By Angelo Lynn
BRANDON — The Brandon selectboard breezed through a short meeting Monday night, Nov. 14, in about 35 minutes with no controversy or much discussion from the handful of community members attending.
That’s mostly because — unlike more recent meetings — there weren’t controversial items on the agenda. After approving the minutes of the Brandon Liquor Control Board and the selectboard, which had a few minor corrections, the town manager’s report was reviewed briefly as Town Manager Dave Atherton could not make Monday’s meeting.
Under public comments, Brandon Energy Committee spokesperson Jim Emerson reported that the town’s Button Up event this past weekend was “a grand success” with about 80 people attending a series of lectures and presentations at the Town Hall building. The event, which included music and snacks, focused on educational presentations that showed homeowners how to save money on energy-saving home measures. (See a separate report of the event on Page 2.)
In one of the few action items on the agenda, the selectboard reappointed Atherton and Fire Chief Tom Kilpeck as the town’s members to the Rutland Regional Emergency Management Committee (REMC), following its first year of service. As directed by the Vermont legislature, the REMC must appoint one emergency management representative and one emergency services presentative from each town.
HEARING ON LIBRARY GRANT
The selectboard confirmed that a public hearing will be held on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Brandon Town Offices to review and take any public questions or comments about a library grant the town recently received. The $55,181 Planning Grant from the Vermont Community Development Program pertains to the Brandon Free Public Library’s upcoming renovation and addition.
Specifically, the grant will help the town “obtain the views of citizens on community development; to furnish information concerning the range of community development activities that have been undertaken under this program; and to give affected citizens the opportunity to examine a statement on the use of these funds.”
The VCDP funds received have been used to accomplish the following:
• Completion of a feasibility study on the Brandon Free Public Library, exploring design, costs and the environmental impact of expanding and renovating the library.
• Work products included an architectural feasibility study, structural and mechanical design, historic review, environmental assessment work, cost estimates, financing plan, and development schedule.
The selectboard also passed a resolution to continue participating in a Rutland Regional Planning Commission program that would create a county-wide website that maps recreational assets to serve as a one-stop regional recreation tourism site.
Called RAMP, for Rutland Regional Asset Mapping Project, it includes an interactive map with a focus on the consortium towns and organizes information and data on hiking and biking trails, parks, downtowns, village centers, historical points of interest, museums and art studios.
The next phase of the project has Brandon solely partnering with the RRPC and leveraging the municipal planning grant funding to create town specific sites that also feature a coordinated community calendar. The end result, said Brandon Recreation and Economic Development manager Bill Moore, will be a “comprehensive regional website that has up-to-date data that is being curated by the individual towns with support from RRPC planner Maggie O’Brien.” Moore said the town was “excited to once again lead the county in the effort to boost the visibility of the region,” adding that it will “once and for all solve the ‘master community calendar’ problem.”
The project is financed by a matching grant paid for by the RRPC.
The selectboard approved routine spending warrants in the amount of $338,652.49 and a Library Grant warrant for $24,342.49 before adjournment.