by Andrew Martin
The towns of Hyde Park and Eden recently received a municipal planning grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. A total of three municipalities: the Village of Hyde Park, the Town of Hyde Park, and the Town of Eden, applied for the consortium grant, which is for the amount of $15,000.
According to Hyde Park Town Administrator Ron Rodjenski, the grant requires no matching funds from any of the municipalities to which it was awarded. The Town of Hyde Park will be serving as the administrator of the grant funds.
According to Rodjenski, the decision for the three municipalities to apply for the grant together was made due to the fact that all three had various needs that could be met under the auspices of the grant program. The Town of Eden already had a specific request to the Lamoille County Planning Commission for an evaluation of the town’s existing dry hydrant system and to identify any gaps in coverage. The Village of Hyde Park also needed to update the data for its capital assets, which includes water, sewer, and utility lines. The Town of Hyde Park also had a Capital Budget Program that was in need of an update to include the fire department and highway equipment and buildings.
Rodjenski said the fact that two fire departments serve all three municipalities combined with the needs of all three to make it sensible for a joint application to be sent in for funding to accomplish all the goals and to update each municipality’s capital asset inventories.
Some of the early work associated with the grant will be meetings of the Hyde Park and Eden Planning Commissions. Work will also be done to set objectives for a capital planning study as well as to analyze the existing and future needs of the three municipalities.
Part of the work will also be to create digital maps that will show fire service assets, such as fire ponds and wet hydrants, as well as sewer lines, sidewalks, and water systems. An early list of capital items that will need to be inventoried and assessed has already been created. That list includes dry hydrants, water, sewer, and utility lines, stormwater data, and sidewalks. The specific items that will be included and updated in the final report will be discussed further with each town’s planning commission in the next month or so, according to Rodjenski.
As part of the project, an engineering consultant will also be hired using the grant funds. This individual will help the municipalities to project future capital replacement costs and outline a timeline for the projects based upon the remaining service life of the capital assets of each municipality over the next 50 years.
Along with paying for the services of the engineering consultant, the grant funds will also be used to pay for the production of the digital maps by the Lamoille County Planning Commission as well as to fund any public meetings.
The work using the grant funds will occur throughout 2014, with the final report on the work being made available to the three municipalities in early 2015.