Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Christopher Ashley, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Keith Moran; Neil Fulton,
Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager. Absent: Steve Flanders.
There were 2 people in the audience.
Also participating: Cheryl Lindberg, Irv Thomae.
Ashley opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). By consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. The Norwich Fair sponsored by the Lions Club runs from July 12th through
July 15th. Thomae was present and gave an update on the ECFiber progress in Norwich.
Norwich has 58 investors so far and has raised $280,000 on the first round. ECFiber is proposing
additional extension of services in the Town of Norwich for Dutton and Bragg Hill, Beaver
Meadow, Turnpike and tributaries, Kendall Station, Hogback, Kerwin and Union Village. There will
be an informational meeting on June 28th at 7:00 pm in the Tracy Hall multipurpose room. The
goal of this phase is to raise $250,000 some of which has already been raised. ECFiber is
exploring the possibility of a local hub at the Marion Cross School with outside access. Maps will
be updated on the ECFiber website Friday afternoon.
3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The legislature has raised the state education property
tax rates by two cents. Advance Transit is looking into bike racks at Dan & Whit’s and the library
in order to further encourage bus usage. A shelter is planned for the King Arthur Flour bus stop.
Paving has started and should be completed by the end of June. The Preliminary 2012 Grand List
was completed on June 1st and 109 change of appraisal notices have been mailed. FEMA
reimbursements to the Town to date amount to $ 317,681.96. The consultant has started work on
the pool project. A second public forum on the pool project should take place in July or August.
The Town of Norwich has received three grants from the Norwich Women’s Club this year. One
to upgrade the sound system in the gym, one for a portable sound system and one for a bike rack
and benches at Huntley Meadow. The Town has received a grant from Vermont Homeland
Security with 100% funding for 11 mobile radios and 5 portable radios for the Public Works
Department. This will complete the upgrading of all field units to be narrow-band capable. The
Capital Facilities Planning and Budgeting Committee has scheduled a public forum on the
proposed radio system and tower for June 20th at 7:00 pm. Green Mountain Power has started
the conversion of their street lights to LED lights. Based on a recommendation from the Norwich
Energy Committee that Chief Robinson and Hodgdon agree that several street lights can be
removed. Neighbors of the lights to be removed have been contacted. Fulton answered
questions regarding the balloon test, the Safe Routes to School Sidewalk project and street lights
from Cook. Childs questioned if the appropriated funds in Article 5 were going to be sufficient for
matching funds for damage due to Tropical Storm Irene and Fulton said it was still too soon to tell
mainly due to the uncertainty about what the cost of replacing the Town Pool will be.
4. Unlicensed Dogs (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said that this is an annual event where by
statute the Town Clerk after May 30th needs to furnish to the legislative body a list of unlicensed
dogs. Fulton is asking the Selectboard to turn the list over to him for action. After a brief
discussion, Childs moved (2nd Moran) to turn the list of unlicensed dogs over to the Town
Manager for action in accordance with 20 VSA §3590. Motion passed.
5. Request to Expend $23,000 from the Tennis Courts Reserve Fund (Discussion/Action Item).
Fulton, as Interim Town Manager in 2008, recommended repair of Court #1 using the Guardian
Crack Repair System. At that time, there were only sufficient funds to do one court. Since then,
funds have been put in the Tennis Courts Reserve Fund annually and the Fund is projected to
have a balance of $23,085.80 on July 1, 2012. The goal is to repair, resurface and repaint all four
tennis courts in the next two to three weeks. Fulton recommends retaining Vermont Tennis Court
Surfacing, who did the work in 2008. After some discussion of the balance in the Fund, Childs
moved (2nd Cook) to authorize the Town Manager to retain Vermont Tennis Court Surfacing for
$23,000 to repair, resurface and repaint the tennis courts to be funded from the Tennis Courts
Reserve Fund. Motion passed.
6. Bridge #41 Rehabilitation (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said the full replacement cost of
Bridge 41 would be at least $500,000 and that sufficient funds for this are not available. Blow and
Cote has done bridge work for the Town before and performed satisfactorily. The work will be
paid for with a bridge grant from AOT, FEMA funds and an estimated $23,102 from the Bridge
Reserve Fund. Costs are estimated due to not knowing the condition of the top of the bridge deck
until the bituminous concrete is removed. After some discussion of costs and options, Moran
moved (2nd Childs) to authorize the Town Manager to retain Blow and Cote at an estimated cost
of $253,459 to rehabilitate Bridge 41. Motion passed.
7. Norwich Continuity of Government (COG) Plan (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton said a new COG
Plan – Successor List should be done every Selectboard change. He provided the Board in their
packet with the 2011 Basic Emergency Operations Plan (BEOP) which is being updated. One of
the elements in the BEOP is the COG Plan which includes succession for key positions if a person
is unavailable during an emergency. In the case of appointed positions, the appointment authority
approves and signs off on the successor. In the case of Department Heads, the Town Manager
approves. In the case of the Town Manager, the Selectboard must approve. Fulton is
recommending Dechert as his successor. Questions were asked regarding whom to contact.
Fulton said there is a command system in place that emergency personnel will follow. In the case
of Norwich, the Emergency Management Coordinator is Jennie Hubbard. The Town Manager is
the Emergency Management Director and Steve Leinoff is the Deputy Emergency Management
Director. Also discussed was training that can be offered to the Selectboard.
Childs moved (2nd Moran) to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard to sign the Continuity of
Government Plan which designates Phil Dechert as First Successor to the Town Manager.
8. Correspondence (Please go to www.norwich.vt.us, click on Town Offices bullet in left panel,
scroll down to Norwich Selectboard section and click on Recent Selectboard Correspondence to
view resident correspondence):
a) Resident –
1) #8 a). Email from Nancy Hoggson Re: License Plate Reader. Childs moved (2nd
Moran) to receive an email from Nancy Hoggson re: License Plate Reader. Motion
2) #8 b). Letter from The Honorable Peter Welch Re: Norwich’s Resolution. Childs moved
(2nd Cook) to receive a letter from The Honorable Peter Welch re: Norwich’s Resolution.
Motion passed. Ashley briefly reviewed the Resolution process.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 5/9/12 and 5/23/12 Meetings. Childs moved (2nd Moran) to
approve the minutes of the May 9, 2012 and May 23, 2012 Selectboard meetings. Motion
b) Review of Strategic Plan Focus Areas and Guiding Principles (Discussion). Ashley said
that the point of this discussion was to help the Board plan for the next meeting. Ashley
would like to set values and believes some of the strategic plan focus ideas submitted by
the Selectboard could be combined. Flanders has submitted to the Town Manager and
Chair a PowerPoint presentation outlining his position on strategic planning. After some
discussion, it was agreed that Fulton would attempt to develop a consolidated list of focus
areas; that Flanders’ presentation would be sent out to all Selectboard members; that high
speed internet access was a common strategic focus and that topics picked by each
Board member would be explained as part of the process for the June 27th meeting.
c) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton recommended that the
communications tower be discussed at the next meeting. Radio band width will take a
hard stop on December 31, 2012. Coverage will drop from 50-60% to about 34%. One
option is to have a bond vote at the primaries on August 28th. The Selectboard would
have to decide to warn the special meeting at their July 11th meeting. Fulton also
discussed the incompatible technologies when the band width is reduced again in the
future and the six tower regional plan. The Board agreed to discuss this item before
strategic planning at their meeting on June 27th.
At this point some questions were asked and answered regarding the warrants included in the
Selectboard packet that had been approved the week before by Ashley.
Cook moved (2nd Moran) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 7:59 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on July 11, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – June 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM
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