Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM Members present: Stephen Flanders, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Keith Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager. Absent: Christopher Ashley. There were 2 people in the audience. Also participating: Linda Gray, Demo Sofronas, Jonathan Teller-Elsberg. Flanders opened the meeting at 6:30 pm. 1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). By consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda. 2. Public Comments. Cook questioned whether speed studies had been done as the speed limit signs had changed on Academy Road and Kendall Station Road. Cook also questioned the lights at Goodrich Four Corners Road. Fulton indicated that he would follow up on the speed limit signs. 3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The three replacement vehicles for the Police Department have been outfitted and were put in service April 1st. The replacement vehicle for the Fire Chief has been striped and is in service. After the latest meeting, arranged by Representative Cheney, the Town Manager expects a response from ANR on the permitting requirements for the Town Pool in 4-6 weeks. Six proposals were received for Parts 3 and 4 of the facilities studies. References are being checked and Fulton expects to have it before the Selectboard for their May 8th meeting. The Town Manager continues to fast track the communications system project. Questions were asked regarding: the temporary tower, grant resources and types, delinquent taxes, the BCA training, educating the public on the Town-wide reappraisal, paving and structure grants, Hodgdon’s yearly financial plan submitted to VT AOT, the Invasive Species Policy and neighborhood grading used in the past for setting evaluation rates. 4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After several questions and some discussion, Childs moved (2nd Moran) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-32 for General Fund in the amount of $73,164.46, for Police Cruiser Fund in the amount of $39,891.54, for Fire Apparatus Fund in the amount of $1,127.44, for Town Reappraisal Fund in the amount of $5,061.60 and for Communications Construction Fund in the amount of $25,462.50 for the period from 3/28/13 to 4/10/13. Motion passed. Childs moved (2nd Moran) to approve Accounts Payable Warrant #13-31 dated March, 2013 in the amount of $216.88. Motion passed. 5. Town of Norwich Subdivision Regulations Amendments (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton said that a draft schedule for adopting the Subdivision Regulations was included in the Selectboard packet. Fulton also said that only the 25% slope question had been passed along to the Planning Commission as no other written feedback from the Board had been received. After some further discussion of the process, the Selectboard agreed to have written questions on the Subdivision Regulations amendments to the Town Manager by April 15th and to further discuss with all members of the Planning Commission at their April 24th meeting. 6. Possible Cooperative Photovoltaic Solar Project with School and Library (Discussion). Fulton spoke about the Norwich Energy Committee (NEC) not being able to make the economics work for a solar project at the Highway Garage in 2010-2011. They have been looking at potential sites for a smaller array. They have found a potential site and the next step would be to solicit proposals. Gray reviewed the summary in the packet saying this project would be part of the larger plan of the goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050 for Norwich. This would be an opportunity to switch to renewable electricity from a private source. The Town, School and possibly Library would simply purchase the solar generated power at a modest savings. The projected size of the array is 150kW and would involve a simple permitting process. No agreements have been signed at this point. They are talking with the Farrell family as a potential candidate. The NEC is seeking questions and feedback from the Selectboard. Next steps would be finalizing a developer to work with and the administrators signing a nonbinding letter of intent. There would be no upfront costs to the Town and no maintenance costs of the solar array. The Town would be involved simply in purchasing the power. Fulton said that this saves very little for the Town. The Board discussed how the project would work, whether Marion Cross School would be doing solar panels in the roof after repairs, the contract and the proposal submitted by Farrell. Fulton pointed out that if the Farrell document was given to the Selectboard it would be a public document. After further discussion, Flanders said that the NEC should make no assumptions on where the Board stands. Discussion will continue at a later Selectboard meeting. 7. Reimbursement Resolution Related to Lease-Purchase Funds for the Communications System (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said the Selectboard authorized the Town Manager to enter into a lease-purchase agreement with Tax-Exempt Leasing Corp. for $125,000. This Declaration will allow the Town to capture any expenses that were obligated starting 60 days before the Board adopts the Declaration. Paul Giuliani has reviewed the document. After some questions regarding Sections 1 and 3, Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the Declaration of Official Intent of the Town of Norwich to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from Proceeds of Indebtedness related to the Lease-Purchase of communications equipment. Motion passed. 8. Correspondence (Please go to www.norwich.vt.us, click on Boards & Committees from the blue banner, click on Selectboard and click on Recent Selectboard Correspondence in the middle section to view resident correspondence): a) Resident – 1) #8 a) and b). Email from Watt Alexander Re: Open Letter to Planning Commission and Selectboard and Email from Kathy Cadow Parsonnet Re: Hate Crimes in Norwich. Childs moved (2nd Cook) to receive an email from Watt Alexander re: open letter to Planning Commission and Selectboard. Motion passed. The Selectboard agreed that further discussion of this email would take place at their April 24th meeting. Childs moved (2nd Cook) to receive an email from Kathy Cadow Parsonnet re: hate crimes in Norwich. Motion failed 2 to 2 (yes – Childs and Flanders; no - Cook and Moran). There was discussion regarding the missing attachments to the email. Fulton said the material is offensive and that the Norwich Police Department is dealing with the issue. After further discussion, it was agreed that individual Board members could review the material in the Town Manager’s Office. Moran asked for a copy to be printed out and put in an envelope in his mailbox. A Selectboard response will be discussed at the April 24th meeting where the Board will officially receive the email. 9. Selectboard a) Approval of the Minutes of the 3/6/13 Meeting. After some discussion, Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve the minutes of the March 6, 2013 Selectboard meeting. Motion passed. b) Between Meeting Communications (Discussion). Flanders reviewed his comments in his March 28th email included in the packet and Excerpts from a Guide to Open Meetings from Deborah Markowitz in August of 2006 including excerpts from applicable Statutes. This was followed by: discussion of why the Board was having this conversation, getting questions answered in one-on-one meetings with the Town Manager and conversations between Selectboard members and Town employees. It was agreed that important data or information obtained from meetings with the Town Manager should be shared with all Board members in open session, that private conversations with Town employees should not occur during work hours and that the discussion would continue at the Selectboard’s May 8th meeting. c) Selectboard Calendar (Discussion). Flanders suggested placing unfinished business on the current Selectboard calendar. The Board will review goals at their April 24th meeting. d) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Meeting with the Planning Commission to discuss the Subdivision Regulations amendments, appointments for open positions and, after discussion, the Certificate of Public Good for the communications tower process will be on the agenda for the April 24th meeting. It was agreed that motions would be included in the Selectboard Friday packet. There was some discussion of the possibility for Executive Sessions in future meetings. Moran moved (2nd Cook) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:46 pm. Approved by the Selectboard on May 8, 2013. By Nancy Kramer Assistant to the Town Manager Stephen N. Flanders Selectboard Chair Next Regular Meeting – April 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM PLEASE NOTE THAT CATV RECORDS ALL REGULAR MEETINGS OF THE NORWICH SELECTBOARD. FOR A MORE DETAILED TRANSCRIPTION PLEASE REFER TO THE DVD. DVDs ARE AVAILABLE ONE WEEK AFTER AIRING AT THE NORWICH PUBLIC LIBRARY.