The Select Board concerned about hazardous material stored on the train tracks

Select Board
Rockingham Select Board discussed concerns that hazardous material is left on unused train tracks.

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – The Select Board met on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 in the Lower Theater of the Bellows Falls Opera House. Manager Shane O’Keefe did not have anything to report but gave kudos to Highway Superintendent Mike Hines and the entire department staff for their outstanding work in cleaning up the roads after the winter storms that carried throughout the week leading up to and including Dec. 25, 2017.

The Select Board addressed a hazardous condition with propane being stored on the unused railroad tracks. The town of Bennington recently raised issue with the situation as it is occurring amongst the Vermont Railway system cars. Ann DiBernado said that she would like the town of Rockingham to be added to the list of towns voicing concern to Gov. Phil Scott. She referenced train cars that could possibly contain hazardous materials that have been parked in Bartonsville. Gaetano Putignano mentioned that these sedentary train cars could possibly be targeted in acts of terrorism.

Di Bernardo made a motion to send a letter to Gov. Phil Scott, voicing the town’s concern of these cars that carry hazardous and toxic materials. The motion passed unanimously, and Putignano requested that the manager look into a plan for the town in the event of a potential disaster.

A motion was approved to change the Town of Rockingham Social Service policy’s due date from Dec. 15 to Nov. 1. The policy due date has changed several years ago, according to the Board, but had not been changed on the town’s ordinance.

Discussion of applying for another bond to fix Griswold Drive’s drainage system was undetermined due to an outstanding 5 million dollar bond debt that is already owed by the town. Board members, as well as Finance Director Ron Karvosky, agreed that further discussion needed so all figures of debt and cost can be compared before the Select Board can make any final decisions on repairs.

As of Dec. 21, 2017, the town is 47.4 percent through the 2018 fiscal year. Hindes noted that salt and sand supplies are down, but he will try a treated salt product to see if it makes a difference. As for the FY2019 budget, O’Keefe included a $40,000 figure for the demolition for the property on 10 Church St. The Select Board will hold a special meeting on Jan. 11, 2018 for budget review only to have a more thorough, detailed look at the numbers before coming forward with decisions for the public. Warning petitions are due on Jan. 18, 2018, finalizing the town meeting warning will take place at the meeting on Jan. 16 with potential for a special meeting for reviewing the warning petitions.

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