Regular Meeting of October 26, 2015
South Hero Town Hall, Monday 7:00 PM
Board Members Present Jonathan Shaw, Skip Brown (also Board Secretary), Anne Zolotas, Carol Tremble
Board Members Not Present: George Rice
Others Present: Sharon Roy, Town Clerk. Also see sign in sheet.
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman Shaw at 7:00 pm.
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to accept the minutes of the meetings of October 12, 2015 as written. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
4. Public input:
A. David Pillsbury of the SHVFD was present to advise the Board that some of the older wooden flagpoles that the fire department has around Town are beginning to rot. The SHVFD will be looking to replace them with aluminum poles within the next year.
B. Tim Maxham advised that there will be an Act 46 school consolidation meeting in Alburgh on October 27.
C. Ed Smith questioned why there was an issue with parking on East Shore Rd. and what precipitated the notes in past minutes. He was advised that there was a court order to ban parking on East Shore and Hochelega Roads when the Town was sued by James Woods et al. and lost the case. Mr. Smith contends that Mr. Woods and the other litigants got what they wanted and that the Town should not spend any more money on this.
5. New Business:
A. Jan Marinelli, new executive director of the Lake Champlain Islands Economic Development Corporation (LCIEDC) was present to introduce herself to the Board. The mission of the LCIEDC is to assist all 5 Island towns in any way possible. The driving force keeping commercial development down in the Islands is septic capacity. She is also in favor of having a park and ride in the Islands and will assist in helping South Hero in their mission to get one in Town at the “salt shed” property. Also, the consensus of the Board is to allow the LCIEDC to research the possibility of a State park and ride somewhere else in Town or the Islands.
B. The Chair of the Grand Isle Selectboard sent a letter to Jonathan Shaw about the possibility of sharing a zoning administrator (ZA). Since South Hero has been searching for a ZA and is on the verge of hiring one, this request is not timely and more research needs to be done to see if it even feasible.
C. The Planning Commission (PC) has held interviews for the ZA position, and recommends that the Selectboard hire Martha Taylor-Varney for the position. The Board spoke with Ms. Taylor-Varney and is in agreement with the PC recommendation. See “other business” below regarding the hiring of Ms. Taylor-Varney.
D. The question of why the Town has incurred more legal fees than in the past was brought up at a past meeting.
3 main areas have cost the Town legal fees recently include:
-$6822.00 has been billed so far to try to appease the Dubuque/Saxon families in the reconstruction of South Street from Martin to Landon Roads. The legal fees include helping the Town with the necessity and condemnation hearings so the project can move forward. Note that this project has been held up for approximately 2 years, and that there have been substantial engineering costs incurred not reflected in the legal fees.
-$1215.00 has been billed so far for the appeal of the “Pest Pro” zoning decision. Please note that this case has been settled, but that more legal fees may be pending.
-$2923.00 has been billed so far on the Denis and Charlene Johnson of 479 West Shore Rd. property tax assessment appeal. This case is still pending so there will be more legal fees involved.
6. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. South Street Landon to Martin Rd. project updates: Nothing new to report.
South Street from Route 2 to Landon Rd. is paved and the paint striping has been scheduled.
B. The request by James Woods to turn the end of East Shore Rd. from a class 4 to a class 3 road was discussed. It was noted that land was offered for a turnaround or hammerhead when the law suit happened and that it was refused then. Anne Zolotas will arrange a meeting with the Road Crew and Mr. Woods to discuss this and to see if it is possible.
C. The Board hired Angolano & Co. as auditor. It was discovered that there was an unfavorable peer review on this company. The Board was advised that the discrepancies were corrected and that a letter to that fact will be forthcoming.
7. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. None this week until a Zoning Administrator is hired.
8. Other Business:
A. Skip Brown made a motion to sign the order #16-09 and pay the bills associated with said order. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
B. The paperwork to formalize Anne Zolotas as Town health officer was completed. Until then, Jonathan Shaw is acting as heath officer.
C. Anne Zolotas made a motion to go into executive session for personnel matters at 7:55 pm. Executive session ended at 8:02 pm. Upon exiting executive session, Carol Tremble made a motion to hire Martha Taylor-Varney as Zoning Administrator for a term of 3years, and as assistant to the Selectboard. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. The pay will be $600.00/week for 30 hours per week with no medical/dental insurance necessary. There will be an opportunity to work an extra 40 hours over the next few months to get caught up at a rate of $20.00/hour. Ms. Taylor-Varney accepted and will begin work on October 27.
D. It was noted that the Recreation Commission has openings and that it was not publicized. Carol Tremble will be in touch with the members who terms are up to see if they have an interest in re-applying
E. Anne Zolotas made a motion to go into executive session for personnel matters at 8:45 pm. Executive session was ended at 8:50 pm. No action was taken upon exiting executive session.
-Skip Brown made a motion to adjourn 8:51 pm. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown Jonathan Shaw, Chair