Affordable Housing Trust Fund focus of Selectboard discussion

Charlotte Selectboard members returned to the subject of affordable housing on Monday, August 13 with a continued review of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s grant policies and procedures.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund has a current balance of $139,000 that has not been added to in recent years. Despite several successful projects in the past, members of the grant program stated that interest in the fund is at an all-time low. Current grant policies, such as the perpetual nature of affordability and repayment schedules, are reportedly deterring residents and contractors from seeking help via the trust fund.

Program members suggested several changes to address these issue without changing the main intent of the trust fund. It was also suggested that the fund be more widely marketed and promoted to encourage the creation of affordable housing.

With only Selectboard members Lane Morrison, Frank Tenney and Carrie Spear present, a formal decision on the trust fund’s policies was once again delayed.

Charlotte Fire and Rescue Services also appeared before the Selectboard for a second time to present their end-of -year finances.

Fire and Rescue currently estimates that they will end the fiscal year with a $2,000 surplus. Switching to an out-of-state billing provider reportedly helped emergency services cut down on cost.

According to Fire Chief Dick St. George, the fire department also received a $60,000 grant to replace the station’s aging air compressor. Funds to match this grant were taken from pre-existing Fire and Rescue funds, ultimately costing the town nothing.

Eric and Elizabeth Buttery were approved for a highway access permit to shift the private right of way at 1824 Hinesburg Road approximately 15 feet to the east. The new road will be named Cayman’s Way.

Melody Danaher of Turn the Towns Teal met with the Selectboard and was approved to hang teal ribbons around Charlotte for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September.

The Selectboard also purchased a spam filter service for Town Hall through Tech Group for $540 per year. The town’s previous spam filter service was provided by SymQuest and will expire at the end of August.

The Selectboard also decided to send the town attorney to a Planning Commission hearing with Ballek & Echeverria. Ballek & Echeverria has appealed to the commission in hopes of avoiding restrictions placed on a three-lot subdivision.

Lastly, the Selectboard discussed the process for budget review. Starting September 10, the board plans to meet individually with the different town commissions to review their plans and financial needs for the upcoming year.