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Meeting Minutes

 Town of Leicester

Selectboard Meeting Minutes


Monday, October 5, 2009




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


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


Others Present:   Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Tim Johnson,  John & Mary Hughes, Charlie & Bonnie Johnson, Sandra Trombley, Secretary


Guests:  Lou Lertola, Self-Appointed Representative of Disabled Veterans VT Property Tax Exemption and Richard Reed, Addison County Solid Waste Representative


Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:33 p.m. by Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Agenda Review:  Agenda reviewed. 


Guest Speaker 1:   


Lou Lertola was introduced.  Diane Introduced the Board, Secretary, Town Clerk, Zoning Administrator, Listers and Road Foreman.  Mr. Lertola thanked Leicester for raising the property tax exemption two years ago to $30,000 for disabled veterans who were 50% or more disabled. 


Mr. Lertola stated that their goal was to get all communities up to $40,000 which is now authorized by the State.   About this same time last year Mr. Lertola wrote approximately 180 letters to every community that was not at the $40,000 asking Select boards to please put it on the ballot and let the people vote on it.  64 communities this last Town Meeting Day raised their property tax exemption for their disabled veterans.  57 of them went to $40,000 and 7 went from $10,000 to $20,000.


He stated they are currently canvassing the State again for next Town Meeting.  He asked the Board if they would consider putting before the voters next March raising their exemption from $30,000 to $40,000.


Julie reported that Leicester currently has 5 veterans, 4 of which exceed the $30,000 benefit in their assessment and 1 that is less than $30,000.


Mr. Lertola had a sample of a successful ballot that he shared with the Board and other statistical information.




Guest Speaker 2:


Richard Reed handed out some literature about history of solid waste and the district here in VT, and a proposal from Casella asking for an exemption from the tipping fee for contaminated soil that they take and use in landfills.  The other item, due to the district having tough times financially, is raising tipping fees again.  They raised them last year from $121 to $122.50.  They projected they would have about $70,000 in the bank at the end of the year.  Construction was down so they have had a big drop in the construction and demolition waste that helps pay the bills.  If we continue at our current rate, they are projecting a deficit at the end of the year.  If they bump it up a dollar they will have about a $30,000 cushion give or take. 


Richard is looking for direction before they vote on it later this month. 


The hauler’s pay $122.50 per ton.  They want to raise it to $125.00 per ton.    Other proposal is $126.00 per ton.  Richard’s recommendation is to go with the $2.50 increase.


Action:  Motion by Tom to stay with Richard’s recommendation to support the increase of $2.50 a ton.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved. 


Tim asked Richard why unstained clean pizza boxes cannot be recycled.  It has a recycled emblem on it.  Richard will talk with the Recycling Coordinator and try to get an answer.


Approve Minutes of September 21, 2009:


The minutes for the September 21, 2009 meeting were reviewed. 


Julie indicated on page 1 in the first paragraph under Clerk/Treasurer that printer, a scanner should read printer/scanner.  The second paragraph of page 1 and the bulleted item on page 2, the spelling mill foil should be changed to milfoil.


Tim had a question regarding the conversation with the Listers, mainly Tom and yourself (Diane), we talked for probably about 5 minutes or maybe more on this subject and all it says is ‘Tim stated that they need to get the right program installed and start using it’ on page 5.  Tim was concerned why so much of the conversation between the Listers and the Board was left out.  That’s where we were dealing with getting the new program installed into our computers with the new tables.


Tom remembered the conversation and it wasn’t about a right or wrong, it was about the tables that you need to use. 


Tim stated and what the plans were, Cecile put input in, John put input in, I put input in, both of you did.  Tim stated that to him there was quite a bit of in-depth conversation in there pretty near 5 minutes worth.  To Tim, that is a very misleading line as to what he said.  He felt there was lots more information that needed to be out for the public that wasn’t put in there. 


