LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard appointed a new planning board member, agreed to help finance asbestos removal at the BRAM building, and voted against fall geese hunting at the West Hill Recreation Area at their in-person meeting Monday, Sept. 21.
The board approved the appointment of Ludlow resident Phoebe Tucker to the five-person Ludlow Planning Commission. Currently, the Planning Board only allows for one non-Ludlow resident to sit on the board, which is filled by Ted Stryhas, who lives in Mount Holly. Another candidate, Eric Alden, who owns property in Boston and Ludlow, also had submitted a letter of interest in the position but was passed over because of the current rule.
Black River Academy Museum building representative Richard Dunseith addressed the board asking for help with removing asbestos that was recently discovered in the basement of the historic building. According to an estimate, the cost would be approximately $18,000. The nonprofit has been unable to host their usual slate of fundraising activities due to Covid-19 restrictions and “find themselves in a bind.”
The town currently provides an appropriation of $25,000 to the nonprofit and $15,500 towards fuel and utilities. The board agreed to put forward an article to approve the funds for the general public to vote on during town meeting next March.
Schmidt asked that the board continue with next steps to decide whether to adopt a town charter for Ludlow. A charter would enable a town to authorize election methods for Ludlow. Next steps would include assigning two board members to a Charter Committee, determining goals of the charter, and involving community members to serve on the committee as well. The board agreed to put the issue on a future agenda.
In order to reduce geese in the West Hill Recreation Area, Town Manager Scott Murphy proposed that they could contract small, specific groups to hunt geese during the Oct. 10-Nov. 8 goose hunting season but post for no hunting in the area to ensure safety, as well as alert walkers and hikers in advance.
Board members Scott Baitz, Schmidt, and Heather Tucker all disagreed with allowing hunting of any kind at the recreation area, citing safety concerns especially since the town has encouraged use of the trails and area for the community.
Murphy said that another option would be to renew nest removal permits that allow for geese nests to be culled in the spring by animal control. The board agreed with that solution.
Next Ludlow Selectboard meeting will be held in-person Monday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at Heald Auditorium in the Ludlow Town Hall.