Proctor board rejects Grandpa’s Knob project; reviews budget proposal


PROCTOR — At its Monday, Nov. 22 meeting, the Proctor selectboard voted unanimously to not support the Grandpa’s Knob Community Wind Project on a ridge outside Castleton, and unanimously approved supporting a VOREC grant application for $138,665 that would highlight Proctor’s natural assets and connect those resources via a trail system.

Town Manager Michael Ramsey also proposed less than a 1% increase in the General Fund for the town’s budget to be approved this coming March at Town Meeting. Selectboard members reviewed the budget proposal with Ramsey later in the meeting.

In a relatively brief conversation about the wind turbine project on Grandpa’s Knob, the third discussion in as many meetings, the selectboard abided by its town plan and the regional plan, both of which strongly discourage the construction of wind turbines on area ridgelines. Selectman Tom Hogan made a motion that “the town not support the project,” which was seconded by Bruce Baccei. Selectboard chair Judy Frazier will draft a letter to be sent to the project’s contact.

On the Vermont Outdoor Recreation grant, Town Manager Michael Ramsey had followed the lead of a town committee working on the grant to pull all the information together to get the grant submitted by its late November deadline. If the grant is awarded to the town, it would help build and better define a trail system between the town’s parks and natural resources, namely the Beaver Pond park, Carriage Trail parking area, Sunderland Falls on Otter Creek, the Town Green.

Included in the grant were proposals to build or improve the pavilions at the Beaver Pond park and Carriage Trail parking areas so events could be held there and folks could get out of inclement weather if need be, say for the start of races or other events. The grant would also provide for informational kiosks and brass placards that would be placed within the sidewalks.

The selectboard also reviewed its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan with FEMA’s Emergency Management Planner Steffanie Bourque. The plan is outlined on the town’s website, allowing the public to review it and offer comments through Dec. 13. Printed copies of the plan are also available at the Town Office. Comments can be submitted to Town Manager Michael Ramsey or presented during the public comment period at the selectboard meeting on Dec. 13.

In the open public comment section of the Nov. 22 meeting, Rob Oberg explained why he thought a pavilion at the town pool should be included in the VOREC grant application. He also advocated for an increase in town spending in the upcoming budget to expand operations from five days a week to seven days a week. That expansion would add about $10,000 to its $44,000 annual operating budget.


The other big point of discussion during the meeting was a review of the draft budget proposed by Ramsey, who said he kept spending to less than a 1 percent increase for the General Fund budget. Other than an increase in the pool budget as noted above, the biggest change came in Legislative and Administrative budget, which saw a reduction of $15,831.90 to $100,204. Most other departments saw relatively modest adjustments from the year prior.

The road, water and sewer budgets will be submitted separately and reviewed at the next meeting on Dec. 13.

In other action, the selectboard:

• Accepted the resignation of assistant assessor Jacob Dorman and tabled any further action to fill that position pending a review of the need for an assistant to Town Assessor Lisa Wright, who is also the town’s lister.

• Noted that the skating rink will be open and that masks must be worn at all times when inside. Rules will also stipulate that visitors stay home if they are not feeling well and maintain the six-foot rule when not with friends or family.

• The selectboard also spent 25 minutes in executive session reviewing Ramsey’s first three months on the job. In an interview after the meeting, Ramsey said he was given a positive review by the board and that he and Frazier would provide a write-up of the Performance Review for his personnel file.

The selectboard’s next meeting will be Monday, Dec. 13 starting at 6 p.m. in the Town Office.

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