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Minutes 02-05-2024

Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 5, 2024
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present: Diane Benware, Diane Randall, Brad Lawes, Tom Barker, John Rouse
Others Present: Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Richard Hopkins, Jeremy Gildrien
Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair.
Pledge of Allegiance:
Moment of Silence to Honor Ken Young, Ken Willard
Review of Agenda: 

Approval of January 15, 2024 minutes:

Motion by Tom and second by Diane R to approve minutes of January 15, 2024.  4 yes , 1 abstention (Brad) So, approved.


Review/Authorization to Pay Bills:

Motion by John and second by Diane R, authorizing Julie to pay the bills.  All in favor.  So, approved.


Reports from Town Officials, Committees:


Road Foreman:

Arlan stated there was little to report.


Town Clerk/Treasurer:

Julie reminded the board of BCA meeting for Feb 19, at 6:20 pm, to prepare for Town Meeting Day.

Julie has received a tax abatement request. The date for the hearing was set for Monday, Feb. 26, at 7:00 p.m.

Chair signed Tax Map Maintenance Contract.

Julie provided a VLCT document overview of the potential 20% property tax increase to fund education.

Board should be prepared to field questions at Town Meeting, making it clear increases in tax bills are not due to town/road costs.


Julie provided a sample personalized (Leicester) shopping bag she would like to purchase to acknowledge work of election officials, volunteers, etc.  They cost about $2.00 each. Motion by John and second by Diane, for Julie to purchase 50 and Brad will underwrite the cost of an additional 50 bags. Passed unanimously.


Richard Hopkins: MERP Discussion

Richard Hopkins of Middlebury, representing Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County (CEAC), approved by ACRPC, informed board of the Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP).

MERP minigrants provides a $4,000 grant to towns to conduct education and outreach to help residents cut energy costs. CEAC is seeking municipal support to pool county town funds to create the Energy Navigator Program. This program aims to connect community members with one-on-one support to reduce utility bills. In the future, Jean Terwilliger, of Cornwall, will be our contact person. Later in the meeting, Jeremy Gildrien, town Energy Coordinator, indicated his support of the effort. Questions remain; a follow-up conversation to answer further questions and determine potential next steps, is planned for Monday, March 18, with Richard and Jeremy in attendance.  Chair to contact Richard and include Jeremy in correspondence.

In related correspondence, Chair signed the MOA between the BGS (Buildings, Grounds Services) and the town for the grant funded MERP Level 2 Assessment for the 4 town buildings.  Recommendations for remediation/changes to reduce energy costs will be the outcome.


Chair passing around file:

·         Telecommunications notice: improvements at 1759 US 7

·         Letter from Sheriff’s Dept of price increases, effective July 1

Chair to contact Deron Rixon of ACRPC, to speak at a future Selectboard meeting about possibly utilizing Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) to investigate funding for retrofitting municipal property such as the old school and the Meeting House.



Maple Broadband Appointment: 

Chair signed document appointing Diane Benware as delegate and Brad Lawes as alternate representatives to Maple Broadband.


Mark Raishart of Delorm Road presented his application for a Watershed Grant in the hopes that the town would partner with him to handle clerical and administrative responsibilities, as recommended by Dept of Fish and Wildlife. This grant would partially fund a bridge on his driveway to alleviate/minimize flooding and promote passage of aquatic life.  Grant is due Feb 7.  Mark indicated that, if the town chose not to partner with him, he would apply on his own.  Chair indicated this request would be taken up in Executive Session.






Tax Sale Proceeds Dispersal

Town Counsel Jim Carroll seeks a decision from town as to the dispersal of funds from the tax sale of the Barbara Isabelle property.  Isabelle passed away and two siblings were located. Decision to allow the disbursement of the balance to the two siblings.

Executive Session

On a motion by Tom, second by John, board entered into Executive Session, at 8:30 p.m. to discuss Mark Raishart’s request to partner with him to administer a Watershed Grant, should he be awarded.

On a motion by Tom, second by John, to come out of Executive Session, at 8:36 p.m.

On a motion by John, second by Tom:  Chair is to contact Mark with the board’s decision that the town will not partner with him to administer the grant.


Motion to adjourn made at 8:37 p.m. on a motion by Tom, second by Diane R.


Next meeting Monday, Feb 19, 2024   Preceded by BCA hearing.


Respectfully submitted,

Diane Benware