Select Board Agenda and Minutes

Date:  Tuesday September 05, 2017 (09/05/17)

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Select Board Agenda
Martin Memorial Hall
5259 Route 5
Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 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) 08/07/2017

5. Request for Large Gathering Permit

6. Financial Review

     a. FY 2017
     b. July 2018

7. Over-Time Discussion

8. Appoint VLCT Annual Meeting Delegate

9. Discuss VLCT Municipal Policy

10. Review Village Revitalization Workshop

11. Discuss Economic Development Proposal

12. Policies

       a. Review Changes for Social Service Agency Appropriation Policy (Third Reading)

       b. Accept Policy Review Policy for Drug and Alcohol Testing (Continued from 08/24/2017)

13. Appointments
       a. Budget Committee (Four Openings)
       b. Connecticut River Development Corporation
           - Representative
           - Alternate
       c. Connecticut River Joint Commission
       d. Conservation Commission (One four year term open)
       e. Fence Viewer (One Opening)
       f. Fire Commission (Two Openings)
          - One Year remaining from a Two-Year term
          - Full Two-Year term
       g. Parks and Recreation (Two Openings)
       h. River Connection Regional Partnership Representative
       i. Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. Representative
       j. Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner
          - Alternate
       k. Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee
          - Representative
          - Alternate

14. Approve Warrant

       a. 09/18/2017 / West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department
           - Public Hearing for our VDCP Grant
           - Fire Agreement Discussion

       b. Future Agenda Items
           - Golden Cross Ambulance / Extend Service Contract

15. Adjourn

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


Select Board Members Present: C. Peter Cole
Lynn Esty
Amy Beth Main
Kelly Murphy

Select Board Members Absent: Daniel Boyer

Ed Morris, Town Manager

Others Present:
Charles Horton Wes Hazeltine
Wanda Gropler Edith Stillson
Bonnie Duprey

1. Call to Order
Ms. Murphy called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

2. Comments from Select Board and Town Manager
Mrs. Esty announced that the Weathersfield Directory is almost done. Plans are to have it available for distribution at the Town Festival on September 30th.

Mr. Morris announced that he is hoping to have a Town booth at the Festival. He is hoping to have the survey for village revitalization available for handing out.

Mr. Morris said he has met with Ms. Murphy's daughter, Amanda, who recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Sustainability. She will be working on a sustainability plan/capital improvement report for the Town-owned buildings. Her volunteer efforts are much appreciated.

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

4. Review minutes from previous meetings – 08/07/2017
a. None
Motion: To approve the minutes of 8/7/2017
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

5. Request for Large Gathering Permit
Carl Wyman requests a large gathering permit to host a wedding on Plains Road. He has addressed parking, traffic flow and sanitation needs. Mr. Morris said Chief Daniels had no problem with the event, but asked the Board to include in their permit conditions a reminder of the noise ordinance and keeping the road clear for emergency vehicles. Mr. Morris recommended approval of the application.

Motion: To approve the large gathering permit for Carl Wyman to be held on September 16, 2017.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Ms. Main
Vote: Unanimous in favor

6. Financial Review
a. FY 2017
The Board received a summary sheet from Town Accountant, Colin Butler, along with financials for the month ending July FY18. Mr. Morris had emailed to the Board additional information updating the summary.

The Board reviewed the FY17 summary. He said it is pretty similar to what had been seen previously. There had been an $11,000 surplus in the general fund; however this is now a deficit of $4,599. Mr. Butler's email explained:

I made the annual calculation of the adjustment needed for deferred taxes this afternoon. Deferred taxes had to be adjusted upwards from $237,724.36 a year ago to $254,136.15 as of 9/1/2017. This means a reduction to the previous amount reported as tax revenue of $16,411.79. This will cause the previously reported surplus of $11,813 to become a deficit of $4,599 (a variance to budget of less than 3/10 of 1%) for the year just ended. Please keep in mind that the audit for FY2017 is ongoing and other adjustments are possible.

Mr. Morris said that expenses had been held in check; revenues were slightly up; expenses were just below. There is a surplus of $110,000 in the Highway fund (Mr. Morris has tasked Mr. Hazeltine with looking at a few things that can be done with the funds). There is a surplus of $17,360 in the Solid Waste fund. Mr. Morris reminded the Board that $19,000 had been budgeted to go into the reserves. However, we were actually slightly over budget in spending leaving instead the $17,360. The Library ended the year with a surplus of $6,846.

