Easements needed for sidewalks
by Linda Donaghue
Aug 30, 2017 | 2848 views | 0 0 comments | 126 126 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Readsboro is hoping to move forward on a sidewalk project in the village.
Readsboro is hoping to move forward on a sidewalk project in the village.
READSBORO– The Readsboro Selectboard grappled with several facets of the sidewalk improvement plan at their regular meeting Wednesday evening, not the least of which are eight easements still needed to proceed with the project in its entirety. The discussion centered on how to move forward, with or without the missing easements, including going around, taking the land by eminent domain or condemning the property.

Selectboard member David Marchegiani was in favor of creating a schedule with a start date.  

Administrator Rebecca Stone said, “It can’t be done. I need permission to talk to the attorney about the process involved in those options and how long it would take. VTrans still has to approve the easements.”  

Stone was told to go ahead and talk to the town’s attorney, Robert Fisher. She is also waiting to hear from Fisher on his review of the town’s draft drug and alcohol policy.

Regarding the development of the town’s website, board member Jim Franzinelli and board clerk Deborah Calnan are continuing their research on options while still using GoDaddy for the duration of their current membership.

Prompted by the concerns of John Whitman, one of the representatives to the Windham Regional Commission, that minutes were missing from the website, Calnan reported that some documents have arrived on her desk. 

“Minutes are supposed to be posted on the website for a year,” said Whitman.  Calnan said she is keeping them for two years. 

“We need to fill the gaps,” chair Helyn Strom-Henriksen noted, asking Calnan to send a notice to all committees requesting that minutes be sent to Calnan by 11 am on the day following a meeting, to be posted by the end of the day.

Marchegiani suggested to Calnan that she set aside a few hours each week to research the issue.  Calnan said she hoped to accomplish this by next week. 

“We have a plan now for going forward,” said Strom-Henriksen, “and we’ll do our best with the backlog to August 2016.”

In other business, Marchegiani made a motion to keep meetings at every two weeks until the end of November with work sessions in between as needed.

Regarding a noise complaint, Strom-Henriksen said that an officer from the Bennington Sheriff’s Department has spoken to the parties concerned and the situation has improved.

Sheriff Chad Schmidt’s officers follow the state statute, as there is no local noise ordinance.

On the issue of zoning administrator, Strom- Henriksen said that the board might want to revisit the current salary as it may be too low and there are no applicants.  “We may want to wait for resolution of the petition (to repeal zoning regulations) to discuss the topic.”

On the subject of the petition, planning commission chair Sue Bailey said that a number of recommendations have been drawn up to deal with the complaints that prompted the petition. There have been difficulties trying to come up with draft recommendations among them training for all town officials on the law as applied to zoning, streamlining the application process including a checklist, and seeking new members so that all boards are complete.  “It’s a disservice to the town and the boards,” said Bailey, “not to be at full strength.”

Whitman noted that he recently reviewed a draft of the Windham Regional plan. The plan includes a statement that utility scale wind is incompatible in conservation areas, resource land, and productive rural land.  Whitman said, “The regional plan seems to favor solar options to windmills.”

Jim Franzinelli said, “I’d rather look at a windmill than solar panels.”

“We could encourage windmills in appropriate places,” Marchegiani added.  Whitman said he would bring Readsboro’s inclination to wind power to his regional meetings.

Resident Kim Thayer asked if the crushed gravel on the dirt roads could be treated with a large roller to improve drivability.

Strom- Henriksen said she would send a note to department of public works superintendent Norman Wild to address the issue.  Stone added that during recent visits, VTrans and Windham Regional Commission representatives both complimented Readsboro roads on the whole.
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