Greensboro, News

FEMA to Cover December Flood Costs

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GREENSBORO – Town projects from December’s flood recovery, to road work, a Breezy Avenue sidewalk scoping study and the proposed wastewater treatment plant filled the select board’s June 12 meeting agenda,

Select Board Clerk and FEMA Coordinator Josh Karp provided a FEMA update, stating all Greensboro’s road damage from the December rain event was deemed repeat damage; identical to damage experienced in the July flood. As directed by FEMA, the town will withdraw its new request for assistance, and add the December damage to the July event.

Karp will be meeting with FEMA this week to discuss the remaining flood repair projects.

The state has eliminated the local match requirement for mitigation funding, Karp reported, and will now be paying 100% of project costs. The funding program has an August deadline, and the town will likely apply to fund at least six projects. Additionally, FEMA announced it will now be able to reimburse the town for a significant portion of the interest paid on the $1 million line of credit.

Road Foreman Tom Camarra reported the road crew finished ditching on Breezy Avenue, Garvin Hill and Cemetery Ridge. The crew is currently ditching on Tousant Hill, and will then move on to flood repair work on Bayley Hazen Road. Camarra confirmed improvements on Bayley-Hazen will take weeks, with new culverts and ditching required.

Board member David Kelly then asked Camarra if there are locations around Greensboro where road runoff enters streams and lakes, and whether mitigation measures should be implemented. Josh Karp asked if crowdsourcing would help, perhaps asking Greensboro residents to report areas where runoff is problematic.

Camarra said the annual state grants the town receives are directed at projects, like ditching, which are designed to reduce road runoff. Grant work this year will be done on Shadow Lake Road, Country Club Road, and the hill below Rod Kerr’s property.

Camarra said the town has received three grants, adding that he and Alan May at VTrans discussed hiring Mark Coburn to do this grant work, with the road crew hauling gravel for the town match. Camarra added this will leave more time for the crew to work on other projects such as flood repair.

Town Clerk Kim Greaves agreed to have her cell phone number used as the emergency number for after-hours road issues so Camarra wouldn’t receive so many calls outside work hours. She will relay issues to Camarra as needed.

The board motioned to approve an outside consumption permit, first-class liquor license, and third-class liquor license for the Highland Center for the Arts.

Two bids were received for a new town hall generator, with the board accepting the New England Power Systems bid of $18,600 for a 25kW generator. The motion was passed unanimously.

Treasurer Brett Stanciu reported that the childcare contribution tax goes into effect on July 1, amounting to 4.4% of state wages. Stanciu stated the board would have to decide whether the town, or employees would pay this new tax. If paid by the town, the tax amounts to $1,650 total for a year. The motion for the town to cover the cost of the child care contribution tax passed unanimously.

Stancui also said that the 3.2% wage increase for town employees in this year’s budget needs board approval. The discussion moved to Josh Karp, who plays a dual role as select board clerk and FEMA coordinator. Previously, Karp was paid different rates for the two different jobs. The board discussed paying Karp the higher FEMA rate for both jobs. Ultimately, the board approved to pay Karp the same rate for select board work as his FEMA work. The board also approved the 3.2% wage increase for all town employees.

A surveyor has done an initial review of the town’s Glover property, saying it appears there is a substantial encroachment onto the property by a neighboring landowner. Peter Romans, former select board member, said he would be willing to talk to the property owners after the town has completed the necessary research.

If approved by the board, the town could offer to sell a few additional acres to the neighbor in question, land the town has no need for. This would resolve the encroachment issue. The board approved the motion for Romans to begin a discussion with the landowners, explaining what the lawyers and surveyors have stated about the deed, and work out a solution to solve the encroachment.

The board is seeking an interim select board member. The board stated a few Greensboro residents have expressed their interest, though no official letters of interest have been received.

The board approved applying for a scoping study grant for sidewalks on Breezy Avenue, available to cover $64k, with no town match required.

A hearing on proposed miscellaneous bylaws will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 6:30 p.m., in the library with a remote option.

The town is asking for a permanent easement on 1.5 acres of St. Michael’s church property for the proposed wastewater treatment system’s disposal field. Coming to an agreement with the church will allow for planning for the project to continue and keep federal construction funding in hand. Meeting minutes indicate, even with the easement from the church, a portion of the Fontaine property will ultimately be needed to proceed with the project.

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