The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 39: INCORPORATED VILLAGES

§ 1301. Establishment of villages

Upon a petition of a majority of the voters in town meeting residing in a village containing 30 or more houses, the selectmen shall establish the bounds of such village and cause a description thereof, by its name and bounds, to be recorded in the office of the town clerk and posted in two or more public places in such village. The residents in such village shall thereupon become a body politic and corporate with the powers incident to a public corporation, be known by the name given in such description, by that name may sue and be sued, and hold and convey real and personal estate for the use of the corporation.


§ 1302. Alteration of boundaries

Such corporation may alter the boundaries of such village, with the consent of the persons included in or excluded from the same by such alteration, and a record of such alteration shall be made by the town clerk. The inhabitants included within the limits of such village shall remain inhabitants of the town the same as though a corporation had not been formed.


§ 1303. Voters

Persons residing within the limits of an incorporated village who are qualified voters in town meeting shall be voters in village meeting.


§ 1304. First meeting, officers

Within 60 days after record of its name and bounds has been made, the voters in such village shall meet in the village. Notice of the day, hour, and place of the meeting, signed by the town clerk, or, upon his or her default, by a selectperson, shall be posted in four public places in the village and published once in each newspaper published therein, at least ten days previous thereto. The meeting may be called to order by the officer signing the notice. At such meeting, or at an adjournment thereof, the corporation shall elect a presiding officer, a clerk, five trustees, a treasurer, and a collector of taxes and may elect a tree warden and chief engineer who shall hold their offices until the first annual meeting and until others are elected and qualified. Any qualified and eligible voter of the town in which such village is situated may be elected as such tax collector, chief engineer, clerk, treasurer, or presiding officer. (Amended 1961, No. 11, eff. March 3, 1961; 2003, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)


§ 1305. Meetings; warnings

After the first election, a meeting of such corporation shall be held in each year at the time and place designated in its bylaws, to elect officers and for the transaction of business specified in the warning of such meeting. Special meetings may be called by the trustees. Warnings shall be signed by the clerk, shall specify the business to be transacted as the trustees direct, shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the village, and shall be posted in two public places in such village, not more than 40 days nor less than 30 days before such meeting. Such warning shall be recorded in the office of the clerk before it is posted. (Amended 1985, No. 196 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)


§ 1306. Oaths and bonds of officers

The clerk, treasurer and collector of such corporation shall be sworn. The treasurer and collector shall give a bond to the corporation in such sum and with such sureties as are prescribed and approved by the trustees, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties.


§ 1307. Duties of clerk; fees

The clerk shall keep records of the proceedings of such corporation and give copies of the same when required. He shall be paid therefor the same fees as a town clerk.


§ 1308. Duties of trustees; vacancies

The trustees of a village incorporated under general or special law shall see that its bylaws are executed, direct prosecutions for breaches thereof and generally shall take care of the affairs of such corporation and perform the duties legally enjoined on them by such corporation. In case of the death, removal, absence or incapacity of the clerk, the trustees may designate one of their number to perform his duties, and may fill a temporary vacancy in any office of such corporation, until an election is had. A record of such appointment shall be made in the office of the clerk of the village.


§ 1309. Taxes; assessment and collection

At a meeting legally warned for that purpose, corporations formed under this subchapter may vote a tax upon the taxable estate therein or may vote a specific amount to be appropriated for the lawful purposes of the corporation. If a corporation votes a specific amount to be appropriated, the trustees shall, after the grand list book has been computed and lodged, set the tax rate necessary to raise the specific amount voted. The trustees shall make out and deliver to the collector a tax bill, with a warrant for its collection, and the collector shall have the same powers to collect such tax bill as a collector of town taxes. (Amended 2003, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)


§ 1310. Bylaws

An incorporated village may enact such bylaws and regulations as are expedient, not inconsistent with law, particularly such as relate to streets, sidewalks, lanes, commons, shade and ornamental trees and lights thereon, slaughterhouses and nuisances, police protection, restraint of animals, erection and regulation of buildings and hay scales, the preservation of buildings, with the right of directing alterations in stoves, fireplaces, and causes from which danger from fire may be apprehended, fire engines and other apparatus necessary for the extinguishment of fire, establishment and regulation of fire companies and to the manufacture and safekeeping of ashes, explosives and combustibles.


