BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, May 23, the Bellows Falls Village Trustees discussed an updated board meeting schedule, and answered questions on the Depot Street Bridge project.
As voted on at the annual election on May 16, trustees present were Village President Paul Obuchowski, and Trustees Jeff Dunbar, Conor Floyd, Wade Masure, and James McAuliffe.
Resident Robert McBride asked about project updates on the Depot Street Bridge.
Municipal Manager Scott Pickup explained that the sidewalk and pedestrian designs for Canal Street have been vetted by the trustees, and the current proposal would make Canal Street one-way. He said the selectboard still needed to review railing design on the vehicular bridge, and the landscaping and layout of the parking lot.
McBride asked about communications for Canal Street residents on the bridge project and the upcoming events at the Waypoint Center – the Bellows Falls Festival on June 10, and Alumni Weekend’s Toolshed on June 16.
Pickup said a blog website on the Depot Street Bridge project will be released in June, to be an important part of the communications piece for all residents and property owners within the downtown.
On comments about the town website, Pickup agreed “the website is not user-friendly,” and they were looking at options to make it a better design.
Trustee Masure asked who oversees the website, and if Bonnie North was still involved. Pickup said North had done work on the original design, but some of that had been disabled. He said the website needs to be refreshed, and they had folks working on it.
Dunbar proposed the board consider one meeting per month, except during the budget cycle.
McAuliffe said they “had tried that [in the past].”
Masure supported going to one meeting per month and said it was “worth a try.” He said at the next tri-board meeting, he was going to propose that both the selectboard and trustees move to holding only one meeting per month.
Masure said, whether it was Pickup or another manager, having meetings every Tuesday night, “you can only sustain this for so long…it’s a lot to expect from any person, especially when they are working for both boards.”
Pickup said, “on a personal standpoint, it would be nice to have one per month.” He said the board would have the ability to call another meeting when it was beneficial on items that might need a special meeting.
McAuliffe did not oppose having one meeting a month. He agreed the budget is an appropriate place to add the second meeting.
Floyd said he preferred the one meeting with ability to call a second. Pickup reminded the board they still have the four tri-board meetings per year.
Obuchowski suggested they schedule the meetings on the second Tuesday of the month, so if necessary they can announce an agenda item for the fourth Tuesday.
McAuliffe said it was “interesting” the meetings were scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month for the summer schedule. Pickup explained that it was mostly due to holidays. He had pushed the selectboard to the second Tuesday, trustees to the third.
The trustees approved the summer schedule for third Tuesdays. They moved to hold one meeting per month on the second Tuesday starting in September, with an option to hold another on the fourth Tuesday, and would hold two during budget discussions. The motion passed unanimously.
ARPA discussions will continue, as new members Obuchowski and Floyd weigh in on their top choices for village funding.
The village trustees will meet again on June 20, at 6 p.m., in the Lower Theater of the Bellows Falls Opera House.
bellows falls, bf, vermont, vt, trustees, selectboard