Friday, January 14, 2011

Cavendish Update 1/14/11 SB Mtg/News/Events/Anniversary

This issue of the Cavendish Update is made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), a non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the conservation of land and natural resources and to the preservation of historic sites within the context of sustainable economic growth. FMI: PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142 or 802-226-7736

The 1/14/11 Cavendish Update Contains the Following:
1. Select Board Meeting
2. Cavendish Related News
3. Cavendish 250th Anniversary: Crown Point Road
4. 250th Cavendish Anniversary Celebration Planning Committee Meeting
5. Cavendish Events 1/14-1/21

1. Select Board Meeting 1/10/11
At Monday night’s Select Board meeting the following items were discussed:

A. Cavendish 250th Anniversary: On Oct. 12, 1761, King George signed the charter, which founded Cavendish. This charter is stored in the town office vault. Recent examination finds that it is in need of restoration. As part of the town’s 250th anniversary, there is interest in displaying the charter. The Select Board voted that surplus funds from this year’s budget could be used toward the restoration and long-term preservation of the document.

The SB agreed that a town wide committee be formed to discuss how the town should celebrate this historic event. A fund will be set up at the town office, which people can donate to, to help offset any costs associated with the event. Persons interested in being on the Anniversary Committee can e-mail (See item 4 below for first meeting date and time.)

B. Update on Recent Water System Activities: As noted in the January 11 special water post, a merging of a number of different events caused the water shortage. The one silver lining to this situation is that the state is allowing the town to hook up the second well for a 90-day period.

During the time that the filtration project was being planned, a test well was dug in close proximity to the existing one. Tapping into a different water source, this well tested extremely clean-iron and manganese are very low. Unfortunately, it didn’t yield the same volume of water of the existing well. It was agreed that when funding was available, this well should be brought on-line so it could serve, at the very least, as a backup source of water when the main well had to be shut down for routine cleaning and maintenance, and to supplement the primary well. The well can pump over 50 gallons a minute if needed. As a result of New Year’s weekend water issues, not only is the well being brought on-line to help with the immediate situation, but the process for full permitting is well underway.

The town water users are asked to conserve water, and the fire departments have been told, in the event of a structural fire, to use water tankers first, draw from the river, call for backup from other towns, and not use the hydrants.

C. Energy Grant: The town received an Energy Grant in the spring of 2010. In August, when paper work by the state had still not been signed, the SB voted not to move forward until the State Commissioner and the town signed the cooperative agreement. While the initial plan was to have all work completed by the winter, the necessary paper work was not sent to the town until December. Work can begin on indoor projects, such as changing lighting in the town office.

D. Town Appraisal Update: At a special town meeting in September, the voters agreed in favor of an appraisal update for the town. This was being suggested since the value of properties had dropped so significantly since the 2006 appraisal. An update, versus being mandated for a town wide update, would provide considerable savings to the town. For more information, please see the information handout provided by the town office.

At the Sept. 13 meeting, Richard Svec, town manager, said that the appraisal update would be put out for bid, as is the town’s contracting policy. However, as things have unfolded, the current appraisers have preliminary agreed to a $45 per parcel fee. This would be a considerable savings, not only because this is a very low fee, but the appraisers know the town, have a good relationship with the state, and work well with the listers. The appraisal update is needed for the spring grand list. Not only valuable time would be lost in the request for bid process, but if a new vendor was selected, it would take even more time to orient the contractor to the town, listers etc. As the town allows for sole source contracting in special circumstances, the SB voted to have Svec write a letter of agreement with the current contractor to conduct the appraisal update at the $45 per parcel fee and with other stipulations.

E. Black River Health Center (BHRC) Articles for March Town Meeting: BRHC has requested a tax exemption for the next three years. A discussion followed about whether the BRHC board had discussed turning the building over to the town. As it is, the town must pay $4,000 in taxes to the state for the building. This money would be saved if the town owned the building. BRHC has not looked at this possibility, indicating that it would take considerable discussion. The building has three occupants and several people have recently looked at the location. The SB voted 3 to 2 not to approve this article for submission.

