Selectboard wraps up budget reviews, hears from committees

The Town of Charlotte, VT

The Nov. 25 Selectboard meeting featured a shorter agenda, with members Carrie Spear and Fritz Tegatz absent. The remaining three members heard from various town committees on budget requests, solar RFPs and appointments.

FY21 budget reviews
The Selectboard heard from representatives for the Charlotte Senior Center, the Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge Oversight Committee and the Cemetery Commission. Jenny Cole of the Park and Wildlife Refuge Committee requested a reduction in budget of $15,000 (down $1,650 from the previous year), citing the completion of several park projects and less than anticipated costs for the “Get to Know Your Park Day.”

Victoria Zulkoski of the Cemetery Commission requested a reduction in budget of $10,750, saying headstone repair is the commission’s top priority. Carl Herzog of the Charlotte Senior Center requested an operating budget of $128,537, up $15,207 from this year, due to maintenance and repair projects. He listed siding repair, replacement of an underground oil tank, carpet cleaning, and septic tank and air duct clean outs.

The board also discussed other Senior Center capital improvement projects, including the addition of heat pumps, replacing the roof, and replacing the air conditioning unit, a requested total of $117,000. Chair Matt Krasnow said the improvement and repair reserve fund was reserved for town buildings, and Town Administrator Dean Bloch said separate articles have been used for new buildings or equipment.

Energy Committee and library solar RFP
John Quinney of the Energy Committed presented the results of the request for proposal (RFP) for solar panels on the library roof. The two proposals, from Norwich Solar Technologies and Green Lantern Solar, were presented in a comparison chart. Quinney said Green Lantern Solar was “logistically easier” and “took the RFP more seriously.” He requested, and the board approved entering into discussions with the Green Lantern Solar. In addition to providing the proposed net metering agreement at the Dec. 16 meeting, the motion included a configuration of the panels, an opt-out provision and a 25-year cash flow analysis for the library and other town buildings.

Other business
The board approved a Better Roads grant application for rock lining and erosion control on Prindle Road. The grant would fund 80 percent of the estimated $25,000 project cost, with the town funding the remaining 20 percent.

The board was also briefed by Town Administrator Dean Bloch on two estimates of repairs for the Seguin Covered Bridge on Roscoe Road and the bridge over the Laplatte River on Dorset Street. The damage occurred during the Halloween storm, and the $65,000 estimate to repair both bridges is anticipated to be covered by FEMA disaster relief funds.

The board approved the appointments of Larry Sommers and William Regan to the Trails Committee for terms ending April 30, 2021.

In Town Office business, the board approved, on the recommendation of computer services company TechGroup, the replacement of five computer workstations to enhance network cyber security.
The Selectboard also discussed its upcoming schedule, budget and articles for Town Meeting. Bloch said he “preferred to have everything wrapped up for the budget and the warning for Town Meeting on Jan. 13 (meeting).”

He also mentioned that, while the Selectboard is responsible for approving the proposed town wastewater ordinances, “A petition could be submitted which would trigger a town vote.” Bloch and Krasnow discussed the timing of the process in relation to potentially warning the article for Town Meeting Day. According to Bloch, the petitioner would have 44 days to submit a petition once the ordinances are passed, and the town-wide vote would have to occur within 60 days of receiving the petition.

The next Selectboard meeting is scheduled for December 9.