Selectboard hears updates on library, Planning Commission, and potential of economic development committee

Selectboard Meeting May 9

Members gathered Tuesday night for the first Selectboard meeting of May. The meeting kicked off at 6pm for a special presentation on the Bay Road Mobility study and wrapped up approximately four hours later.

During public comments, Dorothea Penar spoke of the Shelburne Historical Society’s upcoming annual membership meeting on Monday night. The society is working on driving membership and creating a new website.

Town Manager Joe Colangelo touched upon several issues during his report. He announced that, for a second year in a row, the town has been chosen as the recipient of a $98,000 paving grant.

Colangelo also took the opportunity to wish Library Director Lara Keenan, who was in the audience, good luck in her new position. She will be departing later this month for a position with the Vermont Department of Libraries as the State Consultant for Library Government and Management.

The Planning Commission’s Annual CBC report was made, as was that of the Housing Subcommittee. Planning Commission Chair Jaime Heins presented.

During the past year, the Planning Commission has worked on the solar siting ordinance, adult business zoning, and several other things. The group has collaborated with the Development Review Board (DRB) on various issues. Among the group’s goals for the coming year are working on the Comprehensive Plan, the rural district, and fine-tuning Form Based Code.

Peggy Day was approved for the Shelburne Natural Resources Conservation Committee to a term ending in April 2019.

The Fiscal Year 2018 Chittenden County Solid Waste District (CSWD) budget was approved. It is expected that there will be over $11.28 million in revenues and just over $10.5 million in expenditures, with $757,780 in net revenues over expenditures.

A work session was held with the Planning Commission to discuss developing a revised Town Plan. The plan is due for an overhaul, with the current one set to expire in Feb. 2019. However, the new document will last for eight years rather than the current five.

Pierce pointed out some of the things that should be considered when planning. The Planning Manual suggests focusing on achieving a vision of the future rather than documenting the past or present. However, at the same time, it should document facts and trends.

There was an introduction to Economic Development as a Selectboard priority. The issue was set out as one of the focuses during the annual retreat held last month. Some of the issues concerning the Board involve blighted buildings along U.S. Route 7 and the possibility of forming an economic development committee.

There was a presentation of the results of a townwide survey regarding the Pierson Library project. The survey drew 1,188 responses and demonstrated support for a bond to fund the project.

Fiddlehead Brewing Company made a request to update the sewer billing policy for industrial users. The company has faced the issue for half a decade of paying for water that was going out in its “kegs and cans,” as owner Matt Cohen put it, rather than down its drains. Under the new arrangement, a monitor will be installed for the sanitary side of the business, and the bill will be more reflective of actual discharge rather than the water flowing into the facility.

A presentation was made of the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2018 wastewater budget. The proposed budget is for just over $1.9 million and would result in a rate increase of $0.34 per thousand gallons or 2.6%. For the average household, that would mean about another $24 per year.

The Board considered, and passed, adoption of Town Manager’s goals per the Town Manager contract. The next step will be to come up with objectives and measurables.

Members voted 3-2 to adopt the Selectboard’s Public Outreach and Civic Engagement Plan. What had started as nine or 10 ideas had been pared down to what Colangelo believes should be achievable within the year. Among the ideas are special, off-site meetings of the Board (i.e., Wake Robin) and having coffee meet-and-greets with individual Board members.

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