Welcome to Leicester, VT

A Great Place to Live

Meeting Minutes

February 6, 2006
Leicester Select Board Meeting
Board members present:  Bob Oliver, Diane Benware, Cecile Todd and John McDonough

Board members absent:  Mark Stacey

Townspeople Present:  John Hughes, Mary Hughes, Donna Pidgeon, Arlan Pidgeon, Jerry Flint, Virginia Wolf, Lawrence Felion Jr., Donald Felion, Mike Denis, Harold Smith

Meeting was called to order at 6:58pm

Agenda was reviewed.

Pledge was recited.

Approval of Minutes
Discussion:  January 16, 2006 minutes are to include an amendment stating that Diane Benware’s yes vote in the Vermont Sun issue was for the coming season only.  She was prepared to offer a compromise.
Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to accept the Jan. 16, 2006  minutes as corrected.  Cecile Todd seconded.  4 ayes, 0 nays

Discussion: January 18, 2006 minutes are to include the following dialogue in regard to the potential town clerk position:  Donna Pidgeon asked Mark Stacey “Where does your wife work?” Mark Stacey responded “She doesn’t.”  A man’s voice asks “Would she like too?”  Mark Stacey states “Maybe when the kids are older.  I”ll ask her?”
Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to accept the minutes with corrections.  Cecile Todd seconded.  4 ayes, 0 nays

Discussion:  January 23, 2006 minutes were accepted as written.
Action:  Cecile Todd made a motion to accept the minutes.  Bob Oliver seconded.  4 ayes, 0 nays

Bills and sign orders for bill payments
Discussion: none
Action:  Bills were paid.

Reports from other Town Officials
Discussion:  Arlan Pidgeon stated that he did not know what was wrong with the grader. The alternator is working.  Brakes need to be bled, battery needs checked (charge system), right hand lift cylinder needs looked as well.  This needs to be done before spring.
Action:  John McDonough will get a transport figure.  He would get an estimate on work.  He would get additional information.

New Business:  Gary Smith/Salisbury Fire Chief
Discussion:  The board had approached the Salisbury fire chief regarding the possibility of the Salisbury fire station being the primary response for Leicester.  Chief Smith stated that he was unable to accommodate the board because of insurance costs, equipment and manpower.  The reason the board is looking into this possibility is that the board only has a verbal agreement.  The board would like to pay a flat fee rather than a fire by fire agreement.  Brandon’s fire department has reservations about the flat fee.  The possibility of Leicester forming its own volunteer fire department was discussed. When insurance companies are aware of a line item in the budget, the town didn’t get paid.  John Hughes stated that the board needs to be more aggressive on town reimbursement.
Action: none

Discussion:  John McDonough reiterated the concerns of several townspeople that there should not be any monetary stipend increases in the budget. Increases are to be placed on the ballot.   In the late 1990s, there was a meeting regarding this.  He said the following year it should have been warned and gone into affect.  However it never showed up.  He thought the board may be overstepping their bounds.  John McDonough stated that he did not sign the budget because of this issue.
Action:  An attempt to find out more information will be made.

Town Clerk Training
Discussion:  $5000 is in the budget to train a replacement for the town clerk.  Concern was expressed that training a person prior to the current town clerk’s resignation may be wasteful.  The trained person may reject the job.  Concern that the $5000 should be voted upon by the people was shared.  John McDonough felt that the $5000 should be used to pay Donna Pidgeon to do the training.
Action: none

Discussion:  Listers are doing more groundwork therefore they are saving the town money.  The budgeted amount of $68000 is the same amount as in 1998.  Jerry Flint asked if the papers will be contacted. Mr. Flint also asked if the janitorial need was addressed in the papers. Diane Benware stated that the information should appear in the papers on Thursday. Virginia Wolf volunteered to make phone calls for appointments.  Harry Smith explained that the money allotted is not an increase in pay.  By using the listers, the town is saving $49 an hour. 
Action:  none

Cindy Bushy/Use of town hall for daughter’s baby shower on April 2, 2006
Discussion:  A policy should be written.  Cecile Todd asked what the past practice had been.  It was decided that the former practice needed to be changed.  A motion was made that stated as of this evening the policy will be $35 (nonrefundable) for the hall and 25 for a security deposit (refundable).  The one applying or the honored guest must be a resident of Leicester.  No alcohol.  There is a limit of 35 people.  If something is broken the person renting is responsible.
Action:  Policy will be formally written and brought back February 20, 2006.  Cindy Bushy was given permission to use the hall.

