BELLOWS FALLS -- The town of Rockingham last week closed on a buy-out property destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene and the Selectboard authorized Municipal Manager Willis "Chip" Stearns II on Tuesday to award bids for demolition and clean-up of properties bought through two grants.
Buy-out grants from FEMA and the federal Community Development Block Grant program were used to purchase the property at 443 Saxtons River Road, owned by Doug and Shirley Earle, and Rockingham Planning-Zoning Administrator Ellen Howard said requests for proposal for the demolition and clean-up are due by Wednesday, Jan. 29.
According to a memo from Howard, FEMA requires the building demolition and removal of building debris to be completed within 90 days of closing, which results in timeframes for issuing requests for proposal, holding pre-bid bid meetings and reviewing all bids.
Howard had also attached for the Selectboard a High Risk Rural Roads Program analysis of Route 121 from its intersection with Mandigo Road to the Leach Road intersection. She reported that this section of Route 121 qualified for the program, due to the high number of accidents around Brook Road. The report recommends additional and replacement signs along this section of road and the cost of the signs, and their installation, would be covered by the state program.
At Howard’s suggestion, the Selectboard agreed with the report’s recommendations and authorized Stearns to sign the "written response." By agreeing to accept the recommendations, the town becomes responsible for the continued replacement and maintenance of the signs.
Earlier in the meeting, Our Place Drop-In Center Executive Director Lisa Pitcher and Board President John Bohannon updated the Selectboard on the organization’s activities. Pitcher said Our Place, at 6 Island St., is serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and opens on Sundays during the winter to help people stay warm. She said the organization is serving approximately 1,200 meals to about 180 families every month and also provides meals to go.
Pitcher said volunteers now help make about 50 home deliveries for clients. She said farmer Paul Harlow is one of the biggest local donors of food items, which Our Place tries to preserve through freezing.
"It varies -- what we do -- day to day because it varies on what people’s needs are. We’re not able to help everybody, but we’re helping a lot of people and we feel pretty good about it," she said before thanking the Selectboard for its support.
In other business:
-- Edward Dinnany and Doreen Aldrich were appointed as town Green-Up Day coordinator and co-coordinator, respectively.
-- During his manager’s report, Stearns said 2014 dog licenses are ready.
-- Stearns also said there is a group that wants to meet and discuss TransCanada’s properties and their values.