Regular Meeting of Monday February 27, 2023 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary,
Anne Zolotas and Chuck Hulse
Board Members Not Present:
Others Present: Naomi King, Town Clerk. Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA (via Zoom). Also see sign in sheet of in person and Zoom attendees. *Attendance SB 2023-02-27-2023
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman David Carter at 7:00 pm
2. Public Hearing:
3. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Ross Brown made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of February 13, 2023. The motion was seconded, Chuck Hulse did not vote. The others in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
5. Public input:
A. none at this meeting
6. New Business:
A. SHVFD Chief Patrick Robinson and Assist. Chief Matt Reed were in attendance to discuss the new incoming fire truck. They flew to Florida last week to do a final inspection before it leaves the factory. A few minor bugs were worked out, and it will leave Florida later this week and will be delivered to the local dealer, Desorcie Emergency Products, Inc. in St. Albans. Final outfitting will be completed there and delivery should be in late March. There is a balance due of $181,990.13. The Selectboard advised that the balance would be paid before the July 1, 2023 fiscal year begins, and money allocated in the next FY would be reimbursed to the Town at that time.
-Also, the Town would like to acknowledge the leadership of Patrick Robinson and the SHVFD during the unfortunate ice rescue/recovery mission that occurred 2 weeks ago.
B. Chair of the Wastewater Commission (WWC), Peter Zamore gave an update on the WWC progress. There was $48,000.00 grant to study wastewater opportunities in the village areas of South Hero and Keeler Bay. A survey was sent out, and of the respondents, approximately ¼ said that their wastewater was a challenge. There is a seam of sandy soils in Town and eleven property owners along the seam were asked if they would be interested in exploring the possibility of community wastewater. Four agreed, five said no, and 2 are maybe. Two of the four who agreed are on conserved Land Trust property, so it may not be feasible to explore wastewater capacity on those 2 properties. The plan is to have the engineering Company test the soils and do a feasibility study in the spring. The WWC will report back when more information is available.
C. The State has changed the method of submitting liquor and tobacco license applications, and it is now all online. The Town has the opportunity to approve them but no longer signs paper applications. The following were submitted:
-Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve the Folino’s LLC class 1 liquor application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Ross Brown made a motion to approve the Jolley Assoc. tobacco application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve the Jolley Assoc. tobacco substitute application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve the Simons Store/Island Beverage class 2 liquor application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve the Simons Store/Island Beverage tobacco application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve the Simons Store/Island Beverage tobacco substitute application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
7. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. See the written report filed with these minutes (Below on the website or in Town Hall).
8. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. The personnel policy signature page was discussed. Edits will be made and it will be discussed at the next meeting.
B. Planning for the informational portion of the Town Meeting on Saturday March 4, 2023 was discussed. Skip and Naomi will meet at the Folsom Educational and Community Center on Tuesday to test the set up for the Zoom attendees.
9. Announcements and Communications:
A. See other business
10. Other Business:
A. Ross Brown made a motion to approve and sign orders 23-18, 23-18A, 23-18B, 23-18C and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motions were seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
-Ross Brown made a motion to approve and pay the $3134.50 bill submitted by the Dinse law firm to interpret and render an opinion on the confusing language regarding the submitted petitions for special articles that will be included in the Town Meeting voting. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
B. Town Clerk/Treasurer updates: The informational Town Meeting will be at Folsom Educational and Community Center on March 4th and the Australian ballot vote will be on March 7, 2023.
C. Recreation Commission (RC) update: none at this meeting.
D. Road Department update: The Road Dept. has been busy plowing the past week.
E. Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH) project: There will be an advisory article be voted on at Town Meeting for a feasibility study about moving the Town offices to the Old South Hero Meeting House property. Should it pass, then a committee will be made to study this.
F. ARPA fund updates: The Selectboard should plan on beginning public hearings after Town Meeting about the use of the funds.
G. Wastewater (WW) update: see above
-Ross Brown made a motion to adjourn at 8:35 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown, Secretary David Carter, Chairman
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard February 27, 2023
1. I received an email on February 8 from Stephen Hilfiker of VHB with results of the recent water supply well samples. The total PFAS concentrations in all 10 water supply well samples were below the Vermont Cumulative Maximum Containment Level. A report summarizing the next steps will be completed in March.
2. I was unable to renew the Town’s SAM.gov registration before the deadline of Friday, February 24. The system is going through an overhaul and the Town’s previous information was not accepted by the system. I spoke with a customer service rep who told me she I would be contacted by a “tier 2” representative, but I have yet to hear from anyone. I will continue to work on this. Needless to say, the requirement to re-register annually, verifying the same information that was accepted the year before, is more than a little frustrating. The registration must be renewed annually for the Town to be eligible for Federal grants.
3. I received a 45-day Notice for the solar facility proposed for Lavin property by Encore Renewable Energy. This notice is in advance of Encore filing a petition for public good to the Vermont Public Utility Commission. I’m a bit confused because the letter is dated September 1, 2022. The location proposed for the project will require first an amendment to the existing subdivision plat and I have received no application for that yet. The DRB’s schedule is beginning to fill and, with only 2 hearings allowed at each meeting (held twice per month), a hearing scheduled today would still not be held until April 12 at the earliest. I don’t know if this will affect the 45-day notice. Although this has been explained to them before, I will be contacting Encore to make sure they’re aware that a subdivision amendment is required first.
4. $19 million in federal grant money is becoming available in VT to help address PFAS in drinking water. The funds will be made available through grants for small, rural, and disadvantaged communities. Hope to be hearing more from VT’s delegation in Washington, DC about when these funds may be available.
2023 Town Plan discussion – NRPC will be attending the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, February 15 to present additional content for the 2023 Town Plan. The Commission had a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in response to a complaint issued by Bob Fireovid regarding a violation to Open meeting law, related to a letter produced by the Commission regarding the proposed articles reducing the size of the 2 village zoning districts that will be on the ballot for the March 7 Town Meeting. Agendas for PC meetings now include time limits for discussion to allow for all agenda items to be presented. The workplan for the Town Plan is on a strict timeline to allow for enough time for review and edits to the document and required public hearings before the August 2023 deadline for adoption.
Development Review Board
The DRB has one hearing scheduled for March 8 and 2 on March 22. The Board is going to be busy again after an extended vacation.
Respectfully submitted, Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA and Asst. to the Selectboard.