Cavendish discusses Covid-19 safety efforts, prepares for budget season

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish Selectboard heard of ongoing Covid-19 safety efforts at their latest Dec. 14 meeting. Town operations during the Covid-19 pandemic have already reduced access to Cavendish Town Office to appointment only, and Town Manager Brendan McNamara has been working with the regional planning office preparing for worse case scenarios surrounding the highway department amid the pandemic.

McNamara is reaching out to other plowing contractors and other town highway departments exploring different backup options if members of his road crew would become infected. McNamara said his options are very fluid and that he is looking to “protect ourselves, our community, and our employees as best we can.”

Other town services such as the Fletcher Library have now gone to curbside service only and the Recreation Department will have no sports this winter.

The Cavendish Selectboard will begin work on their budget beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. In the past, budget meetings are typically scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. McNamara said he will have the first draft in front of the board at least a week in advance to give them time to time to digest it and ask questions. The board said they encourage the public to attend. The meeting will be held via Zoom and details will be on the town’s website.

The board will also begin discussions on how town meeting will be held this year, and whether they may go opt for Australian ballot in response to Covid-19 safety concerns as many surrounding towns have done.

The board approved a request for an Emergency Health Order from Cavendish Health Officer Doris Eddy concerning a property 223 Cavendish Gulf Road. Large amounts of trash outside the home are causing an infestation of rats. A renter living at the property is responsible for the problem, refused to comply with requests to clean up the trash, and has since left the property.

The emergency health order will allow the town to go to the owner of the property to clean up trash and bait for rats. According to McNamara, the property is causing a “severe health issue” and needs to be taken care of.

A Hostess truck that has seemingly been abandoned on Depot Street, parked in front of the Proctorsville Post Office, has now been brought to the attention of the State Police as an abandoned vehicle. The expectation is the vehicle will be towed away.

Board member Sandra Russo, who also is on the board of trustees for the Fletcher Library in Cavendish, has apparently put together a document with three proposals on how best to work with the Cavendish Town Elementary School, which will be reviewed by the Selectboard, the library trustees, and presumably school administrators. The proposal includes a request to have the town take over the salaries for the library staff.

Board member Mike Ripley suggested that if the library would be run for the school that maybe the school might pay for some portion of the salary as well.

An ongoing investigation is happening with local law enforcement concerning a suspicious male and vehicle that has been spotted and reported on around town. McNamara could not provide further details since it is an ongoing investigation but wanted to assure everyone that the situation is being followed up on.

The next Cavendish Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

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