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Town Meeting 2017 Minutes

 

Town of Sheffield, Vermont
Town Meeting 2017 Minutes
Sheffield Town Hall
March 7, 2017
9:00 AM

Sixty- nine legal voters of Sheffield assembled at the Sheffield Town Hall. Patrick Ham called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. The Pledge of Allegiance was rendered to the Unites States flag. The preamble of the 2017 warning was read with the following business being transacted.


Article 1. To elect a Moderator for the ensuing year.
Max Aldrich nominated Patrick Ham for Moderator, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, Wendy Scofield made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Patrick Ham by the clerk, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. Patrick Ham was elected Moderator.
Noting the arrival of Sam Young, Sheffield’s representative to the Vermont House, the moderator opened the floor to Mr. Young and the voters. Mr. Young spoke about the State budget and telecommunication in the area of State highways. He was asked about paving of Route 122, a bill to require towns with over 500 registered voters to use voting machines, creation of an ethics panel and care of Class 4 roads for use by ambulance and fire vehicles. Creation of the Kingdom East Union School District was discussed.
Mr. Young was thanked for his time and insight.
The meeting then moved on to


Article 2. To elect other town officers necessary to fill any vacancies, including the following:
a. Selectman for a term of three (3) years.
Harmon Clark nominated Walter Smith for Selectman, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Al Robertson made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Walter Smith by the clerk, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. Walter Smith was elected to the Select Board for a three year term.
b. Town Clerk and Treasurer for a term of three (3) years.
Rod Dwyer nominated William St. Peter for Town Clerk and Treasurer, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Wendy Scofield made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for William St. Peter, seconded by Meghan Sweeney. Motion passed. William St. Peter was elected as Town Clerk and Treasurer for a three year term.
c. Lister for a term of three (3) years.
William St. Peter nominated David Eliassen for Lister, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, Al Robertson made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for David Eliassen, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. David Eliassen was elected as Lister for a three year term.
d. Auditor for a term of three (3) years.
Walter Smith nominated Meghan Sweeney for Auditor, seconded by Leslie Newland. Hearing no further nominations, Max Aldrich made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Meghan Sweeney, seconded by Walter Smith. Motion passed. Meghan Sweeney was elected as Auditor for a three year term.
e. Constable for the ensuing year.
Walter Smith nominated Ed Jewell for Constable, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, William St. Peter made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Ed Jewell, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. Ed Jewell was elected as Constable for the ensuing year.
f. Delinquent Tax Collector for the ensuing year.
Ed Jewell nominated Cheryl Chesley, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, William St. Peter made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Cheryl Chesley, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Motion passed. Cheryl Chesley was elected as Delinquent Tax Collector for the ensuing year.
g. Grand Juror for the ensuing year.
Max Aldrich nominated Harmon Clark, seconded by Walter Smith. Hearing no further nominations, William St. Peter made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Harmon Clark, seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed. Harmon Clark was elected as Grand Juror for the ensuing year.
h. Town Agent for the ensuing year.
Rod Dwyer nominated William St. Peter, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, William St. Peter was elected by voice vote as Town Agent for the ensuing year.
i. Agent to convey real estate for the ensuing year.
Audrey Hearne nominated the Select Board, seconded by Jim Fox. Hearing no further nominations, the Select Board was elected by voice vote as Agent to convey real estate for the ensuing year.
j. Trustee of public funds for the ensuing year.
Jim Fox nominated the Select Board, seconded by Audrey Hearne. Hearing no further nominations, the Select Board was elected by voice vote as Trustee of public funds for the ensuing year.
k. School Director for a term of three (3) years.
Leslie Newland nominated Michelle Hill for School Director, seconded by Max Aldrich. Hearing no further nominations, Ed Richardson made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Michelle Hill, seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Motion passed. Michelle Hill was elected as School Director for a three year term.
l. Sexton for the ensuing year.
Jim Fox nominated Charles Gilman, seconded by Al Robertson. Hearing no further nominations, Charles Gilman was elected by voice vote as Sexton for the ensuing year.
m. Three (3) Planning Commissioners for a term of three (3) years.
Keith Ballek nominated Garrett Baxter, seconded by Al Robertson. Garrett declined the nomination. Garrett Baxter nominated Anne Geratowski, seconded by Keith Ballek. Hearing no further nominations, Max Aldrich made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Anne Geratowski, seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed. Anne Geratowski was elected as Planning Commissioner for a three year term.
Leslie Newland nominated Sally Wood-Simons, seconded by Ed Jewell. Hearing no further nominations, Max Aldrich made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Sally Wood-Simons seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed. Sally Wood-Simons was elected as Planning Commissioner for a three year term.
Kathy Newland nominated Wendy Scofield, who declined the nomination. Charles Gilman nominated Kathy Newland, who declined the nomination. Keith Ballek nominated Linda Lyman, seconded by Rod Dwyer. Hearing no further nominations, William St. Peter made the motion that nominations cease and one ballot be cast for Linda Lyman, seconded by Max Aldrich. Motion passed. Linda Lyman was elected as Planning Commissioner for a three year term.


