Emergency Operations Center

Update May 1, 2020

Activities around Charleston’s COVID-19 response are holding steady. School staff continue their amazing work to prepare and deliver healthy meals—a total of 678 breakfasts and lunches this week. Thank you!

By Selectboard plan, the last meal delivery for seniors/adults is scheduled for May 15th. Town officials are notifying residents of continued meal assistance through Meals on Wheels 800-748-5182. If anyone has difficulty signing up, please notify the Town Clerk’s Office 895-2814. Meals for children will continue.

The Highway Crew is working on spring maintenance. Hauling and equipment operation keep them separated, and protective measures are in place for when they work or ride together. Town employees are completing the required VOSHA training around COVID-19.

The Town Office began allowing title search appointments on Tuesdays, and all went well. Disposable masks and gloves are needed for visitors who show up without them. The state of Vermont requires businesses to ask customers/public to wear face coverings any time they interact with others from outside their household.

The Selectboard will hold their May 14th meeting by video and phone. By then, they hope to know more about when in-person meetings can resume.

The next EOC call will be held May 15th. If residents have any concerns related to town activities during the pandemic, Town Office staff can pass word along to the EOC. Stay well, everyone!

Update April 24, 2020

The Town Clerk’s Office remains closed to the public through at least May 15th—the scheduled end of the Governor’s order—but staff are in the office and answering calls and emails. Most things can be handled by mail or email, including dog licenses, land posting, tax bills and other copies, so please call 895-2814 during regular hours if you need assistance. Thank you for respecting the Stay Home, Safe Safe order as well as mandatory measures in place to protect employees in the workplace.

Because property sales and home loans can be essential to economic security, the Clerk’s Office will begin
scheduling one-at-a-time title searches for attorneys one day per week, with very strict protective measures in place.

Charleston Volunteer Fire Department thanks residents and property owners for abiding by the burn ban and for your calls to the Fire Chief and Fire Warden to see if it’s still in effect. There is still a statewide burn ban in place, due to very dry conditions and the public health risk associated with gathering a large group to fight a fire. The EOC will make an announcement when the ban is lifted.

The Road Department has been hauling gravel and grading. Workplace restrictions are slowly permitting more maintenance activities and allowing crew members to work together as long as safety measures are followed. If you see crewmembers on the job, please practice social distancing.
The Selectboard continues to meet by video and telephone.

Charleston Elementary School staff prepared and delivered a total of 679 breakfasts and lunches last week, 154 to community members and 525 to children.

 

Update: April 17, 2020

School and community meals programs have added kitchen and delivery staff and are working well, providing a total of 665 breakfasts and lunches this week, including meals to 32 adults in need. Education funding covers children’s meals, and the town is being invoiced for adult meals.

The road crew is following guidance and responding to essential maintenance needs. The Selectboard will hold a virtual meeting on April 23 rd.

Town Clerk’s Office remains closed to the public and is providing remote service to residents, taxpayers, and real estate professionals who ask. Staff are working on a plan for the equipment, supplies, and new procedures that will be needed before the office can be reopened.

CVFD has had no incidents, and is in good shape on supplies thanks to a local retailer. The statewide burn ban remains in effect.

 

Update: April 10, 2020

Vermont’s stay home order and suspension of in-person transactions have been extended to May 15th. The Town Clerk’s office will remain closed to the public until at least May 15th, but staff are available by phone, email, and mail during regular hours—M,T,Th 8:00-3:00.

Fire Chief Duane Moulton reports that CVFD is stable and running pretty quiet. They were able to pick up a few masks and are stocked on supplies for now. Unfortunately, not all residents are respecting the town and state NO BURN guidance. This is essential for everyone’s safety and will be repeated in community announcements.

Charleston Elementary Principal Chris Lawson reports that the school meals program expanded this week to include 24 Charleston seniors and other adults in need. This demand will quickly spend the town’s grant, and Mr. Lawson has applied for a second grant to help cover some community meals and supplies that might be needed like disposable coolers. There was an issue with the school bus encountering an unannounced road closure, and he asks that the school be made aware of closures or impassable areas so that alternate plans can be made. (Big THANK YOU from all of us to the CES staff who are working the kitchen, being at school for pickups and logistics, and helping with bus delivery to make this possible!)

The highway crew is following state direction about cleaning and distance, working only a limited number of hours each week, and doing only essential and emergency work—like getting stone into mud holes and grading the worst areas. Residents are reminded that most usual maintenance will have to wait until state restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile, please do report urgent road problems to the town office (M,T,Th) or highway garage.

The Selectboard had their first online/telephone meeting on the 9th and will meet this way for the time being. Accounts have been set up to track the community meals grant and other special costs during the emergency, and the board will consider allocating town funds on an as-needed basis. The town has registered to be eligible for FEMA disaster assistance for emergency costs.

Thank you for helping to keep Charleston safe and healthy!

 

Update: March 27, 2020

At its weekly call, members discussed the following:

The Fire Department has banned all burning until further notice. Please be aware that burn permits are required in Charleston, but will NOT be issued for now in order to protect residents, firefighters, and prevent unnecessary calls. CVFD needs additional protective equipment like masks and gloves. If you have information about available resources, even small ones, please share here or with Duane Moulton directly.

Charleston Elementary School is getting meals and school work to students by pick-up and bus delivery. Meals are available for all children ages 1-18. Call the school at 895-2915 for sign-up and details. A cooler or tote is needed outside for no-contact bus delivery, or meals can be picked up at the school between 8 and 11 am. Grocery sacks and boxes may be needed by the school in the near future. If you have information about these resources, please contact the school.

In this in-between season, the highway crew is checking roads and responding to problems but not working their regular hours. You may not see them out and about as much as usual, but they are on the case as needed. Please report urgent problems with the roads to the Town Office.

The Town Clerk’s Office remains closed, but staff are available by phone, email, and mail during regular hours. Residents are also encouraged to contact the town office if you know of community needs or information that you would like to share with the EOC.

All town residents are urged to comply with the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order—currently until at least April 15th—and the White House’s guidelines to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus (click here), which have been extended to April 30th. Thank you.

 

Update: March 23, 2020

On Friday March 20th, Charleston activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as provided for in the town’s emergency management plan. This brings key town officials together to share information and take necessary action in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Members are: Fire Chief Duane Moulton; Selectpersons Peter Moskovites, Larry Young, and Pat Austin; School Principal Chris Lawson; Planning Commission Chair John Kellogg; Town Clerk Teri Gray; and Asst. Clerk Colleen Kellogg.

The town has formally notified state and local emergency management of the activation. This will connect Charleston to state and federal resources in the weeks and months ahead, including FEMA supports as these become necessary.

The town’s EOC members are in regular communication with each other and will help coordinate communication with town residents using charlestonvt.org, Charleston Coffee Facebook group, Charleston Elementary website and phone network, and other channels as they are available. Residents can contact the EOC by calling or emailing the Town Office, 895-2814, or townofcharlestonvt@comcast.net.

For the present, town residents are urged to comply with the White House 15-day period (click here) to try to lessen the spread of this very potent virus. Thank you.