Cavendish looks at library structure, junk ordinance, and end of Route 131 paving

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish town library, junk ordinance, and a wrap up of the Route 131 paving project were all topics at the recent Oct. 18 Selectboard meeting.

The Cavendish Selectboard and Cavendish’s Fletcher Community Library has begun the process of redefining their relationship. A recent auditor’s report questioned how the funds for the library were handled and suggested that as a municipal library, they should be a department under the umbrella of the town.

Board member Sandra Russo, who also a Library Board Trustee, said that the Trustees had never worked that way but that this process would help finalize the roles and responsibilities of everyone.

Russo referenced the Law of Public Libraries as the defining document which outlines how municipal libraries should function. She provided questions to the Selectboard that will help to formulate and finalize questions to spearhead the process of how the library can begin working within the town structure, which will also include involvement and input from the town attorney.

Russo said that the Board of Trustees is also working out their relationship with the school, dealing with superintendent and principal to formalize their understanding. Both the library and Cavendish Town Elementary School are attached, although the school district owns the school side of the building and the land that the library sits on. The town owns the library portion of the building, and librarian Kata Welch works for the town and provides services to the school. She said there were a lot of pieces to consider and they “just want to get it right.”

Cavendish’s Junk Yard Ordinance was again up for discussion. Town Manager Brendan McNamara said that they haven’t had much movement on the issue although he’s starting to go around and identify what properties may or may not fall under the ordinance. He said that if they were going to pursue enforcement of the issue, they would need to be fair to everyone and enforce equally. Still to be determined are who will enforce the ordinance and how the ordinance will be enforced.

Local resident Duane Warren, who has had issues with Junk Ordinance enforcement in the past, spoke from the floor saying that he was singled out on the issue before and doesn’t want that to happen again.

After a lengthy discussion, the board agreed to have McNamara gather more information from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and other towns themselves on how they handle the issue.

Board member Mike Ripley reiterated that all members of the board were on the same page to make sure it’s done fairly.

As the paving project on Route 131 is wrapping up, McNamara said he is dealing with some final items on his punch list such as catch basins that are still not draining properly and some aprons onto adjoining roads that still need to be dealt with. He said he would continue to communicate with VTrans and Pike Industries to get them done.

Speeding continues to be an issue in Cavendish in particular because the road is now paved. Current speed limit through the towns is 35 mph. McNamara has ordered digital signs to help slow traffic. Several board members suggested lowering to speed limit to 25 mph through the villages. McNamara said they could request that a speed study be done in those areas, but it all came down to enforcement.

The board approved the appointment of Bruce McEnaney, who has recently returned to Cavendish, to the Planning Commission.

Fire Warden Roger Sheehan will be submitting his resignation, and the board approved Chris Marks, who is a captain of the Proctorsville Fire Department, as the new Fire Warden.

With budget season approaching, the board agreed that groups or organizations who want to request an appropriation from the town may submit their requests to the board in writing and will not be required to present to the board in-person.

McNamara agreed to add a Grant Match line item to the upcoming budget to help the town to apply for and take advantage of grants more easily. He will also be putting a grant review process into place at the Town Office.

The next Cavendish Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cavendish Town Office.

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