Regular Meeting of Monday October 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM
South Hero Town Hall
Board Members Present: Jonathan Shaw (Chair), Ross Brown, Anne Zolotas, David Carter
Board Member Not Present: Skip Brown
Others Present: Janet Yates, Town Clerk; Kim Julow, Asst. Town Clerk; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA; Tim Maxham; Erin Morse; Brigitte Barrett; Randy DeLong; representing South Hero FD — Patrick Robinson, Rich Goggin, Leo Wermer, Wayne Tyrell, Al Getler; representing South Hero Rescue – Mike Wickenden, Nancy Franz; and Sheriff Ray Allen;
- Called to Order:
-The meeting was called by Chairman Shaw at 7:00 pm
- Adjustment to Agenda:
-The Chair removed 5D (Asst. Town Clerk Kim Julow to discuss Town finances), and 9D (repeat of 9A).
–David Carter made a motion to approve the minutes of October 12, 2020. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
- Public input:
- A. Brigitte Barrett and Randy DeLong were present to discuss signage and enforcement issues related to the Allen Point Fishing Access. The Board suggested waiting until the discussion could be warned in a future meeting agenda, after the budget is completed, and to invite representatives from VT Fish and Wildlife and Local Motion for a discussion on who has jurisdiction over matters on the causeway, the access road, and Martin Rd. Barrett left the Selectboard a list of suggestions to consider before that meeting.
- New Business:
- A. Sheriff Ray Allen met with the Board to discuss the proposed fiscal year 2022 Sheriff’s Department budget. The Department is requesting $148,720.00 based on 52 hours per week for law enforcement services. The proposal reflects a $1.75 per hour increase, from the current $53.25 to $55.00 per hour. Sheriff Allen explained that the increase is due mostly to increases in insurances. Jonathan Shaw asked if the Board would consider increasing the current 52 hrs/wk to 54. The Board will continue that discussion at a future meeting. Sheriff Allen told the Board that current issues in the county include complaints of political signs being stolen, mostly occurring at night. He recommended that people put their names and addresses on signs so they can be returned if recovered or to simply take the signs inside at night. There has been no major increase in break-ins, but mental health calls have increased as the pandemic continues. The Department will continue to answer calls related to White’s Beach. David Carter suggested that the Sheriff meet with the Recreation Committee to establish rules for policing the Beach and their limitations for ticketing, signage, etc. Sheriff Allen agreed. Sheriff Department training includes race relations and training for mental health and dementia related issues. Changes in traffic since the border closure includes a steep increase in out-of-state cars on the Islands. It has been 2 years since a traffic fatality in the County. Some Federal grants have not been fully utilized because of Covid restrictions but there have not been any budget shortfalls. Sheriff Allen told the Board that the new radio tower at the Department offices in Grand Isle will generate $2200 per month, with revenue going toward maintenance expenses.
- B. Patrick Robinson, representing the South Hero Fire Department, presented a proposed fiscal year 2022 budget with no increase over the 2021 budget. The budget request is for $96,100.00. There is currently $181,000 in the replacement equipment fund. Patrick explained that the Department will need to replace Engine 2 next, but there is no timeline for that at this time. A new engine will cost approx. $550,000. Fire Department recruitment continues to be a challenge and the department is discussing recruitment ideas.
- C. Mike Wickenden and Nancy Franz, representing South Hero Rescue, requested a Town contribution of $83,175 for fiscal year 2022, a reduction of $5720 from the current year budget. South Hero Rescue projects to be able to cover workman’s comp, supplies, equipment insurance, and ambulance maintenance from their own funds. There is currently $128,000 in the equipment replacement fund, which will eventually go toward a new ambulance. The proposed 2022 budget for the building increase from $184,134 to $185,634, reflecting small increases in electricity and telephone/internet expenses. Tim Maxham complimented the work of both Rescue and first responders, particularly Patrick Robinson who answers all rescue and fire department calls. Anne Zolotas commented that South Hero Rescue appreciated the cooperation between the Fire Department and Rescue and felt is has been a great success.
- D. David Hobbs (via Zoom) and Carol Tremble discussed the Recreation Committee’s current plans developing a walking trail on Town-owned property on RT 2 between South Hero and Keeler Bay villages, and the need for site plan review by the DRB and State review related to wetlands, Shoreland Protection, and VTrans. The Rec Committee has already cleared trails and built boardwalks through wetland areas with the help of community volunteers. Zoning Administrator Martha Taylor-Varney explained that the Town must have the same State and local reviews and approvals as any other development proposal and offered to assist in those applications. Parking issues in that area on RT 2 are of considerable concern. David Carter moved that the Select Board approve that the project can move forward subject to their obtaining permits from DRB, Wetlands, Shoreline and VTrans. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
- Administrative Assistant Report:
- A. See the report on www.southherovt.org or filed with these minutes.
- B. David Carter moved to approve draft zoning applications for Conditional Use and/or Final Site Plan Review, Preliminary Site Plan Review, and Major Subdivision Sketch Plan Review. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
- C. David Carter moved at authorize up to $3000 [from the current budget not yet spent for a Zoning Assistant] for a new computer and related equipment for the Zoning Office. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
- D. The Board requested that discussion on the proposed “Ordinance to License and Regulate Mobile Vendors” be put on the agenda for the Nov. 9, 2020 agenda.
- Old and Ongoing Business:
- A. Work on the general Town budget line items will continue at the next Selectboard meeting.
- Announcements and Communications:
- David Carter will be away and will call in to the next meeting.
- Jonathan Shaw read a letter from Northwest Unit Special Investigations – Child Advocate Center requesting $1500 from the Town in their FY2022 budget. The Board tabled the discussion until a future meeting.
- Other Business:
- A. David Carter made a motion to authorize Robert Fireovid to reach out to interested persons for the formation of a Conservation Committee. There was no second and no action was taken.
- B. The Board signed payroll orders #21-08 and 21-09, and expenses order #21-09.
- C. The Board confirmed that the start time for Selectboard meetings be moved to 6PM from 7PM, starting with the Nov.9, 2020 meeting, and remain until after the March Town Meeting.
-David Carter made a motion to adjourn 8:52 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Martha Taylor-Varney Jonathan Shaw, Chairman