By Juliann Phelps
The Monday March 25 Selectboard Meeting featured the reappointments for town positions, contracting actions and the first public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Town Plan.
Town position reappointments:
- West Charlotte Village Wastewater Committee: Dave Marshall and Kate Lampton reappointed, terms both ending April 30, 2021
- Chris Davis reappointed as emergency management director for term ending April 30, 2020
- Energy Committee: Deirdre Holmes and Matthew Burke reappointed, terms both ending April 30, 2021
- Mark Dillenbeck reappointed as tree warden for term ending April 30, 2020
Other town business included discussion around the temporary closure of Lake Road between Thompson’s Point Road and Converse Bay Road for removal of ash trees, which, according to Dillenbeck, came up as a question by a contractor responding to the Request for Proposal (RFP). Additional questions from the public included clarifications around the removal of wood and disposal of wood chips on town property. The agenda item ended with a motion to draft an addendum to the RFP.
The Selectboard also amended and approved the draft RFP for the playground, presented by members of the Recreation Commission.
Middlebury Fence Company was selected as the contractor to replace the westerly section of fence around the Barber Hill Cemetery (West Burying Ground) with industrial grade aluminum fencing and one drivegate. The winning bid came in at $16,000, and the work is to be completed by June 30. Selectboard Chair Matt Krasnow manually opened bids for town-wide mowing and brush hogging contracts, and after reading the submissions aloud he proposed that selection would occur at the April 4 meeting, citing “too many moving parts.”
Robert Mack was selected as the lessee for Thompson’s Point agricultural lands.
Rayne Herzog’s Race Vermont application for a 5K, 10K and half marathon on September 7, 2019, was approved, as was Cycle4CMT’s application for a fundraising bicycle ride on August 25, 2019. On a related note, during public comment, resident Megan Price of Ferry Road requested the town consider purchasing signs saying “Road race today” and expressed concerns about the speed limit and safety on Ferry Road, saying that she has observed an increase in texting while driving and sharing a story about a distracted cyclist. Krasnow agreed saying, “I love the idea about the road race signs. We could have a few. The town could own them and put them out on sandwich boards. We have plenty of races.”
The rest of the meeting was devoted to the continuation of the public hearing for proposed amendments to the Town Plan. Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Emily Nosse-Leirer was in attendance, as were several members of the Planning Commission and Energy Commission. Town Administrator Dean Bloch opened the discussion by reviewing proposed changes to maps and policy language specifically around defining “preferred sites.” The language sparked comment from several members of the Energy Committee and Selectboard member Frank Tenney. Energy Committee Co-Chair Suzy Hodgson asked for clarification on the term “preferred sites.” Tenney added, “We are trying to figure out to do standards kind of like a building envelope … where you’d have [one] for a renewable energy site.” He also asked Nosse-Leirer what the effect this might have on property values.
Energy Committee member Rebecca Foster proposed a change to the proposed policy language which was taken under consideration. Bloch presented additional changes, and in the interest of time, the Selectboard made a motion to continue the first hearing to April 22.
Other agenda items to round out the night were the approvals of two revised open space agreements, one for KR Properties, LLC and the other for Clark Hinsdale III. In Selectboard updates, board member Fritz Tegatz briefed members on the status of the library expansion, noting that the remainder of the architectural portion will be competitively bid and that he is working on drafting an RFP. Additionally a group of library members will draft a memorandum of agreement to be submitted to the Selectboard for approval.
Selectboard member Carrie Spear brought up the idea of cleaning up scrap metal in a field off of Plouffe Lane; she also noted the condition of the train station on Ferry Road. “The train station is absolutely trashed. There is graffiti on all sides,” she said. “It was really way worse than I’ve ever seen it; it’s really bad.” Bloch offered to contact the VT State Railway Division about the condition of the property.