Weston board rejects land donation; town purchases more salt, sand to meet weather need

Select Board member Anne Fuji’i’ said the Trout Club did not wish to accept a property as well. Photo by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
© Telegraph Publishing LLC

Weston Select Board on Tuesday, Dec. 11, agreed to tell the estate of a local landowner who was hoping to donate property to the town that “it is not in the best interests of the town to accept the property.”

The land, owned by the estate of James Drake, is a steep drop-off from Trout Club Road to Cold Spring Brook without any access, according to Select Board member Anne Fuji’i. Select Board administrator Cheryl Barker said she talked with James Drake’s son, who expressed no interest in keeping the land. Barker added with a laugh that the son told her that rumor has it that James Drake obtained the land in a card game.

The son has been looking for someone to take the land and, according to Barker, he said he asked the Green Mountain National Forest, but was told the land does not border the forest. Barker said she sent the younger Drake documentation that seems to show that it does.

Fuji’i added that the Wantastiquet Trout Club, of which she and board Vice Chair Jim Linville are members, was also offered the property and also decided not to accept the land. Fuji’i said it is not contiguous with any current Trout Club property and Linville said it would probably not be useful in protecting federal property.

More salt and sand, appropriation requests come in

Almon Crandall, far right, speaks with the board about buying more salt and sand. Screen shot from GNAT.

Road Foreman Almon Crandall told the board that he bought 400 more yards of sand as well as more salt because of the early inclement weather. Crandall added that he has read there may be a salt shortage this year.

Prompted by Linville, Crandall said that he has been working with only one other employee so far this year with one out due to an injury. He mentioned several equipment failures, including new springs being required for a dump truck and a hydraulic leak in the backhoe. But, he added, those problems are routine.

Linville showed the board a spreadsheet created by town Treasurer Kim Seymour that shows that the percentage of appropriation requests seems to have stayed around 7 to 8 percent of the total budget even as the amount of requests has peaked over $100,000. Linville said he wants to “burrow into and vet it” with board member Bruce Downer before making it public. However, according to state law, the document is already a public document. 

Goodwin said that several appropriation requests such at the Londonderry Rescue Squad “are municipal services.” Linville said some people at Town Meeting are concerned.

In other business

The board approved Tax Collector Sandy Goodwin’s request to contact the town attorney to start a tax sale process for 297 Lawrence Hill Road. Goodwin also asked for a Select Board member to be an agent to bid for the town at the tax sale, which she said is usually held the last Tuesday in February.

Select Board member Jim Linville. Bruce Frauman photo.

The board appointed Regina Downer  as Weston’s Health Officer. According to Linville, Dr. Delores Barbeau said it was “time to slide on.” Fuji’i said the role encompasses “environmental health as well as individual health” and communicates with the state as to whether they feel something is a health issue or not. Barker said dog bites constitute “the biggest thing we have here.”

The board approved Linville’s motion that “minor adjustments to the value of the land parcels now in current use that are under $10 be stricken from our town’s receivables and from the delinquent tax report.”

The board canceled its regular meeting scheduled for Dec. 25. Fuji’i said that an item could be “tacked onto” a budget meeting, a series of which start in early January.

Barker told the board the Vermont League of Cities and Towns is offering a webinar on Jan. 8 from their lawyer to discuss petitions, motions and nominations for the warning for Town Meeting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: FeaturedLatest NewsWeston

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.