Town of Putney
127 Main Street, POB 233
Putney, VT 05346
Putney Selectboard Minutes
Friday, August 2, 2004
The Putney Selectboard convened the meeting at 3:00 P.M., Monday, August 2, 2004, Town Hall
Selectboard Members Present: Regina A. Rockefeller, John K. Nopper & Lyssa Papazian
Selectboard Members Absent: None
Others Present: Pip Bannister, Anita Coomes, Gary Fern (Otter Creek Engineering), Tom Goddard, Larry
Hyde, Scott Matthews (Otter Creek Engineering) Jeff Nugent (Windham Regional Commission), Tim
Severance, Barbara Taylor, Jacquie Walker, Howard Weiss-Tisman (Brattleboro Reformer), and Mark
1. Approval of the minutes of Selectboard meetings held 7/22/04 and 7/28/04
John Nopper made a motion, which was seconded, to approve the minutes for 7/22
/04 & 7/28/04 as written. The vote in favor was unanimous; the motion carried.
2. Appointment of Andrew Robinson as an Alternate Member of the Zoning Board of
Adjustment to serve the balance of Town Fiscal year (V.S.A. S. 4461.b)
Larry spoke to the issue of low attendance during the summer months and the difficulty in
providing a quorum to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He is requesting Andrew Robinson be
appointed as the Alternate Member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to serve the balance of the
Town’s fiscal year (citing V.S.A. S. 4416b).
Lyssa Papazian made a motion, which was seconded, to appoint Andrew Robinson as
Alternate Member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to serve the balance of Town Fiscal
year. The vote in favor was unanimous; the motion carried.
3. Discussion of appointment of new Town Attorney
Tabled for Executive Session
4. Discussion of waste water facility upgrade with Gary Fern of Otter Creek Engineering
Gary Fern, Otter Creek Engineering, reviewed the Wastewater Treatment Project with the
Selectboard. The bids were returned and the two bidders were within dollars of each other. The
amount was more than the Town had available to spend. Gary has been talking with the Penta
contractor reviewing the scope of the project and ways to scale it down into two phases. One
phase would be - Revision to the oxidation ditch/ New Clarifier/ Emergency Generator (approx.
$675,000). He pursued this idea with the VT Agency of Natural Resources to see if they would be
agreeable so the project could move forward once approved. They did agree. He also reported
that Penta would like a signed contract by August 5, 2004 and Gary was going to see if they would
push that back a week.
Further discussion continued with regard to funding the project through grants or
Town funding, eliminating portions of the first phase, as well as, State concerns with any changes
in the proposed plans.
Regina Rockefeller said the Selectboard had thought the project was put on hold at the last
meeting. Larry Hyde said that all the facts had not been available for review at that time.
Lyssa Papazian asked if Gary Fern felt the State would be agreeable to waiting. Discussion took
place on the possibility of applying for grant money in the spring and doing the project in pieces.
Gary Fern mentioned the delay could mean increased costs. He also said that Penta is willing to
start the job and they are the “top company in the State”. He felt it would be a benefit to the Town
to get the contractor going if possible.
Regina Rockefeller noted that this discussion had caught the Selectboard off guard. John Nopper
believed, if as suggested, additional borrowing would be needed. Lyssa Papazian said there was
little contingency available. Gary Fern agreed. The Selectboard said they would deliberate on this
situation and make a decision as soon as possible.
5. Discussion of new water system construction status with Mark Youngstrom of Otter Creek
Mark Youngstrom, Otter Creek Engineering, provided the Selectboard with an update on the
Water System. They are currently working down Sand Hill Rd and behind the Landmark College
Dorms. Tomorrow (8/3/04), they expect to be in Town. He reported that there were no real
concerns and everything was going very smoothly. He expects to meet with the Selectboard on a
monthly basis. Mark said he would be talking with the contractor about speeding up the project.
Regina Rockefeller expressed concern that some of the contingency was already being used in the
project. Larry Hyde felt that there would be other things to balance it off.
John Nopper was concerned about who takes the risk – Town or Contractor. Mark Youngstrom
explained that generally if something is shown on the plans & they come close or damage it - it
would be fixed at the contractor’s cost. If a surprise happens, not on the original plans, the Town
Lyssa Papazian asked if the amount of ledge was roughly as anticipated. Scott Matthews
cautioned the Selectboard to know the source of the information before becoming concerned. He
agreed they did hit ledge but it was anticipated. He is not overly concerned at present.
