POWNAL -- With the absence of of selectman Richard Ryder, four members of the Pownal selectboard appointed a new auditor, passed a motion to purchase a new truck, discussed bridge repair and the application for a flood grant at their Thursday night meeting.
The current members of the town board of auditors made a recommendation to the selectboard to appoint tax preparer David Adams to the open seat left behind after Ray Shields’ resignation on May 5. The motion passed unanimously to appoint Adams, seizing the remainder of Shields’ term ending in March 2015. Nobody else sent a letter of interest for the position to the board. "If I’m the only person in town that’s willing to do it, I’m stepping up," Adams said.
After debating the purchase between two Mack trucks for the majority of the meeting, the selectmen decided against bids for either. The board discussed a $106,000 truck and a $109,000 truck with a heavier differential, both of which were suggested by the town road foreman Casey Mattison.
Mattison said he believes that in the time the town would own either truck, it would save more money over a 10-year span than what the initial cost might be.
The selectboard instead unanimously passed a motion made by Henry Stohmaier to accept the less expensive bid for a $79,000 one-seated truck from international dealership Dilawri under the condition that the next truck the town would decide to purchase be tandem seated.
The motion to purchase the truck included the stipulation that Mattison would prepare it with the specifications for the needs of the town.
The selectmen also discussed Mattison’s need for funds to repair and replace culverts on Bridge 42 on Main St./Town Highway 8. Mattison said he spent $7,000 on that bridge in 2013, and would need roughly that for this year’s repairs. The board asked that he fill out an order for how many feet of culvert he would need to purchase to receive the funds.
Also at the Thursday meeting, the selectboard was presented the option of applying for two separate grants for flood planning by the Bennington County Regional Commission.
BCRC regional developer Mike Batcher suggested that Pownal apply for up to $35,000 in funds from the Community Development Block Grant Program that would address potential issues of over 100 mobile homes located in flood zones. Batcher said the BCRC would help the selectmen apply for a grant to work with mobile home and mobile park owners on possible relocation or structural reinforcement.
"We want to develop a plan to identify options that would work for these people and the town to help alleviate those potential problems," Batcher said.
The town also has the option of applying for an additional municipal planning grant to redevelop the town plan in the event of flooding. There is a new state requirement for a town plan to include a section on flood resilience. The selectboard unanimously passed a motion to support the application process.
The meeting ended with an executive session to discuss pay raises for all personnel, in which no decisions were made. There will be a selectboard special meeting on Tuesday, June 3 at 7:15 p.m., followed by a regular weekly board meeting on Wednesday, June 4 at 6 p.m.
Contact Tom Momberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg