In a recent meeting of the Shaftsbury Select Board on October 15th, several important topics were discussed and decisions were made. The board meeting was chaired by either the Chairperson or the Vice Chairperson. The meeting started promptly at 6:30 PM and lasted for approximately an hour. This article aims to provide a detailed recap of the meeting, covering the key points discussed by the board members.
Conflict of Interest Discussion
The first item on the agenda for the board meeting was the conflict of interest among the board members. It was asked if any members had any financial interests that could potentially influence their decisions. After a brief discussion, it was determined that no conflicts of interest existed among the board members. This was an important topic to address to ensure transparency and fairness in decision-making.
Payroll and Warrant Approvals
During the meeting, the board discussed and approved two warrants. The first warrant was the payroll warrant, which amounted to $20,375.98. The motion to approve the warrant was made by one board member and seconded by another, and it was unanimously approved by all members present. The second warrant, known as Warrant No. 9, involved a payment of $87,346.82 to a company called Russell Construction. The board explained that this warrant included payments for various services and supplies, such as Advance Auto bills and equipment for the fire department. Again, the warrant was approved unanimously.
Tax Bills and Public Queries
A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussing tax bills and addressing public queries related to property taxes. The board clarified that some property owners had been receiving multiple tax bills due to changes in property ownership. They explained that if a property had changed hands since April, the previous owner was responsible for forwarding the bill to the new owner. The board urged property owners to avoid paying multiple tax bills by coordinating with each other and ensuring that bills were passed on to the appropriate parties. They also emphasized that it was better to receive multiple tax bills than to overlook them entirely. The board received several questions from the public regarding tax bills and education tax rates, which they patiently answered.
Financial Update and Reserve Accounts
The board provided an update on the town’s finances during the meeting. They shared details about the amount of tax revenue collected so far, mentioning that approximately $875,000 had been received, representing about 14% of the annual total. They stated that tax collection typically follows a normal curve, with a more substantial influx of payments expected in the final weeks. The board also discussed the reserve accounts and highlighted one specific transfer of $86,000 from the bond bank to the general fund. They explained that such transfers were necessary to ensure a smooth flow of funds for ongoing projects.
Road Maintenance and Paving Updates
The board meeting also covered updates on road maintenance and paving projects. The board mentioned that due to adverse weather conditions, road maintenance had become challenging. They acknowledged the hard work being done by the road maintenance crew under difficult circumstances. Regarding the highly anticipated East Road paving project, the board provided reassurance that it would indeed take place in the near future, after a few weather-related setbacks. They confirmed that the paving would be done by a company called Springfield Paving and was scheduled for the following week. The board expressed optimism that the road conditions would improve with proper maintenance and paving.
Additionally, the board discussed an experiment they conducted on Myers Road, involving the use of recycled asphalt shingles mixed with gravel. They explained that the purpose was to determine if this combination could be an effective alternative for dust control. The board stated that the trial had yielded positive results so far, with the material shedding water effectively and hardening to a concrete-like consistency. They acknowledged the potential future applications of this mixture and its environmental benefits.
In conclusion, the Shaftsbury Select Board meeting on October 15th covered a range of important topics related to town governance and infrastructure. The board members discussed conflicts of interest, approved payroll and warrant payments, addressed public queries about tax bills, provided financial updates, and shared information about road maintenance and paving projects. The meeting concluded with an open forum for announcements and public comments. The board members displayed their dedication to serving the community and ensuring transparency in their decision-making processes.