Selected Selectboard Minutes from 2/7/20

RESIDENCE ON CLASS 4 ROAD IN FOREST ZONE
Brian Jowett has a contract to purchase 1818 County Road. The property is about a half mile past the beginning of the Class 4 section. He would like to build a full time residence. He attended the Planning Commission and spoke with Jim Stimpson, the Administrative Officer, and both support his request. The Road Commissioner, David Tatro, was not at the meeting to provide input due to the weather. Mike Denault said if Brian Jowett was willing to obtain the $1 million bond to protect the town, he was fine with it. Dan Potvin felt the board should discuss the bond amount. Bill Levine thought the board should consider extending the Class 3 section that the town currently plows further down the road. It would cost a lot of money to upgrade all of County Road and Klondike Road because the state will require that the road meet their standards. Nancy Bushika would like to review the decision about an insurance bond and would like to talk to Dave Tatro. Mike Denault said they would send Brian Jowett a letter stating what the town would need from him if they decided he could plow the road.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET
Aaron Malachuk spoke with a Consolidated Communications technician. The town of Chesterfield, NH hired a consultant and Consolidated Communications to run fiber network to every house in their town. The project cost the town $1.8 million and provides 1 gigabyte per second. The town obtained a 20 year bond to cover the cost. Instead of everyone in town contributing to the cost, only the households that sign up for the high speed internet pay. Consolidated charges an extra $10.00/month which it later turns over to the town. The town uses this money to pay back the bond. Aaron Malachuk felt if lines come down during an ice storm, a small internet company might take a long time for repairs. Consolidated Communications has the manpower to fix the lines immediately. Chris Warren felt it was great to have information from more than one group. Aaron Malachuk will see if he can have someone come to a future Selectboard meeting. Anyone interested in serving on a high speed internet research committee should contact the town office or Chris Warren directly.

How Much Speed Do I Need?

SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY TOWN
Douglas Wright read the proposed resolution to declare Stamford an “Article 16, Constitutional Gun Owner Town and a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town”. He said Title 24 gives the Selectboard the authority to make this resolution. The legislature continues to write bills that infringe on our rights, governing how we live and what we do. These are inherent rights and not privileges. This is a symbolic way to send a message to the government. The resolution is non-binding. Several towns and counties in Virginia, Maine and Vermont have already done it. Dan Potvin commented that it was great to see so many young people present. Visitors felt that the government keeps chipping away at our rights and if they succeed at one thing, what will be next. Mike Denault confirmed that this resolution does not give anyone the right to break the law. He said until a year or two ago, the State of Vermont had no gun laws, other than accepting the federal laws, and our state has been one of the top three safest states in over 100 years. He said there is no supporting evidence that any of the proposed gun laws will deter crime. Chris Warren asked why the resolution targeted only the Second Amendment and not the whole Constitution. Mike Denault responded that the Vermont legislature has been creating bills that target Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. If the government began to make laws restricting freedom of speech or freedom of religion, there would be a resolution for that. Mike Denault noted that the Stamford Sportsmens Club is a place where people can go and exercise their rights to carry and use firearms. More gun laws could put the club out of business. Nancy Bushika said it didn’t seem like Stamford or Readsboro would be against the resolution. She suggested that the topic could be discussed at town meeting. Helen Fields did not think it should be brought up at town meeting and said it could get ugly.
MOTION by Mike Denault to adopt the resolution to declare Stamford an “Article 16, Constitutional Gun Owner Town and a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town” as written. SECONDED by Dan Potvin. 4 in favor. 1 opposed (Chris Warren). Motion APPROVED. The resolution will be sent to Senator Dick Sears, Senator Brian Campion, Governor Scott and Representative Laura Sibilia. Cindy Lamore thanked the board for doing it.

Text of the resolution was not provided
Vermont Article 16
Vermont Title 24

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First Annual Stamford Variety Show

The deadline to sign up has been extended to February 24th!

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Stamford Community Building Group – Update

Building Community Group Projects
The Tile project is nearing completion.  The first picture is of the new library bulletin board which has tiles depicting Stamford memories embedded in the frame and made by community members.  The second picture is a large tile plaque on the front of the school/town building.  The tiles on this plaque were also made by community members.  Soon there will be a “Town Office” tiled plaque inside the building above the town office window and a smaller plaque on a wall inside the building.  We thank everyone who participated in the Tile Project, including Stamford students who interviewed Stamford residents about the history of Stamford.  Their interviews gave people lots of ideas of what to paint on their tiles!  We also thank those who have contributed their time toward moving projects forward – and that list is long!  In addition, the Stamford Library has contributed financially to the Tile Project.  We have also received funding from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation and Walmart (picture #3) to continue working toward completion of all projects. 