Tom asked how could we state that.  Diane stated that she has a slightly different opinion that the minutes are not suppose to be a word by word transcript of the events of the evening, so when she emailed Sandy she felt that there were portions of that conversation; as well as another one, that she didn’t feel she needed to have every comment that every person made.  So, part of that may be Diane’s own take on that. 


Diane’s other feeling on that, taking her cues from John, until you know what impact the tables will have, she didn’t feel that we needed to have a lot of detail about it.  So, if it needs to be corrected then we will correct it now. 


John said its fine with him.  His question is, on the minutes, do you (Diane) and Sandy make all the decisions on the minutes or is the rest of the Board informed on which minutes are in or not in.  Just a procedural thing. 


Diane stated that it has been, the unapproved minutes.  All Board members receive the unapproved minutes and they are encouraged to read them and make any suggestions or edits that they wish. 


Tim was wondering because if you say talk was limited, at least if something would have been put in there about what program you want to get installed because if you look at Mr. Smith’s request, it’s quite a long lengthy thing where everyone said this and that and that’s for a simple path  which doesn’t really affect the whole town as much as the other thing does.  To me it seemed like the more important thing was pushed aside and something took up a lot of space that to me doesn’t hold as much merit as what we were talking about. 


Diane stated she would grant Tim that.  Diane stated she was acting on the point that until you come back to us with the recommendation, she didn’t feel they needed to have that much detail.  She can now see in looking at it, where it says the right program, is probably not the right term to use.  So, this is a time to give us a summary of what you would prefer. 


John stated it should read; install the correct 2007 tables for the reappraisal. 


Tim stated it’s actually the new CAMA Program that’s going to be installed, is up to a version 4.7 the correct tables.  We currently have version 3 installed. 


Correction to the minutes will read the listers need to install the new CAMA program to insure the proper tables are being used.


Julie asked if they could put in there that the Listers are going to run the two programs and come back to the Board. 


 Tom stated that you’re getting a lot of information the public wouldn’t understand. 


Julie stated that there is nothing in here that says that there’s an actual motion on this, so that something is actually happening. 


John stated that was up to the listers to do. 




Julie stated that the discussion that was had was that there was going to be some momentum in getting it done and it was going to be reported back to the Board when they knew what the effect was going to be.


Tom stated that those were only Tim’s feelings and it didn’t act to me that the other two were on board to do that.  Tom stated that the ball is in the Lister’s court. 


Julie stated that John said that you guys were going to run it, have it installed, and you guys were going to come back to the Board and let the Board know what the differences were.


Sandy indicated that in the minutes under Listers, paragraph 6, it states:  The Listers will be discussing their options and present recommendations to the Board.


Motion by Tom to approve minutes of September 21, 2009 with the afore mentioned edits (printer/scanner, spelling of milfoil in two places and correction to read that the listers need to install the new CAMA program to insure the proper tables are being used).  Second by Bob.   All in favor.  So approved.


Review and Sign Orders for Payment:


Bills making their rounds. 


Reports from Town Officials & Committees: 




Delinquent taxes are at $49,239.98.  They are not going down very quickly.  She would imagine, come the end of next week, we will have the new delinquents added to the number. 


No dog licenses to report.  Julie has not heard from Brian Webb.    


The door is fixed.  It cost $28.  Donna and Julie installed it. 


Julie paid the Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association half of the milfoil grant.  The rest comes at the end of the year.


Julie will be waiting to purchase a computer with the voter improvement funds.    The new operating system for Windows will be coming out the end of the month, so she will be waiting to make the purchase after that comes out.


Julie asked if the Board had looked at the resolution she had given to them and if they would like her to type one up for Leicester to look at for the next meeting.   Julie didn’t know if it had to be warned.  Tom thought the Board could just pass that.  Julie will type one for the next meeting.


In the packet, Julie stated that there are a few different training classes.  One in particular is the Town Meeting Prep at the beginning of November.  She didn’t know if any of the Board was interested in going.  Julie would like to go. 


Julie commented that there were a few changes to the budget that she did today.  Mainly taxes.  She has collected double the taxes that she gave the Board in the budget yesterday.  We have collected approximately 29% of taxes due so far.  Half came in today. 




