Hardwick, News

Select Board Authorizes New Police Contract

by Gazette Staff

HARDWICK – At its February 2 regular meeting, the Hardwick Select Board’s agenda included discussion of a proposed one-year contract with the Hardwick Police Department’s bargaining unit.

Town Manager David Upson’s report was the first presentation of the meeting. Upson reported that an agreement between Hardwick and Woodbury regarding West Woodbury has been finalized, under which the Hardwick road crew will plow the roads in West Woodbury and grade them twice a year. Woodbury will pay Hardwick $6,000 per year under the agreement. Hardwick will take over the road maintenance now for a payment of $3,000 for the rest of the year. Upson is also working to schedule a joint meeting between the Hardwick Select Board and the Hardwick Electric Department (HED) commissioners.

The Town of Hardwick has $3,000 allocated for fireworks for Springfest. With the price increasing drastically, Upson proposed that the board donate the $3,000 to Kiwanis and have them take the lead on organizing fireworks for the event.

Finally, Tracy Martin, the town’s Community Development Coordinator (CDC), submitted the Downtown Transportation Fund Grant application for an additional $200,000 for the Pedestrian Bridge project.
Upson also gave the road foreman report. The highway crew has been pushing back banks this week. They’ve had some minor equipment failures, but the breakdowns have all been replaced. Board vice chair Ceilidh Galloway-Kane noted the good condition of the town’s roads.

The Hardwick Police Department (HPD) report was given by Police Chief Mike Henry, who updated the board about some needed equipment repairs. He also mentioned that both of the batteries in the hybrid needed to be replaced recently. Galloway-Kane asked if there was a warranty, but the warranty has expired.

The police station now has two snowmobiles to patrol the VAST trails. Officers performed approximately 50 inspections on January 28 and 29. They will continue to monitor the trails.

Lastly, the senior citizen side of the police station has had a lot of use. Anyone who would like to schedule use of that space should contact HPD at (802) 472-5475.

The board then appointed Emily Hershberger to the Hardwick Energy Committee.

The next agenda item was working with Window Dresser to improve insulation of the town buildings. Window Dressers is a company that works in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to custom-build indoor insulating window inserts. These inserts have clear polyolefin film with pine frames and a compressible foam gasket.

The board then approved a first-class and a third-class liquor license for The Cork & Fork, which is expected to open in mid-May.

The board approved a resolution in support of applying for a Better Connections grant.

Next, the business manager provided an update on revenues and expenses for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2023. Adjusting for the timing of payments, specifically payment of school taxes, the town is on budget for revenues and expenses.

The board then discussed a proposed one-year contract with HPD’s New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA) bargaining unit. Upson mentioned that the proposed contract included changes for the previous agreement, including changing the term of the contract, revamping the pay scale to be more competitive with other agencies, providing fitness pay and special duty pay, added Juneteenth to the holiday schedule, and changes in health insurance employee contribution. Board chair Eric Remick asked why it was only a one-year contract. Upson replied that this would allow Hardwick to stay competitive. The board voted to authorize the town manager to sign the contract.

The board then approved a banner application for the Hardwick Farmers’ Market to be hung on Wolcott Street from May 12 to October 6.

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