A new “Fossil Fuel Free Facilities Fund” will be up for discussion at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. The 5F is intended to set aside money each year to help cover costs to the Town of switching away from fossil fuels. The latest revision, by Sustainability Coordinator Stephen Dotson, sets out the purpose and operation of the new fund.
Planning Services Director Sue Fillion will join the meeting to provide an update on the Tri-Park Master Plan, the updated Local Emergency Management Plan will be adopted, the board will continue to discuss their goals for the new year, some financial matters will be dealth with, and more. You can always bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
We all received encouraging news earlier this week when Governor Scott released his “Vermont Forward Plan” that described a phased reduction in restrictions for both indoor and outdoor activities. It is important to note that the Governor and other State officials have stated that this schedule is subject to change. It is based on certain assumptions regarding increased vaccination numbers and decreased new case numbers. If those targets are not met, the schedule will be adjusted. We will continue to closely monitor that data and public health experts’ advice.
We intend to be cautious in reopening Town facilities to ensure that we do not move too quickly and endanger Town employees or the public we serve. Please read these weekly COVID updates from the Town and other information released by Town departments to stay up to date on Town decisions and actions as COVID-related restrictions are eased. Based on local conditions and expert advice, we may decide not to move as fast as was indicated in the Governor’s plan.
The Brattleboro Parking Department would like to announce the lifting of the winter parking ban. Starting tonight, 04/08/2021, at midnight, overnight parking will be allowed on all streets EXCEPT in the downtown area. The following streets are never available for overnight parking:
Elliot Street (from School St to Main St)
It was the first April meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, the first meeting with Elizabeth McLoughlin as Chair, the first time Congressman Peter Welch has told Brattleboro about $3.3 million on the way, and the first time we learn of Town Manager Peter Elwell’s planned retirement at the end of the year.
Much discussion, though, was about goals for the coming year.
Congressman Peter Welch will be a special guest at the Brattleboro Selectboard’s next regular meeting. He’ll be joining to discuss the stimulus package and other issues.
Otherwise, it is a rather standard meeting agenda, with lots of usual set-up and orientation for the new board, reviewing RTM actions, and appointing people to various positions and committees. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
A. Introductions and announcements
B. Review Open Meeting Law
C. Discuss schedule and plan for the year
What have you noticed this spring in and around Brattleboro?
Outlet Center renovations are coming along nicely. Looks like we get one of those official “outlet center cupolas” at the corner, too. Look out, Manchester.
Potholes are big enough for small families to inhabit.
Fiber optic cables being strung all over the place.
Town Clerk Hilary Francis swore in newly-elected members of the Brattleboro Selectboard Monday evening.
Ian Goodnow, Daniel Quipp, and new member Jessica Gelter took their oath of office and joined Tim Wessel and Elizabeth McLoughlin to form the next selectboard. New signed Oaths of Office will be arranged at a later date.
They all affirmed that they will faithfully execute the duties of selectboard member for the Town of Brattleboro, doing equal rights and justice to all people, in the best of their judgement and ability, according to law under the pain and penalties of perjury.
Here’s your link to the 2021 Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting.
As always, if anything is notable, you can make note of it!
. CONVENE MEETING BY TOWN CLERK HILARY FRANCIS
2. CONFIRM MEETING OFFICIALLY WARNED
3. INTERNAL BUSINESS
A. Oath of Office – Newly Elected Member and Re-Elected Members
B. Election of Officers
I. Call to Order and Quorum Check
II. Review of Agenda
III. Review and Approval of Minutes from February 2021
IV. Review of Compliments and Complaints from BPD
Many people want police officers (SRO) removed from schools across Vermont, and there is state legislation pending about it. At last night’s (Tuesday March 16) meeting WSESU school directors heard public comments about the officer in the high school located in Brattleboro.
School administrations and other advocates cling to the SRO’s as high-power hall monitors and deterrents to school shooters and terrorists, while opponents like BCS and most notably Youth for Change, want students to feel safe and not intimidated at school. BCS is proposing a compromise: following the BCS S.A.F.E. policing disarmament plan the police could continue their SRO function without their pistols (or other non-lethal weapons).
Water leaks and collapsing walls were part of the first post-Daylight Savings Time regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. The Department of Public Works reported on a couple of recent and ongoing emergency repairs downtown involving water.
The board heard an update on the work of the Windham Regional Commission, found out more about how poorly parking revenues are going this year, hired a company to do cemetery maintenance, and purchased some new playground equipment. And board members said goodbye to Brandie Starr and Jan Anderson, thanking them for their service.
Playground equipment, cemetery maintenance, and Representative Town meeting loose ends will be on the agenda for the next regular meeting for the Brattleboro Selectboard.
The board will also buy an insertion valve, hear updates on recent projects at the Windham Regional Commission, and appoint a new health officer, WRC delegates, and committee members. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved of moving forward with the recommendations of the Town manager regarding the Community Safety Review Committee recommendations. Everything that can be underway is underway.
The board decided to go for a 6% investment in Cow Power and created a new fund with $70k to help reduce emissions and consumption.
I’m attaching two PDF files here that are part of the upcoming Brattleboro Selectboard meeting.
The first is Town Manager Peter Elwell’s memo to the board regarding implementing the community safety recommendations. He gives some background information, acknowledges harm and a commitment to reckoning and collaboration, has some notes about the pace and timeframe of changes, accountability, and a bit about the way they annotated the recommendations.
The second is the list of the recommendations, now annotated by the Town with remarks. Of the 41 recommendations, 30 are marked with a “Yes” indicating that the Town can take unilateral action to accomplish the goal. Those marked “No” aren’t out of the question, but they are out of the Town’s direct control. State or federal changes would be required.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will take up Community Safety Review recommendations at their next regular meeting, which happens to fall on Town Meeting day. Town staff has provided the board with a path for adopting recommendations, if they so choose.
The board will also pick up on their conversation about Cow Power, get grant money for the new train station parking lot, and some possible money for eligible households impacted by COVID. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
A. Introductions and announcements
B. Approve minutes
C. Review and revise draft reports
D. Public participation
The manufacturer of the Town’s Pay-As-You-Throw garbage bags recently sent purple bags intended for Portland, Maine, to Brattleboro retailers. That has caused some understandable confusion for customers and for Triple-T, the Town’s solid waste hauler. Compounding this confusion is the fact that the Portland bags (30.6 gallons) are slightly smaller than the Brattleboro bags (33.5 gallons). Customers who have ended up with Portland bags instead of Brattleboro bags have two options:
An extended discussion about Brattleboro becoming the largest purchaser of Cow Power ended with explanations of feelings and confusions, but no purchase agreement. The Brattleboro Selectboard was saved from making a decision by Town Manager Elwell’s suggestion to gather more data.
Lots of water and sewer improvements and activity, a thank you from Boys & Girls, and a new name for a short street rounded things out.