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SPEEDING ON TOWN ROADS
Mary Lou Wright said several townspeople have voiced concerns on social media of speeding on town roads such as Maltese Road, Basin Road, Robillard Road, East Road and The Lane. Nancy Lesage asked about a Watch for Children sign. Dave Tatro said the Vermont Agency of Transportation discourages those signs, saying they provide a false sense of security. More speed limit signs and perhaps speed bumps were also suggested. The cost of a town constable was also discussed. Jim Stimpson and Bill Levine recommended that people call the state police more frequently with complaints. Mike Denault will contact the Bennington County Sheriff’s office to request more patrol on the side roads as well as to request the speed cart.
The state is offering a municipal planning grant. The grant is between $2,000.00 and $22,000.00 and has a 10% town match. Lori Shepard asked if the Selectboard would like her to pursue the grant to help the Planning Commission’s costs to update the By-laws. The Selectboard was agreeable if the Planning Commission agrees. The next Planning Commission meeting will be September 10, 2018.
2. Dan Potvin felt there was a lot of misinformation given at the last Planning Commission meeting and that people were quoting laws and regulations that do not exist. Roberts Rules and how to run meetings was discussed. Chris Warren said clear guidelines of expectations should be established so people on town boards know what behavior is expected of them. Dan Potvin hopes for a good turnout at the next meeting and feels the more people that participate in the by-law revision, the better.
Chris Warren and Lori Shepard have been working on the website. Chris Warren called the state about a .gov address but has not heard back. The website should be ready soon.
The full minutes can be found here.
With wording that sounds eerily like the cigarette industry, the first crack in the Monsanto cover-up has formed. For those of us who objected to the application of this product around our mountain streams, and thus our water supply, this is encouraging.
This may generate a comment or two – all views are welcome, those who are disrespectful will be removed.
Stamford Cemeteries Wreaths Across America
It’s been awhile… but we would like to give some updates about our goal to lay wreaths at all the veterans’ graves in the Stamford Cemeteries.
To date we have 15 wreaths sponsored out of our total goal of 92. We are 16% to goal!
We applied for grant money from multiple places and have not heard from most, but we did receive some good news from MountainOne. We will receive a grant for $250.00! That is 25 wreaths which will really help us make strides towards our goal. We do not have any fundraisers scheduled but are hoping that the rest of the wreaths will come from individual sponsorships.
To sponsor a wreath (or 2) or to volunteer to be involved with this effort please go to our website
If you prefer to donate with a sponsorship form we have them at both the Town Office and the library.
Also visit us at our Facebook page
If anyone is interested (and we hope a lot of you will be) we would like to ‘Remember the fallen’ as well as ‘Honoring those who serve’ by posting small entries on our facebook page.
Honoring those who serve –
Do you have someone in your family that is currently serving that we could highlight? A short write-up with perhaps a picture telling us a little something about them.
Remembering the fallen –
Do you have a veteran buried at Houghton or Millard cemeteries that we could remember with a post? A short write-up with their picture would also be wonderful.
Please send any entries to us at email@example.com and we will post them for you.
Donna Whitcomb and Donna Engel
1) The Polish take-out restaurant is open for business. I stopped to get a menu yesterday but they hadn’t arrived from the printer yet. I was treated to a wonderful sample of Kupusta. The will have a website 180Grill.
2)Stamford Elementary School’s principal Micha Hayre is announcing a new program to bring community members and students together for fun and learning.
“This year, I am facilitating a “Life Skills” class once a week to replace MAD (Make A Difference) Monday. Due to the fact that public education is having a more and more difficult time implementing courses like “home economics” or “trade skills” into a K-8 education, I am bringing a class called “Life Skills” to Stamford School! Each Friday, I will facilitate Life Skills between 10am-2:30pm. I will be bringing in guests that have a skill, hobby, talent, or collection that they believe that every child should be introduced to such as sewing, tying a knot, fishing, cooking, gardening, carpentry, and the list goes on! You could bring one day of learning or a session of learning (multiple Fridays). It could be four Fridays in a row or it could be one Friday.
Are you the expert in something and would you be interested in making a difference in the lives of our K-8 students in Stamford, VT? OR do you know someone is the expert- please forward this on.
Life Skills FRI
10:05-10:45 Grade 8
10:45-10:50 5 min transition
12:25-1:05 Grades 4-5
1:05-1:40 Grades 2-3
1:40-1:45 5 min transition
1:45-2:25 Grades 6-7
Please note that all guest teachers may be subject to a background check.