Letter for Dog Census
Discussion:  Greg Moore Junior responded to the board inquiry that this position was more than he could handle.  However, if the board had no other recourse to call him back.  Dog census needs to be done by April 1, 2006.  Board will write a letter and collate responses in regard to which homes had dogs.  The board needs to find 1-2 individuals to address labels.  Random checks will be done.
Action:  Don Felion and Virginia Wolf volunteered to address labels.  Kim Schroder, animal abuse officer, will be contacted to see if he would like to do the checks.   Board gave Diane Benware permission to print letter and postcard.

Grand List Certification
Discussion: none
Action:  Board members signed the document.

Sign Loan paperwork
Discussion:  A credit line of up to $150,000 was granted from the Brandon Bank.  This loan has a 3.59% interest rate and a 10 day late charge clause.  It is made with the anticipation of taxes being collected.
Action:  Board members signed the loan.

Other New Business:
Discussion:  Cecile Todd questioned the Windows 98 bill.  Donna Pidgeon explained that the old program was 5 years old and needed to be updated.

The board has a contract with the Humane Society for $425 (flat rate).  Based on the numbers of cats and dogs sent to the shelter last year, it is more economical to continue paying the flat fee.

Old Business
Discussion:  Willlem Jewett call Diane Benware to let her know that they are working on the budget.  A hearing would occur. 
Dave Lathrop (District 3 officer)  told Diane Benware that the two grants applied for would not go toward the bridge.
Action:  Diane Benware will be present at the hearing.

Amendment to Ferson Road Culvert
Discussion:  In 2005 the board submitted a letter for extension. 
Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to have Diane Benware write a letter to Mr. Lathrop asking for an extension and amendment of orginal grant.

Letter from Vermont Sun
Discussion:  Diane Benware read a letter from the Chamber of Commerce in regard to the money Vermont Sun brought to neighboring communities.  Vermont Sun has retained an attorney.
Action:  none

Discussion:  Thomas Grace’s hourly rate was misprinted in the newspaper.  Diane Benware was contacted by the newspaper for clarification.  Thomas Grace was asking to be  paid $18 not $16.

Limited Public Opinion
Discussion:  Don Felion stated that the door on the Senior Center is hard for the students to open.
Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion that the board with authorize the repair of the door on the east side of the building.  Seconded by Cecile Todd.  4 ayes and 0 nays

Discussion: Donald Felion stated that the town clerk was not in the building when the cleaning lady was present.  The vault was open.  He questioned if this was a good policy.  Donna Pidgeon shared that nothing was missing.  The volunteer was a personal friend with whom she had great confidence.
Action:  none

Discussion:  Donald Felion stated that there should be someone besides Harold Smith who knew the password.  Harold Smith stated that there is another person who has access to the password.

Discussion:  Cecile expressed concern that the minutes were on the internet before they were approved.  Diane Benware noted that the minutes are clearly marked as unapproved.  Donna Pidgeon stated that the minutes are public. 
Action:  It was decided that the statement “See subsequent meetings for changes in minutes”  will be placed on the minutes.

Discussion:  John Hughes asked if we had a definition of terms on the website.  The answer was no, but the idea was positively received.  Diane Benware also suggested a disclaimer.  Donna Pidgeon suggested looking at another town’s site.
Action:  none

Discussion:  Virginia Wolf ask if anyone else had received a raise.
Diane Benware said not to her knowledge.  Virginia Wolf stated that since the town clerk received a raise, the office hours had decreased.  Donna Pidgeon stated that the office is still open to the public the same amount of hours.  Virginia Wolf repeated her concern that the voters had the right to give or take money away.
Action:  Diane Benware will investigate information regarding the former meeting where the inability of the board to budget raises was determined.

Discussion:  Jerry Flint asked about the meet the candidate evening that is being sponsored by the historical society.  The event will happen on Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 2:00pm.  Advertisement will be at the recycling center and in the papers.

Bob Oliver made a motion to adjourn the regular meeting.  Cecile Todd seconded. 4 ayes, 0 nays The board went into executive session at 9:50pm.

Bob Oliver made a motion to adjourn executive session at 10:32pm
John McDonough seconded.  4 ayes, 0 nays

Bob Oliver made a motion to adjourn select board meeting at 10:33pm.  John McDonough seconded.  4 ayes, 0 nays

The next meeting is February 20, 2006.

Submitted by,

Betty Wiedenbein, secretary