Having new auditors this year has made for a lot of extra work and it is unknown when the audit will be complete.

b. July 2018
Mr. Morris said it is very difficult to discern anything from the first month's data. He said Ms. Main had asked how 2/3 of the administrative budget had already been spent – the library's appropriation comes out of this budget and goes straight to the library in the first month of the year – hence the large expenditure. Mr. Morris urged the Board to be wary of percentages in the first 6 months – annual and quarterly-type payments make for big swings in figures.

Ms. Murphy noted the rapidly rising cost of oil and gas and asked Mr. Hazeltine if we are “full on everything”. Mr. Hazeltine said no, but he was getting ready to order. Mr. Morris said he and Mr. Hazeltine will strategize to cope with unpredictable fuel prices.

7. Over-Time Discussion
The Board's packet contained the email chain between the Board and Mr. Morris regarding overtime.

Mr. Morris said that July had been an extremely busy month. In the highway department, there was a storm on July 1st; the transfer station switch-over happened; there were a number of freak flash floods on Fridays and weekends that resulted in the need for road and culvert repairs, which addressed as quickly as possible. One full extra day was spend on grading. In accounting, Mr. Butler has been doing two jobs since the loss of the accounts payable clerk(s). In addition he has been helping the auditors. (Mr. Morris noted that he found records showing previous accountants with comp-time on the books, which implies that they were working in excess of 40 hours a week.) Mr. Morris has also shifted a number of responsibilities out of the manager's office and into the accounting office.

Both Ms. Main and Ms. Murphy continued to ask for a detailed analysis of overtime hours to better gauge the need and cost.

8. Appoint VLCT Annual Meeting Delegate
Motion: Appoint Ed Morris as the Town of Weathersfield Delegate to the VLCT 2017 annual meeting.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

9. Discuss VLCT Municipal Policy
Mr. Morris said that VLCT has had this policy for a long time. This is the first time Mr. Morris has brought it to the Board for review. It doesn't change a lot from year to year. He asked the Board to look it over and look for broad policy ideas of things the Board disagrees with (not little wording issues - there are different committees that work on wording). This is the Policy that will be discussed at the next annual meeting (to which the Board appointed Mr. Morris as the Town's delegate).

Mr. Cole pointed out that many of the things in the policy are basic principles that VLCT has put forth forever. It is the constant “battle” between the state and what the towns want that is reflected in the Policy.

Ms. Murphy said that on page two it states that VLCT opposes any new property taxes, but on page six it says VLCT supports establishing a state funding source for (something). It is repeated several times throughout the Policy. These funding sources – whether local, state or federal – are all taxpayer money supporting them.

Ms. Murphy said on the bottom of page 3 it says that VLCT opposes any state-imposed process or law that governs municipal conflict of interest policies. She said she would really like to see where they are “sitting with that”. She said she researched online – just this June, the state of Vermont passed its first Ethics Commission. Vermont is the last state to do so. The Center for Public Integrity had given the state of Vermont a D+ rating. Part of the Ethics Commission for the state is supposed to be looking at a comprehensive conflict of interest provision for all lawmakers and state officials. She asked why would you have two different standards? Local officials should be held to the same standards as they are. Everyone should be held to the same standards regardless of where one lives.

It was agreed to continue reviewing the policy at the next meeting. Mr. Morris asked for a motion from the Board if there is anything to which the Board is opposed.

10. Review Village Revitalization Workshop
Last Thursday evening, the first village revitalization workshop was held at the Town highway garage. A diverse group of 20-25 people attended. Both the Valley News and Eagle Times were there.

Mr. Morris and Jason Rasmussen gave a powerpoint presentation outlining the revitalization project ideas. Attendants did not need any prompting to present their thoughts and ideas. It was interesting to note the degree of similarity between community-members' ideas and those discussed at a tri-town meeting that Mr. Morris and Ms. Murphy had attended earlier. Everyone agreed that it was a good start.

The next meeting has been tentatively scheduled for September 28th. The meeting location is still being determined.

