Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM
Members present: Christopher Ashley, Chair; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Steve Flanders; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were about 14 people in the audience.
Also participating: Phil Dechert, Joshua Durst, Mary Fowler, Steve Leinoff, Doug Robinson.
Ashley opened the meeting at 5:30 pm.
1. Personnel (Executive Session May be Required). Pursuant to Title 1 VSA § 313(a)(3),
Flanders moved (2nd Moran) to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing
personnel - Town Manager evaluation. Motion passed. If time permits, pursuant to Title 1 VSA §
313(a)(1), Flanders moved (2nd Moran) to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of
discussing litigation and to invite Neil Fulton to join the Session. Motion passed. The Selectboard
moved into Executive Session at 5:31 pm. At 6:34 pm the Selectboard moved into public session.
No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session.
2. 6:30 pm - Approval of Agenda (Action Item). Ashley welcomed Hanover High School Students
who were present. By consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
3. Public Comments. Cook said the Planning Commission will be having a special meeting to
review the proposed amendments to the Norwich Subdivision Regulations Thursday,
September 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm in Tracy Hall. Dechert said this meeting is an informal overview.
4. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Town Manager has started FY14 budget
preparations and will present the budget to the Selectboard at their first meeting in November. A
decision has been received from Vermont Property Valuation and Review on the White appeal.
The inventory of Town roads that was promised to be done this year by TRORC has been
postponed until next year. The Town received notice that additional information is needed on the
Police Department grant for the equipment for the narrowband UHF digital simulcast system and
we are in the process of preparing this information. The Town is waiting for official notification
from AOT before work can start on the Beaver Meadow paving. Bridge #41 final work will be
completed by next week.
5. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). Cook questioned the River
Road vet bill and asked about the tax overpayments on the warrant and was told they were
related to income sensitivity. After some discussion, Moran asked to divide the question to allow a
separate vote on the lease payment for the grader due to his lack of support for the second
grader. Childs moved (2nd Flanders) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-9 for General Fund in
the amount of $86,095.50 for the period from 9/13/12 to 9/25/12. Motion passed. Childs moved
(2nd Flanders) to approve Check Warrant Report #13-9 for Highway Equipment Fund in the
amount of $19,042.39 for the period from 9/13/12 to 9/25/12. Motion passed 4 to 1 (yes –
Ashley, Childs, Flanders and Cook; no - Moran).
6. Interview/Appoint Mary Fowler to Finance Committee (Discussion/Action Item). Fowler said
she had attended one Finance Committee meeting and was left with some concerns about being
on the Committee. She has read the charge and believes she has the necessary skill set to be on
the Committee but she would like to discuss further with Committee members. After some
discussion, the Board agreed to postpone her appointment until they hear back from Fowler.
7. Errors and Omissions (Discussion/Action Item). Fulton explained that the 1.84 acres was
based on a survey. After very little discussion, Flanders moved (2nd Childs) to remove parcel 15-
077.000 to $257,800 as detailed in the memo from the Norwich Board of Listers to the Norwich
Selectboard dated August 21, 2012. Motion passed.
8. Public Works, Fire and Police Facilities Deficiencies and Functional Needs Analysis
(Discussion). Fulton said the Town had retained Mink Brook Management to identify the code and
functional deficiencies within the three Town buildings. Fulton then reviewed the summary section
of each report and the photos included in each. The Department of Public Works Facilities report
summarizes that the building is too small, bathroom facilities are inadequate, no office space, no
space for employee meals and repair work interferes with the administration of the Department.
