Cavendish updates payment info, free Wi-Fi hot spots, and other town projects

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish Selectboard meeting Monday, April 12 provided updates on new payment options, free Wi-Fi, and other town projects. The Cavendish Town Office will now accept credit and debit cards as formal payments for all town expenses such as licenses or water bills. Town Manager Brendan McNamara said this was something the office had been working on for a long time and that this would help with the town’s cashflow. Board member Stephen Plunkard also noted that it could also help citizens finance some of those expenses.

A 3% processing fee for using a credit card would be added to the total, to be paid by the cardholder. Using a debit card would result in a 1% fee that would be paid by the town. McNamara said they would add a budget item to cover that cost and will look into adding a call out on future bills that would alert residence to the payment option change. This was a first step with possible expansion to Venmo or Apple Pay down the road.

A new Wi-Fi hot spot booster has been added to the Cavendish Town Office, which provides free Wi-Fi for the Cavendish green area. Another hotspot booster will also be added to the Outer Limits Brewery location to provide free Wi-Fi to the Proctorville Green in the coming weeks. McNamara has been working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center to help make that happen, which uses part of the Covid relief program and incurs no cost for the town.

McNamara updated the board on American Rescue Plan Act, which represents approximately $420,000 in funds to be dispersed to the town of Cavendish, the first allocation happening approximately May 11, and second half a few months down the road. The funding guidelines are still changing but seem to focus on broadband, water, or sewer projects. McNamara will be working to focus on those areas to have “shovel-ready” projects ready to go when the funds become available and after all the details are worked out at the state level. Funding would need to be spent by Dec. 24, 2024, which allows for ample time to work with contractors and engineers who are currently booked solid.

A new VTrans class 2 paving grant is now available. McNamara has started to solicit bids for work on Class 2 roads: Quent Phelan Road and as much of Tarbell Hill as they can do. After those two, High Street and Rainie Hill would then come up for consideration.

The board approved use of the Proctorsville Green for the Cavendish Streetscapes fundraiser “Birds and Bloom” June 26, from 12-5 p.m. The sale will include flowers and painted birdhouses. They also authorized use for the Cavendish Summer Concert Series, organized by the CCCA for Wednesday evenings beginning July 7 through Aug. 11 at 6 p.m.

Earlier in the meeting, there was a lengthy discussion on whether a second water allocation for Vermont Apple Pie Bakery could be retroactively put on inactive status from February 2020. The Selectboard, which also acts as wastewater commissioners, tabled the discussion until after the Waterboard could meet.

The next Cavendish Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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