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Meeting Minutes

 Town of Leicester

Selectboard Meeting Minutes


Monday, August 17, 2009




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


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


Others Present:   Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Donna Pidgeon, Tim Johnson, Gerry Flint, Sandra Trombley, Secretary


Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:37 p.m. by Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Agenda Review:  Agenda reviewed. 


Approve Minutes of August 3, 2009:


The minutes for the August 3, 2009 meeting were reviewed.  Diane wanted clarification of Bob’s Motion on page 6.  Motion read to authorize payment of $440 for the 11 hours of labor. Diane would like to add “for welding grader” for clarification.


Motion by Tom to approve minutes of August 3, 2009 with the addition of “for welding grader” to Bob’s motion.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


Review and Sign Orders for Payment:


Bills making their rounds. 


Weight Permits:


One weight permit for John Perry.  Arlan approved.  Gave to Bob for signature.


Reports from Town Officials & Committees: 




Delinquent taxes are at $41,937.36.  She received another couple hundred dollars on that.


No dog licenses to report since last meeting.


Julie contacted Kathy Naylor and left a message asking her about cleaning the white building and she hasn’t heard back from her. 


Julie spoke with a gentleman from CVPS about the shoes on the line.  We are now up to seven pair on Fern Lake Road, one on Rte. 7 and a pair of numb chucks on Swinington Hill Road.  He didn’t think CVPS was the right party and she asked him to speak to the supervisor and then tell her who to talk to.  He was going to get back to her.


Julie would like to request that next month they go through the budget just to see where they stand with everything; what they received in and what was spent out. 


Julie stated that in the bills there is a Selectboard Order to transfer the money from the voter improvement grant from last year to purchase the software for the grant.


Julie had put in a request for another voter improvement grant.  Julie reported that she received notification from the State that we did receive the grant.  She has received the transfer for the grant and that grant is specifically for a laptop and IT support to get that up and running for the checklist. 


Julie received a bill from the Vermont Coalition of Municipalities for $50 which is half of the annual due membership we usually pay.  Julie didn’t find anything in the budget.


Diane explained that they chose not to do it, so please disregard it.


Diane asked if there was any response from the ladies that were here at the last meeting.  Julie said there had been no response to date.


Tom brought up the bill for the Sheriff’s Department for $1,204.  They issued roughly 27 traffic tickets and 4 warnings.  Total officer hours 59 hours.  That’s basically 2 hours per ticket.  Tom thinks there is a lot more going on in two hours than that.  There were 700 cruiser miles.  At one time it was break even or made a little money. 


Ron stated that they are losing money.  It has been doubling every month.


Julie had done a comparison for Diane a few months ago.  She offered to update that for the next meeting.  Tom asked her to do that.


Gerry Flint commented that he has never seen a Sheriff’s vehicle anywhere on the Lake Dunmore Road this summer. 


Tom has seen them around the center of Town on the weekend and over toward Leicester Junction by the cemetery on that corner, but as far as patrolling any back roads or anything, zero.


Gerry stated that had he been on Lake Dunmore Road he could have written I don’t know how many tickets in one hour.  Lake Dunmore Road, in the summer, is a speed zone.  They are flying by.  If he were to park in the right place where he has to be visible, there are plenty of places.  All he would have to do would be to park by the Y or the triangle at Fernville Road, he could get 10 an hour if he wanted to.


Ken stated that the second constable has been plagued by phone calls this week from a gentleman on Stove Pipe Alley about four wheelers.  With all of these hours, why isn’t he out there catching some of them? Just to come to town to write speeding tickets, I don’t think we need police protection to pick up people going to and coming from work and going 6 miles over the speed limit. 


Gerry suggested that the location should be requested if they are going to continue with the Sheriff’s Department.


Road Foreman:


Arlan reported that they got the grader repaired on the chain breakage.  It cost almost $200 for repairing links and a day’s labor for two people. 


They started hauling sand.  They will probably do some ditching if it gets dried out a little bit.


Bob asked if Arlan got the bump signs up on Rte. 53.  Arlan said, yes.  Tom said the cones were gone.


Bob got some complaints today about the no dog or horses sign at the access area at Fern Lake is gone.  Dogs are all over the place.  Also the recycling signs are hanging down and someone thought it meant that we had recycling everyday which we don’t.  They need two new snaps.  There was also something about somebody’s dog on Stove Pipe and somebody’s duck and the kids are raising hell down there with their four wheelers.  Bob went down once and it stopped for quite awhile, but has started up again.


