Derry hopes to keep VSP, even on limited basis

Derry board chair Jim Ameden hopes to continue the town’s relationship with VSP. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Vermont State Police commander Lt. Timothy Anthony French told the Londonderry Select Board on Monday, Feb. 4 that due to limited manpower, he can only offer about 12 hours of patrols per month in 2019 at a cost of $71.61 per hour.

Board chair Jim Ameden said that the consensus of the board is the VSP provides the most professional policing service in the area and he “personally would like to maintain that relationship on whatever level we can.”

Board member Bob Forbes agreed, adding that the contract will act to maintain that relationship while the amount budgeted can be higher than the contract in case the State Police are able to provide more services.

French said that if, for instance, there were a rash of burglaries, he could use that extra money to “throw more hours in.” Town Administrator Shane O’Keefe calculated that 12 hours a month works out to a little more than $10,000 per year. The board has not yet decided how much to budget for, which will be voted on on Town Meeting Day.

Select Board member Bob Forbes.

French elicited a laugh from the board when he said one issue is that Londonderry has no traffic ordinances, prompting O’Keefe to hold up a safety audit recently completed and board member George Mora to remark “we are working on it.”

After several questions from Forbes about implementing traffic ordinances, the board agreed to meet at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 to discuss the Traffic Safety Committee’s report and the VTrans Thompsonburg Road Safety audit. Ameden suggested that the meeting be “warned as a work session.” The public can attend, he said, but added there might not be time for public comment.  However, the Vermont Open Meeting Law requires time for public comment in all meetings held by public bodies and there is no provision for a “work session.” See 1 V.S.A. § 312(h)

Platt property, generator maintenance

O’Keefe said he expects work to be completed this construction season on raising the Platt property, on Route 11, formerly used as the Londonderry Post Office. The intention is to lift the building above the flood hazard level.

Town Administrator Shane O’Keefe discusses the Platt property.

He said Lauren Oates of the Vermont Emergency Management Agency has been helpful in moving the project forward, though she refused to allow more than the contracted $809 for project management. O’Keefe suggested, and the board agreed, that $809 be paid to manage the project and O’Keefe will share management duties, since the town agreed to participate as long as no taxpayer money was spent on the flood mitigation project.

The board put off a decision to purchase a preventive maintenance agreement on the newly installed generator. Brook Field Service of Northfield is offering a twice a year maintenance support.

Treasurer Tina Labeau will call the buildings director of the Taconic & Green Regional School District to see “what Flood Brook is doing with” generator, and O’Keefe said he will consult with former Town Administrator Kevin Beattie on the issue.

O’Keefe said the state Department of Environmental Conservation will need $1,750 in fees by June 1 and the town must submit a one-page report by April 1, to comply with a Municipal Roads General Permit with a goal of storm water management for the whole town.

The state DEC states that “towns are required to complete Road Erosion Inventories before Dec. 31, 2020.” These “serve as the basis for implementation work.”

Appointments etc.

In other news, Sven Fedorow was appointed to be a full member of the Development Review Board after recently being appointed as an alternate. Dwight Johnson said he is stepping down from the board. O’Keefe said Emmett Dunbar has resigned from the Planning Commission, and Labeau said there have been no applicants to take his place.

After first recommending a mandatory pre-bid meeting for contractors to learn about the requirements for an electrical upgrade at the Transfer Station, O’Keefe agreed to set up a non-mandatory meeting to answer questions. With that provision, the board voted to approve a Request for Proposals for the electrical work.

  • The Mountain Energy Market of South Londonderry was granted a liquor license to sell beer and wine.
  • Candidate’s Night has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at the Twitchell Building, 100 Old School St.
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