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Meeting Minutes

Town of Leicester
Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Monday, July 1, 2013
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Diane Benware, Tom Barker, Ron Fiske, Brad Lawes, Ken Young
Others Present:  Julie Delphia, Arlan Pidgeon, Kate Briggs, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Review of Agenda:
Ron requested roadside brush be added to agenda and Ken mentioned possibly the fishing access if Matt Carrara shows up.
Approval of June 17, 2013 Minutes:
Motion by Ron and second by Tom to approve minutes of June 17, 2013 as written.  All in favor.  So approved.
Review/Authorization to pay bills:  Bills making their rounds for signatures.
Reports from Town Officials, Committees:
Zoning Administrator
Kate talked about the Pinkie Johnson Fishing Access on town land.  She stated that it has an egregious problem with runoff.  She stated that they need to worry about new state requirements.
Tom mentioned the liability and the deed restrictions.  Julie will look up the deeds. Ron asked if it could be downgraded to a trail.  Tom questioned whether we could downgrade it to a trail.
Kate’s position as Zoning Administrator thinks that this is awful runoff during a storm.  The town, who wants to teach others on the lake to have environmentally responsible sites; has to treat it this way, as well.  Kate will look into ways for the town to do this.  She thinks something can be done.  Access is limited by what the State will allow us to do.  Kate thinks we can reduce the water runoff by vegetation.
There was discussion about the number of fishermen and their use of the access to get their shanties onto the lake.  It is the main way to the lake.
Ron, Tom & Brad would like to look at the fishing access before moving forward with recommendations for other options to reduce runoff.  Others are welcome to look; as well.  In two weeks, they will discuss further.
The enforcement officer for the State of Vermont is coming to view zoning violations on sites where sand had been freshly dumped, where there is runoff, etc.
Ken asked the Board if the town could do anything to help a property owner keep trespassers off his property, and keep them from using his cooker, and parking on his lawn.  He put up no trespassing signs and got a police order, but nothing works.  The Board felt that it is private property and he needs to call the police.  The town really doesn’t have any power to help in a civil matter.
Since 2007 there has been a major change in property frontage.  Julie mentioned they do have photographs.  She stated that probably new photos need to be taken to show comparison.
Julie mentioned another problem on Johnson Drive between two heirs having a dispute.  One of the heirs is taking rocks and blocking part of the road and the other heir is very upset and a renter in that area is very upset.  Today, one person came in for an extended period of time to talk with Kate and look up deeds and another one called.  The response back is that it is a private road and a civil matter.  They need to call the police or their lawyer.  A Planning Commission member told them to make a complaint at the town; they will take care of it.  Julie explained to them that it was a private road and the town is not responsible; as it is a civil matter.
Kate mentioned that there is an issue with the stone wall.  The stone wall is not a fence and it does need a permit.  By moving the stones, they have made it not passable by a fire truck.
Kate would like to find an Assistant Zoning Administrator.  She would be willing to forgo her salary. She stated that she was 67 and would like to find someone to train to replace her.  Possibly someone out of town with no perceived bias or agendas.  She would like to be able to focus on redoing the zoning regulations.  The State of Vermont is retracting.  There are less people at VLCT and Regional Planning.  In small towns there is less support for zoning, but more and more requirements.  We have a lot of violations and enforcement issues.  Board recommends Kate talk with Planning Commission on July 10th.
There are planning grants that she and Diane will work on.
Motion by Ron and second by Brad to approve the bills.  All in favor.  So approved.
Town Foreman:
Arlan talked with Gary Dupoise about the paving.  He was going to start paving Rte 53 by Bob LaPorte’s to the intersection.  Then up this side of Dunmore Acres north.  He will save a load for the culvert job.
Arlan asked how much they have in the budget for paving.  Diane figured $80,000 total in budget to spend.
Julie thought that maybe out front the driveway and lines for parking spaces could be done at the same time to save money.
Arlan will talk to Gary about out front and will get a quote and get back to Board.
John Witherby is complaining about his ditch.  We cleaned out the ditch one time before.  He wants the town to clean it out again.  It’s on his property not town property.  It runs off on the other neighbor’s property.  Discussion of advantages/disadvantages.
Motion by Ron and second by Ken to have Arlan clean out ditch; acting in a proactive manner so that that it won’t affect town property, not to exceed $200.  All in favor.  So approved.
