Ludlow Select Board schedules public hearing for town plan

Ludlow. Photo by Shawntae Stillwell

LUDLOW, Vt. – Board members moved quickly through a long agenda at Ludlow’s Nov. 6 Select Board meeting, covering nearly two dozen topics in under an hour.

Several Ludlow Planning Commission members present requested that a public hearing be scheduled regarding the municipal town and village plans. The plans must be updated periodically – currently every five years – or they automatically expire. While the village plan is effective until March 2018, the town plan expired on Monday, Nov. 5.

Fortunately, there’s a way to reset the clock so that the town doesn’t remain without an active town plan for more than a few days. “As soon as the Select Board schedules that we’re going to have a hearing, then the town plan goes into effect,” explained Select Board member Logan Nicoll. The public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.

The board also spent some time reviewing budget appropriations for fiscal year 2019. Several new organizations submitted funding requests, including one for $2,700 from Ludlow Townscapes – responsible for the village’s “posies and winter greenery” according to Municipal Manager Frank Heald. The American Red Cross and Women’s Freedom Center also submitted new requests. Three previously funded organizations – HCRS Mental Health, SEVCA, and Vermont Adult Learning – failed to submit request letters by the deadline.

Ludlow is likely to switch health insurance providers for 2018, from Blue Cross Blue Shield to MVP. Heald says the move will save the town about $40,000 and says he’s “95 percent sure that we’re going to switch to MVP. The coverage is slam-dunk the same.” Blue Cross premiums are jumping sharply in 2018, and Ludlow joins nearby towns Chester and Weston in evaluating the cost-saving move to MVP.

The board agreed to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to local car dealerships seeking a late-model used vehicle for the town’s police detective. The purchase amount is not to exceed $18,000, and the RFP will contain details on specific requirements. Heald assured board members that the outfitting of the vehicle would be straightforward. “[It] won’t get much more than a blue light and a grill,” he said.

Other agenda items included the appointment of a new town health officer, Doris Eddy; approval of the Side Hill Cronchers Snowmobile Club’s request to “cross, ride on and maintain” a list of trails and roadways; likely postponement of Vermont Rte. 100 box culvert replacement until spring; and liquor license approvals for Mama’s Restaurant and Main & Mountain Motel.

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