Welcome to Leicester, VT

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Meeting Minutes

April 17, 2006

Leicester Select Board Meeting

Unapproved minutes: See subsequent meeting minutes for corrections


Board Members Present:  Diane Benware, Cecile Todd, Mark Stacey, Bob Oliver and John McDonough


Community Members Present:  John Hughes, Mary Hughes, Lawrence A. Felion, Jr., Jerry Flint, Arlan Pidgeon and Charles Johnson.


Meeting was called to order at 7:00pm.

The pledge was recited.

Agenda was reviewed.


Approval of Minutes:  Approval of minutes was postponed until the next meeting.


Review and Sign Orders for bill payments

Discussion: The board reviewed the bills.

Action:  The board reviewed the bills and signed orders for payment.


Reports from Town Officials or Committees

Discussion:  Road permits were checked by Arlan Pidgeon.  Road Commissioners reviewed the road permits.

Action:  Road permits were approved.


Discussion:  Arlan Pidgeon reported that he worked on the shoulder off of Cram Road (up toward Richard Nicklaws, not where Velco is working).  He did some ditching, but had more to do.


Discussion: John McDonough read Culvert Ordinance into the minutes.  Please see the last page of these minutes for the ordinance.

Cecile Todd asked if it was difficult to clean out culverts.  Arlan Pidgeon responded by saying it can be very difficult.  John Hughes asked if the state had standards. The state standards should be in the ordinance. John McDonough relayed that yes under the street culverts have standards, but that culverts under driveways do not have state standards. Diane Benware explained that it is recommended a 15-inch culvert for a driveway.  She went on to say that an 18-inch culvert is the minimum standard for a roadway.  Cecile Todd asked if we should require an 18 for driveways.  Arlan Pidgeon said that some culverts are too short.  They should be at least 30 feet long.  It is the responsibility of the homeowner to clean out culverts. 

Action:  John McDonough made a motion to rescind old driveway/culvert policy adopted by previous select board .  Bob Oliver seconded.  5 ayes, 0 nays  Motion passed.

Action:  John McDonough made a motion to accept proposed driveway/ culvert policy.  Bob Oliver seconded.  5 ayes, 0 nays.  Motion passed.


Discussion:  Lawrence J. Felion Jr. asked about the signs and mailboxes that had been knocked down on Fern Lake Road.

Action:  Arlan Pidgeon will repair and replace signs as needed.


Discussion:  Arlan Pidgeon stated that a temporary “get around” was needed for the culvert on Rt 53. 

Action:  Arlan will check on who the landowners is and report back to the board.


New Business

Discussion:  Heather LaPorte is a Creative Memories Consultant.  She would like to rent the Senior Center.  She would like the center one Friday per month to accommodate 15 to 20 people.  If there were a good response, she would seek approval for two Fridays per month.  In the past the Senior Center was rented for painting classes.  The board discussed how these painting classes were charged for rental.  John McDonough asked if there were any established users (conflicts) for Fridays.  No one knew of any.  John Hughes noted that the policy was just changed regarding the rental of the Senior Center.  He asked the board to use the policy it had just established. He wanted the board to treat everyone the same. 

Action:  John McDonough made a motion to approve the rental pending finding out what the Drew renter was charged and the date does not conflict with previous scheduled event.  Bob Oliver seconded.  John McDonough rescinded this motion.  Cecile Todd seconded. John McDonough made a motion approved the use of senior center with the rental fees set by board policy.  Mark Stacey seconded.  5 ayes, 0 nays  Usage of the senior center by community members was encouraged.  Diane Benware will contact Heather LaPorte.


Discussion:  Sign Road Weight Permits

Arlan Pidgeon approved road weight permits.  John McDonough and Bob Oliver approved the road weight permits. Arlan Pidgeon reported that the Sheriff had been in to check if the board had road weight permits.

Action:  The board signed.


Discussion:  Kathy Eastwood returned the signed paperwork for town service officer.

Action:  The board signed the paperwork for Kathy Eastwood to be the town service officer.  Diane Benware will send a letter to Kathy Eastwood.


Discussion:  Green Up Day

Kate Briggs has volunteered to be the green up coordinator for Saturday, May 6, 2006.

It was suggested that a clean your culvert campaign be done on clean up day as well.



Discussion:  The board thanked Arlan Pidgeon and a volunteer for their work on the upper and lower Bullock Road clean up.  Dick DuBois asked that if this was done again that he be able to examine the trash to try to link the trash to an individual.  Also it was suggested that photographs be taken the next time.  Cecile Todd mentioned that she would like Arlan Pidgeon to use the city truck for green up day.  She reported that Len Palmer does have an interest in doing the clean up. He would charge $400.  She asked Arlan Pidgeon if he would be able to do the job for that price.  He stated he did not know.  It depended on civic response and how much clean up there was.  A volunteer and Bob Oliver offered to help Arlan Pidgeon.  It was mentioned that the board should contact Sid Glassner to see if he would like to help as well. Charles Johnson stated that if Lem Palmer did a good job last year and is interested again, the board should let him do it this year.

Action:  Cecile Todd made a motion that the board use Lem Palmer to pick up trash on green up day a long as the fee of $400 is confirmed.  John McDonough seconded.  5 ayes, 0 nays. Diane Benware will find out what the school plans are for green up day.


