Greensboro Planning Commission to Host Public Forums

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.

Vermont Clean Water Week 2018, July 29 – August 4: A Celebration of Clean Water and Community Action

Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation invites all to join in a weeklong celebration of our lakes, rivers, and wetlands, and the tremendous efforts of businesses, farms, communities, and organizations to protect and restore clean water.
As stated by the DEC, clean water is essential to our health, our quality of life, and a strong economy. It supports diverse recreational opportunities, serves as a major drinking water source, and provides critical fish and wildlife habitat.
For more information on related sponsors and events, click HERE .
Perry Thomas, Lakes Program Manager of the Watershed Management Division, will be a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Greensboro Association, Thursday, August 2, 4pm, at the United Church of Christ, Greensboro.  Be sure to attend to hear directly about the important work of this organization.

Announcement to the GA Membership of Our Annual Meeting, 2018

The Annual Meeting of the Greensboro Association will take place on Thursday, August 2 from 4–6 PM at the United Church of Christ, Greensboro. We will meet in Fellowship Hall.
Included on the agenda are a one-hour business meeting, followed by a Town Report and Update on the Town Plan, as well as a brief presentation by Perry Thomas, Lakes Program Manager of the Watershed Management Division, VT. (Note: our meeting falls within Vermont’s Clean Water Week, which begins July 29. See below for more information and a link to related events).
We will also celebrate the recipients of this year’s Greensboro Award, Phil Gray and Jan Travers, and offer thanks at this meeting for their many contributions to the community.
We will approve the minutes from the 2017 Annual Meetings. Review the minutes HERE.
The complete agenda for the meeting can be viewed HERE.

Willey’s Store Announces 7th Annual Lantern Launch

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.

 

State decides Lakeview School will not be consolidated under Act 46

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.

Greensboro’s Giving Closet may be forced to close

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.

Town Meeting 2018

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 dpredpall@greensborovt.org.  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.

 

Calling all artists! We are looking for artwork for the 2018-19 GA Member Directory

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 admin@greensboroassociation.org.  All artists are encouraged to participate, although we give preference to local Greensboro and NEK artists and/or members of the Greensboro Association.

2018 Winter Update

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.

Children’s Summer Camps: Registration Open for WonderArts Summer Journeys Camps, Circus Smirkus, and Hosmer Point Saplings Day Camp and Traditional Overnight Camp

 

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:

http://wonderwisdom.org/summer-journeys/

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:

https://www.hosmerpoint.com/camps/camp-dates-for-2017/

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:

http://www.smirkus.org/smirkus-camp/camp-sessions/

 

Highland Center for the Arts Names New Executive Director

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:

http://highlandartsvt.org/press/

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.

Winter Parking Ban in Effect

 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.

 

Holiday Happenings

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.

http://highlandartsvt.org/events/

http://wonderwisdom.org/news/

Greensboro Select Board Discusses Additional Police Officer for Hardwick Police Department

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.

School Budgets, Education Spending, and the Calculation of Property Taxes

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:

http://www.vtvsba.org

Vermont State Education Fund Faces Shortfall

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:

https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/02/depleted-education-fund-makes-for-likely-tax-increase/#.WdvK3kyZO9Y

https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/09/education-fund-gap-go-high-80m/#.WdvH5EyZO9Y

 

Clive Gray Recognized for Community Conservation Work

At the Annual Meeting of the Vermont Land Trust earlier this month, Clive Gray, chair of the Greensboro Land Trust, received the Richard W. Carbin Community Conservation Award. The award recognizes conservation partners who demonstrate a commitment to conservation in their communities.  Clive has served the Greensboro community for many years on both the Greensboro Land Trust and the Greensboro Conservation Commission.  His dedication to the preservation of our beautiful natural spaces benefits all of us.  Congratulations, Clive, and thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Greensboro Planning Commission Continues Work on Town Plan

Many of you completed a survey last year for the Greensboro Planning Commission to provide input on the Commission’s ongoing work redrafting our Town Plan.  The intent of the new Town Plan is to guide and support change in our community over the next eight years.  The results of the survey helped the Commission craft a vision for Greensboro. The vision, which will be the basis for preparing the Town Plan, is shared below.

Greensboro residents aspire to see a future for the community where:

  • The Town’s rural character is viewed as a significant benefit that should be protected.
  • As a community, there is a strong sense that conservation of our natural resources should be a high priority.
  • Greensboro continues to attract and enjoy vibrant and unique small businesses that sustain tourism, support our economy, and are gathering places for local residents.
  • Greensboro is attractive for both retired families as well as new families raising young children.
  • Greensboro, a small New England town, is the home of many cultural opportunities typical of larger towns.
  • The community offers a multitude of recreational activities for young and old.
  • The community strongly supports lifelong education, with the important benefits it provides to the community.

The Commission would welcome your input and comments on these questions:

Is the vision consistent with your expectations for the future of Greensboro?

Second, the Town Plan must include specific actions that will move the community towards this vision. What actions would you like to see that will support the vision?

Your thoughts are appreciated and welcomed!

Finally, the Commission still needs members.  You do not need to be a registered voter in Greensboro to serve on the Planning Commission.  If you would like to play a role in defining the future of our community, please let us know!

Please email your responses to Dan Predpall, Chair of the Greensboro Planning Commission at  dpredpall@greensborovt.org .