Randolph was in for another hectic and lengthy selection meeting last Thursday night, February 10, as many showed up for the hybrid meeting.
Held in person at city offices as well as on Zoom so people can participate remotely, the three-and-a-half-hour meeting covered a lot of ground, including a controversial solar panel project (and alleged policy violations related), a possible cannabis control board and a 4th of July fireworks among the topics of the evening.
As President Trini Brassard kicked off the meeting, inviting the public to make announcements and ask questions, Julie Iffland, Executive Director of the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC), asked to add a new item to the evening’s agenda regarding a problem with the city sewer. , discovered during the renovation of Randolph House. The jury approved this modification of the agenda.
Resident Jon Kaplan expressed disappointment that he and his neighbors were not given clear warning of the removal of large trees from South Pleasant Street recently in order to place the new utility poles.
Brassard replied that the neighborhood had received several notices about the removal, as they had obtained approval at two meetings of the selection committee, but Kaplan maintained that he and others were unaware of the old trees. important that needed to be removed. He suggested using the Front Porch Forum and the city’s website to alert residents more clearly next time. Brassard noted that $2,000 was given to the town’s beautification station in the budget in exchange for the removal of trees, although this does not replace the value of old trees to neighbors.
Josie Carothers asked how the East Valley Community Group would find out how American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds could be used for the East Valley Community Hall. Brassard suggested that Carothers contact the committee to manage ARPA funds, of which Perry Armstrong is the liaison for the selection committee.
Solar, Cannabis Topics
Brassard introduced the discussion of the Davis Road Solar Project (see separate article) by reiterating that although the land on which this proposed project will be built is on the estate of his late father, the sale of the land is not contingent approval of a permit for the project. She turned the facilitation over to Vice President Larry Sattowitz.
Much of the debate centered on the 25% grade of the land in question and potential violations of city policy. Brooke Dingledine launched the objection that the selection committee was acting in a way that violates the city plan.
With the intention of continuing the solar discussion again at a later meeting, the council then considered whether to establish a municipal cannabis control commission (see separate article).
Community Entrance name
Next on the list was the East Valley Community Hall. While efforts are underway to fund major renovations to the Assembly Hall in East Randolph, the council discussed minimum donations to secure the building’s naming rights. The selection committee agreed that one-third of the total fundraising goal, in this case $200,000 to $250,000 would meet the naming requirements.
Coach Tom Ayers has raised controversy across the country over building names, particularly when linked to slavery, for example, and suggested the committee review potential names if the need arises. feel.
The discussion of what to do if two people show up with enough money to secure naming rights ended in two options: whoever finds the money first can have it, or, if the two parties wish, the building can have a name composed of a hyphen.
Armstrong suggested that additional naming rights to the scene could be sold.
Then it was announced that the Randolph Village firefighters would not be leading the traditional Independence Day fireworks display this year due to rising prices and understaffing.
Armstrong offered his land for the setting off of fireworks and suggested fundraising ideas for the celebrations.
RACDC’s Iffland told the board that halfway through the installation of a new sewer line for the Randolph home, the project was halted when construction workers discovered that the sewer line main sewer to which they intended to connect was three feet shallower than expected. be.
Iffland reported that the sewer line is crumbling and effluent is accumulating at the site of the proposed connection.
Randolph Water and Wastewater Superintendent Chris Chambers said the line that is still running is cracked, but the three-foot level difference is the real problem holding up the project.
This note error is believed to be due to errors dating back to at least the 1970s. Iffland enlisted the help of the city’s water department to ensure that damage did not accidentally occur when connecting to the fragile pipes and then asked the city to help fund the unexpected additional $40,000 now estimated to complete the sewer line project.
The ensuing discussion focused on the responsibility for funding.
Brassard asked if there were more grants or if the RACDC could adjust the amount of the grant given for this specific project, but Iffland explained that it was a federal grant, which cannot be adjusted. , and that due to the urgency of completion, a new grant may not be procured.
Iffland added that the project already included a new fire hydrant, costing $30,000 to $40,000, which directly improves the city’s infrastructure. She posited that with proof that the sewer line isn’t working as it should, it’s really in the city’s interest to help with repairs.
Also, since the pipes are not installed in a way that they flow downstream, accumulation of effluent is an obvious danger, she said.
Adam Proctor, superintendent of labor for contractor Naylor & Breen Builders, confirmed that Iffland’s description of the situation is correct: the existing line has the wrong pitch, believing that “it’s a 100 year old line years that hasn’t failed yet, but is about to fail.
Satcowitz commented that it “seems like a good faith effort [on the part of RACDC for Randolph House] was done to do well” and that it was a good idea to share the cost, which would already be reduced since the equipment is on site.
“It looks like it’s actually preventing a worse situation down the line,” he continued, “and it looks like a good opportunity to fix the line for the good of the city.”
Ayers introduced a motion to split the cost of the sewer line repair 50-50 with RACDC, which was amended to include a $20,000 funding cap by the city, and the motion passed.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., the public portion of the meeting ended, while council held an executive session to discuss “collective bargaining” and “personnel”, after which council took no action.