Our members have received the Winter Letter by email. Those who have not “opted out” of paper mailings also received the mailing delivered by the USPS. We look forward to getting your updates, suggestions and new member referrals. Please read the highlights of the Greensboro Association in the Winter 2019 President’s Letter.
From: Dan Predpall, Chair of the Bend Revitalization Initiative Steering Committee
This letter provides an update on the Bend Revitalization Initiative (BRI) activities.
The Bend Revitalization Initiative (BRI) was created in April, 2018 in response to concerns voiced by Bend residents at the March Town Meeting. A visioning process was conducted with about 25 Bend and other Greensboro residents. This led to the following BRI goals:
- Support home improvement in the Bend and attract new housing stock (rentals or homes for sale)
- Enhance the physical appearance of the Bend
- Increase opportunities for community interaction
- Attract economic development to the Bend and provide jobs
- Seek funding for the above initiatives
The BRI is composed of Greensboro community members interesting in revitalizing the Bend. Our group includes longtime residents of the Bend, new residents, business owners, retirees, and young parents.” We have a website at www.thebendvt.org . This website will be used to keep the public up to date on Bend activities. If you have ideas about how we can improve it, let us know!
We are submitting a grant application to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and VTrans. The grant is called Better Connections. The grant focuses on East Hardwick, Greensboro Bend, and the rail trail and Lamoille River that connect these small villages.
BRI is looking for ways to stimulate the economy of the Bend. One possible way is to complete the rail trail. The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail between Morrisville and Cambridge sees about 15,000 users annually. Even if we assume 10,000 users or so, that is a large number. Users will spend money at trailheads. The impact on a small village like the Bend could be significant.
So, I called Ken Brown at VAST, who oversees the construction of the rail trail. I asked him when we could expect the rail trail in the Bend. He said up to 15 years. He also mentioned that Hardwick was working to build out the trail themselves. I met with Eric Remick, Chair of the Hardwick Selectboard. Also, I talked to Cheryl Michaels, who started the East Hardwick Neighborhood Organization, similar to our BRI. In sum, it made sense for East Hardwick and the Bend to work together towards completing the rail trail between the villages.
The “planning grant” would include the following goals/activities, which would occur over an 18-month period from June 2019 to December 2020:
- The overall goal is to stimulate economic activity in Greensboro Bend and East Hardwick.
- The “project area” is the corridor that includes East Hardwick, the Bend, Route 16, the rail trail, and the Lamoille River. This is a three-mile corridor between the villages.
- Planning for completion of the rail trail between East Hardwick and the Bend. For example, look for wetlands issues, impacts on the river, and crossings of State Route 16.
- Examine the potential to develop ancillary facilities in East Hardwick and the Bend such as a café, kiosks, rest areas, parking areas, rest rooms, other retail, etc. The idea is to capture revenue from trail users.
- Plan for streetscape improvements in East Hardwick and the Bend. This could include signage, landscaping, façade improvements, bike lanes, safe street crossings, traffic calming devices, and so on. The idea is to improve the appearance of the villages, and encourage trail users and other visitors and residents to spend more time in the villages.
- There are nutrient inflows to the Lamoille River between East Hardwick and the Bend. Evaluate this issue and plan for buffer plantings of trees and shrubs along the river. This would also beautify the river as well as improving water quality.
- Finally, a goal of the grant is to integrate the Hardwick trails system and Greensboro trails system to the rail trail. In other words, connect all the trails.
- A public engagement program is part of the grant. Residents of both villages will get together to determine what changes they want to see, as related to the goals of this grant. A website will show the activities of the grant work.
Yes, this is an aggressive plan. However, it is just “Step 1”, to create a plan for action. The real goal here, “Step 2”, is to implement the plan, including completing the rail trail between East Hardwick and Greensboro Bend. This will bring significant benefits to these villages. This planning grant will set the stage for further progress.
Note that the Council for Rural Development will hold a Community Visit Program in Greensboro later this year. This program is a community-building process, and will receive help from many state agencies. This will provide us with an additional opportunity to move forward.
