Ludlow Selectboard finalizes board and committee appointments

At their Monday, May 16 meeting, the Ludlow Selectboard finalized positions on various boards and committees. Photo provided

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard met for a special meeting on Monday, May 16 to make final decisions on several appointed positions on Ludlow’s various boards and committees, including the newly formed Rental Registry Committee, Development Review Board, Planning Commission, and the Recreation Committee.

The Selectboard appointed five Ludlow homeowners, from nearly a dozen applicants, to the newly formed Rental Registry Committee, which will have a total of eight committee members. Fire Chief Peter Kolenda, Charlie Rimer, Eric Alden, Noah Schmidt, and Penny Tripp were selected and will join selectboard members Justin Hyjek, Scott Baitz, and a yet unnamed member of the Planning Commission, to form the board of eight. Rose Goings, Ludlow’s Director of Planning and Zoning, will also serve as an “ex officio” member, able to participate in the meetings, but without a vote.

Both Charlie Rimer and Noah Schmidt spoke to the challenges of finding affordable housing as a younger person who wants to stay and live in Ludlow, both because of rising home prices and lack of affordable year-round apartment rentals. Both referred to the rental registry as a first step in dealing with the bigger issue of affordable housing.

Homeowner Eric Alden, who is not a full-time resident but does own rental property, has had experience with setting up a rental registry in Boston, and said that the rental registry does nothing to create additional rentals or make them more affordable, but would help the town make rental units safer. He agreed that the larger conversation was affordable housing. Alden said that, of his rental properties, half are seasonal rentals and half are rented to locals.

The board appointed three candidates, from a list of five, to open positions on the DRB: John Boehrer, Douglas Sheehan, and George Tucker Jr.

Douglas Sheehan was also appointed to the Board of Listers.

Judith Pullinen and Andrea Goldman were appointed from among five candidates to fill the two open positions on the Planning Commission.

The extensive list of appointed Town Officers that were up for renewal went uncontested and were approved enmasse by the board. Two positions, Tree Warden and Fence Viewer, were left vacant with Ralph Pace’s recent move out of town. Phil Carter was appointed as Tree Warden and Charlie Rimer was appointed as Fence Viewer. The list of appointed Town Officers can be viewed in the town report.

The selectboard also appointed Joe Gurdak, Jeannie Stasz, and Patrick Gray to the Recreation Committee.

At the start of the meeting, the selectboard heard updates for, and confirmed their support of, the proposed mountain bike track being proposed on the “Back 40” behind the elementary school. At their last meeting in early May, the board agreed to move forward with the project, along with a tentative commitment for a $10,000 funding match, but asked to hear answers concerning insurance coverage and whether Act 250 permitting would be needed, along with details about maintenance costs and personnel.

Municipal Manager Scott Murphy confirmed that the town’s insurance was sufficient to cover the track. He also said that the project would not need Act 250 permitting but would require a DRB hearing and approval. A newly formed group, called LAST (Ludlow Area Sports Trails), which will operate under the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, would help fund the maintenance costs through fees and provide the manpower for maintenance. Anticipated maintenance costs to the town are estimated at approximately $1,500 per year.

The next Ludlow Selectboard meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 6 at the Ludlow Town Hall and via Zoom.

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