The White River Valley Herald

Royalton Selex Hears Opinions On ATV Ordinance and Petition

A number of Royalton residents attended the September 13 Royalton Selectboard meeting to express their opposition to two different agenda items under “public comments”—the ATV ordinance, and Aubuchon’s Act 250 amendment application (to allow a new retail store at the hardware store location, rumored to be Dollar General).

The draft ATV ordinance doesn’t follow the intent of the article approved at town meeting last March, said several in attendance Tuesday. Article VII asked for approval to use small sections of town highways to access private trails, they pointed out, but the ordinance under consideration asks for many miles of town highways to access a small number of private trails. Liability and insurance was another concern cited, along with lines of sight and other highway access requirements.

Later in the meeting, John Dumville reiterated that the ATV ordinance is at odds with the wording voted on.

David Barker said 25 miles of roads is untenable, and there should be some criteria to follow in selecting one road over another.

Chris Noble pointed out that, without an ordinance, there’s already about 25 ATV­ers on his road in a week.

All members of the board agreed the ordinance would need to be written in a way such that future board members could follow the intent of it. No action was taken and the decision was tabled.

The board was presented with a petition signed by 275 people from Royalton and surrounding towns expressing opposition to Dollar General or other box stores in Royalton, and asking the board to submit the petition as part of the Act 250 response from the town.

The petitioners pointed out that Royalton’s town plan stipulates that new retail should be located in the village and not result in undue harm to established businesses in the village centers. Aubuchon was criticized for not being forthcoming about who its intended tenant might be.

The board moved to send a letter to District 3 opposing the Act 250 permit amendment for Aubuchon, but declined to include the petition.

A representative from Northeast Central Railroad spoke to the board about a train crossing at Stearn Road, just off of South Windsor Street. The railroad and VTrans are in agreement with the town that the upper crossing, which was the site of a fatal accident in 2021, should have flashing lights and gates, and that the lower end of the road should be closed. The project is slated to be concluded by June of 2023. The board moved to sign an agreement to that effect.

John Leighton presented information on security system options for the transfer station. A motion carried to pick the bid with the greatest value appropriate to needs.

Leighton also proposed moving the fuel pump to a location under cover and to put it on a concrete bed. The board approved.

The board approved $36,000 to repair the roadside mower and boom. Highway foreman Demi Boles reported that work on Post Farm Road was nearly completed, and that they have the paint to finish with line repainting. Culvert replacements are on schedule.

An amended access permit for an existing driveway on North Windsor was approved.

Bushrod Powers won’t be in town for the annual VLCT meeting. David Barker was appointed to attend the meeting on the town’s behalf.

802 Pizza requested an amendment to its liquor license, due to expansion of the restaurant. The board approved.

The town offices will be closed October 10 for carpet cleaning.

The duties of a town constable were discussed. A constable can’t enforce municipal ordinances unless certified to do so, and although Todd Ballantine has expressed interest in taking training, no action has come of it. The board discussed the possibility of putting a question on the next town-meeting warning asking if the position should be eliminated. No action was taken.