We started the month with a bang, marking the 246th year of our nation’s independence on July 4. It was great to see the community out for our annual parade and fireworks. Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I say it, but it is so nice to see people together again after the pandemic limited our capacity to celebrate these past couple of years. Thank you for coming out to support the events offered by our recreation department.
Most Quarterly Water Bills Have Been Paid
It has been business as usual in our town clerk and treasurer’s office. We continue to answer residents’ questions, assist with research, enter payments, and complete dog licenses, marriage licenses and vehicle registrations. Quarterly water bills were due in June, and most residents paid on time. We sent delinquency notices to about 50 residents, but only turned off six accounts. By the end of the month, almost all accounts were restored.
Our Team Is Busy with Election Preparation
As we draw closer to the August 9 State Primary, we have begun mailing absentee ballots to residents upon request. If you would like to request an absentee ballot, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 802-893-6655 or email email@example.com. For more information, visit miltonvt.gov/vote.
Town-Wide Reappraisal Pre-Grievance Hearings are Complete
Following our town wide reappraisal, we’ve wrapped up pre-grievance hearings and mailed out decisions to property owners. Residents that formally grieved/questioned their new assessment may now request a hearing with the Board of Abatement until July 12th if they still feel the value is inaccurate.
Music in the Park Is Back
We just couldn’t be more pleased to welcome bands, both familiar and new, to our concert shell! New this year, we have partnered with the Milton Farmer’s Market to host our concerts in Bombardier Park every Tuesday afternoon from 4-8 p.m. through August 23. Music and games begin at 6 p.m., and there’s no shortage of fresh produce and prepared food on site for your enjoyment. The full concert lineup is available on our Recreation Facebook page and the Town website. We hope to see you in the park soon for this great event.
Thank You to Our Park Volunteers
The warm, dry weather we’ve been enjoying has provided great conditions to work on our Community Garden. Volunteers spent last month weeding, edging the plots and assigning areas to our Garden members. Our mountain biking volunteers were similarly hard at work building a new bridge along the trail and adding temporary signage. It’s great to see so much activity in the parks, and we are grateful for our volunteers!
Our Summer Reading Program Is Underway
If mountain biking and gardening aren’t your thing, perhaps curling up with a good book is. This season, we’re encouraging community members of all ages to get reading as part of our library’s summer reading program.
Adults can compete in summer reading BINGO by picking up a BINGO sheet from our library’s front desk. Readers must complete a print or audio book in each category on their card, for example: historical fiction; published after 2020; nonfiction; etc. Once complete, readers can turn their card in to our team for a chance to win one of several great prizes. Drawings are held monthly. July’s prize is a $50 gift card to Shanty on the Shore. Good luck, and happy tales to all!
Our children’s summer reading program, “Oceans of Possibilities”, is also open for enrollment. This program is a great way to help motivate your child to read during school vacation and avoid loss of literacy skills over the summer months. Additional program information and a schedule of fun activities centered on reading and learning is available on the library’s website. Parents can register their young readers online or at the library’s front desk.
Vermont State Parks and Historic Sites Passes Have Arrived at the Library
The passes are available to Milton library card holders and can be reserved on or the day before patrons are looking to visit one of the participating sites. Passes need to be returned the same day after use and can be placed in the book drop located behind the library.
Kudos to Our Finance Team
Our finance team of Shannon Maynard, Doris Trainque, Jackie Dodge and new Director Amber Baker continue to surpass expectations. Late June early July is an extremely busy time as they wrap up one fiscal year FY22 and begin FY23. They do not get enough credit for the work they do every day of the year. Our community is very fortunate to have these dedicated staff members providing the necessary financial oversight of this multi-million dollar operation known as the Town of Milton.
Our Rescue and Fire Departments Have Had No Shortage of Work
Rescue remains busy with its usual call volume and trainings. Recently, the team worked on heat-related emergency response just in time for the dog days of summer. Our EMS and Firefighters will soon start joint training. We look forward to this as an opportunity to enhance our mutual aid response.
Unfortunately, like many agencies across the state, we are facing some rescue scheduling gaps. However, we continue to work hard to cover them and provide strong care for our community. We recently welcomed new per diems, and we are actively working to increase the force’s number of certified drivers.
Some good news: the broken exhaust system in our ambulance bay has been repaired. It was a costly but necessary fix to keep our team safe. Both ambulances remain in working order without any major issues.
The fire department continues to thrive and has responded to a number of structure fires recently. They do an excellent job and we are very fortunate to have these dedicated volunteers responding to your calls for assistance.
Last Month, Milton Police Department Held Its Annual Awards Banquet
The celebration was an opportunity to recognize officers for their hard work and dedication to our community. This year’s recognitions included: the Chief’s Award and the Community Service Award, both presented to Det. Hendry; the Public Safety Award, presented to Cpl. Coulombe; and Life Saving Awards, presented to Cpl. Grenier and Sgt. Locke for their efforts to remove a fallen tree from atop a Milton Resident. We are thankful for our police officers and the work they do each day to keep our town safe.
Thank You and Best Wishes to Departing Staff Members
It’s been another challenging year around town as we continue to recover from the pandemic and economic fallout. Staffing continues to be a challenge, several staff members have or will be shortly moving on to pursue new opportunities. Cally Audet, Drew Bulfer and Kirsten Jensen have done an excellent job for the Town, and we will certainly miss them.
Update on American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
Federal ARPA funds have been distributed to states and municipalities across the country to help alleviate the ongoing economic burden. Our town received about $3,237,500 in funding, of which $1,049,553 has already been appropriated by the select board for relief around town. We recently held a public hearing to discuss proposed uses and provide community members the opportunity to weigh-in on how the balance will be used to enhance our community. Our town has attempted to develop a thoughtful, transparent process that encourages residents and organizations to participate, while also allowing the Selectboard to make final decisions on how the funds will be distributed. At the last meeting, an application process was adopted by the Selectboard. More information will be coming soon. Please follow miltonvt.gov and the Town’s facebook page for more information about the process for requesting funding for your project. My hope is that these once-in-a-lifetime ARPA dollars will be invested in projects that will have a long-term positive impact within our community.
As always, our doors are open, and we look forward to seeing you in the office soon.
Don Turner, Jr.
Milton Town Manager
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