Regular Meeting of Monday April 10, 2023 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary, Anne Zolotas (via Zoom) and Chuck Hulse (Arrived at 7:10)
Board Members Not Present: David Carter/Chairman
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA and Sue Arguin, Town Administrator. Also see sign in sheet of in person and Zoom attendees. *Attendance SB 2023-04-10-2023
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman Ross Brown at 7:00 pm
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Anne Zolotas made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of March 27, 2023. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
4. Public input:
A. none at this meeting
5. New Business:
A. Heidi Chamberlain of the Island Craft Shop was present to discuss the lease on the Town owned former rescue building on Route 2. Now that the Town is a landlord, it must pay taxes on the building in addition to the electricity and some other utilities. Due to the increase in costs, the current expenses cost more than the current rent. After discussion, the board decided to charge $425.00 per month from May 2023-April of 2024, which is an increase of $50.00 from the last rent term.
B. Guy Maguire of South Hero Land Trust (SHLT) advised the Board of the 2023 Green Up Day plans. It is on May 6 this year. They have ordered 200 green bags and will soon have a sign-up for roadside cleanup volunteers. There will be a thank you barbeque at Folsom from 11:30-12:30. More information will be on the SHLT website, www.shlt.org.
C. Peter Zamore and Bob Buermann of the Wastewater Committee (WWC) were present to discuss updates. It appears that a grant may be available from the Northern Border Regional Commission (www.nrbc.gov). The quandary that the WWC has, is that this grant opportunity is for construction of a possible wastewater system. The issue is that test pits have not yet been dug and a preliminary report won’t be provided by the engineers until sometime in early summer, and a letter of interest has to be submitted to NRBC by April 21, 2023. A letter of interest is just that, and it does not obligate the Town to do anything in the event that a grant is even awarded. Chuck Hulse made a motion to have the WWC submit a letter of interest for a grant to NRBC. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
D. Sandy Gregg and Rachel Gammal were present to discuss holding a Community Cheers and Cheese event in 2023. There will be Boards, Commissions, and Organizations throughout the Town invited to participate. Chuck Hulse made a motion to approve the Community Cheers and Cheese event in front of the Old South Hero Meeting House on June 26, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
6. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. See the written report filed with these minutes (Below on the website or in Town Hall).
B. The consensus of the Board is to appoint Town Administrator, Sue Arquin, as the Municipal Authorizing Official (MAO) for current and future grants.
C. Sandy Gregg of the Planning Commission (PC) further explained some of the next steps for the Sidewalk Scoping Study. Most of the explanations are in the AA attached. A consultant was send an RFP and a Steering Committee will be will be formed soon. More info will follow as it becomes available.
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. none at this meeting
8. Announcements and Communications:
A. none at this meeting.
9. Other Business:
A. Skip Brown made a motion to approve and sign orders 23-21A and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motions were seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
B. Town Clerk/Treasurer updates: none
C. Recreation Commission (RC) update: none
D. Road Department update: The Road Dept. has begun to pile 5/8 minus sure-pack stone to begin to build up Kibbe Point Rd. Site work had begun on the salt shed property and bid packages for the structure will go out soon.
E. Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH) project: An ad has been placed in the Islander for volunteers to apply for a committee to study the feasibility about moving the Town offices to the Old South Hero Meeting House property.
F. ARPA fund updates: none at this meeting
G. Wastewater (WW) update: see above
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to adjourn at 8:17 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown, Secretary Ross Brown, Vice-Chairman
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard April 10, 2023
1. Martha is planning to begin monthly Zoning 101 meetings on Thursday, April 27 at 6PM, and continue on the last Thursday of each month until we’ve covered everything. LCATV has agreed to film each session and make it available to the public. There will be no Zoom option for these classes.
2. Vermont League of Cities and Towns launched their Municipal Access Portal on Thursday of this week. This will be for member Towns to access resources and content and register for events (seminars, presentations, etc.), among other features. Each user will need to have their own password.
3. Steve Hilfiker of VHB said that the anticipated report on next steps for the PFAS investigation at the landfill would be available the middle of last week.
4. Northwest Regional Planning has suggested that the new Town Administrator become the MAO (Municipal Authorizing Official). The SB needs to formally appoint Sue Arguin as the Town’s MAO.
5. VTrans’ 2023 Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant has opened. This is the one we’ve considered to study RT 2 related options at the Apple Island/Sand Bar/Featherbed Lane area. I have given the program guide and application to the Town Administrator. Application deadline is June 9, 2023.
Respectfully submitted, Martha-Taylor Varney (ZA) and Sue Arguin (Town Admin)
2023 Town Plan discussion – The PC continues to finalize the draft Town Plan. A special meeting is scheduled for April 13 to finalize the draft before it is sent to the Planning Commission Chairs of adjacent towns and the Planning Commissions’ May 17, 2023 public hearing is warned. The workplan for the Town Plan is on a strict timeline to allow for enough time for review and edits to the document and required public hearings before the August 1, 2023 deadline for adoption.
I attended a meeting last week with PC Chair Sandy Gregg and Greta Brunswick of NRPC to discuss the next steps for the Sidewalk Scoping Study. VTrans’ process of procuring a consultant requires a consultant selection committee. This committee is ZA Martha Taylor-Varney and new Town Admin Sue Arguin as municipal representatives, Greta Brunswick of NRPC, and Sandy Gregg and Michele Gammal of the Planning Commission. A list of pre-qualified consulting firms was supplied by VTrans and the selection committee was tasked with ranking them. The highest-ranking consultant was Hoyle and Tanner, of Burlington. An RFP has been sent to them by NRPC. The next step is to establish a 7-member steering committee made up of members representing the Planning Commission, Rec Commission, a Selectboard representative, and perhaps Guy McGuire from South Hero Land Trust. Each board/commission will appoint their members to this committee. The feasibility study will include RT 2 in South Hero and Keeler Bay Villages and South St, from RT 2 to the school.
Development Review Board
The next DRB hearing is on April 12, and the continuation of a final site plan review of a hearing that began on March 8 on April 26. The Town is an abutter to the applicant for April 12 (Pan’s Pizza). Does the Selectboard want to send a representative to the hearing?
Respectfully submitted, Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA and Asst. to the Selectboard.