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Ferrisburgh, ACSWMD to talk land

FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh selectboard discussed last week a possible sale or lease of the town-owned 34.91-acre parcel at the junction of Routes 7 and 22A to the Addison County Solid Waste Management District (ACSWMD).
ACSWMD officials have said they might be interested in the prominent parcel outside of Vergennes as a recycling center/trash drop-off, in part to replace Vergennes recycling center, which will probably close at the end of 2018. That possible closure would not necessarily affect private trash and recycling haulers.
The selectboard confirmed it would consider a sale or a lease/purchase agreement with ACSWMD.
“We’re open to possibilities,” Ebel said.
Listing broker Duncan Harris attended the meeting and said the key to a potential agreement would be how state officials would view that use of the property on what many consider to be Vergennes’ northern gateway. It is also next to the Agency of Transportations park-and-ride lot and the relocated historic Vergennes railroad depot.
“The conversation really starts with Act 250,” Harris said.
Harris said he would talk with the Act 250 district coordinator to get a sense of how an application might be received and also speak with ACSWMD Manager Teri Kuczynski about a lease and purchase option. 
The town has three times this decade had the property under contract, but none of the sales has come to fruition. Most recently in February Monkton firm Peterson Quality Malts ultimately could not complete a deal, citing the purchase-and-sales contract’s finance contingency.
In other Sept. 4 business, the selectboard:
•  Approved modest raises for town office employees, with most receiving an additional 50 cents an hour. Board members said the rising cost of health insurance made it difficult to offer larger increases.
•  Heard from Ebel that the attorney for the Vorsteveld Farm had not responded to the town’s letter stating the farm must obtain a state permit before taking any further action in the town’s right-of-way along Arnold Bay Road. The board told the town attorney to send that letter after the farmers instructed contractors last month to remove the remaining uncut trees in the road right-of-way.
Board members said they were upset because the town and the farmers were in the middle of mediation on the issue of the tree cutting, which has upset many neighbors.
“They continued to remove trees when we were in negotiations,” Ebel said.

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