11. Discuss Economic Development Proposal
Mr. Morris said he had attended a trails conference based around Burke Mountain and economic development 3-4 months ago and spoken with the West Windsor Town Administrator and it struck him that we are working on the same type of projects. (West Windsor is a bit further ahead with their trail system and working with a foundation that is trying to bring back the ski area.)

Regional Planning has also been talking with us and seeing the same ideas and organized a tri-town meeting – Weathersfield, Windsor and West Windsor – on Thursday to discuss a 2018 Municipal Planning Grant. There is a possibility of getting a regional planning grant to begin to work together on similar goals (e.g. trail systems). It was a good opportunity for everyone to hear each others' ideas and projects and to seek ways to collaborate.

Mr. Rasmussen is putting together some cost sheets for the idea. Mr. Morris was looking for consensus from the Board to have Mr. Rasmussen continue to move forward with the grant application. This grant would be for informational gathering, inventorying resources, bringing stakeholders together, and laying the foundation for the next steps.

While there are no repercussions to not participating, the Town runs the risk of being left behind in what may turn out to be a large, successful project. i.e. developing the tri-town area into a recreational hub. In turn, if this application is successful, it may open doors to additional grant opportunities.

The consensus of the Board was to tell Mr. Rasmussen that the Board is interested in moving forward with the application.

Motion: The Select Board of Weathersfield expresses its strong support for further investigating a regional initiative.
Made by: Mr. Cole Second: Mrs. Esty
Vote: Unanimous in favor

12. Policies
a. Review changes for Social Service Agency Appropriation Policy (Third Reading)
In the previous discussions of this policy, the discussion points were:
1. If the Select Board was going to make a decision on the amount of money brought forward;
2. if the $500 would be a certain dollar amount;
3. if it would be all the requests;
4. if the 3 years would stay in as it is now;
5. Also the option of establishing a committee that makes these decisions.

Presently there are 5 agencies requesting less than $250 each; 5 between $250 and $500 each; and 5 asking for more than $500.

The policy requires an annual submission from every agency requesting or receiving funding from the Town. No funding is awarded if the annual submission is not received by the Town by the deadline. Submission packets would be available all year and on display at Town Meeting for community members to view before voting.

The policy requires the Select Board to review all requests for funding at a warned public meeting of the Board. This is an opportunity for community members to hear the presentations and ask questions about the agencies. The requests are valid for 1 year (currently 3 years).

The consensus of the Board was to leave the cut-off at $500.

Currently approved requests are valid for 3 years, unless a change in funding is being sought. The Board has the authority to reduce the amount awarded or eliminate it entirely in a tough budget year within the 3-year span.

The consensus of the Board was to change the approval time to 2 years. Subsequent funding will require yearly submission and compliance with all requirements. Anyone due this year goes through the process and anyone who was just approved for the 3 years has two years. They would go through next year. Accountability is required from all of them.

Motion: To adopt this policy with the amendment that approvals are valid for two years
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

b. Accept Policy Review Policy for Drug and Alcohol Testing (cont. from 8/24/2017)
Mr. Morris said he had learned that HIPPA rules only apply to health care providers. However all records would be keep under lock and key and viewed only by authorized personnel.

Motion: To accept the policy as written.
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

13. Appointments
There were no appointments.

14. Approve Warrants

Motion: To approve the warrants for September 5, 2017:

General Funds Operating Expenses $26,005.03
Payroll $12,356.37

Highway Fund Operating Expenses $3,477.02
Payroll $8,481.28

Solid Waste Management Fund
Operating Expenses $1,635.08
Payroll $1,406.45

Library Operating Expenses $0.00
Payroll $0.00

Grants Operating Expenses $0.00

Agency Monies Operating Expenses $0.00

Reserves Operating Expenses $60.29

Long Term Debt Operating Expenses $0.00

Grand Totals Operating Expenses $31,177.42
Payroll $22,244.10

Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

15. Future Meeting Agenda Items
a. 9/18/2017 West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department (location of next meeting)
15.a.i. Public Hearing for our VDCP Grant
15.a.ii. Fire Agreement Discussion
b. Future Agenda Items
15.b.i. Golden Cross Ambulance/Extend Service Contract

16. Adjourn
Motion: To adjourn the meeting
Made by: Mrs. Esty Second: Mr. Cole
Vote: Unanimous in favor

The meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
deForest Bearse

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