SWANTON VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
SWANTON VILLAGE MUNICIPAL COMPLEX
120 FIRST STREET
SWANTON, VT 05488
DRAFT *** DRAFT *** DRAFT *** DRAFT
Monday, September 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; Elijah Emerson, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer; Michael & Sherlyn Bourgeois; Desireah Ladieu, Isabel Bennett; Bruce Spaulding; John Lumsden, MVUHS; 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 7:04 p.m.
- Agenda Review:
Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated that Adam Noel contacted her today and cannot make tonight’s meeting so #8 is removed from the agenda. The Board suggested John Lumsden be heard under #8 instead, as well as Bruce Spaulding. Adam Paxman stated he needed an executive session to discuss personnel.
3. Public Comment:
4. Approve and Accept Minutes from Monday, August 26, 2019 Meeting:
Chris Leach made the motion to approve and accept Minutes from the Monday, August 26, 2019 meeting as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: None. Motion carried.
5. Approve and Accept Village Warrants through September 6, 2019:
Adam Paxman made the motion to approve and accept Village Warrants through September 6, 2019 as presented. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Discussion: Eugene LaBombard asked if the large payment made to VPPSA was due to the Hydro Plant shutdown. Reg stated that was part of it but said they had very minimal water. Motion carried.
6. Elijah Emerson, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, Presentation on Electric Regulatory Industry:
Eli Emerson from Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, was present for this discussion and stated that the Board as Trustees are in charge of the operations of the electric department but said it is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. They discussed VPPSA being a good resource for the Village of Swanton because they are larger and have better buying power. He said they purchase power out of state on the Village’s behalf. Eli’s presentation included discussion on financial activities such as issuance of debt, ratemaking, regulated vs. unregulated service and out of state investments, construction and out of state energy purchases. They talked about regulated utility projects including the rebuilding of and repairing existing structures. Discussion took place regarding projects and construction and what activities are subject to Section 248/Certificate of Public Good Proceedings. They also discussed Act 250 – environmental considerations, water quality considerations, etc. Eli informed the Board of issues unique to municipal utilities under Title 30, Chapter 79; Title 17 and Title 24. Chris Leach stated they are in the process of relicensing the Hydro Plant and asked Eli if his firm needed to be involved in this. Eli stated they don’t tend to do FERC work. He said they are Vermont specific and work in water quality certifications, etc. The Board thanked Eli for his presentation.
7. Michael & Sherlyn Bourgeois, Rooster Causing Noise Complaint on Fourth Street:
Michael and Sherlyn Bourgeois, along with Desireah Ladieu, all residents from Fourth Street were present for this discussion. Michael stated he didn’t want to pick on one bird so suggested this be called a “noise” complaint and not a “rooster” complaint. He said the noise is incessant and after talking with the Zoning Administrator and Village Manager, he found out there is no noise ordinance in place for the Village of Swanton regarding farm animals. He said they need to make sure quality of life is here and they need that piece of mind. He said certain animals in the Village could affect one’s property value. Neal Speer asked them if they have contacted the Animal Control officer for Swanton and said he can’t understand how this has gone on this long without being resolved. Mr. Bourgeois stated he has and was told he doesn’t handle these kinds of issues. Elisabeth Nance suggested he contact Gary Centabar on the Town Selectboard as he works with the Animal Control Officer. Dianne Day, Village Clerk, stated she was contacted today by a lady from Enosburg who will be offering a class in October at the Swanton Public Library teaching residents how to care for chickens. She said the lady wanted to know if there was an Ordinance in place and said she would call back prior to her class. Desireah Ladieu stated she lives on the other side of this residence with the rooster and said in crows constantly and is a nuisance. The Board stated they would look into this further and would research a noise/farm animal ordinance.
8. Adam Noel – Discussion on King Street Sidewalk:
Item Tabled. John Lumsden, MVUHS Athletic Director, was given this item #. He said MVUHS will be holding their pep rally on Friday, September 20th and he is requesting permission to have their parade on Canada Street this year instead of First Street. He said they should be coming through the Village at approximately 6 p.m. and said the MVU band will be marching this year too. He said it is also the 50th anniversary of their alumni and some of those members will also march in the parade. He said they will also have a firework display at 8:45 p.m. Eugene LaBombard made the motion to approve MVUHS’s request to hold a parade on Friday, September 20th at 6 p.m. on Canada Street in the Village of Swanton. Adam Paxman seconded. Motion carried.
