Minutes of the Selectboard Meeting of Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Members present: Stephen Flanders, Chair; Christopher Ashley; Ed Childs; Linda Cook; Keith
Moran; Neil Fulton, Town Manager; Nancy Kramer, Assistant to the Town Manager.
There were 6 people in the audience.
Also participating: Phil Dechert, Andy Hodgdon, Richard Keeton.
Flanders opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.
1. Approval of Agenda (Action Item). After a brief discussion regarding the Executive Session, by
consensus, the Selectboard approved the Agenda.
2. Public Comments. None.
3. Town Manager’s Report (Discussion). The Town has received a Better Back Roads grant in
the amount of $3,500 that will be used for an inventory of road erosion and signs. The Historic
Preservation Commission received a CLG Historic Preservation grant in the amount of $13,725 to
document the history of farming in Norwich. They will be pouring the foundation for the tower
tomorrow and the project continues to be on schedule. Work has begun on the RFP for the
codification of ordinances. This proposal should come before the Selectboard next year. We
have received additional information regarding local area banks’ willingness to secure our
deposits with instruments backed by the United States Government. Fulton will review this
information with Moran before coming back to the Board. Questions were asked regarding: the
increase in delinquent taxes, the Better Back Roads grant, painting yellow lines, the fire rating
change and the Subdivision Policy of the Listers. Fulton commented that: an inventory of roads is
being worked on, the Town can only paint yellow lines on so many roads due to budget
restrictions, water supply and personnel are the two big items in the ISO rating and that the Listers
Policy is one they have been following and they wanted to clarify.
4. Finance – Board to Sign Accounts Payable/Warrants (Action Item). After one question, Ashley
moved (2nd Childs) to approve Check Warrant Report #14-09 for General Fund in the amount of
$161,803.55, for Fire Equipment Fund in the amount of $1,304.69 and for Fire Apparatus Fund in
the amount of $3,157.73 for the period from 9/26/13 to 10/09/13. Motion passed.
5. Server Replacement (Discussion/Action Item). With the installation of AssessPro, the
assessing software, the server database has become overloaded. This has resulted in the need
for frequent reboots, slow connections and loss of connectivity. The Town has also lost the ability
to do full daily backups. Fulton had concerns with the quotes received and asked Tad
Richardson, who maintains our network, to submit a quote. Fulton is working on closing out the
contract for the Town reappraisal and is not certain at this point how much money will remain in
the Reappraisal Fund. Consequently, he has reworded the motion to include use of the Town
Clerk Equipment and General Administration Funds in order to ensure there will be sufficient
funds to replace the server. Questions were asked regarding Richardson and payments made to
him. Childs moved (2nd Ashley) to authorize the Town Manager to spend approximately $16,000
from the Town Reappraisal Reserve Fund, Town Clerk Equipment Reserve Fund and General
Administration Reserve Fund to replace the Tracy Hall Network Server. Motion passed.
9. Tracy Hall Roof Truss Repairs (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton said there is a failing
truss in the attic. The basketball hoops are up as a precautionary measure. Trumbull-Nelson will
be the project manager. The estimated cost without engineering is $20,000. The reserve fund
has approximately $51,000 in it. Ashley said he had toured the attic and there is a piece of bent
steel. Cook asked if the snow guards were still an option and Fulton said not this year. After
some discussion, Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to authorize the Town Manager to spend
approximately $30,000 from the Tracy Hall Reserve Fund to repair the failing truss supporting the
Tracy Hall roof. Motion passed.
6. Reclassification of Church and Main Streets/Route 10A to Class 1 Town Highway
(Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton provided background information in the packet. The
discussion started with the first Town Manager. The thought was there would be more flexibility
for the Town if it became a Class 1 road. The process for setting speed limits remains the same.
The Safe Routes to School project was signed in 2008 and is still not in the construction phase.
Fulton and Dechert met with the engineer on the project and they would like to proceed with the
road staying a State highway. Fulton has struggled with the issue and believes that at best the
Town will break even on the costs. Masland was unable to make the meeting tonight. The
legislation was effective July 1, 2010 but the Town has not seen an agreement. The Town
Manager’s Office provided notice of tonight’s meeting to all residents affected. Fulton was asked
what he was looking for from the Selectboard and responded that he expects an agreement will
arrive at some point and is looking for direction from the Board. Items discussed were: the
financial reasoning, the Town taking over just the Church Street segment, plowing costs, State aid
and who maintains the traffic lights which is unclear at this point. After further discussion in favor
of taking over only the Church Street segment, Fulton said he would approach AOT with that
proposal and get back to the Selectboard.