Ken asked Arlan when they were going to pound the ledge out on Ferson Road, Delorm Road and Shackett Road.  Arlan said he can rent an excavator with a hammer for $600 a day.  Arlan can move the machine.  He can tell right away if it’s what they need.  If it doesn’t work, he will return it.
Brad will talk with Greg at Markowski’s and get a price; as well.
Roadside Brush:
Ron reported that roadside brush is getting out of hand.  On Leicester/Whiting Road past Roger Scarborough’s going west, the brush is right out in the road.  We have $2500 in the budget.  Arlan will talk with Kevin Bagley about doing the work.  Road Commissioner and Arlan will look at the roads and see what needs to be done.
Ken asked for clarification about the culvert project and what it covers.  He wasn’t at the last meeting.
Everything was in the quote.  Arlan will write it on the sheet with the breakdown when he submits his invoices.  At the end, they will know exactly what the project costs.
Town Clerk/Treasurer:
Julie asked who owns the Leicester Central School sign on the Town Green.  The reason Julie is asking is because of the donation of signs for the town.  There might be an option of having that sign replaced with a sign that says Leicester Central School with an arrow this way and Leicester Town Offices with an arrow this way.  Also, perhaps a sign by the doors that says Zoning Administrator with a little slide for the hours, Listers with a little slide for hours and on the other side, Clerk with a little slide for hours.  The Board has no issue.
Licensed dogs are at 267.  There are about 12 unregistered.  Paul is going to start the census again.  Paul had a complaint on Fern Lake; so there will be two more to be registered.
Delinquent taxes are about $62,600.  Julie just received about $5,000 - $6,000, so delinquents will be down in the $50’s.
The web-site is up-to-date.  The listers are back to Tuesdays.  Jeff Lee will be in on Tuesday with Diane and James the Accessor. 
The new tax rate for education has been set.  The education rate for homestead has gone up almost .07.  The municipal rate will most likely be very similar to what it is for 2012.  They won’t know what the town rate will be until the grand list is lodged.
The ongoing saga of homestead declaration and changing dates from September 1st to October 15th, the Legislature chose not to change the date to October 15th and the Commissioner of Taxes decided to use her authority by another Statute to make it October 15th.  So, it is October 15th.  However, they are going to do a September 15th download, which will get all of the people through September 1st which will have a positive difference for the town.  It should decrease the number of people that might go delinquent prior to getting their credit.
The Selectboard received and reviewed the Financial Management Questionnaire from the VT Auditors Office, dated June 27, 2013.  Julie informed the Board that there is a new Statute this year that says that the Treasurer has to supply to the Selectboard a questionnaire with questions.  This is just so that people are aware.
The Board signed the Maintenance Agreement for High Risk Rural Roads.
The Chair signed the annual milfoil grant “Aquatic Nuisance Control, $28,000.
Brad asked if the Board was aware of the fund raiser with Lake Dunmore/Fern Lake.  Last year they hired a professional out of Maine to come and take a census around the lake with the idea of raising money so they would have a permanent source of money to counter the ups and downs of the state and the town.  Their goal is to raise 1.2 million dollars.  They would actually like to get 1.7 million dollars.  This is a perpetual fund they can rely on to take care of milfoil and/or potential snail problems or anything else.  Last Tuesday they had a gathering on Brad’s road to talk about their progress.  They currently have $784,000 pledged.  So far this has been a silent fund raiser.  It’s a 501C3 organization.  They are looking for 3 or 4 large donors at first.  At least one is putting in $300,000 over a 5 year commitment.  Soon, they will be contacting selected persons to pledge. They expect everyone on the board to pledge.  There will be literature going out in the near future.
Grant Information:
The deadline for Better Back Roads Grant Application is July 15th.  The maximum is $10,000.  Diane will talk with Kate.
The information in the paper about the fish kill was totally in error.  The calculations were not even factual.  What the guy did was totally wrong.  The fish kill was not due to mosquito spraying. Everything is back on schedule with BLSG.   On their web-site they have a formal procedure if you do not want to be sprayed. 
Senior Center Building Needs:
Paul Francoeur is working on a bid.  Ken recommended that Ron get in touch with Miner Construction for a bid.
Motion by Tom and second by Ken to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. 
Next meeting July 15, 2013.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, Secretary