News bits from Windham County and the surrounding areas.
-- There will be a public meeting on Sept. 25 at the Alstead Town Hall to discuss how to keep Vilas Pool open to the public. Vilas Pool is a swimming hole on the Cold River. There are three options -- reconstruct the dam, take the dam down or lower its height.
-- A Harvest Festival will not be held this year.
Liza Martin, of the Athens Brick Meeting House Committee, said the town's agriculturists are busy with farmers' markets every Saturday and will not be available to participate or bring any of their produce to the festival.
-- The Planning Commission has
Copies of the town plan are available in the Planning Office
-- A number of residents on Merrill Drive have asked the Selectboard to take over the maintenance of the southern end of the road. The board can decide on whether to honor their request, but first it must be determined whether the road meets town standards, which
Two members of the five-member board recused themselves; one has a brother who lives on Merrill Drive and the other lived on a road that was taken over by the town in 1995.
The board, along with the town's road foreman, will be visiting Merrill Drive on Sept. 29 to get a look at the condition of the 650 feet of road, where approximately 15 homes are located.
-- Deb Furlone recently resigned as the town's deputy health officer for personal reasons.
-- At a Board of Selectmen meeting earlier this month, Elaine Levlocke read an anonymous letter she received from a person who kayaks on Spofford Lake. The person said they clean up areas whenever they come to the lake and want to keep the lake pristine.
-- Deerfield Valley Real Estate and The Hermitage Realty Company have merged. The new entity, known as The Hermitage Deerfield Valley Real Estate, LLC, includes eight full-time agents offering more than 150 years of combined experience in the real estate industry and approximately 128 active residential, commercial, land and multi-family listings throughout Southern Vermont. Hermitage Deerfield Valley Real Estate will also be the listing company for 71 approved ski-on, ski-off townhomes to be built on Haystack Mountain bringing its volume to more than $96 million.
The Hermitage Deerfield Valley Real Estate office will be located at 183 Route 100 in West Dover next to The Dover Forge and One More Time Billiard Parlor & Tavern. For more information, visit www.hermitagerealty.com or www.deerfieldvalleyrealestate.com.
-- Officials have found a larger venue for an upcoming Selectboard meeting and have changed the time of another session.
Due to matters including a scheduled Dutton Pines State Park discussion with the state Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Oct. 3 Selectboard meeting has been relocated to Evening Star Grange. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., the normal starting time.
Also, the Oct. 31 Selectboard meeting has been rescheduled to 4 p.m. at the town office.
-- Fairy House tours will be given at the nature museum on Saturday and Sunday.
-- Fundraising efforts to restore Sweet Pond are off to a strong start, advocates say.
A concert raised $2,190, and T-shirt sales at the concert netted $131. Previous fund-raisers, including a presence at the Guilford Fair, garnered $1,550, said Linda Hecker, co-chairwoman of a volunteer Sweet Pond steering committee.
Expected matching grant funds will boost the total to $4,800, Hecker said.
Locals are raising money to show support for a state plan to fix Sweet Pond Dam. Structural concerns led to the state's draining the pond last year.
-- Town Administrator Jill Collins said on Wednesday the sidewalk project on Brattleboro Road should be completed within a week. She said the project is being done in the vicinity of Plain Road on Route 119. She said the work consists of reconstructing the sidewalk and putting up a galvanized steel rail to protect pedestrians from vehicles. Collins said the project started in August and will cost about $40,000.
-- Hundreds of leaf peepers are expected to flock to the Jamaica State Park over the course of the next two weeks as fall foliage season begins.
Park Ranger Kevin Pisani said the park is already booked for the weekend of Sept. 28 through 30 for the annual white-water kayaking event.
Pisani said about this time each year the water from the nearby Ball Mountain Dam is released, creating near-perfect conditions for adventurers.
It's also an added bonus for people looking for something to do along with seeing the fall colors change, he said.
Camping is between $16 and $27 a night depending on the site, equipment brought in and whether the person is from Vermont, Pisani said.
To make a reservation within the next two weeks people have to call 802-874-4600, otherwise, visit www.vtstatepark.com.
-- Tim Goodwin and Emmett Dunbar, candidates for Windham-Bennington-Windsor District 1 in the Vermont House of Representatives, will face off in a question and answer period on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Flood Brook Union School.
-- The Selectboard is considering asking the state to lower the speed limit on Route 9 near the top of Hogback Mountain. Marlboro resident Ed Metcalfe asked the board to draft a letter to the Department of Transportation, requesting the change.
A study found that about 250,000 people get out of their cars every year and Metcalfe said many more accidents happen near the overlook than are reported. The Selectboard is expected to discuss the issue at its Oct. 11 meeting.
-- The Selectboard is seeking applications for a "detail-oriented and computer-literate" Newfane resident to serve as a part-time lister until March. Officials said an understanding of appraisal methods and property assessment is a plus.
Resumes and cover letters are due by Sept. 27 and can be sent to the Selectboard at P.O. Box 296, Newfane VT 05345. Applicants also can deliver resumes to Newfane Administrative Assistant Patricia Grace at the town office.
