The last full month of summer is upon us. The dog days are here with high heat and humidity, and the crickets are sounding their alarm. Soon enough we’ll be preparing for shorter days, cooler temperatures and large, yellow buses driving around town. With this in mind, we’ve been hard at work completing summer projects around town and savoring these splendid warm days.
Highway and Water/Wastewater Departments Are at Peak Activity
Outside, plenty of work continues grading our dirt roads, paving, fixing blocked culverts and flushing hydrants. Roadside and field mowing are in full swing, and our wastewater crew recently cleaned more than 1400 feet of town sewer main, removing more than 10 tons of grit and debris.
Summer Recreation Programming Going Strong
Music in the Park, now in tandem with our Milton Farmers Market, has been quite the hit this summer. On July 19, the Devon McGarry Band attracted about 275 listeners. A day later, Troy Millette and the Fire Below performed as their rain date to a crowd of 100 people. We look forward to hosting Mellow Yellow on September 6. As summer programming continues, but we are already beginning to plan efforts for the fall and winter ahead.
Annual Touch A Truck Event Coming Up: September 17
We look forward to hosting the annual Touch A Truck event on September 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Additional information on this great event can be found on the Recreation Department page of our website and on the Milton Recreation Department Facebook page. This is a great family event that offers kids the opportunity to get up close and personal with large construction, fire and rescue equipment. We hope to see you there!
Election Efforts Are In Full Swing
The state’s Primary Election is held Tuesday, August 9. Voters can cast their ballots in person on Election Day in the Community Room of the Town offices or in the Library Meeting Room between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are also available upon request, but must be received on or before Election Day to be counted. To date, we have mailed more than 560 absentee ballots – 100 of which we received back by the first week of July. Thanks to all our residents who exercise this important civic duty.
Marriage Licenses Now Available at Any Town Clerk’s Office
It’s been a glorious summer for weddings with lots of sunny days and mild temperatures. Unsurprisingly, our Town Clerk’s Office has been remarkably busy processing marriage licenses. As of July 1, people who are wed in Vermont can now obtain a marriage license from any Town Clerk’s office. Prior to this change, couples were required to get marriage licenses from the Clerk of their town.
The Library’s Summer Reading Program Ends August 31
Summer reading is in full swing, and we look forward to ending this programming with a bang on August 31. This month’s grand prize for our adult Summer Reading Bingo is a Kindle Paperwhite. Kids grades K-8 who register within our summer reading program and read at least three books during the summer will receive a ribbon for free admission to the Champlain Valley Fair along with a free ride ticket and ice cream. This year’s fair takes place August 26 - September 4. Vouchers for ribbons are at the front desk. If you're not registered for our summer reading program yet, you can do so on our website or in person at the library.
News from Milton’s Public Safety Departments
June was a challenging month for rescue with lean staffing and schedule holes to fill. I’m happy to say that July saw the addition of a new rescue crew member, and that all shifts were filled.
We are pleased to welcome a new police officer, Rebecca Palermo. Officer Palermo formerly served on the Burlington police force; we look forward to her sharing this previous knowledge and experience with Milton.
We are now part of the Vermont Center for Responder Wellness Program. We’re grateful for the hard work of all our police officers, firefighters and medical responders. These individuals keep us healthy and safe, rushing to our aid even in the most challenging and dangerous situations. To show our commitment to these individuals and invest in their own health and well-being, I am proud to announce we have entered an agreement with the Vermont Center for Responder Wellness. This program will provide our first responders access to trainings and workshops that can help mitigate the negative impacts of stress and trauma caused by working on the frontline, and help them learn new ways to remain resilient and engaged in their profession.
Consider Supporting the Milton Community Youth Coalition (MCYC) Mentoring Program
The Milton Community Youth Coalition’s mentoring program, Milton Mentors, could use some help. From the Milton Mentors webpage: “Youth mentoring has been proven to be one of the most successful methods of building a young person’s developmental assets. Through the Milton Mentors program, MCYC aims to increase young people’s connection to the community, create positive relationships with caring and consistent role models, and ultimately help young people become successful, healthy adults.” Make a difference in the life of a Milton youth, and sign up as volunteer for mentoring today. Learn more about this program at miltonyouth.org/milton-mentors.
Reappraisal Results and How They Affect Tax Bills
Milton recently completed a Town-wide reappraisal, which was required by the State of Vermont per 32 V.S.A. § 4041a(b). As a result of the Town-wide reappraisal, the grand list (the total value of all properties in the Town of Milton) increased by 34.4% and the tax rate decreased from $0.6341 to $0.4888.
Many residents have asked me, “How will the reappraisal affect my tax bill?” Everyone’s tax amount is based on their most recent assessed property value. The total amount to be collected does not change from the amount voters approved in the Town Meeting Election of 2022. If your property value decreased, remained roughly the same or increased only slightly (by less than about 30%) since the last Town-wide reappraisal (2006), you should see a decrease in your tax bill. If your property value increased significantly (more than about 30%), your tax amount may have increased – even though the tax rate decreased. Milton residents will be receiving tax bills within the next week. If you have questions about your tax bill, please call me, the Town Manager, at 802-893-6655.
Point of Clarification on Tax Bills
The Town Clerk’s office would like to clarify a point of confusion on tax bills. Vermont tax bills are mailed in the name of the person who owned the parcel on April 1 of the year that the bill was generated. This means that a person who purchased the property after April 1 will receive tax bill reminder letters with the prior owner’s address and name. The new owner is still responsible for their taxes. We are thrilled to welcome many new residents to Milton this year and hope this information helps answer questions about the tax process.
Milestone Staff Anniversaries
We recently celebrated significant milestone anniversaries for the following Town employees. Thank you for your loyalty and dedication to the Town of Milton: Gordon Lafountain, Jr. 20 years, Jackie Dodge 20 years, Jim Bushey 15 years, and Amanda Pitts 10 years.
It’s busy as ever in my office as I work with our department heads on both ongoing and upcoming projects alike. It’s hard to believe but efforts will begin on drafting our FY24 budget proposal in just a few short months. It’s an annual challenge I look forward to – balancing the service needs of our community with what we can afford. We welcome residents to be engaged in this process and to attend our Selectboard meetings.
As always, our doors are open and we look forward to seeing you in the office soon.
Don Turner, Jr.
Town Manager of Milton, VT