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A Great Place to Live

Special Meeting Minutes

January 11, 2007

Special Selectboard Meeting
Unapproved - See minutes of subsequent meeting for any changes.

Present:  R. Oliver, J. McDonough, C. Todd, M. Stacey, D. Benware (recorder)
Others:  Donna Pidgeon, Arlan Pidgeon, John Hughes, Mary Hughes

Meeting called to order at 7:01 p.m. by the Chair.  Flag salute recited.

The budget review began with items on page three relating to recycling. Richard Humiston reported to Donna that he plans to pay the two workers $.50/ hour more each, beginning in January.  It was decided that we would not ask Richard to provide an additional day of recycling in Dec. '07, because that would create 3 weeks of recycling in a row.  John suggested that we ask Richard if he would pick up road-side trash
that he finds when he is doing his garbage route and then to bill us for it, in an effort to
keep road-sides clean.  Bob added that when we see things on the Bullock Road to call Richard to pick it up.
ACTION:  Diane said she would call Richard about the 2 suggestions and report to the board on 1/15/07.

Re:  sending bills for reimbursement for fire coverage.  John mentioned he had a conversation with Beth Ripley in which she expressed some interest in sending the bills to property owners on our behalf. 
ACTION:  Diane to contact her to see if this is the case and what she would  charge.
In a related discussion, the issue was raised about whether Richard Nicklaw keeps a log of folks who call for permission to burn.
ACTION:  Diane to call to verify if this is the case.

Animal Control/dog census:  Decided at this point to pursue those dog owners who did not register their dogs in 2006.  Rather than conduct an entirely new census, 2006 census cards will be checked to see if folks are coming forth to register dogs.

Health Officers:  Due to uncertainty about what the next steps are in the Coons matter, Diane said she would contact Bucky for clarification.

Writing/Research Grant line item:  Motion by Bob, second by Mark , to pay Donna $500 in a gesture of appreciation for all the grants she has written on behalf of the town.  Four members voted aye (Bob, Diane, Mark, John) with Ceil voting nay.  Ceil explained her reasons for voting nay, saying she wanted to avoid hard feelings, believing that Tom Barker had written one grant and had gotten no compensation.  She also stated she felt it would be O.K. if Donna donated the sum to an organization, such as the historical society.  After clarifying that Donna, working alone, wrote grants totaling more than $82,000 for the town Ceil changed her vote to yes.

In reviewing the Highway Equipment budget, Ceil made the suggestion that we place an item in the Warning seeking voter approval for $10,000 to be placed in restricted funds for future equipment purchase.
ACTION:  John mentioned that the grader needs to go to Winmill for repair.   John will contact Winmill to see when they can work on it.  Arlan offered to take it to Rutland for $125 each way.  His offer was accepted.

ACTION:  After discussion, it was proposed to put $3,000 for culverts in the budget.  An amount of $12,500 was suggested for ditching work, which supplements the approximately $2,500 currently in a restricted fund.  It was suggested that the Road Commissioners give details in their report for the plan for doing culverts/ ditching work spring '07. 

Planning for the balance due on the bridge:  report from Roger Whitcomb in Structures indicates we owe up to $218,288 more for the bridge.  Report from Financial Services Dep't indicates we owe $162,767.18.  We determined that we have enough set aside to pay $9,000/month for this year.  We need to get a better idea of what the "actual" balance might be.  We also may want to consider re-negotiating a payment schedule
with VTrans.
ACTION:  Diane to contact BOTH offices to see if they can come to some agreement on costs.  Diane will also request a meeting with VTrans reps, legislators, and town officials.

We also need to indicate in the budget or our report that we participated in the fuel pre-buy program in an effort control costs.

Discussion about future audit (2007 is the year, to be done after Jan. '08)  will require perhaps $4,000 this year and $3,000 next year to be added to the $2,500 that has been placed in escrow for the audit.
ACTION:  Diane to contact VLCT to see what firms they recommend.

OTHER:  John informed us of the Veteran's Exemption (on property taxes) that 6 residents utilize.  The suggestion has been made to increase it to  a minimum of $20,000.  Diane made copies of the State of Vermont Veteran's Affairs handout which will be discussed in further detail on Jan. 15.

Note:  Lisa and Steve of Wright Appraisal Co. wish to speak to the Board at 7:00 p.m. Monday evening.  Also on 1/15 to review Selectboard Report for Town Report.

Motion by John, second by Bob and Mark to adjourn at 10:15 p.m.  Meeting
adjourned 10:15 p.m.

Next meeting Jan. 15, 2007.

Respectfully submitted:

Diane Benware, Chair (recorder)