Regular Meeting of Monday September 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Anne Zolotas, and Chuck Hulse
Board Members Not Present: none
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA. Tim Maxham and Michael Frett in person. Don Bedard and Fred Bartle non-participatory on Zoom.
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman David Carter at 7:00 pm
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Anne Zolotas made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of August 22, 2022. The motion was seconded, all in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
4. Public input:
5. New Business:
A. Northwest Fiberworx had hoped to forge an agreement with Google Fiber. It did not work out so they are searching for a partner. More info will follow as it becomes available.
B. Ross Brown made a motion to approve and have the chairman sign the 2022 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian grant agreement document. The motion was seconded, all in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
C. There was a preliminary discussion about considering hiring a Town Administrator. Some duties could include grant writing and administration, recreation program coordination, assistant to the Selectboard, all board liaison and more. It was asked that Board members and Town employees submit ideas for possible roles of such a position. Job descriptions from similarly sized Towns will be explored. More discussion will follow.
6. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. See the written report filed with these minutes (Below on the website or in Town Hall).
B. Ross Brown made a motion to approve and sign a letter to the VTrans district representative, Ernie Patnoe, to request items as discussed in the August 8 meeting. See attached *VTrans request for studies. The motion was seconded, all in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. see above
8. Announcements and Communications:
A. There will be an open house at the South Hero Fire Department and South Hero Rescue in the hopes that more people will consider volunteering.
B. The Weekend in the Islands program will be on October 8 & 9.
C. The Listers submitted and Errors and Omissions document for parcel SA009, as the trailer was not moved by April 1 due to Canadian border crossing Covid issues. Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve and sign said document. The motion was seconded, all in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
9. Other Business:
A. Skip Brown made a motion to approve and sign orders 23-06 and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
B. Town Clerk/Treasurer updates: none
C. Recreation Commission (RC) update: Parking at the beach has been going well this season. The Rec. Comm. next meeting is September 13, 2022.
D. Road Department update: Beavers blocked the culverts on Whipple Rd. and they were cleared out.
E. Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH): Construction drawings are being completed by the architects.
F. ARPA fund updates: David Roy is on the ARPA committee. He will be asked to come to a future Selectboard meeting.
G. Wastewater update: none
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to adjourn 8:40 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown, Secretary David Carter, Chairman
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard August 22, 2022
1. The DRB conditional use/site plan review for the proposed Town salt shed on newly acquired land on Hill Rd. began on August 24 and has been continued to September 14.
2. The Planning Commission received word that it has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the 2022 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. This is one of 20 grants awarded State-wide. I asked the PC if they were willing to add a traffic study of the RT 2/Apple Island area to the study but it was found that the Commission’s priority for this grant (and for which it was written) is sidewalks I the 2 villages. There isn’t enough money to add a broader study of the Apple Island/Featherb3d lane area. I have already been contacted by a VTrans project manager, Ashley Andrews, who will be assisting on the project. This is a reimbursement grant and not a direct grant. The Town will be responsible for 20% of the total costs. I have VTrans Scoping Grant Recipient Project Commitments Form for the Board to sign tonight. In it, the Town agrees that it is responsible for its share of the project funding ($8000) and to meet the schedule requirements.
3. Applications for the 2023 Transportation Alternatives Program funding will be out in late September, with applications due in late November. The program’s website offers an application guidebook and application, in addition to webinars on the programs, for anyone interested in doing some upfront homework before the 2023 material becomes available (hint, hint). Contact me for more information and links.
4. I had a discussion last week with a VTrans rep regarding possible grants for the Town’s salt shed. These grants are available but are federally funded, requiring many hoops to jump through and average time from grant award to construction generally 3 to 4 years.
5. I received an email from Northwest Fiberworx with an update to their plans to bring affordable broadband to this area. Initial negotiations with Google Fiber have not worked out and NWFX are currently looking for other solutions. For more info, contact NWFX directly.
6. VHB has requested an update from ANR/Solid Waste Management regarding the proposed plan for the next steps re the PFAS/landfill issue. Proposals were sent to ANR in May. Kasey Kathan of Solid Waste has responded with several dates that she can be available. I will wait to hear further from Kurt Muller about the next steps.
7. The National Flood Insurance Program for new floodplain managers has now been put on-line. It used to be a 4-day in-person class, in preparation to take the Certified Flood Managers exam. I initially took the class in January 2017 and several attempts to schedule the exam have been canceled. I plan to take a refresher course online (hopefully this fall/winter) and then take the exam, now allowed also on-line.
8. I had contacted Apple Island several weeks ago to ask if they could trim the weeds at the intersection of RT 2 and Featherbed Lane, and to move the docks further out of the RT 2 right-of-way when they are removed from the lake. Both of these will improve the sight line at this intersection. I received a response on September 6 from MaryEllen Mendl agreeing to do both.
9. I’ve received a letter from Encore Renewable Energy giving the Town 45-day notice in advance of filing a petition for Certificate of Public Good from the VT Public Utility Commission for a 4.25 MW solar electric generation facility on the Lavin property. I have the document for anyone who would like to see it.
10. I received an email today from Ernie Patnoe asking for a formal request, in writing, for the items discussed at the August 8in reference to the August 8 SB meeting at the library attended by representatives of VTrans and Fish and Wildlife. I have composed a letter for the Board to sign this evening so I can return it to VTrans ASAP. I spoke with Erin Sisson, deputy chief engineer at VTrans, who told me that they are coordinating a study on the with Milton/Colchester/South Hero RT 2 corridor. She asked me to include the focus on cross-walks, a speed study, and the speed limit cart that Ernie Patnoe offered to loan the Town. IN addition, she asked the Board to specify the limits of the study (i.e. Town line to Landon Rd. or just a general review). I have prepared a letter for the Board to review. I can make edits at the meeting and print out a final copy f or the Board’s signatures.
11. Ernie Patnoe also asked me to tell the Board that they had already followed up on some of the subjects discussed at the August 8 meeting – Vtrans confirms that the crosswalk in the village has been repainted; “No-Parking signs have been installed on RT 2 at Featherbed Lane.
12. I made one copy of the Class I Town Highways White Paper. Ross currently has it. Does anyone else want a hard copy? I sent digital copies too each SB member after the last meeting. I have not heard back from a VTrans rep in reference to a presentation to the SB. I’ve been told that it is in the works.
13. There will be a grants management symposium in Montpelier on October 27 [since postponed to December 8th] hosted by Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP).
14. I will be conducting a final walk-through at Bayview Crossing on Tuesday, September 20 with Jay Buermann and project manager Greg Montgomery. There will be a ribbon cutting for Bayview Crossing on November 14 at 1:30.
15. Final requisition for the Bayview Crossing implementation grant for $431,550 was received by the Town last week and Kim forwarded it on to Cathedral Square. Approx. $1800 of that will be returned to the Town to cover the time spent byu the Zoning Administrator on the grant.
16. A Municipal Budgeting and Capital Planning webinar is planned for September 22 at 9:30. Contact Martha for registration information.
2023 Town Plan discussion — The Commission had a Village Vision workshop last Wednesday, held at Worthen Library. It was conducted by NRPC and was well attended by community members from both villages.
The next PC meeting will be September 21 at 6PM.
Development Review Board
1. The DRB’s next scheduled meeting is September 14. This will continue the conditional use/site plan review for the Town’s salt shed. The hearing began on August 24. I anticipate the hearing will be further recessed to September 28 to allow additional time to gather all the information needed to complete the site plan.
Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA and Asst. to the Selectboard