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Minutes - 01-15-2024

  Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Monday, January 15, 2024
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present: Diane Benware, Diane Randall, Tom Barker, John Rouse
Members Absent:  Brad Lawes
Others Present: Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Rob Devoid, Paul Vaczy, Josh Bechhoefer, Ellie DeVilliers, Sandra Trombley
Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair.
Pledge of Allegiance:
Review of Agenda:  
Approval of January 2, 2024 minutes:
Motion by Tom and second by John to approve minutes of January 2, 2024, as written.   So, approved.
Review/Authorization to Pay Bills:
Motion by Tom 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 nothing he had to report.  He did want to talk about his equipment rental for the budget.
Animal Control Officer:
Rob stated that it has been quiet this early in the year.  He should have information for Julie for the Town Report by the end of the week.
Town Clerk/Treasurer:
Julie reported she has been working on the Town Report.
Julie needs a report about Leicester’s Green Up for the Town Report.
Tom stated she could redo last year’s Cemetery Report for the Town Report.
Diane stated the Historical Society Report can be used for the Town Report.
Julie hasn’t heard anything from the Brandon Fire Chief on his report.
Julie provided the Certificate of Highway Mileage for Board signatures with no changes.  
Board signed.
Julie reported that Arlan signed two weight permits.
Julie stated she will need an Executive Session for Confidential CDL Records exempt per 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(6).
Diane shared a copy of the newspaper clipping about CLA and tax rates.  The equalization study showed Leicester’s CLA as 69.17.
Julie is more than happy to explain the CLA at Town Meeting.  Education is state-wide education and residents need to know that the Selectboard has no say in the education budget.
  •       Green Mountain National Forest January – March
  •       3.5M After School Expansive Grants
  •       Regional Planning Newsletter
  •       State’s Resilience Implementation Strategy Initiative
2024 Budget Finalization:
Arlan would like to get $3 more for the big trucks and $7 more for the excavator.  
  •       Log Truck       $85 > $88
  •       Excavator        $63 > $70
  •       Single Axle     $55 > $58
  •       Tandem           $57 > $60
Tom asked if there has been any relief in fuel cost. 
Arlan stated there has been a surcharge.
Julie stated it has dropped considerably.  It is now $4.00 for off-road and $4.30 for on-road.
Arlan would like the road crew to get a little more.
Julie stated the auditors recommended a raise of $50 for each of the Selectboard.
The Board declined the raise.
Julie provided the revised copy of the 2024 budget.  
The Board went through each page of the budget.  
John asked Julie if OCWS responded to Julie’s letter.  Julie stated that they have not responded to her.  She sent the explanation to Lynn and Jeff.
Board finalized the budget.
Consolidation of Positions Discussion:
Paul Vaczy, from the town of Salisbury, came to talk about the problem of filling position in small towns.  number of towns and making a full-time position for someone.  Some positions that are needed in Salisbury are:
  •       Planning Commission (1 or 2)
  •       Town Health Officer
  •       DRB (2)
  •       Zoning Administrator
  •       Treasurer
He just wanted to get the word out.  
Diane brought up that Regional Planning was considering something like this, but she is not sure where this topic is at.
Julie mentioned they currently share Jeff McDonough with Salisbury.  Julie commented that they actually tried to have a Zoning Administrator that served a number of larger towns to make it more of a full-time position.  It became far too much to try to handle all the different regulations and they couldn’t do it.  Our current Zoning Administrator handles Leicester, Goshen, Sudbury, and Whiting.  Four very small towns, of which Leicester is the largest.  We are similar to Salisbury, but we are not the same.
The Chair thanked Paul for coming for this discussion.
Maple Broadband Presentation:
The Chair made introductions to Ellie DeVilliers, Executive Director of Maple Broadband.  She wanted to share the projected build out for Leicester, and also looking for a Leicester representative and alternate.   There are 20 member towns.  With ARPA funds they have been able to do quite a bit of the high-speed fiber optics.  They started in 2022 in Cornwall and moved on to Shoreham, Orwell, half of Whiting, a little of Salisbury and a tiny piece in Leicester.  Currently they are planning phase II going into Ferrisburgh, Waltham, Monkton, New Haven, finish Orwell, thru Whiting, Leicester, and Salisbury.
Ellie stated they have sent out letters to property owners along the highway to see if they have an interest in allowing an electronics hub to be put on their property. 
Diane mentioned that a photo of the hub might be of interest to the property owners; as well as dimensions.  Ellie mentioned they do offer some compensation to the property owners.
Paul Vaczy mentioned an example can be seen on Leland Road.
Ellie would like the Board to appoint two delegates to the board.  They meet remotely one time per month, on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Diane B. is willing to act as a delegate on an interim basis.
Ellie explained that the Selectboard needs to appoint the delegate.  It will be put on the next meeting agenda.
Chair thanked Ellie for coming.
GOP County Chair:
Josh Bechhoefer, GOP Addison County Chair came to get more acclimated on what people want.  He is trying to visit other towns, as well.  
He is trying to get someone to run in Addison County against Peter Conlon.  
Josh shared his concerns about the direction of Vermont and the lack of young Republicans.  Young folks are leaving Vermont.  It is worse in Addison County than some counties. 
Board thanked Josh for coming.
Approval of 2024 Warning for Town Report:
Motion by Tom and second by John to approve the warning with the following.  All in favor.  So, approved.  
341,495.72      General Expenses         256,057.68   Amount to be raises by taxes.
468,190.00      Highway Expenses       361,908.28    Amount to be raised by taxes.
Diane read the rest of the warning.
Board signed the warning.
Motion by John and second by Tom to go into Executive Session at 7:50 p.m. to discuss Confidential CDL Records exempt per 1 V.S.A. § 313 (a)(6) and payroll.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Motion by Tom and second by Diane R. to come out of Executive Session at 8:10 p.m. with the following action.
Motion by Diane R. and second by Tom to approve the 2024 payroll and rental rates.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Motion by Tom to adjourn at 8:12 p.m.
Next meeting Monday, February 5, 2024.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra Trombley