Four years and counting: work on the Comprehensive Plan continues

By Heather McKim

The Nov. 12 Selectboard meeting addressed a lease with Lake Champlain Transportation (LCT), additional work on the Shelburne Comprehensive Plan, and a streetlight issue.

The Selectboard discussed installation of a person lift at Shelburne Town Beach. Dave Palmer spoke of the need for such a lift so that the elderly and those with special needs can more easily access the beach. Members agreed that the budget would allow for the installation of a lift.

During the period for member comments, Toni Supple raised the issue of Vermont’s declining population growth. “New England and New York are basically in a decline,” she said and urged other members to keep this in mind for future decisions.

Town Manager Paul Bohne took a moment to recognize Shelburne Police Department’s recent success in the recent National Law Enforcement Challenge. The department was awarded second place in highway safety initiatives and community outreach. Bohne congratulated Robbie Labeau for completing the second level of the Roads Scholar program.

Bohne also reported that Harbor Place has been up and running for over a week, averaging 30-50 people per night. There have been no problems reported with the facility.

Board members authorized Bohne to execute a lease and an operating agreement with Lake Champlain Transportation for the “Marine Railway.” The lease, which was constructed to enable the company to qualify for certain federal funds, will run for 20 years.

Town resident Andrew Gill expressed concern over the Comprehensive Plan, as residents of the town with lower socioeconomic status were underrepresented in a 2010 survey and are not well represented within the plan. Bill Stuono stated that voters have the right to know and vote on substantial changes. Member Gary von Stange raised issue with the wordsmithing in the Town Plan; Stuono said that the Selectboard cannot wordsmith the document and that the Planning Commission “did a horrible job.” Von Stange defended the Planning Commission’s work on the document. Shelburne Planning Commission member Dick Elkins said the Commission did not entirely do what it had wanted to because the Selectboard sent the Plan back.

Commissioners have been dealing with the Comprehensive Plan for four years. Work will continue at future meetings; Chair Tim Pudvar said members may have to engage in a marathon session.

The Board agreed to move a streetlight in the David Park neighborhood. Members also authorized the installation of street lights in the neighborhoods of Hullcrest Road, Juniper Ridge, Hillside Terrace, Kimball Terrace, Brook Lane, Lakeview Drive, John Street, Green Hills Drive, and Maple Leaf Lane. The work will be done as budgeted funds allow. “We will put them [the streetlights] in until we run out of money,” Bohne said.

With Bohne soon to depart the position of Town Manager, Shelburne is in the process of seeking a replacement. Members approved a job description, the formation of a search committee, a schedule for hiring, and an advertising budget of up to $3,500 for the search.

A resident approached the Board to object to discussion of the sewer service area at the next meeting, since some people would not be able to attend the meeting due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Members then chose to postpone the issue until the following meeting.

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