BRHC can resubmit the article once they have issued a petition, which is signed by 18 registered voters.

The Select Board meeting was videotaped by LPC-TV and will appear on Comcast Cable TV and at the LPC website on January 21.

2. Cavendish Related News
CVPS and Green Mtn Power Make Power Deal: Vermont’s two largest utilities say they’re going to buy power from Hydro-Quebec at prices below those in a new contract. Vermont utilities currently pay Hydro Quebec six-point-six cents per kilowatt hour. The new contract will start at 5-point-8 cents. The VT Public Service Board is reviewing the plan for VT utilities to purchase 225 megawatts of energy, mostly hydroelectricity from Hydro-Quebec’s US subsidiary, between 2012 and 2038. Associated Press

Major Changes Proposed in VT’s Tax Policy: After 18 months of research, hearings and deliberations, the Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recommended Thursday simplifying several taxes, broadening the state’s tax base and reducing rates to increase the state’s economic competitiveness. Burlington Free Press

3. Cavendish 250th Anniversary: Crown Point Road
Construction began on the Crown Point Road in 1759. Built by the British, it linked Fort Number 4 in Charlestown, NH to Fort Crown Point on Lake Champlain. Major John Hawks and 250 rangers cleared a roughhewn road through the forest. A path was cut across the elevation in southeastern Cavendish, now called Hawks Mountain. Soldiers traveling along this section of the road soon complained of its roughness. Another route bypassing Hawks Mountain was laid out during the next spring. An encampment from twenty miles from Charlestown on the road gave the tributary of the Black River its present name: Twenty Mile Stream. The first settlers in Cavendish, John Coffeen and family, settled close to the Crown Point Road in 1769, eight years after the Charter was signed by King George III.

4. 250th Cavendish Anniversary Celebration Planning Committee Meeting
There will be a meeting to start planning for the town's 250th anniversary (Oct. 12, 1761) celebration on Jan. 24 (Monday), 4 pm at the Town Office. All are welcome. FMI: 226-7807 or 226-7292

5. Cavendish Events 1/14-1/21
January 15 (Saturday): Live Authentically course begins at the Cavendish Library from 9-12. Ending March 19, Live Authentically is designed to help you discover your inner potential and to gain insight into the big questions in life such as “Who am I? What am I here to do? What’s stopping me?” and “How can I create the life I want?” The course is taught by Cavendish resident Martha Mott. The fee is $300. To register, please contact Martha at 226-7848 or at

January 17 (Monday): Martin Luther King Day, Legal Holiday. Schools and town office closed.

January 18 (Tuesday): Bone Builders Class at the Cavendish Baptist-- Class from 10:15-11:45. FMI: Linda at Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center of Windsor County at (802) 885-2083, or Anne Oakes or Andrew Ohotnicky at (802) 228-5236, or Dot Ramsdell at (802) 226-7870

January 20 (Thursday): Bone Builders Class at the Cavendish Baptist-- Class from 10:15-11:45. FMI: Linda at Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center of Windsor County at (802) 885-2083, or Anne Oakes or Andrew Ohotnicky at (802) 228-5236, or Dot Ramsdell at (802) 226-7870
• Community Luncheon at St. James United Methodist Church in Proctorsville. The menu will include spaghetti with meatballs and a tossed salad, warm garlic bread, and ice cream sundaes for dessert. Coffee, hot tea or a fruit drink will be available as well. A suggested donation of $3.00 for seniors or $4.50 for those under 60 years will help defray the cost of our luncheons.
• Sit & Knit" at the Six Loose Ladies yarn shop, Pollard Building, Proctorsville Green, 2:00 -9:00 PM. Open to knitters, spinners, crocheters, hookers. Free. FMI: 226-7373

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