Dover Town Meeting 3

Dover Town Clerk Andy McLean speaks in support of Support and Services at Home at annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

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DOVER — Pay bumps are being proposed at annual Town Meeting.

Under the spending plan, Select Board Chairwoman Victoria Capitani said administrative personnel would receive 4 percent raises and non-administrative employees would get get increases of 8 to 10 percent.

“We’re having a lot of trouble retaining both police officers and highway drivers/operators with CDLs,” she said at an informational meeting last week, referring to commercial driver’s licenses. “It’s becoming a poaching market going on in the different towns. Luckily, we’re full staffed [at the police and highway departments].”

Capitani called the raises “necessary ... to retain the great staff” and services in Dover.

“We had attrition this fall and it was very scary,” she said. “We’ve thought about this long and hard.”

If voters approve all appropriations, expenses will jump by about 10.48 percent over last year. That would include additional allocations for increases in fuel, and professional development for training employees to test pavement and secure CDLs.

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Annual Town Meeting starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Town Hall. Feedback from residents will be sought on two projects.

Capitani said the Select Board recently was asked to consider buying a gravel pit site in Jamaica, near Sun Bowl at Stratton Mountain Resort, for $950,000. She noted the approximately 100-acre property would require permitting and engineering.

“We don’t know about doing any of those things,” she said.

The board will be seeking input from community members on whether to invest time and money into the project. Capitani said it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find gravel but also open gravel pits in Vermont.

Eric Durocher, economic development director for the town, wants to know how residents feel about a long-planned project to extend the Valley Trail on Route 100 past Dorr Fitch Road. Dover received a grant for the work but the price tag has risen to at least $866,000, he said. He anticipates the state would need to be reimbursed about $10,000 for services if the project is abandoned.