Ludlow Selectboard meeting housekeeping and project updates

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard reaffirmed Bruce Schmidt as Board Chairman and Brett Sanderson as Vice Chair, and elected Justin Hyjek as clerk, to start off their April 5 meeting, which was largely concerned with housekeeping duties and updates from the municipal manager on various projects around town.

For their housekeeping efforts, the board adopted use of Roberts rules; confirmed the meeting time as the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m.; approved the paper of record as The Vermont Journal with Rutland Herald as backup; approved enmass the slate of town officers up for renewal. Schmidt asked Town Manager Scott Murphy to publicize the Deputy Health Officer and the Animal Control Officer positions, which remain vacant.

The town further approved Murphy and John Denner as Solid Waste District Reps; approved a slate of liquor licenses including many on Okemo Mountain; approved the VTrans Financial Plan, Codes and Standards, and Certificate of Compliance; approved the equipment note of $90,000 for the new tandem truck; and awarded auditing services to RHR Smith and Company who provided a lower bid than current auditors Telling and Hillman, P.C.

Patti Potter, Ludlow’s Transfer Station manager, requested that a current part-time worker, Seth McLaughlin, who she described as “a great asset to the town,” be bumped up to full-time status. According to Potter, revenue for the transfer station is up by over $26,000 for this year, due to increased activity from the influx of second homeowners who are now living full-time in Ludlow.

Although Schmidt ultimately supported the request, he expressed his concern that the optics looked bad since the town just passed a budget under a month ago and this is something the voters should be approving. He expressed the need to plan ahead for such increases saying, “I want to make sure we’re thinking forward.”

He asked Murphy to try and find the cost increase in the existing budget somewhere, although if the increase in revenue at the transfer station continues, some of that increase can be cover the additional cost.

A request from the Farm Ridge Homeowners Association to take over maintenance of their road was denied, which is a standard response unless the road really benefits the town, according to board member Scott Baitz.

Murphy updated the board on several projects. The town has hired a consultant to assist the listers over the next several busy weeks. A Microtransit Study that will look at possible after-hours transportation in town will begin reviewing bids for consultants on the project. Murphy has requested a grant for $50,000 to construct a mountain bike trail system with hopes of being approved. The Commonweath FEMA project has been approved by the neighbors and is moving forward and will be submitted to FEMA in 6-7 weeks with a hopeful summer 2023 start date. The High Street project, with all funding and permits in place, will start construction in mid-June and be finished by October. Board members can request to be identified as an “interested party” for the upcoming Divided Sky DRB meeting by filling out an application by next Monday, which will allow them to participate in the proceedings. The dog park project will begin once the ground dries out with Springfield Fencing poised to begin and signage already ordered.

More information will be coming out about Green Up Day, scheduled for May 1, in the next few weeks and will be posted on the town website.

The next Ludlow Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 3 at 6 p.m.

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