From the desk of Don Turner, Jr., Town of Milton manager

This month we have spent a considerable amount of time preparing for Town Meeting Day. I believe in transparent government and want to insure that every resident is informed about the budget proposal and the overall financial status of Milton. We have done several budget interviews and have prepared two informational videos. The videos focus on the budget and other ballot articles. I hope that residents find these presentations informative. I encourage anyone that has questions about any of the information to please contact my office.

The selectboard and my administration have been working diligently to find/create efficiencies within town government. We have worked with Milton’s School Board and Superintendent Ann Bradshaw to finalize mutually beneficial agreements that will provide operational clarity moving forward. I believe that these agreements provide benefits for both the school and town and most importantly the taxpayers of Milton. The school facilities use agreement will allow the recreation department to continue using the school’s indoor facilities for afterschool programs for kids, evening classes for adults, summer camps, etc. The $2,000 annual fee is far less than we could rent space anywhere else in town. We also signed a financial services agreement with the school. This three-year agreement insures that town staff will continue to provide financial services to the school district. Services include payroll, accounts payable and several other financial checks and balances. I am pleased that working together, we were able to resolve the uncertainty swirling around both of these issues in a timely and productive manner.

We celebrated employees Art Garrison, William Sanderson, James Bushey, Ian Sasso and Jason Scott who work in the water/wastewater division of the department of public works. Their ongoing commitment and dedication helped the Town of Milton Wastewater Treatment Facility gain regional recognition. The staff obtained a rating of excellent after the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources performed an inspection of the Treatment Facility on Nov. 20, 2017. At the Feb. 5 selectboard meeting, these staff members were acknowledged for receiving the EPA regional Operation and Maintenance Program Excellence Award. 

On a sad note, we said farewell to public works supervisor Dustin Keelty as he retired after 15 years of service to the town. Dustin started out here as the part-time supervisor of buildings and grounds and then became the full time supervisor for public works. Dustin also is a volunteer firefighter serving for 28 years. Dustin will surely be missed, and everyone wishes him well.

Finally, it has been a very busy winter for our staff at the highway department. As of today, we have approximately $17,701, left of our $168,000 annual salt budget. At $69.91 per ton, this will yield us 250-plus tons in addition to the 360 tons we have on hand in our salt shed. On average we use up to 70 tons per round of plowing. Therefore, we only have enough money left in the budget to cover approximately five more trips, with larger storms requiring two or more trips. We are likely to exceed our salt budget this year. Hopefully warm weather is on the way!

Town Meeting information meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the high school, and voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 6 at the town offices. You can also vote any time that is convenient at the town clerk’s office Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please vote!

Please feel free to contact me at 893-6655 or email dturner@town.milton.vt.us, and I will be happy to assist you.