Fulton pointed out that the photos on pages 8 through 17 document these deficiencies. Flanders
questioned the $270,000 cost in 6.1.6 and Fulton said he would look into it. Ashley wanted to
know what improvements are required. Leinoff referred the Board to the Fire Safety Inspection
Report. Cook believes the laptop Hodgdon uses at home is Town-owned and that the
Selectboard has already addressed the problem of administrative help in the FY13 budget. The
Fire Station report summarizes that the building is of adequate size to house the apparatus and
equipment but does not have enough room for essential support activities, bathroom facilities are
inadequate, insufficient training room, no room for a Chief’s office or showers, needs some energy
efficiency improvements, the building is code compliant, parking and traffic flow is poor, lack of
space to train and the current station has value and can serve as part of a new public safety
building. Fulton pointed out that the photos on pages 8 through 16 document the deficiencies.
Cook questioned the new roof deficiencies and Leinoff said the actual weight of the new roof was
less and eliminated ice jams so the actual load is less than before. Leinoff also referred the Board
to the construction permit on page 21. The Police Station report summarizes that the current
Police Department office was built as a private residence and was never designed to house the
complex requirements of a modern Police Department, the roof has continual leaking areas, lack
of insulation, outdated materials used for construction that do not meet today’s standards, is in
dire need of paint and renovation repairs, the existing garage area and furnace room have code
problems, the existing rooms used for offices and storage are inadequate and the kitchen,
bathroom and locker room are not ADA compliant. Fulton pointed out that the photos on pages 10
through 15 document these deficiencies. Robinson spoke about the inadequacies of the building
and the continuing chipmunk saga. The Selectboard and Town Manager then discussed what the
next steps should be. It was agreed Fulton and Department Heads would work with the Capital
Facilities Committee to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) for architectural/engineering
services to develop a program for the three facilities and bring the RFP to the Board. Fulton said
there needed to be sufficient time for community discussions before a vote was held on a bond
issue and was looking at March 2014/2015 as a time frame. Kramer was asked to put copies of
the Long Term Facilities Planning Committee Report in the Selectboard mailboxes and to include
copies of the Capital Facilities Committee minutes in the Selectboard packet.
9. Strategic Planning (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Flanders shared a summary PowerPoint
presentation on strategic planning which he recommended be a starting point for discussion at a
public forum. The draft presentation covered seven proposed strategic ideas: public facilities,
village traffic, commercial landscape, residential landscape, climate change, internet connectivity
and trails and routes and outlined issues and possible goals for each. Cook suggested limiting the
number to four and, after discussion, thought that maybe the Selectboard should return to Fulton’s
compilation of the Board’s strategic plan focus discussed at the June 13th meeting and redefine
the goals. After discussion regarding getting public input before limiting and/or ranking the goals,
the Board agreed that they would get their ideas to Fulton by October 1st and he would pass them
on to Flanders for revision with the goal of getting something out to the public before Town
10. 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) #10 a). Letter of Thanks from SEVCA. Childs moved (2nd Moran) to receive a letter of
thanks from SEVCA. Motion passed.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 9/12/12 Meeting. Flanders had provided some changes to
item #10 Strategic Planning that Kramer distributed to the Board. After review, Flanders
moved (2nd Moran) to approve the minutes of the September 12, 2012 Selectboard
meeting as amended. Motion passed. Cook then asked for some further amendments to
the minutes. After some discussion, Cook moved (2nd Moran) to approve the minutes of
the September 12, 2012 Selectboard meeting as further amended. Motion passed.
b) Review of Next Agenda (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton reminded the Board
that he would be on vacation the week of October 8th and Dechert will be Acting Town
Manager. Items on the agenda for October 10th will include a review of the Selectboard
Town Report submission and strategic planning. Selectboard/Town Administration goals
and objectives will be reviewed at the October 24th meeting.
c) Litigation (Executive Session may be Required). Pursuant to Title 1 VSA § 313(a)(1),
Flanders moved (2nd Cook) to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing
litigation and to invite Neil Fulton to join the Session. Motion passed. The Selectboard
moved into Executive Session at 8:15 pm.
At 8:39 pm the Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the
Childs moved (2nd Cook) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on October 10, 2012.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Next Regular Meeting – October 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM
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