Derry board tackles Flood Brook backups Changes in policy, hauler at Transfer Station; VSP contract renewed

By Bruce Frauman
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

At its Monday, June 17 meeting — and with just four days left in the school year — the Londonderry Select Board heard from Flood Brook School Principal Neal McIntyre on problems with cars backing up onto Route 11 during morning dropoff.

Board Member George Mora remarked that parents driving their kids to school are not following the rules and that fewer students are taking the bus to school.

McIntyre said about 150 kids ride the five buses and 120 are driven to the school. He said the first bus pickup — at 6:50 a.m. from Little Pond Road — does not arrive at school until about 7:50 a.m. McIntyre also said about 10 parents will pull up to just in front of the school’s entrance even though there is space on the circle toward the parking lot that would allow four or five cars to also unload their kids. Often these parents will remove luggage, skis and other items, taking valuable time. At times like this, McIntyre said, cars can back up east on Route 11 down to the Swiss Inn.

About 150 kids ride Flood Brook’s five school buses
while 120 are driven to the school.

McIntyre did say the new lanes at the school have helped slow cars. He added that VTrans contends that because there are no sidewalks or crosswalks to the school, the agency cannot designate a lower speed limit on Route 11 in front of the school. McIntyre asked the Select Board to continue to petition VTrans to lower the speed limit in front of the school as well as add a  turning lane for traffic coming from the west.

VTrans, McIntyre said, offered to sell the school flashing speed limit signs for $5,000 each, which he rejected as too expensive.

Mora put these requests into a motion and board member Taylor Prouty added that it would revisit the cost of the flashing signs. The board passed the motion.

House removal, Transfer Station changes on agenda

The board also agreed to review at its next meeting progress on the removal of a house and debris at 213 Middletown Road, delaying legal action between the two meetings. Forbes said he had helped Jim Twitchell remove an oil tank and debris is being removed dumpster by dumpster. There was some board discussion, but no decisions, as to how much fill is needed, if any, in the basement, and how much landscaping will be required.

The board also passed the new Transfer Station Use Policy. Changes to the draft policy include: defining who has access to the property; lowering the speed limit to 10 mph; and allowing visitors on any given day to take items from the Take-it-or-Leave-it shed once, after which their Transfer Station punch card will be marked or punched two times for each visit.

Also, board chair Jim Ameden said he received a note that trash collector TAM has been bought by Casella. Board member Tom Cavanagh said that for the first 90 days, nothing will change, but no one is sure what will happen after that. As of now TAM collects the solid waste and the recyclable material from the Transfer Station.

Town Administrator Shane O’Keefe said the contractor for the Town Office Planning Project Phase 1 drainage project has hit a rock ledge and has asked for an additional $10,092 for an “alternate route.” O’Keefe said the town’s engineer, K.A. Smith of Marble Valley Engineering, thought is was a little high and the engineer will renegotiate with Hodgkins & Sons. The board voted to allow O’Keefe to negotiate change orders such as this up to 10 percent of the bid price instead of the current 2 percent.

Wastewater feasibility study, State Police contracting

The board agreed to move forward with a Clean Water State Revolving Fund qualifications-based selection process for choosing an engineering firm to conduct a municipal water and wastewater feasibility study. O’Keefe said the board has allowed $32,000, which he says is more realistic than the $25,000 originally proposed. O’Keefe suggested a committee comprised of Larry Gubb, Gail Mann, Sharon Crossman and interested board members to select a firm once the bids are all in.

Taylor Barton, a Parks Committee board member set off an extensive discussion of mowing options by requesting that the town purchase a new mower since the current one is not reliable. Road Foreman Mathew Rawson said the the mower does shut down on its own at times and that it takes 9-1/2 hours to mow all the town’s parks and lawn areas. The board agreed to put out a Request for Proposals for mowing Memorial Pond, Williams Park (site of the farmers market), and Pingree Park. Rawson will also look into the cost of replacing the mower.

The board also agreed to sign a contract with the Vermont State Police for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. State Police rates are now $75.69 per hour and the VSP is offering one officer for three hours per week with a total contract not to exceed $15,000.

The board agreed to O’Keefe’s suggestion that the town accept an $8,000 VTrans Better Roads Grant for erosion inventory. The town will kick in $2,000 toward the work, conducted by the Windham Regional Commission.

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