I hope you have enjoyed your winter so far and avoided troubles from the polar vortex and volatile weather across the US. Your Greensboro Association continues to work on lake protection as well as a variety of village initiatives. Below, I have highlighted some recent news, a few of the many contributions from our committees, and priorities for 2014.
Recent news may be of interest to you:
- Greensboro’s water pipe replacement project was completed this December as the contractor, Munson Earth Moving Corporation, won the 2013 Best Builders Award “For Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort.” See the recent article on our website.
- I recently learned that the Act 250 appeal for the Circus Smirkus Camp plan was being withdrawn. If this is confirmed, this would clear the way for the Camp plans to move forward. I respect all who shared their opinions, as I am certain that they came with the very best intentions for Greensboro.
- I think we should praise the local planning commission chaired by Phil Gray for their great work on the new local zoning ordinance, which will be brought to town meeting in March. They were responsive to the members of the GA and others who expressed opinions about the ordinance. However, their good efforts may be for naught since The Senate Committee on Shoreland legislation have sent their bill HR 526 to the Senate for a vote. This was faster action than many expected, and it appears that the state bill has no modifications for local zoning. We hope that the State legislation is not too restrictive and we will continue to monitor this closely and include updates in the Newsletter later in the Spring. See this recent article on our website and visit https://www.greensborovt.org/ to learn more.
- If you drive through Greensboro, you will see that the new firehouse is progressing quickly. It should be completed by the time many summer residents arrive.
- The Arts Alliance is pursuing a promising new permanent location and the Town Hall is no longer being considered for a theatre. The GAAR will have a tent on the Town Green for much of the summer and this will hold a number of events in addition to the plays. There are even plans for a square dance!
Committee work continues with impact:
- The Communications Committee, led by Linda Ely, touches all aspects of the Association. We have steadily increased our online communications and expanded news sharing and connections across the community year round on the website and Facebook – and now Twitter! Be sure to follow us. More people are opting out of paper mailings which, when fully adopted, will help reduce costs and lower the annual workload. Our website, led by Betsy Hunt, continues to a source of information for members and a way for us to share Association news, and our winter Newsletter, put together by recent president, Niall Kirkwood, is well received. As always, the Directory, led by Anne Cassidy & Betsy Hunt is a most valued resource and available at Willey’s.
- The Events Committee, led by Victoria Von Hessert, has transformed what was once the “4th of July Fireworks Committee” into a vibrant events committee focused on facilitating and hosting a few meaningful events each year that celebrate our Association, fosters community and builds membership interest. This year, highlights included the annual Caspian Lake Challenge ‘fun run’ and a great blue grass concert with The Sky Blue Boys.
- The Grants and Gifts Committee, led by Clay Simpson, continued its grant program this year and remains confident that our application to become a 501c3 will be confirmed shortly and we can continue our work to develop plans for The Fund for Greensboro. As you know, Clay has been leading an ad hoc committee for The Fund for Greensboro, which includes Andy Dales, Rick Lovett, Clive Gray, Day Patterson, Mike Cassidy and Robert Fairbanks along other advisors who have been instrumental in updating/ modernizing our bylaws and preparing us to move forward with the fund.
- In 2013, the Association provided a total of $11,750 in grants and budgetary assistance, a small increase over 2012. By Board policy its grants to nonprofits do not exceed $1,000, and our members are encouraged to contribute personally to their preferred organizations. Greensboro’s water pipe replacement project was completed this December as the contractor, Munson Earth Moving Corporation, won the 2013 Best Builders Award “For Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort.” See the recent article on our website.
- The Greensboro Initiatives Committee (newly named), led by Naomi Ranz-Schleifer, with Chris King and Laura Hill worked closely with Marsha Gadoury of the Greensboro Selectboard to make enhancements to the village green. The primary goal was to enhance the layout of the green and replace the over-sized tree. Further improvements are planned and the committee is also considering needs across the village.
- The Lake Protection Committee, led by Andy Dales, remains our most important focus and this year the emphasis has been on working with the lakeshore protection initiatives and the work by the town of Greensboro to address this complex shoreland zoning process. Andy Dales continues to lead our broad role of addressing water quality, aquatic nuisances, representing us at the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds, and representing issues related to boating and water safety. Please let us know if you can contribute some time to this effort.
- The Memorial Garden, admirably led by Anne Harbison continues to delight visitors. Anne shared a letter at the 2013 annual meeting passing the torch. We are considering the best ways to combine Memorial Garden efforts with the Greensboro Initiatives committee, which has been working on the Village Green.
- Thanks also to John and Lisa Hewett for their continued sponsorship and efforts hosting the Summer Lake Concerts on the lake. Thank Nominating Chair, Don Jenkins, for his efforts in engaging prospective board members and Mary Parker who leads our Membership Committee. Lorelei Wheeler continues to lead the summer Swimming Program which is undergoing additional changes and finally, thanks to Larry Hewes, who, with a great deal work, helped with shoreland proposals and other aspects of the Zoning By-Laws Committee.
Priorities continue for 2014.
Not too much will change in regard to the Association’s core priorities in the coming year.
- Lake protection continues to be our overarching priority. We continue to need more volunteers and potential board members interested in supporting our lake protection initiatives. Please contact me if you can get involved.
- The Fund for Greensboro, with support from our members, will be able to firm up our long-term stability and put us in a position to contribute to initiatives in Greensboro that align with our broader mission.
- We must be ready to address concerns that may emerge and impact Greensboro and Caspian Lake and so will continue to adjust and modernize committees to help maintain our traditional focus and encourage new activities that support a vibrant active community.
- We will continue to work on better ways to coordinate the various calendars in Greensboro while providing the traditional Green Sheet of major events and activities planned in Greensboro.
- Finally, we need to consider impacts to our community of taxes, changing demographics and patterns for summer residents and reflect on how we will move forward while also keeping the best of Greensboro intact.
Greensboro Town Meeting is scheduled for March 4 – attend if you can. The Greensboro Association Annual Meeting is scheduled on Friday, August 8th, 7:30PM and we hope you will come!
Thank you for your support and the opportunity serve Greensboro in this role. Feel free to email me at j[email protected] with any comments or suggestions.
John C. Stone III Association President