Braintree Selex Make It Easier To Get Rid of Invasive Buckthorn

Communities / Feb. 16, 2017 9:59am EST

The following summary of the Braintree Selectboard’s February 7 meeting was written from unapproved minutes submitted to The Herald.

The Braintree Selectboard met last Tuesday chaired by Timothy Caulfield. Other board members present were Richard Bowen, Keegan Haupt, and Loren Bent.

Also attending were Linda Morse, conservation commission chair; Joan Richmond-Hall, planning commission vice chair; Paul Kendall, Stagecoach representative; Jeff Masterson, road commissioner; and Holly Jarvis, administrative assistant.

Linda Morse told the board that the Conservation Commission is asking Tree Warden Bent if he would approve the following resolution.

“I give my permission for property owners in the Town of Braintree to cut down any trees of the species referred to as common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) on their property that are within the town’s right of way. They are not required to seek my permission individually.”

Common buckthorn is an invasive species which is quite common in Braintree. A number of residents are trying to remove it from their properties. This blanket resolution will make it clear that they can cut it in the right of way of the road on their property, as well. Bent agreed to the resolution and has signed it.

Kendall advised the Board that Stagecoach and Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) are going to merge. They have been operating as one entity for the last 18 months and it is working well, he said. The merger is expected to take effect at the beginning of their fiscal year on July 1. Both entities’ respective identities will be retained by having two operating committees.

Reports

•Highway Report: It has been an icy winter. The new pickup truck is working well.

•Connectivity Committee report: ECFiber has connected all the “presubscribed” residences along the newly created route. FairPoint expanded its DSL internet up Bent Hill Road, and VTel is available in some areas in town.

With the committee’s success in attracting high-speed internet, they have decided to stop wasting time trying to improve cell service, as those companies seem to have no interest in Braintree. Residents who have high-speed internet can use “microcell” boosters to provide cell service at their homes.

ECFiber intends to expand service throughout all of its 24 member towns. The town with the most interest in services will be the next one to have its network expanded. There will be a campaign to get “pre-subscribers” early this year and the connectivity committee will encourage Braintree residents to “pre-subscribe.” The board approved appointing Mr. Caulfield to the Connectivity Committee.

Old Business

•The selectboard will hold a Pre- Town Meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall on Monday, March 6, the day before Town Meeting.

•The board’s normal meeting has been rescheduled from Tuesday, March 7, to Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. This will be the annual organizational meeting.

•A meeting has been set up to review one possible option for the phone system.

New Business

•Richmond-Hall spoke with the Board regarding the possibility of amending the zoning bylaws. Wording in one of the exemptions has proven to be problematic and not enforceable. The board accepted the Planning Commission’s plan to write an interim amendment to the bylaws. The re-write will be passed to the Selectboard for approval.

•The board reviewed TRORC annual VTrans project ranking. They wondered why the paving project on Route 12 in Braintree has been removed from the list. Caulfield will inquire.

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