Article 3. To see of the Town will accept the reports of the several Town Officers.
William St. Peter moved to accept the reports, seconded by Al Robertson. Phyllis Mitchell asked for more information on the Select Board report on recycling. The response was that recycling in town is up, therefore putting less trash into the compactor and decreasing the number of times the compactor needs to be emptied and reducing the impact on town taxes. The prices of trash bags in Sheffield and Wheelock are half of what some towns charge for bags. The revenue from trash bag sales covers more than the State mandated expenditures and the extra reduces the amount needed to be raised through taxes.
Audrey Hearne acknowledged the savings at the Transfer Station when NEKWMD, the trash hauler does not need to empty the compactor as much.
Frank Dwyer asked about the Road Foreman’s report regarding the red truck and whether the truck needs to be replaced now. Max Aldrich, Road foreman and Selectman said he would like to replace it as there is no cure for the problems the truck has with the exhaust system. He has talked with the manufacturer of the truck and the maker of the exhaust system without a solution to the problem. Max likes to replace a truck every six years which would be in two years. The Moderator commented that this issue could be discussed under non-binding business as well.
The question was called by Harmon Clark, seconded by Al Robertson. Question called by voice vote. Motion to accept the town reports as written passed by voice vote.


Article 4. Article 4. To see if the Town will appropriate the sum of $51,145 to help support the following organizations:               

a

American Red Cross

250.00

b

Caledonia Home Health Care and Hospice

1,100.00

c

Cobleigh Public Library

600.00

d

Darling Inn Senior Meal Site

250.00

e

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

703.00

f

Green-Up Vermont

50.00

g

H.O.P.E

500.00

h

Lyndon Rescue Assessment

15,632.00

i

Lyndonville Youth Baseball/Softball                    

350.00

j

NEK Council on Aging

330.00

k

Northeast Kingdom Human Services

738.00

l

Northeast Kingdom Learning Services

100.00

m

Northeast Kingdom Youth Services

300.00

n

Northeastern Vermont Development Association

527.00

o

Rural Community Transportation

1,000.00

p

Sheffield Wheelock Fire Department- Operations

17,000.00

q

Sheffield Wheelock Fire Department- Truck

9,700.00

r

Sheffield Food Pantry

360.00

s

Umbrella

500.00

t

Vermont Center for Independent Living

55.00

u

VT Rural Fire Protection Task Force

100.00

v

Village Improvement Society/Powers Park

1.000.00

 

Total

$51,145.00


Brian Mahoney made the motion to appropriate funds as written, seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. A resident asked if the Sheffield/ Wheelock Fire Department had an audit process to protect against misdirection of funds. Leslie Ham answered that the Fire Department does an in-house audit, which did not show any irregularities. The decision was made to not hire an outside auditor. The Select Board will ask the Fire Department to give more detail in their report and budget.
Mark Podgewaite of Lyndon Rescue was asked about the increase in appropriation for his organization. He responded that the appropriation request is made on a per capita assessment of $22.30.
Ed Richardson made the motion to amend the original article by reducing the sum for Village Improvement Society/Powers Park from $1,000.00 to $500.00. Seconded by Brian Mahoney. Residents said that the park provided opportunities for Sheffield children to have swimming and tennis lessons. To which a resident asked if they have to pay for the lessons. It was understood that the appropriation was for park maintenance. Max Aldrich called the question, seconded by Al Robertson. Question called by voice vote. Amendment failed.
Walter Smith called the question on the original article. Seconded by Harmon Clark. Article passed as written.


Article 5. Shall the voters authorize the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District to appropriate and expend a budget of $775, 527? (Australian ballot)
Brian Mahoney made the motion to pass over the article. Seconded by Jim Fox. This motion passed on voice vote.


Article 6. Shall the voters adopt the 2016 Sheffield Town Plan? (Australian ballot)
Leslie Newland made the motion to pass over the article. Seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed on voice vote.


Article 7. Shall the Sheffield/Wheelock School District, which the State Board of Education has found advisable to include in the proposed unified union school district, join with the school districts of Burke, Concord, Lunenburg, Millers Run Union #37 (Sheffield and Wheelock) and Sutton, which the State Board of Education has found advisable to include in the proposed union school district to be named Kingdom East Unified School District, as provided in Title 16, V.S.A.? (Australian ballot)
Leslie Newland made the motion to pass over the article. Seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed on voice vote.


Article 8. Shall the voters of the school district approve the school board to expend $3,347,731.00 which is the amount the school board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year? (Australian ballot)
Brian Mahoney made the motion to pass over the article. Seconded by Al Robertson. Motion passed on voice vote.


