Discussions abound at busy Charlotte Selectboard meeting

By Gail Callahan

The approval of a contract for a consulting firm to help with the writing of Charlotte’s new Town Plan got a boost at the June 23 Selectboard meeting.

The crowded agenda saw the Board consider an array of items ranging from contracts with the Vermont State Police to raises for town employees.

Under Vermont law, a municipal plan must be adopted every five years. Charlotte’s, which can be read on the town’s website, was re-drafted in 2008 and re-adopted in 2013. Traditionally, the document contains all aspects as it relates to the running of a community, including a history of the town, resources, surveys of open space, and maps.

According to Selectboard Chair Lane Morrison, town officials are hoping a rough draft may be ready to be discussed at Charlotte’s annual Town Party in July. “We’re progressing,” he said, after the meeting. “The Planning Commission is making progress.”
A municipality’s Planning Commission is charged with writing a Town Plan, and the local Board must approve the document after holding a round of public meetings, in order to gather input from residents.

At the same time, the Selectboard approved $4,560 for PlaceSense, a consulting firm, to help facilitate the “filling-in” of parts of the document. According to town officials, the company will aid in gathering public involvement when drafting the document.

In other business:

The Selectboard also approved a request by the Charlotte Recreation Committee to use the Town Beach for the annual Charlotte Beach Party, slated for Aug. 3.

The Board also gave the thumbs’ up to a contract with the Vermont State Police (VSP), as opposed to the Shelburne Police Department, to patrol the community. The contract spells out that coverage lasts until July 1, 2015. Typically, all emergency, or 9-1-1 requests are handled by the State Police. Morrison noted that VSP usually provides Charlotte with about 8.5 hours a week of coverage.

Also, Morrison noted that when town officials were crafting the FY 15 Municipal Budget, the plan called for Charlotte employees to receive a 1.5 percent raise across the board. The increase is effective July 1, Morrison said.