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Town of Shaftsbury, VT
PO Box 409
61 Buck Hill Road
Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262

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Phone: (802) 442-4038
Fax: (802) 442-0955
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Select Board Appoints Members to CCDC, and more

Posted: April 17, 2024

SHAFTSBURY - The Select Board approved the members of the new Community Center Development Committee (CCDC) at its meeting on Monday.

Marie Watson and Joan Dornhoefer are the two members from the community; Zoe Contros Kearl from the Planning Commission; Sarah Costin from the Recreation Committee; Martha Cornwell from the Select Board, and Town Clerk Marlene Hall from the staff at Cole Hall.

Board Chairwoman Naomi Miller, at an earlier meeting, outlined where the members should be drawn from. The CCDC will work in concert with David Kiernan, interim town manager, and incoming Town Manager Paula Iken.

The charge of the new committee is to make and proceed with plans related to Cole Hall, where the town offices are located, and recently acquired adjoining properties. With the purchase of a house behind Cole Hall completed, the town has about $680,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to spend on various projects. These include accessibility improvements to Cole Hall, construction of a pavilion for the newly acquired town green space, and development of a community center.

The new committee combines the roles of two former committees: the Cole Hall Committee and the Town Green Committee. The new committee will make recommendations that will then go to the Select Board, which has the final decision as to where the money is going to get allocated.

Due to a change in rules, the entire remaining amount of ARPA money has to be contracted out for projects by the end of 2024. This means that the new committee has a lot of work to do in a relatively short period of time. Originally, the town had planned to use a large portion of the money to install an elevator at Cole Hall, but due to rising costs, that was abandoned. These alternative expenditures are not as far along in the planning process as was the elevator project.

During the COVID pandemic, Shaftsbury received a $1 million allocation from the federal ARPA funds. House purchase finalized

The Select Board on Monday OK'd a special warrant to approve the expenditure of about $187,654 for the purchase of the house and property just north of Cole Hall. The house is located at 43 Buck Hill Road, and according to a listing, is 1,361 square feet. It sits on a .86-acre lot. In January, the town announced it had signed an agreement with the co-owners of the property stipulating that the sale would not happen until April 15, at which time the occupants would move out. Definite plans for the house and property have not been developed.

"It's a big moment," said Board Chair Naomi Miller, of the sale.

"It will be part of a big change for downtown Shaftsbury," said Board member Michael Cichanowski.

In November 2023, the town held a ribbon cutting for 2.2 acres near Cole Hall purchased using ARPA Funds. This is envisioned as a town green and more. Potluck for new administrator

Miller announced that an Open House/Pot Luck to welcome new Town Administrator, Paula Iken, will be held on Monday, May 20th, (Date was originally announced incorrectly, the 20th is Correct) at Cole Hall at 4:30 p.m. before the regular Select Board meeting. It will be held in the upstairs meeting room.

"I think it will be a nice thing, and we hope a lot of people will show up," Miller said. "People will bring food as they feel moved but shouldn't feel they have to bring food."

Iken will start her new post on May 1. She will replace Kiernan, now the part-time interim town administrator. He is contracted to stay on until the end of May.

Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Posted/Author: Mark Rondeau

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