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Guilford briefs

Town chooses contractor, inspector for covered bridge work

GUILFORD—GUILFORD — As the town moves toward renovating the covered bridge spanning the Green River this summer, one major achievement was met during the last month: figuring out who is going to do the work, and who is going to inspect it.

At the Feb. 8 Selectboard meeting, the board opened three bids for the construction portion along with Matt Mann, a planner with the Windham Regional Commission (WRC), who has been helping the town through the process.

The town could not award a bid at that meeting, though. First, the consulting engineering firm Hoyle, Tanner & Associates had to review the qualifications of each bidding company, and ensure each was on the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s (AOT) list of approved contractors to work on covered bridges.

The next day, the Selection Committee met to review three bids for construction inspection services. They recommended the board approve Dubois & King’s proposal for $57,802. The committee found the firm to be the lowest qualified bidder.

Nearly two weeks later, on Feb. 22, the board met and unanimously approved the Selection Committee’s recommendation to accept Dubois & King’s bid.

At that meeting the board also unanimously voted to award Wright Construction Co. the construction bid, for a fee of $440,156.25. Board Chair Sheila Morse described Wright Construction as “the lowest responsive and responsible bidder."

MOU For delinquent tax collectors approved

GUILFORD — After submitting it to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ (VLCT) staff attorney, Guilford officials received approval for the Memo of Understanding (MOU) for the structure and compensation of the town’s two assistant delinquent tax collectors.

The document lists Peter Hetzel and Elly Majonen as assistants to Penny Marine, who serves as the town’s delinquent tax collector.

At the Feb. 8 Selectboard meeting, the board unanimously voted to accept the MOU.

Board Chair Sheila Morse said that as a member of the public, she had not been aware of the amount — and the effect on a town’s budget — of delinquent taxes. She said she thinks residents “may be interested in the impact."

Morse said all budgets in town are funded at 100 percent, except for the general fund and the highway fund. Those budgets, which cover everything from the municipal buildings to town employees’ salaries to maintaining the roads, are the only ones subject to underfunding, Morse added.

She offered some data to illustrate the effect. In 2014, uncollected taxes represented 28.2 percent of the budget. In Fiscal Year 2016, the amount of delinquent taxes owed decreased, and represented 17.6 percent of the town’s budget.

Pitcher appointed to SEVCA Board

GUILFORD — At the Feb. 8 regular Selectboard meeting, the board learned that Lisa Pitcher’s term as Guilford’s representative to the Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) board was over.

Pitcher would like to serve on the board again, and SEVCA wants her back, town officials learned.

Board member Anne Rider moved to reappoint Pitcher to the post, and the motion unanimously passed.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #348 (Wednesday, March 16, 2016). This story appeared on page D2.

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