By Peter Calvert
Town of Andes Board, November 9, 7 pm.
Present: Supervisor Bud Gladstone. Councilmen Ritchie Gabriel, Dale Cole, and (via Zoom) Thomas Hall. Town Clerk Carol Ames, Highway Superintendent John Bouton, (Code Enforcement Office Al Mohr, Excused).
In the Town Hall: Joe Damone, Peter Ames, Peter Calvert, Andes Gazette. Zoom: Chantal, Mark Pezzati, Bill Palmer.
NOTE: Board Meetings from Dec 2023-March 2024 will start at 6 pm.
Public Hearing on the Budget: 2024 Budget Public Hearing took place. No negative comments or suggestions were heard. The Board had worked hard to keep the 2024 Budget to 1.83% over the prior year, one of the smallest increases in the area and below the 2% annual goal. Healthy fund reserves allow the Town to meet this goal. The Budget was approved later in the meeting.
Proposal: 10% proposed property tax exemption for qualifying members of town volunteers who are Firefighters and Ambulance workers. Proposal had been tabled to a future meeting pending quorum in the room. Ritchie Gabriel is a volunteer and continued to offer his recusal as he cannot vote on his own monetary exemption. Motion Passed with Dale Cole present.
Privilege of the Floor: Joe Damone proposed three Jazz concerts in Ballantine Park for Summer/Fall 2024. He is applying for money from the Roxbury Arts Group Arts Grant process. Asked for permission also for Rail Trail indoor stage for Rain Day Backup plan.
Supervisor’s Report: Bud announced Jason Mondore as the newly elected member of council. Bud Gladstone and Carol Ames were also reelected on November 7th. The StreetScape committee reports the Town bench repairs are progressing. Pool Company has been approached to facilitate repairs so the Pool can be ready for reopening next Summer. Email received from Verizon stating that revenue possibilities are not enough to allow it to support doing the ongoing cell coverage the Town requested. T-Mobile is being approached to see if they will step in on Town cell tower project.
Highway Department: New employee started work. Has been trained and is working out well. Many vehicles are being prepared for Winter plowing.
Town Code Enforcement: 10 Permits, One C of O, and 3 Renewals were issued by the CEO. He performed 4 Municipal Searches, 2 Compliances, 2 Violations, 1 Complaint, 3 renewals, and 31 Inspections. CEO also received a number of Cell Phone Calls, 16 Text Messages, 25 Office Calls, and had 3 in-office conferences and 5 on-site meetings. He drove 220 miles.~