BELLOWS FALLS -- Village trustees voted Tuesday to adopt a revision of the unsafe building ordinance they feel has more clear and appropriate language.
The updated ordinance has changed the criteria of what is considered a dangerous building, added a definition of working days and outlined penalties for violations. The motion was approved by all four voting members in attendance (Stefan Golec was not present).
The unsafe building ordinance no longer defines fences as potentially dangerous buildings, leaving just sheds and manmade structures and other buildings that are dangerous to the public health, a possible fire hazard or subject to collapse. It also states that working days are acknowledged as any day other than Saturday, Sunday or an observed holiday as listed in the Town of Rockingham and Bellows Falls Village Corporation Personnel Rules.
The revised ordinance also adds a penalty for violation. It says a civil penalty of not more than $500 may be imposed for each violation and the waiver fee will be set at $100 for each.
"Each day that the violation continues will constitute a separate violation of this ordinance," the text reads.
Also, a copy of a report from a qualified structural engineer hired to inspect a structure deemed unsafe must now be forwarded to the trustees within 15 days, instead of five.
Trustee Charlie Hunter said he thinks the revision makes sense and colleague Colin James said the ordinance is much more clear now.
With the next item on the evening's agenda, Municipal Manager Willis D. "Chip" Stearns spoke about the options for a water distribution system.
At the previous trustees meeting, Stearns displayed the options prepared by Dufresne Group in 2011. Stearns, according to the official meeting minutes, noted the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund has approved a portion of the project up to $654,000 as long as a bond vote has been done prior to March 31, 2014. Stearns said a bond was approved several years ago to replace pipes from the bottom of Pond Road to the Industrial Drive.
On Tuesday, he said one option - known as Alternative 5 - would, at $10,710,000, exceed the limit of money that can be borrowed from the government, while Alternative 3 - at $6,496,000 - would not. Stearns noted, however, that those figures have not been updated since 2011.
In other business:
-- The trustees also voted to ratify a vote taken last week to approve a contract with Green Mountain Railroad, which wants to develop a propane distribution center in the village.
-- During his manager's report, Stearns said hydrant flushing has begun and will for continue couple more weeks. He said hydrant flushing occurs twice a year and people should not be alarmed to see some discolored water.
-- Stearns also said water shut-off notices should be sent out within the next few weeks.
-- Tax sale preparation has began with Town Agent Ray Massucco, Stearns said.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow Domenic on Twitter @dpoli_reformer