October 10, 2022 SB Minutes

SOUTH HERO SELECTBOARD MINUTES                                                         October 10, 2022


Members Present: David Carter (Chair); Ross Brown (Vice-Chair); Chuck Hulse; Anne Zolotas (via Zoom).

Member Absent: Skip Brown

Public Present: Sandy and Peter Gregg; Dan and Ruth McGowan; Bob Willis; John Beaulac (Town Road Supervisor); John LaLumiere; Ellen Hill; Lucas Tremble; Jennifer Bunker; Ken Kowalewitz; Grace Kelly; Tim Maxham; Suzanne Gillis; Jan Doerler; Mitzi Johnson; Bill Chiori; Bill Kloppenburg; [On Zoom –] Donald Bedard; Bob Cusimano; Kate (no last name given); Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA and Asst. to the SB).


7PM – D. Carter called the meeting to order and welcomed the public.


Adjustment to Agenda

The executive session scheduled for the end of the meeting has been canceled.


Acknowledgement of Minutes

  1. Hulse moved to approve the minutes of September 26, 2022; R. Brown second. All those attending voted in favor.


Public Input

Kibbe Point Rd. Paving –

  1. Carter stated that there were no plans to pave Kibbe Point Rd. this fall due to scheduling issues and the increase in the cost of asphalt. Road Supervisor John Beaulac told the Board that he was not sure when they would get started but would like to begin shaving berms and continue ditching work and replacing culverts before paving in the spring, if it is done. Some trees will need to be removed and the road widened near the end so there is a 24-ft. driving width through the length of the road.  Right now, the cost of asphalt is too high.  He doesn’t know if it will drop by next spring. D. Carter said there would be no decision made tonight.
  2. Brown said that there are 2 ash trees that will need to come down. He wants to preserve the canopy, but some branches will need to be removed. Ditching and tree removal will be minimal.  The Town cannot apply calcium chloride anymore to keep the dust down because there is no longer a water truck to do that.  In addition, the grader (for maintaining the dirt road) is getting old and has perhaps 5 more years of use left.  The decision to pave the road is partly based on economics.  John LaLumiere asked the Board why a new grader would be needed.  Why not a used one?  R. Brown said he would research the cost of a used grader and get back to him.

Ken Kowalewitz asked the Board to consider not paving Kibbe Point Rd. He asked that the issue be placed on the Board’s agenda for a future meeting.  He stated that he has lived on Kibbe Farm Rd. for 24 years and loves the rural nature of Kibbe Pt. Rd.  Other paved roads in South Hero are connector roads – Kibbe Point Rd. is a dead end.  Speeding is an issue on both Kibbe Point and Kibbe Farm Rds.  Paving Kibbe Pt. will encourage more.  He applauds the development in the Town’s villages but would like to see a balance between villages and the rural nature of the town.  Ruth Dunkley McGowan told the Board that she has been a summer resident for 50 years.  She didn’t know about the recommendation in the 2015 Town Plan to pave all Town roads. Ruth presented a petition to the Board, signed by 49 residents, asking the Selectboard not to pave Kibbe Point Rd. [A copy of the petition and Ruth’s presentation are attached to the minutes on the Town website.] They received additional support after a posting in Front Porch Forum.  Mitzi Johnson stated she supports a pause on planning to pave the road.  She understands the costs of maintaining a dirt road and that she will have questions during the Board’s FY2024 budget discussions about the costs of maintaining a dirt road vs. the cost of paving a road.  She’d like to see research on the cost of used highway equipment, and for there to be more sharing of equipment between towns to cut expenses.  She emphasized the speed issues and commented that, although Kibbe Pt. Rd. is straight, there are poor sight lines due to slight changes in elevation. She was grateful for the washer board and potholes that help to slow traffic.

  1. Carter commented that ditching is important to improve runoff. R. Brown would like to see the speed reduced to 30mph.

Jan Doerler told the Board that the road receives a lot of use and speed was a concern to her.  She would like to see the speed reduced to 25mph.  Her concerns are for pedestrians and wildlife on the road.  She also would like to see a cost study.  John Beaulac estimated that it would cost $250,000 to pave the entire road (including prep work).  Crowning the road would improve run-off.  He stated that there are things that could be done to improve the road without paving it.

