By Heather McKim
A packed agenda was before the Selectboard at the May 14 meeting. Several issues of old new business were addressed.
One resident brought up the issue of a planned cell phone tower. He asked members when owners of neighboring properties would have a chance to voice objections and was told there will be opportunity at the next meeting.
Resident Gwen Webster requested that packet information be available online prior to meetings so that townspeople could be better informed. Board members Toni Supple and Allison Cranmer both voiced support for the idea.
The Board approved enacting an ordinance that would provide the town control over the placement of recreational structures such as basketball hoops within the town right of way. There have been issues regarding such items creating a hazard.
Due to personal ties, Chair Tim Pudvar and Gary von Stange both recused themselves from a presentation by Steve Gronlund to discuss concerns regarding fill placed on a neighbor’s property near the Munroe Brook in 2012. Gronlund described how large amount of fill had been dumped on a neighboring property and the town’s response was to issue a $500 fine to the offender. He pointed to potential damage to the wetlands, cost of possible flooding of neighboring properties, and violation of the town’s ordinances.
Gronlund said he and his wife would like to see the town remove the fill or assure them that Shelburne will take responsibility for any resulting damage to neighboring properties. He said that, while legal action is a possibility, he does not wish to sue the town.
The Board decided that the issue would be addressed in Executive Session at a future meeting.
Members considered adopting the 2013-14 Capital Budget and Program. Finance Director Peter Frankenburg gave a presentation on the matter although it was decided that members would not make a decision regarding its adoption at the meeting.
The Capital Budget Plan covers a six-year span and includes 107 projects ranging in cost from $5,000-5,000,000. However, just because a project is included in the Plan does not guarantee that it shall come to fruition.
Frankenburg noted, “The purpose of the Plan is to provide a long-term view of potential capital projects, and develop a plan for prioritization and implementation.”
Discussion caused the issue of the Loop Road to resurface. “We don’t need the Loop Road,” von Stange said. “It’s a bad idea. I don’t want it in the Capital Plan.”
Gobeille views the Loop Road’s spot within the Plan earmarked simply as being money set aside for a remedy to the traffic problem that the town is facing.
“Move it where you want to move it. Call it what you want to call it, but I’m not inclined to move it off here,” Chair Tim Pudvar said.
The issue of paving Pond Road also resurfaced. Currently, chip seal of the road is included in the Plan at $375,000. However, the Board has not made a decision regarding whether the project will actually be undertaken.
Von Stange pointed to the fact that, despite his request several months ago, no analysis has been done regarding the matter. He said that he wanted to see a comparison between the current cost of maintaining the road versus the upkeep cost of a paved Pond Road.
Supple said she would like a simple survey conducted of the road’s residents. Gobeille pointed out that this is an issue that has already failed as a ballot item in the past.
“For me, it comes down to money. It’s not just the people on Pond Road who are going to pay for it. Everyone in town is,” von Stange said.
A presentation by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company (LCT) was made. LCT was requesting that the town enter into an agreement with them to lease their dry dock at the Shelburne Shipyard to enable LCT to receive a federal grant to rehabilitate the aging dry dock.
Since there are still some things that LCT needs to check on prior to entering into this arrangement, the issue will be revisited later if it finds that this would be viable.
The Board approved the appointment of Timothy Loucks to a two-year term to the Chittenden Solid Waste Board of Directors, the appointment of Town Manager Paul Bohne as Loucks’ alternate, the recommendation of the appointment of Robert Lake as the Shelburne Town Health Officer for a three-year term, and the recommendation of the appointment of Peter Gadue to a three-year term as the town’s Deputy Health Officer.
Finally, members approved a three-month bond anticipation note for $345,000 for a waterline replacement project. In conjunction with this, members approved a declaration of the Official Intent of the Town of Shelburne to reimburse certain expenditures from the proceeds of indebtedness pertaining financing of the bond to construct certain improvements. This concluded the almost three-hour meeting.