News, Wolcott

Board Addresses Animal Control Challenge

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by Gazette Staff

WOLCOTT – At its November 15 regular meeting, the Wolcott Select Board voted to upgrade the sound system used for recording meetings, approved reimbursing the animal control officer for boarding dogs in his care, and voted to sign a contract for printing the town’s annual report.

Dolan Patrick, community resident, requested that the select board consider upgrading the audio system used for recording meetings in the board room. His proposal included the purchase of an additional microphone for approximately $350, a ceiling mount for the microphone for approximately $50, and a video card that generally costs between $50 and $150. After discussion, the board voted to purchase the equipment, spending up to $500 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

In another comment from the community, Ryan Bjerke said that a portion of the newly created temporary turnaround on Flat Iron Road appears to be on his property. Bjerke requested a no-parking sign be posted at the turnaround. It was noted that no-through-traffic signs will need to be posted along the sides of Flat Iron Road before plowing begins.

The board then discussed aspects of the draft town budget for next year.

The project manager report noted that a lot of work is still being conducted with regard to FEMA and VLCT insurance claims addressing flood damage. Repair work is ongoing at the town garage and the fire station, and road work along a portion of Elmore Pond Road has been completed. Several culverts need to be replaced. Due to size requirements, special orders have been placed.

The report also noted that Bradley Horstman has been working on upgrading the town’s website.

Next, the board voted to approve two right-of-way excavation permits and voted to pay the town’s animal control officer (ACO) a $10 per dog per day boarding fee. Area dog kennels have stopped taking dogs that come into the ACO’s care because, they said, the compensation paid by towns was too low. As a result, Wolcott’s ACO has been boarding dogs at his home at his expense.

The town received a proposed contract from REPRO for the printing of the town’s annual report. The contract offered a choice of a one- or two-year term. The town has previously entered into a two-year contract. With a two-year contract, assuming 650 copies of the report each with 86 pages, the yearly printing cost would be $2,589. After discussion, the board voted to sign a two-year contract.

The board then voted to keep the coverage level on uninsured and underinsured motorists at $250,000 per occurrence through a policy offered by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. The board also approved a motion to accept an addendum to the highway department’s union contract.

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