The following items were dealt with at the Select Board Meeting:
A. Selectmen Organizational Meeting: Many of the positions outlined on page 9 of the town report (Selectmen’s Organizational Meeting March 10, 2014) will remain the same. The following will be new for 2015:
• Animal Control Officer: Jillian and Matt Flinn and Seth Perry
• Weigher of Coal: Wayne Gilcris
• Solid Waste District Representative: Jillian Flinn, Rich Svec Alternate
• Town Planning Commission: The board will be as follows: Steve Birge (alternate for Regional Planning Council); Daniel Churchill; Etienne Ting, Dan Willey, Robert Williams Sr, Joseph Marini, Tim Calabrese, and Janet Pipkin.
• Tree Warden: Tim Calabrese
B. Liquor License: Licenses were renewed for Mini Bees, Singleton’s, The Castle Hill, and Crown Pointe Hotel.
C. Use of the Term Select Board: Wendy Regier motioned that since there are now two women on the select board, she and Jillian Flinn, the term "selectmen" be dropped and "select board" be used instead. Motion approved.
D. Town Wide Tag Sale: This year’s town wide tag sale will be July 25 (Saturday) and will be sponsored by Cavendish Connects. The focus of the sale will be on Main Street, the two village greens and the larger side streets of High Street in Cavendish and Twenty Mile and Depot Streets in Proctorsville. Motion was approved for use of village greens.
E. Internet Service: Margo Caulfield briefed the SB about activities since the February SB meeting-there has been no response from TDS representative Scott Brooks. Caulfield recommended that the SB ask Comcast to attend the April meeting to see about costs associated with connecting the most underserved areas of Cavendish. Since Google has stated they are willing to work with cities and towns to install fiber to the home, provided there is limited “paperwork,” it’s been suggested that since Cavendish does not have zoning, the town might make a good rural demonstration project. Matt Dunne, the area representative of Google, will also be asked to attend the April meeting.
F. Solar: The Energy Committee requested the SB’s approval to submit an application to be part of the third round of Solarize Upper Valley, a project of Vital Communities. Solarize Upper Valley consists of three main components:
- towns apply to become Solarize communities alone or in conjunction with other towns (Cavendish is working with Windsor, Weathersfield and Reading).
- Solar PV installers submit bids to partner with Solarize communities.
- Community leaders and volunteers partner with installers to help residents go solar. For 15 weeks, Solarize teams use workshops, open houses, tables at local events, newsletters, and other outreach to encourage residents to sign up for a free site evaluation to determine whether solar could work for them.
Each Solarize community selects partner installers competitively, with support from Vital Communities and an independent technical consultant. Their pricing, equipment, and service are carefully vetted so homeowners can be confident they're getting competitive pricing and good value. Solarize Upper Valley partner installers offer tiered pricing: As more residents sign up to go solar, the price drops for everyone. The SB approved the Energy Committee’s application to become one of the towns in Round Three of Solarize Upper Valley.
To the question of snow on the town’s 150K array solar panels, members of the Energy Committee explained that this winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest on record and many people have had issues with snow not sliding off panels. However, as the temps have warmed, the snow is melting and the panels are producing energy, which can be monitored at the Solrenview website.
G. Cavendish Gardening Projects
601 Main Street: Tim Calabrese, owner of Good Earth Landscape Company, in Proctorsville, presented a site development concept for 601 Main Street, the property next to the school. Features of the plan include:
• Increasing parking spaces from 20 to 31 and a designated spot for the bus
• Provides green space in the warm weather months and a place for snow in the winter
• The back of the property includes an existing spring, which is already in use by the 6th graders. This will be maintained with fencing for protection. This area will include an “upper terrace,” for passive recreation activities and gathering. This will include native and stone flagging incorporated seating and sculpture.
• There will be a walking path from the parking area at the front of the property through various landscaped features ultimately connecting to the existing outdoor classroom and trail.
• While a few trees will need to be removed, a combination of trees, shrubs, border plantings and perennials will be planted.
The project will be done in phases. A rough estimate of cost was $13,000 to $20,000, was given, with the idea this could be considerably reduced by in-kind donations of time, materials, plants etc. Some of the work can be done by the town crew beginning this summer, with plantings taking place in 2016. There was also a discussion of people purchasing walk way pavers that could be used as a remembrance or in recognition of someone. There was also discussion about replacing Riley’s tree in this area (there are already funds for this project) and to add a placard recognizing Curtis Bidgood’s donation of the land.
Greven Field Landscaping: Steve Ewald of the Cavendish Recreation Booster Committee requested funds from the town special accounts of The Greven Field Restoration Fund ($2,000) and $1,000 from the Tree Program Fund in order to improve the overall appearance of the park. Plans include adding flowering fruit trees (4 apple/2 pears), shrubs (4 lilacs), non-invasive perennials, a wildflower meadow, as well two annual flower beds. Also in the plan is to identify, maintain and protect a number of existing trees that have great character, especially those along the nature trail. It was suggested that a portion of the park could be used as a tree nursery. Tim Calabrese would lead a team of volunteers to refine the landscaping plan and implement it beginning this spring.
The SB does not want to use money from the Tree Program Fund for this project. There was considerable discussion about the use of plants and shrubs that could be donated by local gardeners. Calabrese has offered to do a rendering of the proposed plan and they will continue discussions with the SB and community.
H. Use of Greven Field By GMUHS: Due to flooding, the girl’s softball teams at GMUHS are in need of fields for practice and games. The SB favored the use of Fletcher Farm fields for this purpose indicating the need to retain Greven Field and Recreation area for its intended purpose. No vote was taken on this matter.
I. Citizenship Award: Before family and friends, Sara, Rhyan, Shannon & Chad Devereau and Brad Frye were presented with a Citizenship Award for their efforts in spearheading the playground restoration project in 2014.