SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMISSION MINUTES September 1, 2021
Combined Planning Commission and Selectboard Meeting
Planning Commission Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); Michele Gammal; George Harwood.
Planning Commission Members absent: Doug Patterson (Chair); David Roy.
Selectboard Members Present: David Carter (Chair); Ross Brown (Vice-Chair); Chuck Hulse; Skip Brown (via Zoom).
Selectboard member absent: Anne Zolotas
Public Present: Bob Fireovid; Bob Buermann; Bob and Susan Straight; Ron Phelps; Nate Hayward; Bill Rowe; Lisa Kilcoyne; Peter Zamore; Jim Brightwell (via Zoom); Mike Welch (Via Zoom); Lynnette Claudon – VT DEC (via Zoom).
6:00 PM – S. Gregg called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
Discussion with Lynnette Claudon of VT DEC on wastewater planning and assessment in S. Hero
Lynnette Claudon, of the VT DEC Water Investment Division presented a PowerPoint presentation to the 2 Boards and members of the public summarizing grant opportunities for infrastructure projects for community wastewater projects. Over 200 Vermont villages lack sewage treatment facilities. She stressed that most wastewater solutions will be for small in-ground systems. Example included municipal systems in Warren, Brownsville, Grafton, and Rochester, VT. Benefits of Community WASTEWATER Systems include improved water quality, reduced public risks, allows for infill development, may allow for economic development, and the systems are sustainable environmentally and economically. Keys to successful projects are a strong wastewater committee, completed economic and planning studies, employees to run and manage the system, funding (through grants and loans), and affordability of user rates. Funding options include Engineering Planning Advance loans and Clean Water Revolving Fund loans.
To determine the viability for a system in South Hero, Ms. Claudon recommended that the town do a study. Funding is available and would not need t be repaid unless a system is actually built. Discussion included what state policies are driving the need for housing, to keep businesses open, to protect open space, and reduce carbon footprints? Do these policies affect the State’s decision to award grants? Of the percentage of Towns that conduct studies, a small number actually go forward. The rural price tags often scare communities off. Bob Buermann stated that this a long-term discussion and that it’s time to get data in order to have a kore reasonable discussion. He encouraged the community to move forward with a feasibility study. Those with additional questions, or for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation or recording of the meeting, contact ZA Martha Taylor-Varney at the Town Office.
- Harwood moved to approve the minutes from the August 18, 2021 meeting; M. Gammal second. All in favor.
- Gregg had a discussion with Greta Brunswick at NRPC re the 2023 Town Plan. Sandy will start the MPG grant application and will add Greta as a writer.
The next meeting will be on September 15, 2021 at 7PM.
7:45 PM – G. Harwood moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second. All in favor.
Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA
Signed: _________________________________________ Date: ___________________
For the Planning Commission
These minutes are unofficial until the next regularly scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.