Friday, December 30, 2016



December 19, 2016
7 p.m.
Mount Holly Town Office


MEMBERS PRESENT:       Peter Berger, Jennifer Jones (Clerk), Bill McGrath, James Seward
MEMBERS ABSENT:         Clinton Woolley, Mike Valente
VISITORS:                            Ed McEneaney (LPCtv), Don Richardson

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by Bill McGrath.
The Energy section of the Town Plan was added to the Town Plan discussion, and Education was moved to the next meeting for discussion.
Jim Seward made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 21, 2016 meeting as written. Peter Berger seconded the motion.
Building Construction Registration Forms
James McGough submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Planning Commission for construction of a 10’x16’ replacement shed at 1668 Hortonville Road. Bill McGrath signed the form.
Larry and Julie Pitts submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Planning Commission for construction of a 20’x24’ camp at 2083 Hortonville Road. Bill McGrath signed the form.
Annette Lynch
Annette Lynch submitted a letter to the Planning Commission requesting more detailed minutes.

Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder replied that he was waiting for approval from the state on his septic design before he submitted a Building Construction Registration Form to the Town of Mount Holly. He states he will submit the form at the appropriate time.
Department of Environmental Conservation – State of VT
Timothy Snyder applied for a Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply permit for the construction of two new homes on Loop Road.
John Wasilewski submitted an application to the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division for the construction a new home on Maple Road.
Mount Holly Town Highway Access Permit Form
Silivo and Kathleen Valente submitted a Town Highway Access Permit Form for access from Old Turnpike Road to an existing landing at 3400 Old Turnpike Road.
Town Plan
The Energy section of the Town Plan was discussed. Bill McGrath read notes from the Public Hearing sessions on this topic.
Peter Berger recently attended a seminar on this subject held by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. There was discussion about due consideration versus substantial deference and the overall effect each would have on the Town of Mount Holly with the Public Service Board.
Don Richardson also attended the seminar and tried to join the discussion, however his input was not related to an item developed by the RRPC and Bill McGrath did not allow him to speak on this matter.
The “Goal” statement of the Town Plan was amended to include the discouragement of any large-scale commercial development in the town. All instances of “shall” were changed to “should.” Language regarding clustering of buildings was removed; language encouraging the Select Board to facilitate various energy efficient processes was added.
The Education section of the Town Plan will be discussed at the next meeting.
Jim Seward made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Peter Berger. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Jones
Clerk of the Planning Commission

The LPCtv recording of this meeting is hereby made a part of the permanent minute record of this meeting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ianuary activities at the FML

Weekly Toddler and Pre-School Story Time
Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am
Each week features a theme, music, and a craft or activity

Read with Oreo
Wednesday January 18, 2017
School age children are invited to the library to read a story with Oreo the Reading Dog.  

Monday Night Movie
Monday January 30, 2017
Fundamental Films © presents “Nine Lives” (PG)
Snacks Provided

Crafty Tuesdays
3:00-4:00pm Grades K-6
January 3rd- Spoon Puppets- Design your own puppets using plastic spoons and create a very petite sized puppet show!
10th- Newspaper Animal Collages- Today we’ll use stencils, newspaper and other materials to make a variety of creative works of art.
17th- No crafts this week
24th- Chinese New Year- We’ll ring in the year of the Rooster with a special craft.
31st- Snowy Owls- Snowy Owls use their white feathers to blend into the snow covered landscape. Crafters will use white paper bags to make some new owl friends.                               
STEM Night
Monday January 23, 2017
Snowflake Science
How do snowflakes form? Who first photographed snowflakes? We’ll learn all this and more during this fun evening of exploration and hands on activities. 

Crazy 8’s Club- Grades 3-5
Thursdays January 5th- February 16th
Join Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8s, a totally new kind of math club where you’ll build stuff, toss beach balls, make amazing mazes and more! You’ll have a blast with mischief-making activities like Beach Ball Party, Funny Money and Glow-in-the-Dark City.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dear Select Board Members,

December 6, 2016

Dear Select Board Members, 

In April 1994, when I was a senior in high school, my cousin, Josh Cole, died in a 4-wheeler accident on Tiffany Road. He was 15, a sophomore at Black River. Despite his death & the impacts it has had on my family, I am not against ATV use. However, as their warning labels read, ATVs are not meant for travel on public roads. If you open the unpaved roads in Mt. Holly to ATV use, you will be responsible for significantly increasing the risk of accidents, severe injuries, and fatalities that occur in our town.

Please consider carefully the information presented in the articles listed below as you decide whether or not Mt. Holly's unpaved roads should be opened to ATV use. The authors of the various articles range from experts in the fields of vehicle & highway safety to doctors of emergency medicine to statisticians and policy analysts. After looking at nationwide data, all of the authors conclude that ATV use on public roads (both paved & unpaved) is significantly more dangerous than riding off-road. Furthermore, the "data reinforce the importance of laws restricting ATV road use and the need for effective enforcement, as well as the need to increase user education about ATV road-use laws and the dangers of riding on the roads" (from article 1 below).

