LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard met on Monday, Feb. 5, for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
Town manager Brendan McNamara began by reminding the selectboard and Ludlow voters that Town Meeting will be held on March 4, at 7 p.m., and that voting will be the next day, March 5, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., at the Ludlow Town Hall. A copy of the proposed budget will be posted to the Ludlow town website, www.ludlow.vt.us, as well as a budget narrative. McNamara encouraged residents to call his office with any questions they may have about the budget.
Moving on, McNamara updated the board on replacement of the Mill Street Bridge, which is to be replaced with a chord truss pedestrian footbridge. The current bridge was already in a state of disrepair prior to July’s floods, when the underside of it it was pelted with debris, damaging it further. McNamara informed the board that the project is fully funded by the State of Vermont, and that the construction company responsible for the work has requested that a section of Pleasant Street Extension near the bridge be closed for the duration of construction. “I requested that it be closed, hopefully, after Easter,” McNamara said, telling the board that the project should be completed by the fall. Public meetings concerning the project will be held in the near future.
Discussion continued to focus on Mill Street, as the board took up the request from Windsor County Youth Services (WCYS) to sell their 6 Mill Street property to FEMA. President of the WCYS Board George Thomson was on hand to explain the reasons for the buyout request, noting that the property had twice been evacuated due to flooding, and in one case multiple vehicles in the parking area had been lost as well. WCYS provides social services and living arrangements for kids who, Thomson explained, “for one reason or another, just can’t live in their own home.”
In response to a question from board member Justin Hyjek, who called WCYS an “asset to the town,” Thomson assured the board that WCYS intends to find another property in Ludlow, “hopefully not in a flood plain.” “We just feel that we can’t put kids back in that building,” Thomson continued. The board then moved to unanimously approve the buyout request.
Other topics covered were the approval of the annual Sons of the American Legion Coin Drop, set for Saturday, April 20, with a rain date of April 27. McNamara also informed the board that the Ludlow Highway Department’s backhoe is in need of repairs that would total upwards of $40,000, an amount that he believes exceeds the value of the backhoe. This necessitates replacement of the backhoe “within a month,” as the backhoe is a piece of equipment used by multiple town agencies for a variety of purposes. A new backhoe will cost more than $165,000, and McNamara suggested that the town could look into leasing options, to avoid having to front the unbudgeted replacement cost upfront.
The Ludlow Selectboard’s next meeting will be held on Town Meeting Day, March 4, at 7 p.m., at the Ludlow Town Hall.