The Fridays that are available can be found at this link.
Thank you so much for the possibility of investing in Stamford and our future! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested or have questions!
ASSISTANT TOWN CLERK/ASSISTANT TREASURER position has been filled.
Many complaints coming in about the dump trucks that have taken over County Road – of speeding and taking over the whole road. Probably not something that anyone can do anything about unless we wanted to pay the sheriff to monitor the road during work hours.
I think it would be a bit more palatable if the residents were getting something out of it, like a usable road to Pownal/Bennignton. I hear the work they have done is fantastic but that it won’t lead to a viable route over the mountain.
So – be careful out there if you travel County/Mill Road defensive driving is the order of the day.
I hope you don’t get seasick and there is a crash or two, I’m just learning how to fly my drone and thought the garden would make a good video. I’ll do another as the season (and hopefully my flying progress). Raw unedited footage, hang on to your hats I was battling the wind.
It’s a big file, so you will need some patience while it loads.
LETTER FROM ATTORNEY/ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
The Zoning Board of Adjustment proposed several questions to the attorney. Nancy Bushika added the question of whether the Selectboard could adopt interim By-laws until the Planning Commission had time to update them completely. The attorney’s letter said anyone, including the Selectboard, has 15 days to appeal the Administrative Officer’s decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Jim Stimpson complained about the lack of communication in this town. He feels the people serving on boards, especially those in charge, are doing things that are wrong and against the law. He asked why he was denied a copy of the attorney’s letter. Nancy Bushika felt that correspondence should not be distributed before the Selectboard had a chance to review and discuss it. Jim Stimpson argued that this violated the law and that she did not have the right to authorize a call to the attorney. The board previously decided only Lori Shepard as Administrative Assistant would call the attorney with Selectboard approval. Dan Potvin acknowledged that a lot of mistakes were made by all of us, but feels it is best to move forward. Mike Denault agreed that the board needs to be more careful and email should only be used to distribute information. If a topic cannot wait two weeks for a regular meeting, the board will call a special meeting. Jim Stimpson said he has absolutely no confidence in the town processes currently in place. Dan Potvin suggested Jim Sullivan from the BCRC could be a resource when the A.O. has questions about the By- laws and Dave Saldo offered the Planning Commission as a resource. The Selectboard does not want the ice cream truck owners to be the victims of this issue and does not want to do anything that will negatively impact their business during the short summer season. Jim Stimpson wants the board’s full support moving forward. Jim Stimpson would like more people appointed to these boards. The board will check state statute to confirm that the Planning Commission can have up to seven members, but it is hard to find people willing to serve. Bill Levine felt that if members of the town boards and commissions are not acting responsibility and participating, then the Selectboard can replace them. The board decided they will not override the Administrative Officer’s decision that a permit was not needed for the ice cream truck business.
MOTION by Mike Denault to stand by the Administrative Officer’s decision in his interpretation of the By-laws. SECONDED by Dan Potvin. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
2018 TAX RATE
1. Due to the paving project and other costs, the town is low on funds and will need to send out tax bills in July to bring in money. Having to bill so early will cause a large amount of extra work because the state has not finished processing over 14,000 homestead declarations and state payments. Last year the treasurer was able to wait until September to send out bills which gave the state more time to process returns and meant less revised bills were necessary. Nancy Bushika asked if other town funds could be used to borrow from ourselves. MOTION by Chris Warren to use $100,000.00 from the reappraisal fund CD which is up for renewal to cover town expenses until September when it will be reinvested with interest at the CD’s current rate. SECONDED by Mike Denault. All in favor. Motion APPROVED.
2. Lori Shepard provided a spreadsheet explaining the calculation of the 2018 tax rate. The state’s homestead residential rate is $1.3031 (last year’s rate was $1.1724). The state set the non-residential rate at $1.4873 (last year’s rate was $1.4059).
MOTION by Dan Potvin to set the 2018 tax rate as follows: to accept the state education residential rate of $1.3031 and the non-residential rate of $1.4873 as calculated by the State of Vermont. The Selectboard set the municipal tax rate at $0.2970 and the highway rate at $0.4060. The total residential tax rate will be $2.0061 and the total non-residential tax rate will be $2.1903. SECONDED by Carol Fachini. All in favor. Motion APPROVED. The 2018 tax bills will be mailed in September. Chris Warren would like to discuss moving to a cash-positive position.
3. The Selectboard reviewed the 2018 tax bill insert and made some minor changes.