Diane stated that when she talked with the Sheriff’s Department earlier about the four wheelers, they said it was difficult because unless they were right there and happen to catch them, they would take off, and they didn’t want to take the cruiser down into the fields and pucker brush.


Bob didn’t catch anyone at it, but he talked with neighbors that knew and had seen it and they said if it kept on the next one they talked to would be wearing a badge.


Bob said Mike would like a badge, so he could perform his duties.  Tom talked with Donna Swinington and she said the next time she talked with Heidi, she would ask for the badge.  No one knew how to get in touch with Heidi.


Motion by Bob to authorize Arlan to order a No Dogs or Horses sign for the Fern Lake access.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.


Bob reported that the painting of the white building was all done.  There are two windows upstairs on the front of the building that the bottom sashes need repairing.   Paul is coming over one day and they are going to get together and look at them and measure and see what they need to get that done.    The door in the hallway upstairs, the wood needs repair and he will get some pressure treated wood and get that fixed up for us.


When Arlan was talking about ditching, he was talking about between Tom’s house and Kenny Leno’s, that’s got to be dug out and stoned for the FEMA.  They want to do that coming down the hill by Mr. Munger’s but he thinks the best thing to do with that is leave it alone.  There’s not enough room there to really dig that out and stone it up. 


Ken asked why not go right across the goat farmer’s driveway?  Continue the ditch right down through.  Go down right on the property line between Wilcox and Munger and put a culvert right there.  Wilcox said he didn’t mind the water draining down. 


Arlan said he would look at it and then he would talk to them.


Diane said on Maple Street, Jim Sherwin thought there was a culvert that needed cleaning out near his house.  He asked if there was going to be ditching and culvert work being done.  The water is not going where it is supposed to be going.


Ron asked, didn’t we agree to put a culvert across there?


Arlan said he thought so, but that is another case where they had better look down in the woods there and make sure everybody’s happy.


Bob said Cal Loven doesn’t want that water down in his back yard.  It would help some if they put a bigger culvert where that driveway goes up in across from Jim Sherwin’s. 


Arlan agreed the culvert could be bigger.


Bob stated that they could also look up into the field to see if they could divert some of that water before it gets there.


Diane asked if that was the same area that Shelley Mason had talked about.  


Arlan said, no, it was further north.


Donna Pidgeon thinks that the Mason’s are going to come back with a complaint in a few weeks because last year it washed out part of their foundation and they had to get it fixed. 


Bob stated that it did a job on Mason’s driveway, too.


Arlan stated that if they could put that culvert across Maple Street, he thought that would be a big help.


Arlan will talk with Calvin Loven.


To recap:

·        Ferson Road

·        Delorm Road

·        Maple Street – Sherwin’s & Mason’s

·        LaCompte’s

·        Over by Mike Denis’ – Hooker Road

·        Other Hooker Road situation


Bob, Arlan and Ron will go for a walk down in the woods and look at the properties and report back.  We need to settle on a plan soon.


Diane stated that we had budgeted $3,000 for culverts and we have spent $2,921.  We do have restricted funds. 


According to the Town Report at the end of December they had $9,300 in culverts in the Money Market.   


Ron stated that they had spent a lot of money on Rte. 53 this year, and it’s not all done, they still need to pave it.


The first two to be done should be Ferson Road and Delorm Road.  Come back and report about Maple Street and then the two Hooker Road projects.


Arlan said the culvert projects would be better to do after Labor Day.  There would be less traffic.




 Tim had no report from the Listers at this time. 


He did have two questions from the ZBA.  One of the new members was asking if the ZBA make a decision on something and later down the road there is a law suit from the parties, can they go directly after the individual ZBA members.   Are the members covered by a blanket insurance policy to protect individual members of the board?


Ron stated they would have to come after the Town of Leicester.  The Town has the insurance.


Secondly, the notification sent out to adjoining landowners for the ZBA permits are sent out regular mail.  We would like permission to send out the notifications by certified mail that way we would have a record that they were notified in case there were any problems down the road.  There are different ways, we could go certified, certified return receipt, certificate of mailing.  A certificate of mailing doesn’t prove the person got it. 


