FEBRUARY 2002 SELECTBOARD NEWS
The issue of Goodall Street has been resolved. Based upon all available information, the Board has decided not to pursue in any direction leading to Goodall Street being declared a town road.
It was noted that burglaries are on the rise along Plains and Shepardson Hollow Roads, and maybe elsewhere. As point of clarification, whenever and wherever crime occurs, the state police or county sheriff are to be called. If the Franklin County Sheriff contract is in force, then the sheriff should be called first. (Under all circumstances where crime is in progress, CALL 911). Based upon discussions with Officer James Cronin of the St. Albans State Police Barracks and Sheriff Robert Norris of Franklin County, it was emphasized that the calling party should never have to contact other police agencies as a result of property being removed outside state police or county sheriff jurisdictions, e.g. Plains Road crosses Franklin and Chittenden Counties). Rather these agencies (both located in St. Albans) should manage the exceptions. This point is being made as one constituent was of the understanding that the owner had the responsibility of following up when county lines were crossed. Not so! The Board wishes to solicit everyone’s cooperation in reporting crime, suspicious activities, and suspicious characters. Watch over your neighbor’s property when they are gone. Know where your kids are after midnight. Watch for cruising vehicles that appear to be out of place or spying out property. AND call the Sheriff, PLEASE! That’s why we have a contract. The sheriff has repeatedly stated he is willing to change hours to adjust to crime reports being received. Call him at 524-2121.
The Board has taken on the task to bring its water ordinance up to date. For the next month or so it will be making recommendations and changes. Comments from the public are welcome.
The Board has also taken on the task to write a sewer ordinance, which is not the same as a sewer allocation ordinance. Again, input from the public is welcomed.
A list of plastic items prohibited from recycling was provided by Casella and is posted separately.
David Perrin, Attorney at Law, was asked to provide opinion on a parcel of land disputed, as to being private or public ownership. He was also asked to provide opinion on town liability along state highway Route 104 and Selectboard authority to intervene in the operations of the Planning Commission and Development Review Board. All requests were at the suggestion of a third party.
Bonnie Waniger of Northwest Regional Planning Commission briefed the Board on a strategy to secure grants to support a preliminary study of the expansion of the Fairfax wastewater treatment plant. It involves seeking the assistance of Lake Champlain Housing as a first step.
The Board has proceeded with the formation of an Ethics Committee. Names are to be drawn 25 March 2002 at the regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting.
A request to remove Barbara Young from the Development Review Board (DRB) was denied since no written evidence has been provided to indicate cause for removal. A review of the circumstances of Barbara’s involvement with the growth center and Town Plan with Attorney Kathy DeWolfe of the Secretary of State’s Office has revealed no improprieties. Since the Ethics Committee would make a recommendation that Barbara recuse herself when her projects appeared before the DRB and because Barbara has recused herself in the past while serving on the DRB during such issues, one has to wonder what is the issue. Not withstanding this and after the Ethics Committee is formed, and if there is a written document stating there exists a conflict of interest, this request will be referred to the Ethics Committee.
With 797 gallons of daily water capacity remaining on the Town Water System, the request of Justin and Emily Hayes to obtain water service was approved. Their requirement was 250 Gallons.
The fire department was reminded of a requirement to develop an open fire ordinance, which should be made available before spring arrives.
A request was made of the Board to determine if the Town could be sued for failing to follow or implement any portion of the Town Plan. Per Attorney Kathy DeWolfe of the Secretary of State’s Office, the answer is unequivocally no!