Greensboro Association Annual Meeting to be Held Thursday, August 4 at 4 PM

The Annual Meeting of the Greensboro Association will take place on Thursday, August 4 from 4-6 PM.   The Board elected to schedule the meeting earlier in the evening to accommodate the variety of evening activities in early August.

Included on the agenda are a one-hour business meeting, followed by a town update that will include a presentation from the Planning Commission on the results of the recent community survey, as well as a report from Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran.

Finally, we invite you to celebrate the recipients of this year’s Greensboro Award, Judy and Andy Dales, and offer thanks at this meeting for their many contributions to the community.

Please note the earlier time and join us from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 4 at the GUCC Fellowship Hall.

Greensboro School Board to Host Community Forum

 

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The Greensboro School Board will host a community forum on Tuesday, July 26. The forum will focus on Greensboro’s efforts to comply with Act 46. Greensboro residents and taxpayers are invited to join the conversation about the issues and opportunities presented for the town under this law. The forum will focus on Greensboro’s participation in the Alternate Structure currently under review by the OSSU Exploratory Committee and the possible impact of this option on Greensboro students and taxpayers.   The forum will also provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about conversations with other area districts. No changes to Greensboro’s current school governance will be voted on at this meeting.

The forum will be at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, July 26 in the Lakeview Union Library. All Greensboro community members, including non-resident taxpayers, are encouraged to attend.

Lake Levels & Ice Damage Informational Meeting

When:  July 8, 2016 from 4 to 6 PM

Where: Fellowship Hall of the Greensboro United Church of Christ

Sponsor: Greensboro Association Ad Hoc Committee on Lake Levels

Shorelines and properties around Caspian Lake experienced unprecedented ice and high water damages during the 2015/2016 winter.  The Greensboro Association Ad Hoc committee on Lake Water Levels has been investigating the extent of the damages, the causes and possible solutions.   The committee has also met with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources  to inform them of damages to Caspian’s shoreline, to understand the Agency’s policies and to discuss long term solutions.

The objective of the July 8th meeting is to inform the Caspian community of the current situation regarding controlling lake levels and to discuss the committee’s proposals on how Caspian community should move forward to prevent seasonal ice and high water damage in the future.

 

Summer Lake Concert Help

Sunday Lake Concerts have been a tradition in Greensboro for decades. Hosted by John and Lisa Hewitt at the Landon Lake House on the South Shore, these concerts draw boaters each Sunday evening for recorded classical music.

Paid or volunteer help is needed to help set up the concerts each week and keep this tradition going in the future. Interested? Sign up using the link below. Please note that August 7 is already filled.

https://www.greensboroassociation.org/calendar/summer-lake-concert-help/

 

Planning Commission Survey

Have you completed your Greensboro Community Survey? This is the first step for Greensboro’s redraft of its Town Plan. Everyone in the household is encouraged to complete the survey, but they must be completed by Monday, July 11.

The electronic survey is here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GreensboroVT3

Paper copies are also available at the Town Clerk’s office, Greensboro Free Library, Smith’s Grocery in the Bend, Willey’s, both Greensboro post offices, Four Seasons of Early Learning, and at the Greensboro United Church.

Select Board and Zoning Administrator Vacancies

The Greensboro Select Board has a vacant seat. The town is seeking letters of interest to fill the seat until March 7, 2017 (Town Meeting Day). At that time, the voters will elect an individual to complete the remaining two years of a three-year term.

Letters of interest should be sent to: Town of Greensboro, PO Box 119, Greensboro, VT 05841, or emailed to townclerk@greensborovt.org. Letters must be received in the the Town Clerk’s office by Monday, July 11 for review at the regular Select Board meeting on Wednesday, July 13.

The town is also seeking a part-time Zoning Administrator. This individual is responsible for administering the Greensboro Zoning Bylaws and works with both the Planning Commission and the Development Review Board. The position requires 10-20 hours per week, depending on the season, and is considered by the outgoing and interim ZAs to be very integral to the community and rewarding.

If interested, forward a letter of interest, resume, and two references electronically to Sean Thomson at sean.thomson@greensborovt.org. To apply by mail, forward the same materials to Joe Wood, Planning Commission Chari, PO Box 119, Greensboro, VT 05841.

