Filling the gaps on internet connectivity


As it turns out, Shaftsbury is not eligible for the USDA Community Connect Grants that the Selectboard voted to pursue at our last meeting. We were hoping to pay service providers like Comcast to extend services lines, but a requirement of the grant is that the recipient own the lines. We are not in a position to run the lines ourselves. We are still on track to map internet connectivity and cell phone coverage and to look for other ways to fill in the gaps.

Town Administrator David Kiernan reported that the Public Works garage and transfer station complex is nearing completion and on track to come in just slightly under budget. The road crew will move in over the spring as they transition from winter to summer operations.

The board agreed to purchase a compaction roller for the grader at a cost of $40,000, funded from the equipment reserve. The purchase was recommended by new road foreman Michael Yanotti. It should reduce dust after grading and harden the road surface for better durability.

The board heard from a representative of MHG Solar who offered the town a net metering agreement for electricity. The sole requirement from the town is to agree to buy our electricity from them for 25 years. In exchange we get a modest discount of 7% on our electric bill, which amounts to about $1,200/year. The risk, as pointed out by board member Tony Krulikowski, is that photo-voltaic technology would continue to improve and get cheaper in coming years, and our 7% discount would cease to be a discount at all. The board is studying the contract and will decide at our next meeting.

Michael Cichanowski and Michael Foley were reappointed to the Planning Commission for three-year terms. Many thanks for their continued service. One seat remains open on the PC, as well as one on the Development Review Board. Please contact David Kiernan if you would like to serve.

Thanks to those who showed up at our Cole Hall open house before Monday's meeting. It was especially gratifying to bring together office layout designer David Kiernan, architects Jeff Goldstone and Jack Byer and builder Ed Shewell. The second floor of Cole Hall is now a great space and a source of pride for those involved.

Tim Scoggins is chair of the Shaftsbury Selectboard.



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