Most of Mt. Holly's unpaved roads are connected via paved roads and though riding on paved roads will remain illegal, the numbers of ATVs on those paved connecting roads will predictably increase--especially since we have minimal ability to enforce either this proposed ordinance or the existing traffic regulations. This is troubling, especially in light of research that shows, since 1998, ATV-related deaths have increased at twice the rate on paved versus unpaved roads . However, even if my prediction is incorrect and ATV use on paved roads does not increase, 42% (nationwide average) of all on-road ATV deaths occur on unpaved roads (see article 2 below). 

Thank you very much for your time and for your dedication to the Mount Holly community.

Amanda Frank
Belmont, VT

2. On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.



The proposal to open Mount Holly’s Class 4 roads to ATVs, including uncountable and uncontrollable out-of-towners, amounts to an unfair and unjustified tax on property owners who have homes on those roads. The Town does not maintain those roads, we do. We have to pay for grading and any new road material. We have to pay to replace culverts that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. ATVs wreck dirt roads, digging ruts, causing major holes and erosion from water runoff. Taxpayers on Class 4 roads will face double taxation from this proposal – more property tax money to fix Class 3 roads and more personal money to fix the Class 4 roads. That’s just not right. If the Select Board cares at all about Townspeople, this bad proposal will be stopped and stopped now.

Alison and Rick Weintraub

Sunday, December 4, 2016

ATV information

Dear Mount Holly Community Members, 

I've compiled a handful of recent scientific articles that discuss ATV safety on roadways (published between 2013 - 2016). While it may seem like I searched only for articles pertaining to ATV fatalities, that was not the case. Using Google Scholar, my search terms were, "ATV unpaved paved roads traffic safety." 

As with most scientific papers, the full text costs money, but, the links below will take you to a free summary of each article.

Amanda Frank

On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.
All-terrain vehicles dangerous on both paved and unpaved roads: restricting public roadway use. American Academy of Pediatrics: National Conference & Exhibition
ATVs on roadways: a safety crisis. Consumer Federation of America. (2014).  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance

Hi Randy,

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance, for the reasons that were outlined in your e-mail link, and also for fear of this enticing illegal activities and burglaries in our small, remote town.  On our road alone there are quite a few seasonal homes.  It's pretty obvious which ones are occupied or not.  With the drug issues going on around us, with the desperation of those that are addicted lacking the ability to refrain from stealing and hurting folks to support their habit, to break into homes to support what they are doing, seems to me to be facilitated if ATV use is available.  There is no way our constable can keep up with something like this.  And there is no way I would support any of our tax dollars for having to be responsible for additional road maintenance and police calls for accidents or break ins.  I don't see any positives that outweigh any negatives to this proposal.  I will make every effort to be at this meeting to make a plea that this ordinance not be passed, and it bothers me that so much of our towns' efforts have had to be wasted on this issue.  There are so many wonderful outdoor activities in this small neck of the woods.  ATV use should not be one of them.

Thank you for your e-mail today,
Sheila Wickham

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM at the regular Selectmen’s meeting there will be discussion in advance of the possible signing of a new town-wide ordinance for use of ATV’s on Town roads by the Selectmen. In a previous survey, town residents responded against an ATV ordinance allowing ATV use of Town roads. So this is, at a minimum, a contentious issue that should be voted and not forced upon (requiring petition to change) the resident citizens of Mt Holly

  First off, we happen to enjoy ATV’s ourselves for off road use but we happen to live on a road with a history of ATV abuse. Currently the ATV’s are not technically allowed yet the enforcement (other than citizen enforcement) is almost impossible because the constable has to catch them in the act. We have to gate all private roads from our property to keep ATV’s from entering because signs don’t work or people can’t read. We have had ATV’s by our house at all hours of the day and night including doing donuts in front of our house. Other places on our road have been rutted to the point of being dangerous by constant high speed turn-arounds by ATV users. There are 2 blind hills on our road and ATV drivers are not as elevated or visible as regular road vehicles and can’t hear an oncoming car over their own noise. The problem is really with plenty of non resident users unfamiliar with town regulations.

 Our town gravel roads have minimal shoulders, blind hills, challenging enforcement and as rural as we are, plenty of population density compared to other towns with ATV ordinances. No ordinance like this should be enacted without consideration for proper posting, enforcement and liability, all at a potential cost to the town taxpayers for what good reason? Even with all ATV’s traveling at “appropriate reduced speed” it really is not smart to mix additional forms of traffic with vastly different speeds on the same travelled surface, particularly operators that can’t hear other closing vehicles. Most of all though, without strict enforcement, one can only anticipate the real nuisance factor of uncaring or ignorant expanded ATV use of our roads.

 We he have no issue with agricultural use or exemptions knowing that it would be a stretch to think of Mt Holly as an agricultural community, at this point. Therefore, the impact of agricultural use would be minimal and likely is already accepted without an ordinance.

 If you have had similar experiences or have similar concerns, please make it a point of attending the Dec 13th meeting to voice your concerns before this is enacted without your input. Help get the word out too.

Brett Wright & Sandra Predom