Gulf Road, Town Event on Select Board Agenda

by Gazette Staff

WOLCOTT – At the Wolcott Select Board’s last meeting, the first order of business was comments from the community/correspondence read aloud by board chair Linda Martin. She acknowledged receipt of a letter from the group representing Hyde Park, Johnson, and Vergennes that is discussing the municipal assessor issue. The group plans to meet with Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC). The board agreed to reach out to the group for more information. Also, the board was invited to join boards from Hyde Park and Johnson for a meeting at the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Office on August 25 at 5:30 p.m.

The State of Vermont sent a letter to verify that the Wolcott resident who applied for financial assistance with back property taxes was accepted by the program. The taxes have been paid in full.

Next was a letter from Paul McGrath, who lives on Gulf Road, regarding changing the speed limit. Martin stated that before a speed limit can be lowered from what is set by state statute, the town would have to hire someone to conduct a road study, and the town’s speed would have to be amended. The board would have to find out how much a study would cost, and where the funds would come from to pay for it. Follow-on discussion addressed speed, speed enforcement, overweight trucks, and the condition of the road. The new weight limit signs for Gulf Road are back-ordered; the six-ton weight limit signs will be removed in the meantime.

The select board serves as Wolcott’s local Cannabis Control Commission. The commission received confirmation from the state Cannabis Control Board that the application for an Outdoor Cultivator Tier 1 Small Cultivator was approved by the state. The Wolcott commission must review a state-approved application and either approve or deny it. The application was approved.

The project manager report noted that work continues on the online mapping project and that the new heater has been installed at the town garage. Painting of the garage exterior will start soon and needed ceiling work was approved.

One of the plow trucks is inoperable and would require several thousand dollars in repairs. The replacement truck that had been ordered last year from Viking is still back-ordered, with delivery not available until maybe November or December. Due to a declined sale, another new plow truck has become available. Wolcott and two other towns are vying to purchase it. It is similar to the truck ordered last year but has a more powerful engine. The seven-year annual payment in the arrears would be $39,152.83. The quote on the ordered truck is $33,501.66, but the interest rate on that could not be fixed yet. The interest rate on the truck that is available now is 4.159%. It offers a seven-year extended warranty, although the Cummins engine has a five-year warranty. The road foreman approves of the truck now available. A Viking representative will determine the trade-in value of the current truck. The trade-in would serve as the down payment on the new truck. The board voted to purchase the truck that is currently available.

Klein then suggested to the board that he prepare a job description for the part-time town administrator position and post it with Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT). The budget for the position is based on 23 hours per week, but the position could be more flexible with the person billing only for productive time. There was no objection from board members.

The town has been informed that another payment of ARPA funds should be received soon. The amount should be similar to what was previously received.

Regarding the transfer station, the cost to the town to dispose of tires has gone up. The board discussed raising prices for tires to reflect what the town is being charged. Town Clerk and Treasurer Belinda Clegg will provide the board with a list of what the town is currently being charged and the matter will
be addressed at the August 17 meeting.

Michael Davidson resigned his position with the NEK Community Broadband. Bruce Wheeler, the alternate, was interested in filling the position. The board voted to appoint Wheeler to represent Wolcott.

A request was made by a resident living along North Wolcott Road for a crosswalk so that he may more safely access his mailbox across the road. Martin is researching the issue.

A grant is available for a park-and-ride area, with a 20% local match. The board discussed the advantages and disadvantages of establishing such an area along Vt. Rte. 15. If residents are interested, they are to let Martin know. The deadline for the grant application is September 2.

The board reviewed the plans for the barbeque and information sharing event set for Friday, August 26. The fire department has volunteered to again grill hamburgers and hot dogs. It is anticipated there will be corn on the cob like last year, along with cookies and popcorn. Booths will be set up for residents to ask questions and become more informed about the Wolcott Town Forest and other topics of interest. The library will hold an open house and will provide balloon animals. There will be activities for children in Depot Park behind the library. The Wolcott Town Garden will provide free soil, containers, and herb seeds for a windowsill garden. Signs have been ordered that can be used to advertise the event each year. The board voted to allocate $250 from the Hyde Park/Wolcott Revolving Loan Fund towards town event expenses, with the remaining $1,260.82 allocated to the building fund. 

Full minutes of select board meetings can be found at wolcottvt.org/selectboard/.