Regionalizing stormwater services and the impact on Shelburne

A concept for the regionalization of certain services was on the agenda at the Aug. 11 meeting of the Shelburne Selectboard. The idea had emerged out of talks between Town Manager Joe Colangelo and his South Burlington counterpart, City Manager Kevin Dorn, and others throughout the county.

Colangelo and Dorn discussed the possibility of sharing stormwater services between the two communities and, possibly, with other communities. A draft emerged from those talks. A new regional body would be created in the form of the Chittenden County Public Service Authority (CCPSA), and there would be representatives from the towns involved. The idea was met with some concern.

Police Chief James Warden said he has had experience with unsuccessful attempts at regionalizing police and dispatching services. He said knowing the costs and alternatives are important. “You have to be careful before you jump into something like this,” he said.

Selectboard Chair Gary von Stange said the board, as a whole, supports careful investigation of regionalization of services – particularly relating to stormwater. However, he stressed that concerns about cost and impact on property taxes need to be balanced against the issue of autonomy so that, “Shelburne does not get swallowed up by a larger municipality.”

Right now, the idea of regionalization is just an idea. However, there is an expectation that some form of regionalization involving Shelburne will take place in the coming years. At the Aug. 11 meeting, von Stange said he wants to make sure that the town is protected when that does happen.

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