Tim presented the Board with certificates of no appeal or still pending to close the grand list.  They started at 2008 and went back 10 years.  This is what the State recommends.  From that time frame, we found 4 that were not sealed so we have the paperwork.  One of which is 2008 and we are holding off and we are not signing now because it concerns that other landowner where there is a ball rolling already and it wouldn’t be right to seal that right yet, but those out of the 10 years are the 3 of the 4 that we found.


Diane stated years 2002, 2000 and 2007.   Ron stated that we could sign those, but not 2008. 


Tim reported on the new CAMA Program.  Tim went ahead and contacted the State to see what they had to do to get it installed.  We did tell the State that it was going to be a comparison file installed on the computer, so there is no worries about wiping out any information that is in there currently and/or changing it.  It’s going to be used for a comparison run right now until we approach the Board. 


The NEMRC support that we do on the computer costs the Town $1,000 a year.  The CAMA Program used to be a onetime fee, but they have since changed that.  Now, it’s a yearly maintenance agreement.  The CAMA program is our basic table program and along with that is our Apex Sketching.  That’s the one that allows us to draw the diagrams of the houses.  We have to purchase the Apex and its $295.   In talking with Julie, we have roughly $600 in the software fund.

It would be $295 to get that installed and then its $195 each year thereafter for updates.  Then, hopefully all the programs will be updated automatically from the home station and goes right into the computer.


Tim is asking the Board for the $295 to purchase the agreement and installation of the Apex/CAMA program for our computer.


Action:  Motion made by Ron to approve request for $295 to purchase the agreement and installation of the Apex/CAMA program for our computer.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.


Road Foreman:


Arlan reported that he called Mr. Jozwiak and had not heard anything back from him.  Apparently he has changed his mind about the grader.


Arlan talked with Mr. Munger about putting a culvert across the Delorm Road and he doesn’t have a problem with it.  Arlan will look a little further down in the woods to see if it would get on the other guy.


Arlan is working on Hooker Road, north of Tony Neri’s.  He’s going to be cutting some dead trees; they will ditch it and put a culvert across the road.


Charlie Johnson asked about the grader.  Charlie asked, “When we bought the grader, did we have the town resident’s input into that?  Was it just something the Selectmen decided?  Did they vote on it?  The townspeople didn’t have nothing to say about it?”


Tom stated, exactly.  Diane said it was a Board decision. 


Arlan stated that down by Mike Denis’ has been done.


Arlan hasn’t looked at Maple St.


Tom said Jim Sherwin has sold it and moved out.  Julie stated that if they needed to talk to someone about it, Ida Harrington would be the person. 


Arlan stated that they haven’t done anything on Ferson Road between Moore’s and Tom’s.  They are working on Hooker Road first.


More discussion on culverts.


Bonnie Johnson asked Arlan if there was anything that could be done up by where Donna Swinington lives and Ripley’s in back of it.  Hopefully we won’t have that hard of rains again right away, but every time it rains, the stuff is washing down and the stone in the driveway is washing down into the road.  You don’t have to be going very fast, or even a biker.  It’s a mess every time it rains. 


Tom stated that Donna had talked with him about it and he told her it needed some water bars.  She is aware of that.


Tom said it’s that blue stone.  Every time it rains, the stone will come out in the road.


Arlan said if he sees her, he will talk with her about it.


Bonnie stated this autumn time of year with the bikers, if they flip, there would be a law suit on the Town. 


Zoning Administrator:


Kate reported that she has been trained by Deb Miner to maintain the PC & ZBA portion of the Town web-site.  She’s updated the names of the members of the PC & ZBA.  The one thing that she didn’t update yet was the dates of their appointments.  We just assumed it was three years.  The only one we did differently was Jeff McDonough because he took Shelly Glassner’s place.  Kate has a meeting with Deb this Thursday and they are going to put the new zoning application and instructions on the web-site so people can download it and we won’t have to mail them to people that are out of state.  We are going to put links to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission’s web-site because there are zoning by-laws, the Town Plan and some other materials like that Leicester Lakes Book that are all on their web-site.  Rather than take up room on our web-site, because they take a huge amount of room, we will just put a link.


