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Meeting Minutes

 Town of Leicester

Selectboard Meeting Minutes


Monday, November 2, 2009




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


Members Present:  Diane Benware, Tom Barker, Ron Fiske, Bob Oliver


Absent:  Ken Young


Others Present:   Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Tim Johnson, Cecile Todd, John & Mary Hughes, Bucky Shackett, Jeff Smith, James Maroney, Sandra Trombley, Secretary


Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Agenda Review:  Agenda reviewed. 


New Business:


James Maroney came to talk with the Board about his interest in ACRPC appointment.  Introductions were made.  Tom indicated that the Board expected that information would be brought back to the Board in some fashion.  Maroney agreed it was an excellent idea. 


Maroney feels he has a better understanding of the ACRPC than he had in the past.  He submitted a letter for the Board’s interest.  He talked about farming and the complexity of the problems and Lake Champlain’s pollution.  His greatest interest is water quality.


Maroney would represent the interest of the Town; as well as, state and national water quality.  He would report to the Board in writing or personally.  Maroney was invited to come to Board meetings.


Motion by Ron to approve James Maroney as Leicester representative to ACRPC.  Seconded by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


Diane will send a copy of the minutes to ACRPC.


Kate Briggs asked the Board to send ACRPC all the updated town officials.


Old Business:


Delinquent Taxes:


The Board thanked Beth Ripley for all her hard work.  The Chair indicated with the new tax season, they are looking for ways to help support Beth in the endeavors to bring down delinquent taxes.


Beth reported that she has been in contact with three banks that are paying 20,000+ for three different people.  She faxed nine letters to banks.  She’s got $12,000 or more to be deposited.  After that deposit it will be $138,000 for previous year.  $122,000 became delinquent.  The statements are out to everybody.  She anticipates quite a bit of money by the end of the year.


John Hughes indicated in his opinion we should follow policy in place and would like to see consistency from year to year.  Taxpayers can go to the Board of Abatement if necessary.


Beth has the Board’s support to use her discretion.


Tim asked for clarification. 


Beth said anyone more than two years delinquent would go to tax sale.  You would begin collections at six months and use her discretion depending on responses.


Tim said that the taxpayers should know that they can go before the Board of Abatement.  They need to meet certain criteria to qualify for abatement.  Taxpayers should know what the specific criteria are.


Beth will come back to the Board to report in three to four months.


Jeff Smith:


Jeff came to inquire on status in regard to the joining of engineers on his project. 


Ron explained that they met with the State engineer and he hasn’t gotten back to the Board.  Ron and Bob went out and took another look and looked over the plans and they don’t have a problem with it.  Tom doesn’t have a problem if Jeff signs off stating he’s responsible for any run-off.


Eric House contacted Bob with all the information.  There are some things that need to be done down by the road.


Jeff stated he would be happy to replace the existing culvert down by the road if necessary.


Jeff will contact the Board in the spring for a site visit with Bob, Ron, Arlan and Jeff.


Approve Minutes of October 19, 2009:


The minutes for the October 19, 2009 meeting were reviewed. 


Chair indicated that Angela’s last name is Ouellette and not Willette.  The paragraph 4 in that same section it stated “there was” a hunter’s breakfast and it should be “there will be” a hunter’s breakfast.


Motion by Tom to approve minutes with corrections.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.



Review and Sign Orders for Payment:


Bills making their rounds. 


Reports from Town Officials & Committees: 


Town Clerk:


Julie reported she paid off the Leicester Central School taxes and part of Otter Valley taxes.  They still owe $200,000 to Otter Valley.  She is going to talk with Brenda Fleming and Brad James again because she still feels there is a discrepancy.


Julie received information from Workers Comp.  She hasn’t received anything she can look at yet, but they said there would be a refund of $998.  She thinks it’s still slightly low.  Until she sees the updated audit she won’t know for sure if there are issues to discuss with them.


Julie will have budget information prepared and out through the end of October before the next meeting. 


Julie needs approval to pay Kurt Kimball for beaver removal.


Action:  Motion by Ron to authorize Julie to pay Kurt Kimball for his services for beaver removal.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved. 


Road Foreman:


Arlan said they haven’t done any ditching due to wet conditions.


The guy who wanted the grader claims it’s missing a part and does not want it without the part.  Bob will do some research.


Ron asked about barriers to block the sand.  Arlan has some on Jerusalem Road they can use.  Once they get a little sand out, there will be room to set barriers.


Arlan said they were all set on sand.


Zoning Administrator:


Kate reported that she and Julie have been talking about how to improve and organize the recordkeeping of permits.  Originals should not be sitting out on the shelf.  Kate is consolidating files.  It is work in progress.


John Hughes indicated that he met with Julie and Kate and sometime on Thursday they will get together because their departments overlap in different areas and try to get some straight lines drawn and see who does what and where, trying to streamline processes.