Also, the Northern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) will perform a “trailhead study” along the rail trail between St Johnsbury and Hardwick. This study will help us as well.
So, the timing is good to get this Better Connections grant. It is very competitive, but we get extra points for working with two municipalities. If we are successful, we will need your help!
On another matter, you may have seen postings in town or on the town website regarding formation of a Housing Committee. The goal of this committee is to evaluate how Greensboro can bring moderately-priced housing to Greensboro. If you would like to participate, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greensboro Planning Commission will hold two public forums in August to review and discuss the draft of the new Town Plan.
The first public forum will be at the Lakeview Union Elementary School on Lauredon Avenue on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 7 PM.
The second public forum will be held on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 7 PM at St. Michael’s Church in Greensboro Bend.
The draft Town Plan will be available for review on the town website (www.greensborovt.org) by August 1st. Hard copies will also be available at the Greensboro Free Library and at the Town Offices.
The Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District will be collecting Household Hazardous Waste at the Greensboro Town Hall from 8:30 to 11am on July 28 (at the same time as normal recycling on Saturday). For more information, and a description of the acceptable Household hazardous waste which can be recycled, see this link.
Willey’s Store has announced its 7th Annual Lantern Launch this week. The launch will be held on July 14, 2018 at dusk. Robbie Hurst released this statement to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this event, focusing on the possible environmental and safety concerns surrounding the launch of lanterns from the public beach. In light of member concerns over the event last year, we encourage everyone to read Robbie’s statement.
The Greensboro Association does not sponsor the lantern launch.
If you are renting your cottage to out-of-town guests this summer, we encourage you to provide them with information regarding the lanterns and their safe use, in addition to information about Caspian boating regulations, fireworks use, and ways for guests and residents to help keep Caspian Lake clean.
If you have additional questions, please contact Robbie Hurst at Willey’s.
The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) published its proposed statewide plan for school district consolidation in early June. The proposal recommends to the State Board of Education that they not consolidate the schools in our supervisory union (Orleans Southwest) at this time. While this is the AOE’s recommendation, the full plan still requires approval by the Vermont State Board of Education (SBE). The State Board of Ed will meet with school boards from the northern part of Vermont to discuss their proposals in mid-July. The final consolidation plan will not be published until late October.
The Lakeview Board anticipates hosting a meeting later this summer to update our residents on the status of our proposal, as well as to continue the discussion about the future of Lakeview.
The following is a notice from the Town Clerk in Greensboro posted this week on Front Porch Forum.
Please note that while well-intentioned, leaving items for the Giving Closet after hours or leaving large, bulky items without making prior arrangements could make it difficult for this important community service to continue. Metal recycling is available behind the town hall, and recycling hours are currently Saturday mornings from 9-11.
The Giving Closet is a heavily visited room in the Greensboro Town Hall. Unfortunately, in the past we have had donations left at the front door of the Town Clerk’s Office during off hours. This is happening regularly again. In the past, we have closed down because of this. We truly appreciate all the “good” donations we received, but we are also subject to “un-usable” items. This is getting out of hand again. I know a lot of different communities utilize the Giving Closet, but we WILL close if this does not stop. We try to make it available most days of the week, but we are being taken advantage of. Please respect our efforts to make this open for all. DO NOT leave items on the weekends or after hours. Just call me if you have items and we can make arrangements. 802-533-2911. Thank you.
Read our Spring Newsletter! Lots of news and information about upcoming events in Greensboro. Thank you to Karen Gowen, our Newsletter Editor.
It was a beautiful day on Town Meeting day in Greensboro this year, which usually means we have a great turnout for this annual gathering. Town meeting was warned for the Highland Center for the Arts this year instead of Fellowship Hall or the school. The meeting was held in the theater, while the gallery space served as an area for local organizations to set up information tables. We also enjoyed a lunch of chicken and biscuits, salad, and chocolate beet cake with ice cream, served by the Four Seasons of Early Learning. Thank you to Kyle Gray for facilitating live streaming of the meeting this year, which is now available for viewing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKk2xRFF4P4
Please note that the early part of the recording takes place before the meeting is called to order. The meeting gets underway at about minute 40 in the recording – listen for the gavel.
