Charlotte Selectboard handles varied agenda

By Robin Reid

Roadways

Monday’s regular Charlotte Selectboard meeting included an update from Ken Upmal, the Route 7 project manager. The plan is to fully reconstruct three miles of highway north of the Ferrisburgh line to meet highway standards of two 12’ lanes with two 8’ shoulders. The proposed pedestrian underpass near the Charlotte Berry Farm consisting of a 10’ x 10’ pre-cast box structure has been budgeted and is included in the plans.

Due to highway classification rules, Route 7 must maintain a two-way detour at all times during the construction phase. Parts of the right of way will be utilized to build temporary bypasses. Large trees screening houses in the Wildwood West community will be cut in the process, exposing some of these houses to the highway. Upmal assured residents he would attend to their concerns—there is a landscaping plan­­—but he stated this is a “legacy” project that has been in the works for many years. The project is in the right-of-way phase and many easements are in place. By January, filing for necessity and condemnation against unsigned properties will occur as part of the Right of Way (ROW) clearing process. The projected start date is April 15, 2016.

 Bids for paving town roads were opened. The Selectboard chose SD Ireland. A motion to pave the apron at East Thompson’s Point Road died for lack of a second. The Route 7 project will include the paving of aprons for accesses and town roads.
 
West Village

Charlotte Community Transition members discussed a real estate option within the West Village that could serve as a community pub/coffee shop, meeting, entertainment, and educational space. Several properties are available in the vicinity. The group will pursue private fundraising and hopes for enthusiasm from the Selectboard with regard to a location in close proximity to other West Village entities, especially the Town Hall and Library. Parking and the septic issue must be further explored.
 Due to wetland permitting, the Town Green drainage project may not be ready in time to move the WWII monument from the school as originally scheduled. $1,700 was approved for Jeff Kuhn to move the monument at the appropriate time.

 The Selectboard approved the request for a July 4, 10am Flag Retirement Ceremony to be conducted by the Boy Scouts on the Town Green.
 In other business, the Board:
• Will select members to attend a meeting in Shelburne to learn more about the police coverage package offered by the Shelburne Police Department. Charlotte is also looking at a coverage proposal from the State Police and a decision will be rendered soon.
• Approved the requirement that Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services (CVFRS) must seek Selectboard approval prior to the purchase of capital equipment. According to member Eleanor Russell, CVFRS is on budget and they are currently working on health insurance issues. Concerns remain regarding proper ambulance licensing. The Selectboard set the next joint quarterly meeting for July 21 at the fire .
• Selected Advantage Tennis to repair cracks and improve tennis courts at the Town Beach at a rate not to exceed $6,000.
 • Decided that the beach will officially become a “carry in and carry out” facility. The dumpster will be removed from the property. All beach users are called upon to make this initiative a success.
•  Discussed work to be conducted by the Charlotte Invasive Collaborative. A contract will authorize the proposed clearing of common reeds (phragmites) in town ROWs. These efforts are experimental and ongoing.
 • Approved the annual contract of $600 for Animal Control housing with Comfort Hill Kennel.
 Chose Lincoln Applied Geology as the Class 3 operator to monitor the Town Hall and Library water system.