As we start November, the last of the leaves flutter off the trees and a crisp morning frost begins coating the ground. Final mowing operations have occurred on town properties, and we are readying ourselves for winter’s return.
New Disc Golf Course Grand Opening a Success
We made the most of some unseasonably warm October weather as we celebrated the grand opening of our new disc golf course. About 75 people attended the event, 50 to watch the ribbon cutting ceremony and 25 to participate in the disc golf clinic and open play. A big thank you to David Havens, Seth Duchesneau, Ryan Montague and all the volunteers who championed this project. The new course makes a fantastic addition to our park.
Recreation Department Provided Fun Family Haunts for Halloween
Things got a little spooky around town last month thanks to Recreation Director, Jenna Tucker, with the return of our Spirited Homes of Milton, Halloween decorating contest. Thanks to our judges, Jess Morris and Michaela Foody, for naming the most haunting home in town; and thanks to everyone who participated in this event. We also held our annual Trunk or Treat event on Friday, October 29, and we added a Haunted Forest on October 28 and 30. Both events were well attended, despite the rain on October 30, with fun and scares had by all. See more pictures on a recent Facebook Post from the Recreation Department.
Holiday Event Planning is Underway – Follow Us for Updates
Although we can hardly believe it, October brought the beginning of our holiday event preparations, including planning for our annual tree lighting, decorating contest and sing-along. These celebrations will be here before we know it, and we’re looking forward to seeing the community there. Keep an eye out for updates on the Recreation section of our website, or follow our Milton Recreation Department Facebook page.
Water Bills Were Due November 5
Water bills were sent out in October with a due date of November 5. We saw a steady stream of community members come in to pay their bills, and we anticipate more folks stopping by the office this week.
Annual Tax Sale Coming Up on December 14
Our Town Treasurer John Gifford finalized preparations in October for the upcoming tax sale. The annual tax sale is when properties with either delinquent utility or tax bills are listed for sale in an auction. This year’s sale will be held on December 14 at 1 p.m. in the Community Room of the Town Offices. Property owners whose homes are included in the sale have one year to reclaim them by paying delinquent taxes, expenses, the amount of the auction sale price and 1% interest per month. We started the month with seven homes slated for the sale, but we are pleased to say most property owners have since paid their taxes and were removed from the sale.
Dog License Fee Reduced for New Dogs
Town Clerk Kristin Beers and her team continued their usual efforts: helping visitors at the counter, assisting researchers, refining the voter checklist, processing land records, and the like. As of Oct. 1, the fee for dog licenses was reduced for new dogs. “New dogs” include puppies that are 6 months old or adopted dogs registered within 30 days of ownership.
Annual Town Audit Passes; FY 23 Budget Planning Begins
Last month also brought the annual town audit, which I am pleased to report we passed with flying colors. Finance Director Jess Morris and her team Jackie Dodge, Doris Trainque and Shannon Maynard are dedicated professionals, and I am grateful for their work every single day of the year. We are fortunate to have them overseeing the financial well-being of our community. While we are glad for the news of the audit passing, we already have our sights set on the FY 23, with the first department budget meetings occurring the week of October 25. These meetings are an important part of planning our town’s future. We encourage residents to stay informed as the budget proposal takes shape in the coming weeks.
Public Works and Highway Divisions Begin Readying the Town for Winter
Our public works and highway divisions have focused their efforts on readying the town for winter. Town wastewater (sewer output) samples continue to meet high standards, and the pump stations are operating well. We did unfortunately have a luminescent/optical dissolved oxygen probe break last month. This is an important component of our lab ware for testing that will need to be replaced. We have arranged for Endyne to help with testing for the next few months as the replacement part is backordered, like many items these days.
The water distribution system is continually monitored, broken meters replaced and fire hydrants flushed. We have recently closed the Fieldhouse, drained lines, pumped the septic holding tanks in preparation for winter.
Final 2021 paving efforts continued on Lake Road, Cherry Street, Poor Farm, Manley and Rollin Irish Roads. Dirt roads were graded as we make final preparations for winter operations. Public Works Director Dave Allerton submitted a Highway and Stormwater Mitigation Grant application to VTrans in the hopes of securing funds for the construction of a new salt and sand shed along with the new Public Works Facility. This structure would greatly aid our winter operations.
K9 Biscotti Takes Home Top Awards
The police department responded to more than 550 calls last month and completed firearms training. K9 Biscotti had a banner month with a first-place award for drug detection and second place award in her age group at the Green Mountain Iron Dog Competition – Pro Division. Congratulations to Biscotti and Ofc. Jones for these accomplishments. Follow the Milton Police Department Facebook page for updates.
Public Safety Advancing with New Ambulance, Volunteers and Full-Time Staff
Public Safety Director Michaela Foody christened a new Ambulance (A2), in early October. The new vehicle leverages our ability to better serve and protect our growing community. We were fortunate to welcome three new volunteers and two new full-time staff to the rescue crew this month. The Fire Department hosted their annual open house during fire prevention week. We are grateful for the contributions of all fire and rescue members for keeping our residents safe.
Town Manager’s Office is Buzzing
Work continues in my office on the Hourglass Project and the new Public Works Facility. We are also continuing to answer resident questions about town services and assist with budget preparations and selectboard meetings. I am pleased to welcome and introduce the new Executive Assistant to the Town Manager, Brittany Tradup who began work on Monday 11/1.
Follow the Town of Milton, VT Facebook page for ongoing updates, including information on our upcoming “Milton on the Move” effort, which kicks off with public planning sessions and a free community dinner on the evening of November 17. All are welcome to participate. Visit https://bit.ly/MiltonOnTheMove for more information.
We all look forward to productive budget proposal conversations, programming and project planning to come, and hope to see you in the town offices soon!
Don Turner, Jr.
Town Manager, Town of Milton