Selectboard Meeting

                                       February 18, 2008                                               

Attending the meeting; Rob Bast, Andrea Morgante, Jon Trefry, Randy Volk, Howard Russell, Jeanne Wilson, John Lyman, Al Barber, George Dameron, Carl Bohlen, Catherine Goldsmith, Doug Olufsen, Chris Morrell, Frank Koss, Fred Silber, Tom Ayer, 

Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m.

Catherine Goldsmith a resident in the village was present regarding the sidewalks in the village.  She said she walks through Town and is interested in the sidewalk paths.  She was surprised to find out that the new piece of sidewalk to be installed at the bank will only be in front of the bank.  She feels it makes sense to complete the sidewalks on Commerce St now and not do the other pieces years from now.

Jeanne advised that Catherine has been in contact with the bank about building the other pieces. She was told that with the cost of the traffic light they need to have installed they are not able to absorb additional costs.

Catherine suggested other businesses along Commerce St may be interested in contributing.  Jeanne is having Rocky get costs to complete those sections so an informed decision can be made.  

Andrea asked if the sidewalk will be in the Town right of way or on the property owners land.  If on the property owners land the Town will need permission from the landowners.

Howard supports the idea of doing this without use of tax dollars in light of budget constraints and decisions that had to be made to remove from the budget an area of planned sidewalk construction.

   George Dameron supports Catherine’s concern and recommendation.  He asked if it is possible to find grant funding to help support this.  Jeanne replied the Town will look at all possible areas of help with the funding.

Colleen McKinnon asked if NRG has been approached.  Rob said they are now in the process of building a walking path connection from NRG to Commerce St.

Sustainable Community Project / Presentation of Information for Town Meeting – The Board reviewed with Carl a write up that will be handed out at Town Meeting explaining the request.  The Board members made several suggestions to the wording and urged Carl to keep this short and concise.  Jeanne will take suggestions of the Board and re write for review. Andrea moved the Board vote to approve inclusion of “with Selectboard approval” in the wording of the hand out.  Second by Howard and approved.

Discussion of Police Department 5-Year Strategic Plan – The Board reviewed plan objectives with Chris and some members of the Department.

Reduce the Incident of Crime in Hinesburg.

     Jon asked about such things as neighborhood watch and if that helps in the effort.  Chris       said there is only one active group in Town.  Andrea asked about vacant house checks and patrolling the roads and how that may be viewed as a way of reducing crime.  Chris said by performing vacant house checks officers learn the roads in Town and where individuals live, citizens feel they are receiving a service and protection. It is an important part of Community Policing to be in the community.

Howard asked if the projected increase in crime percentage is 6% and the Town goal is to reduce crime by 1% is this achievable if it will increase due to population growth.  Also how will the goal to increase quality of service be accomplished if they are now achieving an excellent standard.  Rob suggested the plan could read maintain not increase.

Comprehensive equipment replacement program and construct a police facility.

Andrea said a list should be made of what equipment has been grant funded and what would be the cost of replacement for budget purposes.  Chris said the bulk of grant money has been used for wages.  An example of a purchase with grant funds was an infrared camera costing $12,500 – while nice to have he would probably not replace with Town funds.  It was suggested to have a prioritized equipment inventory list. 


Howard asked about replacement of vehicles – how many miles can the vehicle reasonably run before needing replacement.  Chris said there is no set standard for police vehicles, the number of officers using the vehicle and type of terrain are two of the determining factors.   Currently they have been running vehicles for approximately 8 years.

Howard asked about the type of vehicle used, do they all need 4 wheel drives.  Frank Koss said he wondered that when first working in Hinesburg and after driving during his patrol time he feels a sedan would not last and will not give them accessibility to areas they need to get to.  Tom Ayer said he supports the 4 wheel drive vehicle but feel the Town could get a smaller model to save costs.

Jon returned to the area of crime rates and asked if it would be useful to have the rate in Chittenden County or national averages.  Doug said you would then be including cities and he did not feel the information would be viable for comparison.

