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Community News

Posted on: December 12, 2022

Manager's Message: December 2022

Managers Message December

The holiday spirit is in the air. I am filled with joy and excitement for the holidays as I drive along Route 7 and look at the festive, wintry banners, or when I leave the town offices under the soft glow of our holiday tree’s lights. How wonderful it is to bring cheer and brightness to some of the shortest, darkest days of the year. We’re fortunate to have no shortage of cheer or brightness among our municipal team members as well. Our offices are abuzz with activity as we close out 2022 and prepare for the new year.

It Was a Busy Month for the Town Clerk and Treasurer

The Town Clerk’s office was busy as ever this month with records requests, marriage licenses, death certificates, assisting researchers and the like. But efforts were doubled following the general election on November 8. 

Our hardworking staff and volunteers processed 4,660 general ballots – the bulk of which were cast early or absentee – and about 1,500 special election ballots for the Champlain Solid Waste District item.  This election represented about a 53% turnout of our town’s registered voters, which is considerable during a non-presidential election year.

We held our annual tax sale on November 17. This sale includes properties with delinquent property tax balances. Homeowners are provided ample notice and the opportunity to pay the delinquent balance prior to the sale. Initially, there were 40 homes slated for our 2022 tax sale. But by the day of the sale, that number had receded to just one. The home did not sell, and it will be included in next year’s tax sale, unless payment is made by the property owners. 

Water shut offs took place on December 8. We mailed out 115 shut-off notices. As of December 2, only 57 accounts remained on the shut off list. The next installation of water payments is due in early January 2023. 

Recreation’s Winter Schedule Is Underway!

Our recreation department has been busy completing the transition from fall to winter activities. We were sad to close the Community Garden at the end of last month, but we look forward to taking our experience and findings from this season and transforming them into an even better season next spring. And though conditions are beginning to become less favorable with winter’s approach, we were thrilled to host the soft opening of our Milton Mountain Bike Trail last month. We look forward to the grand opening this summer, once the trails thaw and our new signage is installed. 

We held our annual Holiday Tree Lighting on December 3. It was a lovely community event with live music, hot cocoa, a visit from Santa Claus, and of course, the spectacular lighting of the tree. If you didn’t have the chance to attend, we highly encourage you take a ride past the municipal offices one night before the new year. The tree looks great! 

On Saturday, December 10, we observed Human Rights Day. This year marks the 74th anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The declaration stands for the fundamental rights of all human beings. We celebrated this important occasion by sharing inspirational artwork, discussion topics and information on reducing inequality on our Facebook Page throughout the day. 

Our inaugural Holiday Light Parade will occur at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 16. We welcome residents to bedeck their vehicles in lights and meet us at Bombardier Park West. From there, we’ll parade the shimmering vehicles around town. 

And of course, we have Winter Festival on the brain. We’ve begun planning this annual celebration of the frosty season, and hope to set dates for early February. To get the latest on winter programming, please visit our Recreation Department website and Facebook page

The Highway Department Is Ready for Winter

Shoulder season highway operations are complete, and we have fully transitioned to winter ops. Shoulder season efforts included grading our dirt roads before the frost; hot patching potholes around town, and clearing trash from the side of our roads/streets. Now, our salt shed is stocked, plow stakes are in the ground, and our team is ready for the first big snow.

FY24 Budget Planning Efforts Continue

In my office, efforts continue with our finance director on the upcoming budget proposal. To date, the Selectboard has held two budget meetings (December 5 and 7). We have additional discussion time scheduled on December 12, 19 and, if needed, on the 21st. It has been a difficult year for many, and with the current economic conditions, we anticipate this will be a challenging budget season. The cost of Town operations is being driven-up by substantial increases in the cost of fuel, supplies and equipment. We are dedicated to constructing a budget that is affordable to our taxpayers, while preserving the essential services they rely on. I invite residents to attend the remaining budget meetings and take part in these discussions.

As always, we hope to see you in our offices or around town soon. Happy holidays!

Don Turner, Jr.
Milton Town Manager 

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