7. Zoning Fees (Discussion/Action Item). The proposed new fee structure for zoning permits and
DRB hearings has been reviewed by the Planning Commission. At the Planning Commission’s
February 28th meeting, they requested the fee schedule as proposed be sent to the Selectboard
for adoption. Items discussed were: recording fees, violations of permitting, differences in fees by
square footage and where the fee money goes. Afterwards, Childs moved (2nd Moran) to approve
the permit fee structure as shown in the attachment to the memorandum dated October 2, 2013
from the Director of Planning and Zoning to become effective on November 1, 2013. Motion
8. Facilities Studies Program (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Fulton commented that Moran
asked at the last meeting for a further discussion before Bread Loaf starts Part 4. The three
Department Heads whose facilities are being discussed are present. Fulton said that the next
steps are to take the space needs into schematic designs and cost them out. Public forums will
be held along the way and it will come back to the Selectboard once costs are established. Moran
wants to be certain that all options will be looked at with the exception of doing nothing. Fulton
said all feasible options will be reviewed. The Police Station needs to be replaced. Fulton is
impressed with Bread Loaf so far and their capabilities. Items discussed were: sharing of old
information, how many public hearings, plans for the current location of Police and Fire
Departments, shared spaces and costs, improvements already made to the Fire Station and
where we will be at the end of Part 4. Fulton assured the Board that the process will not be
rushed. The Selectboard agreed by consensus that Bread Loaf should proceed with Part 4.
10. Follow-Up on Discussions with School Board on Finance Committee (Discussion/Possible
Action Item). Flanders said that representatives of both boards met and discussed general
philosophical issues pertaining to the Norwich Finance Committee (NFC). They will meet again
on October 15th to discuss the charge for the NFC. There is support for joint input on the NFC.
11. Budget Process (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Moran suggested a realistic approach
and to wrap up sooner if possible. Flanders reviewed his model in the packet which suggests that
the first Public Hearing on the budget be held in December. Fulton asked if the Selectboard would
consider a one-day session for all departments. After discussion regarding a 5 hour meeting,
having the Public Hearing in December, minimizing distractions, possibly having a Saturday
meeting and Fulton providing a list of nonrecurring expenses the Board agreed on the following
11/13 – 6:00 pm start time – Budget Overview
11/20 – 5:00 pm start time – All Departments Budget Presentations
11/26 – 6:00 pm start time – Budget Discussion
12/4 – 6:30 pm start time – Outside Agencies
12/11 – 6:30 pm start time – Public Hearing FY15 Budget
1/8 – 6:30 pm start time – Adopt FY15 Budget
Selectboard Budget Binders will be distributed November 8th.
12. Review Next Steps for Committee SWOT Development (Discussion/Possible Action Item).
Flanders said that the information that has come through the door so far needs to be shaped up.
Cook and Flanders will review the information, ask questions of the various entities and will bring
back to the Selectboard.
13. Correspondence (Please go to www.norwich.vt.us, click on Boards & Committees from the
blue banner, click on Selectboard and click on Recent Selectboard Correspondence in the middle
section to view resident correspondence):
a) Resident –
1) #13 a). Email from John Carroll Re: Vacancy on DRB. Moran moved (2nd Ashley) to
receive an email from John Carroll re: vacancy on DRB. Motion passed. Moran
moved (2nd Cook) to appoint John Carroll to the Development Review Board for an
unexpired term ending in April, 2016. Motion passed.
a) Approval of the Minutes of the 9/11/13 Meeting. After some discussion, Childs moved (2nd
Ashley) to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2013 Selectboard meeting as
amended. Motion passed.
b) Selectboard Town Report Submission (Discussion/Possible Action Item). After very little
discussion, the Selectboard approved the report as submitted.
c) Handout for Selectboard Organizational Meeting in March (Discussion/Possible Action
Item). Items suggested were: a list of Town committees, etc. and charges, a list of
projects and where we are, various reports and a description of duties of the Selectboard
regarding the BCA.
d) Review of Next Agendas (Discussion/Possible Action Item). Items on the next agenda will
be a draft for the organizational material, communication on the Norwich Listserv and a
further SWOT development discussion.
e) Personnel – Town Manager (Executive Session may be Required). Pursuant to Title 1
VSA § 313(a)(3), Ashley moved (2nd Childs) to enter into Executive Session for the
purpose of discussing the annual performance review of the Town Manager. Motion
passed. The Selectboard moved into Executive Session at 9:02 pm.
At 9:51 pm the Selectboard moved into public session. No action was taken as a result of the
Cook moved (2nd Ashley) to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:52 pm.
Approved by the Selectboard on November 13, 2013.
By Nancy Kramer
Assistant to the Town Manager
Stephen N. Flanders
Next Regular Meeting – October 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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