Plymouth seeks Town Clerk, postpones weatherization project

The April 4 Selectboard meeting discussed downtown village centers, weatherization projects, and the search for a new Town Clerk. Photo provided

PLYMOUTH, Vt. – At the April 4 Selectboard meeting, the board discussed progress on the downtown village center program, postponing the construction of the town office weatherization project, and accepted a resignation from Town Clerk Sandie Small in executive session.

The tax sale on April 7 was a success. Many property owners came forward to make payments prior to the tax sale, 14 properties were sold, and the town purchased three properties. Selectboard Chair Jay Kullman reported in an interview, “We really cleaned up the delinquent taxes.” The Hawk properties are set for a second tax sale, tentatively to take place in May.

During the Selectboard meeting, Kullman reported that the historic village center program is moving forward with downtown designations. He explained the program is to get “downtowns looking more like downtowns, and it gives tax incentives to home and business owners [who] want to make improvements.”

The board has been working with Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, and two village centers have been mapped out. Plymouth Union village center includes the school, down to Gerard’s Place, past the Salt Ash Inn, and Good Commons. The Tyson village boundaries include Inn at Water’s Edge, Echo Lake Inn, a portion of Dublin Road, the church, and the library. The owner of the old general store, located on the corner of Dublin Road and Library Trail, expressed her interest in applying for the program grant.

It was noted that paving on Route 100 would tentatively begin in June with one-way traffic. Contractors plan to start from the north and work south, but that is subject to change.

Selectman Rick Kaminski provided updates on the town office weatherization project. He has been meeting with the mechanical engineer and electrical engineer, as well as following up with the architect regularly. Kaminski is moving forward with the plans for a contractor pre-bid walk through on April 18 and will accept hard bids on May 2, but plans to postpone the construction date.

A setback with the project has been getting contractors to commit to placing bids. Kaminski contacted seven contractors, and only one committed to bid. Two were too busy and the others said they aren’t bidding, only negotiating or working under certain contracts, “because the market is too volatile.” It has also been difficult to rely on material deliveries. The wall panels have a 16-week delivery window, and LaValley’s said that standard Anderson windows could take a year-and-a-half to get.

In moving forward with the renovation project, the new plan is to continue with “hard bids on May 2, issue contracts within two weeks if we can, and order materials,” said Kaminski. The town can stockpile the materials, pay for them, and safely store them under cover until construction begins next year. With the new timeline in place, Kaminski intends to cement three competitive contractor bids.

The meeting then adjourned to executive session, where Town Clerk Sandie Small gave her resignation. The town is now searching for a Town Clerk and Treasurer. They will also be hiring a Delinquent Tax Collector next term, which Assistant Town Clerk Elaine Pauley has filled temporarily. “Elaine [has been] gracious to do it in the short-term,” Kullman reported, but the Board will be looking to fill the position permanently. A new Town Clerk will also have the option to fill the Delinquent Tax Collector position.

Kullman stated, “We love Sandie, and we’re sorry to see her go.” The board thanks Small for her time and contributions to the town.

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