The Brattleboro Selectboard held their August public EMS discussion at their regular meeting on Tuesday. The board is happy with their progress though one member said that the public doesn’t understand what decisions are to be made,. They will make their EMS decision in late September. Two more public meetings will be held prior.
The Town Manager said the EMS project web page has had over 1600 page views since May. (This site averaged 7,750 pages viewed per day in August for comparison). The board had questions about the Fire Department’s large overtime budget and the public had questions about downtown cameras and sheltering people without homes this winter.
Brattleboro’s Town Manager will suggest changes to the budget process at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. One proposed change to the schedule is intended to increase public participation.
EMS discussions continue, with one more chance for the public to weigh in on aspects of pending EMS decisions. The board will also hear a financial report and will spend nearly $60,000 for a Pool Engineering Feasibility Study. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
At their first regular June meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard will hire two outside security firms to patrol parts of downtown.
They will also discuss utility budgets, financial software, traffic safety, and committee vacancies. You might be able to bring up other items not on the agenda if the Chair allows.
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 first floor (lower level) of the Brattleboro Transportation Center (parking garage) will be closed for three weeks from Sunday, May 16 through Saturday, June 5, 2021, in order to make repairs to that floor of the structure. The Flat Street entrance/exit to the Transportation Center will be closed to all traffic. Vehicles will be allowed to enter and exit through the Elliot Street entrance only. All vehicles must be removed from the first floor of the BTC by 9:00pm on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Hopefully more and more people will join the growing movement to have Brattleboro either step up or tear down the parking garage. A huge number of people no longer park there because The Town of Brattleboro has abdicated its basic duty to taxpayers and citizens to upkeep the garage. Let’s go through some basic undisputed facts about the current state of the garage:
Trash and stains punctuate the parking garage. Parking Enforcement told me there used to be a full time caretaker of the garage and now that person was cut to only 4 hours. Everyone feels this is unacceptable; there needs to be a full-time caretaker.
The Town of Brattleboro would like to remind everyone that the snow emergency ban is in effect.
Snow and ice will be removed from the streets in the downtown area this evening.
Parked vehicles in the downtown district must be removed by 11:00pm or they will be towed at the owner’s expense.
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.