Weston Board to seek bridge loan; to seek electric speed signs for Route 100

By Bruce Frauman
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Town Clerk/Treasurer Kim Seymour told the Weston Select Board at its Tuesday, April 28 meeting on Zoom that the town needs to borrow $632,500 through a Tax Anticipation Note, with $119,000 coming from a town special fund. The loan would be a “bridge loan” to cover town expenses, including paving at about $290,000, until tax payments are received this fall.

The board agreed to borrow the money, but chose to split the loan evenly between the bank loan and taking it out of the town highway and bridge repair special fund. Seymour said that last year the town borrowed $400,000, but this year there is a “little less cash” available.

The board also authorized Board Chair Denis Benson to sign a contract with Fuller Sand and Gravel to pave Lawrence Hill Road and Chester Mountain Road. The contract was approved on April 14 based on the review and approval of Road Foreman Almon Crandall.

Town to ask VTrans to install speed-reading cart

After considerable discussion, the board voted 3-1 to allow VTrans to put portable speed signs in town for two weeks. Board member Ann Fuji’i voted no, saying she “does not see the point, frankly.” She added that without enforcement, drivers will not slow down and prefers that the board explore other options to address speeding.

Board member Bruce Downer was the most vocal in favor of ordering the radar speed signs, saying that he had been in discussions with residents who live north of the village on Route 100 and also had seen the vehicles traveling above the speed limit. Downer said this type of action shows residents that the board is taking the issue seriously.

Benson said that the state told the town that, as part of the sidewalk study, there is no excess speed problem. But Board member Charles Goodwin said that with less traffic, people are traveling faster than usual.

Linville suggested the signs be posted near the Fire Department and to the south of town to catch vehicles traveling into the village area. He says the signs will indicate whether or not they slow traffic, even if anecdotally. Linville said the signs are available for free from VTrans and don’t record the speeds of vehicles.

Seymour said tax bills will go out in August and will be due in October. Goodwin added that the state property tax rate will not be available until August.  Seymour said payments from the state have not been delayed, although Benson suggested that this will probably change in July. Linville said taxpayers can appeal their property assessments to the Board of Civil Authority if they feel the need.

More research on town/Little School generator

After a discussion on the merits and differences between residential and commercial electric stand-by generators, all board members agreed that a decision should be made this year and further research is needed. Linville said the expected load is “pushing up against” the upper limit of residential generators costing between $5,000 and $10,000 and weighing about 500 pounds.

He said commercial generators of the same size cost between $15,000 and $20,000, weigh much more, but are designed to run full time and are quieter. The Little School has requested a generator to keep the school open during extended blackouts and the board has agreed in principle to share the cost of a single generator for both the school and Town Offices.

The board waived the requirement of a “timely payment of rent” for the month of May for the Little School. Benson has expressed concern that if the rent is waived completely, an agency offering rent relief might not offer reimbursement. Seymour said the school has paid the rent for April and is up to date.

Seymour said the state Department of Labor is requiring town officials and employees to take a 10-to 15-minute Power Point presentation regarding safe practices to protect people during the Covid-19 crisis.

Finally, coming out of executive session to discuss compensation of personnel, the board voted to pay Will Goodwin (no relation to Charles Goodwin) at the same rate he earns as Zoning Administrator  for work testing  water at Town Offices and the Little School’s new water chlorination system, which was installed several weeks ago.


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