Wilmington board addresses goals


WILMINGTON -- As Town Manager Scott Murphy handed out lists containing previously established goals and new ones, he wanted the Selectboard to talk mostly about newer long-term goals.

"Those are the ones we are focused on," he said.

On April 30, the work session began with discussion on the rainy day fund or the emergency/disaster fund that was proposed to voters at Town Meeting. The idea was to use money considered a surplus by the town to hold onto in case of an emergency.

It did not necessarily have to be another storm but it could also be a financial emergency. Selectboard member Susie Haughwout said that could mean municipal emergencies or disasters, in which the board would use the fund so that the town wouldn't have to deficit spend or have to borrow.

Selectboard member Diane Chapman agreed with Haughwout that the fund's definition needed rewording and it should be re-addressed. Renaming the fund altogether was another idea the board thought it may want to discuss.

"I'm thinking we should wait until the next fiscal year because we'll know the exact number (of the surplus) and we can define it a little better," said Murphy. "We still may use that money if there is a disaster in the next few months."

Haughwout also spoke of developing a stance regarding the Twin Valley High School building, which will be vacant following graduation this year. The Twin Valley School Board and Wilmington School Board are in the process of a feasibility study being conducted through a Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR, grant.

"That's a question that's going to come up in this year's coming budget," she said.

The Selectboard also discussed a scoping study, through the same CDBG-DR funding, for the co-relocation of the town's police and fire departments. It was already established that relocating both departments into the same facility was not likely to be the chosen option.

Updates on the study will be presented to the board soon, Murphy said.

"They're trying to have a meeting with police and fire department officers to narrow it down to one department rather than both," he added.

Representatives from architecture and construction company Bread Loaf Corporation, who were assigned to the project, are currently looking to get some of the officers to become advocates to assist with obtaining support from the public.

Haughwout mentioned that there difficulties regarding the digitization of town records. As Town Clerk, she was involved in this other CDBG-DR funded project.

A second request for proposals had gone out in March because there was a lack of interest for the first round in January.

"We're getting down to the wire. They were hoping to get us an answer soon," said Haughwout, who expected to hear from the CDBG board that handles such grants in the next week to 10 days.

She believed the project would take more than a year and the original project was supposed to take 20 months. Now, it would have to be done in a shorter period of time.

The Selectboard was still curious about a potential merger with the Wilmington Water District. Although the district received voter approval to take out a bond so that it could make updates and remain in compliance as new regulations from the state will be required, board members still wanted to keep that topic open.

Murphy told the board that the repairs of wing walls of the bridge on Route 100 and 9 were currently being addressed. There was graffiti on the walls, too, which he said would be removed by Memorial Day weekend.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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