Tim Nisbet, our Town Moderator since 1980, got things underway with his welcome dry wit, solid knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and keen ability to keep the meeting running while still recognizing the needs of those seeking further discussion on a topic.
We enjoyed visits from two of our legislators, including Senator John Rodgers (D-Essex/Orleans) and Representative Sam Young (D-Orleans/Caledonia). The bulk of this time was devoted to a passionate conversation about gun control legislation currently being debated in both chambers of the Vermont Legislature.
The town’s proposed FY19 budget of $1,912,567.67, an increase of 6.16%, passed on a voice vote after some discussion about what areas of the budget saw increases.
We also re-elected Sue Wood to complete the remaining year of a 3-year term on the Select Board. New Select Board members are Matt McAllister (2-year term) and Andy Kehler (3-year term). These elections were all done by a paper ballot with somewhere between 120 and 130 votes cast in each round of balloting.
Phil Gray and Jan Travers were recognized for their many contributions to life in Greensboro as this year’s recipients of the Greensboro Award. To read more about this award and Phil and Jan’s work in town, visit the town website at greensborovt.org.
The final article of the warning included a resolution presented at many town meetings across Vermont that focused on state and local commitment to sourcing renewable energy. While there was some discussion about the detail and wording of the resolution, it passed on a voice vote.
Other issues discussed during the final article included affordable housing in Greensboro and refurbishment efforts in Greensboro Bend, as well as the work of the Greensboro Planning Commission.
Working draft sections of the new town plan, including the vision for Greensboro that guided development of these Goals, Policies, and Action statements, were available for review at the meeting. The Commission would appreciate your feedback on these materials. Send your comments to Dan Predpall at email@example.com. The Planning Commission still has open seats.
Last, but not least, voters agreed to hold the town’s annual Funky Fourth Celebrations on Saturday, July 7th. Mark your calendars!
Town meeting is also the date of the Greensboro Town School District annual meeting. The Greensboro school district is responsible for the preschool budget in our community. Our elementary school, Lakeview, is a union school with Stannard and has its annual meeting and budget vote on the second Thursday in March. Our high school, Hazen Union, votes on its proposed budget by Australian ballot on Town Meeting Day and holds an informational meeting about the budget the week prior to Town Meeting Day.
We elected Tanya Thomas as director to the Greensboro town school board. We also elected John Moffatt, Rose Modry, and Dylan LaFlam to the Lakeview Union School District board. The Lakeview Union board still has one open seat for a resident from Greensboro. We elected Mike Metcalf to represent Greensboro on the Hazen Union board.
As always, Town Meeting brought civil and engaged discussion. If you weren’t able to attend, consider joining us next year. If you were there, share your comments and observations below.
The Greensboro Association is soliciting digital images of artwork which contain themes or subjects from Greensboro, the Northeast Kingdom, and/or Vermont.. One image will be chosen to be featured as the cover of the 2018-19 Greensboro Association member directory.
The Greensboro Association publishes a directory of members every two years. This directory is available at Willey’s Store, and is purchased by a wide number of local and seasonal residents.
Please read the GA Directory Cover Request for Submission carefully for submission requirements. The submission deadline is April 5, 2018. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. All artists are encouraged to participate, although we give preference to local Greensboro and NEK artists and/or members of the Greensboro Association.
Our members have received the Winter Letter by email. Those who have not “opted out” of paper mailings also received the mailing delivered by the USPS. We look forward to getting your updates, suggestions and new member referrals.
We have been very busy this the fall, addressing a number of issues important to our members. Read the highlights in the Winter 2018 President’s Letter.
