Selectboard breezes through hour-long meeting

By Heather McKim

During the Feb. 24 meeting of the Selectboard, three members heard about a proposed Shelburne Community School (SCS) playground project and an associated grant application, received a presentation of the town audit for fiscal year (FY) 2014, and covered a few other issues. Absent for the evening were Chair Gary von Stange and member Toni Supple.

Member Colleen Parker gave an update regarding progress with the Library Steering Committee, saying members had made a presentation to the Board of Trustees.

In his Town Manager’s report, Joe Colangelo announced that the Annual Report is now available. It has been mailed to those who requested copies, and is available online and at the Town Offices.

The Davis Park playground project has gone out for a bid for the third and, as Colangelo hopes, final time.

While Shelburne has not faced as many issues with frozen water lines as other regional towns, it has not wholly escaped this winter’s wrath. “Our guys have been working quite a bit of overtime [to remedy water problems],” Colangelo said.

Lisa Williams addressed the board regarding a proposed SCS playground project on town-owned land. The committee she is spearheading is seeking $30,000 in grant monies from the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Member Al Gobeille expressed support for the project but questioned the wisdom of subjecting the land to further restrictions: the grant would require it be held in perpetuity for outdoor recreational purposes only. It would also require land of similar value in exchange should any portion of the parcel need to be taken out for other purposes (i.e., expanding the footprint of the school), which had Gobeille concerned due to the possible costs of that move.

Williams estimates the project would cost about $180,000, saying her group has kept the issue fairly quiet due to the impending bond vote. However, there have been some private donations, and Williams added that it would be possible for her to reduce the size of the parcel from the proposed 14 acres.

Members of the firm Love, Cody & Co. presented the FY 2014 town audit. Steve Love spoke and gave a quick overview of the audit, which can be found in the Annual Report.

Total assets for the town came out to just over $34 million for FY2014. The town ended the year with liabilities of just over $12.6 million.

“Any way you look at it, [Shelburne had] a positive year,” Love said.

The firm repeated its concern about the many proprietary funds. Love said that, if presented in the aggregate, it would make things simpler.

The board voted to accept a $2,000 grant from the State of Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation for Shelburne Parade Ground plantings this summer. The new plantings will replace some ash trees that had been removed and provide screening.

Members voted to accept the Tree Inventory Report. The Tree Advisory Board also presented them with the next steps, including a management plan with recommendations for the town and a summer training course that will help people learn more about caring for the town’s trees. There is the hope that the report will be available digitally soon.

The committee also presented the Walking Tour Brochure, the project of a UVM student, which they hope to print and distribute this summer.

Selectboard members voted to approve the engineering and design services contract between Shelburne and Vanasse, Hangen, Brustlin for the 600’ sidewalk planned to run between the Town Offices and Shelburne Museum.

Finally, a number of liquor licenses were approved.

The next regular meeting of the Selectboard will be held on March 10. That meeting will see a new board and will be a reorganizational meeting.