Lot 15 Committee
October 27, 2011
Present: Mike Buscher, Carrie Harlow, Joe Iadanza, John Kiedaisch, Rocky Martin
Also in attendance: John Roos
1) Looking over Executive Summary statements that Joe has been working on:
• The Effect of Non-Residential Development on Town Revenue and Cost Streams – Committee agreed this was ready to share with Select Board.
• The Effect of Commercial Development on Education Tax Rates -- Committee agreed this was ready to share with Select Board
• Relationship between Commercial Development and Municipal Costs – John K had some comments regarding this draft and comparing it the Committee’s interim report.He wants to acknowledge and address that the interim report did not take into consideration longer-range costs.John R asked for clarification on footnote, referring to Del Duca report.
•• It was decided to make the Del Duca report referred to in the Commercial Development/Municipal Costs document available in electronic form if the Select Board wanted to read it.
•• Joe will finalize the documents and make any updates/revisions.
•• Plan is to get documents to Select Board and present these reports to Select Board for November 21 meeting.
• Why Are Williston’s Tax Rates Lower than Hinesburg? There are some comments and input to be made to this document.
•• Rocky noted comparisons (for instance between highway budgets) are not “apples to apples,” as Williston has different ways of budgeting (one example of this is that Capital improvement projects are a line item listed in different part of towns’ budgets) and revenue streams that are not equal (including CWSD and Storm water fees in Williston).John R noted that these differences may always be observed comparing other towns to towns.John K thinks the “big picture” figures are pertinent to the report, and maybe there needs to be more clarification of comparison between each line item (ie, roads, lights, sidewalks) for both towns.
•• The committee discussed how this information can still be presented to the Select Board: explaining how increased commercial development may not necessarily equate to lower taxes, without getting into too much detail.
•• Joe will “take another pass” at this section of the report, and the Committee will take another look at the document during our next meeting.
• Joe will also take a look at the document “Effect on Town Revenue and Individual Property Taxes” from the interim report, and develop an executive summary for that document.
2) Mike has recently sent an e-mail to the group with updates and information he gathered from Housing VT, regarding potential uses for housing. Housing VT gave estimates (low value to high value) based on number of units, of what they are willing to pay per unit cost. Project costs are not fleshed out yet – but are coming soon.
• Mike presented updated drawings, and can project estimated costs on a per unit basis.He also may be able to use recent town projects to estimate costs for fill and park development.He will have additional information for the next meeting.
• Rocky asked about thoughts for civic uses. Committee members suggested a list of possible options such as, office space, historic society, food shelf, library, multi-generational center, etc.
3) John K had index cards he printed; listed on each one are various steps the Select Board would need to take to acquire Lot 15. Committee looked at steps in regard to sequence.
• Committee decided that efforts would focus on steps should the DRB deny based on Official Map.Other possible paths (DRB denies on a reason other than an Official Map) will not be considered by the committee.
• As the Committee discussed steps, there are questions committee members have that could be better answered with legal consultation. John K has consulted with VLCT and there are still unanswered questions as to “what has to happen when” or “what can legally happen when” in the case of a DRB denial. Committee decided that first recommended step after a rejection by DRB based on Official Map will be for Select Board to seek legal council.
• John K will propose a sequence of steps and provide to the committee for their review and comment.
Next Meeting: Next meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2011