By Lisa Keywork, Assistant Town Clerk/Treasurer
The fourth installment for North Hero Water Service is due on Tuesday, April 20. Payments can be made by credit card or check payments in person, over the phone or online at northherovt.com/page/payment.
Checks can be mailed to the Town Office, PO Box 38, North Hero, VT 05474.
The office also has a drop box located in the alcove to the left of the office door where cash or check payments as well as correspondence can securely be deposited.
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk
The Champlain Islands Unified Union School District Board has a vacancy for a North Hero representative to serve until March 2021. The North Hero Selectboard will appoint an individual to fill the vacancy at a meeting on Aug. 24 at 5:15 p.m.
Any North Hero voter who is interested in the position must submit a letter of interest to be received by noon on Saturday, Aug. 22.
The letter should indicate why you wish to be appointed and list any relevant qualifications and experience. Mail letter to North Hero Town Office (P.O. Box 38, North Hero, VT 05474) or submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the North Hero Town Office at 802-372-6926 with questions.
By Amanda Holland, Northwest Regional Planning Commission
NORTH HERO - The Town of North Hero has received a Municipal Planning Grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to develop a Village Master Plan. The planning project will engage the community in considering appropriate options for potential bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements to support the people who work, live or come to the village daily in addition to seasonal visitors. The town has hired the Northwest Regional Planning Commission and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. to complete the project. A local Steering Committee made up of Selectboard, Planning Commission and Recreation Commission members is guiding the work of the consultants on behalf of the town.
The Steering Committee is hosting a virtual and physical open house from July 22 to August 5. “The Steering Committee is excited to receive input from the community on the design ideas aimed toward making North Hero Village safer and more pedestrian and bike friendly.”, said Co-Chair Heather Bickford.
The Steering Committee encourages residents to participate through one of the opportunities provided below. The Open House will showcase different types and scales of potential safety and accessibility improvements for those on foot, by bicycle or by car. Improvements may include enhanced crosswalks, widen shoulder along the roadway, public lighting and signage. A project website is regularly updated with information about the project at www.nrpcvt.com/northherovillagemasterplan.
NORTH HERO COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE
1. Virtual Open House: Entirely online with opportunity to provide feedback remotely. It can be accessed anytime via the project website during the period from July 22 to August 5.
2. Physical Open House: A display and opportunity to provide feedback will be set up at the North Hero Town Office from July 22 to August 5. The display can be visited anytime during normal business hours while wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing.
This workshop comes on the heels of a Walk Audit in the fall of 2019 hosted by the North Hero Planning Commission to walk along Route 2 and assess the current roadway in terms of safety and accessibility for walking, biking, driving and parking in the village. Over twenty community members attended and shared their experiences and ideas. Information from this event along with community discussions on the speed limit in the village have informed the suite of opportunities to be explored. The goal of the Open House is to hear from the community at large on the type and scale of potential improvements for the North Hero Village.
WATER BILLS DUE
By Lisa Keyworth, Assistant Town Clerk/Treasurer
The first water bill installment for 2020-2021 is due Monday, July 20, 2020.
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk/Treasurer
The North Hero Town Office recently posted the following election information: Warning for Vermont Primary Election on Aug. 11, 2020; Sample Ballots: Democratic, Progressive, Republican; Notice of deposit of early voter absentee ballots in vote tabulator and the North Hero entrance checklist.
These documents are posted at Harborside Harvest Market, Hero’s Welcome, the Town Office and the North Hero website at: https://northherovt.com/page/elections.
The depositing of the early voter absentee ballots in the vote tabulator is scheduled to happen on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. and will be available for viewing by live stream. The live stream may be accessed through a link that will be on the town website.
If you have further questions, the North Hero Town Office is always eager to help. Please call 372-6926 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DRINKING WATER WARNING
North Hero Water - WSID 20562
BOIL WATER NOTICE
Due to the need for system maintenance/repair (just south of Blockhouse Point Road) on US Route 2 there is a possibility that your drinking water supply may become contaminated on the way to the tap. Water users north of the elementary school are unaffected. This situation presents a potential health risk to users of the North Hero water system. The North Hero water system is issuing a BOIL Water Notice for users, effective 4pm Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
What should I do?
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other; potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present. When a water system is experiencing fluctuations in water pressure the possibility exists for bacteria and other harmful organisms to enter the water distribution system and contaminate your drinking water supply.
People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.
What happened? What is being done?
This Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until the water system maintenance/repair is complete and the system is able to demonstrate that the quality and quantity of the drinking water meets State and Federal drinking water standards.
We will inform you when the necessary system maintenance/repair has been completed and tests show no bacteria present in the drinking water supply. We anticipate resolving the problem within 3 business days.
For more information, please contact Kevin Knapp at 802-793-8243. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division at (800) 823-6500.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink our water, especially those who may not have received this notice yet.
• Seasonal people with out-of-state addresses
• People in apartments
By Lisa Keyworth, Assistant Town Clerk
Town Meeting Day will be held across Vermont on Tuesday, March 3.
TOWN OFFICIAL POSITIONS OPEN
The following elected positions and terms are open for candidates: Town Moderator for one year, Two Selectboard members for two & three years, Town Clerk for one year, Town Treasurer for one year, Delinquent Tax Collector for one year, Lister for three years, Cemetery Commissioner for five years, Two Library Trustees for three & four years, First Constable for one year, Town Agent for one year, Town Grand Juror for one year, Three Planning Commissioners two & three (2) years.