Renter & Boating Guidelines

The GA provides several resources on its website to help make everyone’s time in Greensboro more enjoyable. Of particular interest for property owners who rent out their property at any time of year are the Renter Guidelines. The board is in the process of updating these guidelines to reflect the current rental scene, but in the interim, members who do rent their property should still consider providing the guidelines to their tenants. Of particular importance for the protection of camp septic systems and Caspian Lake is a recommendation for clarity about maximum occupancy at your property. Occupancy should not overload the number of bedrooms, the water supply, or the property’s septic system.

In addition, the GA provides information on boating guidelines for Caspian Lake. The guidelines include information about speed limits on the lake, as well as no-wake zones and wake management, boat equipment, and environmental considerations. Jet skis, personal watercraft, or any other Class A vessel which uses an inboard engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power are prohibited.

To view the complete Renter Guidelines and Boating Safety pamphlets, visit https://www.greensboroassociation.org/resources/

Bike & Pedestrian Safety

Most of us appreciate the summer rituals of biking or walking to Willey’s, or biking around the lake at least once during our time in Greensboro, and we are all familiar with the stretches of road that demand more caution and awareness of traffic.   In 2015, cyclists and pedestrians in Vermont were involved in 223 crashes. Four of these crashes were cyclist fatalities, which prompted our legislature to take action to improve biker safety. On July 1, new safety laws to help protect “vulnerable users”, such as bikers and pedestrians, go into effect. The new law recommends at least four feet of clearance from bikes when passing, and will also increase the penalty for riding more than two abreast or impeding traffic while riding two abreast from $25 to $100.

This summer, remember to give cyclists and pedestrians a wide berth. It may require slowing down and waiting for a safe opportunity to pass a cyclist to do so. In addition, please honor the speed limits, particularly along Craftsbury Road and Lakeshore Road, as these two thoroughfares see a lot of bike and pedestrian traffic.

Update on Ice Damage Prevention Efforts on Caspian Lake

Greensboro Association members Andy Dales, Stew Arnold, and John Schweizer met with representatives from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) in early June to discuss this year’s ice damage to numerous stretches of shoreline in February and mid-April. ANR Program Manager Perry Thomas and the Stream Flow Specialist Jeff Crocker explained that the agency’s policy regarding lake level and outflow covered all lakes in Vermont without exception. Seasonal draw-downs of lakes affect the food sources and reproduction cycles of fish and insect species in both lakes and in habitats downstream. The Greensboro Association proposed that ANR allow Hardwick Electric Department (HED), in cooperation with the GA, to set a mean lake level for both summer and winter by adjusting the dam outflow at the Caspian Beach. This proposal was rejected by the agency. However, it could be possible for the GA to petition the state to set a target lake level for Caspian, and the agency offered to provide the GA with the requisite forms and petition materials should the Association decide to pursue this option. The discussion did not address responsibility for this year’s damage or compensation for property owners who experienced damage to their shoreline. The intent behind this initial meeting was to inform the ANR of the problem and to better understand the agency’s policies and positions on this subject.

Stay tuned for updates and a possible public forum on this topic.

 

Greensboro Swim Program Cancelled for 2016

After years of successful programming, the Greensboro swim program will not be held in 2016.

Despite a comprehensive search using several different approaches and options, organizers were not able to find enough certified instructors to teach the program.

If you are interested in becoming a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) or Lifeguard so that the Greensboro Association can once again sponsor this program in coming years, the prerequisites are:

  • Must be 16 years old or older,
  • Have proof of completion of level 5 or 6 Red Cross Swim lessons,
  • And be able to pass a swimming test by a certified instructor.

For additional information, please look into an instructor certification course at a pool near you. College pools, YMCA and Kiwanis pools often offer courses during the year.

For many of our area kids, this can be one of the only opportunities they will have to learn to swim. It’s also been one of the GA’s important sponsorship programs in our community. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating next year, please, start the process now so that this can be offered again.

