Steering Committee Notes – March 22nd, 2017

March 22nd, 2017
Swanton Public Library

The meeting began at 5:30 p.m. with the following present: Reg Beliveau, Sandy Kilburn, Ron Kilburn, Rich Kelley, Nicole Gadouas, Scott Rheaume, Kathy Lavoie, Marie Frey, Joel Clark, Hank Lambert, and Tom Benton (St. Albans Messenger). David Jescavage arrived later.

1. Joel moved and Sandy seconded to accept the notes of the meeting of January 18, 2017.

Approved unanimously.

2. Economic and Community Development Committee

a. Joel reported that the Selectboard’s announcement for the Economic and Community Development position is still open. The Board received two applications which it will send to the Interview Committee. The Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation has offered possible funds for sharing a position. Tim Smith has to run the idea by the FCIDC board.

b. Joel and David attended an all-day forum on municipal economic development sponsored by the VT League of Cities and Towns. They received excellent information which Joel will summarize and share.

c. Hank referred everyone to the Orton Family Foundation web site that has a storehouse of good information for Community and Economic Development:

d. The Northern Gateway Project is continuing nicely.

e. Hank reported that he, Reg, Adam Paxman and Terri O’Shea met briefly regarding applying for another USDA grant. They concluded there was not enough time to pull an application together this year.

3. Substance Prevention Committee

a. Kathy reported that an event is planned for May 4 at 5:30 at the Village Complex to address trauma of children co-sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse in Vermont ( The movie Resilience will be shown followed by a panel discussion.

b. A similar activity is planned for June.

c. The summer camp is coming together. The committee is seeking a venue since the Methodist Church is not available this year. The committee is writing grant applications and is soliciting counselors who will be trained. The entire enterprise could not happen without the support of NOTCH.

4. Outdoor Recreation Committee

a. Betsy will report on an outdoor recreation camp and skating at a later date.

b. Ron reported that he and Reg are working on a Northern Forest Canoe Trail project to provide a concrete or gravel ramp at a specific site for river access in conjunction with the Swanton Heritage Trail. Ron is hoping MVU students can help develop an interpretive display featuring a history of the site.

5. Communication Committee

a. Rich and Nicole Gadouas reported that Nicole Draper is working on developing a comprehensive list for community contacts and establishing a protocol for improving communication.

6. Beautification Committee

a. Hank, Sandy and Marie talked about the First Street First project that would enhance the beauty of First Street from the Interstate to the library. The committee is inviting citizens to plant red wave petunias on First Street and elsewhere in the Village. Linda Wirts and Katy Marshall are contacting businesses first and also will be meeting with residents along the route.

b. Alexi Hudak, Katy Marshall and Ryan Baxter built fifteen cedar planters for placement mostly on First Street. They are available with soil and 4 plants for $45 for a commitment to water and fertilize them.

c. A shout out to Hudaks for setting aside a portion of their greenhouses to propagate wave petunias for the project.

d. The committee is devising a plan to plant trees along First Street, and will be working closely with Village officials to make sure overhead and underground utilities and lines of sight are taken into consideration.

e. Sandy and Marie are working with Ross Lavoie to build two flower boxes to be placed on the bridge.

f. Kathy moved and Ron seconded to allow the committee to expend up to $500 from the treasury for flowers. Unanimously approved.

7. Swanton Arts Council

a. Applying for a $386 thousand grant from Art Place America designed to use the arts to improve economic development in communities.

b. Second annual arts show featured over 200 pieces of art that drew over 200 people.

c. Nicole and Trish from Morrisville, VT will be attending a national art education seminar in New London, CT.

d. Spring arts show will be held on April 1.

e. Art Bop at the library on April 22 will showcase local artists

f. Anita Parah is working on a Pinwheel in the Park event scheduled for May 20.

g. A barn quilt event is being planned for June.

h. SAC held a strategic planning meeting in January that helped members to ask important questions that helped them focus on their mission and goals.

8. Swanton Library

a. Ron reported that Beck Rupp is writing an application to the Vermont Humanities Council for a grant to support a two-week history camp for kids.

9. Other Business

a. Ron said Betty and Sam, have been on the Village Green fifty-five years thanks to an initiative by the Swanton Chamber of Commerce. A committee of Ron, Mark Rocheleau and Suzanne Washburn is working to replace them. Permit from Vermont Fish & Wildlife is needed. Rep. Liz Gamache is assisting.

10. Reg moved and Joel seconded the motion to adjourn at 6:45 p.m. Approved

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