Grafton group agrees to pick up annual insurance tab, half of pay phone fee

By Cynthia Prairie
©2015 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Telegraph logoIt was a short pre-Christmas Grafton Select Board meeting that was well-attended as a number of residents who had come to two earlier meetings stayed on. Those earlier meetings included a short one held by the Capital Budget Committee seeking public input and a longer one by the Select Board seeking input on proposed Planning Commission changes to the town plan.

Town Treasurer Kim Record told the board that the Grafton Improvement Association, a private non-profit that partners with the town to accomplish certain goals, would not mind paying its part of a not-for-profit insurance pool set up by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. The town currently picks up the tab for GIA’s participation in the insurance pool.

Currently, Record said, rescue and fire all pay part of their own liability insurance so it was fitting that GIA do so too.

Insurance is crucial since the organization owns 800 acres of land, some used for recreation. Logging generates an income for GIA, Record said.  VLCT told Record that the GIA would pay a minimum of $1,000 annually for liability insurance.

GIA, town to continue to split pay phone cost

Also, as the town waits for limited cellphone coverage in a 1-mile radius of Town Hall, the GIA has also said it would also continue to support half the $600 annual cost of the pay phone that sits on the front porch. The town picks up the other half. Once cell coverage is up and running, said Don Dougall told, “Then decide if it is redundant.”

In mid-November, the Select Board agreed to enter an agreement with Delaware-based Vanu Coverage Co., which touts itself as providing cellphone coverage in difficult-to-cover areas throughout the world. The cost to the town is the price of electricity to power the equipment – estimated at $15 a month

Select Board member Gus Plummer said, “I think we could support the other half for now,” with board chair Sam Battaglino agreeing, “If we had cell coverage that would be different.” The board then voted to continue paying for the phone through 2016.

The board also heard a presentation from Windham County Economic Development on programs it was using to develop the county’s workforce, jobs base and youth employment, including paid college internships.

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Filed Under: GraftonLatest News

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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