Article 9.
a. Shall the Town apply a portion of the supplemental payments received in 2017 from Vermont Wind, LLC, as calculated in the Vermont Wind, LLC Supplemental Payment Information page included in this Report, to pay the Town's general and highway expenses thereby reducing the property tax rate for taxpayers of the Town?
Al Robertson made the motion to use a portion to reduce the tax rate, seconded by Ed Jewell. Hearing no discussion the question was called by Walter Smith, seconded by Al Robertson. Question called by voice vote. Article passed.
b. If the vote on Article 9.a. is affirmative, what shall the amount of such portion be, with the remainder being deposited into the Vermont Wind, LLC Fund, which was established at the 2012 Town Meeting?
Al Robertson made the motion on section b to use 50 percent of the supplemental payments to reduce taxes, seconded by Walter Smith. John Simons asked about investing the money in town infrastructure.
Question called by Brian Mahoney, seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Question called by voice vote. Article passed.


Article 10. To see if the Town will authorize the Select Board to apply any surplus accumulated during the year 2016 in the general checking account to defray Town general expenses during 2017.
Motion made by William St. Peter to accept the article, seconded by Ed Jewell. Article passed.


Article 11. To see if the Town will authorize the Select Board to apply any surplus accumulated in the year 2016 in the highway checking account to defray Town highway expenses during 2017.
Motion made by William St. Peter to accept the article, seconded by Al Robertson. Article passed.


Article 12. To see if the Town will approve the proposed general and highway budgets for 2017 in the combined amount of $495,928.28 for general use and maintenance of Town highways.
Motion made by Brian Mahoney to accept the article as written, seconded by Al Robertson. Jim Fox asked about the money ($9,800.00) in office equipment. William St. Peter explained that the money is for a new copier in the Town Office. The present copier is out of date with the current technology and does not make color copies. The cost to print the Town Report in 2017 was over $1,000.00. The new copier would enable the town to print the report in-house saving time and giving the ability to print to the amount of reports that are needed.
Cheryl Chesley asked about the increase in the Worker’s Compensation amount. This is due to claims. There was a small increase in the cost of health insurance. The town is also funding a plan for a town employee who does not take the health insurance.
Question called by Leslie Newland. Seconded by Rosemary Kinerson. Question called by voice vote. Article passed.


Article 13. To see if the Town will have real and property taxes paid to the Treasurer and set the due date of Friday, November 3, 2017.
Motion made by Brian Mahoney to accept the article as written, seconded by Jim Fox. Article passed.


Article 14. To transact any other business that may properly come before this meeting.
There is lunch downstairs following the meeting.
There is a sign-up sheet for anyone who is interesting in volunteering in the Community Garden at the Miller’s Run garden.
Suzanne Bartlett asked if the town has two assistant clerks. Walter Smith responded that while in transition, there has been two but there will be one assistant town clerk.
Keith Ballek of the Planning Commission thanked the Town Clerk’s office for their help in getting the Town Plan printed and distributed.
William St. Peter asked the residents to check the latest list of people who have unclaimed money at the state treasurer’s office. The list will be at the Town Clerk’s office and can be found on-line at vttreasurer.gov.
Al Robertson asked people to look at the handout on the National Flood Insurance Program. The Planning Commission is looking into the program.
The annual Walk in the Woods is August 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM.
Frances Hersey asked to have a discussion on the need to replace the Town truck. The voters present asked the Select Board to investigate getting a new truck. If replacement becomes an emergency, the Select Board should have the ability to get a new truck. If a special town meeting is needed to get voter input, then hold a meeting. The town could purchase the truck with a loan from the Vermont Wind Investment Fund. The Select Board has the town’s support in pursuing a resolution that is best for the town.
Audrey Richardson announced the first Field Day Committee Meeting of the year on March 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall.
Linda Lyman commented on the good work that the Ladies’ Home Demonstration group does.
Article concluded by voice vote.


Article 15. To adjourn.
Motion made by Leslie Newland to adjourn this year’s Town Meeting, seconded by Jim Fox. Article passed. The 2017 Sheffield Town Meeting adjourned at 11:52 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Wendy Scofield
Assistant Town Clerk

_____________________________________________
Moderator

______________________________________________
Justice of the Peace

 

 

   

 Note that all documents, minutes, notices, statements, etc. appearing on this web site have been duly signed and/or witnessed, as appropriate, whether said original signature(s) appears or not. Contact Mr. William St. Peter, Sheffield Town Clerk at (802) 626-8862 (Tel) or (802) 626-0424 (Fax) or townclerk@sheffieldvt.org regarding access to the aforementioned documents, minutes, notices, statements, etc.

Disclaimer: The information posted here is accurate at the time of posting. As always, changes may occur and will be posted as soon as possible.