 John Hughes reported that Cecile Todd resigned her position as Chair on Monday.  She is still a lister.  They had a special warned meeting on Tuesday.  John was elected Chair.  He will be Chair if they have a Vice-Chair, due to travel problems between Texas and Florida.  Tim was elected Vice-Chair.


John would appreciate people going through him if he is here, or Tim if John is not available.  It makes it a smoother operation.


John wants Tim to have a key.


Tim has no problem signing out a key with the Board’s permission.  The Board has no problem with Tim signing out a key when Mr. Hughes is gone.


Julie only has one key left for handout key.


Listers are having a warned meeting on Wednesday, November 4th for two reasons.  One is to set up the criteria for when we are going to switch over to CAMA and how we are going to switch.  Second, we are going to have a meeting to start doing the Lister’s budget for 2010.


Diane stated the Selectboard needs proposed budgets for all departments for next year.  There needs to be a plan.


Julie asked if they could come up with an estimate for what they will need from now to the end of the year for listers, zoning administrator, and zoning secretary.


Tim wanted clarification as to what the fees are to pay for because he’s on the ZBA and they are working on the fees right now.  It’s his understanding the zoning permit fees are not to cover the ZA hourly wage, the fees are to cover the fees of the town for recording fees, publications in the paper, so on and so forth.  Is that not correct? 


Ron stated it all comes out of the same pocket. 


Tim said there is a difference there.  When you talk about revamping the fees and say that $75 doesn’t cover a standard zoning permit for the fees, it does.  Not going by Kate’s wages, I’m not talking about that, I don’t want to get into that.  We are doing the schedule for the fees and we are not taking into account the hourly wage of the ZA, we’re taking what it cost the Town.


Tom and Ron stated they think that the ZBA has to take the ZA’s wage into consideration.


Diane stated in the past, the ZA salary, with the exception of a small amount of money, like $500, was paid for by the income generated by the fees.


Tim said to get this correct so he can brief the ZBA, the ZA does not get paid out of a separate pot from the Town for hourly wages,  the fees for each permit is supposed to cover her wages she works for that month, plus the fees.


Tom stated her wages, plus the secretary’s and all the clerical.  That’s the way it always has been.


Tim stated he just wanted to clarify because the ZBA is not under that assumption.


Ron stated in flush years they actually made a profit off zoning, but now times are lean and tight, and we don’t get the permits, we are losing money.  It’s bad economy.


Tim just wanted clarification so when we redo the schedule, we can take that into consideration.


The ZBA will need to contact Kate to get an idea of time spent on a permit application.


Cecile Todd commented that people want zoning.  If they want zoning they have to realize they may need to pay something out of their own pocket for that.  The fees may not cover it all and they need to understand that.


John Hughes stated the users should pay.


Kate thinks the average permit should be kept cheap and the bigger projects should have a higher fee.


John Hughes reported that at their special meeting there was discussion on working relationships.  John took responsibility for loud voices and apologized to parties involved.


John and Tim went to the State Advisor about researching deeds.  John and Tim’s opinion is that they researched the most recent deeds.


Ron stated that a lot of that is a legal issue.


John stated that they need a couple phones in the Lister’s office.  They need a portable phone.


Julie stated that Kate’s phone was dropped and they tried to fix it, but couldn’t.  Tim and Kate will need to share until Julie can purchase a new phone.


Tim mentioned they only needed a cheap portable phone.  Julie will get one.


Julie clarified her PVR conversation was only to get clarification for herself on her role in looking up deeds.  Julie explained that when she came to the meeting on Wednesday she explained her feelings and in the future she would offer key to the white building if the Listers needed to take their conversations to a more private location where the public was not present.


Tim wanted to add that after Julie talked to the PVR lady he talked with the lady the following day because she returned the call to us and to back up what Mr. Fiske said, it is a legal thing.  Yes, it is in the listers job description criteria, to research deeds to the best of our ability.


Ron stated that if you go beyond that, you are doing a title search. 


John Hughes stated that nobody was blaming Ms. Delphia for anything.  Our State Advisor fouled us up.


Tim thanked the Board and appreciated the time to talk about this out in the open.  We don’t have a problem with Julie; we just wanted to tell you what happened.


Bob stated that people better put the brakes on the budget and keep it down.


Old Business:


Sheriff’s Department coverage was on the agenda, but Mr. Coons was not present.


Diane will call him again to see if he would like to come.


Public Opinion:  None


Executive Session:   None


Other Business:


Diane stated that the various officials in town will prepare their proposed budgets for 2010 by the end of the year; as well as, roadside, green and cemetery bids.


Diane will bring prepared documents.


Diane will complete the Vermont State Municipalities Survey on behalf of the Board.


Julie and Diane will work on the VLCT insurance renewals.


Motion by Tom to adjourn.  Seconded by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


Adjourned by 8:20 p.m.


Next Meeting Monday, November 16, 2009.


 Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

Selectboard Secretary