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Bradford , Vermont
July 2, 2014     Journal Opinion
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July 2, 2014

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T PINION Volume 149 * Number 27 ,PiHn,,,,.,dquinl,lll,llhdunui,d,'l'i,"Flhull f C005 S20 P4 *************************MIXE* ADC 07099 gMALLTO/I'd pAPgIR,g 217 W COTA ST SHELTON WA 98594-2263 75 (ISSN-0746-1674) An Independent Weekly Newspaper Since 1865 July 2, 2014 Town to hire by Cicely Richardson ORFORD--If anyone questioned the need for a full bridge at Newcomb Hollow in Orford, all doubts were erased last week after the deluge on thenight of June 25. For the second time in three years, Archertown Brook overwhelmed the culvert in that dip in Archertown Road, between Blackberry Hill and Tillotson Falls Road. Overnight 4or 5 inches of rain built up a head of water upstream from the Archertown crossing. Sometime in the night, the brook bl:eached and undermined the cul- vert and the temporary bridge that had been installed in early 2012 as a placeholder until a new permanent bridge could be built. The water drove massive con- crete blocks and jersey barriers downstream, twisted and bent the culvert and scoured out the road, the roadbed and the steel plates that held it all together. The first washout had occurred after Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, 2011. In discussing the tempo- rary fix that fall, the engineer who designed it said he expected it "could stay there a long time." At the time, Orford road agent Charles Waterbury added,"I'd guess this will be in for two years," while the town raises the money for a permanent bridge. That two-year window grew to three as the project went through regulatory hoops, with the state and FEMA having to sign off every step of the way. On June 25, the evening of the latest storm, the selectboard received the state' s go-ahead to sign the contract with Neff Daniels Construction to build the new bridge. The contract was to take effect on July 1 with the bridge to be closed no more than 115 days. How the project and that timetable will be affected by last week's sudden demolition will be the major topic of discussion when the selectboard, the engineer and the contractor meet at 4 p.m. on July 2. Wednesday night's storm washed out several other culverts in town as well on Grimes Hill, Lower Stonehouse, Indian Pond, Norris and Mud Turtle Pond roads. The Orford road crew was called out at 3 a.m. when the Newcomb Hollow washout was discovered by a resident who fortunately was able to back out as he felt the road give way. Throughout the fol] Wterbury, i building inspector by Ed Ballam NORTH HAVERHILL Haverhill March, voters approved a town spections, or appoint someone Selectboard members are hoping budget that included $15,000 to hire whom they oversee to do the work. some of their latest action steps will either a town employee or a The selectboard foundinconsis- make the town a better, safer place contractor to inspect buildings in tencies with three different people to live. At their regularly scheduled Haverhill. It was the selectboard's conducting inspections in town and meetingonthenightofJune30,they effort to improve the quality of no uniformity in fees paid for the decided to advertise for a building housing in town and keep the public service or the enforcement of the inspector and moved one step closer safe and the responders out of codes. to passing a local health ordinance, harm's way should emergencies At Monday night's meeting, the In a joint session with Haverhill's occur in the buildings, selectboard voted unanimously to fire chiefs and commissioners from The town's three chiefs, Brad seek an independent contractor to each of the three precincts of Kennedy of Woodsville, Don conduct theinspectionsasneeded. Woodsville, North Haverhill, and Hammond of North Haverhill and There was some discussion about Haverhill Corner, the selectmen Richard Morris of Haverhill Cor- hiringapersonwhowouldbecomea moved to finalize the job descrip- ner, all voiced their support for the town employee, but the board tion for a person charged with hiring of an individual to conduct favored the idea of a contractor to inspecting commercial and multi- life safety code inspections through- provide the service for a fee. The HAPI IMERICA--ThIs porch in Corinth is decorated for Independence Day. Several parades family buildings in town for life and out all sections of town. By state board had previously agreed to the will be held throughout the area on Friday as well as fireworks Friday night, safety code compliance, law, the fire chiefs have the COURTESY PHOTO BY JULIA HISEY At the annual town meeting in responsibility to conduct the in- See lnspector on page 4 Archertown bridge washed out again New pa],k and ride the other roads, but Archertown will built.remain closed tmtil the new bridge iSselectboardOver thealso orderedWeekend'the bridgethe opens in Ne bury on High Bridge Road to be closed for an indefinite period of time until by Charlie Glazer it can be repaired. With the closure NEWBURY--Southbound commuters will findparking a bit easier--and of the bridge at Newcomb Hollow, visitors to Newbury Village will find congestion a little lighter--starting