Selectboard honors volunteers

“We’re a town of volunteers. Our town runs the way it does because people step up to the plate,” Selectboard Chair Gary von Stange said, praising the many volunteers who make up Shelburne’s commissions, boards and committees (CBCs).

Some of the things that make Shelburne what it is were highlighted during the April 12 meeting of the Selectboard. Member Josh Dein likewise had praise for CBC members, saying that he had recently attended some meetings and been impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm.

Town Manager Joe Colangelo recognized the efforts of Emergency Communication Technician Jacob “Jake” Kilpeck. On March 20, the dispatcher recognized the seriousness of what might have otherwise seemed an accidental cell phone call. His actions saved the life of a man who had been assaulted and left abandoned in hypothermia-inducing temperatures in a rural area of Lincoln, VT.

Tuesday’s meeting also saw new members, including non-voting students, joining the lineup of volunteers on the town’s CBCs. Von Stange noted that the town is one of the first in the state to embrace student positions.

Tree Advisory Committee member David Hall was appointed as Tree Warden.

The meeting was also the setting for the first readings of both the amended Peddlers Ordinance as well as a new Food Truck Ordinance. So, too, the Solar Electric Facility Generation Siting Ordinance and 3-Year Wastewater Allocation Ordinance. Full text of each of the ordinances is available on the town’s website.

Board members voted to accept proposed updates to the Town’s Parking Ordinance. The change would disallow parking on the North side of Harbor Road near the Dog Park, which has posed a safety hazard to people and pets.

Members also voted to approve a Nesti grant application to the Ecosystem Restoration Program. The project is on South Burlington land, but it treats water that is ultimately being discharged into Shelburne. Colangelo described it as “the final piece of the puzzle” in a project that has been in the works for several years.

Finance Director Peter Frankenburg gave an update on the General and Wastewater budgets. On the General side, there have been several variances. Legal expenses are a bit higher than anticipated, in part due to the ongoing case against Vermont Rail. Frankenburg said that is probably the biggest variance in the budget.

Due to the mild winter, there have been fuel savings, especially for the Police Department and Highway Department. The mildness of the weather has also been a positive thing for road maintenance costs.

Overall, it is expected that there will be a negative variance for the year. Frankenburg said that he will be combing every line item to find places to save.

The Wastewater Budget is in fairly good shape. Frankenburg had positive words for how well Water Quality Superintendent Chris Robinson does in handling the department.

Frankenburg’s positive words were not the only ones Tuesday night. Others outside of the town have taken note of Shelburne’s work in stormwater. Colangelo announced that the town has won a 2015 “Stormy” from The New England Stormwater Collaborative for our innovative inter-municipal partnership with South Burlington. Robinson and South Burlington Stormwater Manager Tom Dipietro will present the partnership at the annual award show and conference in early June in Connecticut.

The meeting wrapped up with members going into Executive Session to discuss litigation between the Town and Vermont Railway, review a confidential Pierson Library fundraising feasibility report with fundraising consultant Meagan Downey, and to discuss the two competing applicants for the one opening on the Planning Commission.

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