Maintain acceptable workload for police officers.

The Board looked at a sample of a time tracking system using a method of entering an   activity code and start time.  The question was raised if the time needed to do this tracing is worth what the Board feels they will gain from having the information.  Fred Silber, who is now using the system to see how it will work out said he feels once the officer is used to this and becomes familiar with the activity codes the time taken will be minimal.  He believes the Department will benefit from this.

Andrea asked about CVU and the possibility of sharing costs of the service given by the Hinesburg Community Police Department by other towns.  Information as to the demand on police services would be useful to the Board.

Frank reminded the Board when they are looking at case load they need to take into account the fact that the Chief and Deputy Chief should have a lower case number and be allowed administrative time.

Tom Ayer said in his opinion the priorities should be to keep the people safe and deal with criminals, eliminate house checks.

Frank said house checks are the lowest on their priority list and if they are busy they do not get done.

Fred noted that while out to do a house check they are also in the process of patrolling and have given speeding violations and performed other police duties while on the way to the residence.

Doug inquired about the new building.  Howard advised that Rocky has been asked to coordinate the project with the PD and FD as to space needs currently and projected.   Randy added that the Selectboard has taken the task on of assessing the needs of the departments.

Other Business

Approve Warrants:  Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the warrants (including payroll warrants) for bills payable as presented by the Town Treasurer. Second by Andrea and approved.

Minutes of February 4, 2008:  Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the minutes of February 4, 2008 as corrected, second by Andrea and approved.

Randy moved the Board clarify the motion in the 2/4/08 minutes regarding waiver of fees for Hines Cemetery Lot subdivision that the fee to be waived is $400 not $200.  Second by Andrea and approved.

Creekside Development – the Board agreed to ask the Town Attorney to review options and the Town’s responsibility in regards to the surety.

Thistle Hill Development / Escrow Agreement:  discussion to authorize the Town Agent to finalize and sign the escrow agreement between Hinesburg Hillside LLC, the Chittenden Bank and the Town for the 7-lot, 57-unit subdivision and Planned Residential Development known as Thistle Hill on Mechanicsville Road.  No action will be taken till review is completed and Selectboard notified by the Town Agent that the agreement is acceptable.

Correspondence to the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board / Support for Protecting Farm Land for Agricultural and/or Forestry:  Howard moved that the Board vote to sign a letter to VHCB in support of the Vermont Land Trust’s application for funding to purchase the development rights on land formerly part of the Bissonette Farm which is being purchased by David Zuckerman and Rachel Nevitt. Second by Randy and approved.

Correspondence from Village Steering Committee / Relocation of Veteran’s Monuments – Jeanne will send letters to individuals involved in care of the monuments about the request to relocate.

Additions to the Agenda

Other Board Member Items

Access to New Town Forest on Gilman Road / Andrea advised the Board of possible access sights.

Letter from Hinesburg Land Trust / New Town Forest Management Plan - The Selectboard approved the request of the Land Trust to form a Management Plan Committee to develop a final management plan as required by December 2009. 

Al Barber reminded the Board the Fire Dept will be holding an exercise on March 27.  

Al also wanted to remind the Board of the importance of continuing impact fee discussions.

Legal / Personnel Discussion – Randy moved the Board go into executive session for legal and personnel discussion, second by Howard and approved.

Randy moved the Board come out of executive session, second by Howard and approved.

Howard moved that the Board vote to voluntarily recognize AFSCME Council 93 as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees of the Water & Wastewater Department.  Second by Andrea and approved.

Randy moved the Board vote to adjourn, second by Howard and approved.

Outgoing Correspondence: 

Letter to VLCT / Intention to Participate in the 2008 Leader Program (Employee Health Promotion Program)

Reminder – meeting tomorrow evening with Shelburne & Charlotte Selectboards about emergency services at 7:00 pm in Shelburne.

Respectfully submitted,

Valerie Spadaccini, secretary

Copyright © 2008 Town of Hinesburg, Vermont.