people had apparently been using next week, when a new park and ride opens on Newbury Crossing Road. that bridge as a detour. But it is on Fundedby agrant fromthe Vermont Agency ofTransportation, the new the state's redlist, is missing a lot is available to carpoolers and will be a new stop for Stagecoach railing, and is not up to heavy traffic. Transportation, which provides bus service bewteen Wells River and the Cicely Richardson can be VA Hospital in White River Junction and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock reached at Medical Center in Lebanon. Southbound trips are made in the morning crichardson@/onews.com, while return service is provided in the afternoons. See Park and ride on page 4 Board undecided on Bear Ridge practices by Alex Nuti-de Biasi BRADFORD--After a two-month trial period, Bradford Selectboard members took no action last week on whether to authorize further mid- week practices at Bear Ridge Speed- way in Bradford. In early January, the selectboard board voted toapprove Bear Ridge Speedway's annual permit that al- lows competitive car racing--typi- cally on Saturdays--at the Kidder Road track between April 1 and Dec. 31. At that time, the track's owner made a request that selectboard amend the permit to allow for weekly midweek practices over the course of two hours for each ses- sion. Eventually, the selectboard granted the request in part by issu- ing a provisional permit for Bear Ridge Speedway to hold practice sessions on two weekday evenings each month during May and June from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The board would review the provisiona ! permit at the end of June. And last week, during the selectboard's last regularly sched- uled meeting in June, the board asked Bear Ridge owner Butch Elms to respond to some concerns that the track's neighbors have raised. "And we certainly have received quite a bit of correspondence from some local residents expressing concern about the noise," selectboard chair Ted Unkles said during the meeting. "I don't even know how many we have received," he said, adding they have received more this year than in the seven previous years Unkles has been on the selectboard. Unkles said some neighbors have told him that the noise generated at tile track has been "quite a bit louder" than it has in years past. Unkles said the comments he has received indi- cated that the complaints are about both the weekday practices and the regular racing events on Saturdays. Some of the nearby residents were at the meeting. Gabi Martino See Bear Ridge on page 8 SYNCHRONIZED MOOING--A hot summer morning, these bovines were resting in the shade but when they saw company near the fence, they made the effort to walk over and say hi. They joined together to salute their visitors on Route 10 in Piermont. JO PHOTO BY CONNER MACClNI Groton dam faces demolition MAKING HAY WHII Corinth. THE SUN SHINES--Rows of newly mown June hay make up a postcard picture in COURTESY PHOTO BY JULIA RISEY by Charlie Glazer GROTON--A disused, dangerous, and largely forgotten dam on the Wells River will come down next week, thanks to the persistence of North Country River Steward Ron Rhodes of the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Much of the falling-down dam, which sits oppo- site the Groton town highway garage, will be taken down and taken away between July 7-11, weather permitting. The breached dam has been owned by the State of Vermont since 1979, when Green Acre Wood- lands--formerly known as Franconia Paper Company--sold it via a quitclaim deed for $700. The previous owner was Marcalus Manu- facturing Company, the predeces- sor to today's Marcal Paper Com- pany, known for making paper towels, napkins, and other paper products primarily from recycled Happy Independence Day! paper well before recycling was popular. Franconia Paper picked up the dam as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. When asked why the dam will be taken down, Rhodes says, "Take your pick." He describes it as a "deadbeat dam," one that no longer serves a useful purpose. Rhodes has been flyfishing on the Wells River for years, and he spotted the dam as ripe for dismantling. The structure prevents brook trout from moving upstream at most water levels; wood cribbings and rebar are exposed, creating a safety hazard; and the downstream portion of the river is "sediment starved," as the dam prevents dirt and rock from taking its natural course. On top of that, the build-up of sediment upstream of the dam presents a flood hazard to Route 302. The sediment problem was greatly exacerbated by Tropical Storm Irene. The planned removal Of materials will reduce the 100-year peak flood level by an estimated 7.5 feet. A 100-year flood is a floodthat has a one percent probability of happening in a given year. It does not mean that it happens only once every 100 years. Changing weather condi- tions have made 100-year floods more common. The dam has created a discon- nected fish population and has affected other species, as well. Rhodes explains that the ecology of the area is very sensitive; the portion of the Connecticut River between the Wells River and the Waits River is a high priority for river preserva- tionists, as it is home to a number of See Groton on page 4 4 1 I i