Select Board Meeting 1/11/16

Select board (SB) meetings are recorded by LPC-TV and are available at their website and on Comcast Television.  Written minutes are available at the town’s website.  The following was discussed at Monday night’s meeting:

 Green Mountain Railroad Trestle: Discussed several times in 2015 and in previous years, VTrans presented new information about shoring up the embankment for the Green Mountain Railroad trestle on the Cavendish Gulf Rd, which was heavily damaged by tropical storm Irene. This is a public safety issue and therefore needs to be done as soon as possible. Funding for this project is coming from FEMA and the state, which means this is a “no frills” project-restore to original condition. The project was delayed, with FEMA approval, because the initial approach for repair- using brick type construction-had to be scraped due to different ledge levels.

The alternative design will use soil nails and shotcrete. The latter is a concrete that is applied with a hose. It will follow the contour of the hillside and is expected to last approximately 70 years. The concrete will be tinted to provide a better match to the surrounding area and in time will blend into the landscape.

This project must be implemented this summer, otherwise the FEMA funds will not be available. Construction will take place in late June/July and will require the Cavendish Gulf Road to be closed for two weeks with a 72-hour period where the railroad will be shut down. It is possible that with the new construction technique, to open the Gulf Rd at night. Signage will appear well in advance of the construction phase to give people ample time to prepare.

Vermont Clean Water Act (Act 64): Jason Rasmussen of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC) spoke to the board about Vermont’s new Clean Water Act, which was signed into law this past June. Originally intended for Lake Champlain, it was expanded to address the problem of polluted storm water runoff into Vermont’s lakes and waterways. The law allows the state to:

• Assist towns in meeting their obligation to maintain roads to prevent runoff leading to erosion, which will keep nutrients and sediment (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus) out of Vermont’s water, by helping them implement modern storm water management systems that capture and treat the polluted runoff from roads, streets, and parking lots.

• Direct significant new resources to help farmers and loggers reduce water pollution from their operations, keep livestock out of Vermont’s streams, and seek more careful management of tilling practices and manure application.

• Set up a Clean Water Fund to be funded with a 0.2 percent surcharge on the property transfer tax, which will raise $5.3 million in FY2016.

State standards will need to be developed, along with best practices. These should be in place by 2017 after which towns will be required to conduct inventories of existing areas in proximity to watersheds and develop a priority plan of how improvements will be made. By 2020, the town will need to have a prioritized implementation plan.

Some funds will be available to the town, through Clean Water Fund, Better Back Roads and other programs. SWCRPC will be working with the town to help meet the new law’s requirements. However, there is little that can be done until the state provides standards and guidelines.

Windsor County Youth Services: Tara Chase spoke to the board about the Girls Shelter at 20 Mile Stream as part of the Select Board’s budgetary process. Girls from this program are involved in giving back to the community and WCYS is very appreciative from the help and support from the Cavendish community.