Diane asked what is the cheapest way that would indicate the person got it.  It would be certified, return receipt.  Julie stated it would be a little over $5 per envelope to have it certified, return receipt.  Certificate of mailing just says that they mailed it, but there is no proof they received it.


Diane stated that she can appreciate that you know the neighboring landowners got the notification.  She asked in a typical situation, how many landowners are you notifying.  Tim said normally 3, but it could be more.


Ken asked if there has been a problem in the past with adjoining landowners not getting notice.


Tim said, no, but just looking into the books of ways we should be doing things and if we are starting new procedures on waiting periods and grace periods, report action, it’s just a CYA thing.


Gerry stated that there haven’t been any problems, but there have been some hearings in the past that someone didn’t come to the meeting and after the fact wished they would have known and they didn’t get the notice. 


Ron said it could avoid some legal problems down the road.


Gerry stated that was what they were looking at; avoiding legal issues.


Diane stated that if you look at what was budgeted for zoning, we have gone considerably over budget.


Gerry stated that they discussed at their last meeting that they were going to have to visit the fees for permits and they are looking at that accordingly on absorbing some of the costs, if we go this route.  Recognizing that we can’t just send these letters out certified absorbing it totally at the Town’s expense.  We are looking for a way that would cover ourselves and insure ourselves that there aren’t any issues. 


Ron asked if it could be worked into the permit, if you had three abutting landowners, they have to pay an extra $15.  That way it is being put back onto the applicant.


Diane stated that she doesn’t think you are going to get any resistance from this side of the table to the concept that, yes; neighboring landowners should be notified to avoid potential lawsuits.  We can’t start doing this right this minute. They are already 341% over budget.


Julie stated that if you look at 2007 and 2008, and then currently, you have run in a deficit for the Zoning Department every year.  Last year it was a $3,000 over run.  Another thing that is not taken into account when you look at those numbers is; these all have to be filed in land records.  There is that cost associated with it and there’s the cost of every time you have another meeting, there’s only so much budgeted for the Zoning Secretary, there is an over run there.  There are a lot of different fees associated with zoning that I don’t think we necessarily think about.  The fees for recording just went up. 


Ron stated that maybe we should do a little prospectus on what it really costs.


Julie stated that when you look at the Zoning in the budget, you are not going to see the recording fees there either because they are being reported under Clerk expenses.


Gerry asked if the ZBA could be provided with some of the information he heard here now.  A budget report as to where we are at, where we are over budget, by how much, in a document.  A letter we could review and discuss and determine whether our rates are appropriate or not.


Tom stated that when he was involved in it, the Town always put up $500, and now it is $750.  The $750 is for the Secretary. 


Julie said she would do up the budget and send it with Tim for the ZBA.  Julie also brought up the cost of advertising.  The cost for the Brogan’s warning was $41.25.  That’s going to show under printing under the Clerk’s schedule unless you want to start separating out under zoning reporting fees under Zoning.  We can start doing that so that you have a better picture, but you would have to budget that way.


Ron stated that we don’t have a very true picture.


Gerry said that the rates hadn’t been changed in four years.  They want to keep the rates reasonable, but there are factors that need to be taken into consideration; especially if we want to go with the certified mail.


Diane stated that she doesn’t think that the Board expects the applicant to bare it all, but in order for us to budget adequately for next year, we need to start to have a conversation now about what all the costs are.  So, her advice would be to get whatever information you need from Sandy and/or Julie to the Board and then put together a recommendation and bring it to the Selectboard.


Bob asked what the permit fees were.  Ron said it depended on what they were applying for.  Sandy thought it was $75 for standard and $100 and up for other uses.  It depends on what they are applying for.


Action:  Julie will provide detailed numbers to the ZBA and if Sandy has any advice she will pass that along to the ZBA.  They will do some research and then they will provide a recommendation to the Selectboard for how we are going to fund this in the future.


Zoning Administrator:  None


Cemetery Committee:


Tom reported that the Cemetery Committee met.  Tom, Donna and Audrey discussed fencing.  They haven’t decided anything.


