Brattleboro’s Town Plan revision was adopted by the Brattleboro Selectboard at Tuesday’s meeting. It was one of many items in a packed agenda that included financing of the new fire truck, preliminary design work on a possible police carport, and likely train station improvements.
The usually dull Parking Fund overview was spiced up by a request for a comprehensive look at the parking system, with public discussions, prior to approving any capital improvements. The FY19 Solid Waste Budget was introduced, finances were discussed, goals were adopted, and we learned that Brattleboro has a new Indian restaurant.
Finally, Brattleboro’s two confidential employees received a 2% raise, along with other non-union positions.
The Brattleboro Selectboard scheduled too many weighty issues for their Tuesday meeting at the Municipal Center. As the meeting went on, agenda items were jettisoned in repeated attempts to keep the length of the meeting somewhat reasonable.
Those issues that were discussed were discussed in detail. The board learned about the Utilities Fund budget and possible rate changes in coming years, discussed goals for the coming year, received a presentation on the results of a Downtown Parking Survey, and held a public hearing on the Town Plan revision. They attended to Department of Transportation paperwork, settled a lawsuit, changed the name of a street, applied for grants, and more.
Also, a mouse.
It was a night of big things for the Brattleboro Selectboard – a big, new fire truck was ordered, and plans for a possible big $32.5m dairy processing facility were presented.
The board got an update on skatepark finances and schedule, tires in the wetlands will be cleaned up next fall, a letter about Act 46 stalled, the leaf pickup schedule is being re-examined, and goals and plans for the coming year were discussed. The board discussed energy matters, compassion, and diversity.
Oh, and for anyone seeking to get a message to Board Chair, don’t send email…
Permits, plans, and policies dominated the first regular meeting of the newly-formed Brattleboro Selectboard.
Flood plain models and measurements were at issue for a significant portion of the meeting, with little that could be done except make a federal case of the matter. In the end, an agreement to reach an agreement with a property owner was agreeable enough to allow the board to acknowledge the project they have no say in. It was that sort of an evening.
The skatepark approaches, but has not crossed, the fundraising finish line. A revised Town Plan is nearing completion, a re-application for the Downtown Improvement District relies on the Town Plan being approved, and the Heifers have permits to go strolling again this year.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a new contract with Brattleboro firefighters Tuesday evening. Negotiations began in 2016, stalled, resumed, and just recently wrapped up. Firefighters will be getting a retroactive raise going back to when the process began.
Liquor licenses, a finance report, a grant for bulletproof vests, and an update on Windham Regional Commission were all punctuated by news that this meeting was John Allen’s final regular selectboard meeting.
At the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, five local establishments will discuss recent liquor violations and corrective actions taken since. If the board is satisfied with their responses, they’ll be granted their annual liquor license renewals.
The board had a discussion of winter road conditions, causes of potholes, methods of repairing potholes, and specific reasons why Western Avenue has so many of them.
The board considered a letter to state education officials asking to support the results of the vote against a school district merger, as it would negatively impact Brattleboro taxes. The Brewer’s Fest permit was approved, Brattleboro Words are being explored and celebrated, and a pile of tires near the Marina is a problem for plants and animals in the vicinity.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a meeting full of exciting twists and turns. From a sudden interest in municipal broadband to a re-examination of requiring write-in candidates to pre-register, the meeting was full of surprises.
There were the scheduled issues as well with liquor licenses renewed, an animal control officer appointed, grants accepted, and so on, but even these provided curious side paths. Consider, for example, that the board decided to willingly challenge what they felt was an unfair ordinance, all in the name of compassion. Or the matter of the fly in need of rescue… In short, it was an eventful meeting.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a mostly happy meeting Tuesday night. Most seemed happy that their budget meetings were behind them, John Allen was happy he only had a few meetings left on the board, and all were very happy by somewhat surprising news of a very large grant to help pay for the waste water treatment plant.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a five minute meeting on Tuesday evening, sans David Schoales, to take final steps to approve their budget and meeting warnings.
At their special meeting Tuesday night, the Brattleboro Selectboard finalized the FY19 budget. They agreed on the amount of fund balance to tap, set a final property tax rate, and reviewed draft warnings for Town Meeting on March 6 and Representative Town Meeting on March 24.
Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Selectboard began on a rather sad note, with John Allen explaining that Tim O’Connor had passed away earlier in the day.
With both Kate O’Connor and Tim Wessel absent for family matters, the small board raced through their agenda and ending before 7 pm.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a special meeting Tuesday to make some final decisions regarding the FY19 budget. Vice-Chair Brandie Starr led the meeting in Kate O’Connor’s absence.
The first meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard in 2018 was almost entirely about money. They continued their discussion of remaining FY19 budget issues, narrowing the list of undecided items by saying yes to some and maybe to others. It makes for a rather high potential tax increase, but many decisions remain that could bring the proposed rates down again. More budget meetings are planned.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had numbers on the agenda for their final meeting of 2017. Budget numbers, audit numbers, financial reports, grants, and even dates on the calendar. They talked about numbers, reviewed numbers, noted errors and omissions, and made calculations.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had a special Thursday meeting to discuss other items not currently in the FY19 budget. This list included possible new employees, equipment, training, funding, and even some consideration of a donation to the skatepark project.
The Brattleboro Selectboard heard from the Fire Department concerning a request for a new aerial ladder truck. This would be to replace a used truck, which is replacing an out-of-service truck. The board was sympathetic to the request and need, but had some concerns about the cost and how best to pay for it.
The Brattleboro Selectboard decided to revise their proposed plastic bag ban ordinance bag thickness, increasing it from 1 mil to 2.25 mil. This came after some special demonstrations and displays were presented and comments taken.
They also got a peek at the FY19 budget, with a review by the Town Manager that sets a course for in-depth analysis at a series of upcoming meetings. The board learned of continued steps in the realm of diversity, inclusion and equity. Groundworks received grant funds for operation of their new shelter, and results of the panhandling survey were reviewed.
There will be no Town panhandling sign. That was the split decision of the Brattleboro Selectboard Tuesday evening.
The board had an active and long night. Much of it had to do with financial matters and planning, such as approving a letter of intent to rent space in the Municipal Center, reviewing long term financial plans, buying a fire truck, debating the thickness of single use plastic bags, and contemplating energy issues.
Budget season starts officially at the next meeting, but it peeked its head in and said hello this week.
Brattleboro’s Town Manager revealed the results of his summer explorations of issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He got generally good reviews for the summary of his report, but more than a few requested some additional specifics be included. Brattleboro seems to be in a good position to make progress over the long term, but benchmarks and budgets might help.
The pesky panhandling sign returned in a semi-uncertain form, with wording in question and sponsoring organizations and services asking for their logos to be removed. The private effort was to be a collaboration, but appears to have offended a few too many.
The board also signed a statement in support of other climate agreements being signed around the globe. (For Kate O’Connor’s sake, I’ll say here that Brattleboro has been working on climate issues for a long time, is committed to action, and will continue to be so.)
All this, and possibly more.