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Meeting Minutes

Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
 
Monday, February 20, 2012
 
*Unapproved*
 
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
 
Members Present:  Diane Benware, Tom Barker, Ron Fiske, Ken Young, Robert Oliver
 
Others Present:  Julie Delphia, James Russo, Arlan Pidgeon, Brad Lawes, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
 
Call to OrderMeeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 
 
Review of Agenda:  Agenda reviewed.  
 
Minutes of February 6, 2012:
 
Motion by Tom to approve minutes of February 6, 2012 as written.  Second by Bob.   All in favor.  So approved.
 
Special Selectboard Meeting for hearing on complaint about a vicious dog, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 6:00 P.M.  Julie has sent notice of the hearing by certified mail and regular mail.  Chair will be reviewing file tomorrow in advance of the meeting.
 
Chair had tried to contact Brian Webb to see if he could come to the meeting to speak to the issue directly; with no success.  She will keep trying.  Julie reported that she has a letter from him outlining the history of the dog case.
 
Review/Authorize Payment of Bills:
 
Julie reported that the Humane Society $500 unlimited dog contract was in the bills.
 
Julie followed up with CVPS and the highest invoice was for the Meeting House.  When February’s invoice comes, she will compare to see how it compares.  We might want to put a meter on to see what might be going on.  It has gone up each year.
 
Tom thought that we may need to get an electrician here to look at things.
 
Reports from Town Officials, Committees:
 
Town Clerk/Treasurer:
Julie contacted 911 about renaming Stove Pipe Avenue to Jenna Lane.  They said that we would be the only town in the State to have a street named Jenna Lane.  She has the forms to fill out.  Julie recommends the name change be effective March 1st.  She needs to send letters out to every resident on street.  They are all aware of the change, but need official notification.  Arlan will order a new sign from Giddings.  The Selectboard was in agreement.
 
Julie reported she is getting ready for Town Meeting and dogs.  Julie will check to see if the Meeting House needs cleaning, and if it does, she will have it cleaned.
 
Our Rabies Clinic is March 22, 2012 from 5:00 – 6:00 P.M. and the price is $12.
 
Julie is working on the loan paperwork for the bank.  She would like approval that if she doesn’t have the loan in place before we start getting close to the end of the checkbook, that the highway restricted fund can be used to pay highway expenses.
 
Motion by Ron to authorize Treasurer to move money from the highway restricted fund to pay highway expenses as necessary.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Motion by Tom to allow three Selectboard members to sign the loan paperwork, if necessary, prior to the March 5th meeting.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Road Foreman:
 
Arlan reported that they hauled gravel two weeks ago and graded that off.  That is about it.
 
Ken reported a sound tree between the junction of Fern Lake and Rt.53 heading toward Forestdale before Bobby LaPorte’s that is hanging over the entire road.
 
Arlan mentioned there were a couple other trees; as well.  One by Chucky Forrest’s and one up the road. 
 
Arlan can cut them down.
 
Ken brought up the topic of our desire of filling in behind the Town Shed.  Ken has been in touch with Rakowitz about fill for behind the Town Shed.  He’s open to us drawing some bank run rocks out of his pit with our loader.  Ron said it would be to our benefit to get some drawn in.  Ken doesn’t have a price yet.
 
Tom mentioned that we need to keep in mind the town road.  If it’s too soft, you can tear up the road.  Tom has some other thoughts for options.  There has been lots of activity up around the lake.  There are outfits that are dumping at the Town Shed in Salisbury.  CVPS has another project that they should have some fill that they will need to get rid of.  Tom was hoping to talk with them this week and we might be able to get some free loads. 
 
Tom and Ken can report back for our next meeting.
Lister:
 
Jim reported that there was nothing new to report.  Work is still going on.  The appraisers are away for a couple weeks finishing up another town.  Jim can call them if they have questions. 
 
Health Officer:
 
Status quo with the garbage complaint.  They are still cleaning up.  With the good weather this week, it should be thawed out enough so they should be able to finish up cleaning out the back of the pickup truck.
 
Cemetery Committee:  None
 
Zoning Administrator:  None
 
Ron tried to clarify his responsibility; while Kate was gone.  Kate can be reached by phone, if necessary.  Agreed no one was in any hurry and can wait until Kate returns.
 
Weight Permit:
 
G. Stone Commercial Division ok’s by Arlan and signed by Bob; as well.
 
NEW BUSINESS:
 
Resignation of Animal Control Officer:
 
Chair read Brian Webb’s letter of resignation. 
 
Julie reported that Brandon uses the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department for animal control.
Julie would like someone that could respond all of the time.  If someone calls, they can’t get any help.  The Sheriff’s Department and State Police will not help people when they call and say that it is not their problem. 
 
Julie has another issue going on in the junction and there is no one to call.  You need someone that is around and available.  Julie stated that the dog issue is becoming more prevalent.
 
