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Town of Mendon select board meeting, September 26

The Vermont Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund were central topics discussed at the Town of Mendon's Selectboard, September 26. In order to qualify for increased State match funding of 15% versus 12.5% for the total recovery costs, a municipality must provide verification that they have adopted minimum standards. The Town of Mendon has met these minimum standards and the form was signed by Selectman Greg Smith and will be submitted by the deadline to the Vermont Agency of Transportation Operations Division.

Old business:

The Historic Preservation Grant was reviewed. Ann Singiser reported that the Historic Preservation Grant application was due on October 17, 2011. Ann reviewed the application for repairs to the Town Shop. The repairs would include repairing the rotten sills underneath the building. The Historic Preservation grant is up to $20K with a required one to one match. The Town Shop Reserve Fund's balance is currently $19,700 with an additional $2,000 to be deposited from the 2011-2012 budget. Ann Singiser will present the final draft of the application for the Selectboard to sign before the deadline.

Regarding the Sherwood Drive and Woodward Road resurfacing, both of the roads were scheduled for resurfacing this summer. Due to the project's readiness, the Selectboard decided to postpone these projects. Sara Tully will prepare a mailing to inform the residents of these developments that the resurfacing projects will be postponed.

Regarding Helvi Hill Road and Journey's End roads, it was noted that Helvi Hill Road is a private road that experienced a tremendous amount of increased traffic as a result of tropical storm Irene. It was estimated that over 14,000 people utilized the private trail and roadway as an alternate route around the Route 4 construction. The Selectboard approved to grade Helvi Hill Road to help restore the road to it's original condition. Sara Tully will send notification to the property owners of Helvi Hill Road with sincere gratitude for the use of their road during the recent disaster and subsequent construction. It has been reported by residents of the roads that the location of this trail has become a bit of a tourist attraction. The Selectboard reminds the community that a majority of this trail is on private property. The Town of Mendon greatly appreciated the use of the property during the immediate emergency and would ask the general public to respect the property owner and refrain from trespassing.

Bridge #24 in Wheelerville was to commence construction on this week of September 26. It is expected that the bridge will be open before winter.

New Business:

Financing tropical storm Irene was discussed by the Selectboard. Quarterly financial statements of the General Fund and the Reserve Funds were submitted by Assistant Town Clerk and Treasurer Nancy Gondella. The were reviewed by the Selectboard. The Selectboard discussed options to finance expenses. It is anticipated that FEMA will pay for 75% of approved expenses and the State of Vermont will pay for an additional 15% and towns will be reponsible for the remaining 10%. Damage from the storm is expected to be approximately $1.5 million and cost estimates are still being obtained. Funds Mendon receives from FEMA and the State of Vermont are reimbursement programs. The Town can borrow from the Reserve Funds or utilize a current expense note to meet expenses. The Town will consider a bond to pay for the remaining 10% of cost expenses.

Regarding tax abatements, there are very specific reasons to abate taxes. The Board of Abatement consists of the Selectboard, the Town Treasurer, Listers and the Justices of the Peace. Individual property owners would have to request a hearing before the Board of Abatement to request abatement of taxes.

Health insurance was next on the agenda. The 2012 health insurance quotes will be released soon. The Town will have to make a decision by October 31, 2011 which plan to offer to employees. Nancy Gondella and Sara Tully will complete a plan analysis as soon as the information is received from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and will then present to the Selectboard.

Tagged: Mendon, Mendon/Chittenden/Pittsford/Brandon, Mendon Select Board Notes