January 18, 2010
Attending the meeting: Jon Trefry, Andrea Morgante, Ken Brown, Randy Volk, Howard Russell, Jeanne Wilson, Mary Seemann, Michele Boomhower, Dorothy Pellett, Jean Isham, Johanna White, Will Patten, Bill Schubart, Charles Kogge
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.
Introduction of New Employee / Mary Seemann, Planning & Zoning Administrative Assistant: Mary has applied for the position to replace Karen Cornish. Mary has worked in the fields of both medical transcription and as an administrative assistant / executive secretary. Howard moved that the Board vote to offer the position of Administrative Assistant for Planning & Zoning to Mary Seemann, as outlined in the employment letter dated January 18, 2010. Seconded by Ken and approved.
Michele Boomhower, CCMPO Executive Director / I-89 Exit 12B Financing Options Study: Michele reviewed with the Board the findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Innovative Finance, which investigated alternatives for transportation funding in Chittenden County (i.e. – transportation districts, private investors, as well as bringing projects on line more expeditiously). Michele advised that she would be visiting all 18 CCMPO member communities to seek support for the commission’s recommendations.
Michele then talked about the I-89 Exit 12B Financing Options Study, which dovetailed with the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Innovative Finance. The study looked at the potential beneficiaries of a new interchange, and possible financing options. Two major beneficiaries would be the Burlington International Airport and the South Burlington City Center. Possible funding options include special assessment tax districts, tax incremental financing districts (TIF), impact fees, and parking fees at the airport. The study found that the most likely source of funding would be a South Burlington special assessment tax district. However, in order to raise a significant amount of revenue, a tax assessment would need to be at a very high level ($0.24) and would likely make commercial property in South Burlington less competitive than those in neighboring communities. TIF district revenue funds multiple infrastructure improvements, not just highway.
Jon stated that he thought a regional transportation authority, that has taxing authority, would generate the most revenue for regional projects. Michele agreed that it is one of the best mechanisms, but she sensed that there was not the political capital available at the current time for approval of a regional transportation authority.
Andrea stated that she has concern with the governance structure of a transportation authority. It needs to be an elected body. It might also be geared towards new projects and new infrastructure, but communities cannot maintain what they currently have. It would be another property tax. She stated there is a need to change the single car occupancy mind set. She is hesitant to support the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission because it is not attacking the problem.
Andrea stated that the 12B interchange is counter to the idea of growth centers. Commercial developments at interstate interchanges do not encourage people into downtown areas to conduct business. Michele noted development in the area of 12B is part of the South Burlington plan. The planning was already in place for this development.
Howard noted that South Burlington has been a part of the discussions for 12B, but the implications of an interchange at the location go way beyond South Burlington. Hinesburg currently struggles with the level of traffic on Route 116, and there is concern about the impact of a 12B interchange. He is not interested in a four-lane highway through the center of the village to accommodate the level of traffic – it would destroy the village character.
Michele distributed a fact sheet, which outlined additional steps that will be necessary before the 12B interchange justification report is complete. She advised that it is a multi-step process, with many opportunities for public input, which will take a number of years.
Jon stated that he doesn’t see a paradigm shift occurring through work at the local level (referencing single car occupancy). It may need regional level authority for significant change to occur. Jon advised that the Board would revisit support for the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission at a later date.
Saputo Redevelopment Committee / Update on Activities and Future Directions: Bill Schubart and Will Patten of the Saputo Redevelopment Committee presented an update on the Saputo status and the committee’s work. Will reiterated the committee’s original mission – to actively pursue development opportunities that would restore the lost jobs and tax base, and further would have a link to the working landscape. The committee continues to view the property as a town asset. It is estimated that the market price for the property has dropped to around $500,000. The option of gifting the property to the Town is still possible, but Saputo wanted to test the market first. Saputo has a six-month extension on its agreement with Pomerleau Real Estate, and Pomerleau believes the property will sell.
Bill stated that the committee sees three possible scenarios for what could occur:
1) The property could be sold outright. The Town is then able to express its vision for the property through zoning regulations;
2) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money could be obtained through a developer or formation of a Community Development Corporation to create a local food-processing hub. This is a more time-consuming process and will likely not replace the 80 jobs that were lost when Saputo closed. Committee members are scheduled to meet later in the week with potential tenants and the Commissioner of Agriculture. There is interest in a farm-to-plate facility, and a need for a local meat processing facility and slaughterhouse;
3) Voters could approve purchase of the property, or it could be gifted to the Town. This option would allow the Town to carve out space for elements deemed important to the community (i.e. – greenspace, farmers market, play area, recreation field) and subdivide the remainder for small-scale development (retail and housing).
Will advised that the committee would start to draft zoning language for the district. The committee will come back to the Selectboard with a business case and assessment of risks.
