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Meeting Minutes

Town of Leicester

Selectboard Meeting Minutes


Monday, April 20, 2009




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


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


Others Present:   Arlan & Donna Pidgeon, Julie Delphia, John & Mary Hughes, Virginia Wolf, Kate Briggs, Cecile Todd, Audrey Scarborough, Tim Johnson, Bonnie & Charles Johnson,  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:


The minutes for April 6, 2009 meeting were reviewed.  Cecile Todd wanted a correction in the minutes.  Page 7 where Donna Pidgeon asked if we went through every outbuilding.  What it is, that is detached garages not all outbuildings.  Cecile answered “yes, along with your garage”, it’s not all other garages.  Motion by Tom to approve minutes with Cecile’s clarification.  Seconded by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved.


Review and Sign Orders for Payment:


Bills making their rounds. 


Weight Permits:


Arlan reviewed weight permits and approved.  There are three for Bob to sign.


Reports from Town Officials & Committees: 




Julie reported that she received a delinquent tax payment of $20,482; along with a few other payments; as well as reimbursement for advertising.  Our delinquent taxes are now down to $71,200. 


There were not many more dog licenses. Julie will put a notice out about dog licenses.  


She is still working on the “mock” budget for Town and Highway for actual vs. budget.


 Auditors were here last Thursday.  They are coming back on Wednesday to finish up going through the taxes and some things left over things from the administrative transition. 


The Listers are going to give Julie a list of all the mobile homes.


 Julie indicated that the liquor and tobacco license for Leicester General Store must be signed in duplicate.  


Road Foreman:


Arlan reported that if it rains a little bit, they will  start sweeping the intersections and doing some more grading on Stove Pipe Avenue and Diane’s road from the bridge out.




Cecile advised that the new district advisor is coming Wednesday to work with the listers for training.  It is an open meeting.  The Listers will be there at 8:00 a.m., the advisor around 9:00 a.m.  


Cecile wanted to make clear about the detached garage thing.  The State gal had come down, and told the Listers at the time, which was Harry and I, to go through them because when Wright appraisers realized their tables were all wrong, supposedly they had corrected them.  Some they had corrected and some they had not corrected.  So, I don’t want anyone to think that their garage is going to automatically go down 50%, because some had already been corrected to fair market value.


Cecile wanted to comment for the record that her own garage went in under the Marshall & Swift Book.    Mr. Smith started doing hers in February 2008 using Marshall & Swift to do detached garages.  I don’t want anyone to think that this is a self-help thing.  It went in at 100%.  Anyone is more than welcome to look at it.


Cecile asked if there were any questions from the Selectboard.


John Hughes mentioned again that Wednesday’s meeting is an open meeting, so anyone with questions, are welcome.


Cemetery Committee:


Audrey Scarborough, Secretary reported that the Cemetery Committee held their first meeting Thursday.  Last Wednesday they went down to the cemetery with Don Durkee.  It’s been two years since he has been able to do any repairs to the stones.  They went through the cemetery and made a list of stones they are suggesting be repaired and cleaned.  The total comes up to approximately $1,860.  In 2004 we spent $700, in 2006 we spent $1100, and then he was not available for a couple of years.  There is $14,700 in the cemetery account, but $10,000 has to stay there specifically to do parts of the fence.  Audrey requested the Selectboard to approve between $1,800 and $2,000 for cemetery work.


At the same time, Tom met with Gus Letourneau about brush cutting, not to exceed $500.  The $400 invoice from Gus is for the spring clean up not brush cutting.


Virginia Wolf asked what the procedure is to go into the local cemetery.  Tom stated it was set up years ago as a requested donation fee.  There is no perpetual care fee.  Audrey explained it was deeded to the Town many years ago 1700/1800’s for all residents, and the way it was deeded it would be free burial for all residents in the Town.  We had Tad Powers look at it, to see what it would take to get it switched over to an Association.  It was going to be so costly, he really didn’t advise it.  We basically cannot charge, but we can suggest a donation.  The money in the account has basically come from lots, the old cemetery association; some money has come from the Walter Cerf Foundation for drainage.  There was some money that we asked the Town for surveying.  Tom mentioned that they try to do something every year to maintain the cemetery.


Motion by Bob that the Selectboard authorize the Cemetery Committee to spend a sum not to exceed  $2,000 for stone cleaning and repairs and a sum not to exceed  $500 for brush cutting in the cemetery out of the cemetery funds.  Second by Ken.  All in favor.  So approved. 


Zoning Administrator:


Kate reported that she is finding it very interesting.  The first priority is to respond to the needs of applicants promptly.  We have two applicants on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting of the ZBA.  She wanted to put out a plea for more members.  The ZBA/PC is down to bare bones.  Secondly, there are things we can do to just expedite procedures.  There is further work to be done to amend some of our procedures.  There is quite a lot to do.


