Public Hearing + Regular Meeting of Monday May 22, 2023 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary, Anne Zolotas and Chuck Hulse
Board Members Not Present: none
Other Staff Present: Sue Arguin, Town Administrator, Kim Julow, Treasurer. Also see sign in sheet of in person and Zoom attendees. *Attendance SB 2023-05-22-2023
1. Called to Order:
-The public hearing meeting was called to order by Chairman David Carter at 7:00 pm
2. Public Hearing re: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds:
-The purpose of this public hearing is to figure out how to allocate the remaining ARPA funds that the Town has received. Currently $442,839.23 is remaining:
David Roy of the ARPA committee has presented the following preliminary allocation estimates:
-New Town Park infrastructure: 55,000.00
-New Town Park pavilion structure: 45,000.00
-Salt Shed structure 150,000.00
-Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH) stabilization 100,000.00
-Town Beach improvements 13,500.00
-Weekend in the Islands program 500.00
-South Hero Rescue (SHR) ambulance fund 50,000.00
After this presentation the Chairman asked for more suggestions for allocations:
-Terry Robinson and Ron Phelps of the South Hero museum asked for $5000.00 to insulate the museum building.
-Michele Gammal asked for $5000.00 for the Weekend in the Islands program.
-Luke Tremble asked that a crosswalk be installed near Folsom School with no price estimate. There is a bike and pedestrian scoping study going on now and this should be addressed there.
-Phil Scott and Nate Hayward presented a package about the Town Park. The estimate presented is for a total of $134,600. See attached *ARPA Rec. Comm. Town Park Bob Fireovid asked why approx 84 parking spaces are proposed for the Town Park? It was explained that future growth of the park and less parking around the OSHMH are planned. A permeable gravel driveway and parking spots are planned that will eventually turn to packed grass. It does not make sense to do a project such as this piecemeal.
-Guy Maguire of SHLT asked for $12,000.00 to repair and rebuild sections of the boardwalk by the South Hero Rec. Park behind Folsom. See Attached *ARPA SHLT Rec. Park
-Kim Julow asked for $4000.00 for technology upgrades to the Town offices. See attached *ARPA Town Office
-Cody from SHR reiterated that the $50,000.00 for the ambulance would be for a new four wheel drive unit.
-Sandy Gregg said that any funds for the OSHMH would be used for stabilizing the building.
-Mike Gammal reiterated the wish for funds for the Weekend in the Islands program.
Note that ARPA funds must be allocated by December of 2024 and the money must be spent by December of 2025.
The Selectboard will now discuss at future meetings how to use the funds. The public hearing was closed and the regular Selectboard meeting began.
Adjustment to Agenda:
-Add: Sign the Grand Isle Sheriff contract to Other Business
-Ross Brown made a motion to correct the minutes of May 1, 2023 acknowledge the minutes of May 8, 2023. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
4. Public input:
5. New Business:
A. Sandy Gregg and Michele Gammal of the PC presented the draft of the Town Plan with amendments and a copy of the Report On The South Hero Town Plan Update document. See attached * Town Plan Report There was a discussion about the amendment for page 28 that states: “New airstrips and helipads, although not compatible with most areas of South Hero, shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.” Randy Delong presented copies of his Front Porch Forum posts discussing his displeasure with this amendment. See attached *Town Plan-Delong Documents. Note that the Town Plan is not a new development regulation document, and since there are no restrictions in the current regulations, airstrips and helipads would be considered as conditional use under the existing regulations. Note that South Hero had an airstrip in the Allenholm Orchard for approximately 70 years that was de-commissioned about 2 years ago. Chuck Hulse congratulated the PC for all of the time and work to produce the new Town Plan. Anne Zolotas made a motion to accept the Town Plan with the amendments and the Report as issued. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
B. Peter Zamore of the Wastewater Committee (WWC) was present to discuss updates on the current contract amendments, new contracts and grant opportunities:
-Ross Brown made a motion to approve and sign the amended contracts for Otter Creek Engineering, Northwest Regional Planning (NRPC) and a new contract from Lake Champlain Economic Development Corp. (LCIEDC), subject to the costs being recovered under the State Revolving Loan Fund. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to ask the State Revolving Loan Fund to cover the amended contracts for Otter Creek Engineering, Northwest Regional Planning (NRPC) and new contract from Lake Champlain Economic Development Corp. (LCIEDC). The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
-Skip Brown made a motion to appoint David Carter as the authorized officer for the Northern Border Regional Commission grant application and administration, as stated in a draft written resolution submitted by Peter Zamore. See attached * WW Resolution 5-22-2023The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
-Anne Zolotas made a motion to resolve that the Wastewater Committee is authorized to seek additional grant opportunities and other funding. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
C. The Town voted for a 1% Local Option Tax (LOT) on meals and alcohol in 2022. The State has sent conflicting information in the past year and the tax has not yet been collected, as it apparently needs legislative approval. The only way to do this is to have a charter change. South Hero has never had a charter. David Carter has drafted a Charter and has had the Town Attorney edit it. See Attached *South Hero Town Charter wording Ross Brown made a motion to approve the draft of the Charter for South Hero. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried. The Charter public hearing and vote will be warned.
6. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. See the written report filed with these minutes (Below on the website or in Town Hall).
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. DJ’s tree service removed many ash trees parts of Landon Rd. using the ash tree removal funds.
8. Announcements and Communications:
A. None at this meeting.
9. Other Business:
A. Chuck Hulse made a motion to approve and sign orders 23-24 and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
B. Town Clerk/Treasurer updates: Kim Julow noted that the delinquent taxes are currently approximately $290,800. The delinquent tax collector is sending out letters out soon, with a stipulation that if the taxes are paid by a certain June date, then the 8% penalty will be waived.
C. Recreation Commission (RC) update: see above
D. Road Department update: The Road Dept has worked on East Shore Rd. where the pavement had deteriorated. Paving is scheduled for June. Great job on the work at Whites Beach.
E. Old South Hero Meeting House (OSHMH) project: see above
F. ARPA fund updates: see above
G. Wastewater (WW) update: see above
H. The Town will consider changing the appearance of the website.
I. Skip Brown made a motion to sign the Grand Isle Sheriff contract as budgeted. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motions carried.
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown, Secretary David Carter, Chairman
May 22, 2023 Zoning Administrator’s report to the Selectboard
1. The next session of Zoning 101 will be on May 25, at 6PM at the Town
2. I will be attending a webinar on May 30 on Determining substantial
improvement and substantial damage after a flood event, being
presented by the Massachusetts Flood Hazard Management Program.
Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA