SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX
120 FIRST STREET
SWANTON, VT 05488
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Monday, December 9, 2019
MINUTES NOT YET APPROVED BY
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
PRESENT: Neal Speer, Village President; Chris Leach, Trustee; Adam Paxman, Trustee; Eugene LaBombard, Trustee; Reginald Beliveau Jr., Village Manager; Dianne Day, Village Clerk; Leonard “Joey” Stell, Chief of Police; Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator; and Ch. 16.
Unless otherwise noted, all motions carried unanimously.
- Call to Order:
Neal Speer, Village President, welcomed all to the Regular Board of Trustees meeting and called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
- Agenda Review:
3. Public Comment:
4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, November 25, 2019 Meeting:
Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, November 25, 2019 meeting as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: Chris Leach asked if Reg heard back from Champlain Housing Trust yet. Reg Beliveau stated he hasn’t but would reach out to him. Motion carried.
5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through December 6, 2019:
Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through December 6, 2019 as presented. Adam Paxman seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.
6. Swanton Village Police Department Update:
Chief Stell stated the Swanton Village Police Department responded to 161 complaints in the month of November. He said they issued 10 traffic warnings and 2 traffic citations totaling $382.00. He said there are more warnings and tickets but because those were done with their new E-ticket the data isn’t available yet. He said the police investigated a rash of vandalism calls because a group of individuals used BB guns to damage several businesses, homes and vehicles in the Village. He said his officers spent several hours investigating this and are ready to wrap up the case this week. He said most of the BB guns used have been recovered and the individuals involved range in age from their early 20’s to almost 30 years old. He said this is not typical behavior for this age group. Adam Paxman stated he noticed there were more “crash damage” calls listed. Chief Stell said this is directly related to the weather and said the first couple of snow falls there are several more crashes to investigate. Chris Leach mentioned the home invasion incident on Blake Street. Chief Stell stated this was an isolated incident where the juveniles involved knew the victim. He said in the process the juvenile and his grandmother were assaulted by a 15 and 16-year old. He said the two juveniles are now at Woodside Juvenile Detention Center. Chief Stell said there was no threat to the general public. Neal Speer asked if the individuals being charged with the BB gun vandalism would have to pay restitution. Chief Stell said that would be up to the court system but said none of them have jobs so it would be a struggle to get restitution out of them. Chris Leach stated they would be working on budgets soon and asked if the police budget was going to be level funded this year. Chief Stell stated the only increases so far with his budget are workman’s comp, liability insurance and health care, all which are out of his control. He also asked if the elementary school planned on having a student resource officer (SRO) like the high school does. Chief Stell stated Lt. Kachajian has been working on that with the school because there are going to be federal funds available which would pay for a SRO officer for three years. He said the school would have to agree to pay for the fourth year. He said they are in the early talks and stages of this at this time. The Board thanked Chief Stell for his update.
7. Close US Bank Account – Fire Truck:
Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank Account – Fire Truck as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.
8. Close US Bank R&C Fund ’89 Account:
Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank R&C Fund ’89 Account as requested. Chris Leach seconded. Motion carried.
9. Close US Bank Bond Fund ’89 Account:
Eugene LaBombard made the motion to authorize the Village of Swanton to close US Bank Bond Fund ’89 Account as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.
10. Withdraw Funds from US Bank R&C Fund 2010 to Pay Current Expenses:
Chris Leach made the motion to withdraw funds from the US Bank R&C Fund to pay current expenses as requested. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.
11. Update on Highgate Airport Water/Sewer Feasibility Study:
Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Aldrich & Elliott have been working on the feasibility study to bring water and/or sewer services to the Highgate Airport. He said they sent out surveys looking for potential new customers in that area. He said they need to find out if the State of Vermont can contribute to this project or not. He stated there are a lot of opportunities for state funding as well as local and they are looking at both options. Chris Leach stated it is disappointing that the State didn’t follow through on their upgrades they talked about to entice businesses to come there. He said there isn’t much room for growth left in the Village but there is at the airport. Elisabeth Nance stated they don’t want to overbuild like they did in Milton, but they want to put in just enough for growth. Reg stated this is progressing and Aldrich & Elliott gave Highgate their preliminary numbers on what it would cost them. He said they now need to find the money to do this.
12. Any Other Necessary Business:
Chris Leach asked if Reg had heard anything more on the Morrisville flow issue. Reg stated he heard they were back in environmental court appealing the Supreme Court’s decision. Chris stated the state wants green power but would decide something that would reduce Morrisville’s production. He asked if this decision could be an issue for other hydro plants. Reg stated he thought this issue was strictly for Morrisville.
Any Other Business: Chris Leach mentioned the letter he received about the electric system and how solar credits are higher than anticipated. He stated there should be caps in place so that existing rate payers aren’t negatively affected because they don’t have solar panels. He said there should be a class action lawsuit about this. Reg Beliveau stated he has worked with VPPSA over and over on this topic and said he would keep his eyes open. The Board agreed this is very concerning.
Any Other Business: Adam Paxman stated they had a pretty good turnout for Christmas in the Park even though it was very cold. He wanted to thank Mark and Leslie Rocheleau for all their work decorating the park this year and said the Chamber still needs volunteers to help with this. Reg Beliveau stated Swanton Village used to help with the lights but the Chamber wanted to take it over. Adam also asked when the next budget meeting would be held. Eugene LaBombard stated healthcare is going up approximately 9% so be prepared about that. Neal Speer asked if VLCT recommended a healthcare company. Reg stated the State has their own health insurance. Adam also asked about the sewer plant and if we need to do anything there yet. Reg stated their land application is going good and said Jim can reduce the phosphorus levels there but needs to add more alum. He said his chemical budget has doubled and the Village has Aldrich & Elliott working on a phosphorus reduction plan. Adam also asked if the Village could install some “EV Charging Station” signs so that people know about the car chargers at the park and ride.
Any Other Business: Neal Speer stated the Christmas decorations downtown look good. He said the new ACE Hardware store is coming along nicely too. Chris Leach stated he would like to have a drive through mailbox in the downtown area placed somewhere. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she would ask the Postmaster about this.
Any Other Business: Elisabeth Nance, Economic Development Coordinator, asked everyone to save the date of January 28th for the 50th anniversary of the Merchants Row fire. She said there will be a ceremony on January 28th at the Village Complex.
13. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel and Real Estate:
Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate at 8:03 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
Chris Leach made the motion to exit Executive Session at 9:20 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
ACTION TAKEN: None.
Eugene LaBombard made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 9:22 p.m. Chris Leach seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 9:22 p.m. Motion carried.
Neal Speer, Village President Date
Dianne Day, Village Clerk Date