New Business:


Gerry Flint discovered this weekend while in the process of sealing his driveway, the damage he had incurred to his driveway from the water that accumulates there during rains.  Depending on the rainfall determines how wide it gets.  If he gets an average of 1” of rainfall, he will have 6’ – 8’ feet wide of water and it will stay there for days.  When we get heavier rain, 2” or more, he has seen 10’ wide or beyond and the water will be a depth of 3” – 5” and it will stay there for several days.  That happened for two reasons.  One reason is that we had to re-pave Rte. 53 and was done for a reason the way it was done.  Then what happened is, on the side of the road from my mailbox to Dave Todd’s where a lot of my water ran off, he put stone there to allow the water to run off.  But then sand was added on top of that which raised the level of his grass area to actually above the road.  So, that much sand was thrown on there.  The water has nowhere to go.  It’s just trapped.


He can peel pavement away.  He can go out there with not much equipment and take chunks of driveway away.


Gerry asked if they have done highway repair already this season on town highways, on paving.  Diane explained that they budgeted practically nothing for paving.  We haven’t done anything for paving this year.  We put a little money in that was intended for patching.


Gerry’s request was, could anything be done in a case like that? 


Diane asked what we would be paving that might fix your problem?


Gerry stated the width of the driveway and probably from the road’s edge in.  He guesses it would probably have to be tapered obviously, but it’s got to be built up.  He knows it can’t be higher than the highway, but at least level.  At the level of the highway, or close to it, and to taper it off, you would probably have to come in about 6’ – 7’ at least.  That’s the low spot, right there, that’s the trapped area.  That’s the deepest at the edge of the road.


Ken asked if they removed some of the sand, and reseeded it so that the water runs off the south side of your driveway.  Would it help?  Gerry said it would help it, but it wouldn’t alleviate it. 


Gerry has been putting up with it.  The concern he has now is what it’s doing to his driveway.


Motion by Tom to go out and look at Gerry’s driveway and determine the best course of action.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.




The Chair will take care of the U.S. Department of Commerce Targeted Non-Sheltered Outdoor Location Form.  The U.S. Department of Commerce Census New Construction Program Form was tabled.


Dog Issue:


Diane wrote a letter on behalf of the Town to the Lanphear’s about the dog that bit Christine Cole had to be quarantined and kept in close confinement until at least August 10th.  She further indicated that Brian Webb would be conducting random compliance checks, which he did.  She indicated that they would be receiving citations for the fact that the dog was not registered and has not been vaccinated.  When Brian went down to the house to check on the dog, which is fine by the way.  There is no evidence of rabies.  Brian informed Larry and Melissa that the dog needed to be kept under control and supervised when it was outside and Diane also included a copy of the dog ordinance for them.  He indicated to them that they would be getting a ticket, at least one, for the fact that it was not registered and it was not vaccinated.  He said that Larry and Melissa were compliant and understanding of the fact that the dog needed to be under control and be confined.  Brian said that he was not comfortable going on his own to deliver the citations.  It is possible that it can be mailed.  He wants to make sure that the citations go directly to Scott who lives in Brandon. 


In Diane’s letter to the Lanphear’s, she indicated, depending on the outcome of the quarantine, it was possible that we might be holding a hearing to determine if this was a vicious dog.


Both Bucky and Brian were terming it as a situation that the dog was being provoked and there is no other indication of it being a vicious dog.


Julie said that no one had come in to register the Lanphear dog.


Bob asked about the other dog.  Bob was contacted by a member of the Bristol Selectboard who was upset that the Pit Bull dog was allowed to go to another town and you could be held liable.


Diane explained that they followed the advice of our attorney and explained the details.


Julie explained that the Sheriff’s Department and the State Police both refused to respond to the call regarding the Pit Bull.  She called them both and they refused and they said it was not their jurisdiction and it needed to be handled by the Town Animal Control Officer. 


Ron stated that they did everything they were supposed to do.


No one had information on the dog that killed the duck.


