Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014 Town Meeting Results

The Cavendish Connects website now includes much of what was included on this blog as well as a calendar of Cavendish events. The new blog, “The Dish,” includes the Cavendish Update as well as on-going information.

By a vote of 52 to 7, the Cavendish voters approved Article 1: To see if the voters will approve of the purchase of Cavendish Parcel #1Veo-196, a 0.33 acre village lot located at 601 Main Street, Proctorsville. This property abuts the Cavendish Town Elementary School lot to the east and is currently vacant. The purchase price is $24,900. The purpose of this procurement is to secure the property for good public uses including, but not limited to, use by the school.

The cost will be paid for by one of the following means: increase in the coming year’s taxes; use of surplus budget at the end of the year; or spread the cost over several years. The select board will need to discuss this at their July meeting when they will be setting the tax rate for the coming year. 

There was considerable discussion about how the space could be used:
-       By CTES for additional parking, play ground for young children, outdoor classroom and as a buffer between the school and community.
-       Relocate the town water tower from school property and on to land owned by the town.
-        Affordable housing
      -       Swimming Pool
-       Generator for the school in its capacity as the town shelter

No clear plan is in place and no costs were provided as to what would be incurred to reconfigure parking and playgrounds at the school. It was suggested that the landscape architects in town might be willing to provide in kind contributions of their time to figure out a plan and that work could be done by the Town’s Highway Department. At least one person in the audience expressed their concern that the Highway Department should be spending their time on existing concerns-such as roads that are not passable during mud season-and not taking on new projects.

The school board does not have a plan or cost estimates, but said they would seek grant funding to help make changes without adding to the tax burden.

Several people expressed concern that we’re adding to the town’s assets without properly maintaining what we already own. An amendment to the article was made that would have required that 10% of the tax value of town property be set aside for upkeep for town real estate assets.

According to the recently adopted Capital Budget and Program for FY 2014-2031`the town’s real estate fair market value are estimated to be valued at $10,537,150, which does not include the value of the recently added Cavendish Stone Church.

This amendment was defeated, with voters suggesting that this be something to consider for Town Meeting.

The Select Board will have the final say on how the property will be used. 

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