Vergennes City Council 11-13-2018


NOVEMBER 13, 2018


Mayor Renny Perry called the regular meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. at the Vergennes Fire Station. The agenda was amended by adding Mahaiwe, LLC vs City of Vergennes appeal. Those in attendance were:

Mayor Renny Perry                                           Michael Daniels

Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Fritz                          Sheila Turpin

Alderman David Austin                                  Paula Moore

Alderman Lowell Bertrand                           Tania Bolduc

Alderman Mark Koenig                                  Erin Roche

Alderman Lynn Donnelly                               Shannon Haggett

Alderman David Small

City Manager Mathew Chabot

City Clerk Joan Devine


VISITORS: Mayor Renny Perry explained the procedure for the City Council designation of a trustee for appointment to serve on the Bixby Library Board of Trustees. He advised the Bixby Library Board of Trustees does the actual appointment of the individual. Three candidates have expressed interest in the position and two of the candidates are here to tell us a little bit about themselves, he advised. Tania Bolduc stated her children have grown up so she is focusing on shifting her community service efforts from school related organizations to a wider community base. She feels the library is an asset to our community and has had involvement with them on her radar for a long time. She finds the library an interesting area with much potential. Erin Roche reported she moved here 8 years ago but grew up on Long Island and went to college in Chicago. She currently works for a non-profit agency in Burlington and has been an educator, worked in sales and marketing, etc. so she brings lots of diversity. She is also the mother of a 10-year old, she advised.

WARRANTS: The Warrant totaling $593,065.84 was circulated for review and signatures of approval.

MINUTES: Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to approve minutes to the City Council meeting held October 23, 2018. The motion was seconded by Alderman Mark Koenig. Amendments were made on the first page under PRESENTATION. Mr. Chaput advised the substation normally processes 840,000 gallons a day was corrected to read “Mr. Chaput advised the substation normally processes 340,000 gallons a day”. In the same paragraph ….water runoff goes into catch basins or Mossy Brook was corrected to read “….water runoff goes into catch basins and into Mossy Brook”. A vote on the motion with corrections showed all voting in favor.


REQUEST TO USE FIRE STATION MEETING ROOM: Michael Daniels and Sheila Turpin, both officers of the Prospect Cemetery Association, requested the Fire Station Policy be amended to include Prospect Cemetery Association as an approved organization to use the facility. Michael Daniels advised the City of Vergennes deeded the Prospect Cemetery to them August 4, 1892. At least once a year the Association is required to meet as a non-profit organization and they need to meet in a handicap accessible location. Mayor Renny Perry advised the policy restricts use of the fire station meeting room to government associated uses. Paula Moore advised the Bixby Library meeting room downstairs is available, handicap accessible and offers parking. Alderman Lynn Donnelly advised she would like the City Council to not make a decision on this request until the fire department has been consulted. City Manager Chabot stated he would speak with Fire Chief Jim Breur and work on some proposed language for a policy amendment at the next meeting.

APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEE TO BIXBY LIBRARY BOARD: Mayor Renny Perry announced the City Council will put this item at the end of the agenda to allow for an executive session to discuss personalities of the applicants for the position.

UPDATE-TRUCK TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Deputy Mayor Jeff Fritz advised the committee has met and acknowledges they are probably looking at 10-years before a bypass happens. In the interim they are keeping the momentum and out in front. Mayor Renny Perry advised the ad hoc committee has been looking at an alternate truck route and whether it would have a positive impact. Deputy Mayor Fritz reported they will be meeting again December 5th.

BASIN TASK FORCE APPOINTMENTS: City Manager Matt Chabot reported he has spoken with Tim Cook and the Basin Task Force will be meeting next week. Two more residents are needed for appointment to the Basin Task Force. A notice to the public will be put on Front Porch Forum advising of these two openings.