Julie brought up the Lister Education Fund.  Cecile and John are enrolled for a class in May 14th Vermont Department of Taxes class costing $75 per person.  Julie asked the Selectboard to authorize her to pay for the class out of the Lister Education Fund.


Diane asked if it was determined that the Lister Education Fund was separate from the per parcel funds.  Diane is thinking ahead about a third Lister.  Cecile still needs to check into this.


Motion by Ron to approve the payment for Lister Education of $75 per person for Cecile and John and in the event there is a third Lister appointed, we would cover that cost as well from the Lister Education Fund.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


New Business:


Letters of Interest for Listers Position:


Chair read a letter of interest for Lister position from Tim Johnson.  Cecile & John were accepting of Tim becoming a Lister.


Motion by Ron to appoint Tim Johnson for Lister for term until March 2010.  Second by Bob.  All in favor.  So approved.


Julie indicated that Tim will need to take two oaths.  They will work out details.


Tim has also submitted a letter of interest to the ZBA.  Selectboard will wait for their recommendation.


John H. explained that there would not be a conflict of interest.


Action:  Diane will contact Chair of ZBA to make sure he received Tim’s letter.


Tom noted that Cecile submitted a bill for her Lister work, and John did not.  Tom asked if that meant John didn’t work.  John stated that he worked all those hours as well, but was not submitting a bill.  Tom would be more comfortable having John put his hours down with “no charge” on the invoice.  It would leave a cleaner paper trail.  John stated it was all logged in.


John noted while attending previous meetings   there seemed to be a problem with Cecile’s pay, mileage, and everything else with this Board.  Now, we had a Lister from 1992 to 2007, got paid six times what all the other Lister’s combined and he had never heard a problem about Lister pay.  All of a sudden Lister pay has become an issue.  Every meeting there is something about Lister pay.  John stated that if the Board doesn’t trust him, tell him now.  John will sign Cecile’s time sheet to prove he was also there.


Tom wants the records to show that both Listers were in the building working at the same time.   It’s not a matter of trust.


Julie stated that she needs the number of hours worked for the Department of Labor.


Liquor License Renewal:


Liquor license renewal for Leicester General Store, Dale & James Counter.  This is liquor and tobacco renewal.


Motion made by Bob to approve the liquor and tobacco license for Leicester General Store.  Second by Tom.  All in favor.  So approved.


Selectboard to sign in two places.


CVPS Easement:


CVPS is in the process of upgrading some lines in Leicester.  They need permission to install 4 poles and anchors on the Leicester/Whiting Road.  Chair has signed the easement to be notarized by Julie.





Old Business:


Grader update:


The grader is not going to the State auction.  Last Tuesday was the deadline for submitting if the grader was going to the State auction.  Two board members were out of town and the remaining three did not feel they could make a decision without the other two.  Feeling that they needed all members present, they could not meet the State’s deadline.


Received a quote from Wind Mill for $3,922.28 with estimated labor $1,750.  This is basically parts.  Nothing in the quote about hydraulics.  Arlan has not had a chance to look at the estimate.


More discussion of pros and cons of repairing the grader.  Diane noted that in 2007 they spent $8,300 on it, and 2008 $1,200 and the last time it needed service CAM charged $350.


Julie mentioned that we did not budget any money for repairs on this.


John McDonough shared dollar amounts that he had checked in the Town Reports from 1995 – 2003.  Just your rent on the grader not counting the operator, workman’s comp;

1995     8,043

1996            10,475

1997     7,335

1998     9,477

1999            10,800

2000            11,800

2001            10,600

2002     9,850

2003            13,300

That’s just your rent of the equipment.  That’s not including your operator.  You can do an awful lot of fixing on anything for that amount of money.  So what you paid for that grader and what little bit you have put into it over the years, is a drop in the bucket to the first year’s rent.


Ron indicated that they are trying to look at all their options.  We’ve had a hard time making a decision on this.


Ken noted that the cost of grader, registration, trucking totals around $15,000 and we’ve put in $9,500 in repairs and trucking so say $10,000.  So, we have paid out $25,000.  At a certain time, you need to make a decision whether it’s worthwhile to keep the equipment. Can we afford to own a grader for two and half weeks out of the year?


Ron indicated it costs $1,000 a mile per year to grade dirt roads in Leicester, whether you lease or you own your own grader.


 Virginia Wolf felt as a taxpayer she doesn’t want to see us pay $9,000 for a rental and not have a piece of equipment as an asset.  At least we have an asset on the books.


Ron stated it was about $12,000 to grade the roads last year.  Ken noted how much money do you put in to a used piece of equipment?  At some point, you need to make a decision of its worth.  The transmission is making horrendous noises.


Tom stated that with a rental if there is a breakdown with the grader, it does not cost the Town anything.


Charlie asked whatever happened to the money from the Sheriff’s Department going to the equipment fund.   Diane reported the money is still there; however, amounts have gone down each year.


Bonnie asked John what the prices were charged per hour for the grader.  John thought about $70 per hour.


