Select Board Appoints New Police Officer

HARDWICK – At its May 5 meeting, the Hardwick Select Board worked through an agenda filled with regular business items, but also appointed a new police officer and heard a request for an economic development loan to purchase the Buffalo Mountain Co-op building.

The meeting started with the town manager’s report by David Upson. Upson ran through a number of town business items, including a request for posting additional Children at Play signs (not possible, per the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, because too many of the signs reduce their effectiveness), a joint effort with the Hardwick Rescue Squad to help residents get E911 signs installed at their homes, and a public service announcement to remind drivers to obey traffic laws (several signs in town have been hit by cars recently). Upson announced that temporary speed bumps will be installed on West Church Street as a “traffic calming measure,” and that bids for the wastewater treatment plan work would be opened on May 10. He is waiting for a cost proposal from SE Group for repairs to the pedestrian bridge and is working on securing funding for the project. “It’s out there,” he said. “I know it exists.”

Upson also gave the road foreman report, saying that the road crew has been busy with grading and “cleaning up from winter and mud season.” The crew has also replaced culverts, cleaned two parks, repaired some catch basins, fixed two water leaks and moved a tree at the Town House. Upson noted that “I have a list from them every day and they’re doing good work. Thank them when you see them.”

Interim Police Chief Mike Henry reported that the Hardwick Police Department (HPD) had hired a new police officer. The officer is currently certified at Level 2. Henry hopes to get him into the police academy soon to get him certified at Level 3. Henry reported that HPD’s new cruiser has arrived, and that the department is working on updating all of its policies, moving them to a digital platform in the process. Henry said that he hired Ed Miller, a retired police captain who had worked in the Vermont State Police Office of Professional Development, to assist in the effort.

The board then turned to its agenda, re-appointing Doug Casavant as Hardwick Town Forest Fire Warden for a five-year term, approving a liquor license for the Scale House, and approving an updated Internal Controls Policy. The board also appointed Paul Barnard as a new police officer and approved the 2022 Local Emergency Management Plan. 

Next, the board heard from Nora DeMuth, owner of the Flower Basket, who is requesting an economic development loan to purchase the soon-to-be former home of the Buffalo Mountain Co-op. If the request is granted, DeMuth plans to open the Flower Basket into the Co-op building in July. DeMuth noted that this year is the Flower Basket’s 50th anniversary in Hardwick.

Under old business, board member Ceilidh Galloway-Kane mentioned that the Hardwick Equity Committee was hosting an anti-racism workshop in partnership with the Peace and Justice Center on May 25.