WonderArts summer camp registration opens February 1. This year, they will collaborate with Lakeview Union Elementary School and the Highland Center for the Arts to offer a full slate of creative arts camps for children. Camps are open to the children of year-round and summer residents, include optional extended care, and will be based at Lakeview Union School in Greensboro. Registration information is available here:
Hosmer Point is a traditional summer camp located in Craftsbury on Big Hosmer Pond. They offer both sleep-away and day camps, sculling camps for children ages 12-15, a session of Little Bellas Mountain Biking Camp, which is a program for girls ages 11-15. Some sessions fill quickly, and registration is currently open here:
Circus Smirkus Camp still has openings for several of its sessions, including BIG KID CAMP! Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus? Now is your chance to learn some of the skills younger campers develop and still have down time to experience all the other great things Greensboro has to offer. Big Kid Camp is for adults age 21 and up and runs from June 8-10 this year.
Registration info here:
The Highland Center for the Arts named its new Executive Director in January. A native of Craftsbury and UVM graduate, Annie Houston brings extensive experience in arts management and administration to the HCA. Read more about Ms. Houston’s background and experience here:
We welcome her to the Greensboro community!
HCA is currently on a mid-winter break and will re-open on February 6. A full calendar of events for late winter and early spring is available on their website. Events include improv comedy classes for teens, Wednesday night movies, T’ai Chi, yoga, as well as music and dance performances.
A reminder that winter parking rules in Greensboro are in effect. Parking vehicles on Town Highway rights-of-way and turnarounds is prohibited. Vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Overnight parking in public parking lots, around the Town Hall, or in front of Willey’s Store is also prohibited. Cars may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Plowing snow across a Town Highway or depositing snow on a Town Highway is a violation of state law and is strictly prohibited.
Trees and brush in the Town Highway right-of-way that are deemed to pose a hazard by the Select Board or Town Road Foreman may be removed.
Planning to be in Greensboro during the holiday season? There will be a variety of arts offerings during the month of December, including performances at the Highland Center, music at the Highland Lodge (check their Facebook page for details), the Craftsbury Farmer’s Market on December 9, and crafting workshops hosted by WonderArts. Be sure to check the links below for details and to check back for more opportunities.
At the Select Board’s November meeting, Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran presented plans for the addition of a new officer to the department. The HPD has applied for a federal grant to help cover the cost of an additional entry-level officer’s salary for three years, after which that cost would need to be assumed by the HPD budget, of which Greensboro pays a share. If the grant is received, an existing officer would be promoted to detective. Statistics show that our area has seen an increase in crime, which Chief Cochran attributes primarily to the drug problem. Working with Hardwick Town Manager Jon Jewett, the Hardwick and Greensboro select boards will put together two versions of the HPD budget to reflect both receipt of the federal grant and no receipt of the grant.
The Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) released a new video to help explain how the education portion of your property taxes is calculated. In a posting earlier this fall, we informed you of the pending shortfall in the State’s Education Fund. This shortfall will likely impact your property taxes next year. School districts are currently building budgets for presentation to the voters at town meetings in March. In Greensboro, voters will be asked to approve three separate budgets: one at town meeting on March 6 for the Greensboro Town School District, which funds preschool education, one for the Lakeview Union Elementary School at its annual meeting on Thursday, March 8, and one by Australian ballot at town meeting for Hazen Union High School. A budget presentation for Hazen Union is currently scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at the high school in Hardwick.
The short video is available below:
As we near the start of the 2018 Vermont Legislative Session, reports are emerging that the State Education Fund will face a significant shortfall. The impact on property taxpayers, both resident and nonresident, could be significant. As the session unfolds and the impact becomes clearer, the GA will endeavor to keep its membership informed of possible tax impacts. For some background information on what is at stake, the following articles are helpful and informative:
- 2019 Winter UpdateFebruary 13, 2019 - 3:39 pm
- 2018 Spring NewsletterMay 9, 2018 - 6:32 pm
- Town Meeting 2018March 16, 2018 - 8:00 am
- 2018 Winter UpdateFebruary 10, 2018 - 5:41 pm
- Children’s Summer Camps: Registration Open for WonderArts Summer Journeys Camps, Circus Smirkus, and Hosmer Point Saplings Day Camp and Traditional Overnight CampFebruary 2, 2018 - 4:20 pm
Karen Gowen Photography