It will make it easier to access and save the town money.


Kate has been working with Donna redoing the planning grant application, even though we think that there is not much chance of there being any money available, but we at least want to make the effort so in the future if there is money available, at least we tried.   We are trying to get volunteers and trying to get things done without the grant.


The PC very much wants to have a questionnaire.  We are going to put that on the town web-site with a link to Survey Monkey which is free for the volume that we have.  We would have copies here for people to fill out.  They hope to have the series of meetings in place before the first of the year.  They would like some Selectboard members, particularly Ron, to start coming to the PC meetings and kind of helping with this process.  You’ve been through it before and know what it involves.


Kate attended the VLTC Town Fair last week and went to the sessions on water and agriculture.


Cemetery Committee:


Tom stated they discussed fencing for the whole frontage and side down toward the gate and maybe later on the other section.  They are doing some research.


Bob wanted to thank Julie for cleaning the upstairs in the Town Hall for Laura and Peggy to take the school kids up there to look around. 


Bob had Paul Francoeur over to check the windows in the Town Hall.  Paul thought it would be the best thing to replace the whole window.  Not just one sash.  The top and the bottom are not in good shape.  He contacted Bob Reed and Bob said it would cost $300 per window.  That’s the upper and lower sash.  It comes to $600.  Paul said he would prime it and paint it, take the old one out and install the new one for not more than $150.   Total of $750.


Action:  Tom made a motion to authorize Bob to contact Paul to take care of the window replacement in the front of the Town Hall.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.


Bob mentioned that he knows we can’t do it this fall, but he would like to get hold of Julie Bodette to see if we could get some money to  pave a portion of Hooker Road.  If we can get some help from the State, it would be good.  He would like to see Delorm Road paved somewhere in the future, but that will take more than Leicester to get it done.  Something we can work on. 


Discussion on restrictions on the stimulus money.


New Business:


Budget Review – YTD:


Zoning:  as of 9/30/09 the overrun was about $1,900. The ZBA is looking at fee schedules.   Last year the fees were $7,326 for 2008 and they are not even at $2,000 to date this year.  2007 was $3,977. 


Clerk fees in will equal the clerk fees out and will always be a wash.


Clerk’s payroll and training will not go over budget, but will be close to ‘at budget’ at end of year.


Grants will have an over run of $287.50.  The grant administration line was given a $500 budget, and is at $780.  That was stuff done before Julie came so she’s not really sure what grant it ties to.


Dogs will have extra money because we raised more money than expected.


Sheriff’s Patrol has an excess of $1073.94, plus whatever the end of year payment will be.  We don’t know what it is until it comes.


Public Safety.  Julie would like the Board to give her permission to pay the Fire Protection Agreement.  She’s already paid the bills and she noticed it will be due soon.


Action:  Motion by Tom to authorize Julie to pay the Brandon Fire Department their final payment for fire protection.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.


Ron asked if they had sent any bills to the Town for fire protection.  Julie hasn’t seen anything.  Julie knows that there has been at least one fire.


Diane stated that Bob Kilpeck is supposed to send them monthly. 


Action:  Diane will contact Mr. Kilpeck.


Listers will have an over run in their budget, but Julie doesn’t know to what extent.  Ron thinks maybe another $3,000 or so.


