Salisbury joins climate resiliency group

SALISBURY — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to join SustainableCT at the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, March 4.

SustainableCT is a nonprofit organization. The selectmen were urged to join by Barbara Bettigole, chair of the Transfer Station Advisory Recycling Committee, who said membership will allow the town to participate in grant-funding opportunities for projects at the Salisbury-Sharon transfer station.

Selectman Kitty Kiefer asked what it costs.

“Nothing,” said Bettigole.

A sustainability committee with members from both towns will be appointed, First Selectman Curtis Rand said.

Bettigole gave an update on activity at the transfer station. Coming in the first week of April: Food Waste Prevention Week.

Bettigole’s emailed newsletter of Saturday, March 9, states that over 400 households in the two towns are participating in the food waste diversion program. From February 2023 to February 2024, 79,200 pounds of food scraps have been taken out of the municipal solid waste stream.

She said the transfer station plans to expand the program ahead of the requirement that commercial establishments separate food scraps from the waste stream, which takes effect in 2025.

The selectmen discussed the question of food trucks, referring to a recent kerfuffle over a food truck that was parked in town without the property owner’s permission.

Rand said it was a misunderstanding, but the selectmen need to decide what the policy is. He described the town’s policy to date as “pretty laid back” and that the question, if it arises at all, usually comes up during major events such as the Fall Festival:

“There’s not a lot of them, and they’re temporary.”

The selectmen ultimately did not make a change, but will keep an eye on food trucks to make sure they are operating with the property owner’s permission and are not directly competing with established restaurants.

Peter Gilbert of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association told the board that SWSA is raising money to rebuild the 30-meter ski jump at Satre Hill, to match the improvements made to the big jump and the 20-meter jump and provide training and competition opportunities for jumpers of intermediate skills. He said the cost of the project is $425,000. He did not ask the selectmen for any money, nor did they offer any.

The selectmen discussed the problem of the highly invasive and destructive hydrilla in town lakes, especially Twin Lakes and Lake Wononscopomuc. At the Board of Finance meeting Thursday, March 7, Rand said that this spring and summer, the town will close Lake Wononscopmuc to all outside boats. (Canoes, kataks and rowboats are available for rent.) The Twin Lakes Association will take on the problem at its lakes, and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will reconfigure the public boat launch for car-top boats only.

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