Around Town1/8/09

Jan. 8, 2009

Parking talks begin

Negotiations have commenced between Williston and Maple Tree Place, which wants to lease land the town owns to ease a parking crunch.

The Selectboard on Dec. 15 gave Town Manager Rick McGuire the go-ahead to negotiate terms for municipal land behind Men’s Wearhouse.

The retail center has struggled to fill vacancies in part because of the lack of parking near the many small shops lining the grassy square known as the green. Maple Tree Place representatives asked the town to lease the land so it could add parking as a stopgap measure while it considers other longer-term changes.

McGuire said last week that he has since had several contacts with Maple Tree Place officials but talks are still preliminary. He did not know how long the negotiations would take.

The Selectboard told McGuire that the lease should be for a fixed term and that the land must be returned to its former state when the agreement expires.

Elections approaching

It may seem as if the November elections have barely passed, but the time has already come to gear up for the next round of balloting in March. Town Meeting is scheduled for March 2, with Australian ballot voting set for the following day.

The following positions will have openings this year: Selectboard (2- and 3-year seats), Williston School Board (2- and 3-year seats), Champlain Valley Union High School Board (3-year seat), lister (3-year seat), constable (1-year seat) and library trustee (5-year seats).

Petitions are available at the Town Clerk’s office for anyone wishing to run for town offices. Candidates must obtain 30 signatures on a petition and file a consent form to have their names placed on the ballot for town elections. Petitions and consent forms are due at the Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Jan. 26.