Discussion continued on the timing of the different areas of Town and the need for a paver by the
end of October.
John Nopper noted the water system wouldn’t be activated until the entire system is up. He asked
if that would be around December 19, 2004. Otter Creek Engineering agreed. Scott Matthews
mentioned the College could be activated earlier in order to pump to a storage tank due to some
additional interior work that needs to be done on campus. John Nopper also noted the new library
can’t open without a water hook up.
6. Discussion of new firehouse status with Tom Goddard, Fire Chief
Regina Rockefeller asked if the plans for the proposed firehouse were complete. Larry Hyde
reported all the money has been spent by the engineer. The plans now need to be reviewed by the
Fire Department personnel. Larry met with the State of VT last week regarding the storm water
run off issue. He indicated the State “Park & Ride” would develop the run off plans for the entire
facility. The Town of Putney needs to contribute $300 and maintain the system (approx. $150).
He also stated that the lease is complete and has been reviewed by David Gartenstein, Town
Attorney. Whitcomb will be removing everything from the site. Larry Hyde said more funds
might be needed to finalize any changes made by the Fire Department.
Tim Severance felt any changes might be easily done in writing & without really changing the
existing plans. He felt the addendum could cure any small issues since these plans are more
complete than most.
John Nopper asked about the “in house cost estimates”. Phil Savoy, engineer, has completed
those. Jacquie Walker asked why the Town needed to get a permit for something the State is
involved in and they (State) need to authorize the permit. Larry indicated that we (Town) were
sharing the cost at 50/50.
Discussion continued on the funding needed for this proposed project. The Selectboard would like
a recommendation from the committee. Issues continued on timing of the Warnings for a bond &
requesting contractor bids prior to a vote, which could provide a more accurate cost to provide to
Jacquie Walker asked if the land could be prepared now. Larry Hyde said the Park & Ride
division of the State currently has no funding for the next three years. He will push the State on
the storm water issue. Tom Goddard will get the new prints scanned and hopes to get the
Department to review them and create punch lists on the plans (3-4 weeks to review).
Regina Rockefeller suggested going to bid in January/ February, 2005 with a request from Town
Meeting that March. The Warning must be a ballot vote.
Regina Rockefeller agreed to have the Committee meet with the Selectboard, September 13, 2004.
Tom Goddard cautioned the Selectboard that the plans were not above and beyond what exists
now with no fluff.
7. Review of financial status of Scattered Site Housing Loan Fund
Anita Coomes, Treasurer, presented the Selectboard with a summary sheet for the Revolving Loan
Fund. There are currently four loans in repayment. Issues with each loan are summarized along
with recommendations, if any, in each case.
General discussion took place on the disbursement of the balance of dollars available and/or the
dissolution of the loan fund. Barbara Taylor will review the regulations and report back to the
Selectboard at a later date.
8. Discussion of Visualizing Density in Putney Village Grant and status of work plan with
Windham Regional Commission (WRC)– Jeff Nugent
John Nopper asked Pip Bannister how often the Steering Committee has met. Pip indicated that
the meetings have been very informal. Lyssa Papazian asked who was on the committee. The
members are Pip Bannister, Pamela Cubbage, Jacquie Walker & Robert Olson. The Selectboard
stated that Fern Tavalin was also included. Pip said he would speak to Fern. The next meeting
will be held in September.
Lyssa Papazian wasn’t clear on the committee duties. Pip Bannister felt it was setting the stage
but did not feel it was in line with work on the Economic Development of Putney. He said it was
very specific to the planning goals in the Village Density study. He expects they will present the
study to the public and get feedback. They will then present a visual approach for site planning
which will culminate in a public workshop providing general information on density through a
working group. This project should be complete by the end of the Fall. Pip felt the focus of the
planning study did not have a direct relationship to the Economic Growth in Putney.
