March came in like a lion, and seemed to go out like a lion as well. I am glad to welcome April and hoping the milder weather continues. Regardless of continuing chilly temperatures, work around town is quickly transitioning from winter to spring projects.
From the Recreation Department
The ice officially went OUT on Sunday, April 3 at 7:24 PM! Our Ice Out contest garnered 323 ticket sales from residents looking to take a guess on when the ice would thaw on Arrowhead Mountain Lake. Congratulations to our winner Ronald Bissonette who was closest with a guess of April 3 at 5:05 PM. Half of the proceeds from the contest will go to help support Milton's 4th of July Celebrations. So far, the team has secured fireworks, port-o-lets and mini-golf equipment for the big celebration. Many thanks to all who purchased tickets, and to all involved in making this fun annual tradition possible.
Our parks are witnessing the seasonal changing of the guards, as winter white has given way to the browns of mud season. While I would hesitate to say we’ve seen the last snowflake, the signs of spring are definitely emerging. It’s officially time to go out with the ice rink, and in with spring and summer projects. We’ve ordered four new tennis court benches and three squeegees that will be installed right on time for spring reopening. We’re looking forward to hosting our annual egg hunt in Bombardier Park on April 16.
Planning continues for this year’s summer camps, as well as our Music in the Park concert series. Residents can follow the recreation department’s facebook page and check out the recreation page of the Town of Milton website for information on these great events and more.
From the Town Clerk and Treasurer's Office
About a quarter of the town’s registered voters turned out for last month’s election. Thanks again to everyone who voted early or absentee, or who came out to the polls to cast your ballot in person.
Although the election is now over, the pace of work in the Town Clerk’s office has only marginally slowed down. Community members have resumed vehicle registration renewals at the counter, and continue to visit our staff for help with research requests and copies of their tax bills.
Dog registrations came in steadily as we neared the April 1 deadline. This year we offered a new online dog license form, providing residents the opportunity to register their pets from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, with any new offering there are kinks to work out. Some of the submitted forms were incomplete, resulting in the need to contact the registrants to secure the missing information. We will refine the system as we look ahead to 2023 dog registration.
Tax payments also continue to come in. As of mid-March, more than half of taxes for the current year were paid – on track with totals from the same time last year.
From the Public Works Department
Our Highway division has posted all spring restrictions for our roads and the roadside mower made its first voyage in months to push back brush and trees on several streets. We’ve also started grading our dirt roads to fill the potholes caused by freeze and thaw cycles. We have received many excess weight permit applications and inquiries regarding the posted roads.
Our highway division is very thankful for voters’ support of the new garage and looks forward to breaking ground on the project. When the team shared the news with T.O.M. cat, he immediately started to pack up his litterbox, and dream of hunting mice in the new space. Unfortunately, a neighboring property owner appealed the subdivision, which may delay T.O.M’s move. The appellant has stated that they do not want to delay the project, so we will continue to work to resolve this issue in a timely manner.
From Planning and Zoning
Our planning and zoning department has been abuzz with the receipt of permit applications. We recently processed three development review applications for conditional use/major site plan at 240 Railroad St; conditional use/major site plan at 546 Route 7 South; and a minor site plan at 524 Route South, respectively. We’ve also worked with Champlain Water District, Bevins Construction and O’Leary Burke to plan a water main shut down on Route 7 to enable the Turner/Route 7 New Road project to tie into municipal water. The shutdown occurred Thursday, April 7th, starting at 7:00 PM and was restored at approximately 12:30 AM on April 8th.
We continue to work with the owner of 25 Railroad St, site of old creamery to assist cleaning up that blighted property. I am pleased to inform you that our Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation (BRELLA) Program application for the property has been accepted. With this acceptance secured, we can now apply for Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) funding to complete an environmental assessment of the site. We are planning a community clean-up/board-up day at the site in the coming months.
From the Town Manager's Office
Efforts in my office continue on project planning, budget implementation, coordinating with the Selectboard, and answering residents' questions. Our intern, John, has started gathering demographic information and assembling a report on community engagement ideas, which we look forward to reviewing soon.
Last but certainly not least, planning has begun for Inclusion Week. This momentous week will begin on May 8 and continue through the 14th as a celebration of the many different people who make our town a great place to live. We plan to mark the occasion with an Inclusion Festival that celebrates “Belonging in Milton”. Follow our facebook page for more information, which will be announced soon.
Don Turner, Jr.
Milton Town Manager
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