Bennington Select Board Meeting- February 27, 2018

M E E T I N G   N O T I C E
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Bennington Town Office
Conference Room
205 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201

5:00 PM

  1.  Executive Session
    A. Personnel




Bennington Select Board Meeting – February 26, 2018

M E E T I N G   N O T I C E


Monday, February 26, 2018
Bennington Fire Facility
Multi-Purpose Room – 3rd Floor
130 River Street
Bennington, VT 05201

6:00 PM

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

2.   Consent Agenda (6:00 PM – 6:05 PM)
A. Minutes – February 5, 2018, February 12, 2018,
February 12,2018 Addendum
B. Warrants

3.   Citizens Comments (6:05 PM – 6:15 PM)- sign-up sheet provided
(For items not on the Agenda)

4.   Final Hearing Applegate Biomass Project (6:15 PM – 6:30 PM)

  1. Community Reinvestment Agreement (6:30 PM – 6:45 PM)
  2. FY2019 Combined Budget Presentation (6:45 PM – 7:10 PM)
  3. Charter Discussion – Section 4 Town Manager (7:10 PM – 7:30 PM)

8.  Liquor License Renewals (7:30 PM – 7:35 PM)

9.  Manager’s Report (7:35 PM – 7:45 PM)

  1. Other Business (7:45 PM – 7:55 PM)
  2. Executive Session
    A. Legal






2017 Annual Report

Below, please find a link to the following Town of Bennington documents:

2017 Annual Report
FY2017 Audit
FY2019 Proposed Budget

Office Closure – February 19, 2018

The Bennington Recreation Center, Bennington Town Offices and the Public Works Departments will be closed Monday, February 19, 2018 in observance of Presidents’ Day, Municipal operation will resume on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 8:00 a.m.

Agency Funding Requests FY19

Below, please find the Agency Funding Requests FY19 Booklet.  This booklet contains the funding requests from all agencies that are included on the ballot and are to be voted on March 6, 2018.  Booklets are also available at Town Hall and will be available at the 2018 Annual Town Meeting on Monday, March 5, 2018. Polls are open Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Bennington Fire Facility on River Street (Lincoln Street entrance), and the North Bennington Village Office on Main Street in North Bennington.

Agency Funding Requests FY19 Booklet

Town Manager’s Column – February 2018

Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

First, I must correct last month’s column. My opening remarks were “I am pleased to tell you the Select Board has finished the budget process. The Board finalized a budget that calls for a $0.0226 increase in the overall tax rate.” Actually, that increase included the Agencies that are placed on the ballot at their requested amounts. The Town’s tax rate will increase just $0.01(0.8%) based on the approved budget placed before the voters. There are 13 agencies seeking an additional $130,100 in funding. If all are approved, the tax rate will increase a total of $0.0227 (1.1%).

Unfortunately, there still seems to be some confusion about the $340,000 Municipal Mitigation Grant the Town declined. The award offer was in error. In truth, the Town was not eligible. By declining the grant, the Town lost no money. We owe nothing to the State. The voter approved bond for $3.2 million, applied for in May, far ahead of this grant opportunity, provided enough funds to retrofit the existing structure and build the salt/sand shed. Once the bond funds are received they must be paid back on a schedule provided by the bond bank. These funds can’t be prepaid.

Those supporting the mayor question on the ballot have lately been indicating that the Mayor’s power to veto any Select Board action can be changed by the Legislature or by simply altering the language after the article passes. According to Senator Dick Sears, the legislative change is highly unlikely. The language can only be amended by another Charter change ballot in the future. I continue to encourage a “No” vote on this article. Let’s look to the hard work of the Charter Review Committee to improve our governance.

The Charter Review Committee Report is being reviewed at regularly scheduled Select Board meetings. To date, the Board has reviewed Sections 1 – 3, Town Officers and Powers of the Select Board and Section 5, Taxation. The Select Board will review Section 4, Town Manager at a future meeting. The Board continues on a path to hold a Charter change vote in early June 2018.The Report is published on the website and available at the Town Offices. I note here that the Select Board has recently undertaken the annual evaluation of the Manager’s performance.

As I write this, the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), has not yet issued its findings on the Saint-Gobain financed study of the area east of the railroad tracks, Phase II so-called. The DEC review should be completed soon. The Town continues to believe that Saint-Gobain is responsible for the PFOA contamination in this area as well. Extending municipal water is the only long-term solution.

The news that the Southern Vermont Storm has found a permanent home just broke. The Town will allow the Storm to use lower Willow field for its home games this year. The Storm has committed to giving back to the Town by investing in improvements to lower Willow to make it a great venue for attending and viewing sporting events. One idea floated is the construction of seating into the hillsides surrounding a portion of the field to create a bowl effect. Together, we see this as a permanent solution to the Storm’s quest for a home.

Remember, if anyone has any questions or suggestions arising from this column or on any town matters, please contact me at 442-1037 or stop in at the Town Offices on South Street.

Stuart Hurd is Bennington’s Town Manager. He writes a monthly column on town issues.


Bennington and North Bennington Voters

February 14, 2018

I would like to encourage the voters of Bennington and North Bennington to participate in the Annual Town and School Meetings to be held on March 6, 2018. We will be voting on several Board seats and budgets as well as a charter change and several funding requests from social service agencies. Ballots are now available at the Town Clerk’s Office.   You may vote in person at the Town Clerk’s Office during regular business hours or have a ballot mailed to you by calling the Town Clerk’s Office at (802) 442-1043. The office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.   Monday, March 5, 2018, the office will close at Noon. Vermont State law allows anyone who wants to cast an early ballot to do so without giving any reason.

You can also view sample ballots on our website at

Voting for Bennington residents will be at the Firehouse at the corner of River and Lincoln Streets. For residents in the Village of North Bennington, voting will be at the North Bennington Village Trustees’ Office on the corner of Main and Depot Streets in North Bennington. The polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.


Cassandra Barbeau
Bennington Town Clerk



Letter to Veterans

Please find an open letter addressed to veterans from Acting Medical Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Matthew J. Mulcahy. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Also, please find a pamphlet including VA New England healthcare information: VA_Pamphlet.

Article 10 Traffic Control Ordinance – action taken 1/22/18

Proposal to amend Article 10 Traffic Control Ordinance as follows: 

10-19.03 Speed Limits:

Shall be amended as follows (underline wording is new):

  1. The maximum speed limit shall be 40 mph as follows:
  • On Vermont Route 9, beginning at the easterly exit drive at the Chain-up
    area 0.4 miles west to the easterly entrance of Kelley Fuels.

  • On U.S. Route 7, beginning at the entrance to the Greenberg Reserve
    0.4 miles north to the former Bennington Village boundary line.

This action is taken by the Select Board of the Town of Bennington on January 22, 2018, and shall be printed in full in the minutes of the Select Board, posted in five (5) conspicuous places within the Town of Bennington and a summary published in the Bennington Banner within fourteen (14) days of its adoption and shall become in full force and affect sixty (60) days after the date of adoption to the right of petition provided by law.

Thomas H. Jacobs, Chair      Donald Campbell, Vice Chair

Jim Carroll                               Jeanne Conner

Chad Gordon                           Jeannette Jenkins 

Carson Thurber


Town of Bennington – Board of Civil Authority, February 12, 2018

Town of Bennington
Town Clerk’s Office
205 South Street, Bennington, VT

Monday February 12, 2018

5:00 PM


  1. Discuss Annual Town and School Meetings