Bill Chiori of Cavendish Cove spoke in support of paving Kibbe Pt. Rd.  Its current condition is a detriment to vehicles and that spring conditions (mud, freeze/thaw) frequently closed the road to larger vehicles, affecting oil deliveries, etc.  The summer dust was bad, and the application of calcium chloride was not safe for the lake.  Grading can only be done under certain conditions.  Because of the volume of traffic, the road needs continual maintenance.  He was also concerned about speed and agreed with a 25mph speed limit.

Bob Cusimano, also of Cavendish Cove, agreed that the road should be paved.  The conditions are never good.  Paving would not detract from the rural nature of the road.  He suggested speed bumps to control speed on the road.

Ruth Dunkley McGowen spoke again to ask that the Board be respectful to the public, referencing a remark made earlier by Ross Brown.

  1. Carter thanked the public for attending. He stressed that there will be no maintenance work done on Kibbe Pt. Rd. until spring and the discussion can continue then.


New Business

  1. Carter told the Board that George Rice would like to continue as South Hero’s representative to the Northwest Communication’s Union District.
  2. The schedule, so far, for FY2024 budget discussions with the Selectboard is –

October 24 – Worthen Library

November 14 – Sheriff’s Department; South Hero Bicentennial Museum

November 28 – Fire Department

December 12 – Highway Department


I am still waiting to schedule South Hero Rescue, the Cemetery Commission, and the South Hero Town Office.


Reports of Officers

  1. Review written report from Administrative Assistant – See report posted with these minutes on the Town website.


Ongoing and Old Business

  1. Continue Discussion — Town Administrator job description: Zolotas sent an email with suggestions on formatting and simplifying the draft job description. C. Hulse agreed. The Board agreed to table the discussion until the next meeting.  R. Brown asked if we needed a Town Administrator yet since the job description hadn’t been completed.  Coordinating Rec activities could be a part of the job, but nothing has been defined there.  C. Hulse said the Rec commission could discuss that at their Oct. 11 meeting and factor it into their report to the Selectboard during 2023 budget discussions.


Announcements and Communications

  1. Janine Bellinghiri sent a letter asking the Board for permission to use the Town’s parking area next to the school for Trunk or Treat on October 31. The request will be on the Board’s 10/24 agenda. However, Carter stated that “subject to approval at the Oct 24 Selectboard meeting, Trunk or Treat can be held at the Town’s lot next to the school.”


Other Business

  1. Brown moved to sign orders #23-08; C. Hulse second. All those in attendance voted in favor.
  2. Town Clerk/Treasurer update – no update this evening.
  3. Recreational Commission update – their next meeting is Oct. 11. Hulse reported that the porta john at the Beach had been damaged by an explosive.
  4. Road Department update – Carter asked that the Board send a letter to the Town Attorney asking if budgeted paving costs can be allocated to the salt shed construction. R. Brown suggested sending it to the attorneys at VLCT’s Municipal Assistance Center first for their feedback.  A. Zolotas asked if there were enough Ash trees on Kibbe Point Rd. within the Town’s right-of-way that could be removed in one day by DJ’s Tree Service, to cover the $7500/day budgeted cost? She said that there are more than 2 trees in the ROW.  R. Brown will go take a look with John Beaulac to see how many there are. C. Hulse suggested that they put orange tape on the trees that are within the ROW so people can see how many there are.  A. Zolotas stated that the canopy on Kibbe Pt. Rd. is important.  The Town could attempt to treat the Ash trees there ($300 apiece).  Some of the trees are very old but a few may be relatively healthy.  It would be to the Town’s advantage to treat them.
  5. Old South Hero Meeting House – Carter reported that a mass fundraising mailing is going out next week.
  6. Discuss ARPA funds – Planning Commission member David Roy will be meeting with the Selectboard on October 24th to present the PC’s recommendations for allocation of the Town’s ARPA funds.
  7. Wastewater Committee – The Committee’s loan was approved. Consultants Otter Creek Associates will be meeting with the committee next on Oct. 24 to discuss possible locations for ww systems.  These will be for South Hero and Keeler Bay villages only.


Executive Session




Chuck Hulse moved to adjourn, Ross Brown second.  All those attending voted in favor.



Respectfully submitted,                                                   Approved


____________________________                                ________________________________

Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)                                                     David Carter, Chair



Kibbe Pt. petition

McGowan presentation

Bill Chiori submittal