Minutes of Selectboard Meeting
November 20th, 2019
Present at Meeting:
Steven Nicholson, Selectman; Aaron Korzun, Selectman; Mark Goodwin, Clerk
Merissa Blake: American Red Cross of VT & NH
Auditors: Richard Biziak, Lee Wilson
Conservation Commission: Louise Duda, Cynthia Thornton, Peter Grace, Christina Clarke, Connie Youngstrom, Pam Darrow
Planning Commission: Laura Black, Melisa Reichert
Jane Lazorchak, Public Lands Section Chief F&W Department
Doug Campbell, Vermont Land Trust
Randy Page, Delinquent Tax Collector
Local Hazard Mitigation Committee: Alan Shelvey, David Fretz
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Selectman Nicholson
Approval of Agenda:
Arron moved and Steven seconded to approve the agenda. Modifications: Delinquent Tax Collector’s Report, LHMP – RFP Draft discussion. Approved with modifications.
American Red Cross:
Merissa Blake presented the Red Cross’s request for inclusion on the Annual Town Warning for a $500 appropriation. In her presentation Ms. Blake enumerated those services provided by the Red Cross in general to the Rutland area in respect to disaster relief either natural or accidental as in the case of a home destroyed by fire. Including a recent new program for the distribution of free smoke/Co2 alarms for a fire awareness and prevention initiative currently underway.
The Auditors, stated that in the past that there has been some issue as to making their annual report available in the Shrewsbury Annual Report because of an inability to obtain reports in the a transferable format, and would hope that would change moving forward.
A question was raised in respect to the certification of our local emergency shelters and when there might be a report as to what might need to be addressed in order to maintain compliance with our delineated shelters. Steven was assured that there would be a follow up in regards to the shelter status.
Steven indicated that when the Selectboard constructs the Warning that they will take the Red Cross request into consideration.
Auditors Report and Schedule:
Rich Biziak presented the Auditor’s schedule for the gathering, coordination and production of the Annual Report that is statutorily required to be distributed to the voters ten days prior to the Annual Meeting including the posting of the Warning for the Annual Meeting thirty (30) days prior or by February 2nd, 2020 with March 3, 2020 as the day of the Annual Meeting. The Auditors indicated that they will be contacting the various Town Officers and Chairs for their annual reports in the near future, indicating deadlines for their respective reports.
Lottery Road Wildlife Corridor:
The Louise Duda presented the Conservation Commission project that is assisting Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife in obtaining the 527 acre Hidalgo property at the end of Lottery Rd. This initiative is being undertaken by the State, who has been studying the area for a number of years, in order to protect a large critical forest block that has been determined to be an important wildlife area for species migration, range habitat and critical ecological functions within Vermont and would be a benefit to the overall mission of F&W.
The parcel itself and surrounding parcels are included in the current Wildlife Corridor overlay as delineated in the Shrewsbury Zoning regulations and noted as a critical Forest Block in the Town Plan. Laura Black indicated that the project fits well with the overall goals of the Town.
Jane Lazorchak, the Public Lands Section Chief for the Agency of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Department indicated that the State is interested in maintaining the area as a crucial wildlife Management area that can be utilized both as a ecologically connected habitat area and at the same time be utilized as a non-motorized recreational area.
The State has entered into a Purchase and Sales agreement with the landowner and is anticipating using a newly updated Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) schedule, where the local assessment value will be utilized to calculate the reimbursement for the Municipal taxes. The Educational portion of the taxes (approximately $8,776) will be absorbed statewide as part of the overall Education Rate proscribed by the state for each municipality within the state. It is anticipated that there will be no significant impact on the educational rate as is currently in place for Shrewsbury.
Fish and Wildlife as committed $320,00 of the $448, 000 purchase price, with additional monies being utilized from a Vermont Land Trust fund specifically $44,000 from the Joan Sibley fund. Joan being a resident of Shrewsbury now deceased. To date, after private donations, there is approximately $70,000 still to be raised prior to the March 2020 closing deadline.
Two requests were made of the Selectboard:
Letter of support from the Town via the Selectboard to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is a pro forma endorsement utilized in the acquisition package that is sent to the Governor with a recommendation for approval. Steven recommended that the motion to endorse this particular letter be tabled until December 4th when the full Board will be present to take action on it.
In addition a request by the Vermont Land Trust representative Doug Campbell, for an endorsement from the Selectboard supporting the utilization by the Vermont Land Trust of the Joan Sibley fund in the purchase of the Lottery Road Wildlife Corridor was made.
Aaron moved and Steven seconded to acknowledge community support for the acquisition of the Lottery Road Wildlife Corridor and the utilization of the Joan Sibley Fund by the Vermont Land Trust to that end. Approved
Delinquent Tax Collector’s Report:
Randy page per statutory requirement reported to the Selectboard the Delinquent Tax accounts for 2019. Randy reported 41 accounts delinquents, totaling $104,688. He indicated that approximately $52,000 has been collected thus far, and he is continuing to make contact or is obtaining contact data in regards to the other accounts.
No specific information regarding Tax sales was presented at this time, but Randy will return when needed to request endorsement from the Selectboard if legal assistance is required to conduct tax sales in the future.
Better Back Roads Contract:
Steven moved and Aaron seconded to authorize Bert to sign the Better Back Roads contract to reinforce the retaining wall in the area of 6804 Cold River Rd. (Girouard). The Grant was approved previously and is for approximately $40,000 with a $8,000 Town match. Approved
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Request for Proposal (RFP):
The LHMP is a plan document that is formulated utilizing criteria enumerated by FEMA and the VT Department of Emergency Management to specify specific hazard areas or infrastructure that are critical to maintain the safety or assist in the response to emergencies.
Shrewsbury was awarded a grant to update its’ current LHMP which is renewed every five (5) years. Alan Shelvey prepared a Request for Proposal in conjunction with Emergency Management Coordinator and ad-hoc working group of David Fretz and David Rice to be advertised for services to assist in compiling the data utilized for the LHMP.
Steven moved and Aaron seconded to utilize the Rutland Herald to notice the LHMP RFP. Approved
Open to the Public:
No Public present at the time.
Steven moved and Aaron seconded to approve the minutes of 11/6/2019. Approved
Steven moved and Aaron seconded to approve:
Selectboard Orders #11A of 11/20/2019 of $2,290.47 and Road Commissioner Orders #11A of 11/20/2019 for $ 17,115.42. Approved
Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 PM
Mark Goodwin, Town Clerk
These minutes are unofficial until approved by the Selectboard at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Comments to the 2018 VT Telecommunications Plan
2019-02-20 Town Plan Public Hearing
2019-03-06 – Organizational
2018-01-19 Special Meeting
2018-01-24 Reconvene (1-19-2018)
2018-01-26 Special Meeting
2016-02-17 & Reconvene
2015-05-20 Variable Rate Pricing Meeting
2015-06-11 Special Selectboard Meeting
2015-06-14 Emergency Meeting
2015-08-01 Special Meeting
2015-08-05 & 12