Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Stephen Flanders, Chair; Christopher Ashley; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were about 8 people in the audience.
Also participating: Alan Berolzheimer, Dennis Curran, Phil Dechert, Matt Fisken, Linda Gray,
Jerry Handfield, Jim Harlow, Nancy Hoggson, Steve Leinoff, Bonnie Munday.
Flanders opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After a brief discussion about the Executive Session at the
end of the meeting, by consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. Flanders asked that people wishing to speak would state their name and
address clearly. Flanders also stated that townspeople should consider the Town Manager the
primary source of information. Harlow said the Town Memorial Day Parade would be Sunday,
May 26th at noon and start at the Legion Post. There will be a tribute to two brothers killed in
World War II at the bridge by the Catholic Church. Harlow invited the Selectboard to participate in
this event and make it a community affair. New flags have been ordered for Main Street and
should be up in time for the parade. Cook reminded people that there is a Flag Fund they can
donate to. Fisken spoke about the Town Pool area and hopes it receives the attention it
deserves. Fisken was directed to further address his concerns with the Town Manager.
3. Records Restoration Project (Discussion). Curran and Handfield from Kofile Preservation were
present. Curran did a PowerPoint presentation which discussed the importance of preserving
public records. The three options for records are: paper, film or digital. Paper lasts the longest.
However, in older records acid in records can destroy them. Older records in the vault need to
have the acid neutralized. The process is to log the document in, dismantle the document, treat
the document and then put it back together. It is a tedious process, time consuming and fairly
expensive. Even with new technologies protection of original sources is a priority. Questions
were asked by the Selectboard regarding how valuable the records are, the high cost and how to
set priorities. There was also some discussion of the Town matching the recording fees collected
by the Town Clerk. Cook indicated that the Town Clerk did not collect enough in recording fees to
get the job done. Hoggson suggested that a grant be applied for to do a comprehensive survey of
the records and prioritize restoration and conservation.
4. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The reappraisal process is on schedule. Preliminary
values should be mailed out to townspeople tomorrow and go online this week. VLCT will be
hosting a meeting on the changes to health insurance in Vermont on May 28th at 2:00 pm at the
Hartford Town offices. The Town received the BCBS approved 2013 rates today. The Town
estimated an increase of 13% and actual is 18.8%.The written notice of the application for a
Certificate of Public Good was filed April 26th. Propagation maps are being updated. Site plans
have been updated for permitting. The Planning Commission will be reviewing the application
tomorrow night. The bond documents have been submitted to VMBB and we expect to be
included in the mid-July bond sale. The credit for the quality of the application goes to Roberta
Robinson. The ROW plans for the temporary construction easements for the Safe Routes to
School have been prepared. Internal discussions at the Agency of Natural Resources concerning
permitting the Norwich Pool continue. Questions were asked regarding the new purchasing and
financial policies. Fulton is also working on consolidating the Selectboard financial policies.
5. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After a couple of
questions, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-35 for General Fund
in the amount of $179,426.01, for Fire Apparatus Fund in the amount of $11.57 and for Police
Cruiser Fund in the amount of $285.00 for the period from 4/25/13 to 5/8/13. Motion passed.
Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to approve Accounts Payable Warrant #13-3 dated April, 2013 in the
amount of $207.36. Motion passed.
6. Reappoint James Dwinell to the Finance Committee (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said
Dwinell had not applied earlier due to his uncertainty of staying in Norwich but that he has made
the decision to stay. Afterwards, Ashley moved (2nd Moran) to reappoint James Dwinell to the
Finance Committee for a three-year term ending in March, 2016. Motion passed.
7. Committee Liaisons (Discussion). Cook suggested that as the Selectboard moves forward with
appointments every year they change Selectboard liaison appointments. Childs said two
members of the Board were voting members of the DPW Review Committee. Ashley spoke about
people asking about committee appointments when he was chair and indicated that maybe
rotation was a good idea. Flanders said that this is a discussion only item on this agenda but can
be brought back for a vote if that is what the Board wishes. There was further discussion
regarding Capital Facilities Committee meetings and minutes. Fulton said it was reasonable to
expect the Committee to finish up in a year.
8. Solar Project (Discussion). Gray said that before tomorrow night’s Solarize Norwich
presentation there would be an informal show and tell on electric vehicles at the Marion Cross
School. Berolzheimer said that this solar project is another possibility for the Town and an
overview was prepared for the Selectboard packet. The Energy Committee would like to get
formal Board support to proceed. This model is another possibility these days, is largely a risk
free proposition for the Town and fits in with the Town Plan objectives. The system is
economically feasible and the Town of Randolph has entered into a similar letter of intent. Gray
said an example of the savings and how it would work and the general parameters of the
agreement were provided in the overview. The Selectboard reviewed the benefits and approach.
Moran indicated he did not like the 25 year commitment. Flanders reviewed what the Norwich
Energy Committee is asking for and asked if any Board member was uncomfortable with the
Committee proceeding. Cook said she would like to proceed to the next steps so that the
Selectboard could get to the specifics.
9. Request to Expend up to $1,275 from the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund to Replace an AED
(Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said the Town started using AEDs in the 90’s and reviewed
where they are located. The Town has had good success in using them and there are sufficient
funds in the reserve fund. After very little discussion, Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to authorize the
Town Manager to spend $1,275 from the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund to replace an AED.
