TOWN OF SHELBURNE
MINUTES SUBJECT TO CORRECTION BY THE SHELBURNE SELECTBOARD. CHANGES, IF ANY, WILL BE RECORDED IN THE MINUTES OF THE NEXT MEETING OF THE BOARD.
MINUTES OF MEETING
August 14, 2012
MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Smith (Chairman); Tim Pudvar, Gary von Stange, Robert Roesler. (Al Gobeille was absent.)
ADMINISTRATION: Paul Bohne, Town Manager; Peter Frankenburg, Finance Director; Dean Pierce, Town Planner; Bernie Gagnon, Public Works Director, Jerry Ouimet, Shelburne Fire Chief.
OTHERS PRESENT: Mike Boucher, Lee Suskin, Judy Raven, Richard Hess, Kevin Clayton, Steve “Rocco” Antinozzi, Marlene Luxton-Jones, Matthew Ottinger, Jason Charest, Greg Edwards, Rick Bryant, John Goodrich, Devin Major, Stephen Selin, Jim Buell, Dwight Mazur, Pam Brangan, Sean MacFaden, David Webster, Gwen Webster, Laurie Valentine, Oda Hubbard, George Schiavone, Art Engel, Sonya Stern, and a representative of the Shelburne News.
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman, Bill Smith, called the meeting to order at 7 PM.
2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
There were no changes to the agenda.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
July 24, 2012
MOTION by Robert Roesler, SECOND by Gary von Stange, to approve the minutes of July 24, 2012 as written. VOTING: 3 ayes, one abstention (Pudvar); motion carried.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
There were no comments from the public at this point in time.
6. MANAGER’S REPORT
Town Manager, Paul Bohne, reported on the following:
- Route 7 paving project will begin 8/16/12 going south on Route 7 to Ferry Road. Whitcomb Construction is negotiating with the state to be able to do the work at night. People are urged to take alternate routes.
- Firehouse roof replacement is complete. A small amount of wood rot was found in only one area.
- The boat ramp at the beach is paved below the water line and with the low water level this year more ramp is exposed so needed repairs were made.
- Application has been submitted to the League of American Bicyclists to designate Shelburne as a bicycle friendly town.
- LaPlatte Nature Park requests for proposal for trail construction are due 8/24/12. The plan is to do the work this fall if possible. A contract has been signed for the overlook and work will begin mid-September to be complete by November, 2012.
- The Planning Commission is seeking guidance on what the Selectboard feels will be helpful in transitioning to Form Based Code. One suggestion is to hold an educational seminar at the September 11, 2012 Selectboard meeting.
- Harbor Road sidewalk project is progressing well. The sidewalk will also go across to the Spillane service station and connect to sidewalk there. The state is doing some work because some of the sidewalk is on state property. Lee Suskin, Harbor Road, thanked staff for working with the neighbors with the sidewalk project. Stephen Selin, Harbor Road, spoke in support of the sidewalk project and asked if there is a plan to connect the Country Store and Bearded Frog. Paul Bohne explained there may be some improvements done with the streetscape plan in the future, but nothing is planned in the short term.
7. OLD BUSINESS
Continued Discussion/Input on Update of Landscape Design of the Parade and Village Green
Bill Smith reported there were 77 respondents to the survey that was circulated on the parade and village green design. Mike Boucher with TJ Boyle reported per the survey people are in support of ornamental and shade trees and a screen hedge, but not a fence. Additional sidewalks and more seating are also desired. There was less support for a veterans memorial on the parade ground (versus the village green) and much support for a performance structure. There were many comments in support of keeping the grounds as open as possible. A final plan will be created following input from the Selectboard. The veterans memorial could create a focal point on the parade ground and work well with the farmers market. The memorial would need to be ADA accessible. For the village green, there was support for benches on the green, but not tables. Bike racks were supported on the north end of the green and sidewalk on the western edge of the parcel. There was support for planting ornamental and street trees and maintaining the evergreen (Christmas) tree. The canopy can be trimmed to maintain visibility of the businesses on Falls Road. There was support for a veterans memorial in the appropriate location on the village green. There was mention of the landscape plan for the property from 17 years ago and sources of funding for the work by Mr. Boucher. It was noted the veterans group is planning to fund raise to cover the cost of the memorial.
Following further discussion the consensus of the Selectboard is in support of the “less is more” concept for the parade ground with trees/screening in place. There was support for sidewalk on Church Street, benches on the grounds, and the veterans memorial in the appropriate location (parade ground or village green). For the village green the jog in the sidewalk shown in Concept B is too busy. There should be sidewalk in place along Route 7 and the Christmas tree should remain in place. Bike parking, benches (no tables) should be on the village green. The cost for each design is needed. Funding sources could include enhancement grants which require a plan before application.
Steven Selin spoke against a band shell on the parade ground or the village green.
