August 27, 2019 @ 6:30 PM

Colchester Town Offices 781 Blakely Road

Outer Bay Conference Room, 3rd Floor






1.         Call Meeting to Order

Vice Chair Tom Mulcahy called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


2.         Roll Call

Selectboard:  Tom Mulcahy, Vice Chair; Herb Downing; Jacki Murphy; Pam Loranger

Staff: Aaron Frank, Town Manager; Geoffrey Urbanik, Deputy Town Manager; Chief Douglas Allen; Officer Jennifer Czachor

Others in Attendance:  Avalon Ashley, Colchester Sun


3.         Pledge of Allegiance

Vice Chair Tom Mulcahy led the Pledge of Allegiance.


4.         Citizens to be Heard



5.         ACTION | Consent Agenda

a. Minutes of August 13, 2019

MOTION was made by Jackie Murphy and SECONDED by Herbert Downing to adopt the Consent Agenda as it may have been modified by the Board and to take the actions indicated for each item:

a. Approve the Selectboard Minutes of August 13, 2019

The MOTION carried 4-0.


6.         ACTION | Special Business Items

a. Introduction of New K-9 Officer, Jagger, and Patrol Officer/Handler, Jennifer Czachor – Chief Douglas Allen (No Action)


CPD hired Jennifer Czachor who was a K-9 handler and has a trained police K-9, Jagger, brought with her when she left the Rutland Police Department.  While we didn’t promise her K-9 duty we would like her to do a year with Jagger to see if it will be the expected success.  


Benefits of a police handler and canine:

        Force multiplier – a canine acts as the officer’s back up and can assist in protection of the officer and apprehension of violent criminals. A canine and handler can search a building or other area with reduced risk to officers.

        Tracking – the canine tracks not only suspects but can locate lost or missing children or other vulnerable persons.

        Drug interdiction – K-9 Jagger is trained to locate drugs and has been successful in numerous drug seizures.  His training is recent enough that marijuana is not among his scent triggers. 

        Public relations – our experience with public reaction to police canines has been overwhelming support and appreciation and is an introduction for us with many groups and individuals. 


With a second canine, response times for these services can be drastically reduced.  We would schedule the two handlers on opposite 12 hours shifts giving us the ability to more rapidly respond to incidents such as missing children, when time is critical. 


Costs are about $12,000, including $3,900 for stipend and the rest for vehicle costs which are $6,500 (for the first year or two we will use the retired vehicle from our other K9 officer) but if we continue it would be new annual costs to save toward the capital, vet bills, and dog food. 


b. VLCT Annual Business Meeting Voting Delegates


MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Pam Loranger to select Aaron Frank, Town Manager, as the voting delegate to represent the Town of Colchester Selectboard at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ 2019 Annual Business Meeting to be held October 2, 2019 at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel in Killington, Vermont at 1 PM per the Delegate Registration Form and a memo dated August 27, 2019 from Aaron Frank, Town Manager.

The MOTION carried 4-0.


c. FY 2021 Budget: Selectboard Input


Aaron Frank outlined budget goals for the current fiscal year, FY2020:

1. Combine multiple fire departments into a single, town-wide department

2. Implement regional dispatch

3. Work with pickleball groups for dedicated pickleball courts

4. Begin design for the Bayside Hazelett property

5. Layout of lots in Munson Cemetery

6. Burnham Library wants to grow outreach and foster innovative programs

7. Transportation issues:  Blakely and Laker Lane intersection improvements; the State’s Exit 16 project will be bid this fall and hopefully go under contract; the West Lakeshore and Prim Road intersection improvements

8. Economic Development priorities correspond with the Fire District 3 water line to Severance Corners, which is being installed now.  Maintenance of current businesses and attract new ones.


Constraints on projects included staff availability, given the current project load, and funding for larger projects; and the community’s ability to pay for new capital. 


Priorities for FY21 have been identified as a sixth dispatcher until regional dispatch is up and running, paid daytime firefighters with a full time chief, and the community social worker program.


Tom Mulcahy said that if the budget is underspent at the end of the fiscal year, those funds will be reserved mostly for future tax reduction.  Aaron Frank agreed our policy is for unused, surplus funds to be appropriated back into the next year’s budget.