Ron reported that Barry Forbes doesn’t do it anymore.
 
The Humane Society takes strays.  They do not quarantine dogs.  They do not take vicious dogs or dogs that have a known owner.  What do we do with these dogs?
 
Continued discussion about the dog problem.  There were some recommendations.
 
Jim recommended investigating the cost of hiring a town police officer that could take care of the dog issue; as well as other police issues.  Possibly do a study or gather statistics.
 
Jim reported that he has a problem with dogs.  They say they have (1) dog, but the next he knows, there are (3).
 
Julie reported that we have been very lenient on dog owners.  We need to get this under control.  Julie will contact the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department for information.
 
Chair will work on an ad for the Addison Independent and the Brandon Pittsford Reporter for a part-time police officer to act as an Animal Control Officer for the Town of Leicester preferably with law enforcement background.  Chair and Julie will work on the wording of the ad tomorrow.
 
Julie reminded the Board that the Sheriff’s Department has their own vehicles.  Right now, we need an Animal Control Officer. 
 
Julie recommended we contact the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department.
 
Ken stated that we need to keep up with the times.  Crime is in epidemic proportions.
 
We need to investigate how much this will cost.
 
Jim mentioned that there are other problems in Leicester besides dogs.  Neglect issues; as well as, problems with damage to other people’s property.
 
 Some of our problems would be solved if the ordinance and procedures were strictly enforced and followed up on.  We have an ordinance and procedure that is well written, but it just hasn’t been adhered to.
 
Dealing with Dogs:
 
A hearing Wednesday evening, February 22, 2012 at 6:00 P.M.  It is a Quasi Judicial Hearing.  All parties are sworn in before giving testimony.
 
Julie reported that we have a dog complaint by Jeff Bradish on Stove Pipe Avenue/Jenna Lane for repeated, excessive barking dogs in the evening.  Julie does not know who the complaint is against.
 
Jim asked what time these dogs are barking.  Jim is living there and knows there are about 15 chiquaquas running around barking their heads off, but they aren’t barking all night long. 
 
Julie stated that excessive barking is part of the Ordinance.  Julie read parts of the Ordinance and procedure.
 
Jim asked what excessive barking was.  Julie felt that would be up to the Selectboard to determine from a quasi judicial hearing where they heard evidence from all parties.
 
Jim stated there are eight houses on Stove Pipe Avenue/Jenna Lane and six of those houses have dogs.
 
The Bradish’s wanted someone to respond to them.  They tried the Animal Control Officer, who did not return their call.  They tried the Sheriff’s Department who wouldn’t deal with it.  They tried the State Police who would not deal with it and then they called Julie; and said “deal with it”.  They said it was until 2:00 in the morning.
 
Jim offered to investigate it.  Julie had concerns that Jim was living in the area and she doesn’t know who the complaint is against.  Jim withdrew his offer and suggested a constable get involved with this case. 
 
Bob will talk with the First Constable, Mike Rakowitz and ask him to call Julie for all the details so he can investigate.  Tom Barker offered to go with Mike, if necessary.
 
Jim stated that the Bradish’s have three Chihuahuas, they also have a German Shepherd.  They don’t take care of their animals too good and they let their animals go all over the place.  Their pet ducks and turkeys go all over and go on people’s roofs.  The house across from them has three Chihuahuas.  The houses down the road have dogs.  Two houses down have three dogs.  Next house down has two.  Next house down has one.  Almost everybody on that road have dogs.  Jim recommends that a constable go and takes everything into consideration.
 
Julie is willing to call and get all the information, but what she needs is someone who can go there.  Barking is one thing, but when you have dog bites and things, someone needs to go.
 
Preparing for Town Meeting:
 
Begins 7:00 P.M. sharp.  Selectboard goes first.
 
Motion by Tom to appoint Richard Reed as Moderator.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Chair will call to see if he is interested in doing School Moderator.  Chair will contact Matt.
 
Julie had some recommendations for reporting the budget for next year in the Town Report for restricted funds and grant funds.  She thinks we should separate out all of the items paid for by restricted funds, even though they are paid through the General Fund.   She thinks they should be separate from the normal budget. The funds that wash each other out.  There are notes, but people might not get the true picture.  She thinks it would make it easier for people to understand.
 
There may be questions on  the Lake Dunmore/Fern Lake Association milfoil amount doubling.  Jay Michael will be there to answer those questions, but he should have a limited amount of time to speak.
 
On the Highway Budget, the State expedited the payment, so there is not as much income coming in.  We are getting one less payment in 2012 and we have FEMA money that we spent.  We will most likely get the FEMA money this year.
 
When we do the Warning, Julie would like to explain Article II about using the prior year money to reduce taxes.
 
The appropriations that were separate from the budget last year are in the budget this year.
 
Julie stated that there is no way to tell what the tax rate will be at this time.  It is very complicated.  So many factors involved.
 
