The Brattleboro Selectboard held another virtual meeting Tuesday night. Utility rates are set to rise, the General Fund end-of-year looks pretty good, the FY21 Parking and Solid Waste budgets were discussed, preliminary options for holding Representative Town Meeting were presented, and dogs were warned of their illegality. Read on for the details.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will approve their own budget for the first time, due to a special act of the Vermont legislature to bypass Town Meeting Representatives this year in an effort to get the budget approved prior to the new fiscal year on July 1. The board will also discuss options for convening a Representative Town Meeting at some point.
Water and sewer rates will be raised, downtown parklets for businesses will be purchased, the Solid Waste Fund will be discussed and might be folded into the General Fund, another COVID-19 update will be given, and even more will happen during this packed agenda. Prediction: watch as Selectboard members mention that they hate the dog warrant language again this year! “It’s the owners, not the animals…” You can bring up other items and animals not on the agenda during Public Participation. Just don’t ask your questions in the chat room of the virtual meeting.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had a long discussion about their long discussion last week about face coverings. Is it too strict? Not stick enough? What about the children? They then moved on to a discussion of raising water and sewer rates to help pay for the new water filtration plant. Is 6% a year too much? Is 2% too low?
The final discussion was of the parking system, and how with no income and continued expenses, the budget doesn’t look so good. Should the Parking Fund remain an enterprise fund or be rolled back into the General Fund? And who has the best ceiling?
WHAT IS NEW TODAY
Due to the Governor’s order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) scheduled for March 21 has been canceled. It will be re-warned when it becomes legal and prudent to do so. The current plan is to re-warn RTM on April 7 and to hold RTM on May 9.
• The Selectboard voted last night to allow businesses who are repaying loans to the Town’s Small Business Assistance Program to defer their monthly payments until further notice.
• The Selectboard also voted last night that until further notice the Town will not shut-off water service to any customer as a result of that customer becoming delinquent on payment of water+sewer fees.
The Brattleboro Department of Public Works Utilities Crew will be conducting work in front of 181-183 Main Street beginning today, April 9th, 2019, in order to install a new water main gate valve. The order of events will proceed as follows:
April 9th, 2019 – 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. – Saw cuts will be made in the northbound lane of Main Street to prepare for excavation
April 10th, 2019 – 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. – Utilities Crew will dig trench necessary for valve installation. Steel plates will be placed over the trench until the following day.
Work on the Main Street water line replacement project will be starting Tuesday April 9thwith pavement marking and cutting. Parking will be prohibited on the east side of Main Street between 133 and 167 Main Street starting at 6:00 a.m. during this pavement cutting period. Traffic will be restricted in the area.
The Brattleboro Selectboard met on Town Meeting Day 2019 and spent most of the time discussing issues of water and sewer.
This included a rather substantial presentation by an apartment owner requesting a reduction in an abnormally high water bill, some discussion of the Hinsdale Bridge, some notes on odors and energy, and a hint that water and sewer ates may hold steady for a year.
Clark ST will be closed on Friday, May 18, 2018, beginning at 7:00 a.m. The road will be closed in the area of 81 Clark ST while Utilities crews repair a sewer line. Local residents can access residences at the northern end of Clark ST via Lawrence ST.
Motorists should plan to use alternate routes during the construction period. Signage will be in place to remind motorists of the road closure.