Building Community Group Next Meeting February 5, 2020 6:30 pm at the firehouse.
Learn the latest updates on the BCG’s projects and progress.  The Tile Project is nearly completed; the Town Sign and Benches Project is underway; and the Town Gathering Space project finally has form and function! 
Your thoughts are needed on a number of items.  Hope to see you on February 5.  Come one and all.

Library Bulletin Board
Town Plaque
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Wreaths Across America On Display

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Wreaths Across America

We will hold our second Wreaths Across America ceremony for Stamford Cemeteries on Sunday December 15th with a short ceremony at the school followed by laying of wreaths on all of our veterans’ graves in Houghton and Millard cemeteries. The ceremony will begin at noon near the Stamford Honor Roll.

Donna Engel

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Here Comes Santa – To Stamford Elementary

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Upcoming Events At The Stamford Library

Click on any image to enlarge.

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If You Plan On Going, Better Get There Early

This year’s speaker at the Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environment Lecture Series will be none other than Bill McKibben – world renowned author, environmentalist, and activist.

For those of you who have been to the lecture series in the past, please note a time and location change. The lecture, normally held in Murdock Hall, is being held this year in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium, starting time is scheduled for 6:15pm on Thursday December 5th.

You can read about Mr. McKibben here and here.

The lecture series, and therefore Mr. McKibben’s appearance in North Adams, are the result of herculean efforts by Stamford’s own Chris Derby-Kilfoyle and his classmates who worked tirelessly to make the endowed lecture series a reality at MCLA.

For those who made need it, here is a map of MCLA’s campus. The lecture will be in the building marked #12 on the map. Parking will be at #5 and #10 on the map.

You can visit Chris Derby-Kilfoyle’s site and sign up for their newsletter here to get the latest in solar news.

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News Local To Global

#TeamTrees – A hashtag that is circling the globe at the speed of light, if you haven’t heard of it – please check it out. Here is a funny take on the enormous project.

Wreaths Across America
SAVE THE DATE – December 15, 2019 – 12:00 PM Stamford Elementary School
We will hold our second Wreaths Across America ceremony for Stamford Cemeteries on Sunday December 15th with a short ceremony at the school followed by laying of wreaths on all of our veterans’ graves in Houghton and Millard cemeteries. The ceremony will begin at noon near the Stamford Honor Roll.

We are in need of veterans or active military who would be willing to participate in the ceremony by presenting a wreath for the various branches of the military as well as a POW/MIA wreath. If anyone is willing to represent any of the following branches of the military Army, Navy, Marines, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard, Air Force, and POW/MIA please let us know by calling Donna at 413-575-8826 or emailing stamfordnorthadamswaa@gmail.com.

We are currently still 32 wreaths short of our goal to cover all veterans’ graves. If you are interested in sponsoring a wreath there are forms at the town hall or contact us at the number or email above and we will get a form to you. A wreath sponsorship is $15.00 for one, or sponsor 2 for $30.00 and we get 1 free. All sponsorships must be received before December 2nd.

We hope to see everyone on December 15th.

From the Selectboard
Town Attorney/School Ownership
The town attorney provided the Selectboard with his opinion on the town/school land and building. The Selectboard has not had a chance to read it yet and Nancy Bushika would like to give board members time to review the document and be prepared to discuss it at the next meeting. Helen Fields asked if it could be released.
MOTION by Dan Potvin to make the opinion available to the public. SECONDED by Carol Fachini. No vote. It is a moot point; it was not marked attorney-client privileged or confidential and would be considered a public document.

GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER STREET LIGHT
The board received no input from residents on Jepson Road which would be affected by the streetlight. Dave Tatro feels the light should be kept on for safety reasons. He feels it is a tight corner and there is a cold spot there that tends to ice up. Nancy Bushika suggested a light should be installed at the intersection of Jepson Road and Boulger Road. Dan Potvin didn’t have a strong opinion either way but didn’t know if he’d want a streetlight shining at his house. Dave Tatro has had cars almost hit the plow truck when he is cleaning up the intersection and agreed a light should be there for safety reasons. Helen Fields considers it light pollution and asked that the board minimize the amount of light in town. If the board chooses to keep the lights, she asked that they be limited in their distance and directed down toward the road. Letters will be sent to the adjacent residents for their opinion.

BIOMASS HEATING SYSTEMS MEETING & TOUR
Dan Potvin noted the informational meeting on Biomass Energy in Bennington which will take place on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 3 p.m. They will give a tour of Mount Anthony Union High School’s wood chip burning system and the Applegate Apartments biomass system. Anyone interested in attending and/or carpooling can contact the town office or Dan Potvin directly.

FIBER OPTIC NETWORK
The board asked Lori Shepard to contact Chris Lynch from the Matrix Design Group to request a detailed cost estimate for Stamford along with funding opportunities and what the town would be responsible for.

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Trick or Treat Postponed

Due to the weather, Trick or Treat in Stamford has been postponed to Saturday Nov 2nd from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

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