Greensboro Performing Arts Center Trust Names New Theater Complex

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The Greensboro Performing Arts Center Trust (GPACT) announced a new name for the theater complex currently under construction at the corner of Hardwick Street and Center Road. The theater will be called the Highland Center for the Arts. GPACT will correspondingly be known as the Highland Center for the Arts Trust, Ltd. As a multi-purpose performing arts facility, the new name is a reflection of the building’s diverse planned uses, including as performance space for music, dance, circus arts, and theatre, as well as gallery space. The performing arts center is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2017.  For more information, as well as for current construction photos and updates, visit https://highlandartsvt.org/summer-2016-construction-photos/

What do YOU see? What do YOU want Greensboro to be?

 

The Greensboro Planning Commission is writing a new Town Plan.

Now is the time for residents to weigh in on residential and commercial development, renewable energy, natural resources, community character and more. Everyone in the household is encouraged to participate in this process by taking the Greensboro Community Survey.

Please complete the survey by Monday July 11th.

                www.surveymonkey.com/r/GreensboroVT1

                www.surveymonkey.com/r/GreensboroVT2

The online survey is up and live now. Paper copies of the survey are also available at the following locations:

Greensboro Town Clerk’s Office; Smith’s Grocery; Willey’s Store; Greensboro Free Library; Greensboro Post Office; Greensboro Bend Post Office; Four Seasons of Early Learning; Greensboro United Church of Christ

The Planning Commission hopes that every resident, voter and property owner, as well as members of their immediate household will respond. After reviewing the results of the survey, the Commission will conduct topic-specific focus groups and general discussion community forums before sitting down to write a draft plan. Once the draft is ready, the Commission will again seek community wide input and consensus before finalizing the plan.

Questions? Please contact the Greensboro Planning Commission:

Joe Wood (Chair): 533-2148 or joe@woodburymountainfarm.com

David Miltenberger (Vice Chair): 533-2917 djhkswis@gmail.com

50 Ways to Protect Caspian Lake

 

Did you know that the GA published a guide that illustrates ways we can all protect and conserve Caspian Lake?   It includes useful information about boating rules, tips to protect water quality, septic system maintenance, and more. The document is available for you on our website – just check to the lower right hand side of our home page.

Consider making it available in hard copy for your guests or renters this season.

 

Barr Hill Access Road Reopens

The access road to the Barr Hill Nature Preserve underwent significant repairs during the month of May that required its temporary closure to vehicle traffic. Those repairs were completed just in time for Memorial Day weekend, and visitors to Greensboro can once again access the parking area for the nature trail and preserve by car.   Please note that the repairs included the installation of several water bars to facilitate drainage and help prevent washouts. Drive slowly to protect your car, and more importantly, drive slowly to fully appreciate this special spot in Greensboro.

 

 

Important Early Summer Dates for Town Services

Grievance Day hearings are set for Tuesday, June 28th beginning at 9:30 AM. The town clerk’s office requests that appointments be scheduled prior to June 28th. The Assessor will be available in the Town Office on Tuesday, June 21st to answer questions.

The summer recycling schedule will begin on Wednesday, June 22. The recycling center will be open from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM on Wednesdays in addition to the regular Saturday hours of 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The summer recycling schedule ends on Wednesday, September 7.

Household Hazardous Waste collection day will be on July 23 this year, from 8:00 to 11:00 AM.

Hardwick Gazette for Sale – for 400 Words

Ross Connelly, the publisher of our local newspaper the Hardwick Gazette, is looking for the best person to fill his chair at the 127-year old paper. Entrants will pay $175 and submit an essay of no more than 400 words describing their skills and vision for the paper, which is a key source for information for the nine communities it serves, including Greensboro. Ross Connelly has been at the paper’s helm for 30 years and is ready to retire.   A panel of judges will select the winning entry. The contest begins this Saturday and will continue until August 11. The winner will also take over the Main Street building in Hardwick that houses the paper’s offices.

Act 46 and Greensboro: An Update on our Progress

It’s been several months since the Greensboro and Lakeview Union Districts held a public forum to discuss Act 46. In that time, several developments have taken place.

Greensboro members from the Greensboro School District Board, the Lakeview Union Board, and the Hazen Union Board are active participants in the OSSU Act 46 Study Group, now formally called an Exploratory Committee. Meetings are facilitated by consultant Steve Sanborn, whose work is funded by a $5000 study grant from the state. The committee is currently discussing options including an option for school choice within the supervisory union and transportation issues.

Separate from these meetings Greensboro and Lakeview school board members were also contacted by school board members from Peacham to explore possible ways for our districts, including Stannard, to work together.   Peacham operates a K-6 school like Lakeview, but they offer full choice for grades 7-12. They do not operate a middle or high school. Peacham currently educates approximately 45 students and is deeply committed to retaining its small, community elementary school.

Board members are just as committed to retaining Lakeview for our elementary students and community.

At a June 7 meeting it was very clear that no one present was in favor of placing children on buses for long distances for any grades. Cost, quality of education, retaining control of our budget, and providing equity to all students are important parts of the ongoing discussion.

Board members are continuing their work to find the best options for Greensboro and Stannard students and families. There are several options on the table that they will explore that could satisfy Act 46’s requirements. Actual financial implications for any of these ideas are not available at this time. It is the work of the exploratory committee in conjunction with the consultant to work out those details and then provide that information to the community for feedback.

No decision or change to our current education structure will be made without the approval of the voters of Greensboro.

If you are interested in the Act 46 process, the next OSSU Exploratory Committee meeting is on June 16 at 6:00 PM at the OSSU Central Office in the Daniels Building in Hardwick. Greensboro will host another meeting in the coming weeks to update the community on the committee’s progress and next steps. Minutes of past OSSU exploratory group meetings as well as other information about Act 46 are available at https://www.ossu.org/ossuannouncements/h361.

 

 

Important Information About Shorefront Ice Damage Repair

Did your shoreline sustain damage from this winter’s ice? John Schweizer and other GA board members are working with the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to clarify requirements for repairs done to shorelines.

Several lakeshores in the Northeast Kingdom sustained ice damage this winter due to the warm winter and repeated expansion and contraction of ice. ANR has already begun visiting sites at other lakes in our region to review Lake Encroachment Permit Applications for properties on Maidstone Lake and Seymour Lake, both of which had severe ice push on shorelines. Damage was most severe where lawns run all the way to the lake.

ANR would like to visit sites on Caspian as well. Lakeshore Encroachment Permitting covers any work done in the water. They have clarified the requirements for seeking a permit for shoreline work in the information below:

“Any work that is to be done above the current mean water level (area jurisdictional under the Shoreland Protection Act) that does not involve creating new cleared area or impervious surface may take place at any time. Maintaining an existing beach above mean water level would be an exempt activity provided no new cleared area or impervious surface is involved with completing the project.

However, any work that proposes to add or remove fill at or below the current mean water level would require a Lake Encroachment permit. If you are looking to stabilize your existing shoreline through the use of adding any type of fill at or below mean water level, one may not reclaim lost land through placement of new fill beyond the location of the existing shoreline or create new land lakeward of the existing shoreline.

Review time for a Lake Encroachment permit applications take between 45 and 90 days. Any Lake Encroachment activities may not commence until after July 1 of a calendar year as a spring fish spawning protective measure.”

Keep our lakes beautiful. If you have questions about whether your shoreline project falls under the permitting guidelines, visit the ANR’s website at https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds.

 

 

Green-up Day!

It’s been a Vermont tradition for 45 years. On the first Saturday in May, Vermonters take to our highways and byways, green garbage bags in hand, and pick up roadside litter. It’s just one of the ways we work to keep our state beautiful for all of us.

This year, Green-up Day is on Saturday, May 7. The town will provide green bags and gloves for trash collection. Come to the Town Clerk’s office to mark your route on the town map so everyone knows which areas have been covered. This year, Greensboro’s Walking ladies will provide snacks and the Vermont Coffee Company is also supplying coffee for volunteers. Full green-up bags can be brought to the designated dumpster behind the Town Hall. In addition, the metal dumpster will be available, as well as a tire dumpster for tires found along roadsides. If you have tires to dispose other than those found along roadsides, the town has a suggested fee of $3.00 per tire, delivered to the town clerk’s office.

Not in Greensboro, or even in Vermont, for Green-up Day? Consider taking a few minutes of your day to green-up in your town. For more information about Green-up Day, including safety tips, visit https://www.greenupvermont.org.