News, Wolcott

Vice Chair Resigns at Select Board Meeting

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photo by Vanessa Fournier
Debris still hangs from the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail bridge in Wolcott, showing how high the Lamoille River raged from the historic flooding in July.

by Gazette Staff

WOLCOTT – At its August 16 regular meeting, the Wolcott Select Board’s agenda included updates on the schoolhouse project, the town wastewater project, and the School Street bridge replacement. The meeting also included the resignation of the board’s vice chair.

Residents from Corley Road asked when their road would be repaired following damage from the flood waters. Board Chair Linda Martin said she would be meeting with FEMA the next day.

The board received a request for a driveway permit on Lake Wapanaki Road. The road foreman had no objection. The board voted to approve the permit.

Tyler Mumley, owner of Mumley Engineering, Inc., appeared before the board to address any questions that they may have prior to his company engaging in civil engineering work on the schoolhouse project pursuant to the Municipal Planning Grant. After discussion, the board voted to accept the proposal from Mumley Engineering.

On the topic of the Wolcott Village Wastewater Project, Seth Jensen, Deputy Director of the Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC), requested authorization to proceed with a couple of seasonally-dependent investigations that need to start this summer to prepare for a bond vote in the spring of 2024. Costs associated with these tasks will be reimbursed once the grant agreement is finalized and signed. Tasks include a windshield survey of potential wetlands in the project area, as well as the required background water quality monitoring. The board voted to approve up to $20,000 in pre-award costs for the two tasks as outlined.

Vice chair Kurt Klein opened his report by announcing that he was resigning from the Wolcott Select Board, effective immediately, but would remain as town administrator temporarily until a replacement could be found. Martin asked Klein to reconsider his decision.

Klein reported that a Gulf Road resident has requested that the board consider lowering the speed limit to 25 mph on Gulf Road from the intersection with North Wolcott Road to Whitetail Drive.

Klein also reported that the Portolet by the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail has been canceled and that the Small-Scale Safety Grant was approved. Also, signed copies of the Procurement and Personnel Policies are now posted on the town’s website.

Martin reported that she is working on requests from property owners impacted by the flood who wish to be bought out. Five property owners have expressed interest in the program so far. The current anticipated timeline for a decision is six months to one year.

Equipment at the town garage was damaged by flood water. Replacement equipment needs to be purchased for the garage to continue to function.

VTrans identified multiple bridges in town that need debris from the flood removed. A long-reach excavator and operator will be required. Inquiries are being made. Mold has been discovered behind the walls in the fire department and town garage. ServPro will provide an estimate for remediation.

The board received a request from the Wolcott Fire Department to hold a coin drop fundraiser on Saturday, September 2, and Sunday, September 3 on Route 15. The board voted to approve the request.

The board has also been asked to choose between a truss or multi-girder bridge as the permanent replacement for the School Street bridge. After discussion of the pros and cons of each bridge type, the board voted to request a truss type bridge.

The board then discussed options for paving and repairing portions of North Wolcott Road. Following the recommendation of LCPC, the board will move forward with paving under a paving grant, and then seek a grant for stabilizing the bank in the future.

The Private Burial Policy was next. The board discussed the proposed private burial policy. It follows the language in Vermont State Statutes. Additional items include GPS coordinates and different burial depths. After discussion, the board voted to approve the policy as presented.

Finally, the board reviewed plans for the September 8 barbecue and information-sharing event. Board members will be on hand to answer questions residents may have about what is happening in town. Tables will be set up for the Forest Committee, the Wastewater Committee, the elementary school, the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District, and others. Martin was able to raise $600 in sponsorships. Jon Gailmore has been hired to perform. The fire department will provide hamburgers and hot dogs and there will be corn-on-the-cob. The library will provide popcorn and ice cream. Canopies are needed. Volunteer corn boilers and shuckers are needed, as well as general rovers. Plans will be finalized at the September 6 meeting.

The next regular select board meeting is scheduled for September 6.

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