TOWN OF WILLIAMSTOWN
MEMBERS: Larry Hebert – Chair, Bill Ashe – Vice Chair (absent), Rodney Graham, Francis Covey
MANAGER – Jacqueline Higgins
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7pm by L. Hebert.
SET THE AGENDA: F. Covey made the motion to approve the agenda, need to remove tax rate
12/13 as the information was not available yet, seconded by B. Ashe, and so voted.
REVIEW OF OPEN PUBLIC COMMENT: available for viewing at all meetings.
OPEN PUBLIC COMMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
#1 – M. Sprano would like to talk to the Board at the next meeting about the end of year budget
figures. The figures have not been presented to the Board yet.
SELECTBOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS: None
REVIEW & APPROVAL MINUTES: R. Graham made the motion to accept the minutes of
the July 16, 2012 meeting, with corrections, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted, with B. Ashe
abstaining as he wasn’t at the meeting.
REVIEW & APPROVAL WARRANTS: R. Graham made the motion to accept the payroll
warrant 7/1 – 7/15, and 7/15-7/28, SB147 and SB148, seconded by B. Ashe, and so voted. R.
Graham made the motion to accept warrant SB146, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted, with L.
TOWN MANAGER REPORT: Cross walks have been painted and a crosswalk sign has been
ordered for the Business Ctr/Route 14 cross walk. We have a state permit that allows us to
put up the sign in the road between 7am and 5pm.
Delinquencies update as of 8/1/12 – taxes $127,184.54, water $36,909.63, sewer $35,035.32. 17 parcels sent to attorney for tax sale. 16 water/sewer users were sent shut-off notices. We have been notified that the trees on Route 14
that impair visibility coming off from Meadow Street are not in the right-of-way. We will talk
with land owners to see if they will trim.
HIGHWAY – work completed in last 2 weeks – storm clean up, resurfacing section of
Weir Road, and equipment maintenance. Roads graded were Tower, Sugarhouse, Grandview,
Washington, Therriault Hill, Old Baptist, Boyce, Birch and Trip. Work to be done in next 2
weeks – Roadside mowing (Stone Road area), Portions of Tower Road & Baptist street
resurfacing with ¾”. Grading schedule – Gilbert, Baptist, Chelsea, Stellar, Carpenter, South
Hill, Menard Crossroad, Graham Rd.
M. Sprano asked if all roads would be road side mowed, and J. Higgins reported that they
R. Graham asked about the new speed limit sign for Route 14. J. Higgins reported that
the state was taking care of that and that the signs had been ordered.
F. Covey asked about Road name signs. J. Higgins reported that many have been
ordered, but the highway department hasn’t had a chance to put them up yet.
#1 – INVENTORY TAX – T. Knight spoke to the board about the inventory tax. We are 1 out
of 10 or so towns in VT that still charge this tax. Many did away with it when ACT 60 was
implemented. There is no state education tax on inventory, just municipal. There are currently
about 90 parcels that pay “personal property tax” – which includes equipment & inventory. It
results in about $20,000 in revenue to the town. There would need to be a town vote in order
to abolish this tax. Some have said that if they knew about the tax in advance they would not
have located their business in Williamstown; therefore it is a deterrent to new business coming
to town. T. Knight said that it takes about 20 hours for her to do the work associated with the
annual calculation of the tax. It requires mailing letters to all 90 parcels, receiving the mail in,
calculating depreciation, tracking information down, etc. If this tax goes away it would raise the
tax rate approximately 1 – 1.5 cents. The discussion was tabled until Town Meeting time when
it would be placed on the warning for the town to vote on.
#2 – NORTH EAST MATERIALS – N. E. Materials has requested to open up the access on
Pirie Road for aggregate, as well as possible future asphalt operation. E. Morton stated that
within a year, they would be willing to given enough asphalt to shim/overlay 1730’ of Pirie
Road. (from Graniteville Road to their access point) R. Graham stated that it’s a public highway
and wasn’t sure if we had the authority to stop them from using it. Only authority is the over
weight permit. He finds their offer offensive, akin to a bribe. F. Covey didn’t see the offer as a
bribe but as a good faith effort. Pirie road will be much safer than using Cogswell St. D. Cooper
who represents N. E. Materials, just wants clarification on the letter from the town manager that
they presented to ACT 250. The letter stated they could open Pirie Road access for aggregate
use during mud season. It stated nothing about future use for the asphalt plant. There was
much discussion from Graniteville residents opposed to the asphalt plant. Also comments from
Williamstown residents opposed due to the increased truck traffic and wear & tear on the roads.
#1 – PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING COMMITTEE - R. Graham gave an update on the
building. The drawings have been completed. There is 5 bays, male & female locker rooms,
meeting room, kitchen, storage, mechanical room, office for fire chief, office for ambulance
director, dispatch room, processing room for the sheriff dept. Upstairs will be a modest bunk
room & rec room. The building is designed for use now and into the future 25-50 years. It will
be energy efficient, using wood pellet boiler for heat, and solar panels for hot water. It will cost
more to install these (energy efficient options) but will pay for itself in the first 5 years. The
estimate to build the building is $2.5 - $3 million. There were grants available, but there aren’t
any at this time. It is expensive, but will have cost savings – heating 1 building instead of 2,
plus repairs on the other buildings. The current ambulance bay would be torn down, and the fire
department building would probably be sold.
#2 – SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE UPDATE – Still working on.
#3 – TREASURER COMMITTEE – A decision will be made soon to appoint the 3 residents to
the committee. 5 people have applied.
#4 – OLD TOWN WATER TANK UPDATE – Information has been given to Shirley Luther, a
local realtor, to arrive at a fair market value. She is away on vacation right now, but will get us
the information as soon as she returns. J. Higgins is still researching right of way issues.
#5 – HIGHWAY POLICY – The new amendment was read by J. Higgins, culverts on driveways
will be a minimum of 15” in diameter and 30’ long, with a header on the inlet. R. Graham made
the motion to approve the policy amendment as presented, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted.
#6 – GARDEN STREET – R. Hepburn drew a sketch of what he would like done. Using his
sketch it would cost $12,500 just for the blocks. Redi-Rock came and looked that project. They
recommend using 41” blocks on the bottom instead of the 28”, and to only go 3 blocks high.
The Town is still only paying $10,000 for the materials. Any more will come from R. Hepburn.
AROUND THE TABLE:
R. GRAHAM – None
B. ASHE – None
F. COVEY – None
L. HEBERT - None
EXECUTIVE SESSION – R. Graham made the motion at 9: 38 pm to have a brief recess and
then to enter into executive session in accordance with 1 VSA § 313 (1) (2) and (3) – contract,
labor relations agreements, negotiating/securing of real estate purchase options, and appointment
of a public officer, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted.
Motion was made my R. Graham and seconded by F. Covey to exit executive session at
10:22 p.m. R. Graham made the motion to appoint Scott Valliancourt to the Selectboard vacancy
until March 2013, Town Meeting Election, seconded by B. Ashe, and so voted.
R. Graham made the motion to enter into a 1 year contract with Jacqueline Higgins as
Town Manager, seconded by F. Covey, and so voted.
ADJOURN - R. Graham made motion to adjourn at 10:26 p.m., seconded by F. Covey and so