“5th Monday” Meeting of March 31, 2014
South Hero Town Hall, Monday 7:00 PM
Board Present: Chris Herrick, Jonathan Shaw, Skip Brown (also Board Secretary), Anne Zolotas, Carol Tremble
Others Present: Mitchel Cypes, Administrative Assistant. Also see sign in sheet.
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman Chris Herrick at 7:00 pm.
– Anne Zolotas made a motion to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of March 24, 2014 as written.
The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
4. New Business:
A. The meeting was turned over to Sandy Gregg, Chairman of the Lavin Property Working Group (LPWG).
Sandy explained that the LPWG was charged by the Selectboard to study the feasibility whether the Town should purchase the Lavin property or not. A handout was passed out and is attached to these minutes. This is the 1st of 3 proposed public forums with an anticipated town vote on election day, November 4, 2014.
-Jay Buermann and David Roy spoke to the potential wastewater capacity and possible Town center ideas. It was discussed that Mr. Lavin will undertake a State approved wastewater analysis and a wetlands study before the Town has to make a decision on the property.
– The members of the audience and the Selectboard were asked for Pros, Cons and Considerations for the LPWG to study at future meetings. They are shown below in no particular order:
- Consolidation of Town properties.
- Allows main part of Town to be commercial.
- Selling old municipal properties would allow that land to go back onto the tax rolls.
- A Town Center on the Lavin property would provide identity.
- Consolidating municipal buildings would allow for a central plant and municipal economy.
- Buying the Lavin parcel would be an investment in the Town’s future.
- Controlled development on the Lavin property could be an incremental process.
- $550,000 appears to be a reasonable cost. (Note: the Select Board stated a proper appraisal of the land would be completed before the Nov 4th vote).
- Buying the Lavin parcel would provide implementation of The Town Plan.
- The land has improved septic capacity.
- By moving Town Municipal buildings to the Lavin property with less Route 2 frontage this would free up more Route 2 frontage for commercial.
- Entrance to a new Town Center would potentially slow down traffic.
- Installing a septic system would cost a lot of money.
- The property has been for sale for ~ 40 years, is it a “white elephant”?
- Cost of the property may be high. (Note: the Select Board stated a proper appraisal of the land would be completed before the Nov 4th vote).
- Timing of the purchase is bad considering all other tax increases.
- Limited professional development expertise is available at this time.
- Many (several) years the land will be off of the tax rolls.
- Abandoned Town buildings – what will happen to them?
- Does the Lavin property provide enough road frontage?
- Could there be a public/private partnership?
- Is there a development/capitalization plan?
- Septic installation cost could be phased-in.
- Consider the annual septic maintenance cost, cost of updates, etc.
- Fifty years from now what do we want South Hero to look like?
- Any development on the Lavin property could be incremental.
- The price of the property – is it fair?
- Appraisal: the Select Board stated a proper appraisal of the land would be completed before the Nov 4th vote.
- Continuity of purpose – will the Lavin property suit an evolving Town Plan?
- Need for a vision for the Lavin property.
- The South Hero community makes the decisions.
- Timing of the purchase of the land and any controlled development.
- C.I.D.E.R. retirement housing needs.
- Recruiting a School Board member to be on the LPWG.
- Recruiting a Folsom faculty member to be on the LPWG.
- Recruiting a high school student to be on the LPWG for a young person’s point of view.
- Return of Applefest to a new Town Center.
- Can we live with the deal?
- Investigating other means or properties available to resolve Town municipal needs.
- Cost of maintaining and updating of current Town buildings, include energy costs.
- Include summer residents in the process.
- The road frontage, is it enough?
- A stop light at the entrance of a new Town Center to slow traffic and for emergency signal.
- Donations toward either the purchase of the Lavin property or future Town Buildings – are they tax deductible?
Other comments include: What would happen if the Lavin Property was sold to a developer and up to 15 homes were built. How would a housing development affect our schools and taxes. Property has been for sale on and off for 40 years, but as farmland and without the knowledge of septic capacity. Not a lot of frontage on Route 2 may be a good thing. Keep in mind that this is the first of three proposed public forums.
-Carol Tremble made a motion to adjourn 8:35 pm. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown Chris Herrick, Chair