Historic Preservation Commission Meeting – January 4, 2022

There will be a meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

The Historic Preservation Commission Agenda is available by clicking here.

Select Board Meeting – January 3, 2022

There will be a meeting of the Select Board on Monday, January 3, 2022.

The Select Board Agenda is available by clicking here.

 

 

All About Town – December 27, 2021

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

I waited a little before writing this column. I wanted to include information on the FY23 budget and agency funding requests which will appear on the ballot. You can find my presentation to the Board and information on the agencies at https://benningtonvt.org/meetings/select-board/. The budget which combines the General, Highway and Fire Funds is proposed at an increase of 3.96%. The most recent month’s inflation is running at 6.8%. I am encouraged that fuel prices have begun to decline. However, as the department heads create their budgets, they are faced with materials cost increases that exceed inflation, some increases in the 20% range. Have you purchased building materials lately? I can say we all worked very hard to keep the budget increases below inflation. Please take a look at the budget. The Select Board begins its work on January 3rd, the first of three potential work sessions where department heads and I will present our proposals for the Board’s consideration. The Board must conclude its work and warn the budget for a vote at its January 24th meeting. The Annual Floor Meeting will take place Monday evening February 28th and the vote on Tuesday March 1st. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

As you must know by now, the Omicron and Delta variants of the COVID virus are causing a surge throughout the State and the country. We are seeing breakthrough infections in those vaccinated but not yet boosted. The word is now, if you are unvaccinated, you will get COVID. The Select Board has passed a resolution strongly recommending that everyone wear a mask, especially indoors or when in crowded gatherings. And I ask please get vaccinated and if you’re vaccinated, get the booster. It is the only way to beat this virus and get back to normal.

The Safety and Equity Taskforce has now adopted a purpose statement and an outline of the composition of the proposed police advisory/oversite committee. It still must adopt a scope of work and develop recommended procedures for this new committee. It has two more meetings in January both are in person meetings at the Bennington Fire Facility, the first on January 6th, the second on January 20th. It must then prepare a report for the Select Board and present it to the Board and the community for review and comment. The Board after a reasonable time for comment will then consider whether to create this committee and determine its purpose and scope.

The Winter Solstice has just passed. The daylight hours will slowly increase as we now move into Winter and toward the Spring. Do you get the feeling that I am perhaps looking forward to quickly?  Although the recent weather patterns have spared us here in southern Vermont, I expect we’ll see snow and cold for a long enough time period that we’ll all be looking forward to Spring.

During these Winter months, the staff will be studying the potential use of the former Benn Hi building. As you know we’re looking at an expanded Senior Center, space for agencies that serve a multi-generational audience, a new larger kitchen and cafeteria for the Meals on Wheels Program and a potential for additional housing units to serve seniors and others. Staff is also exploring a new community playground at Willow Park to replace the current community-built playground now more than 20 years old. We will look to use American Rescue Plan Funds to construct this next season. We have been working hard to maintain the current facility and keep it safe for use. Community input will be sought before any construction takes place.

Remember, if anyone has any questions or suggestions arising from this column or on any town matters, please contact me at 802-442-1037 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.

 

Select Board Meeting – December 27, 2021

There will be a meeting of the Select Board on Monday, December 27, 2021.

The Select Board packet is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

DPW Roadwork Dec 20-24, 2021

Town of Bennington Project List

Week of December 20 -24, 2021

 

Town Office & Public Works will be CLOSED at Noon on Thursday December 23rd

and All-Day Friday December 24th in observance of the Christmas Holiday. 

Please have a Safe & Merry Christmas!!!

 Gage St: ONE lane Traffic as a Contractor replaces Lead service lines all week.  Please use caution when approaching and expect delays or find an alternate route.

Overlea Rd: Wednesday will be CLOSED to through traffic as a Contractor removes a hazardous tree.  Please find an alternate route.

TOWNWIDE: – Winter Preparations

Highway Crews will be trimming trees and shrubbery in the Town’s Right-of-Way that are creating sight hazards.  Please use caution when approaching these areas.

