Charlotte hires zoning official, backs Thompson’s Point plan

Staff Writer

Daniel Morgan is Charlotte’s new zoning administrator.

The selectboard voted Monday to hire Morgan to replace Aaron Brown, who’s now the town administrator — and zoning administrator — for New Haven.

In Charlotte, Morgan will also be the sewage control officer, E911 coordinator and health officer. Carrie Spear made the motion to hire Morgan; it was approved unanimously.

Morgan grew up in Burlington and graduated from UVM.

In other business:

  • Rick Brigham of Sullivan Powers & Co., the company that is Charlotte’s auditor, discussed the town’s progress on capital budgeting. He complimented Charlotte for reviving this type of budgeting, which the town had used previously, because it gives the town a way to plan for big expenses.

Brigham recommended that the town include only costs over, say, $25,000 in its capital budget. He said Charlotte’s town government budget is large enough that items in the $2,500 to $10,000 range, or items like office furniture, can be taken care of in the operations and maintenance component of the regular budget.

“I think it’s better to really try to focus on the large dollar items and build those into the capital plan,” Brigham said. It’s good to make plans for when smaller items need to be addressed, but that can be done through normal budgeting.

The capital budget should be a way to prepare for big expenses, such as bridges, culverts, roofs and major building improvements.

Besides looking at revenues from property taxes, he said, the town should plan for future borrowing and consider how future loan payments will affect the tax rate.

Matt Krasnow, selectboard chair, said it seemed that Brigham was recommending that the board look not just at the town’s buildings as capital expenses, but each element of the buildings.

“That’s exactly right,” said Brigham.

  • In response to a request from Bill Fraser, chair of the Recreation Commission, the selectboard voted unanimously to approve the use of the Town Beach on July 25 and Aug. 1 for concerts featuring members of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

This was a reapproval of sorts. These performances were organized to replace two of the three Mozart at the Beach concerts that had to be canceled when the director of the Vermont Mozart Festival resigned.

Just like the concerts they are replacing, these two concerts will be free, although parking fees will be charged.

  • The selectboard unanimously approved giving an easement to the Thompson’s Point Association to renovate the water system that it operates for about 35 camps.

These properties are leased from the town of Charlotte; the association’s water system is actually on land owned by the town. The water system was developed almost 100 years ago with what was probably an informal “handshake” agreement, said Town Administrator Dean Bloch.

“We’ve been pumping water out of the lake at the camp on the point since 1921. And treating it. Well, probably not then. But we’ve been treating it and discovered that our system’s antique and out of date,” said Dorothy Naylor of the Thompson’s Point Association.

The association is applying for a state grant to fund the new water system, and the state requires that the easement be official.

  • The selectboard will hold a special meeting Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. to set this year’s property tax rate and consider a wastewater ordinance that the West Charlotte Village Wastewater Committee has been working on.

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