Board takes no action on Hapgood Place property


BELLOWS FALLS -- Municipal Manager Chip Stearns told the village board of trustees there was no need to take any action in regards to the house damaged by a fallen tree in June.

Twelve people and several pets were displaced from the apartment building at 25 Hapgood Place and Bellows Falls Police Chief Bill Weston has declared the structure one that cannot be occupied. A state electrical inspector cut off the building's electricity the day of the incident and Stearns said it will not be turned back on until the building is brought up to code. Even if it is re-energized, Stearns said tenants cannot move back in until Weston gives them the authority to do so.

Stearns told the trustees at Tuesday's bi-weekly meeting the insurance company has been in contact with the property owner.

Stearns told the Reformer that Church Place and a portion of School Street Extension -- which became one-way streets in the late 1990s for experimental purposes -- have been formally added to the traffic ordinance and the handicapped parking spot immediately outside the newly renovated Rockingham Free Public Library has been removed because two more are being added from spaces added to the property.

Later in the meeting, the trustees voted to authorize Village President Roger Riccio to sign a letter written by Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance Executive Director Mary Helen Hawthorne to request a meeting with Gov. Peter Shumlin regarding the Vilas Bridge, which connects Vermont and New Hampshire.

The letter had already been signed by Stearns, Rockingham Economic Development Director Francis "Dutch" Walsh and Rockingham Selectboard Chairman Tom MacPhee.

Hawthorne wrote the letter to request a meeting with the governor in his Montpelier office, or at another location when he visits southern Vermont, to discuss the future of the Vilas Bridge.

Built around 1930, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 2009 and residents are unhappy that plans to repair or replace it have been deferred.

In other business:

-- Stearns gave the trustees a year-to-date budget status report and said everything was status quo.

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


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