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Minutes - 12-21-2020

Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Monday, December 21, 2020
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Diane Benware, Brad Lawes, Tom Barker, Ron Fiske
Members Absent:  John Rouse
Others Present:  Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Peter Newton, Peter Conlin, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Call to OrderCalled meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. 
Pledge of Allegiance:
Review of Agenda:  
Approval of October 19, 2020 Minutes:
Motion by Ron, second by Tom to approve minutes of October 19, 2020 as written. Brad abstained and 3 approved.  So, approved. 
Approval of December 7, 2020 Minutes:
Sandy provided a clarification of the minutes.  They read the LGER Grant is just way too complicated and difficult in Julie’s opinion.  Julie clarified that she felt the payroll portion of the LGER Grant is very complicated.
Motion by Brad and second by Tom to approve minutes of December 7, 2020 with the clarification.  Ron abstained.  3 approved.  So, approved.
Review/Authorization to Pay Bills:
Motion by Brad and second by Tom to allow Julie to pay the remaining 2020 bills and transfer money as needed.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Motion by Tom, second by Brad to approve bills.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Reports from Town Officials, Committees:
Road Foreman:
Arlan did not have anything to report.
Town Clerk/Treasurer:
Julie reported that everything had been submitted for the grants except the milfoil grant.  The milfoil won’t come until next year.  Julie pays it out when she gets the money.  Julie stated they have received money back from all the grants except the LGER which is currently in review and Julie is hoping to get the LGER funds next week. 
Julie reported she got an email from Carolyn Cota about Old Jerusalem Road.  They have had to push the advertising of the project to October of 2021 and construction in 2022.  Covid restrictions are causing delays in field work.
Diane signed the MRGP Amendment Form; along with a $240 check.  Diane will mail the form and check tomorrow.
Weight Permits:
Diane went over the correspondence for highway safety, virtual seminar for tree wardens, 2.9 million in community investments, USDA rural development seeking applications for a rural energy savings program, webinar 2020 eviction crisis, Center for Domestic Preparedness has an open seat on their board, VLCT seeking board member nomination, VLCT seeking members to serve on Equity and Racial Diversity Committee, training for emergency management, Covid-19 update.
Peter Colin, State Representative for Leicester:
Peter stated he wanted to take a few moments to focus on upcoming legislature that is going to be pushed through in January that allows a Selectboard to decide whether to move everything to Australian Ballot by December 30th.  There is a bill that has already been agreed to through existing committees with a number of provisions to give towns more options for Town Meeting.
  •       Mail in balloting
  •       Delay Town Meeting to a later date
  •       Giving Secretary of State authorization to make options work
  •       Virtual Town Meetings are NOT allowed.
The Governor will put something forward for State dollars to help with mail in ballots, instead of towns having to use their dollars.
Peter stated that the Legislature is facing daunting challenges this year with money.
Julie asked if they decided to move Town Meeting to May for floor vote for budget, can she still vote Australian Ballot for officers?  Peter thinks the answer is yes.  He would recommend calling VLCT for confirmation.
Peter suggests going ahead and make that decision and then the Board can change or undo the decision later.
Diane asked Peter about highway aid.  Peter said he would follow up on that with the Transportation Committee.
Julie asked if Peter thought there would be further Covid Grants.  Peter doesn’t think there is any more specific Covid state and local government money.  The new money is specific to businesses and people.
Sheriff Patrol:
Peter Newton came to answer questions the Board might have.
Peter explained that right now it is hard to say why so few tickets have been written.  He doesn’t think there are as many travelers.  There have been mandates put in place that they are not stopping cars for non-inspections, tail lights, etc.
Peter explained they have been looking at law enforcement and what they can improve upon and make better.
Now they are doing contract based policing.  Peter explained what they would like to do for programming and budget purposes.    They want to go to communities and explain what they would like to do in collaboration with social workers, counselors, mediators coming on board.  
Brad and Diane asked how they plan to get their funding.  There might be a possibility to get federal funding for social services, drug programs or other resources.
Peter plans on sending out a letter to every household in the county; approximately 16,000 residents in Addison County.  The letter will hopefully go out by the second week in January.  He is talking to other towns; as well.
The plan is by January 1st to have two officers 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Hopefully 24 hour a day coverage by June.  They would also like to have a boat on the lake in the summer.
Peter talked about the pole mount speed limit signs.  He can get a discount if five towns purchase them.
Julie shared the latest ticket revenue.
Tom explained that town budgets are suffering due to the pandemic and delinquent tax revenue.
Building the 2021 Budget:
Julie stated that the school is having their election in March.
Motion by Tom and second by Ron to vote by Australian Ballot for 2021 budget 1st Tuesday in March.  Virtual informational meeting prior to Town Meeting.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Julie provided the first preliminary budget for review.
Board agreed a surplus over $50,000 in the Highway Budget; that a round number above the $50,000 would be transferred to the Equipment Fund.
Julie will update the figures and prepare the 2nd preliminary budget for their next meeting.
Town Office Roof:
Julie explained that the snow comes off the metal roof and onto her car and possibly other cars or people.  Snow dumped in front of the entrance to the Town Office and parking lot.  Cars would be in the road if they couldn’t park close to the building.
Ron mentioned perhaps putting barriers out front.
Julie explained that the school is taking up all the parking areas and there is no place for Julie or others to park.
Tom will talk to the roofer about options for slowing the snow down.
Motion by Tom and second by Brad to get two Danger Falling Snow signs and mount them on Town Office building.  All in favor.  So, approved.
Jenna Lane:
Arlan explained the complaint and snow problem on Jenna Lane.  There was a lot of snow and the lady had summer tires.  No action taken at this time.
Motion by Brad, to adjourn at 9:00 p.m.   
Next Regular Meeting: January 04, 2021
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley
Selectboard Secretary