A. Vacant Lot Next to CTES: Sharon Huntley, CTES Director, is chairing a committee that is overseeing the development of the vacant lot next to the school. The committee is seeking input from the community until the end of November about its use and plans to have several options for the SB to review at their December meeting. At this juncture, various ideas have been discussed, all of which include additional parking for the school, and will have varying funding needs. For more on this issue, see The Dish.
B. Funding for Special Investigation Units (FIU): The town received a survey from the State of Vermont about whether they have helped or would fund a Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The SB completed the survey, indicating that an SIU has not been needed or funded, and it would depend on the circumstance as to whether they would fund one in the future. Learn more about SIUs from the State’s website.
C. Telecommunications: Since the last SB meeting, changes in service have occurred to TDS/Dish subscribers. A number of channels were lost due to the pending merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Internet connectivity issues continue, but there has been considerable national press showing this is a national problem. The best solution appears to be when towns broker their own system.
SB member Wendy Regier attended the EC Fiber meeting in South Reading to learn more about this coop and whether it’s a possibility for Cavendish to join. EC Fiber has been installing high fiber optics in 24 towns in the Upper Valley including Reading. The SB agreed to ask them to attend the February meeting to discuss the possibility of their providing coverage for Cavendish. In addition, town manager, Rich Svec, said he thought he was going to be meeting with the TDS general manager shortly. It was also recommended that Comcast and VTel come to the SB to discuss what their respective plans are for the community.
D. Town Projects
• Underpass on Cavendish Gulf Road: The drawings have been reviewed for this project and changes requested by the town have been made to the extent possible-dyeing concrete that is closer to the existing embankment color and using a finish coat that will make it easier to clean graffiti. The project will take place during the 2015 construction season.
• Davis Rd Bridge: The bridge replacement should begin sometime this week in two phases, with the second part completed in the spring 2015. The by pass will not be taken down initially as it involves pipes and the river conditions must be appropriate before they can be removed. It is likely that the bypass will remain in place briefly after the bridge has been replaced.
• Brook Rd Bridge: Work began on the bridge on Monday and will remain closed until Dec. 1. Svec, noted that the traffic tests showed a daily utilization of 98 vehicles prior to the closing of the Whitesville Bridge this summer. While the bridge was replaced, traffic on the Brook Rd Bridge increased to 778 vehicles a day, definitely justifying the expense of the temporary Maybe Bridge.
• Solar : The solar panels have been delivered and installation is underway. Eighty percent of the fencing has been completed and Green Mountain Power has put in a new pole. The project is on track for its completion and operation by December 31.
• Solar/Weatherization Workshop: On Thursday, Nov. 6, the Town Energy Committee, in conjunction with CCCA, held a workshop for the community on weatherization and solar. Well attended by the community, the topics of most interest were home solar and cold weather heat pumps. A report on the workshop appears at The Dish.