Jackie Murphy said that Mr. Frank had put a lot of thought into where resources need to go and it is always hard to get resources to match with needs.  She noted that the transportation program is very successful and she uses the new West Lakeshore path; it is great.


Mr. Frank explained that an average of the past five years’ tax increase, excluding the years when the Local Options Tax and Stormwater Utility were initiated, was a 1.62% increase.  Budget increases averaged 2.61%.


Tom Mulcahy said we should try to stay within these bounds with the FY21 proposal.  If we come up with something that increases above this it warrants discussion by the Selectboard.


Herb Downing said in terms of real dollars, we have four needs. Can we attach enough funding to a full time fire chief, daytime fire coverage, plus additional dispatcher?  Aaron Frank recommended only funding the firefighter grant match at this time, since it is pending and not the full cost, due to fiscal pressures. Herb added that the public safety lapse is not acceptable when it comes to daytime firefighting ability.  Spending dollars in public safety is number one and trumps recreation spending.


7.         Additional Business | Manager’s Recommendations



8.         Informational Items

a. Week Ending August 23, 2019

Pam Loranger reminded the public about the September 6th bus tour of septic systems, and to contact the Planning and Zoning office for details.  They would visit  Thompsons Point in Charlotte; and several other modern, large scale community septic systems in the Sugarbush/Waitsfield/Warren area.


9.         Future Agenda Items (Subject to Change)


        Hazelett Park Discussion – Aaron Frank, Town Manager and Glen Cuttitta, Director of Parks and Recreation

        Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission update – Charlie Baker


        Public Hearing on Discontinuance of River Road, Class IV Portion

        Exit 16 DDI Presentation – Mike Lacroix, Project Manager


10.       Announcements


Aaron Frank mentioned that several Colchester businesses were listed as top choices in the “Seven Daysies” review by the newspaper Seven Days.  Many more were listed as runners-up.


Clayton Cameron has accepted the job as Colchester rescue Crew Chief, taking the position opened when John Keating accepted a job as rescue chief as SMC Fire and Rescue.  Clayton is an advanced EMT, rides his bike to the rescue squad all year from his home in Winooski, and is very enthusiastic about the technical and outreach components to his new job.  Clayton has a bachelors in fine art and his last job was n the state medical examiner’s office with autopsies and investigations. 


Julie Laplume has been hired as the new Finance Officer.  She has a CPA and has significant experience in auditing and accounting.  She lives in Williston and starts work September 9th.


Karen Adams and Randy Alemy will be attending the American Public Works Association National Conference in Seattle Washington. Karen Adams has been selected to present during an emerging technology roundtable on the use of mushrooms to filter and reduce the amount of phosphorus and bacteria that naturally enters streams.


11.       ACTION |Warrants

a. Action: Warrants #19-42 and #20-06

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Pam Loranger to approve Warrant #19-42 in the amount of $6,505.63 and #20-06 in the amount of $536,935.40.

The MOTION carried 4-0.


12.       Executive Session

a. Contracts & Litigation


MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy to find that premature general public knowledge of contracts and litigation discussions would clearly place the Selectboard at a substantial disadvantage because the Selectboard risks disclosing its negotiation strategy if it discusses the contracts and litigation and other matters in public. 

The MOTION carried 4-0.

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Herb Downing that the Selectboard enter into executive session to discuss contracts and litigation under the provisions of Title 1, Sections 313 (a)(1)a b e of the Vermont Statutes, Executive Sessions. 

MOTION carried 4-0.

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Pam Loranger to exit the executive session at 8:19 PM. 

MOTION carried 4-0.

No further action was taken.


13.       Adjournment


MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Pam Loranger to adjourn the meeting.

The MOTION carried 4-0.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.



* Select Board Meetings may be viewed on Channel 17 on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. & Tuesdays at 6:00 a.m.


Attendance in an executive session shall be limited to members of the public body and at the discretion of the public body, its staff, clerical assistance and legal counsel and persons who are subject of the discussion or whose information is needed.  If the Agenda items are not complete at 10:00 p.m., the Select Board shall take a vote as to whether to continue or recess the meeting until the following Friday at 6:00 a.m. for the purpose of reconvening and completing the remaining business items.


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, those requiring accommodation for this meeting should notify the Town Manager’s Office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting at (802) 264-5500, TDD 1-800-253-0191 (text/telephone), 1-800-253-0195 (voice).






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