Select Board Discusses Preparations for Library Expansion

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by Gazette Staff

HARDWICK – At its May 18 regular meeting, the Hardwick Select Board discussed preparations for the expansion of the Jeudevine Memorial Library, reviewed bids for road paving, and thanked retiring Officer Joseph Rossi for his service to the town.

The town manager report was presented by board chair Eric Remick, who reported that the Vermont Drinking Water Source Revolving Fund application was submitted. Installing electrical service
for the library is in process; the sidewalks on West Church and North Main Streets will be closed during the library construction this summer. Residents are urged to take caution and avoid that area. The board requested that a representative from the library attend a future meeting to talk about the expansion project.

Remick also reported that Truline Land Survey reached out to survey the town’s property on Carey Road. The board unanimously voted to have the town manager move forward with this survey.

Next, Road Foreman Tom Fadden reported that the crew has been grading, line painting, hauling winter sand, hanging up banners and American Flags throughout downtown, and taking care of a few water and sewer issues that have occurred. He also reported that street sweeping and brush cutting will begin this week. The new excavator will also arrive this week and the new F550 truck is in the process of being built. Remick asked about the sidewalks near Brickhouse Road in East Hardwick and Fadden replied that the town manager is currently working on the issue. Lastly, Fadden mentioned that Hardwick Fire Department responded to a house fire on Brush Street recently. He wanted to thank Chief Henry and the Hardwick Police Officers that helped that night. Chief Henry was able to have an officer stay throughout the night with Fadden to secure the building. Police Chief Mike Henry responded that he wanted to thank Fadden and the fire personnel that assisted that night. Henry stated that the fire departments did a phenomenal job, and they were able to put the fire out quickly.

The Hardwick Police Department (HPD) report was given by Police Chief Mike Henry and Officer Joseph Rossi. Rossi spoke first, saying that he has been with the Hardwick Police Department for about three years. He stated that Hardwick is a nice little town, and it has been a pleasure to work for this community. Unfortunately, due to some injuries he received while serving our country, he must retire and leave the department. He took a moment to thank Chief Henry and stated that he had done a magnificent job. The board thanked Officer Rossi for his time and dedication.

Chief Henry also reported that Officer Barnard has been working on computer crimes and is currently working on an international investigation that has around 300 victims. Finally, the HPD has ordered an electric bike and has been patrolling the village and the Rail Trail.

The Hardwick Electric Department (HED) report was given by HED Commissioner Roger Prevot. He reported that HED will be installing an EV charging station at HED’s main office on North Main Street during the first week of June. Prevot also reported that HED had a natural resource inspection done, which went well. He also noted that HED meetings are public meetings, and anyone is welcome to come. There is an in-person and a zoom option. The meetings are also on HED’s website.

Next, the board voted to approve changes to the traffic ordinance and approved a Service Line Inventory loan application for the Vermont Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

The board also reviewed paving bids for North Main Street and Vermont Avenue. After discussion, the board voted unanimously to approve J. Hutchins for the summer paving, and to authorize the town manager to execute the contract. The board then voted to approve the FY24 Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department dispatch contract, and authorized the town manager to acknowledge and accept the Pedestrian Bridge and Park Phase 2 project.

Under select board reports, Eric Remick said that the Yellow Barn New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) closing is scheduled for May 25. As soon as the closing is completed, a notice to proceed should be issued and the project can move forward.

Board member Elizabeth Dow reported that the Historical Society building is considered a trail head for the Rail Trail, and she would like the town to provide some picnic tables, bike racks, and porta-potties. The town manager said that the ordering of some of the supplies will have to wait until the new fiscal year in July. However, he mentioned that the Community Development Coordinator is also working on this project. Michael Renaud is going to remove some dangerous trees and clean up some brush in that area as well.

Board member Shari Cornish reported that she, Tracy Martin, and Elizabeth Dow attended an Outdoor Recreation and Historic Preservation event last week in Grand Isle. They discovered that there will be more VOREC grants available.