BY ANGELO LYNN
PROCTOR — In a quick meeting Monday night, the Proctor selectboard conducted routine business on several fronts, approved a letter offering state and county assistance to households whose water bills were over $750 in debt, and discussed the siting of digital traffic speed signs coming into town from the south on Route 3.
As part of the town’s continuing effort to reduce the number of households who owe the town back payments for water use, Town Manager Michael Ramsey — in partnership with BROC (Bennington Rutland Opportunity Council) Community Action — sent a letter to about 60 Proctor households explaining there was state assistance to help pay off household utility debt as part of the pandemic aid Congress approved in 2020-21.
Ramsey’s letter explained that BROC Community Action has a staff person on hand to help residents sign up for financial support through programs like the Vermont Homeowners Assistance Program (VHAP). “As of today,” Ramsey wrote, “the town has had many residents take advantage of VHAP, most of whom saw their entire delinquency forgiven.”
“Programs like these may not last long, so it’s important for you to act quickly,” he continued. “If you wish to take advantage of this help, BROC Community Action has a qualified case worker whose entire purpose is to lend you a hand through the application process in a private setting….These last couple of years have been tough on everyone, and you deserve the support that’s being offered.”
Residents who need assistance can either reach out to Ramsey at 802-459-3333, email email@example.com; or by contacting BROC’s Donalee Kirk at 802-775-0878, ext. 125.
MARBLE BRIDGE, TREES
After being on the list of town projects to be addressed, work will begin shortly on minor repairs to Proctor’s picturesque Marble Bridge, including a suggestion by Selectman Tom Hogan to dim the lights. “They’re too bright,” Hogan said by way of one of the things to adjust while the work was being done. “Have Jeff tone it down a bit if he can.”
The board also learned from Ramsey that the town’s effort to reduce the number of errant trees in the right-of-way on town roads had gone well, with residents complying with town requests without issue.
In other business, acting chair Benjamin Curtis moved through the list of routine items during which the selectboard:
• Discussed placing a digital traffic speed signal coming into town from the south on Route 3, right where the 25 mph zone starts. The digital sign is expected to arrive within the next two or so weeks.
• Learned from Ramsey that a traffic counter would also be placed on Route 3 at the intersection of Grove Street to collect traffic data.
• Learned that progress on the Beaver Pond Path NEPA Review has been delayed a month or so, pending a historical review of the area.
• Learned that the town had received over 30 applications for the assistant town clerk/treasurer search. Ramsey said he would review the applicants and was hopeful a prospect would be hired and on the job by early August.
• Learned of efforts of the Park and Rec Committee to address the weed growth in the town pool (pond), with Ramsey noting that no treatments can be done this late in the process, but he’s open to any other suggestions to address the problem that the recreation department might come up with. Otherwise, efforts to get ahead of the problem next summer (perhaps chemical treatment) will begin early next year.
• Heard from Ramsey that the Planning Commission was working on implementing the recently approved town’s enhanced energy plan. The plan can be found on the town’s website, under the municipal plan, starting on page 61.
• Discussed the possibility of creating a park and ride space in the area of the town green, which would also make the town’s park more accessible and inviting. While just an idea at this early stage, the selectboard was in favor of pursuing the idea.
• Agreed that Ramsey and Selectboard Chair Judy Frazier would review two proposals submitted to create a stormwater master plan for the town and choose the better of the two proposals by next week.