The Brattleboro Selectboard held a very long first meeting of Spring.
Despite pleas from the public, they pressed on with many issues they felt could not wait for new board members. From Community Safety to ARPA, the board ignored suggestions to improve their public perception and to increase public input.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will set aside over $2 million of the $2.7 million in ARPA funding for EMS related projects and potential start-up costs, leaving a much smaller amount for the public to discuss how to spend. This comes after promises of community outreach and public input to best determine the ways to spend the funds. Related, the monthly EMS update has been relegated to the Consent Agenda.
The board will also discuss how to spend the $300k in community safety funds. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will decide on a way to make decisions about EMS services at their next regular meeting, with decisions expected by September.
The board will also hear some ideas on how to spend some of the ARPA funds, endorse a walking and biking action plan, and more. You can bring up other issues not on the agenda during public participation.
A special hearing by the Brattleboro Selectboard to consider health violations cited at 16 Washington Street had much discussion by all concerned – except one key individual: the property owner. Kurt Daims didn’t attend his hearing, and the board did not look kindly on such an action. He did issue a statement via BCS delivered to the board, but it wasn’t enough.
The new train station project was again described in detail, ARPA funds were discussed, the tree ordinance was adopted, and more.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will do a number of routine items at their next regular meeting – renew liquor and tobacco licenses, get updates on EMS and finances, grant and easement for the new train station project, discuss ARPA, and review RTM child care options.
The board will also take up an appeal to a health order for 16 Washington Street and adopt a revised tree ordinance. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
A long night of budget talk, with nods to McNeill’s. Plus, Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland admits he forgot to add in repayment of a bond in the preliminary budget.
Should we fill more potholes? Should we build a year-round pool? Will homes get re-assessed soon? Is it called global warming? These are the issues of the day.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will continue their journey through the FY24 budget planning season at their next regular meeting. In this installment, they will hear from the DPW, Assessors, and Rec & Parks departments with a special mention of the Living Memorial Park project financing.
The board will approve the contract with new Town Manager John Potter and will discuss ARPA funds, Fossil Free Facility Funds, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation. Another reminder: you can run for office to become a member of the Selectboard. Contact the Town Clerk for details.
Quite a few business and organization directors had harsh words for the Brattleboro Selectboard regarding downtown crimes, especially at the Transportation Center. Almost all mentioned break-ins or thefts, and quite a few reminded the board that the Transportation Center is town-owned and municipally- controlled. In other words – it’s your problem.
After many hours, the board voted to get price quotes on a new camera system for the Transportation Center, and possible consider some other steps, maybe, after we do a timeline and budget season is coming up, y’know. Can’t promise anything, but we feel your pain.
Camera options for the parking garage will be up for discussion at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. The Interim Town Manager has some preliminary cost estimates for them to review.
The board will hear from SeVEDS, get an update on EMS services, pass those bike ordinance changes, buy winter fuel, talk about ARPA fund spending rules, and consider a 6.7% increase in health insurance premiums. They’ll also kick off FY24 budget season with a look at revenue and expenses in the General Fund. Quite possibly they’ll talk of postponing some of these items when the meeting runs on too long. You can make the meeting longer by bringing up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard is easing into budget season while wrestling with the safety of retuning to in-person meetings. They got an update on the Water Treatment Plant upgrade, paid for some emergency repairs, gave out a liquor license, and discussed Town Manager Elwell’s final Long Term Financial Plan.
There was more – there will be new stop signs coming to some corners, a discussion of ARPA fund possibilities was quick, and a discussion of blinking crosswalks took quite a while.
The Brattleboro Selectboard willl take up a number of water treatment plant issues at their next regular meeting. This includes emergency replacement of a blower and other emergency repairs for wells, a project update, and a loan application. The board will continue discussion of adjusting COVID rules, hear an update on ARPA funding, consider some traffic safety measures, and contemplate Town Manager Elwell’s final Long Term Financial Plan, FY23-27.
BCS proposed graduated distribution of COVID stimulus funds and a “People’s Budget” at the last selectboard meeting (July 6, 2021).
A draft of the technical explanations will be available on the BCS website. This is not a final version, but is pending peer review.
In comments at the end of the meeting the board members expressed some confusion about the funds. They no doubt have their own ideas about spending on infrastructure projects and tax relief for property owners. One member of the board actually said that distribution of the money to low-income people would be inappropriate, although the ARPA legislation specifies the purpose of the funds as COVID relief. This would certainly not exclude payments to low-income people.
The first “hybrid” meeting using a combination of in-person and zoom participants had no real technical issues to speak of, but many interesting details to discern.
Big news was the agreement being worked out with owners of the nearby Connecticut River dams. They will be changing their operations to create a more natural water flow, which is good news for the river banks, all sorts of critters, recreation, and even the company’s plans for the future.
New land use amendments were approved, as was a mural project. The board also heard of two new places in town to get drinks more easily – Retreat Farm and craft experiment at the River Garden.
At their first meeting in July, the Brattleboro Selectboard will make it easier to buy liquor downtown and at Retreat Farm with the granting of two new liquor licenses. They will also buy pick-up trucks, approve a new mural for a parking lot, contemplate repairs on the Elliot Street bridge, adopt new Land Use regulations, discuss their summer meeting schedule, review their goals, approve of dams, and more.
You can bring up other items not on the agenda during hybrid public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a plan to let Brattleboro Police switch from an understaffed three shift system to a two shift system that will reduce hours and stress. Brattleboro will go without patrol staff for certain hours of the week.
The water treatment plant is going ahead with approval of a firm to build the new plant, despite a bad reference and previous bad town experiences with the company. The local mask mandate will be lifted on Friday. And State Senator Becca Balint described the huge piles of money coming to Vermont in the near future.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will take up matters relating to COVID at their next regular meeting. State Senator Becca Balint will give an update on ARPA and other funding sources, the board will discuss what to do about the mask order in town, they’ll talk about in-person meeting possibilities. and whether to continue deferring Small Business Loans.
Hiring a firm to help find Brattleboro a new Town Manager is up for discussion, as will approving a nearly $12 million big to build a new water treatment plant. You can bring up other items not on the agenda, and/or ask for your $12 million, during public participation.
Brattleboro will soon be going through a public process to determine how to spend over $3 million in ARPA funding. The selectboard will be setting up a process for gathering ideas and suggestions, evaluating them, and deciding what to do. They will be looking for items that give the greatest long-term benefit to Brattleboro.
As the Lorax would say, “I’d like to speak for the trees.”
I’m not sure what the right amount is, but for argument’s sake I’d like to suggest $100k be spent on shade trees. Few things would give longer-lasting benefits to the town.