Selectboard meeting May 23
The Selectboard’s May 23 meeting featured a presentation by UVM economics professor Seguino on her “Driving While Black and Brown” study (which will be highlighted in next week’s paper), the Village Dog Park, the wastewater budget, and a discussion about the Library Building Project.
The Development Review Board’s CBC (Commissions, Boards and Committees) report was presented at the meeting. Chair Mary Kehoe said that “the jury is still out” as to whether the adoption of on-the-record review is a cost savings; in one of the two cases in which it was used, there was not an appeal, and she believes that there was a savings. Kehoe’s concern with OTR is that it is “a tall order for a volunteer board.”
The Village Dog Park was back on the agenda with a presentation from wetlands consultant Dori Barton. Based on her observations, she believes that Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) District Wetland Ecologist Tina Heath was correct in her assertions. Barton believes that the dog park is located on either wetlands or buffer area to which wetlands regulations apply.
Despite the finding, the Dog Park Committee is still holding out hope that there won’t have to be a relocation. Chair Kay Boyce pointed to the fact that for lands under Class II wetlands regulations, there are some outdoor recreational activities allowed without a permit.
However, Barton pointed out that the dog park had gone beyond what is allowable without a permit on Class II wetlands. If only a fence would have been constructed, the project would likely have been fine. However, there had been the addition of fill, a shed, waterline, and other alterations made.
“Once you start needing to clear and fill… your exemption falls away,” Barton said.
Von Stange noted that the DEC had originally indicated that there was not a need for a permit to proceed with the park. The question is whether the scope of the project has since exceeded what is permissible on the land.
Relocation is difficult, because the Town would have to find a suitable spot on land that it currently owns—which comes with its own set of difficulties.
Boyce said the committee could remove things from the park. She would like the park to remain at the current location; there may be nowhere else for the park to go.
A liquor license was approved for the driving range at the Kwini Club.
The Fiscal Year 2018 Wastewater Budget of just over $1.9 million was presented by Finance Director Peter Frankenburg, and the Board unanimously voted to approve it. The budget will increase by $46,300 or 2.5%, which means that the average user will see a slight increase to their bills.
An update was made regarding the Shelburne-South Burlington intermunicipal stormwater contract. Board members voted to approve a merger of the Regional Stormwater Education Program and the Chittenden County Stream Team.
The Board is leaning towards putting the Library Building to a bond vote. There is a split between members as to whether a bond would be on the ballot in November or go before voters at Town Meeting in March.
The Library Building Project includes not only a new library building, but renovations with a $6.5 million price tag.