Ludlow Select Board hears Ludlow school group

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Board of Selectmen met Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Selectman John Neal was absent. A large audience was present. The first item was approval of the agenda, per a change in the state open meeting law.

In citizen comments, a Ludlow group, Looking Forward, represented by Anne Gardner informed the board of items the group will present at an upcoming school board meeting to resolve the ongoing U39 quandary [in light of Ludlow’s vote to keep Black River High School open]. One party cannot dissolve the union, according to Gardner. She outlined four main structures being discussed: 1. Find an alternative merger partner, 2. Do a side-by-side with Green Mountain, 3. Form a unified district, or 4. Do nothing, although not advocating that “in the slightest.”

The group is also looking at ways to support affordable housing and jobs in the community and expressed appreciation for the Select Board’s support and patience.

Bruce Schmidt explained that Mount Holly has made it “extremely clear” that they want to leave U39 and have hired an attorney. If they do leave, BRHS will end up with around 100 students. He added that “the committee may be glossing over this” and that it could be something that will affect us as a town. He said the Ludlow Elementary School board “handles the Ludlow school issues” and is the liaison with the state.

In other business, the board:

Moved, seconded and passed the motion to approve the liquor license from Moon Calhoun, 190 Main St. Moon Calhoun has also made application for outside consumption, which the police chief has not signed off on yet. After discussion of dimensions, setbacks and impediments on the sidewalk, Bruce Schmidt said he would like to see a drawing.

Moved, seconded and passed accepting bids from Fuller Sand & Gravel for summer retreatment, to the sole bidder Durand Toyota Ford for a police cruiser for $17,836 with trade for Ludlow’s 2014 Intercepter, and the sole bidder Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission for $12,510 for a FEMA Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. Town Manager Heald said the actual amount if $16,680 with a 25 percent match. There was discussion about defective catalytic converters on Ford police cars. After discussion, it was decided to put CO-2 detectors in all the Fords.

Moved, seconded and passed to accept the Board of Listers Errors & Omissions report as presented. The report included four properties: 8 Stryhas Trailer, 9 Pond St., 119 Ellison’s Lake Road, and 105 Ellison’s Lake Road.

Unanimously approved the use of Stearns Pit for a sports car club rally, Sept. 23.

A discussion ensued about the ownership of the driveway on the west end of Kesman Memorial Park, in regard to Lechthalers’ plan to provide outdoor seating for their restaurant. Heald said he researched the title and the driveway is not public property, although it’s not clear who it belongs to. Bruce Schmidt suggested to have a survey done and Frank Heald said it would be done at town’s expense by next month. Further discussion was tabled pending the survey.

Town Manager Heald reported on Walker Bridge, which is substantially complete. He said the crews should be leaving “this week,” after a couple of touch-ups to pavement and a sidewalk.

Regarding the traffic light at Route 103 and Route 100, Heald said a pre-construction meeting has not taken place and he thinks the project will be done in the spring.

Department head reports. Logan Nicoll explained that the Planning Commission will discuss the Ludlow Enhanced Energy Plan at their next meeting. The plan includes a goal for changing over to electric cars, a controversial item. It was questioned whether existing renewable energy projects may meet regional goals. Howard Barton said the town plan must be adopted by November or the town will be penalized by loss of grants and Village Center designation. He said the plan “holds the town hostage” on items the town signs onto. It was generally acknowledged that renewables cost money.

In other business, Richard Carle and Peter Kennedy questioned why Brooks Road was torn up and “turned into dirt.” They have complaints about the dust, durability, cost and lack of prior notice. Ron Tarbell responded. Howard Barton called for civility.

Paul Barton has a proposal to erect a monument to the Grand Army of the Republic on the green, at no cost to the town, since Ludlow has no Civil War monument. It was moved, seconded and passed to support the GAR monument. Barton asked for a letter of approval to get the project started.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 4, 2017.

The above notes were taken from LCP-TV video footage and preliminary meeting minutes.

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