The results of the Brattleboro Selectboard board retreat will be discussed at their next Tuesday meeting. Hint: they have established their five top goals of the year to be good transportation center parking, the town pool, the community safety plan, safety zones, and housing.
Tax rates and utility rates will be set, housing and land use will be discussed, and you can bring up any other items not on the agenda if the Chair allows under Public Participation.
Brattleboro employees will get raises and taxpayers will get a 5% reduction in water bills at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
Parking and Utility budgets will be approved, the monthly EMS update will be given, and the public’s chance to weigh in at the 2nd meeting in June regarding EMS services will be on the agenda as well. You might also be able to bring up other items not on the agenda.
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.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held one of their longer meetings in some time. The public was active! Complaints about downtown crime, lack of action on climate change, and open meetings kept the board busy until after 10:30pm.
Of note, the Town acknowledged their violation of open meeting protocols and adopted a new two-part process to make sure it won’t happen again. This wasn’t enough for most people, who wanted a more detailed accounting of the EMS decision making process.
The board changed RTM districts to conform with state updates, adopted Utility and Parking budgets, and poured luke-warm water on a suggestion to bring back the electric trolley.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will emerge from another Executive Session to do something that isn’t done very often – update the boundaries of the voting districts in town, which will change representation at Representative Town meeting. This update is to conform with adjustments recently made by the state.
The board will also take up the Utility Fund, Parking Fund Budget, raises, and the Depot Street parking lot project. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
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?
I’m going to argue for free parking in Brattleboro.
The main reason we have to pay for parking here and not in most other towns in Vermont is to pay for our parking meters, parking enforcement, and parking infrastructure. Other than helping to pay for parking lot paving and snow removal, this is a silly, unnecessary burden for locals and visitors, and could instead be money spent in downtown stores.
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.