City Council Minutes 07-24-2018


JULY 24, 2018


Mayor Renny Perry called the regular meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. at the Vergennes Opera House located at City Hall. An amendment was made to the agenda to include 5k. – Approve Zoning Administrator Contract. Those in attendance were:

Mayor Renny Perry                                          Alderman Mark Koenig

Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Fritz                        Alderman Lynn Donnelly

Alderman David Austin                                 City Manager Mel Hawley

Alderman Lowell Bertrand                         City Clerk Joan Devine

Alderman Mathew Chabot                         Approximately 40 Visitors

WARRANTS: Two Warrants were presented totaling $55,471.60 and circulated for review and signatures of approval. One Warrant covered bills for FY2019 expenses ($36,383.14) and the other for FY2018 expenses ($19,088.46).

MINUTES: Minutes to City Council meetings held June 19th, June 26th and July 17th were presented to the Board for approval. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Alderman Mark Koenig, with all voting in favor.

FUNDING REQUEST-VERGENNES CITY BAND: City Manager Hawley reported decades ago the City used to provide funding as needed to the City Band for them to purchase music. The City Band has provided Monday evening concerts on the City Green since 1981, he advised, and they are now requesting $1,000 from the City to purchase equipment and music. He increased the recreation budget from $7,000 to $10,000 this year, he stated, and recommended support of this request. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to approve the request, seconded by Alderman Lynn Donnelly, with all voting in favor.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE: The intent of this form that is submitted by the City Clerk/Treasurer is to provide disclosure on operating procedures in the treasurer’s office to the City Council, advised City Manager Hawley. Mayor Renny Perry signed the document attesting to its submission as required by law.

APPOINTMENT OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS: Planning Commission members Shannon Haggett, Cheryl Brinkman, John Coburn and Carrie MacFarlane all have terms that expire on August 1, 2018. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to re-appoint all four for another 2 years with terms that expire August 1, 2020. The motion was seconded by Alderman Matt Koenig with all voting in favor.

APPOINTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD MEMBERS: Mayor Renny Perry reported Peter Garon has resigned from his position on the Development Review Board because he was appointed Zoning Administrator. Development Review Board members Tim Cook and Jason Mullin both have terms that will expire August 1, 2018, he stated. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to reappoint Tim Cook and Jason Mullin for another two years with terms that expire August 1, 2020. Alderman Matt Chabot seconded the motion with all voting in favor.

APPOINTMENT OF ALTERNATE TO TRANSPORTATION ADISORY COMMITTEE: City Manager Hawley reported Shannon Haggett has agreed to serve as an Alternate Delegate on the Transportation Advisory Committee at Addison County Regional Planning Commission. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to make that appointment, seconded by Alderman Lynn Donnelly, with all voting in favor.


APPOINTMENT OF CITY CLERK/TREASURER: Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to reappoint Joan Devine as the City Clerk/Treasurer, seconded by Alderman David Austin, with all voting in favor.

APPOINTMENT OF CITY ATTORNEY: Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to appoint the firm of Ouimette & Runcie as the City Attorney. The motion was seconded by Alderman Matt Chabot with all voting in favor.


CITY MANAGER SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT: Deputy Mayor Jeff Fritz reported Vermont League of Cities and Towns received 42 applications for the City Manager position and the search committee is now down to 7 applicants they will interview. Mayor Renny Perry stated that we will not be able to replace Mel Hawley but we can hire a new City Manager.

APPROVE ZONING ADMINISTRATOR CONTRACT: A prepared Employment Agreement between the City of Vergennes and Zoning Administrator Peter Garon was presented for approval. The agreement, which Peter Garon had signed prior, was signed by the Mayor and goes into effective July 25, 2018.

CITY MANAGER’S REPORT: City Manager Hawley advised the City Council previously committed to accepting Commodore Drive as a City street if it was built to City standards; which it was. The street was not turned over to the City after installation as a legal issue ensued with an abutting property owner over property lines and where her shed was located. Peter Kahn, owner of River’s Edge Construction, has resurveyed the roadway which will start with a width of 50’ for 150’ and then turn into a 60’ wide road. The final coat of paving has not been completed but that is common where there is active construction going on. He advised he has a check from River’s Edge Associates, LLC in the amount of $11,220 that will ensure the final paving is completed. We really don’t want a final coat of paving until the construction is done, he advised.

As required in the 1272 Order from the State, a Request for Qualifications was sent out and we received four responses who wanted to do the engineering proposal for the evaluation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility.

A copy of the FY18 budget report was available to the City Council. City Manager Hawley reported he made a journal entry for $15,000 in the Police Department budget to pay the cruiser loan to the Water Tower Fund. The final expenses for the Police Department landed at 99.71% of their budget. He advised he previously had projected a fund balance surplus of up to $150,000 but it will be in the area of $123,700.

The Capital Improvements and Special Funds Report, along with the 2018 Swimming Pool Budget, were also available to the Board. Delinquent taxes 60-days into the fiscal year last year were at $48,000; this year we are already down to $27,959. There are still some accounts that need watching but this is an impressive number, he advised. Of the warned tax sales, only one occurred he reported; the property owner has one year to redeem.

Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:56 p.m. Alderman Lynn Donnelly seconded the motion with all voting in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Vergennes City Clerk