Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, October 9, 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 6 people in the audience. Also participating: Phil Dechert, Andy Hodgdon, Richard Keeton. Flanders opened the meeting at 6:30 pm. 1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After a brief discussion regarding the Executive Session, by consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda. 2. Public Comments. None. 3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Town has received a Better Back Roads grant in the amount of $3,500 that will be used for an inventory of road erosion and signs. The Historic Preservation Commission received a CLG Historic Preservation grant in the amount of $13,725 to document the history of farming in Norwich. They will be pouring the foundation for the tower tomorrow and the project continues to be on schedule. Work has begun on the RFP for the codification of ordinances. This proposal should come before the Selectboard next year. We have received additional information regarding local area banks’ willingness to secure our deposits with instruments backed by the United States Government. Fulton will review this information with Moran before coming back to the Board. Questions were asked regarding: the increase in delinquent taxes, the Better Back Roads grant, painting yellow lines, the fire rating change and the Subdivision Policy of the Listers. Fulton commented that: an inventory of roads is being worked on, the Town can only paint yellow lines on so many roads due to budget restrictions, water supply and personnel are the two big items in the ISO rating and that the Listers Policy is one they have been following and they wanted to clarify. 4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After one question, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #14-09 for General Fund in the amount of $161,803.55, for Fire Equipment Fund in the amount of $1,304.69 and for Fire Apparatus Fund in the amount of $3,157.73 for the period from 9/26/13 to 10/09/13. Motion passed. 5. Server Replacement (Discussion/Action Item). With the installation of AssessPro, the assessing software, the server database has become overloaded. This has resulted in the need for frequent reboots, slow connections and loss of connectivity. The Town has also lost the ability to do full daily backups. Fulton had concerns with the quotes received and asked Tad Richardson, who maintains our network, to submit a quote. Fulton is working on closing out the contract for the Town reappraisal and is not certain at this point how much money will remain in the Reappraisal Fund. Consequently, he has reworded the motion to include use of the Town Clerk Equipment and General Administration Funds in order to ensure there will be sufficient funds to replace the server. Questions were asked regarding Richardson and payments made to him. Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to authorize the Town Manager to spend approximately $16,000 from the Town Reappraisal Reserve Fund, Town Clerk Equipment Reserve Fund and General Administration Reserve Fund to replace the Tracy Hall Network Server. Motion passed. 9. Tracy Hall Roof Truss Repairs (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton said there is a failing truss in the attic. The basketball hoops are up as a precautionary measure. Trumbull-Nelson will be the project manager. The estimated cost without engineering is $20,000. The reserve fund has approximately $51,000 in it. Ashley said he had toured the attic and there is a piece of bent steel. Cook asked if the snow guards were still an option and Fulton said not this year. After some discussion, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to authorize the Town Manager to spend approximately $30,000 from the Tracy Hall Reserve Fund to repair the failing truss supporting the Tracy Hall roof. Motion passed. 6. Reclassification of Church and Main Streets/Route 10A to Class 1 Town Highway (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton provided background information in the packet. The discussion started with the first Town Manager. The thought was there would be more flexibility for the Town if it became a Class 1 road. The process for setting speed limits remains the same. The Safe Routes to School project was signed in 2008 and is still not in the construction phase. Fulton and Dechert met with the engineer on the project and they would like to proceed with the road staying a State highway. Fulton has struggled with the issue and believes that at best the Town will break even on the costs. Masland was unable to make the meeting tonight. The legislation was effective July 1, 2010 but the Town has not seen an agreement. The Town Manager’s Office provided notice of tonight’s meeting to all residents affected. Fulton was asked what he was looking for from the Selectboard and responded that he expects an agreement will arrive at some point and is looking for direction from the Board. Items discussed were: the financial reasoning, the Town taking over just the Church Street segment, plowing costs, State aid and who maintains the traffic lights which is unclear at this point. After further discussion in favor of taking over only the Church Street segment, Fulton said he would approach AOT with that proposal and get back to the Selectboard. 7. Zoning Fees (Discussion/Action Item). The proposed new fee structure for zoning permits and DRB hearings has been reviewed by the Planning Commission. At the Planning Commission’s February 28th meeting, they requested the fee schedule as proposed be sent to the Selectboard for adoption. Items discussed were: recording fees, violations of permitting, differences in fees by square footage and where the fee money goes. Afterwards, Childs moved (2nd Moran) to approve the permit fee structure as shown in the attachment to the memorandum dated October 2, 2013 from the Director of Planning and Zoning to become effective on November 1, 2013. Motion passed. 8. Facilities Studies Program (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton commented that Moran asked at the last meeting for a further discussion before Bread Loaf starts Part 4. The three Department Heads whose facilities are being discussed are present. Fulton said that the next steps are to take the space needs into schematic designs and cost them out. Public forums will be held along the way and it will come back to the Selectboard once costs are established. Moran wants to be certain that all options will be looked at with the exception of doing nothing. Fulton said all feasible options will be reviewed. The Police Station needs to be replaced. Fulton is impressed with Bread Loaf so far and their capabilities. Items discussed were: sharing of old information, how many public hearings, plans for the current location of Police and Fire Departments, shared spaces and costs, improvements already made to the Fire Station and where we will be at the end of Part 4. Fulton assured the Board that the process will not be rushed. The Selectboard agreed by consensus that Bread Loaf should proceed with Part 4. 10. Follow-Up on Discussions with School Board on Finance Committee (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders said that representatives of both boards met and discussed general philosophical issues pertaining to the Norwich Finance Committee (NFC). They will meet again on October 15th to discuss the charge for the NFC. There is support for joint input on the NFC. 11. Budget Process (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Moran suggested a realistic approach and to wrap up sooner if possible. Flanders reviewed his model in the packet which suggests that the first Public Hearing on the budget be held in December. Fulton asked if the Selectboard would consider a one-day session for all departments. After discussion regarding a 5 hour meeting, having the Public Hearing in December, minimizing distractions, possibly having a Saturday meeting and Fulton providing a list of nonrecurring expenses the Board agreed on the following schedule: 11/13 – 6:00 pm start time – Budget Overview 11/20 – 5:00 pm start time – All Departments Budget Presentations 11/26 – 6:00 pm start time – Budget Discussion 12/4 – 6:30 pm start time – Outside Agencies 12/11 – 6:30 pm start time – Public Hearing FY15 Budget 1/8 – 6:30 pm start time – Adopt FY15 Budget Selectboard Budget Binders will be distributed November 8th. 12. Review Next Steps for Committee SWOT Development (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders said that the information that has come through the door so far needs to be shaped up. Cook and Flanders will review the information, ask questions of the various entities and will bring back to the Selectboard. 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) Resident – 1) #13 a). Email from John Carroll Re: Vacancy on DRB. Moran moved (2nd Ashley) to receive an email from John Carroll re: vacancy on DRB. Motion passed. Moran moved (2nd Cook) to appoint John Carroll to the Development Review Board for an unexpired term ending in April, 2016. Motion passed. 14. Selectboard a) Approval of the Minutes of the 9/11/13 Meeting. After some discussion, Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2013 Selectboard meeting as amended. Motion passed. b) Selectboard Town Report Submission (Discussion/Possible Action Item). After very little discussion, the Selectboard approved the report as submitted. c) Handout for Selectboard Organizational Meeting in March (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items suggested were: a list of Town committees, etc. and charges, a list of projects and where we are, various reports and a description of duties of the Selectboard regarding the BCA. d) Review of Next Agendas (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items on the next agenda will be a draft for the organizational material, communication on the Norwich Listserv and a further SWOT development discussion. e) Personnel – Town Manager (Executive Session may be Required). Pursuant to Title 1 VSA § 313(a)(3), Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the annual performance review of the Town Manager. Motion passed. The Selectboard moved into Executive Session at 9:02 pm. At 9:51 pm the Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session. Cook moved (2nd Ashley) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:52 pm. Approved by the Selectboard on November 13, 2013. By Nancy Kramer Assistant to the Town Manager Stephen N. Flanders Selectboard Chair Next Regular Meeting – October 23, 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.