warrant pass, the tax rate will be $0.6952 (with the 3% raises). This translates to a $134 increase on the tax bill for a $200,000 home. It does not include the school tax.

There was a lengthy discussion of the long-term debt schedule and how the reserves can be used to help maintain a level tax rate over a long period of time.

Ms. Murphy asked Mr. Morris why he decided to reduce the employee raises. He said he based his decision on the board's discussions, testimony he had listened to, and additional research he had done through VLCT.

Ms. Main said that the board had “sliced and diced the budget to make it look pretty”, but that in the end, the taxpayers need to see the full reality of what it costs to run the town responsibly.

The board concluded that the budget was acceptable.

Motion: To approve the General Fund expenses for fiscal year 2018-2019 as amended this evening.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: None
The motion was withdrawn.

Motion: To accept the General Fund budget as amended tonight (i.e. reducing the employee raises from 4% to 3% only; does not include using $30,000 from the reserves).
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To accept the FY18 Highway Fund budget with the amended changes to the staff salaries.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To accept FY18 Solid Waste budget with the amended 3% raise for the solid waste employees.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The board asked to have a discussion of the Swap Shop placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

8. Approve Warning for Town Meeting
Article 5: To vote on a public question by Australian ballot, the exact words of the question must be warned at one meeting and then voted on at the next meeting – they cannot be voted on at the same meeting as the original warning. This would mean either holding a special town meeting following the annual meeting or waiting until the next annual meeting to be able to have the question about the Fire District voted by Australian ballot.

The alternative is to call for ALL public questions to be voted on by Australian ballot, which would mean there would be no more floor votes. (This is the wording of Article 5.)

There followed a lengthy discussion about articles 4 and 5, which ended with the decision to remove both of them from the warning.

Motion: To remove articles 4 and 5 from the warning for Town Meeting.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Main
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion: To hold a public hearing before the start of the annual Town Meeting to discuss the John Woods report and the possibility of establishing a fire district.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Main
The hearing will be held at 1:00 PM, with the Town Meeting to follow at 1:30 PM.
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Article 15: There was discussion on whether to borrow or appropriate the $30,000. The consensus of the board was to leave it as a borrowing article.

Motion: To continue the meeting to 9:30 PM.
Made by: Ms. Murphy Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

Articles 16 - 27 were unchanged.

Article 28: Ms. Murphy said the board had already voted not to include the HCRS request and it should not be on the warning.

Motion: To accept the warning for the annual town meeting for March 4th as amended.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

9. Select Board Town Report Submission
Ms. Main asked to add a sentence about the idea of a fire district. She also asked that more details be added about the surplus and how it was applied; and change “on the Highway side” be changed to “in the Highway Department”.

10. Zoning Board of Adjustment Resignation – Kevin Christie
Motion: To accept the resignation with regrets.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

11. Appointments
There were no appointments.

12. Approve Warrants
Motion: To approve the warrants for January 16, 2017 as follow:

General Funds Operating Expenses $13,351.96
Payroll $13,216.94

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $29,883.71
Payroll $12,289.75

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $6,504.60
Payroll $1,220.66

Library Operating Expenses $589.49

Grants Operating Expenses $0.00

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $54.96

Reserves $0.00

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $50,384.72
Payroll $26,727.35

Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Murphy
Vote: Unanimous in favor

13. Future Meeting Agenda Items

14. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting.
Made by: Ms. Main Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The meeting adjourned at 9:22 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse

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