News, Wolcott

Select Board Continues Planning for Next Year’s Budget

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by Gazette Staff

WOLCOTT – At its November 1 regular meeting, the Wolcott Select Board approved applying for a grant for the wastewater project, discussed river cleanup, and continued budget planning discussions.

Victoria Hellwig, assistant planner with Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC), told the board of a grant opportunity available that would fund 20% of the total cost of the wastewater project. This grant would be in addition to the other grants that have been received to date. Hellwig was seeking a letter of support from the select board and approval to proceed with the grant application. The deadline for application is November 15. The board reviewed the letter of support and voted to sign it.

Peter Danforth, director, Lamoille Conservation District (LCD), informed the board that the LCD is a resource available to assist towns with cleaning up debris in the river from the July flood. Although LCD cannot remove lumber and wood debris, it can help clean up trash, garbage, tires, and similar items next season. The board will provide Danforth with the primary areas that need cleanup, along with contact information for residents who can help.

Board Chair Linda Martin reported that no bids were received in response to the request that was published in the News & Citizen for repairing the town garage and fire station following the July flood. The board’s understanding is that the requested time-frame was considered too short. The board reached out to companies directly and received two bids, from Sight Above Carpentry LLC in Hyde Park, and Paradee Construction in Wolcott. Martin and Paradee recused themselves from the discussion. Paradee subsequently withdrew the Paradee Construction bid. After further discussion, the board voted to accept the Sight Above Carpentry bid.

On the topic of next year’s budget, Deb Klein submitted a written budget proposal for $25,200 for the lister’s line item, which is $200 less than last year’s budget request. There was some discussion about creating a separate line item for E-911 signs. The board will take the budget request under advisement.

Tom Martin informed the board that he is proposing a flat budget of $12,125 on behalf of planning and zoning. The board will take the request under advisement.

On behalf of the Forest Committee, Gordon Young and Roger LaChance requested a budget of $3,500, consisting of $1,000 for speakers and public events, $1,000 for print communications, $500 for website development, and $1,000 for website development tools. Linda Martin noted that the town is working with a professional who is in the process of updating the website. The committee will be given the contact information for this individual to discuss the committee’s needs. The proposed budget was taken under advisement.

Kurt Klein provided the board with a document for review and started a discussion regarding budgeting for a town administrator. The board was asked to consider the town’s and the select board’s needs in five to seven years. It was noted that surrounding towns are hiring, or advertising to hire town administrators. It was strongly recommended the position be full-time.

Klein updated the board on the status of the FEMA and VLCT insurance claims he has been working on. The town has received a $50,000 advance from VLCT.

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