Funds requested from Chester Trustees of Public Funds

Chester Town Hall.

CHESTER, Vt. – A member of the Chester Trustees of Public funds, Shirley Barrett, was brought in by the Chester Selectboard during their Jan. 4 meeting to hear a request for $52,000 to be used for the cemetery department. The board members present, Arne Jonynas, Leigh Dakin, and Lee Gustafson, were curious about the workings of the Trustees of Public Funds and continued discussing.

The trustees are an elected committee in Chester that manage a set of funds that were donated to the trustees to be used on a specific issue, the largest three categories being the cemetery, school, and poor funds. The trustees hear requests for funds from the selectboard and decide if the request is reasonable and fulfills the use intended when the money was donated. Barrett stated that a representative of M&T Bank would be coming to the trustee meeting on Monday, Jan. 9 to discuss the what the funds ended the year at. In the third quarter report the funds total was around $730,000.

The selectboard requested funds of $52,000 to be spent from the cemetery fund. They were requesting $23,000 to cover tree work and a new tractor from 2022 and $29,000 for tree maintenance, survey work, and a much needed expansion of the equipment shed in upcoming 2023. While Barrett was not there to make a decision on the request, she expressed concern over using the funds to cover the costs of already purchased items from 2022. The board had a discussion with Barrett over the trustees procedure for accepting or denying a request. There was not much information about the procedure and policies of the trustees mentioned in the meeting and the board expressed interest in finding more out in the near future. After Barrett left the meeting the board members present discussed the greater importance of the 2023 expenses and that if need be they would drop the request for the 2022 expenses. An open spot on the trustees was also mentioned during the meeting.

The board briefly went over the license agreement for the community greenhouse. The board had heard back from their attorney and forwarded all the information they had to the club. The board is now waiting to hear back on their thoughts

The general fund budget review continued from previous meetings. It was stated that the year end numbers are not in yet, but the town is currently at a $5,000 surplus, and there are no major expenses expected.

The board has received three proposals from monitoring companies to establish Chester’s short term rental registry.

Town Manager Julie Hance stated that the appraisal of the cost of a solar farm for the town is expected back on Jan. 26.

The board went into an executive session on the Police Collective Bargaining Agreement after the meeting.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 18. At 6:30 p.m. in the Chester Town Hall.

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