News, Wolcott

Trucks and Pot Head Select Board Discussion

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by Ray Small

WOLCOTT – At its regular February 7 meeting, the Wolcott Select Board authorized expenditures on trucks, approved a cannabis business license application, and had a detailed discussion about the proposed wastewater system.

The town will seek someone new to do tax sales after receiving a letter from their tax attorney stating he will no longer be doing them.

Road Foreman Dillan Cafferky presented options to repair or replace the body on Truck No. 16, as well as estimates on the cost of a replacement. After discussion, the board voted to authorize repairs to the truck and for Cafferky to order a new Western Star truck with the understanding no payment would be due prior to July, 2025.

Kurt Klein provided an update on the status of insurance claims with FEMA and the municipal insurance company for flood damage to the fire department, town garage, and town hall.

The Vermont Cannabis Control Board forwarded Application S-5138, Manufacturers Tier 2, to the local control commission for consideration. The select board, serving as the Wolcott Local Control Commission, discussed the application and then voted to authorize it.

On the topic of the wastewater project, Amy Macrellis, senior water quality specialist, outlined for the board the scope of the work Stone Environmental could provide to assist the town in preparing for the bond vote in June on the wastewater project. The board reviewed funding opportunities that have been received for the project so far. There have been no out-of-pocket expenses yet. The board voted to approve an agreement with Stone Environmental for professional services.

Jim Ryan, chair of the Wastewater Committee, provided an update. Victoria Hellwig, a planner with the Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC), was available for questions. Ryan noted that the committee is comprised of Wolcott residents, Carpenter and Martin from the select board, as well as representatives from agencies. At December’s school board meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was approved to site the wastewater system at the elementary school athletic field. The select board will review the MOU prior to discussion at the February 21 meeting.

The Wastewater Committee will start meeting two times each month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the town office. Meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, except March, when the Committee will meet on the second and third Tuesdays due to town meeting being held on March 5.

The outreach sub-committee will meet March 12, with a second meeting prior to the bond vote on June 11. Information regarding the wastewater project appears periodically in Front Porch Forum. The committee will also make an announcement at town meeting and will host a table providing handouts. Information about the project is also available on the town website,

Hellwig, from the LCPC, reviewed funding opportunities for the wastewater project. After discussion, the board voted to apply for a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Catalyst Program in the amount of $765,000, with the understanding there is a need to match those funds, that could include some from local ARPA funds.

The town received reimbursement from FEMA for the 2019 Brook Road project. The board considered various uses for the funds. Further discussion will take place at the February 21 meeting.

Seth Jensen, LCPC Deputy Director, informed the board that he has been asked by one of the Lamoille County towns impacted by the recent floods to consider convening a regional discussion about long-term flood protection, recovery, and response. If interested, Wolcott could appoint a representative to be included in the group. It is anticipated there would be three to five meetings in the spring. If participants see value in the meetings, additional ones might be scheduled, perhaps quarterly. The board will seek out residents to represent the town.

Board Chair Linda Martin recommended that the board start thinking about a contract for winter sand. It is usually a three-year contract, so bids will be required. It was also noted that the town has a contract for fuel with Bourne’s, which was recently sold.

The Class 4 Road Policy needs to be updated. The policy, as currently written, is not clear regarding the town’s responsibility to replace culverts or bridges. The board will review the language of the policy, as well as the language in the state statute, at its February 21 meeting.

Martin also reported that buyout paperwork for a North Wolcott property has been submitted to the state. Appraisals have been completed for three School Street properties seeking a buyout. Property owners will have the option of deciding whether to accept the offers. Other properties owners in the flood plain seeking buyouts are working with FEMA.

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