Ludlow discusses town budgets

Ludlow Town Hall. Photo provided.

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Selectboard met on Dec. 5 in the Ludlow Town Hall, the majority of the meeting was spent reviewing town department budgets. The police and fire departments, lister’s office, and transfer station all had people present to represent them and their budgets.

Police Chief Jeffrey Billings presented the budget for the police department to the board. There was little change from previous years. Members of the board inquired as to if the department had any need to replace some of the cameras it had, such as body or cruiser cams. It was decided that that would be discussed again in the future months.

Fire Chief Pete Kolenda represented the fire department to the board. He explained the department’s desire to compensate the members for the training they attended. They are already compensated for calls they go on, as well as monthly meetings they attend. Kolenda also stated the department’s desire to reimburse members for gas when they take classes such as Firefighter I and II, as these classes benefit the department and can be all over the state with ample travel required. The members of the selectboard liked all of the changes Kolenda suggested. Kolenda also brought up how the department will most likely be putting a request for a bond in front of the selectboard in coming months for the purchase of a new engine for the department’s main fire truck.

The manager of the Ludlow Transfer Station, Patti Potter, discussed the little changes in their budget. She made mention of an outdoor scale that was added to improve the current one. There was also talk between Potter and the board on the possibility of expanding the swap shop at the station, although no official motion was made.

The lister’s department sent two individuals to the board meeting to discuss their budget. They explained how the department expected revenue to grow again next year. The one main budgetary change they had was due to a new online system going up that may require an “implementation charge” of $2,000-$4,000. The change in the budget was to account for this possible expense.

Municipal Manager Scott Murphy discussed the town’s administrative budget as well as the town clerk’s budget. He mentioned a cut in the funding for BRACC, as the organization is now based more in Chester than it is in Ludlow. It was discussed how more money should be allocated to Okemo Valley TV for the work they have done to get these meetings online, and for the future work they need to do, no official motion was made on this.

The town received a second check relating to an opioid settlement, it was decided this money would be sent to Divided Sky and Turning Point in Springfield.

Multiple citizens came forward seeking clarification on the board’s previous decision to approve the creation of a rental registry. The board members explained that rather than have a hard plan for policy in mind, the first step is to gather the data necessary to inform the town and village, so they can then think about the options for proceeding.

There was a discussion on the town hall parking lot in regards to the actual owners and current negotiations between them and the town. There were no motions made, but it was decided that Murphy will follow up with the parties involved.

It was mentioned that the town is still involved in multiple lawsuits, although little specific detail was provided.

The board will meet again on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. to finish discussing the town department budgets.

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