ST. ALBANS — The town selectboard met Monday night for the first time since Town Meeting Day and the election of two new members: Brendan Deso and Al Voegele.
To kick off the meeting, Voegele nominated former vice chair Bruce Cheeseman to chair the new board and board member Sam Smith to serve as vice chair. Both nominations were approved unanimously.
The board then received an update from Tim Smith, the executive director of Franklin County Industrial Development Corp (FCIDC). Dressed in a suit and tie, Smith said he had just come back from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing down in Burlington regarding AutoRoute 35.
“We signed an MOU with the mayor of Saint Jean sur Richelieu, mayor of Burlington, ourselves, the local chamber, the Lake Champlain Chamber, and state of Vermont to endorse the completion of the I-35 in front of the Highgate border crossing,” he said.
The Canadian federal government has committed to paying half of the necessary funds to complete the highway, according to Smith. The project needs the provincial government of Quebec to commit to paying the other half, he said.
The majority of Smith’s conversation with the board focused around the need for workforce development in the skilled trades industry. A recent high school graduate himself, Deso, 19, said, “You got to make it a shiny option for high school students and their parents.”
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