Regular Meeting of Monday November 27, 2023 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Anne Zolotas and Chuck Hulse
Board Members Not Present:
Other Staff Present: Sue Arguin, Town Administrator, Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA and Kim Julow, Treasurer. Also see sign in sheet of in person and Zoom attendees. * Attendance SB 2023-11-27-2023
1. Called to Order:
– The meeting was called to order by Chairman Carter at 7:00 pm.
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to approve the minutes of November 13, 2023. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
4. Public input:
A. David Carter acknowledged Tim Maxham’s recent birthday and new member of the 70 plus club. Happy Birthday Tim!
5. New Business:
A. Matt Reed and Patrick Robinson were in attendance to present the budget request of the South Hero Volunteer Fire Dept. See attached: * SHVFD 24-25 Budget Gretchen Patterson asked about the former tanker truck that is parked at the Town Garage. It has been turned over to the road department and the intention is to use it for applying chloride.
B. Mike Wickenden was in attendance to present the budget request for the South Hero Rescue (SHR). See attached: *SHR 24-25 Budget + ARPA Also, there was a request to use $8,000.00 of the unallocated ARPA funds for SHR purchases. Ross Brown made a motion to allocate $8,000.00 of the ARPA funds to SHR. The motion was seconded. Anne Zolotas and Chuck Hulse did not vote as they are members of SHR and did not want it to appear as a conflict of interest. The others so voted and the motion carried.
C. Ken Kowalawitz and Liz Wirsing were in attendance to present the budget request of the Worthen Library. See attached *Worthen Library 24-25 Budget . Note that approximately $39,000.00 of the library budget is paid with endowments and donations. Also, the library was awarded a grant of $57,000.00 for solar panels. The stipulation was for a $57,000.00 match to be raised, and that has happened. More info to follow as to the time line for construction once a contractor is hired.
NOTE: Note that all budget requests will be included with the Town Report and will be included with the budget(s) to be voted on Town Meeting day.
D. Ross Brown made a motion to approve and have the Chairman sign the contract with NRPC to administer a VTrans grant. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
E. There was a general budget discussion with Treasurer, Kim Julow. Several line items were discussed and filled in on the worksheets.
6. Town Administrator and ZA Reports:
A. See the written reports filed with these minutes (Below on the website or in Town Hall).
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. Several members of The Granny’s Attic organization were in attendance. At the September 25 meeting, the consensus of the Board was to offer the South Hero Benefit Shop d/b/a Granny’s Attic approximately 30’ x 80’ of land at the east side of the Town garage property in order to erect a building. They have prepared a petition and are working on getting signatures for the Town Report regarding moving the operation to a location near to the Town Garage. More info will follow.
B. Note that the Town Report and articles have to be ready by January 17, 2024. The Selectboard will have a special meeting on January 15, 2024 to finalize and approve the Town Report.
8. Announcements and Communications:
A. There will be a candidate info session at the Worthen Library on December 6.
9. Other Business:
A. Chuck Hulse made a motion to approve and sign the orders 24-11 and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
B. Town Clerk/Treasurer updates: budget discussion as noted above
C. Recreation Commission (RC) update: none at this meeting.
D. Road Department update: The Road Dept. will help dig test pits for the Town Wastewater Committee.
E. Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH) project: none at this meeting
F. ARPA fund updates: See above
G. Wastewater (WW) update: no updates as there have been no test pits dug yet.
H. Town Hall Feasibility study committee: There will be a meeting next week.
I. Chuck Hulse made a motion to go into executive session for personnel matters at 8:45 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. Executive session ended at 9:12 pm. Upon exiting executive session, the consensus of the board is to factor in 5% raises, as discussed, with the Town budget. Actual raises will be set when the new fiscal year starts in July of 2024.
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to adjourn at 8:50 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown, Secretary David Carter, Chairman
November 27, 2023 ZA’s report to the SB
1. Regarding my last report referencing a question on home burials, Naomi and I are still
working on a draft policy that will include requirements for a map showing the location
of a burial, which must be recorded in the Town Land Records, in addition to re-stating
State requirements related to minimum distances from wells, etc. I will send a draft
copy to each SB member prior to the Dec 13 regular meeting. May I ask that the Board
review the policy and be prepared to either edit or approve it at your next meeting?
2. I have spoken with Rodrigue Spinette of Fitzgerald Environmental Associates about the
estimated costs for an after-the-fact wetlands permit for the work that was completed
by the Highway Department on Martin Rd. The road had been widened to provide
additional parking to alleviate congestion where the Allen Point fishing access/bike ferry
trail intersects Martin Rd. Wetlands in the area necessitated a state wetlands permit.
Krystal Sewell of the State wetlands program told me that because the work was
addressing safety issues, that they would not charge the Town with a violation but that
an after-the=fact permit would be required. We agreed on a deadline of Dec 7 to be on
the schedule of an environmental consultant for a wetland delineation in the spring. I
have made copies of the cost estimate for the delineation to distribute to Selectboard
members at the 11/27 meeting. The proposal includes the delineation field work,
mapping for review by the State, and permit application preparation, if needed. Krystal
has asked that I contact her by Dec. 7 to confirm that the Town is on the schedule of an
environmental firm for wetland delineation once the growing season begins in the
spring. Unfortunately, since the work was done by the Town without required State
permits, the cost of remediation is avoidable.
3. I was contacted by Brady Baker of 315 US RT 2 complaining that the water line recently
put in for the museum lacked the proper State permits for wastewater and potable
water. I explained that the water used for the museum is not meant to be potable and
that there are no bathroom facilities or drinking fountains in the building that would
require a State permit. He disagreed and said that he had informed the State
4. Zoning 101 will resume on Thursday, Nov. 30. The planned discussion will be on zoning
violations. Chili and cornbread are on the menu.
The Planning Commission’s public hearing for required changes to the Development
Regulations mandated by the HOME Act, technical changes correcting typos and grammatical
errors, and clarifications related to stormwater will be held at a Planning Commission special
meeting on November 29 at 6PM at the Town Office. The Selectboard’s required public hearing
will be Dec. 13, and was warned in the Nov 22 issue of the Islander. It has been confirmed with
NRPC that the Planning Commission has interpreted correctly that the process spelled out in
the HOME Act for approval of zoning bylaws in Rural Towns must be adoption by the
Selectboard rather than by Australian ballot.
Planning Commission member George Harwood resigned from the Commission today. I will be
placing a notice in the Islander and on Front Porch Forum for letters of interest.
Development Review Board
-There are no hearings scheduled for the DRB for the month of November. The next meeting
and hearing will be December 13. There will only be one meeting in December because of the
-The 3-year terms of 3 members of the DRB will expire on Dec. 31 st . I placed a notice in the
South Hero Town News in the Nov. 22 issue of the Islander asking for anyone interested in
serving on the Board to send me a letter of interest before the SB meeting on Dec. 13. All three
current members whose terms end this year have asked to be re-appointed. I have received a
letter of interest from one other person interested in the open Alternate seat. I will have these
requests for you and the next meeting. The SB will need to make appointments at their Dec 13
Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA