Ludlow Selectboard talks windows, ambulance, restroom

Ludlow, Vt.

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard held their monthly meeting on Monday, May 1, discussing a number of topics of importance to the town. Most notably, the selectboard considered a proposal from the Black River Senior Center to pay for a partial window replacement on the second floor, discussed the arrival of Ludlow’s new ambulance and the need for replacement of another ambulance in the near future, and considered options for how to continue with the transfer station restroom construction project.

Before those topics were addressed, however, the board made a number of appointments to various town positions, and heard updates from Municipal Manager Brendan McNamara. This was McNamara’s second meeting as Ludlow’s Municipal Manager, and he provided the board with information regarding several ongoing situations, including construction on the Depot Street bridge. Crews had cut a hole into the road surface of the bridge to allow for inspection of underlying rebar, but the project, McNamara said, “has grown a little bit more than we thought [it would].” McNamara did assure residents that Depot Street should be reopened “in the next week.”

After taking care of several other clerical items, the board considered whether to pay for partial replacement of the second floor windows of the Black River Senior Center. The board was told by Senior Center Administrator Jean Strong and Senior Center Board Member John Murphy that the windows in the senior center are aging, some are inoperable, and that it is becoming impossible to properly ventilate the space during the warmer months. In the winter, they said, the windows are unable to retain heat, causing the senior center to burn through significant amounts of heating oil, roughly “250 gallons a week,” said Murphy. The senior center board has approved replacement of the first floor windows out of the senior center’s own budget, but wanted the town to partially fund replacement of the windows on the second floor.

Selectboard Member Scott Baitz expressed concern that only one company, Claremont Glass, had provided quotes for the window replacement. This was the company, Murphy explained, that the Senior Center Board had already chosen for the first floor window replacement. The board eventually tabled the issue for next month’s meeting, in order to give them time to seek alternate quotes for the window replacement, ask whether doing the windows all at once would be cheaper than doing each floor separately, and determine if the funds could be found in the town’s budget. If approved, it was hoped that the replacement could begin in October.

Next, the board discussed the effort to construct a restroom for employees at the Ludlow Transfer Station. Of primary concern was whether or not the restroom could be added on to the existing office building at the transfer station. McNamara told the board that this presents logistical hurdles to the project, due to the location of the water lines at the transfer station and the need to redo permits for the project. The selectboard agreed that, in terms of employee comfort and heating efficiency, adding to the existing structure would be the ideal solution. McNamara closed the discussion by saying that he would continue to investigate this option, and that “this needs to be done, and done this year.”

The board then informed those present that Ludlow’s new ambulance had arrived that afternoon, but that the board needed to consider purchasing yet another ambulance. Chief of the Ludlow Ambulance Department Stephanie Grover told the board that, if the ambulance order were to be placed that day, it would be a minimum of a year and a half before the new ambulance arrived. This would mean that the department’s older ambulance, delivered in 2016, would be nearly a decade old by the time it could be retired. “We had a study done a few years ago, and they suggested we replace the ambulances every eight years,” Grover told the board. “So, if we’re looking at two years from now, that [ambulance] is already going to be eight to nine years [old].” The board also discussed the fact that the cost of ambulances, like much else, is rising, and the sooner the ambulance is ordered, the better the price is likely to be. The discussion was tabled for next month, after discussing the possibility of putting the purchase order to the town’s voters as the previous ambulance purchase had been.

The Ludlow Selectboard meets on the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m., with their next meeting scheduled for June 5.

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