Bruce Spaulding stated that about a year ago he met an individual who cleans military and war veterans headstones two days per week. He said he introduced him to this and showed him what product he uses to do so. Bruce stated he knows the Board is interested in having Lady Liberty in the Village Green cleaned and he is requesting permission to clean the four monument stones that sit at the base of the Lady Liberty. He said he is very confident this product won’t harm the stones or the statue. He said he is also looking for any individuals who would like to join him in cleaning veterans’ headstones at our local cemeteries. He said he has been doing so all summer and has a goal of getting 50 stones cleaned before winter. He said he would show anyone interested how to use this product. Chris Leach stated he thinks this is a great idea and thanked Bruce for cleaning the military headstones. Chris Leach made the motion to approve Bruce Spaulding cleaning the four base stones that sit at the Lady Liberty statue in the Village Green. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
9. Economic Development Coordinator Update:
Elisabeth Nance stated the words “no more than” need to come out of the Historic Preservation Commission ordinance. She also informed the Board that the Village of Swanton was awarded a VTrans grant in the amount of $34,000 to complete another traffic pattern study downtown. She said there is a 20 percent match required from the Village and she is requesting the Village budget $6800 for this next year. She said this was done in 2001 but can’t be used and needs to be done again. Chris Leach said there needs to be a steering committee that looks at traffic from the First Street intersection, Grand Avenue and Canada Street. He said he would like to be a part of this committee as well. Adam Paxman made the motion authorizing Reg Beliveau, Village Manager, to sign all necessary documents pertaining to this downtown traffic study grant. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
11. 2019 December Transco Equity Offer/Purchase:
Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Vermont Transco is expecting to issue equity in November and December of this year. He said the Village of Swanton is eligible to purchase $109,810 worth of equity and said VPPSA will finance this purchase on the Village’s behalf. Chris Leach made the motion to approve VPPSA financing $109,810 worth of equity for the Village of Swanton and to also purchase any other members share if they decline. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
12. Efficiency Vermont’s Zero Energy Modular Program and Open House September 23 through October 6, Church Street on the Park Side:
Reg Beliveau informed the Board that Efficiency Vermont will have a Zero Energy Modular home set up on the Village Green from September 23 through October 6. He said there will be open houses on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He also said Public Power Day will be held on October 5th and on September 25th the Village of Swanton along with Efficiency Vermont, the VT Council on Rural Development and VPPSA will be interviewed on Channel 15. He urged everyone to come and check out this Zero Energy Modular home.
13. Any Other Necessary Business:
Neal Speer, Village President, read aloud a letter written by Hank Lambert on behalf of the Swanton Beautification Committee of the Swanton Enhancement Project about planting 16 new trees this year. This letter also mentioned the flower boxes and additional flower beds that drew many positive comments from citizens and visitors. He thanked the Board of Trustees for their generosity and support.
Any Other Business: Adam Paxman gave a shout out to the Arts Spectacular Show, especially Darci Benoit for putting on such a great show. He said the ribs and salads were a big hit and the entertainment was great too. He said it was a great show.
Any Other Business: Chris Leach mentioned the new sign at the Hydro Plant and said how nice it looked. He said he also wanted to compliment the art show held in the park and said he enjoys seeing downtown activities. He also mentioned moving forward with cleaning the Lady Liberty statue and said he feels they did that tonight.
Any Other Business: Neal Speer also wanted to thank the Swanton Arts Council for a great show as well as all people who were involved from the Arts Council, the food vendors and the entertainment. He said everything went great.
14. Executive Session (If Necessary):
Adam Paxman made the motion to enter into Executive Session to Discuss Personnel at 8:38 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
Adam Paxman made the motion to exit Executive Session at 8:50 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. Motion carried.
ACTION TAKEN: None.
Chris Leach made the motion to adjourn the Regular Board of the Trustees meeting at 8:50 p.m. Eugene LaBombard seconded. There being no further business at hand, Neal Speer, Village President, adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m. Motion carried.
Neal Speer, Village President Date
Dianne Day, Village Clerk Date