Action:  Bob Oliver made a motion to go into executive session for the purpose of interviewing at 7:50pm.  John McDonough seconded.  The board returned from executive session at 8pm


Old Business:  Vermont Sun Request

Last Tuesday the Salisbury Board was standing room only as Vermont Sun asked the board to reconsider their position.  Major Baker encouraged everyone to “work it out”.  Permits are unlikely unless towns agree to concessions.  Be reminded that the board does not have the final say in this decision.  Jim Carroll, town attorney, advised the board to allow Vermont Sun to return to the board.  His concern was that the board must allow due process.  John McDonough initially was not willing to let Vermont Sun return to the board.  He felt that the board had already discussed, listened and voted enough times regarding this issue.  Mark Stacey stated that he agreed with John McDonough to a point.  However, he stated it is not wise not to follow the advise of your counselor.  Other topics regarding a meeting with Vermont Sun that were discussed were:  not a joint meeting, not a special meeting, limiting time, and a large group Vermont Sun supporters who are not residents will not be present.  Vermont Sun may cut one race.  Leicester Central School will receive 4 days for free swim lessons.  This is a $900 value. The board was never given the chance to follow the process. Vermont Sun and the state police did not follow the process. Permits were not sent to the board appropriately. John McDonough stated that the townspeople have spoken, and the safety of residents is the most important factors.  Jerry Flint suggested that signatures be collected to make a statement for the residents.

Action:  Mark Stacey made a motion that Vermont Sun would be given 15 minutes at the beginning of the board meeting on May 15.  The meeting will be warned and open to the public.  Bob Oliver seconded.  5 ayes, 0 nays.


Plan Meeting with Brandon Fire Department

Discussion:  The board needs to plan a meeting with the Brandon Fire Department in order to enter an intermunicipal agreement.

Action: Diane Benware will contact the fire department to set up a meeting.


Updates from Montpelier re: Bridge #6

Discussion:  Two meetings have occurred to ask questions about the increasing costs of the bridge.  The state does not award contract on a lump sum basis.  The state award contracts on a per unit contract. State contracts are open ended and flexible.   John McDonough stated that the only difference between public and private contracts is that the state reserves the right to change cost on items such as gravel or fuel.  John Hughes says he could understand Blow and Cote’s cost going up, but not the states.  It should cost the state the same amount whether it is a small contract or a large contract; they are paying their engineers about the same amount from year to year.  The state is where our concern is in regard to the board’s money.  Blow and Cote’s price is firm.  A good bidder plans for increases. Willem Jewett asked why the costs keep changing and never really got an answer.  The railroad work is in question.  The board had refused the optional upgrades to the railway. There is no cost for the railroad for the town.  Yet railroad work is listed on a bill.  There is not an hour billing available to the board.  Right away payments were made to three residents for a total of $89000.

Action: Diane Benware had emailed Willem Jewett.  She invited others to go to Montpelier. The board will continue to question the state. There will be notification to surrounding communities of Leicester’s burden regarding the bridge.

Jim Carrol will be asked to read the original contract.


Junk Ordinance

Discussion:  Letters were sent to two individuals.  It was reported that Donna Pidgeon had an upset individual come to her at the town office.  The board expressed that it was not Donna’s responsibility to defend the junk ordinance letter.  Mark Stacey shared his findings on Hooker Road.

Action:  Cecile Todd will add board member phone numbers to the letter. Cecile Todd will get name and address for the Hooker Road residence and will send a letter. She will also get an address for the first residence south of the Nazarene church.


Zoning Committee

Discussion: Jerry Flint shared that some of this clean up falls under the jurisdiction of the zoning board.  Ron Fisk has not officially taken over.  Cindy Hill has not been attending the meetings.  It was stated that it is hard to do zoning without Cindy Hill present.  The select board pays Cindy Hill.  Therefore, they can require her to be at the meetings.


Middlebury College

Discussion:  A regional pandemic clinic for first responders will be offered at 6pm next Wednesday.


Limited Public Opinion

Discussion:  Jerry Flint approached the board with an unused set of mailing labels.


November 30 fuel tank leak

Discussion: Diane Benware informed the board that the school will have a meeting at 6:30 to respond to a letter from the state.  The contamination needs to be monitored for 5 years.  School has asked state officials to attend.

Action:  Diane Benware will see that the emergency person for the town would get a copy of the school letter.


Action:  Mark Stacey made a motion to adjourn.  Bob Oliver seconded.  5 ayes and 0 nays.  Adjournment occurred at 9:44pm



Next meeting will be Monday, May 1, 2006 at 7pm.



Respectfully Submitted,

Betty G. Wiedenbein






Driveway and Culvert Policy

The select board of the town of Leicester will rescind any previous policies then in effect.  As of April 17, 2006, we now adopt a new ordinance.


Coinciding with town zoning ordinances pertaining to new construction.

The road foreman will lay out driveway entrances also i.e. size, length and depth to his satisfaction. Driveway culverts will be minimum of 15-inch diameter and 30 feet long.    The applicant or landowner will assume the cost.  Draining is of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining our roads



Pertaining to pre-existing drives and culvert in the road row.

Some of these culverts will have to be replaced.  Some are deteriorated or improper size.  Also the depth may not coincide with drainage ditches.  Also, grade height of the drive way may have to be altered.  The road foreman will perform this construction. The cost will be the town’s responsibility.