Discussion of FY 10 – 11 Budget: Jean Isham commented on the Board’s decision to remove $18,000 from the Planning/Zoning budget, designated for special projects. She felt the budget cuts would not be beneficial in the long term. A stormwater assessment could be costly to the Town, and eliminating funds to be used as a local match precluded the Planning Commission from applying for grant funds. There was discussion about the need for recreation facilities, and the need to develop a strategic plan to prepare for future recreation needs. The Board decided to designate the $5,000 in the Recreation capital budget for use in developing a strategic plan for recreation, and decided to put $3,000 back in the Planning/Zoning budget for special projects to be used as a local match should appropriate grants be identified.
The Board reviewed the warning. The warning will be finalized based on the final budget numbers, and will be signed by the Board on January 25.
Approve Warrants: Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the warrants (including payroll warrants) for bills payable as presented by the Town Treasurer. Seconded by Ken and approved.
Minutes of January 4, 2010 Meeting: Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the minutes of the January 4, 2010 meeting as amended. Seconded by Andrea and approved.
Minutes of January 11, 2010 Budget Meeting: Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the minutes of the January 11, 2010 budget meeting as amended. Seconded by Andrea and approved.
USDA Farm Service Agency / Tract Redistribution and Farm Reconstitution Applications for Former Bissonette Farm Land: Ken moved that the Board authorize the Chair to sign the tract redistribution and farm reconstitution application for the former Bissonette Farm land as prepared by the USDA Farm Service Agency. Seconded by Randy and approved.
Appointment to the Recreation Commission: The term of appointment on the Recreation Commission for Karen Tronsgard-Scott expired on January 1, 2010. Karen has expressed an interest in reappointment. The vacancy has been published and posted. Ken moved that the Board vote to reappoint Karen Tronsgard-Scott to the Recreation Commission for three-year term which will expire on January 1, 2013. Seconded by Howard and approved.
Request to Locate Power Poles in Town’s Right-Of-Way / Green Mountain Power on Lavigne Hill Road and Buck Hill Road West: This project is to accommodate a new service for a customer on Lavigne Hill Road and also to ensure future reliability for all GMP customers in the project area. The plans have been reviewed and approved by the Highway Foreman. Ken moved that the Board vote to approve Green Mountain Power’s request to work in the Town’s right-of-way in order to install power poles on Buck Hill Road West and Lavigne Hill Road as outlined in the petition dated 1/7/10, subject to the terms and conditions placed on the petition by the Highway Foreman and all state and local specifications governing Green Mountain Power and the project. Seconded by Howard and approved.
Request for Approval of Road Name for Private Road / Hoke & Quackenbush Subdivision on Baldwin Road: The applicant submitted three suggested names for this private road, as follows:
Pinecrest Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road
The names were reviewed by the Fire Chief and Police Chief, and were also compared to existing road names in Hinesburg and surrounding towns where Hinesburg provides mutual aid. Because of road name duplications or names that sound similar, the recommended road name is Trail Ridge Road. Ken moved that the Board vote to approve the name Trail Ridge Road for a private road on the west side of Baldwin Road, 975’ south of the Burritt Road intersection, to access the Hoke/Quackenbush Subdivision. Seconded by Randy and approved.
Request for Approval to Serve Alcohol at Fire Station for Wedding Reception / Emmons on 9/4/2010: Bambi Emmons has requested permission to serve alcohol at the Fire Station for a wedding reception on Saturday, September 4, 2010. Howard moved that the Board vote to approve the request by Bambi Emmons to serve alcohol at the Fire Station for a wedding reception on Saturday, September 4, 2010, subject to the following conditions:
A responsible person over 21 years of age will be designated to be “in charge” of the event and to monitor alcohol use at the event to ensure that there is no underage drinking and that intoxicated persons do not drive; and
A “Don’t Drink and Drive” poster shall be posted at the entrance to the event, naming the responsible person and offering the services of the responsible person to arrange safe trips home.
Seconded by Ken and approved.
WWTF Upgrade Project / Construction Loan Limit: Ken moved that the Board vote to increase the construction loan limit with the Chittenden Bank for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade Project to $880,000 in anticipation of bond funding. Seconded by Howard and approved.
Other Board Member Items: Andrea asked that the Board discuss at a future meeting the use of boards and commissions in an advisory capacity for DRB applications, and how the official map impacts this advisory role.
Andrea thanked Hinesburg resident Michelle Fisher for the holiday decorations on the front of Town Hall.
The Board reviewed examples of a streamlined annual report utilized by the Town of Middlebury. Howard noted that more residents might read a more succinct mailing. Jeanne will get more information, and the Board will consider a change for 2011.
Andrea moved that the Board go into executive session including Jeanne Wilson for a discussion of legal and personnel issues. Seconded by Howard and approved.
Andrea moved that the Board come out of executive session and adjourn. Seconded by Howard and approved.
Jeanne Kundell Wilson
Hinesburg Town Administrator