Taxes for education.  We are going to have a shortfall of approximately $29,000.  That probably will get paid back to us next April.  The original grand list that we sent in was used to calculate the figures for our taxes, what we were going to raise, based on that and the State rate and everything they determined how much we pay Leicester School, how much we pay Otter Valley and then because we are actually collecting more taxes than our schools require, we have to pay back the State approximately $51,000 in two chunks.  One due December 1st and one due June 1st.   Julie explained that the State sets a State tax rate.  The state tax rate for non-residential is $1.35 which is then divided by your common level of appraisal.  Ours is $1.3331.  It’s a state rate so it doesn’t matter where you are in the State, its $1.35 divided by your common level of appraisal.  For homestead it’s .86 plus whatever your budget is over this amount and that is a set rate and then it’s divided by your common level of appraisal.  So, ours comes out to $1.27 and change.  So, it doesn’t matter where you are in the State it’s all figured out the same way.  However, when you implement that rate in a town like ours, the money that we would collect would be more than the budget set for our school.  So, you are called a gold town because your actually going to pay the State to help support the town’s that can’t pay their full assessment.  So, there are towns that would be the opposite of us who say are appraised at 150% that are not going to create enough in their taxes to pay for their school.  So, we are doing well because we are at 101% of common level of appraisal.  Not only are we going to make enough money to cover our schools, we’re going to make enough money so the State does not need to reimburse us for the $349,000 in prebates that they have sent back to us.  We will owe them about $51,000.  This is based on the numbers from the first grand list.     


Since that first grand list went out, a bunch of folks filed their homestead late.  That changes the grand list because it moves people from non-residential to residential, plus a bunch of them now get their prebates because they now have a homestead.  It went up from $318,000 when we first  sent it in and we are now up to $350,000.  That’s the increase in rebates. 


The problem is, we are not collecting as many taxes now because you collect less with a homestead and even less with a homestead that gets a prebate.  We are collecting less money than we thought we were going to in August when we sent in the grand list.  If you do all the math and Julie pays the schools, she will only have about $21,000 left over.  The Town is actually supposed to keep a percent, either 1% or .50% and we can’t even do that.  The first payment is due December 1st and its $25,000.  She will be about $4,000 short to pay the first payment on December 1st.  If you don’t pay, you get penalized.  So, Julie is trying to figure out where to go at the State to explain to them that we are not going to have the money unless we maintain a loan to pay them back.


That’s not saying that the delinquents we’ve collected won’t cover the $4,000, but we’ll see come December.  We might have an issue.  They are not going to pay us until April 1st.    The second payment of $25,000 is not due until June 1st.  That’s next year’s budget.  So, we will have to take money somehow and set it aside this year in a restricted fund to not have it mess with next year’s budget.  We’ll have to anticipate the receipt of the true up.


Taxes are due on the 15th.  Julie talked with Beth and as soon as they become delinquent on the 16th, Beth will get right on it implementing the tax sales


Cemetery Fund is a wash.  That’s as far as she got and the rest is everything else,


The $80,000 loan will have interest.  Julie wants to bring it down to about $10,000 and just hold it there to see if she’s going to need more money.  The delinquent taxes include the fees.


Appropriations were overspent by .08. Julie just wiped that out.


Assessments are under budget.


Auditors do not put their time in until the end of the year and Julie assumes they will be on budget.


Building repairs for all the buildings right now is at about 70%. 


Fuel is running about 47%.  That will change in the near future. 


Action:  Ron will check around for prices with fuel companies.  Julie will get Ron the gallonage.


Grounds care is running out. 


Insurance:  Workers Comp has completely ignored Julie.  She was at a training class and happened upon this guy from VLCT and Julie asked him about Lisa.  Julie told him she needed to know when we were getting this money.  He happened to be her boss.  He contacted Pam and she told him that she was pulling the file and that we would be receiving our refund.  So, last Thursday, at another training class, Julie went up to them again and actually spoke to Lisa explaining that she hadn’t heard when we were receiving the refund and she really needs to know.  Julie still hasn’t heard back from her.  Julie stated we are getting a refund.  She doesn’t know when or for how much.  She has an email that says that.  Julie is going to contact Lisa’s boss again and say we need to have the refund before the next Selectboard meeting or they will have to come down and explain why.


Office expenses will not run over budget and Julie did take into account the software that the Board approved tonight.