§ 1311. Forfeiture for breach

An incorporated village may fix the amount of forfeitures for the breach of bylaws, not exceeding $20.00 for any one offense, to be recovered by a civil action on this statute. Such action shall be brought within 90 days from the time the offense is committed, before a Criminal Division of the Superior Court. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)


§ 1312. Damages in laying out street; appeal

The trustees of an incorporated village may lay out a street, lane or walk within its limits, and may appraise the damages. An appeal may be taken by landowners as provided when land is taken for highways.


§ 1313. Village may indemnify officers

An incorporated village, by vote, may indemnify a duly appointed public or peace officer of the village against legal proceedings for injuries committed by him while in the lawful discharge of his official duties. If an action is commenced against such officer, upon vote of such village, the trustees may defend such action at its expense.


§ 1314. Powers of officers

Where acts of incorporation or special laws applicable to villages give to any officers of the village powers conferred upon the selectmen of towns by general law, such village officers may exercise such powers within the limits of the village.


§ 1315. Appointment of manager

An incorporated village may avail itself of the provisions of chapter 37 of this title so far as applicable, if a majority of the voters thereof present and voting at any annual or special meeting so vote under a proper article in the warning therefor as in such chapter provided. The trustees of a village adopting the provisions of such chapter shall have the same powers in respect to the employment, direction, supervision and discharge of a manager, and the fixing of his bond and salary as are therein conferred upon selectmen.


§ 1316. Annexation of adjacent territory to villages

The trustees of an incorporated village may petition in writing a judge of the superior court of the county in which such village is situated, to have commissioners appointed to determine the advisability of enlarging the limits of such village, by including territory of the town in which such village is situated. Thereupon, such judge shall appoint three disinterested freeholders, who shall act as such commissioners.


§ 1317. Procedure

The commissioners shall give notice of the time and place of hearing, hear parties interested and decide whether such enlargement is advisable. When they decide in favor of the annexation, they shall fix the bounds of the territory to be annexed. If such village is divided into wards, they shall determine in what ward or wards such annexed territory shall be placed, or, if necessary, create additional wards out of the same. They shall cause their report, containing a statement of the bounds fixed for such annexed territory and of the new and altered wards, if any, to be recorded in the office of the town clerk.


§ 1318. Fix time for voting

At the time of making their decision, if they decide in favor of enlargement, the commissioners shall appoint a time and place at which persons residing within the bounds of the territory sought to be annexed, as fixed by the commissioners, shall meet to vote upon the question of annexation. Such commissioners shall give public notice of such meeting in such manner as they see fit.


§ 1319. Voting in territory proposed to be annexed

At such meeting, the residents of such territory who are voters in town meeting may vote on the question of annexation. When a majority of such residents in number and amount of grand list vote in favor of such annexation, such vote shall be recorded in the office of the town clerk.


§ 1320. Village to vote on question of annexation

Upon the record of such favorable vote, the trustees of such village shall cause a village meeting to be warned. At such meeting, the question of annexation shall be submitted to the voters of such village. When a majority in number of the voters at such meeting vote in favor of such annexation, such vote shall be recorded in the office of the town clerk. From the date of such record, the territory sought to be annexed shall become a part of such village.


§ 1321. Rights of voters in annexed territory

Persons residing in such annexed territory, who, at the time of such annexation, are voters in village meeting, shall forthwith become legal voters of such village and of the wards in which they reside, subject to the general provisions of its charter. A new or altered ward of such village shall be entitled to the same officers and privileges as other wards thereof.