Cavendish Select Board Meeting 10/16/17

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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 action was discussed/taken at Monday night’s meeting:

• Telecommunications: While Comcast has been awarded a grant by the state to provide service from Tarbell Hill up and around Knapp Pond, the state has yet to send them the agreement letter. Once that is received they can begin work and will have a year to complete the project. In conversations with Comcast about expansion into other parts of town, representatives have stated that without contribution or aid, they only expand into areas where there are 13 houses per mile, regardless of how many accounts that may exist.

Over the weekend, a resident posted a problem with TDS Internet. Consequently, a question was posted to the Cavendish VT Facebook page about TDS’s subscribers recent experience with their Internet service. The response was swift and immediate, 22 people either posted or e-mailed with major complaints about TDS-slow speeds, buffering, needing to continually reboot etc. TDS does have Connect America Funding, but it is unclear when and if Cavendish will benefit from this service.

• TDS Utility Pole: Unanimously approved the addition of a new utility pole at 37 High St. (next to the town office) for TDS. This might help to reduce some of the TDS issues in that area.

• Check/Recycling/Transfer Station: Tom Kennedy, on behalf of the Southern Windsor/Windham County Solid Waste Management District, who voted to return tipping fees held since 2008 when the VT/NH Solid Waste District was dissolved, presented a check for $14,786 to the town.  This money will be used to help offset the cost for the new electronics shed that was approved by the voters.

Kennedy also alerted the board that China’s proposed prohibition on recovered plastic and fiber imports could have drastic impacts on recycling costs. Currently, China has taken a large share of these recyclables. With the proposed ban, costs could significantly increase for zero sort recycling and the town should build that in for next year’s budget.

• Trails in Proctor Piper State Forest: The Planning Commission was given approval by the board to move forward with an application for a matching funds grant from the VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Agency of Natural Resources. The purpose of the grant would be to create a hiking trail that would connect Proctorsville and Cavendish villages starting at Pratt Hill (near the fire pits) and over to White’s Hill near the old Cavendish Train Depot station or the Water Tower.

• Bridge Replacement Bids: Bids were open from six vendors for the replacement of Bridge 21 (Greenbush) and Bridge 22 (East Rd). For Bridge 21, bids ranged from $160,000 to$$254,000. For Bridge 22, the range was from $158,000 to $245,725. The town manager, Brendan McNamara, will prepare a matrix by Wednesday for the SB to review. A decision on award will be made at the Nov. SB meeting.

• Bond for the Town Garage: The SB signed the Declaration of Official intent regarding the anticipated for the town garage.

• Town Garage Replacement: Borings will take place in the next two weeks to see if the alternative site by the sand pit is suitable for the new garage. If the town decides to use this location there are a series of hoops the town will need to jump through, and McNamara is already talking to the state about Act 250 permits and other necessary steps. Since the garage will not be built before “snow flies,” an agreement is being worked out for rental space from M & M construction, new owners of the old Black River Produce building, for space. The rent will be $1,500 plus heat. Changes are also being made to make it easier to take sand from the lower pit this winter.

• Website: There is now a new municipal website at Jen Leak is the contact person at the Town Office for website related questions.

Signage by the School: The town has received a grant of $4,000 towards the installation of blinking lights by the school. Bruce McEnaney, asst. Town manager, will be meeting with the CTES board to secure the additional $4,600 for the installation. These will be solar powered flashing lights.

• Municipal Water: Following the recent flushing there are reports of issues with water discoloration. It is believed that there is a leak in the pipe, which has been narrowed down to the island across from Glimmerstone. This will be checked out this week. In the mean time, water quality continues to test fine.