10. Approval of Purchase Order for a Consultant (Bread Loaf) for Parts 3 and 4 of the Facilities
Studies (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton reviewed the process saying that evaluation of the
current condition and functional deficiencies of the Fire, Police and Public Works facilities has
been completed. Next steps are a functional and space needs program and alternative
development and analysis. Proposals for this were requested on February 14th and six were
received. The proposals were evaluated using the criteria of: understanding of the project,
responsiveness to the RFP, experience with similar projects and cost. The top three firms were:
Banwell, Bread Loaf and Scully. The three firms were evaluated using the criteria of:
presentation, understanding of the project, responsiveness to RFP, experience with similar
projects and the project team. Based on those criteria the interview team (Andy Hodgdon, Steve
Leinoff, Doug Robinson and Neil Fulton) selected Bread Loaf. After discussion regarding one
member of the Capital Facilities Committee asking for an independent review of the proposals,
reference checking and changing the amount to $25,944, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to authorize
the Town Manager to retain Bread Loaf Corporation to provide Planning and Architectural
Services for the Fire, Police and Public Works Facilities at an estimated cost of $25,944. Motion
11. Approval of Purchase Order (Green Mountain Communications) for Tower and Site Work
(Discussion/Action Item). Fulton provided an update of the estimated costs for the upgrade to the
Fire, Police and Public Works communications systems. Green Mountain Communications has
submitted a proposal to do the site work and construction of the tower for $214,990. Since they
are already a subcontractor for Burlington Communications this works well with fast tracking of the
project. Fulton thanked Dechert for his work on the permitting process. After some discussion,
Childs moved (2nd Moran) to authorize the Town Manager to retain Green Mountain
Communications to construct the communications tower and site work at an estimated cost of
$214,990. Motion passed.
12. Patchen’s Point (Discussion). Cook would like to have a site visit. After discussion, it was
agreed that the Town Manager would provide each Selectboard member with a map and each
member would visit on their own.
13. 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) Nonresident –
1) #13 a), b) and c). Memo from TRORC Re: Enhanced Consultation, Memo from TRORC
Re: Scoping Document 2 Issued for TransCanada’s Wilder Dam Relicensing and Memo
from Murphy Sullivan Kronk Re: Application for a Certificate of Public Good. Ashley
moved (2nd Cook) to receive a memo from TRORC re: enhanced consultation. Motion
passed. Cook questioned the comment under Regional Plan that a conflict exists
between the Norwich Town Plan and the Regional Plan. Fulton said that TRORC
reviewed the Town Plan before it came to the Selectboard and later found that it
complied with the regional plan. TRORC is trying to meet statutory requirements and
make towns aware of new statutory requirements. Dechert briefly reviewed the
background saying that TRORC met with the Planning Commission on April 25th and
the Commission will be responding to the memo. Also discussed were: TRORC’s
authority, Town Plan certification, weakness of Norwich willing to expand the number of
roads and the Energy Plan. Ashley moved (2nd Cook) to receive a memo from TRORC
re: Scoping Document 2 issued for TransCanada’s Wilder Dam relicensing. Motion
passed. Fulton said that this document is the response to input received from various
organizations, including TRORC, and citizens regarding the relicensing. Childs moved
(2nd Moran) to receive a memo from Murphy Sullivan Kronk re: application for a
Certificate of Public Good. Motion passed. Cook asked a question about the number
of antennas listed in the first paragraph of page 2 and pointed out the Town and
Regional Plans comment in paragraph three on page 4.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 3/27/13 and 4/10/13 Meetings. After some discussion
where Cook suggested changes to both minutes and the Board agreed to those changes,
Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to approve the minutes of the March 27, 2013 Selectboard
meeting, as amended. Motion passed. Childs moved (2nd Moran) to approve the
minutes of the April 10, 2013 Selectboard meeting, as amended. Motion passed. Ashley
b) Between Meeting Communications (Discussion). Flanders encourages Selectboard
members to use the Town Manager as a good source to answer questions on the material
in the packet. Cook initiated a discussion of email communications saying she does not
feel all members of the Board are getting equal communications and wants to know how to
open this up so that every member gets the same information. Ashley suggested making
sure that information an individual member has garnered be shared at a regular
Selectboard meeting. Flanders further suggested that it be included in the packet if
available in time.
c) Review of Next Agendas (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items on the agenda for
May 22nd will include: the first Public Hearing on the Subdivision Regulations, the
Selectboard’s response to the 248a, zoning fees, reappointment of Sharon Racusin to the
Advance Transit Board, the Finance Committee and Selectboard FY14 goals.
d) Personnel – Town Manager (Executive Session May be Required). Flanders asked why
the matter could not be discussed in open session and reviewed the statutory reasons for
Executive Session. After discussion and Fulton asking for it to be discussed publicly,
pursuant to Title 1 VSA § 313(a)(3), Cook moved (2nd Moran) to enter into Executive
Session for the purpose of discussing the Town Manager. Motion passed 3 to 2 (yes –
Ashley, Cook and Moran; no – Childs and Flanders). The Selectboard moved into
Executive Session at 9:20 pm.
At 9:40 pm the Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the
Cook moved (2nd Ashley) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:41 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on June 12, 2013.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Stephen N. Flanders
Next Regular Meeting – May 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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