DRAFT MINUTES

 

DRAFT MINUTES

COLCHESTER SELECTBOARD

781 Blakely Rd. third floor conference room

May 25, 2021 @ 6:30 PM

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1.         Call Meeting to Order | Roll Call

Selectboard Chair Loranger called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

 

Selectboard Members Present: Pam Loranger, Chair; Tom Mulcahy, Vice-Chair;             Jacki Murphy, Clerk; and Charlie Papillo.

Staff Present: Aaron Frank, Town Manager; Renae Marshall, Deputy Town Manager;        Sarah Hadd, Director of Planning & Zoning; Lara Alemy, Finance Director.

Others Present: Liz Hamlin-Volz, Colchester CSWD Representative; Sarah Reeves,             CSWD Director; Alice Certa, CSWD

 

2.         Pledge of Allegiance

Chair Loranger led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

3.         Citizens to be Heard*

Selectboard Chair Loranger read the meeting sign-in information and explained             how people could watch or participate in the meeting either on the phone or by   sending a message to the Town Manager. She reminded folks on the phone to         mute themselves until they were asked to speak.

 

There were no Citizens to be Heard.

 

4.         Public Hearing | 6:35 p.m.

a. Proposed Amendments to Chapter Four and Chapter Seven of the Colchester Code of Ordinances addressing Building Code, Building Code Construction Ordinance, and Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance – Sarah Hadd, Planning and Zoning Director

 

Sarah Hadd, Director of Planning & Zoning, presented the proposed amendments to Chapter Four and Chapter Seven of the Colchester Code of Ordinances.

 

5.         ACTION | Consent Agenda

a. Selectboard Minutes of May 11, 2021

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Charlie Papillo 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 the meeting of May 11, 2021.

The MOTION carried.

 

6.         Special Business Items

a. CSWD Proposed FY22 Budget – Sarah Reeves, CSWD Executive Director

Sarah Reeves, Executive Director of CSWD, presented the proposed FY22 budget for CSWD. She explained CSWD is moving ahead with some major infrastructure projects that were put on hold due to the pandemic, and the budget plans for a return to normal and anticipates growth this fiscal year.

 

b. ACTION: Approval of CSWD FY22 Budget

MOTION made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Tom Mulcahy to approve the Chittenden Solid Waste District proposed budget for FY 2022 in the amount of $12,954,794 in revenue and $10,960,127 in expenses per the attached memo from Deputy Town Manager Renae Marshall, dated May 6, 2021, and the FY 2022 budget proposal document from CSWD dated May 3, 2021.

The MOTION carried.

 

c. ACTION: Approval of Ordinance Amendments to Chapter Four of the Colchester

Code of Ordinances of Building Code and Building Code Construction.

MOTION made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Charlie Papillo to approve ordinance amendments to Chapter Four of the Colchester Code of Ordinances of Building Code and Building Code Construction per a memo dated May 5, 2021 from Aaron Frank, Town Manager, and Sarah Hadd, Director of Planning & Zoning.

The MOTION carried.

 

d. ACTION: Approval of Ordinance Amendments to Chapter Seven of the

Colchester Code of Ordinances Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance.

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Tom Mulcahy to approve ordinance amendments to Chapter Seven of the Colchester Code of Ordinances of Building Code and Building Code Construction per a memo dated May 5, 2021 from Aaron Frank, Town Manager, and Sarah Hadd, Director of Planning & Zoning.

The MOTION carried.

 

e. April Financial Report, Lara Alemy Finance Director

Finance Director Lara Alemy presented the financial report for April 2021 and reported the town’s revenues exceed expenses by $555,570 at this point, 83% into the fiscal year.

 

7.         Additional Business | Manager’s Recommendations

a. Wastewater Program Recommendations

Renae Marshall, Deputy Town Manager, presented recommendations for the town’s on-site wastewater program. Along with Town Manager, Aaron Frank, she explained the town will keep the program, but make it more efficient through several changes, including credentialing more staff to review permits and assigning the primary role of permit review to technical staff, as well as reviewing fees of the program.

 

b. Local Option Tax Proposal

Selectboard Chair Pam Loranger read information about the Local Option Tax proposal, which she said the Colchester Selectboard opposes.

 

This spring a proposal was brought forth in the Vermont House of Representative’s Ways and Means Committee to end the voter approved Colchester local option tax and direct the revenues collected by Colchester to the State of Vermont.  The proposal would “redistribute” the funds statewide through a state administered grant program. The Town of Colchester’s Selectboard adamantly and most vigorously opposes this proposal.

 

At the close of the session five members of the of the eleven members present at the committee supported or liked the concept including Committee Chair Ancel. Colchester’s Representative Pat Brennon did not support the measure and noted that Colchester’s local option tax requires voter approval in order to access funding. 

 

At Town Meeting in 2015 after a town-wide vigorous debate and vote, the Town of Colchester voters approved a 1% local option tax, which was later approved by the State legislature and signed by the Governor.  Currently, the State of Vermont already keeps 31% of the 1% local option tax and allocates it for other purposes not necessarily associated with Colchester.

 

The Colchester local option tax has been dedicated to make payments on voter approved debt beginning in 2015 after its passage.  Previously, these debt payments were paid by property taxes.  In 2015, this reduced property taxes by 5%. This practice continues and reduces the property taxes annually.

 

The Town is banking the remainder of the local option tax for future community and environmental projects, which will require voter approval.  Without the local option tax as a direct revenue to the town, we cannot count on using the funds for recurring expenses such as voter approved debt. 