Other Town expenses, the delinquent tax collector comes out of the receipts.  Julie can’t really tell what the total payroll tax liability will be, but we have already paid about 80% of the payroll, so it looks like we are a little under.  We are about half way for the Vermont liability paid each quarter.  The federal we are ¾ of the way.  Legal fees have exceeded the budget. 


Recycling is running about 60%, but pay out the remainder of the budget at year end.


Selectboard got paid this year and will get money after February of next year.  The secretary is right on target.


Utilities will have more expense.


The next two pages is the highway.  The income and expenses are pretty straight forward. 


Discussion on the salt, winter sand and gravel, sand & stone.


Action:  Motion by Tom to authorize Julie to move money as needed from the restricted culvert fund to take care of the overage in the 2009 budget under culverts and authorizing Julie to move money from the restricted building repair fund as needed to take care of the overage in the 2009 budget for the Town Shed repair.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


Bob asked if there was a culvert to use over at Jeff Smith’s place.  Bob met with Eric House, Jeff and Steve Revell from Starksboro.  The plan he came up with satisfied Eric House, the AOT person from Rutland. 


Ron said that Jeff was willing to have his engineer come down to talk with us.  Jeff is willing to put in a culvert. 


We will be waiting for Mr. House to submit something in writing.


Discussion about the budget numbers Julie provided.


Bob mentioned that there is still no “No Dogs” sign at the access area.  Arlan said he has the sign at home.


Bob also mentioned the recycling sign looks like we do recycling every day and we don’t. 


Diane brought up building the next budget.  The Selectboard would be looking for recommendations and proposals for building the budget from the Listers, ZA, and Town Clerk.


Bob asked how much the budget was for the Town.  Diane stated $211,000 for general expenses and then highway $196,000.  A total of $407,000.  Bob said if we came up with a 10 to 12% increase, we would be close.




A note from Donna Swinington that she would like to be reappointed for another 3-year term to the Planning Commission.  Diane stated her term was officially up in November 2010.  Kate said that was her fault because it was 2009 on the Town web-site.  Diane said we would do a little research.


Motion by Bob to reappoint Donna for a 3-year term.  Second by Tom.  All in favor.  So approved.


Diane has had two conversations with Jim Maroney who apparently was the Leicester Representative to the Addison County Regional Planning before Diane came on the Board.  At one point other business matters took him away from having an interest in serving.  He’s been attending some of the meetings and has interest in a number of the different areas.  He asked Diane to ask the Selectboard if they might be interested in appointing him to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission as Leicester’s representative.


Tom would like to know what his areas of interest are and if he’s going to bring back any information to the Board.   Diane told him that we would expect him to do that.  Jim said he has an interest in agriculture, and the impact that agriculture has on water sheds, and development in general. 


Charlie Makovec, when he’s around, has been going to some of the meetings.  He goes South in the winter. 


Action:  Diane will invite him to come to the October 19th to meet with the Board.


Vermont Trails and Greenways Council has published a manual.  They are having a Symposium the third week in October if anyone’s interested.


VLCT the planning for successful Town Meetings on November 4th.


Old Business:


Sheriff Coons called Diane this evening.  He has received her letter.  He would like to come and meet with the Selectboard.  He felt there was perhaps misinformation that we had.  At the current time they are abiding by our request to not have their services for town patrol even though it was his understanding that we did have a written contract with them.  He’s planning on being here October 19th.


Action:  Julie will check into the contract, if any.


Public Opinion:  None


Vermont Sun:


Jerrod  Rushton on behalf of Vermont Sun has filed for 4 permits for next year.  The 4 permit applications have been sent to Salisbury and Leicester as well as the Fern Lake/Lake Dunmore Association.  They expect 175 participants so far.


Tom asked if the Town could charge an impact fee.  Perhaps a question for legal counsel.


Motion by Bob to adjourn at  8:38 p.m.  Second by Tom.  Passed unanimously. 


 Adjourned by 8:38 p.m.


Next Meeting Monday, October 19, 2009.




Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

Selectboard Secretary