Select Board Asks for Feedback on Pedestrian Bridge

by Gazette Staff

HARDWICK – At its Nov. 3 meeting, the Hardwick Select Board discussed applications for grants, purchasing equipment for the road crew, and asked residents to complete a survey on the design of the pedestrian bridge.
Town Manager David Upson reported that a draft of the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) grant application was sent back to the Vermont Department of Forest Parks & Recreation with requested changes.
The north abutment of the pedestrian bridge was measured and it is three feet 9 inches with no footing, which means both abutments will need to be replaced. There is also a new design survey that the town is asking the public to fill out. Visit hardwickvt.gov for more information.
Town representatives met with Local Motion to discuss signage and roadway painting scenarios for bikers exiting the Rail Trail to travel downtown. According to its website, Local Motion is a nonprofit with the mission of “making it safe, accessible, and fun for everyone to bike, walk, and roll in Vermont.” Local Motion provided the town with a report that included recommendations.
Black Dirt Farm is looking for more involvement with the compost pod project. The pods are at approximately 35% of their design capacity and Black Dirt Farm is looking for additional participation at all their pod locations. Contact Black Dirt Farm or the town manager’s office for more information. Sign up for pod usage can be found at blackdirtfarm.com/compost-pods.
Upson also stated that he would like to move forward with a Municipal Planning Grant to have a feasibility/scoping study done for the relocation and construction of a new town garage on the Carey Road property. The select board would like to compare the property on Carey Road with the property on Creamery Road. The board informally agreed to move forward and allow the community development coordinator to plan and start the process.
Road Foreman Tom Fadden reported that the road crew has been putting gravel down on numerous roads. The paving on Montgomery Road is completed. There was a sewer issue and water issue on Hideaway Street. The crew has put the plow frames on and is working to get more storage for salt.
Fadden presented estimates for the grader, loader, and excavator from the John Deere dealership and the Cat dealership. Tom is looking to get a package deal. Machines from both dealerships have the same controls and functions. Option A from the John Deere dealership would cost $597,400. Option A from the Cat dealership would cost $577,900, $19,500 less. Option B includes a six-wheel all-wheel-drive grader from both dealerships and would cost $636,600 from John Deere and $613,900 from the Cat
dealership, $22,700 less. Board member Shari Cornish asked how much was in the budget, and Fadden stated $125,000 for the excavator. Fadden added that he was told that prices will increase by at least $10,000 at the beginning of next year. No formal decision was made.

The Hardwick Police Department (HPD) report was presented by Interim Police Chief Mike Henry, who reported that things are going well. The Orleans Sheriff’s Department donated five radios. HPD is doing away with cell phones and purchasing iPads for the officers to have in the cruisers. They will be able to answer calls and be able to function better on iPad. Henry also reported that the sedan car has been taken to be stripped and will be for sale soon. The town is waiting for parts for the new cruiser, which should be on the road soon.
Cornish asked about the Drug Take Back Day. Henry stated that HPD received a “good amount,” of medications, but noted that the drop-off box is always located in the entry way of the police department.
Henry also reported that the Trunk or Treat, Trick or Treat, and cabbage night all went well, with no issues.

Next, the board approved a cultivator’s license for Timothy Fuller, owner of Naked Hemp in East Hardwick. The board also voted to approve a Manufacturer’s Tier 3 license for Tilia Processing LLC, and approved the purchase of a Ford F550 truck from Lamoille Valley Ford.
In select board reports, Cornish reported that the fire escapes at the Town House were taken down, the exterior was repaired, and the doors and windows will be replaced in the spring.
Board member Elizabeth Dow reported that the Depot is installing a new sprinkler system that the Hardwick Historical Society is paying for.