Status of Delinquent Taxes:
 
Ken was concerned about three or four properties out there four or five years.  This is not saying anything against our Delinquent Tax Collector.  Ken stated for the record that the Delinquent Tax Collector is doing a fantastic job, but was wondering if there is any activity out there.
 
At the end of December there was $85,000 in delinquent taxes.  Julie reported that we are at 82,900 delinquent taxes now.  The year before, we were over $90,000 at the end of December.  There was a tax sale in 2011.  Four of the five properties were sold.  The Maranville property was not sold; nobody bought it.  One of the four sold, has been redeemed.
 
Julie reported that Beth was going to be working on some properties.  Some properties are in bankruptcy.  The Board will invite Beth to come to a meeting after Town Meeting for an update.
 
Chair stated there may be some arrangements made with some of the property owners that we are not aware of.  We will invite her after Town Meeting.
 
Constable Training:
 
Chair reported that from the VLCT web-site, in order to be a full time Constable it requires 550 hours of classroom training. To become a Part time Constable it requires a minimum of 58 hours of classroom training.  At the end of that time, they get a provisional 12-month certificate.  They can exercise law enforcement; only under the direct supervision of a Certified Law Enforcement Officer.  To have the full authority, a part time Constable would need an added 110 hours of classroom training in a 12-month period.  It’s only for a 12-month period of time.  The Constable is elected every year.
 
We need to investigate and develop a plan.
 
The Selectboard does have the authority to hire a properly trained law enforcement officer.
 
Motion by Tom to approve bills.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Motion by Tom to approve $500 for contract with Addison County Humane Society and to authorize Chair to sign contract on behalf of the Town.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved. 
 
OLD BUSINESS:
 
Recommendations from Planning Commission:
 
Jim was the only PC Member present.  Jim was asking for clarification from the Selectboard on their recommendation for the Conservation Area on the Land Use Map on  Lake Dunmore Road.
 
Ron stated that the problem was that a lot of that land is flat land and we would be taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of value away from property owners.  What they need to do is;  go up on the grades.
 
Question 1:  Jim asked if  the Board wanted to see the Conservation line at the 200’ line or the 400’ line on the Land Use Map.
 
Answer:  Neither.  Ron stated that it needs to follow the contour of the mountain following certain grade pattern.  Otherwise, you are going to zone people out of huge amounts of land and money.  Ron is not willing to go along with that.
 
Ron agrees that with the contour of the mountain up there; they shouldn’t be building.  He agrees with that.
 
Question 2:  Jim asked if they wanted it by grade.
 
Answer:  Yes, that’s how it has to be; contour of the mountain by a certain grade pattern.
 
Jim reviewed the map with the Board.
 
Ron would want to go over and walk the land and look it over some more.  Behind Kate and them the land flattens out.  If Kate wants to put a deed restriction in her land, he wouldn’t care, but to zone people out of their land, he wouldn’t agree to that.
 
Ron stated that they have to follow the contour of that mountain. It is easy to do.  You can put a grade restriction in your zoning.
 
Tom stated that everyone agreed at the meeting that he and Ron were at and Adam said that there wouldn’t be a problem.
 
The Selectboard wants to go by the contour for the Conservation line.  Ron stated that he doesn’t want to take a lot of value from somebody.
Jim explained that the Plan has to be adopted by the Board. The PC has to hand it over in whole and it has to be adopted in whole. This Land Use section is the only hang up.  There are a lot of changes in the draft to be made. Many grammatical errors.
 
Jim is going to recommend that they all get together so everyone is on the same page, PC, Selectboard, Adam.  They meet the 14th of March for their regular meeting.
 
Julie reported that ACRP has billed us for the Grant in its entirety.  They should not be billing us for any of the work to finish the Town Plan.  Sandy verified that Claire confirmed that they would take care of us and follow through with us to the end. 
 
Julie reported that until this is completed, we cannot request the payment to reimburse us for the money we have already spent.  In the future, we should pay half up front and half upon completion.
 
Jim will inform the PC of the results of this evening’s meeting.
 
Ron recommended that they have a copy of the draft for their review.
 
FEMA:
 
Julie and Arlan prepared the necessary numbers for the disaster FEMA money for Old Jerusalem Road.  The Chair of the Board has to review and sign.  Given the hour, a motion was made to finish tomorrow.
 
Motion by Ron authorizing the Town Clerk and Chair to review FEMA document tomorrow, February 21st and Chair to sign.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Town Shed:
 
Ken is getting information from Rakowitz.  Bob and Bucky will be talking when Bucky  gets back from Florida.
 
Other Business:
 
Julie received legal documentation that gives her a new social for the Humiston business.  She received the information for the Independent Contractor Forms and was able to pay them.
 
Motion by Tom to adjourn at 8:38 p.m.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.
 
Next regular meeting to be determined due to Town Meeting on March 5th.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Sandra L. Trombley, Secretary