Water Crew will be marking, and mapping water shut off valves across town. Please use caution when approaching these areas

** Remember: Overnight Parking Remains in Effect

The Winter Overnight Parking Ban for all streets within the Town of Bennington as well as Village of North Bennington was put into order on November 15th and remains in effect till March 31st between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. NO overnight parking is allowed on the streets.  Police will enforce this ban by ticketing individuals who leave unattended vehicles on the street during that time.

 

REMINDER – WINTER SEASON :

Did you Know ?

According to Vermont State Statue (23 VSA § 1126) it is ILLEGAL to plow snow or snow blow from your private property ONTO or ACROSS public highways.  Please remember to plow away from public roads into the private driveways and private roads. You cannot plow across a public road.   Failure to do so may result in possible fines!

**REMINDER:

Please keep children away from the roadside and/or parking lot Snow Piles/Snow Banks.  These are not play areas and can be dangerous.

Safety & Equity Task Force Meeting – December 16, 2021

There will be a meeting of the Safety and Equity Task Force this coming Thursday, December 16, at 4:30 pm.

The meeting will be held at the Multi Purpose Room on the third floor of the Firehouse located at 130 River Street.

The agenda, meeting materials, and additional information are located on the Safety and Equity Task Force web page.

All About Town

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

The Safety and Equity Task force has now met three times. Its work to date has focused on the purpose and scope of a community oversight committee. At its next meeting scheduled for November 18th at 4:30 pm at the Bennington Fire Facility, it will try to finalize these two items and perhaps look at composition and number of individuals on the committee. To aid in this effort, taskforce members are planning some outreach work including interviews with individuals and agencies to gain an understanding of how the community interacts with the Police Department; what is good and working well and what is not working well and how it may be improved. I commend those who volunteered for this effort it is a complex question and a difficult undertaking in the four months allotted for the work and report.

At its most recent meeting, the Select Board paused any action on the discussion on how the community funds its downtown advocacy efforts. Currently contracting with the BBC (Better Bennington Corporation), the efforts are funded through the Downtown Improvement District, a taxing district established by Charter some years ago. The tax is levied only on properties and portions of properties within the District that are used commercially. The idea generated a lot of reaction in the community and among Board members. The Board feels that more time is needed to fully vet the idea and understand its impacts on those taxpayers in the District and those taxpayers outside the District. 

The Board read and adopted a Proclamation naming Bennington a Purple Heart Community and designating August 7th of any given year as Purple Heart Day in Bennington. This is a way to honor those who served and sacrificed in wartime. Members of the local VFW and American Legion were on hand to receive the Proclamation once it was approved.

At this meeting, the Board, having viewed both Brookside Drive and Town Highway 29, the Foothills so called, voted to discontinue both roads. These roads were accepted by former Select Boards, the Foothills in 1967, Brookside Drive in 1975, but neither were used as Town highways per se and they serve private developments/homes. 

The Citizen Survey has concluded. We’re waiting for late mail ins before tabulating. We had 640 participants. Another 235 did not complete the survey. Unfortunately, the responses from the incomplete surveys can not be counted. We hope to report the results by the next Select Board meeting, November 22.

VOSHA (Vermont Occupational Health and Safety Administration) has now adopted the mandatory vaccination program for employers with 100 or more full, part time, and seasonal employees. The Town adopted its mandatory vaccination or testing policy for all its employees effective November 1, 2021. Having this in place for just one week, we have learned that our workforce is 90% vaccinated. It is our hope that encouraging vaccinations for our entire workforce will keep our employees and their families safe and healthy and keep our interactions with our fellow citizens safe as well. It is my hope that everyone who is eligible and able will get vaccinated. It is the only way to end the pandemic and return to normal.

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.

Historic Preservation Commission Meeting – December 14, 2021

 

Select Board Meeting – December 13, 2021

There will be a meeting of the Select Board on Monday, December 13, 2021.

The Select Board Packet is available by clicking here.

 

Select Board Meeting – December 6, 2021