Cavendish addresses town informational meeting and tree removal

CAVENDISH, Vt. – During their recent Feb. 8 meeting, Cavendish Selectboard members began to flesh out details on the Cavendish informational meeting being held via Zoom Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m., and confirmed the need to remove two silver maple trees on Depot Street that now pose a safety hazard.

The Cavendish informational meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom, recorded by Okemo Valley TV and facilitated by Cavendish Town Moderator Mike Ripley. Zoom meeting login and password details are available on the Cavendish town website at There is also a phone number to call into the meeting for residents who either do not have a computer or do not have adequate internet service. All Zoom information will also be available in the back of the town report, which will be mailed out this week.

Ripley will determine the system for people to pose their questions, either through raising their hand or the chat feature through the Zoom platform. Callers will also be advised on how to ask their questions.

In the past, Cavendish has had their informational meeting in person as part of Town Meeting, with approval of budget and articles, as well as amendments to either, made “on the floor,” as part of the process. This year, however, because the meeting is being held via Zoom due to Covid-19, the meeting can only provide a platform to answer questions with no opportunity to make amendments. Voting will be done by Australian ballot Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

The board discussed the possibility of opening a gathering space, with Covid guidelines in place, for people to gather who may be hampered by lack of computer or internet access, but no details were decided at the meeting. Town Manager Brendan McNamara said that any details would be posted on the town website or through the Cavendish Facebook once they were decided.

Town Clerk Diane McNamara said that absentee ballots may be requested in advance either via email to, by phone to the town office at 802-226-7291, or on the My Voter Page on the Vermont Secretary of State’s office website.

Two silver maple trees on Depot Street will need to be removed after becoming a “dangerous liability” for the town, according to Brendan McNamara. Cavendish Tree Warden Tim Calabrese, who is also a landscape architect, said that the wood has become very weak and that rot has begun at the base of both trees.

Calabrese said that his biggest concern was that Depot Street has a lot of foot and vehicular traffic and that “one of those branches is going to come down during an ice storm or wind storm.” Some of the branches also overhanging one of the houses and encroach on the “right of way” on Depot Street.

Calabrese, McNamara, and other Selectboard members expressed regret that the trees, both over 100 years old, would need to be removed but that safety had become the deciding factor.

Cost for tree removal will cost approximately $5,000 and will be scheduled after the landowners have been notified and tree removal can be scheduled with Vaillancourt Tree Service, the vendor selected for the job.

In upcoming projects, the town is moving forward with the replacement of a sagging sewer line that stretches from Singleton’s Store to Depot Street. The sag has caused back-ups in the past and will need to be replaced before paving happens this summer. Proposals for the project will be going out shortly.

The town informational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Details can be found on the town’s website.

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