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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Best interest of the town

To The Editor:

I would like to clarify several points as they relate to an article in last week's paper titled “Duxbury to hold special town meeting.” At Town Meeting in March, the select board, in response to voter sentiments, committed to return to a replacement plan for town vehicles based on an eight- to nine-year rotation schedule. We opted against the purchase of a new truck in 2012 due to the uncertainty of where we stood on reimbursements for storm damage in 2011. Our oldest vehicle is a 2000 tandem and we have currently slated it for replacement in 2013 at an estimated cost of $150,000 to 200,000. Additionally, the town voted at Town Meeting to use $50,000 from the Capital Reserve Budget for vehicle repairs and equipment purchases this year; so far we have expensed or encumbered approximately $35,000 of that amount.

The closure of the town's gravel pit is not as a result of the diesel fuel release in April. The gravel pit was found to be in violation of its Act 250 permit issued when the property was purchased approximately 12 years ago. The permit called for a three-phase operation of the pit with no more than one phase being in use or open at a time. Once exhausted that phase would be closed and reclaimed. Unfortunately, as a transition in select board members took place over the years, there was a lapse in the transfer of the monitoring, reporting and adherence requirements of the permit. We are currently in the process of formulating a plan, under the direction of Grenier Engineering, to put the pit back into compliance with our permit. At this moment, we have no idea what this will cost.

The plan offered by the town treasurer is one the town's auditor has offered in several meetings and is proffered on the assumption our expenditures remain static; such is not the case. The result of our commitment to making 2012 a rebuilding year, the required town share for the Pollander culvert repair grant, the required repair to River Road, a commitment to providing our highway department with dependable, reliable equipment on a sound replacement schedule and the uncertainty of the gravel pit rehabilitation we believe negate this option. We believe that the articles and actions we propose are financially sound, prudent and in the best long-term interest of the town.


Richard Charland

Duxbury Select Board




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