Ron handed out some figures on paper and hopes to get some input.  He put down some options.  If you spread it out over four years, you could save the money in four years and buy a nice little grader for $73,000.  In the meantime, Arlan has given us a price of $90 per hour to take care of our roads and we can put a cap on it.  That would be $10,700 to do our roads for a year with a cap not to go over $12,000 without Selectboard approval.  We have no expenses what-so-ever.  That gives us time to save money.


Bonnie asked what happens if Arlan has a really bad year with repairs, etc.  Is there a chance that he will come to the Board to say he just can’t do it for this, and is the Board going to go ahead and approve it?


Ron stated that there would have to be some pretty good circumstances.


Motion by Bob to get the grader repaired per estimated quote of $4,000 plus $800 transporting grader down and back.  No second.


Tim Johnson asked if this was ever brought to the Town for a vote in years past.  Maybe the Town’s people should vote about this.


Diane stated that if they went in the direction of Ron’s written proposal, that yes, it would be brought before the Town’s people.


John Hughes stated that a decision needs to be made, and if the Selectboard cannot make a decision, we need to get someone that can.


Motion by Ken to sell this grader and lease Mr. Pidgeon’s grader.  No second.


Ron stated before we do that, we should put it out to bid.


John McDonough strongly advocates the cap if we go with Ron’s proposal.  Arlan’s quote was based on fuel cost today.  Arlan didn’t agree with numbers that John McDonough was referencing in the past Town Reports.


John Hughes asked if the grader can be used.  Arlan stated, yes, the grader is operable at this time to do what’s necessary.


Motion by Ron to postpone until next meeting and authorize Chair to place an ad in the local papers seeking bids for grading 13 miles of dirt road.  Bid for the equipment and operator costs.  They would need proof of insurance.  Due in the Town Office no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday, May 4, 2009.  At the Road Commissioner’s request to be done in a timely manner.  Second by Ken.  2 no’s Tom and Bob.  2 yes’s Ken & Ron.  Diane voted yes to break the tie.  So moved to place the ad.


Green Up Day:


Kate reported that the transfer station will accept appliances identified as legitimate green up items.  Kate is looking for some volunteers to pick up some of this legitimate green up stuff.  The bags will be available in the next couple of days.  She will bring them to the Town Office, school, and various other places.  We have green up rules that we got from the transfer station.  Kate will work with the volunteers about the rules.  Kate will have to attest that the items are Leicester’s green up.


Diane discussed the cook out.  She has donations of water, franks, condiments and rolls.  It will be Noon to 2:00 p.m.  There will be some donated prizes.


Virginia Wolf asked the outcome of the tax sale in town.  Diane informed her there was no tax sale because the delinquent taxes were paid in full.  This was reported earlier under the Town Clerk’s report.


OV Payment Update:


At the time of Town Meeting we were under the impression that we owed Otter Valley approximately $100,000 payment.  Chair reported we know that $33,000 is coming back to the Town from the Department of Taxes.  This is due to “true up” and late filers.  $14,000 to Otter Valley and $19,000 to the elementary school.  Letter of explanation was read from Brenda Fleming.


The Town owes Otter Valley $102,862.  After Otter Valley receives this payment, they will reimburse Leicester Town $14,000 leaving a net liability to Otter Valley of $88,000.  Brenda’s advice was to wait until after May 7, 2009 before we did anything to make sure nothing crosses in the mail.    We will be reimbursed the $19,000 from the elementary school.


Donna P. reminded the Board that the highway department needs to reimburse the general fund the amount that was deficit spent for 2008.


 Motion by Tom to authorize Treasurer to move money from the highway money market to reimburse the general fund for the highway deficit on the books as shown 12/31/08 and pay Otter Valley when its time.  Second by Ron.  All in favor.  So approved.



Public Opinion:


Charlie Johnson asked if the Board knew how much stimulus money the Town of Leicester was getting.   No one knows. 


Cecile asked if they cut our highway funds by 50%.  Tom stated there was a very good chance.  Diane stated that a week ago Wednesday, the AOT arbitrarily made a decision to not pay the towns any of their April highway money.  Friday, in the Senate, it was at 50% and it was being taken up in the House this morning, but hasn’t heard the outcome.  That’s all we know. 


Bonnie Johnson had heard that when the past Zoning Administrator left that there was $300-$400 of telephone equipment that was taken and not wanting to be returned.  The Board explained that the Town had paid a portion of the telephone bill, but the equipment did not belong to the Town.  He bought his own phone.


 Motion by Tom to go into Executive Session to discuss pending legal action at 8:27 p.m.  Second by Ken.


 Motion by Tom to come out of Executive Session at 8:48 p.m., no action taken.  Second by Ron.


Motion by Bob to adjourn at 8:48 p.m.  Second by Ron and Ken. 


Meeting adjourned at 8:48 p.m.


Next regularly scheduled meeting Monday, May 4, 2009, 6:30 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

Selectboard Secretary