 

The Vermont League of Cities and Towns supports the rights of municipalities to enact local option taxes with voter approval, “VLCT’s Municipal Policy states at section 1.02 (4) “VLCT supports providing each municipality the authority to adopt local option taxes though a vote of the local voters.”

 

This proposal takes away something important that the voters directly approved and puts local resources in the hands of a few state officials.  The town voters approved the tax and also approve the use of the funds.  This is democracy in action and we implore the Vermont State Representatives and Senators to oppose any further action on this proposal in the second half of the Biennium. 

 

Here is the proposal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_0UfUiahQo  

 

https://www.vlct.org/sites/default/files/2021_vlct_weekly_legislative_report_14_04-09-21.pdf  

 

https://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/detail/2022/21  

 

8.         Informational Items

Town Manager Aaron Frank called attention to the Police Department’s purchase of body cameras.  This has long been a goal, to purchase and use body cameras.  We were waiting on a state policy and or state funding due to the high initial cost and significant ongoing costs.  That has not yet come to fruition. CPD is also working with me and the town attorney on an extensive policy about use of cameras, keeping of recordings, and release of recordings which are complex operational and policy issues.  We will share this with the Selectboard when ready.

 

9.         Announcements

 

Selectboard Chair Pam Loranger read the following announcements:

 

National Public Works Week – May 2021

 

This week, May 16 – May 22, we are celebrating the 61st annual National Public Works Week to honor our Public Works Department which does so much to help keep our Colchester community running smoothly. This year’s theme is “Stronger Together,” which highlights the role between Public Works and citizens to work together to make our community a great place to live.

 

Public Works consists of managers, engineers, and highly trained operational staff who help maintain a community’s strength by working together to provide services and implement capital projects relating to roads, bridges, sidewalks and paths, wastewater and stormwater treatment, public buildings and spaces, and the maintenance of vehicles and equipment for our fire, rescue, technical rescue, and police departments. Public Works strives to improve the overall quality of life for our citizens through the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, and the care and preservation of our community’s natural resources. 

 

We appreciate the year-around maintenance and around the clock repairs, especially those provided in the winter by our Public Works employees across the town.

 

Please join us in thanking our Public Works Department for its dedicated service to our town.

 

 

 

National Emergency Medical Services Week – May 2021

 

On behalf of the Town of Colchester, we would like to recognize the staff and volunteer Emergency Medical Service providers of Colchester Rescue Squad and Colchester Technical Rescue for National EMS Week! 

 

2021 marks the 46th annual National EMS Week, which recognizes EMS providers for their selfless dedication to saving lives and keeping community members healthy and safe. This year’s theme is “This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities,” which appropriately reflects the time and care our EMS staff and volunteers put into serving the people of Colchester.

 

The past year has been trying and has shown just how much we value our EMS services. The Colchester Rescue and Technical Rescue squads remained 100% in service throughout the pandemic, answering thousands of calls to serve the community in driving rain and scorching sun, after dark and in treacherous snowstorms.

 

You stepped up and persevered through operational changes, an influx of information, and the uncertainty of what lay ahead during the pandemic. You sacrificed your time to serve the community, and we thank you for your dedication.

 

We are incredibly proud of our entire Colchester Rescue and Technical Rescue squads, and we honor you not only this National EMS Week, but every week beyond.

 

We have sincere gratitude for your selfless service to the Town of Colchester.

 

Flags Flying for Memorial Day

 

For Memorial Day this year, the Colchester Cemetery Advisory Committee has placed flags in the Town cemeteries to honor and mourn military personnel who have died in service. The flags were placed by committee members Wanda Morin and Theresa Carroll; Julie Graeter, Town Clerk; and volunteers Bruce Nelson, Doug Sweeney, and Pam Loranger.

 

The Colchester Milton Rotary Club is also continuing their initiative, Operation Flags for Heroes, this year. Community members and businesses have sponsored flags to fly in several locations around Colchester, including Charlebois Truck Parks in Milton and on West Lakeshore Drive near Dick Mazza’s General Store. Funds raised through these sponsorships will be donated to community organizations to support local needs. For more information on this project, please visit the Colchester Milton Rotary Club’s website: https://cmrotary.org/page/operation-flags-for-heroes-1

 

Congratulations to QOR360 (pronounced Core 360)

This Colchester company that manufactures chairs, had their Ariel office chair named to the 2021 Honorable Mention in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards, a competition with more than 4,000 entries from around the world.

 

We wish you continued success in your endeavors.

 

10.       ACTION | Warrants

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy, seconded by Tom Mulcahy to approve Warrant #21-33 in the amount of $585,757.53.

The MOTION carried.

 

11.       Executive Session

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Charlie Papillo to find that premature general public knowledge of labor relations agreements with employees would clearly place this Selectboard at a substantial disadvantage because the Selectboard risks disclosing its negotiation strategy if it discusses these issues in public.

The MOTION carried.

 

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Charlie Papillo that the Selectboard enter executive session to discuss labor relations agreements with employees and personnel issues under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313 (a)(1)(B) and (a)(4) of the Vermont Statutes, Executive Sessions.

The MOTION carried.

 

12.       Adjournment**

MOTION was made by Jacki Murphy and SECONDED by Tom Mulcahy to adjourn the meeting.

The MOTION carried.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:23PM

 

 

DRAFT MINUTES

 

 

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