-- Putney is preparing to celebrate the official completion of its new sidewalk. The town is planning a celebration on Oct. 13, though details are still being worked out. The approximately one mile of sidewalk that runs from the co-op to the post office has been in the works for about four years and Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard said the project has finally been completed.
The town also has a grant request in for the second phase of the project, which aims to build a new sidewalk from the post office, north, to Landmark College.
-- The Vermont Symphony Orchestra's annual Made in Vermont Music Festival statewide tour is heading to the Bellows Falls Opera House. The show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 28. The program includes a world premiere by University of Vermont composer David Feurzeig a piece for string orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich and Schubert's Symphony No. 5. The music will continue on Saturday, Oct. 13, when Back in Black, an AC/DC tribute bands performs at the opera house.
Tickets are for sale at www.brattleborotix.com or at PK's Pub or Mountainside Tattoo in The Square. There are multiple ticket packages to choose from.
-- Hours at the town's transfer station have been changed to Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All users must show a "Refuse Permit."
-- The town's road crew has been replacing culverts on Penny Avenue and the Penny Avenue bridge project is underway and is expected to be finished at the end of the month.
-- Culverts on Old Forrester Road will be replaced next summer.
-- A volunteer organization will arrive in town Thursday to undertake a "barn raising" at Messenger Valley Pharmacy on Grafton Road.
The pharmacy, which is owned by Grace Cottage Hospital and fills an average of 5,000 prescriptions monthly, is undergoing an expansion. An attached, run-down barn that had been used for storage was demolished earlier this year.
Volunteers from Hartford, Conn.-based ServCorps will help construct a new pharmacy building designed to resemble the old barn. The addition will increase the pharmacy's square footage by about a third, administrators have said.
-- The Selectboard voted Monday to spend $20,109 to replace computers and a server at town offices. The contract is with Vermouth Computers of Spofford, N.H.
The board also decided to move two handicapped parking spaces closer to the town office entrance in the lower parking lot. And officials agreed to enter into a contract for no more than $200 to ensure regular maintenance of "Welcome to Vernon" signs at the north and south ends of town.
-- At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, Police Chief Michael Paquette reported that they received a federal grant for two new portable radios.
This will be a savings to the town of about $4,000, he said. Next year the older radios will need new software.
-- Town voters approved on Sept. 18 by a vote of 18 to 1 a bond of $425,000 to replace the Gilfeather Bridge.
A bid from Daniels Construction came in at $397,000 and the town recently received a structural grant from the state for $175,000. In addition, the town has about $30,000 in a reserve fund to help pay for the replacement bridge. Because of the extra money, it is doubtful the town will need to purchase a bond for the full $425,000.
The old bridge, which is at least 30 years old, is a timber deck with steel beams. The replacement bridge will be a steel truss with a concrete deck, though it will be about the same size -- a single lane -- as the old bridge.
Though the bridge was slightly damaged by a tree during Tropical Storm Irene, it did not qualify for a FEMA grant.
The town hopes the bridge will be replaced before the winter. Daniels Construction will move the old bridge, which will still be serviceable, while the new bridge is built. It is expected that the road will only be closed two days during the bridge's move.
-- All intermittent lane closures, road restrictions and delays should be done. Travelers were advised to expect delays in the area of Kurn Hattin Road, Westminster West Road and Route 121 due to general road construction from Thursday, Sept. 13, through Friday, Sept. 21.
-- Town Hall, located at 780 Route 63, is getting repainted in its white color.
The project began about two weeks ago and should be completed in about another two weeks.
The town's Board of Selectmen awarded the job to Edson Painting in Swanzey, N.H., following the company's bid of $25,000.
-- The Vermont Telecommunications Authority announced last month that a $1.35 million broadband expansion could be completed by December 2013. Whitingham residents will have access to broadband download speeds of at least 5 megabytes-per-second by the end of next year.
It's not clear yet however, when the project will begin, a spokesperson for VTA said.
-- In an effort to enhance the harvest season, local farmers, artists and artisans have gathered together to form the Wilmington Farmers' Market.
Every Wednesday, from 3 p.m., to 6 p.m., vendors are able to sell their wares of home-grown, homemade or hand crafted items at the Wilmington Antique and Flea Market property along Route 100.
Organizer Sally Gore said there's no charge to participants as this is a test run to see if there's interest and community support to continue a Farmers' Market next spring.
All vendors are asked to arrive an hour before the 3 p.m., opening to set up their goods.
For more information, contact Gore in the evening at 802-464-3345.
-- The Winchester Water Department will be flushing fire hydrants from Monday, Sept. 24, to Friday, Oct. 5, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. Consumers should expect intermittent periods of low water pressure in addition to experiencing periods of discolored water.
Contact the Winchester Water Department at 603-239-4951, ext. 105 with any questions or concerns.
-- The replacement of a culvert with a bridge on Toad Road got underway on Wednesday. It is expected that the work will take about two weeks. A temporary crossing is in place while the culvert is removed and the bridge is installed. FEMA is paying for 80 percent of the project, with the rest of the funds coming from the town and the state.
Another culvert replacement is on hold due to objections from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources which is concerned about damage that might be done to wetlands. The Army Corps of Engineers will be on site on Thursday and will issue a recommendation on how the town should proceed with the work.