Setting the Tax Rate for 2009:


Julie reported to determine the tax rate; they have this year the town, the highway, state credits which we have two people that came back from the State appeals process with credits, the veteran’s exemption and then the OVUHS payment.  To do the town portion, we took the amount to be raised by taxes from the Town Report which is the 246,100 and subtracted the 102,000 that was budgeted for the OV payment and added in the as voted items which were 11,251 which netted us the town to be raised by taxes to be 155,451.  The highway straight out of the book at 152,732.  The veteran’s exemption is 1% of the 113,400 which is the veteran’s exemption from the Listers.  The State credits, the appeals credits came to 5,667 and some change and this is for the Dunkley-Gill property and the McFadden property.  The OVUHS payment was 102,864 and we transferred from the highway the payment that should have been transferred prior to the end of the year 46,481.76 and she subtracted the credits that we received from Otter Valley and the Leicester Central School that were 14,000 and change and 19,000 and change leaving us the requirement to raise 22,882.27.  If you divide those by the grand list, which is how we come up with the tax rate, we’re actually, compared to last year, we are under the rate for municipal portion of the tax rate by .0064, however the State education portion of the tax rate has increased and in that packet there is a paper that says, notice of education tax rates for fiscal year 2010 and it shows the homestead and non-residential.  The homestead rate 2008-2009 increased .1250 and almost .1400 for non-residential.  If you look at the front page, you will see that the increase is due to education.


Diane reported that the Homestead Tax Rate is 1.4629.  The Non-Residential Tax Rate is 1.5167.


Motion by Tom to set the tax rate for 2009 using the figures provided. Homestead Tax Rate 1.4629 and Non-Residential Tax Rate 1.5167.    Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.


Diane reported that the designees of the Leicester School Board have been having conversations with the Town of Salisbury to see if it would be possible for Leicester and Salisbury to become a unified school district.  They apparently have done research and the corrections or improvements to the heating and ventilation system come in at about $350,000 to a building that already has other issues as well.  The study committee has met three times now.  The last time we met, Brad James and Bill Talbott from the State Department of Education were at this joint meeting in Salisbury.  This unified school district was promoted as might be able to work.  But, it’s a complicated prospect because Leicester would have to petition the State to be released from Rutland Northeast.  Rutland Northeast has to agree.  The other towns have to let Leicester go.  Addison Central has to be willing and agreeing to take Leicester as part of Addison Central which it probably should have been in the first place. 


Some of the big issues are that transportation is handled totally differently in RNESU than it is in ACSU.  Special Education is handled as a pool in RNESU and is not in Salisbury.  Salisbury bears their own special education costs.  When they’ve looked ahead at the numbers, the current fourth grade class is large in both towns and in order to be effectively handled there would have to be an addition put onto the Salisbury School to accommodate those two larger classes.  There is going to be a school board meeting this Thursday in Salisbury.  The full Salisbury Board will be discussing it basically for the second time.  In previous meetings Matt Brush has attended and Hannah Sessions and Michele Pierpont have attended also.  There has only been one Salisbury representative at all of the meetings.  Diane has heard people in Salisbury appreciate the Town of Leicester’s problems, but they are leery about the Town of Salisbury taking on the added costs in order to help us out of our situation.


Act 151 gives communities some ability to be able to choose where there high school students would go. 


There was further discussion.  Nobody really has any answers.  It’s very complicated.  To protect both towns everything would have to be clearly spelled out. 


Julie commented that when she was on the school board, the percentage of special education students was disproportionate to other schools in the area.   Leicester appreciated being in the Special Education pool.  One student could be thousands and thousands of dollars.  It could have a significant impact on the tax rate.  They need to really consider the financial impact to the town.


Old Business:


Tom thinks the grader should be advertised again.  We did not accept the $6,000 bid.  We didn’t respond to John Jozwiak because the grader needed repair.  Should we contact Mr. Jozwiak and tell him where we are at.  He brought the bid down personally.  It was felt out of courtesy, he should be contacted.


Tom thinks we should have a conversation about a capital budget spending plan for long term highway issues.   We need to have a plan for the future.  Maybe we need to set money aside for equipment.  Everything is going up in price.


Donna brought up that before you set aside money for equipment, they might want to find some land to buy to put a building on. 


Motion by Tom to authorize Arlan to contact Mr. John Jozwiak of Proctor and offer to sell the grader  to him for $8,000.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.


Action:  Schedule a time to meet later in the year before budget time in December to discuss long term highway issues.


Road Maintenance:  Issues dealt with under Road Foreman.


Public Opinion:  None


Due to the holiday on September 7th, the Selectboard will meet again September 21, 2009.  This will be the only Selectboard meeting for the month of September.


Motion by Tom to authorize Julie to pay any necessary bills prior to the meeting of September 21, 2009.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.


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


 Adjourned by 8:38 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

Selectboard Secretary