Kevin Clayton felt the band shell is not needed and would not be used outside of the farmers market. The farmers market is what brings energy to the village. The cost of the concepts needs to be known. Regarding the village green, sidewalk as shown in Concept A is the path people travel now. A small guardrail could be installed on the corner’s edge to enhance the safety of the corner. An egress on the west side of the green is needed because people will not walk up to the crosswalk. The evergreen tree should remain.
Judy Raven urged leaving as much open space on the parade grounds as possible to not preclude what could be put in place in the future. Ms. Raven spoke against the band shell.
Laurie Valentine stated the original concept of the parade ground was to provide space for maneuvers. The space should not be lessened. The village green is a good location for the veterans memorial. The sidewalk on the south side is good and helps define the rigidity of the parade grounds. The corner by the Bearded Frog is “an accident waiting to happen”.
David Webster urged showing what is already on the village green (flagpole, memorials by the flagpole). The veterans have been discussing have an area for the memorial that is more contemplative and the village green does not offer this.
Gwen Webster agreed with the need for an egress on the west side. Very few people use the crosswalk on Falls Road; they simply cross the road from their parked car.
8. NEW BUSINESS
Local Concerns Meeting with Presentation by Stantec Consulting on Study of Route 7/Harbor Road/Falls Road Intersection
Paul Bohne summarized the study being done by Stantec Consulting is to help plan for future traffic at the intersection of Falls Road/Harbor Road/Route 7. Greg Edwards with Stantec Consulting gave a brief update on the progress with the study to date, noting the following:
- A committee has been formed to help define the plan for the intersection.
- Information has been collected on existing conditions in the project area. There are pedestrian, bike, and transit facilities. Traffic volume on Route 7 averages 17,600 cars daily north of the intersection and 14,000 cars south of the intersection. Traffic volume on Harbor Road is 3,600 cars per day and 5,000 cars per day on Falls Road.
- Accident history shows on Route 7 within a five year period there were about 30 reported crashes at the intersection.
- The village district is historic and on the National Register so any impacts must be mitigated.
- According to Rick Bryant, traffic engineer, traffic volume during peak hours is significant. There is more volume in the morning going northbound. Trucks make up 10% of the traffic through the intersection.
- The intersection is at capacity now. The timing of the traffic signal can be manipulated to move more traffic on Route 7 through the intersection, but then traffic will back up on the side streets.
- The draft purpose and need for the project to create an efficient and safe operating intersection will be reviewed as will alternatives such as a roundabout, one-way traffic heading south on Falls Road, split phasing of the traffic signal giving Harbor Road a green light and Falls Road a red light, and eliminating left turns from Route 7 at the intersection.
- A grid street system would provide an alternative to the intersection and likely improve the intersection.
- Next steps include finalizing the project purpose and need and developing alternatives for feedback.
There was discussion of the proposed project need and purpose. Issues to consider include:
- Safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Capacity and growth
- Traffic Flow
- Expanding the retail district
- Alternatives to the intersection
- Aesthetics and maintaining the character of the village
Kevin Clayton urged notifying business owners and property owners about the study so there can be input and having the information easily accessible, perhaps online. Pedestrian safety, speed limit in the village, lighting, more parking and signed parking in the village are matters to consider.
Art Engel, Davis Park, mentioned not being about to get out of the neighborhood during the school year. Also, the new residential project in the village will create a new traffic concern.
Rocco Antinozzi, Paths Committee, agreed with the purpose and the need for the project and urged including Marsett Road and Webster Road in the review. All the intersections in the area should be included because the Shelburne Museum will be operating year round and south of Marsett Road is development of tourist areas. Making the treatment of the intersections in the town consistent may be beneficial. The Route 7/Harbor Road/Falls Road intersection is the only one that allows a left turn off Route 7.
Steve Selin disagreed with involving Marsett Road and Webster Road as part of the redistribution of traffic that is trying to get to Burlington because the areas are residential. Measures should be taken to try to slow traffic on the Route 7.
Marlene Luxton-Jones, Shelburne Road, mentioned the difficulty exiting her driveway due to traffic traveling north on Route 7. There are lots of people who live on Shelburne Road. The situation appears to be worse with the split phasing of the traffic signal.
Lee Suskin, Harbor Road, said traffic is bad during the school year and this should be addressed and made safe for children to walk and bike to school.
David Webster observed there appears to be a long wait time at the traffic light with no traffic coming from the other direction. The traffic signal does not appear to be well timed for different times of the day.
George Schiavone stated trucks are impacting the town and commerce in town. A solution is needed on how to get trucks through town without impacting commerce, such as a separate truck route.
