Bellows Falls Fire Chief discusses possible demolition ordinance


BELLOWS FALLS -- The village's fire chief addressed the board of trustees Tuesday to discuss a possible demolition ordinance for the village.

Bill Weston met with trustees during their bi-weekly meeting in the Rockingham Town Hall Lower Theatre and told them an ordinance would be a great safety measure to have.

Weston told the Reformer there are been several demolition projects in the community in recent years and there was little procedural regulation due to a lack of an ordinance pertaining to the demolition of property.

"They've just kind of happened," he told the Reformer.

He said a recent demolition on Island Street presented certain site security issues, as it was left unattended at night and invited the possibility of tampering. Weston said he is worried about people's safety in a situation like that.

"We're such a dense community here, you can't do anything without affecting your adjacent property owners," he said.

Weston said Municipal Manager Willis D. "Chip" Stearns II asked him to do some research to determine if other communities have demolition ordinances. He said he has started compiling that information.

Also at the meeting, Bellows Falls Police Chief Ron Lake scratched the surfaced of possibly getting a K9 program. The program would not be free of cost and Lake told the Reformer the department is seeking donations to fund it, as he does not want it to be a financial burden on the taxpayers. He also wants to gauge the public support of the program.

In other business:

-- Bob Wheeler, the chief operator of the wastewater department, brought the trustees up to speed. He said construction of rotating biological contractors, used for secondary treatment at the wastewater treatment plant, was completed in September. He also said some pumps were rebuilt and his department is now getting ready for winter.

-- During his manager's report, Stearns said the BFFD has applied for a $60,000 federal grant for 95 percent of the cost of 20 new sets of turnout gear, or the protective clothing firefighters wear. He also invited the village trustees to Tuesday's Rockingham Selectboard meeting, which will feature a presentation on Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS). The meeting will start at 6 p.m.

-- Stearns also said the FY2014 budget is right on track.

Domenic Poli can be reached at, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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