Cavendish allows mask rule to expire; will revise speed ordinance

As of their Feb. 14 meeting, the Town of Cavendish will not renew their mask mandate. Photo provided

CAVENDISH, Vt. – During their Feb. 14 meeting, the Cavendish Selectboard did not renew the town’s mask mandate. The Town also plans to revise their speeding ordinance and prepare for upcoming warm weather projects.

The initial mask “rule” had been decided upon in the Selectboard’s Dec. 13 meeting and had remained in effect for 45 days but needed to be renewed after that to continue.

The four attending board members were split on the issue, with Bob Glidden and George Timko voting against renewal and Mike Ripley and Sandy Russo voting in favor. Since no vote was approved either way, the mask rule will remain expired.

Town Manager Brendan McNamara said that he felt the majority of people would continue to wear masks on their own as a precaution. Businesses can continue to post mask requirements if they choose.

The town has decided to revise the Town Speeding Enforcement Ordinance, which has been in effect since early 2008. According to the Sheriff’s Department, a number of speeding violations are being thrown out because the speed on the town’s back roads, which are 35 mph, are not listed specifically in the town ordinance and are not marked with a speed limit sign.

McNamara will redraft the ordinance and include the speed limits of all roads, posted and not posted. The change in the ordinance will require a warning, a public hearing, and then the Selectboard can adopt the change. He expects to have the update completed by the summer.

The town expects to have the budget finalized this week in preparation for Town Meeting. The hybrid meeting is happening via Zoom and in-person at the Cavendish Town Elementary School, on Monday, March 28, with all voting happening via Australian ballot the following day on Tuesday, March 29 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Proctorsville Fire Station. A link to the meeting will be posted on the Cavendish Town website.

The voting on the school budgets, including the Green Mountain Unified School District budget, which encompasses CTES, Green Mountain Union Middle/High School and Chester Andover Elementary School, and the River Valley Technical School budget, is still taking place at the original Town Meeting date of Tuesday, March 1, at the Proctorsville Fire Station from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The informational meeting for the GMUSD budget is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. via Zoom or in-person at GMUHS. The link for that meeting can be found on the TRSU website.

Plans have begun for a summertime cleanup of the site of Cavendish’s former highway garage, which is next to The Cavendish Historical Society Building on Main Street. Plans include smoothing and leveling out the area, establishing water to the site and to the CHS building, moving a fuel tank and salvageable pieces of the pole barn down to the location of the new town garage, and testing the soil to make sure that a public park might be able to go there.

Cavendish Streetscapes and local landscape architect Tim Calabrese are working on a design for parking and the potential park, and McNamara said he is working with Regional Planning to help secure funds that may be available for site testing. He said he wants to make sure the possible park location is contaminate-free before moving forward.

In the Town Manager’s Report, McNamara said all of the cameras and alarms have been installed at the town garage in response to two break-ins that had happened previously.

A decision on Act 250 has come down from the Vermont Supreme Court, which seems to have reverted back to its original interpretation of the law that any parcel of land over an acre will require an Act 250 review. McNamara said that it gives more control to the towns that don’t have any zoning, such as Cavendish.

The town is working with Ludlow Electric to switch the streetlights in Proctorsville to LED bulbs, which will save significant costs. They also should be able to receive rebates from Efficiency Vermont to help with some of the upfront costs.

The E-charger station on the Proctorsville Green is about to cost users money for a charge. The first year, the town was covering all costs for the energy and for the E-charge location to be tracked through a GPS system. A credit card reader is now being installed on the charging unit so those costs will now fall to the users.

The next regular Cavendish Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cavendish Town Office.


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