by Gazette Staff
WOLCOTT – At its regular meeting on September 20, the Wolcott Select Board filled a vacancy and discussed the town forest, internet service, and ongoing work on securing funding for flood damage recovery.
The select board formally accepted the resignation tendered by Kurt Klein at the August 16 meeting. The vacancy was posted on the town’s website, Front Porch Forum, and in public places in town. The only letter of interest submitted was by Michael Paradee. Paradee addressed the board, requesting that he be appointed to the select board and that he be able to maintain his positions on the Wolcott Planning Commission and the Development Review Board. Board chair Linda Martin was advised that no statutory conflict exists and that Paradee could recuse himself when appropriate. The board voted to appoint Paradee to fill the remaining term that expires on Town Meeting Day in 2024. Paradee was given the oath of office and was seated on the board.
After discussion, the board then voted to set the monthly rate for School Street water users at $25 for the period of July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.
Next, Gordon Young, the Town Forest Committee chair, gave a presentation summarizing key points for the board’s review before their October 4 meeting. Kate Wanner, from The Trust for Public Land, will provide the board with updated maps. Martin thanked Young and the forest committee for their thoughtful work on the stewardship plan and thanked Wanner for making acquisition of the land for the town forest possible.
The project manager report started by noting that Lamoille FiberNet has partnered with Fidium Fiber in a deal that will bring fiber broadband internet services to portions of Wolcott. According to the town’s representative on the Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District (CUD), this will move up anticipated service to late 2024.
Lamoille Kennels and North Country Animal League have informed all towns in Lamoille County that they will no longer board dogs brought to them by Animal Control Officers (ACO). It is not profitable for them. Wolcott’s ACO intends to get together with other local ACOs to seek a solution.
Work is progressing on gathering information for FEMA damage reports. The town carries insurance through the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT). An insurance adjuster recently walked through town buildings. VLCT has informed the town there is a state-wide $5,000,000 cap on flood-related claims from town buildings located in a FEMA flood zone. Wolcott’s Town Hall building is in a FEMA flood zone. The town will move forward with insurance claims on other damage.
ServPro was back to address the mold issue in the town garage building. The concern is whether the building is safe to work in. The board agreed to move forward with getting a mold specialist to inspect the town garage and fire department as soon as possible.
Kurt Klein is working on a new configuration for the hybrid meeting system to make it as close to turnkey as possible. Martin emphasized the need for written instructions on how to use the system.
The town is still awaiting the results of the brownfield study on the Vt. Rte. 15 parcel.
Wolcott’s land surveys have been digitized and are now being indexed. The goal is to then get them integrated into the new website.
Next, board chair Martin noted that at its September 11 special meeting, the select board approved the bid from Bourne’s for a hot water heater. Bourne’s had also submitted a bid for a heating system. Fred’s refused to submit a bid. The board had asked that Lloyd’s Plumbing in Cabot be asked to submit a bid. Lloyd’s did a walk-through and will submit a bid. Lloyd’s indicated they could install a heating system on December 1. Bourne’s would be able to install heaters mid-November. A special select board meeting will be scheduled to review the heating bids.
The Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC) secured funding for an engineering firm to view the area by the recreation field to determine the feasibility of creating parking spaces for vehicles with snowmobile trailers. Given the area’s proximity to the Lamoille River, the Department of Environmental Conservation will also conduct a review. Martin noted that land along Railroad Street could be leased from the state, but it would need to be cleared and drained in order to be used for parking.
E-911 address signs are starting to be installed for all dwellings and structures in Wolcott in accordance with the town ordinance. The green reflective signs will aid emergency vehicles and others in quickly locating properties.
The board then reviewed this year’s barbecue and information sharing event. Although no official count was taken, the event was well attended. The hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob were popular, along with ice cream cones and cookies. Martin thanked this year’s sponsors, those who participated in sharing information with residents, and the many volunteers who made the event run smoothly. It was a relief that the storm did not pass through until later in the evening.
The next regular select board meeting is scheduled for October 4.