by Gazette Staff
WOLCOTT – At its last meeting, the Wolcott Select Board covered a number of town business issues and set a date for the annual town event for later this summer.
Under the topic of Comments from the Community it was reported that Deb Klein expressed dismay and disappointment that someone stole the propane tank from the patio heater at the gazebo. The tank had been purchased for the town’s use with AARP grant funds. To replace it will require tax dollars. Anyone with a 20-pound propane tank they would like to donate, empty or full, should contact the town office.
Board chair Linda Martin noted that an alternate needs to be appointed to the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Dillan Cafferky had served as alternate in the past and was appointed as TAC alternate without objection. The board received a contract from the Vermont Department of Corrections for the hiring of helpers to assist at the transfer station. The fee has increased for $25 to $30 per worker, per day. The board voted to enter into the contract with VT DOC beginning July 2, 2022, to hire workers at the new rate.
In the road foreman report, Cafferky updated the board on the work being done by the road crew this summer. Roadside mowing will begin in July. The road crew will address problem areas before town-wide mowing begins. Cafferky reported that he is working with Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC) on Grants-in-Aid plans. He also discussed the plan for paving on North Wolcott Road this year. Given the limited funds available for paving, the primary focus will be on filling in wheel ruts. The town will look for Federal grants that may be available that would allow for more extensive repairs to North Wolcott Road. Cafferky will prepare a list of high priority road segments needing work in preparation of any Better Back Roads grants that may be available. He also discussed the weight limits on certain roads.
There are reports from citizens complaining about large vehicles using certain segments of roads. It was noted that the town has no means of enforcement as the Sheriff’s Office has indicated they cannot assist with overweight vehicles. There was also preliminary discussion of what improvements can be made to Flat Iron Road in anticipation of the detour that will be set up while the School Street bridge is being replaced.
The board thanked the road crew for being so responsive to resolving issues brought to their attention by citizens.
The board next discussed whether to use ARPA funds for a town-wide 911 sign project. Comments were made in favor of the 911 project since there have been several times when the fire department, emergency services, and other agencies have been unable to locate specific addresses. The board discussed potential costs for the project. The biggest obstacle will most likely be finding volunteers to install the posts and signs or finding a contractor to do the work.
The board discussed actual and anticipated ARPA expenditures so far and considered the town plan, then voted to move forward with the town-wide 911 sign project using ARPA funds.
A new loader for the Highway Department should be delivered next week. The plow truck should be delivered in November. The town will place a non-binding order for a 2024 plow truck now to be in the queue for when a truck will become available in the future. This action is recommended due to continued supply chain problems. A new trailer is needed since the current one will not pass inspection.
The board discussed the delinquent tax plan/agreement that had been entered into with a homeowner. After the homeowner was notified that the agreement had been terminated due to non-compliance, the homeowner stated they would apply for state assistance with the delinquent property taxes. The board resolved that the application must be filed and listed on the state’s website by September 1, or the matter will be forwarded to the town’s tax attorney and the property will go to tax sale. The
homeowner must continue to pay towards the $641 due to the transfer station.
The Town’s property on East Hill Road is scheduled to be cleared of structures and vehicles by the end of the month.
Town Clerk and Treasurer Belinda Clegg reviewed with the board a bid received from Union Bank for a tax anticipation loan. The first option is a loan with a reinvestment option, the second option is a non-revolving line of credit. Clegg recommended the first option, a loan in the amount of $460,000 from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, with an interest rate of 1.65%, with principal and interest due at maturity, and no prepayment penalty. With this option, the town can draw funds only when needed. The board voted to accept the proposal.
The board discussed options for assigning the current balance of $62,467 in unassigned funds. Martin made a motion to direct $40,000 towards fuel costs, and $22,467 towards the purchase of a new trailer. In addition, $28,288.72 in the Town Administrator line item would be transferred to the Town Building Maintenance account. The board voted to proceed with Martin’s proposal.
The board then reviewed the town’s contract with the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Office and noted that the amount was already approved by the voters. Klein made a motion to approve signing the contract for law enforcement services with the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Office from July 22, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and the board voted to approve the motion.
This year’s town event will be held in the parking area by the town office and the library on Friday, August 26. The rain date will be September 2. It is anticipated that hamburgers and hot dogs will be served, along with corn-on-the-cob, as last year. Food donations will be sought. Booths will again be set up for folks to glean information about what is happening in Town. Planning will continue.