The parking garage, a.k.a. the Brattleboro Transportation Center, had center stage at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Is it safe? Is it energy efficient? Is it bright enough? Should we add a permanent art project? How big is that ceiling? Is there something we can do instead of paying half a million for reflective paint? These are the issues of the day.
There was quite a bit of public discussion throughout, new energy projects were approved, and the vehicle for hire ordinance is on hold. But really, it was mostly about the parking garage.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will declare the Police-Fire Facilities project complete at their next regular meeting, even though more work may be done using bond funds.
The parking garage will get a wood pellet heating system, the library an upgrade to the air handling system, and an art project will become permanent. The big changes, though, are ordinance amendments merging the concept of taxi and vehicle for hire, and a discussion of changes to parking rates, rules, and safety.
You can, as always, participate by attending.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Friday, August 24, 2018, at 9:30am in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center.
Brattleboro’s hoped-for deal with the State of Vermont for long-term lease and improvements to the Municipal Center has officially fallen through, according to the Town Manager. New options are being explored.
The Youth Vote will get a special meeting, Brattleboro’s bus schedule and routes are changing, two new dump trucks are being ordered, odors will be studied, and more. Plus disclosures.
A new Brattleboro ordinance for Uber and Lyft types of vehicles for hire will get a First Reading at the next meeting of the Selectboard. There are also changes to parking in front of the Boys and Girls Club to be discussed.
The board will hear about changes to Brattleboro’s bus routes, the Fire Department will recieve an award, multiple dump trucks will be purchased, a bridge will be scheduled for repair, and odors shall be tested. You can also bring up other items or smells not already on the agenda during Public Participation.
Because it is summer, and hot, and we’re all tired, this week’s selectboard meeting notes will be provided to you in traditional 5-7-5 haiku form. Same news, just barely any details! Your overview:
Hot summer night in August
Nickels and dimes ya
The Brattleboro Selectboard began discussing a repeal of a 2011 Town Charter change to stop counting local write-in votes unless the write-in candidate had declared an intention to serve.
The board heard a semi-annual update from the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, approved of paving, police cars, body cameras for police officiers, and disc golf improvements. Snow sports at Living Memorial Park will continue, we have a new road in town, and new members were appointed to committees.
At the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, the police will ask for approval of a contract for body worn cameras. Axon, of Scottsdale, AZ is the proposed vendor.
The board will buy some police cruisers, hear a semi-annual report from the designated downtown organization, approve of grants for disc golf improvements and paving, review goals, and name a road. They will also begin a discussion election write-in procedures, and more.
As always, you can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
Taxes are going up, as they always seem to do. The Brattleboro Selectboard adopted the FY19 tax rates for property owners that were approved by Representative Town Meeting representatives earlier this year. The $14.8 million budget includes both the essential items suggested by the Selectboard as well as some optional extras added in by the representatives.
There’s also a new community collaboration that you can be a part of. Project Care is a new effort in Brattleboro to help addicts recover and do well.
And, in case you are curious, setting the tax rate during a heat wave calls for casual attire.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center. It is anticipated that the Board will enter into executive session at 5:30pm to discuss pending or probable civil litigation and negotiation of a real estate lease, and reconvene for the regular business meeting at 6:15pm An ASL interpreter will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.
The biggest news of the Tuesday meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard came not from the agenda but introductory remarks. The Town manager announced that Planning Services Director Rod Francis was leaving Brattleboro in the next couple of weeks.
This was followed by an unscheduled but surprisingly active discussion of aggressive panhandling in the downtown area.
Beyond those matters, the skatepark hired a design firm and got some extra cash, contracts and grants were approved, the utility budget passed, a long resolution was adopted, and more.
It’s happening. At their next regular meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard will hire a company to do the designs for the skatepark at Living Memorial Park.
The board will discuss repairs at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, discuss parking, talk about loans and grants, approve an annual contract with Rescue, Inc., and proceed with the loan for the new fire truck. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
Groundworks Collaborative gave the Brattleboro Selectboard a report on the seasonal overflow shelter. They admitted they don’t have the resources to develop a temporary work program, though a new effort by Youth Services might be able to pull it off, perhaps by fall. Youth Services might get a new name, too, but that’s for another time.
The board adopted the FY19 Solid Waste and Parking Budgets, but left some decisions about parking meters, apps, and credit cards for a later discussion. Progress on energy audit matters was detailed, citizens pressed for more to be done, the skatepark is close to the fundraising finish line, grants have been applied for, and citizens were appointed to various Brattleboro committees and boards.
Also, two mentions of John Allen.
After their state-wide resolution was widely approved on March 6 the 350VT central committee endorsed an advisory resolution in Brattleboro. Brattleboro residents should be aware and encourage the selectboard to put implement the popular environmental measure. That is, to make the 350 resolution real by enacting the local follow-up:
Whereas we have a moral duty to reduce the various pollutants that cause untold harm to people all over the world,
The Brattleboro skatepark project will receive $15,000 from the Thomas Thompson Trust, and Brattleboro Goes Fourth will get a permit for a parade at the next regular meeting of the selectboard.
The board will continue with the FY19 parking budget, hear a report from Groundworks Collaborative, review energy efficiency projects and town investments in renewables, and hire a roofer and a tree remover. Grants for child protection services, Bradley House, and intralibrary loans will be discussed, and annual committee appointments and dog warrants will be announced. You can add to the fun by bringing up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.
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.
Selectboard Chair Kate O’Connor recently announced during a Selectboard meeting that she didn’t read emails sent to her official email account.
I decided to send a few questions to Town Manager Peter Elwell about this April 26. When did O’Connor stop reading her emails? How many emails piled up as unread? How many of them were from citizens and how many were spam? Which other Selectboard members don’t read their official email accounts? And how should citizens contact board members so that they know their comments will be read?
The Brattleboro Selectboard has a full agenda for their next meeting, having postponed a number of matters from their previous meeting. Financing of the fire truck purchase, improvements to the new police station and Union Station, and reviewing Solid Waste and Parking budgets are among the topics.
Brattleboro’s Town Plan gets a second public hearing and possible adoption if no one objects. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.
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.
Brattleboro’s Police Department might be getting a carport. It’s one of the final recommendations of the Police-Fire Facilities Committee and will be up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
The board will learn of improvements to the Union Station train station in the near future. They will discuss the FY19 Utilities Budget, initiate final designs for the waste process water line at Pleasant Valley, hold a public hearing on the revised Town Plan, learn about the downtown parking study, review the Solid Waste budget for FY19, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation, too.