Approve Purchase of Lake Rescue Boat for Shelburne Fire Department
There was discussion of the proposal by the Fire Department to purchase a used Zodiac fire/rescue boat from California for approximately $36,000. The amount is unbudgeted. Members of the Fire Department in attendance were introduced by Fire Chief Jerry Ouimet (members included Jim Buell, John Goodrich, Dwight Mazur, and Devon Major). Jim Buell highlighted the following with regard to the Zodiac fire/rescue boat:
Ø The boat will allow the department to handle boat and structure fires from the lake.
Ø Lake calls have increased.
Ø The Coast Guard is asking Shelburne to go farther on the lake, but the existing boat must be trailered to the Coast Guard launch first. The new boat is larger with a longer range and more capability to provide better service and be safer for the crew.
Ø The crew will be able to fight fires and rescue people on the lake with the boat. EMTs and police can be on board as needed.
Ø The department will be able to respond to mutual aid lake calls with the boat.
Ø Burlington and South Burlington do not have fire/rescue boats. Charlotte has a small Zodiac boat that is adequate for ponds and the river.
Ø Shelburne Shipyard will provide a slip for the boat in season at a discount price of $55 (versus $85) and winter storage off season at a discounted cost of $11 per foot (versus $21.50 per foot).
Ø Rotary and other organizations have offered to do fund raising events. The annual breakfast by the Fire Dept. is another option. The boat will need some additional equipment so fund raising will be necessary.
Ø Lake Champlain Transportation (ferry service) is the only boat with the ability to fight fires on the lake in the area. The closest firefighting boat is at Rouses Point.
Ø The current owner of the boat would like the vessel to be used for what it was designed to do. The owner has temporarily taken the boat off Craig’s List pending the decision by the town.
Ø Membership in the Fire Dept. can readily handle additional calls on the lake.
The Selectboard acknowledged the research done on the boat by the Fire Dept. and the debt of gratitude the public owes to the members for their service. There was discussion of informing the voters of the matter, involving other towns so Shelburne taxpayers are not carrying the full burden, and determining funding for the boat (there is no money in the budget or discretionary funds). Voter approval is needed for a bond. Tim Pudvar expressed concern about future cost to the town when the boat needs to be replaced. Bill Smith expressed concern about Shelburne being the only municipality with a boat of any capacity and the added burden on the Fire Dept. by additional calls. The effort by Shelburne is out of balance with the effort by other communities. There was mention of billing for services. Bill Smith summarized considerations with the boat include need, safety of fire department personnel, scope of community support, and funding.
George Schiavone, Shelburne resident, stated the town is fortunate to have what the firefighters do for the community, but Shelburne should not bear the brunt of the new fire/rescue boat exclusively. The voters need to be informed and make a decision. There are many fund raising opportunities including boat owners, boat clubs, other communities and organizations.
MOTION by Tim Pudvar, SECOND by Robert Roesler, to table the purchase of the Zodiac boat pending further ideas on funding and balancing community support by area towns. VOTING: unanimous (4-0); motion carried.
Request from Craig Pepper, 287 Locust Hill, for Relief from Penalty and Interest for Late Payment of Property Taxes
Peter Frankenburg explained this situation occurs each year when a property is refinanced in May-June and an estimated payment is received by the Town for the August installment before the actual amount due is known. (Tax bills are calculated in early July) In these cases, the payment is returned to the Attorney who sent the check with the request that it be given to the owner, allowing the owner to compare this payment to the actual amount due in August (per the tax bill) and submit the correct payment accordingly. This procedure was followed in Mr. Pepper’s case and the estimated payment was returned to the attorney who sent it. Payments received are applied to any past due amount first. Delinquent notices are sent each month.
Sonya Stern, representing Craig Pepper, said Mr. Pepper pays his bills on line due to his extensive travel through work. During the recent refinancing of their property the attorney assured the tax payment was sent to the town. When the late notice was received Mr. Pepper went to the town to pay the bill though disagreeing with how the matter was handled. Ms. Stern suggested changing the town procedure so the owner is notified. Bill Smith said request can be made to add the item for discussion on a future agenda.
MOTION by Robert Roesler, SECOND by Gary von Stange, to waive the $186.96 penalty charged against Craig Pepper for late payment of property tax for 287 Locust Hill Road. VOTING: 0 ayes, 4 nays (Smith, Pudvar, Roesler, von Stange); motion did not carry.
Set Fee of $15 for Temporary Signs in the Mixed Use District
MOTION by Robert Roesler, SECOND by Gary von Stange, to set the fee for temporary signs in the Mixed Use District at $15.
DISCUSSION: It was confirmed the fee is being reduced from $47 per sign to $15 per sign.
VOTING: unanimous (4-0); motion carried.
Selectboard Questions or Comments
9. EXECUTIVE SESSION and/or ADJOURNMENT
MOTION by Tim Pudvar, SECOND by Gary von Stange, to adjourn the meeting. VOTING: unanimous (4-0); motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:51 PM.
March - 2012