Weston Board OKs industrial generator for Town Office, Little School

Weston Board member Jim Linville estimates the cost of the generator at $15,000 to $20,000.

By Bruce Frauman
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board on May 12 voted to purchase a new industrial grade generator to provide electricity during blackouts to the Town Office building and the Annex building next door, which houses the Little School.

Board member Jim Linville estimated a cost of $15,000 to $20,000, with the Little School to pay a portion. He said $15,000 has been budgeted for a generator in an account that funds improvements to the town office building.

Board member Ann Fuji’i said she would like the board to find a heating expert to ensure that the generator will be sized correctly. Linville, Board member Charles Goodwin and Mike Savage, owner of Savage Electric, will write specifications for the requests for proposals. Goodwin also said he will see if there is a parent of a Little School student with the knowledge needed to help write the specifications.

Board member Bruce Downer prompts the board to opt for an industrial generator.

The vote came after considerable discussion about whether to buy a residential or an industrial grade generator and whether to consider a used industrial generator.

Linville and Goodwin said they have seen a little-used, 5-year-old industrial generator for sale in Chester, but have not seen it operate. Linville said the cost of moving and reinstalling it might be as high as $10,000 plus there is no warranty.

The logjam was broken when board member Bruce Downer asked each board member what their “drop dead tomorrow” decision would be. Each said a new industrial grade generator.

The board agreed to take up VTrans Administrator Marc Pickering’s offer of a portable speed sign cart for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. The first place the board intends to place the cart is Route 100 south of town facing traffic heading north, where the board has received complaints about speeding. After a week or two, the cart will be placed on the other side of Route 100.

A presentation by engineer Ryan Foster with McGinley Kalsow and Associates convinced Zoning Administrator Will Goodwin that no conditional use permit will be needed for work to proceed at the Wilder Memorial Library as he previously ruled. Foster shared drawings that showed a new handicap ramp and  handicapped parking space to the right of the entrance and new blue stone steps and handrails leading to the entrance.

Foster said none of the modifications entailed work on the building itself, which would have required a permit. Goodwin said the by-laws are “silent” on the issue, and requested a change in the bylaws. The board had previously approved the work but made no move to update the bylaws.

Library Board chair Deborah Granquist talks about work on the library and moving an abutting house.

Board Chair Denis Benson said paving is set to begin soon on Lawrence Hill Road and it would be best if the library site work could be finished before the paving began to avoid damage from the heavy equipment. Foster said work should begin this week.

Zoning board chair and Library Board chair Deborah Granquist said there will be a zoning hearing via Zoom beginning at 7 p.m. on June 4  about moving John Coughlin’s house, which abuts the library to the east, about 5 more feet from Lawrence Hill Road.

In other business, the board approved a request from Lister Linda Sherman to move the date the grand list will be completed. Town Treasurer Kim Seymour said Sherman did not think an extension would be necessary, but given uncertain conditions due the the Covid-19 crisis, she thought it would be prudent get the extension.

Seymour said the abstract is usually sent to the state in early June, but the board gave Sherman until Aug. 6.

The board approved Seymour’s request to get a loan from the Community Bank at an interest rate of 1.75 percent for the Tax Anticipation Note approved at the April 28 board meeting. Seymour said the bank will set up a line of credit so only the amount needed to cover expenses will actually be borrowed. In return, Seymour said the bank wants an opportunity to bid on the town’s banking business.

Finally, the board approved giving Carol Maclaury $200 to pay for mulch. Maclaury has been planting a garden for the town for several years.

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