Town outlines events funding program
by Jack Deming
Mar 21, 2013 | 1803 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WILMINGTON- The selectboard continues to work on the procedural use of incoming funds from the 1% local option tax, and reviewed suggestions made by Town Manager Scott Murphy. As the board has always intended, Murphy outlined that requests for a $50,000-or-more loan would require voter approval through a special Town Meeting that would be given wide, advance notice. The selectboard will not need voter approval for loan requests below that threshold, but would reserve the right to, if they believe it is in the town’s best interest.

Board member Jacob White said he would like to see voters given ample notice of the requests, big and small, while board vice chair James Burke added that a time frame for request approval should be added. Board member Diane Chapman added that all projects should have the same application process, with larger amounts requiring more definition as to the scope of the project.

“I think what we’re really getting at is that we’re really not done with this yet,” remarked selectboard chair Meg Streeter. Streeter asked Murphy to make another draft of the procedures that includes the board’s requests, and also commented that the selectboard should keep in mind they are allowed to propose projects as well that use the funds.

Resident Alice Greenspan told the board that she didn’t find the $50,000 voter input procedure was necessary “If everyone weighed in on everything, it defeats the purpose of you being voted to make the decisions,” said Greenspan.

Murphy announced that the Wilmington Events Program Fund, funded by the 1% tax, is up and running and will begin receiving applications April 1. The $10,000 fund is available as a 50% match for up to $2,000 per applicant. Events the fund supports must be held in Wilmington and benefit Wilmington residents, businesses, and the local economy.

Beautification committee chair Lee Schindel and Greenspan reported to the board on their updated plans for the Gateway Garden at the corner of Route 100 South and Route 9 East. Schindel said the group is ready to extend the garden, saying that the current garden is too small, and the committee’s goal was to create a strong statement of beauty for visitors entering through the east side of town. Schindel said the project would cost between $3,800 and $4,000, which includes new soil where there once was a road, but the committee did not require any money from the board. The committee hopes to have the project done by June 15 and will install new shrubs, grasses, and flowers.

The board ratified minor changes to meeting expectations and the language of the selectboard’s Welcome Statement, but made a change of note to their policy regarding appointments to boards, commissions, and committees. A single word, “preferably,” was added to the language, and officially changes who will be allowed to hold a position on Wilmington boards, committees or commissions. Murphy asked the board to include the word so that a candidate from a neighboring town could be considered for positions that are often not filled, or for which the candidate is qualified.

Both White and Chapman said they would prefer that Wilmingtonians fill the positions, but after discussion, agreed with Murphy that the need for qualified applicants is important, and nonresidents should be considered. The requirement will now read that applicants shall “preferably” be a Wilmington resident, or rent property, own property or work in Wilmington.

The board also appointed Sheila Osler to the Development Review Board beginning in April.
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