Brandon mulls spending ARPA funds on energy and housing


BRANDON — The Brandon Selectboard held discussion on uses for ARPA funds and heard a report from the BLSG at their regular meeting Monday.

The selectboard is continuing to narrow down ideas for uses for APRA funds and is collaborating with the Brandon Energy Committee to do so.

 Ideas for the funds include a solar project by Energy Committee member Matthew Orchard, and using the ARPA funds as seed money to promote housing affordability and clean energy as proposed by Jack Schneider, also of the Energy Committee.

Other ideas that arose during discussion included funding training programs for trade skills and the purchasing of electric police vehicles.

Chair Seth Hopkins said he supports using the ARPA funds for something that may extend beyond the realm of the purely economic.

“Economic development includes the development of healthy households,” he said at the meeting.

Board members also passed two fiscal items unanimously: one warranting an expense of $58,625.19 and one warranting the spending of $60,331.72. The items were the final two fiscal matters carrying over from the previous fiscal year, Town Manager David Atherton said at the meeting.


A public hearing on the discontinuation of the Class 4 portion of Steinberg Road – also known as Town Highway #11 – was held after a site visit in a special meeting Aug. 9.

Selectmen voted 4-1, with Tracy Wyman opposed, to declassify the portion of the road as Class 4 to a trail classification.

That section of the road has not been maintained by the Town of Brandon for many years and the matter of its declassification was brought to the selectboard by the only two landowners who abut the roadway.

“It has become a spot for illegal dumping and the landowners are tired of cleaning it up,” Atherton said in an email.

Earlier portions of the road will remain Class 3 to continue providing access to residents’ homes.


The Brandon Board of Liquor Control Commissioners passed two items of business.

Common Ground Restaurant and Pub belatedly received a permit for a beer tent at the Brandon Carnival at Estabrook Field that occurred on July 29-30.

A special event permit was issued to Neshobe River Winery LLC for a Barn Opera Preview. The event is to be held Aug. 17-21 at 1321 Pearl Street.


In other business:

• A request was heard from Point Counterpoint to close the street from the Fuller’s house– where the event will take place – to just past Celebration Rentals. The event is scheduled for Sept. 11 from around 5-7 p.m. The request was considered but not voted on.

Selectmen expressed interest in approving the request with conditions, such as that someone man the sawhorses blocking off the street, making it easier for vehicles such as police cruisers to pass through.

• The four-way intersection with a three-way stop at the east end of Park Street was brought up as an intersection to be improved. Atherton told The Reporter this is “at least” the fifth time in the last decade this issue has come up and that traffic studies and crash statistics do not support its improvement. He also said at the meeting he’d call VTrans to check in again about the intersection’s improvement.

• Wayne Rausenberger of BLSG spoke to the selectboard about changes the insect district would like to make to its foundational documents. Changes include small shifts in wording as well as the change in the name of the district to the Otter Creek Watershed District. Selectmen were asked their opinion on the changes, which will come again before the board for approval at a later date.

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