The board discussed guidelines for the 1% option tax reserve fund and how loans would be administered, including the possibility of releasing selectboard agendas a week in advance should a loan application be a topic of discussion and action. Town Manager Scott Murphy said doing so might mean a skeleton draft of an agenda being on display, but Chapman believes it will give residents more time to prepare.
The board continued discussion on setting a threshold for a loan limit, before the town would need to vote on a loan. Murphy held to his original idea of $50,000, while Burke said that for projects including construction, which can sometimes go over their projected cost, a loan application must include a solid final project cost. Haughwout said that the threshold should not be the only reason for the public to have the chance to review loan applications, and the selectboard should be able to take any loan they see necessary to a public vote. Murphy said one way to ensure that loan money is taken advantage of would be to inform banks the money is there as a secondary loan source should a bank be on the cusp of loaning, but won’t pull the trigger.
Murphy also asked the board to begin considering tax stabilization, which allows a new business to come to town and not be required to pay 100% property taxes immediately, rather, over a five-year period they are raised by 20% each year. Murphy also said the board would want to reassure voters they are not carrying the burden.
Haughwout announced that she and Wendy Pratt have helped organize the American Legion Memorial Day Program for many years and have this year secured the use of the Moving Wall, a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC. The wall will be displayed from June 13 to June 17 in a yet-to-be- determined outdoor location that is both serene and large enough to house it.