SCHOOL OFFICIAL OPEN
The following elected positions and terms are open for candidates: CIUUSD Director for three years.
Persons interested should request a ‘Candidate Petition’ from the Town Office.
Candidate Petitions will be accepted through Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.
By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
NORTH HERO – A split North Hero Selectboard has agreed to endorse a resolution supporting a local tax-and-regulate system for cannabis in Vermont.
Chairman Harry Parker, Diane Bahrenburg, Karl Raacke and Tim Bourne voted to support the commercial marijuana resolution being circulated by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
The League wants towns to be able to help tax and regulate drugs sales in the individual municipalities, if the state gives final legislative approval.
Selectboard member Ben Joseph, a retired judge, voted against the VLCT resolution.
“I’m vehemently opposed to the idea of legalizing commercial distribution of marijuana,” Joseph said. He said he believes the resolution sends the wrong message to the state that North Hero is endorsing marijuana use.
Joseph is concerned about the resulting increase in the number of impaired drivers on Vermont’s highways, the impact on drug addiction, health care and on education.
Parker, who is a lawyer, asked for support for the one-page resolution. He noted he thought it was the best way for North Hero to proceed.
Parker tried to call for a board vote without a second to his motion, but was headed off by Raacke. Raacke agreed to second the motion only for discussion purposes.
“It’s all about the money,” warned Joseph, who has studied the issue for several years as a judge, as a state legislator and as a host for several call-in access TV shows featuring drug experts on the issue.
Part of the VLCT resolution calls for a 5 percent local tax to be assessed with the towns participating being allowed to keep 75 percent of the revenues.
Parker acknowledged that legislators may not accept the resolution proposed by the League, which is the statewide lobbying group for more than 250 local municipalities.
Raacke had some initial reservations.
“I’d just as soon let it die,” he said.
“I am in agreement with Ben,” Raacke said, noting there was inadequate information to make a decision. However, the conversation continued and when it came time for the vote, Raacke sided with the majority.
The discussion was mostly between the four men on the board with Bourne attending his first meeting since winning a seat at a special election. Bahrenburg, the vice chairman, said little during the half-hour discussion before she voted in favor.
Several towns, including Stowe, have voted to endorse the League resolution as a way to help offset expected increased expenses, including law enforcement, schools and other budget items.
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, after the Stowe vote, told NBC5 News in South Burlington that the VLCT resolution could cause more harm than good for the proposal legislation to legalize marijuana. He suggested the proposed 5 percent local tax be slashed.
As state legislators prepare to head back to Montpelier next week, various House and Senate versions have different provisions, including sales and excise taxes and fees.
Joseph suggested maybe more than 5 percent might be needed.
Other towns, including Arlington opted to postpone action on the resolution because of serious concerns about the draft, according to the Bennington Banner. Arlington considered adding to or amending the resolution to address local concerns.
As of mid-December only about 20 towns had adopted the resolution, 17 of which did so without making any changes to it, a League spokeswoman told the Banner. She said at least 10 other towns were considering voting on the item.
Parker said he thought it was better to have his voice heard before the legislation might get approved – not after.
Joseph, as a former legislator, was asked to predict what might happen this session. He said it was too hard to predict on a topic like marijuana. He said there are about 20 lobbyists being paid to push the issue.
Joseph said he understands House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero has some concerns about the legislation. He said Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling is “dead set against it. He has a lot of reservations.”
Joseph said North Hero could send a letter or resolution indicating that it was a bad idea and would be detrimental.
Parker said he thought the League had spent considerable time crafting the resolution to address a wide range of needs.
TOWN CLERK NEWS
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk
The Development Review Board is accepting letters of interest for a new board member and an alternate. Please submit to Town of North Hero by close of business on Dec. 6, 2019. The Development Review Board will review any letters at their Dec. 12, 2019 meeting and send any recommendations for appointment to the Select Board for review at their Dec. 16, 2019, meeting.
SPECIAL ELECTION - ABSENTEE BALLOT
Voting by absentee ballot is under way for the special election. To cast your vote early for the next North Hero select board member you may request a ballot online at https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/, by calling the Town Office at 802-372-6926 or stopping in the Town Office at 6441 US Route 2.
SPECIAL ELECTION: SELECTBOARD VACANCY
By Corinn Julow, Town Clerk
A petition signed by five percent of the legal voters of the Town of North Hero calling for a special election has been filed. A vote to elect a Select Board member will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
The newly elected officer will remain in office until March 3, 2020. This is the balance of the unexpired term.
Persons interested should request a ‘Candidate Petition’ from the Town Office. Candidate Petitions will be accepted through Monday, October 21, 2019.
NORTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION UPDATE
By Beverlee Poquette, Chair
The North Hero Planning Commission recently participated in a walk through the historic district of the village of North Hero in cooperation with representatives of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission. At that time, input was solicited about barriers and trouble spots to pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic in town. As the Planning Commission moves to writing an updated draft of the Town Plan, we invite you to come to a Planning Commission meeting on Oct. 1, 2019, 6 p.m. to provide any additional comments you would like to make about the village center. The perspective of those who live and work in the village center is an important one to consider as we move forward.
The members will reserve the first 30 minutes of the meeting for any additional community comments regarding the village center.
Location: Town Office Meeting Room, 6441 US Route 2