Pip Bannister mentioned the new round of municipal planning grants that will be up & due by the
end of September. He suggested to the Selectboard they consider a grant for completion of a
sidewalk project. Larry Hyde said the Town Plan is due to be revised in 2005. Pip said some
basic services could be eligible and perhaps out source some of that work to Windham Regional
Commission instead of the planning committee. The grant amount is $15,000 and it may be
possible to prepare the application along with WRC. Lyssa Papazian asked if this was a matching
9. Town Manager Report and Transition report
SEE ATTACHMENT #1
3) Hi-Low Biddy – John Nopper asked how much Town funding
would be needed. Larry felt around $3,000.
4) Library Construction – The engineers are seeking a temporary
solution to the water problem.
8) Putney Pool – Preliminary membership & pool attendance
numbers were presented to the Selectboard for review.
10) Joint meeting Planning Comm. & Zoning Board – They will a
public hearing on Tuesday, August 10 at 11:00 AM at the
Town Hall and Wednesday, August 11 at 7:30 PM at the
Larry also reported that with the Planning Commission has
lots to do with the major changes on Act 17, the Town Plan
and the Density project. John Nopper mentioned his
suggestion for a Development Review Board, which would
break this process apart in two pieces – Planning Admin. /
Review & judgmental.
14) Monterio well Agreement – Lyssa Papazian asked if the
Conservation Committee review this. Larry said no but he
would get it to them.
Larry reported that any resumes to date have been sent on to the Selectboard. He suggested they
start the review process immediately and end on August 11, 2004. Regina Rockefeller asked if
Mon., August 9 & Tues. were still available to discuss the Library and Water projects with her.
Larry agreed the time has been set aside.
10. Review record of orders drawn for payment of Town expenses and discussion of Town
Auditors recent recommendations
The following warrants were reviewed & presented for signature:
Payroll W/E 7/20/04 Ck date 7/23/04 $6210.96
Payroll W/E 7/27/04 Ck date 7/30/04 7,084.19
Warrant # 1 7/12/04 81,233.19
Warrant # 1 sewer 7/12/04 3,950.99
The Selectboard offered to provide additional personnel to Anita Coomes to help with the
accounting functions. Anita indicated that she did not need help at this time. She did agree that
final numbers for fiscal year 2003-04 would be available to the Selectboard by August 10, 2004
for the discussion on August 12, 2004. The monthly financial reports for July would be available
to them on August 10, 2004 as well.
11. Review monthly budget reports
12. Coming Events – Joint School Board & Selectboard meeting, August 12, 2004, Town Picnic
September 11, 2004
August 12, 2004 7:00 PM, Putney Central School – Joint School Board & Selectboard
(Selectboard will adjourn to another meeting room for an Executive Session)
August 30, 2004 7:00PM Selectboard Meeting, Town Hall
September 13, 2004 7:00PM Selectboard Meeting, Town Hall
September 14, 2004 – Primary
13. Other Business
Howard Weiss-Tisman with the Brattleboro Reformer asked how many resumes had been received
for the Interim Town Manager position. Regina Rockefeller said they had received 6 and would
be accepting them until August 11, 2004. They will be interviewing along the way. Howard
asked when the new person would be introduced. Regina said hopefully, August 12, 2004.
Lyssa Papazian asked about the recent ad in the local papers. Larry said the ad was only placed
for 3 days per the Selectboard request. Discussion continued on whether to run additional ads in
the coming week.
14. Executive Session: Personnel/ Contract Matter
John Nopper made the motion, which was seconded, that the Selectboard enter into
Executive Session under 1 VSA 313(a)(3) to discuss personnel & contract issues. The vote in
favor was unanimous; the motion carried.
The Selectboard entered into executive session at 6:35PM and invited Larry Hyde. The Selectboard
came out of Executive Session at 7:30PM and made the following announcements:
The Town of Putney has agreed to sign a contract with the Windham County Sheriff’s Office for a
six-month period running July 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004.
The Selectboard has appointed Salmon & Nostrand as the new Town Attorney.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35PM.
Memo to: Selectboard
From: Larry Hyde
Subject: Town Manager Report
As the time for my departure is getting closer I will attempt to set out the status of all projects etc.
1. Water System- There is a construction meeting on Wed at 10:00 at the site on Sand Hill Rd. It
might be a good idea for one of you to attend. The project pretty well runs itself with the resident
engineer, Scott Matthews. Matt Willey is the SCI foreman. The funds expended are being kept
track of by Mary, and Anita should also have the balances. Mark Youngstrom does a monthly
budget report. There are presently 280.5 ERUs signed up for water, which indicates an estimated
cost per ERU of $380.48 per year or $1.05 per day, and $289.52 for bond payments only.
2. Waste Water Plant upgrade- Gary Fern has explained the options. The upgrade has to be
accomplished in the near future, and it may as well start now.
3. Hi-Lo Biddy Bridge will need to be re-bid in October. Hoyle Tanner & Associates, Tom French,
are the engineers and will coordinate the bid process. The Town needless to say pays for the
advertising. Hoyle Tanner and the Town have come to an agreement about excess engineering
charges for the project. The excess was reduced from $10,079.00 to $7,451.00 a savings to the
Town of $2,628.00. The engineering overage reduces the funds available for construction down to
4. The Library project continues on schedule, the total bid was $693,784, plus change orders of
$2,912 for a total construction cost of $696,696. The balance left on the contract is $366,834.00.
There is a concern that the Town water project will not be completed in time to supply water to the
new building. If this is the case there may well have to be back up plans for water made with the
State in order to open the building. The water and library engineers are working on the problem.
5. The proposed firehouse construction is moving along. A copy of the lease prepared by the State
has been reviewed by the Town Attorney and he has approved it. The lease will be updated by the
State to reflect changes made last week to incorporate storm water runoff issues. The plans have
been basically completed by Phil Savoy. Further comments by the Fire Department members are
still to be completed. Mr. Savoy has completed the services requested of him; he has submitted his
final bill, which finished the limit of funds available from the Fire House stabilization fund.
Whitcomb Construction will have the lot cleaned up by the end of August. The large boulders, and
shed will remain and will be the Town's responsibility to remove or reuse.
6. The Town Hall Roof- Josh Laughlin and Tim Severance have looked at the project and plans and
will submit bids for the project. The actual construction may not happen until late fall or early
winter due to contractors scheduling. Paul Dexter is on notice to do the before winter roof tune up.
7. The Town was awarded $4,400 grant from the State for replacing the Town Hall front doors.
When the grant was submitted I had intended Archie Bricker do the project, as he was a carpenter
in a past life. He has announced that he will not do the project, so the Town will have to find
someone to hang the doors for $372.00.
8. Pool- I am in the process of preparing a punch list for CIFCO on the completion of the pool.
There is one major problem about water drainage from the roof and deck that causes the inside of
building to be inundated with water. The hope is that gutters will solve the problem. There are
other issues that I will address.
9. The Town Hall curtains are at a stand still due to a total lack of communication from the lady
who is supposed to do the restoration. Barbara Taylor has emailed her several times with no
response. The ball is her court.
10. The Planning Commission and Zoning Board will meet on Tues Aug.10 and Wed. Aug 11
respectively to review and act on the Landmark College applications, 5 new dorms and
community building, and an expansion of the dining hall. Also there have been major changes in
the State Statutes regarding zoning laws, you have a synopsis in your in box. Pip Bannister and the
Windham Regional Commission are working on this. The new zoning administrator person needs
to be up to speed about these changes.
11. The reappraisal by the Listers is progressing. The computer program has been tested on various
Town employee properties, the post cards announcing that the Listers will be in your area will be
out within the next two weeks and the consultant who will reappraise the commercial properties
has started his process.
12. The new rescue truck is in service, and the new Town dump truck has been delivered and is at the
body installer for the final installation of the body, plow and sander.
13. The Town just received maps and documentation from Fed. Emergency Management regarding
Flood zones. I have not looked but it appears to add one item to the list.
14. Montecito Well- Matt Philippi has eliminated the problem section in the agreement and a copy is
attached hereto. Please review same and I will forward on to Mr. Monteiro.
15. Budget- I might suggest that you folks start reviewing last years budget and think about what
needs to be added or changed; full or part time lister, full time fire chief, full or part time
bookkeeper, Town Hall roof, sidewalk tractor, policing budget, dog professional services, sewer
assessment (decrease town %), pool changes (entrance ramp), social service amounts, list of all
employees and salaries, change health insurance plan from Cadillac to Ford, accrual accounting,
increase Town record restoration money, and % wage increase for employees, more line items to
better reflect income and expenses.