Derry board sets up panels to address speeding, FEMA land, town insurance

By Bruce Frauman
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Londonderry Select Board approved on Monday night the formation of three new committees that it hopes will address public safety, aesthetic and budget issues.

The Traffic Safety Committee was recommended by member George Mora after residents asked why the Select Board doesn’t do something about speeding on town roads. Ideally the five-member committee will include members of fire and rescue squads as well as interested residents, said Gordon. Mora said letters of interest are being accepted, with the Select Board making appointments Monday, Dec. 4. The committee’s recommendations will be due April 1. Mora will serve as an advisor.

Select Board member Bob Forbes said the speeding issue has been probed many times. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

Board members Jim Ameden and Bob Forbes said that over the years the board has looked into speed limits and authorized speed studies on some roads more than once. Ameden said that each time a study is done “we show that there is not a problem.”

Gordon said that the presence of the Vermont State Police 25 hours a week may help with enforcement of any speed ordinances the committee may recommend. Mora said that creating a speed limit ordinance is quite a process. One alternative is introducing traffic calming measures. Gordon agreed, saying that some traffic signs that have previously been installed could be replaced.

The After the Flood Committee will “look into a plan for revitalization” for the four FEMA buyout properties and the former Genser property on the corner of Routes 11 and 100. Gordon said his new understanding of the Open Meeting Law led to his recommendation for officially recognizing this committee. It will consist of current members of the After the Flood Group, interested members of the Beautification Committee, the Conservation Committee and the Parks Board, as well as any interested community members.

A 9 percent increase in Blue Cross/Blue Shield premiums led Gordon to recommend the formation of the Health Insurance Committee to address the ever increasing cost of health insurance. The committee will consist of Town Administrator Robert Nied, Treasurer and Human Resources Director Tina Labeau and a couple of employees, preferably from the road crew and the transfer station. Nied told the Telegraph that MVP, with a 1 percent rate increase, was considered as an insurance carrier, but it was felt the coverage was less than that provided by BC/BS.

Storage for town vault sought; Transfer Station closed on Nov. 11

VTrans employee John Alexander asked for permission to raze the concrete wall along Route 100 that continues to border the demolished Genser property, heading north from the intersection with Route 11. He has suggested bringing in backfill to take create a more gentle slope and prevent vehicles from ending up over the bank. Although the state has a right of way, it has asked for a few more feet to manage the problem, to which the board agreed.

Town Clerk Kelly Pajala is asking for rolling shelving for the document vault.

Town Clerk Kelly Pajala said she would be requesting $27,625 from the town for a system of rolling shelves to be installed in the vault, explaining that it has run out of room for storage of important documents. Pajala said she consulted with Ron Keefe of Dupont Storage Systems, who recommended the rolling shelves. She added that she will get other bids for shelves and to remove the safe from the vault before the budget process proceeds.

Out of respect for veterans, the board voted to close the Transfer Station on Saturday, Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day. Solid Waste Coordinator Esther Fishman had arranged for two part-time employees to fill in on Saturday so the full-time employees could take the day off, as is in their contract. Instead Ameden, Mora and Forbes all said the station should be closed.

Board member Tom Cavanagh was asked by Transfer Station employee Steve Twitchell to clarify whether out-of-town contractors working for clients in the Solid Waste district could use the Transfer Station. The consensus was that they could as long as they purchased a contractor’s permit and punch cards and provided at least a name and address of who they were working for.

Road Foreman Mathew Rawson hopes to get hand-held radios for his crew.

  • In other news, Road Foreman Mathew Rawson requested hand-held radios for use by his crew when they are not in their trucks. Gordon asked for prices of the radios and the purchase will be considered at the next meeting.
  • Gordon said the forms for the foundation of the salt and sand shed were to be set in place on Tuesday, Nov. 7, followed by the foundation being poured.  Four board members — Gordon, Ameden, Forbes and Rawson — would write a Request for Proposal for work on the road leading from Route 100 to the site of the shed so large trucks can safely access the building.  Proposals will be due Nov 20.
  • The board agreed to warn all budget preparation meetings so that if three or more board members choose to attend they will still comply with the state’s Open Meeting Law. The meetings with the town committees and departments will start on Nov. 20. Other dates have yet to be determined.
  • Gordon said volunteers were still being sought to fill openings on the Parks Board and the Planning Commission, which is expanding from five to seven members.
  • Pajala said a pot luck dinner and the showing of the Star Wars movie Rouge One will be held on Dec. 1 by the Parks Board either in the Town Office building or the new theater at Walker Farm in Weston.
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