Cavendish Select Board

CAVENDISH, Vt. – (This meeting had been postponed from the normal meeting date of May 8.) The meeting was called to order, the April minutes were accepted and the meeting moved quickly to the “Hear Citizens” item. Carl Snyder called the board’s attention to a large boulder partially in the trench on Center Road that poses a hazard and said the Town said they would remove it with a rock drill but it’s still there. Assistant Town Manager McEnaney said there has been a suggestion to blast it and the town is expecting a new rock drill-jackhammer. Snyder also said when the utility lines on High Street were replaced they left “kind of a mess.” Town Manager Brendan McNamara said he had made a call to the utility who told him it was the responsibility of the other utility company to remove the unused wires.

McNamara updated the board on the town garage and they discussed rebuilding options. McNamara said the board was given a preliminary budget to have the entire building gutted, rewired and put back as it was (not including asbestos), for $185,000-$200,000. He said the insurance company offered a settlement of $188,000 that was “pretty close to accurate” for either restoration or demolition and new construction. They have met with Josselyn Brothers and Wright Construction and asked for preliminary budgets. Wright quoted $520,000 to $560,000 for complete demolition, a slab, and construction of a 6,000 sq. ft. steel building ready for move-in. McNamara said the board needs to decide “where we want to go” as soon as possible. He and Bruce McEnaney have viewed the Mount Holly garage and met with the Cavendish firefighters. To ask the voters for $350,000 in addition to the $790,000 for the aeration system “is a big ask” but he believes replacement is in the best interests of the town.

McNamara mentioned using the sand pit where the salt shed is, which would be convenient. An issue would be putting a steel-sided building in the center of the historic district. McEnaney observed that strapping and wood clapboards could be put on it to improve the appearance.

McEnaney made points in favor of total replacement, including the old building’s wood boiler, lack of drainage, its inadequate floor area and awkward floor plan, and other deficiencies. He said that he and McNamara have visited the Mount Holly fire station, which is heated with an outside wood boiler, has 16-foot ceilings, R-19 insulation in the walls and R-35 in the ceiling, and a footprint 100 feet wide by 66 feet deep, which allows the trucks to pull in side by side and indoor storage of equipment. The roof is a clear span with no posts. Excess solar credits can be used toward an efficiency heating system. He pointed out that storing equipment indoors prolongs its life. McNamara commented that all the Cavendish firefighters would like a new building, and said the town owes it to the firefighters to give them the best tools to do the job. A new building would also allow for future expansion.

There was discussion about the sandpit location. McEnaney said that cars speed along that road and there is poor sight distance. Also, residents are used to the current location. George Timko mentioned that a sewer line would have to be laid under the roadway.

McNamara and McEnaney also looked at a town-owned parcel on High Street and a parcel near the solar panels but the latter would require a lot of fill so it was ruled out.

McNamara said there has been no Request For Proposals (RFP) and both contractors made verbal estimates based on the Mount Holly building. Josselyn built the Mount Holly garage and their verbal estimate for Cavendish was $540,000. McNamara said the board can decide what they want and don’t want in the final design phase. He felt it was advisable to look at “any and all options.”

In any case, the contractors can’t guarantee completion before winter. McNamara added that design-build is quicker but permitting can “tie things up.” McEnaney said that Wright said “winter,” Josselyn said “November.” He remarked that the construction season is “heating up.”

McNamara will develop an RFP for constructing a new building, warn a special town meeting, research loan applications, and get the amount needed to borrow. He may call interim meetings as the bids come in. It was moved, seconded and approved for Brendan McNamara to develop an RFP.

The next item of business was the final draft of the sewer ordinance presented at the last meeting by Weston & Sampson. McNamara said that a major addition was in reference to Act 148 on composting, limiting food put into kitchen dispose-alls to food prep, not [cooked] leftovers, which could have a substantial impact on the system.

Timko felt that the proposed ordinance was “a little overregulatory for our town.”

McNamara said he felt it was important to have more rather than less to avoid a patchwork of add-ons in the future. He said the board could “pick and choose” which parts to keep. He said it will require educating town sewer customers and he has begun to develop educational materials for that purpose.

Timko suggested holding a hearing which, though not required, would introduce new features such as penalties for non-compliance.

McNamara said the revised ordinance is not urgent but “needs to be on the radar” and encouraged board members to peruse it thoroughly at their convenience. He said they weren’t looking to “rule with an iron fist” but it would help cover things that are not in the current ordinance. Bruce McEnaney pointed out that under the current ordinance, there is no regulatory authority to check if someone is abusing the system. He commented he is surprised the state has not asked to see the town’s sewer ordinance.

Reporting on the VTrans Municipal Highway Grant, Bruce McEnaney said that the VTrans Structures Grant has been received to replace clay culverts at the bottom of County Road but actually on East Road and the project at Stevens Road and Tarbell Hill Road is also moving forward.

Vermont Regal Group, which hopes to reopen Table 19 by Memorial Day, submitted a first-class liquor license and outside consumption permit application, which was moved, seconded and approved.

Taking up the Inn at Glimmerstone’s request for a catering permit, Brendan McNamara said there have been noise complaints in the past and he had received a request from town residents to approve only some of the days requested and require events to end at 11 p.m. The Inn’s request is for June 10 and 24; July 2, 7 and 15; September 16, 23 and 30; and October 7 and 14. The innkeeper rents to event organizers and claims she has no control over the event. The sense of the board was to approve some but not all of the dates and to inform the innkeeper. McNamara said he would check if the Select Board has the authority to revoke any remaining approved dates if the noise is too loud. It was moved, seconded and accepted, with one opposed, to approve dates in June and July only.

Timko noted that the innkeeper’s rental agreement with the organizers prohibits fireworks.

Per request of the Town Clerk, in light of Act 46, it was moved, seconded and resolved that “CTES-Library Fund” would be changed to “Town of Cavendish Building for Books Fund.” It was noted that the use of the fund will not change even though it will no longer be the property of the school.

No letter of resignation has yet been received from Jill Flinn as animal control officer.

Several items were brought up under Other Business.

McEnaney wants to investigate changing the pedestrian access to the Proctor cemetery from the current right-of-way, which is steep. A new path would be created with volunteer labor. It could be a good project for Tech Center students and would be completed by mid-July.

McNamara reported on Bridge 58 on Depot Street. VTrans will place utilities under the riverbed, which will save $175,000, as a Bailey bridge will not be needed. Bedrock is at about 135 feet at the test holes. VTrans will meet soon with landowners to arrange easements. The utility drilling and boring will ideally be done next summer. It will be a two-year project.

McNamara reported that the water tank area of the school lot will be remapped for the transfer of the water tank from the school to the town as required by Act 46.

McNamara has learned from Mark Pickering of VTrans District 2 office in Dummerston that VTrans will do a major patch on the pothole on Route 131 across from the garage. The pothole is caused by a spring on the hillside and smaller patches don’t last.

Bruce McEnaney said that some water valves under the highway will be repaired prior to the repaving project next year.

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