Selectboard tackles waste water ordinance, mowing contract and pesky lighting situation

The Town of Charlotte, VT

The Charlotte Selectboard hit the ground running this past week at its April 9 meeting. Selectboard member Lane Morrison kicked off the two-hour session with discussion concerning amendments for the wastewater disposal ordinance at Thompson’s Point. The ordinance, which was put into place in 1993, is supposed to be updated every five years. The last update, however, was in 2007.

Based on a recommendation from member Carrie Spear, the Selectboard went through the ordinance updates line by line for the first hour of the meeting. They were joined by members of the Thompson’s Point Wastewater Advisory Committee, who provided more specialized knowledge on the residences at Thompson’s Point.

Most of the changes to the wastewater ordinance concerned the tightening of preexisting language. The Selectboard held lengthy discussion on what would be defined as “garbage” under the updated ordinance and ultimately decided that organic waste would be included as such. Other topics covered the placement of new pumps and the existing wastewater services at Lane’s Lane. Seasonal occupants will not be required to hook up to the public sewage system for another 10 years. 

Discussion of the ordinance will continue at the next Selectboard meeting, and Morrison stated it will be another two or three months before the updated document becomes official. The cost of hookup for Lane’s Lane residents to the public sewage system has not yet been discussed.  

The Selectboard then shifted gears for the awarding of lawn mowing and brush hogging contracts. The $25,750 bid from landscaping company Mow Mow Mow was approved by the board. A $5,360 cemetery bid and $2,595 brush hogging bid from were also approved. All bids included an additional hourly cost of $35 per hour if needed by the landscaper.

Jen Holliday of the Chittenden Solid Waste District then spoke to Selectboard members about the Rover collection event scheduled for July 28. The Rover event will provide Charlotte residents with a safe method for removing any hazardous waste that they may have in their homes. Holliday spoke to safety protocol and potential locations for this summer’s events. The board ultimately approved the hosting of the event at the town salt shed rather than the Charlotte Central School due to safety concerns.

Road Commissioner Hugh Lewis Jr. later presented a paving plan to the Selectboard. The plan covers Church Hill Road from Hinesburg Road to Route 7 North, Ferry Road from Route 7 North to the train station, Greenbush Road from Common Way to Thompson’s Point Road, Spear Street from Bingham Brook Road to Robert Marble’s house, Spear Street from Guinea Road to Green Acre Farm, and Lake Road from Ferry Road to Whalley Road. 

Lewis said he would like to have the roads paved before the first of July and that the scale of the project will be determined by its budget. He encouraged Selectboard members to forgo choosing the cheapest bid based on previous experiences. The Selectboard agreed with Lewis to award bids for road paving on a same-day basis to speed up progress.

The Selectboard also oversaw several interviews for various town boards, committees and commissions. David Ziegelman was reappointed to the Trails Committee for a two-year term ending in April 2020. Rebecca Foster and Bill Kallock were reappointed to the Energy Committee for a two-year terms ending in April 2020. Kevin Burget stepped down from the Trails Committee and was appointed to the Conservation Commission for a four-year term ending in April 2022. Bill Fraser-Harris and Greg Smith were reappointed to the Recreation Commission for three-year terms ending in April 2021, and are joined by new appointee Bill Pence. Stuart Bennett was reappointmed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a three-year term ending in April 2021.

Following interviews, the board approved updates to the Local Emergency Operation Plan. 

Town Administrator Dean Bloch then gave an overview of an ongoing situation with a building owned by Reset Properties. The lights on the Ferry Road building have been a subject of complaint among neighbors since before 2006. The property owner currently owes the town $4,525 in legal fees regarding a lawsuit involving the lights, which he still has not removed. The Selectboard agreed to send an electrician and police officer over to the property to remove the lights, charging the property owner for the labor.

Before adjourning, the Selectboard approved minutes from its two previous meetings.