Bristol mulls a new date for police district meeting

BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard is exploring the possibility of moving the annual meeting of the Bristol police district from its usual late May date to the annual Town Meeting Day in March. The change could take place as soon as next year.
At their Monday meeting, selectboard members discussed the idea with Police Chief Kevin Gibbs, who supports the move.
Although logistics have yet to be ironed out, the selectboard is considering a proposal to incorporate the police district annual meeting as part of Town Meeting Day discussion and moving the police budget vote to an Australian ballot on the following day, said Selectwoman Carol Wells.
“The idea is to get more participation and let more people know what’s going on with the police department,” said Wells. “It will make it a little more hectic in January (for the selectboard because) it means that we have to prepare more for the town report. But I think the upside of this is that it will be recorded in the town report for historical records and there will be more people present to participate and discuss.”
Also at this past Monday’s selectboard meeting:
•     Board members began to talk about filling the administrative assistant position, which will become vacant at the end of September when current assistant Lisa Dupoise moves to her family business, the County Tire Center in Middlebury.
“I’ve learned a lot and people have been good,” Dupoise said in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s just time to move on.”
“We’ve enjoyed working with her and she’s done a nice job for us,” said Town Administrator Bill Bryant. “I’ll particularly miss the way that she has edited and done a great job with the town report.
“The resumes for the new administrative assistant position will be accepted until Wednesday, July 27, and we’re looking for somebody to start the last week of September,” added Bryant.
•     Director of the Hub Teen Center Jim Lockridge informed the board that the center would once again be granted an AmeriCorps volunteer for one year beginning in August, and he is reviewing prospective volunteers. The center also has a summer volunteer staffer provided by AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America).
Heather Simpson, a student at St. Michael’s College, will be on board with the center as the Hub’s VISTA helper until the end of August. Her Job, as Wells put it, is to “see who the Hub is serving and come up with ways to measure the center’s effectiveness and make sure that it accomplishes what we hope it is.”
•     The federal Safe Routes to School Program, which has provided funding for the path between Bristol Elementary and  Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School, is in its last leg. The board assigned DuBois and King Inc. of Randolph to be the engineering firm that will oversee the project.
“This is the last block and a half to complete the path … on West Pleasant Street between Liberty and Munsill,” said Bryant, who said the town will have to pay for whatever construction costs an additional $34,000 state grant doesn’t cover. He guesses the final bill for the town will come in at around $20,000.
•     Selectboard members are concerned that the South Street Bridge and Stoplight Bridge (Route 116) replacement projects might end up occurring simultaneously.
“We’re just trying to keep the heat on,” said Wells. “The South Street Bridge is (slated) for 2012-2013 and the Stoplight Bridge would be in 2013-2014 … we’re trying to keep those bridges moving along to reduce the hassle of delays and detours for people.”
•     Recreation Department Director Darla Senecal showed up to explain that horses at the town’s Fourth of July parade left behind some stinky remains on public recreation spaces. This situation, Wells said, should be addressed for future events.
The next selectboard meeting will be held on Monday, July 25.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at andrews@addisonindependent.com.

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