CITY MANAGER’S REPORT: City Manager Chabot reported the Booth Woods paving project went over budget but Public Works Supervisor Jim Larrow will bring his budget in line by cutting back in other areas. The line item in the budget for the State stormwater fee that is $640 annually had another permit that was required this year and cost $500. The City Hall conference room project is something the public works department works on during rainy days; he feels the window of time is approaching to progress a little more. He pointed out there is no budget for this project.

VTrans’ 2020 paving project for Vergennes will be repaving Main Street from city line to city line and down Green Street as far as the diamond, he advised. They will also re-do all the parking lines involved. VTrans has given us the ability to make specific requests on a planned project. He reported they will do engineering studies for us too such as a bike lane in the downtown corridor. Night paving is also available if we speak up and request it. Shannon Haggett, Chair of the Planning Commission, reported they will pull out some recommendations from the Basin-Downtown Master Plan to present with the bypass plans. The committees representing recreation and the basin can all do the same, he stated. He assured the City Council there is definitely room for negotiations with the State.

ACSWMD/VERGENNES RECYCLING UPDATE: City Manager Matt Chabot reported Requests for Proposals that are due next week have been sent to two haulers to do a trash and recycling drop-off site during the interim from January 1, 2019 and the opening of the new regional facility in Ferrisburgh. He will be meeting with the haulers and representatives from the 5 towns on November 28th. Mayor Renny Perry reiterated that this is not a Vergennes problem; it belongs to Addison County Solid Waste Management District and they should be the ones doing interim steps necessary and create the permanent solution. City Manager Chabot advised something will be available January 2, 2019. Manager Perry stated ACSWMD is working on establishing a regional facility in Ferrisburgh and they will manage it.

MAHAIWE, LLC VS CITY OF VERGENNES APPEAL: City Manager Matt Chabot reported David Shlansky, owner of Mahaiwe, LLC, will voluntarily dismiss his appeal with the City in Supreme Court. He advised Zoning Administrator Peter Garon worked with Mr. Shlansky to assist him with understanding our zoning regulations. Peter Garon took the initiative and got the best solution, he stated. Mayor Renny Perry stated the need for more clarity in the process; there can be no ambiguity.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor Renny Perry reported he and City Manager Chabot met regarding his performance evaluation; he is on probation until March. Deputy Mayor Jeff Fritz and Alderman Mark Koenig put together a form a few years ago but March is inadequate time to accomplish this. The City Council and the City Manager will meet in February when Manager Hawley and City Clerk/Treasurer Devine will establish their goals for the ensuing year.

BIXBY LIBRARY TRUSTEE: Mayor Renny Perry advised the Bixby Library Board of Trustees can make their own appointment if the City Council does nothing or the City Council can designate a candidate for their appointment. Alderman Mark Koenig felt the City Council would be negligent in their duties if they did not appoint a designee. He also pointed out that Martha Mack and two other candidates are out there waiting for a decision from the City Council. In the conversation it was mentioned that two members already on the Board of Trustees that represent Vergennes are Peter Welch and Nial Rele. At 6:40 p.m. Alderman David Austin moved for an executive session to discuss the appointment of a public officer. The motion was seconded by Alderman Bertrand with all voting in favor except Deputy Mayor Fritz and Alderman Donnelly. Alderman Mark Koenig recused himself from participation due to a conflict of interest (his wife is an applicant). At 6:48 p.m. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to adjourn the executive session, seconded by Deputy Mayor Jeff Fritz, with all voting in favor.

Mayor Renny Perry announced the Board was unable to make a decision. Alderman Lynn Donnelly advised the City Council feels there are three excellent candidates who want to be on the Bixby Library Board of Trustees and want to leave the decision to the Bixby Library Board of Trustees to choose the one that best meets their needs and supports their mission.

ADJOURNMENT: At 6:50 p.m. Alderman Lowell Bertrand moved to adjourn the meeting. Alderman Mark Koenig seconded the motion with all voting in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Vergennes City Clerk