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Minutes - 08-07-2023

  Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Monday, August 7, 2023
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present: Diane Benware, Diane RandallBrad Lawes, Tom Barker
Members Absent:  John Rouse
Others Present: Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Robbie Devoid, Jeremy Gildrien, Gary Kessler (by Phone) Sandra Trombley
Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair.
Pledge of Allegiance:
Review of Agenda Added Health Officer’s Request, Lem’s mowing, Setting Tax Rate, Green Mountain Stage Race.
Approval of July 17, 2023 & July 31, 2023 Minutes:
Motion by Brad and second by Tom to approve minutes of July 17, 2023 and July 31, 2023 as written.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Review/Authorization to Pay Bills:
Motion by Tom and second by Brad authorizing Julie to pay the bills.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Reports from Town Officials, Committees:
Road Foreman:
Arlan reported that they pulled down the tree on Hooker Road.  They filled a lot of holes and did some grading.  
Town Clerk/Treasurer:
Julie reported that Addison County Regional Planning called today because they want to talk about the MERP Energy Assessments; asking if we are going to do them, and when, and what buildings we are going to do them on.  Regional Planning is very interested in what Leicester is doing.
 Julie provided the $4,000 MERP Grant for Diane’s signature.  
Chair signed the $4,000 MERP Grant.
Julie stated they need to think about and discuss how they will handle expenditures.  They need prior approval.
Julie thought they could talk about the other Energy Assessment Grant when everyone was in attendance.  It can go on the agenda for the next meeting.
Julie has the $1,000 quote for the White Building corner piece and she has approval from the person who caused the damage that they will reimburse that amount.
Board authorized Julie to go ahead and have the work done and the town will be reimbursed for the cost.
Julie reported that Leicester is required by the State to do a reappraisal.  The State sent an Reappraisal Order.
The Reappraisal Order was signed and dated by Chair that Leicester will be doing the reappraisal.
Julie asked if the Board was tied to the web-site company they currently have and if they have any issue with her researching alternate web-site companies.  Julie would like to be proactive because the current company has been bought out and there may be some rate hikes.
Board was fine with Julie researching other web-site companies.
Animal Control Officer:
Robbie gave an update on the animal cruelty case and networking involved.  He needs to make another visit.  
Health Officer:
Chree made a request today for a porta potty at the Fern Lake fishing access.    There is a problem with diapers.
Julie sent a note to VLCT asking about liability and VLCT is having their loss prevention person evaluate the situation. Julie hasn’t heard back.  They are concerned about swimming around a boat access.   They will come and look and make recommendations.
Diane R. talked about the need for signage.  
There was discussion about past and present problems at the location.
Julie doesn’t believe that a porta potty will solve the diaper problem.
No action taken at this time.  Waiting for VLCT’s evaluation.
Grant Information:
Jeremy Gildrien came to provide more information about the MERP Grants and bring Diane R. and Brad up-to-date as they were not at the last meeting.
The $4,000 MERP Grant is for capacity building and he was hoping to use those funds; so that he is not the only one doing the work.
The Assessment and Implementation Grant which is the much bigger deal, states all municipalities can apply to have their buildings assessed for energy efficiency through Act 172.  Assessors come and assess the buildings and make recommendations.  There is a Level I and a Level II Assessment.
There is no downside to the grants and it is free money.  Nothing is mandatory; only suggestive.
Chair explained that the expenditures of these grants must be authorized by the Selectboard before they can be spent and need to know Jeremy’s plan.
Jeremy will write a plan and get the plan to the Board.
It’s an on-line application so Jeremy will help by doing his part of the application on a template and provide the information to Julie to enter into the application.  Diane B. will help Julie.  October 15th is the deadline to get the application in.  
Board agreed to apply for a Level II application for all four buildings.
The Hydrologically Connected Road Segments Grant of $10,000 for Hooker Road was signed by Chair.  Local Match is $2,500.  MRGP Funding.
Weight Permit:  None
Lem sent a letter asking when he can start roadside mowing.
Board agreed Lem can start the week of August 21st or earlier, if needed, before school starts.
Gary Kessler:  Green Mountain Stage Race:
Gary Kessler called in.  Julie made introductions over the phone.
Gary explained that the Green Mountain Stage Race, September 3rd, usually goes over the Middlebury Gap on Rte. 125, but due to the flooding and mud slides he’s not sure if the route will be available to them this year.  They will be using Brandon Gap as their alternative to come down.  He was wondering if they could use Fern Lake Road to get back to Rte. 7.
Gary explained the process and the safety procedures and rules that are in place.  Police will be at all intersections.  Every group has officials with them.  He will get a certificate of insurance. The signs are put out a week in advance.
Gary is asking for permission now, because they are unsure about the roads reopening in time, but they are hopeful Rte. 125 can be repaired. 
Board has no problem with the race using Fern Lake Road if needed.  
Tax Rate:
The new tax rate is:
1.8512 Homestead Rate
2.0856 Non-Residential Rate
Board signed the new tax rate.
Board agreed they are not waiving the late homestead filer penalty this year.
Julie thinks she will put some information in the tax bills to explain the reason for the increase due to Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) and not the town’s budget.  She will provide other helpful information; as well.
Executive Session:
Motion by Tom and second by Brad to go into Executive Session at 8:00 p.m. for possible legal matter.
Motion by Tom and second by Brad to come out of Executive Session at 8:29 authorizing Julie to contact town counsel.  
Motion by Tom and second by Brad to adjourn at 8:30 p.m.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Next meeting Monday, August 21, 2023.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, Secretary