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Salisbury, BLSG spar over membership, pay

Do I have any thought that we will change our mind? Not this fiscal year.
— Paul Vaczy, Salisbury selectboard

LEICESTER — The town of Salisbury has a month left of insect control services from the Brandon Leicester Salisbury Goshen Insect Control District, known as the BLSG. Attorneys for the town and the district will meet during that time to hammer out any possible ambiguities regarding Salisbury’s Town Meeting Day vote to no longer contribute the town’s share of funding to the district.

At their monthly meeting on May 20, the BLSG board directed the district’s attorney, Jim Foley, and town of Salisbury attorney Benjamin Putnam to meet and try to find “any common ground” with regard to the town vote to no longer fund mosquito control for Salisbury.

The March 2 Salisbury vote only pertained to the town’s annual contribution to the BLSG for mosquito control, not membership in the organization.

BLSG representatives met last Thursday via a mix of in-person and online at the Leicester Meeting House to discuss next steps regarding Salisbury’s vote.

Paul Vaczy, Salisbury’s representative to the BLSG and chair of the selectboard, laid out his town’s position.

“The town has retained a lawyer who sent us some information, and at this point the town, with a legal vote not to fund the BLSG, is not going to fund the BLSG for this current fiscal year, and we are aware of the fact that as of June 30 our services may be done,” he said. “That’s the position we’re at right now.”

BLSG Vice Chair and Pittsford Representative Jeff Whiting, who ran the meeting, said it would be best if the attorneys met before the board’s next meeting in June.

Brandon representative and BLSG Treasurer Wayne Rausenberger asked Vaczy if Salisbury would definitely not send any funding to the BLSG for the next fiscal year starting July 1.

“That is our position,” Vaczy said. “Do I have any thought that we will change our mind? Not this fiscal year.”

Whiting said the district’s attorney had a “different take” on that.

 “I think there’s certainly a need for discussion there, and where we would go from here,” he said.

Vaczy agreed.

“Probably the next best step is for the BLSG attorney and the town of Salisbury attorney to have a conversation as to both positions and from there come up with where we can move forward,” Vaczy replied.

A motion passed that called on both attorneys to meet “to explore common ground and get back to us with the details and any resolution at the earliest possible date. BLSG will delay any action until after the meeting of attorneys has taken place.”

Whiting also pointed out that the BLSG, at its March meeting, agreed to defer services to Salisbury to the May meeting. The motion was amended to defer that decision for one more month and passed unanimously.

Vaczy reiterated that Salisbury residents only voted to stop paying into the district, not to leave it.

“I’m also aware of the fact that the vote in the town of Salisbury strictly relates to funding, and it does not say anything with regard to the town of Salisbury’s removal from the BLSG,” he said. “If that was going to take place, a special public meeting and vote would have to take place to make that happen.”

In the meantime, Salisbury will be served by the BLSG until June 30, and the BLSG representatives agreed that their next regular meeting would be held before then, though they didn’t set a date.

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