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Newspaper Archive of
Journal Opinion
Bradford , Vermont
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July 2, 2014     Journal Opinion
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July 2, 2014
 

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Page 4--JOURNAL OPINION--July 2, 2014 ,G roton ,Inspector (continued from page 1) pay of $25 per hour for the service. Kennedy, who has been doing inspections in Woodsville for a number of years, said he didn't think the town would have much luck finding someone to do the work for the fee offered. Specifically he said the individual hired would have to have insurance for protection against errors and omissions. "That can cost $4,000 or $5,000," Kennedy said. "I don't think you're going to find anyone willing to pay that fee." The selectboard said it would be a cost of doing business for any contractor doing inspection work. Selectman Lynn Wheeler, who does title and deed work, says she has that insurance herself and she under- stands it part of the requirements for doing her job. "Well, I've looked everywhere and asked just about everyone and I haven't found anyone looking for that kind ofjob," Kennedy said. While on the topic of money and costs, selectman Rick Ladd asked the fire chiefs what they plan to do with the stipend money the town provided to cover the costs of doing inspections if the town hired an employee. Last year, the selectboard and voters agreed to provide $1,000, each to the North Haverhill and Haverhill Corner precincts and $5,000 for the Woodsville precinct to do building inspections. The chiefs agreed the appropria- tion needs to stay in place for the remainder of this year as inspec- tions have been done in all three precincts without the aid of a third- party inspector. "I think someday we can talk about giving some of that money back to the town," Kennedy said. There was also discussion about the need to make sure the fee schedule, money the town charges businesses and individuals for inspections, needs to be consistent throughout the town. The money collected from the users is designed to help pay for the building inspections, including the person contracted to do the inspections in the future. There was some confusion about the fee schedule and about the Hunter Heavy Duty ALIGNMENTS ............................. For All Sizes m of RVs Trucks, Trailers & Buses "Your Truck Chassis Specialist" McLeod" s Spring & Chassis 32 Blackwell St., Barre, VT 1-800-464-4971 476-4971 Mon.-Frm'. 7-5 inspector's job description as sev- eral different drafts were circulated and meeting participants were having challenges following the changes and amendments made to the original proposal. In the end, selectboard chair Wayne Fortier requested that all three chiefs and all commissioners be given clean copies of what was being discussed and the fee sched- ule. Despite the minor confusion, the board voted unanimously to adopt the building inspector's job description and to immediately begin looking for a contractor to do the inspections. In 2008, the selectboard imple- mented a policy to hire a third-party inspector that disintegrated in 2010 amidst a political firestorm. In June 2010, the selectboard rescinded the policy and the building inspector, Jim Fortier, resigned the post that he held for about a year. The selectboard and fire chiefs are hopeful this attempt will go better than the last, although many of the players remain the same. In other business, the board took another stab at a local health ordinance modeled after one adopted by Berlin, NH. The board was poised to take a vote on the ordinance Monday night, but late revisions to the draft ordinance by Ladd caused the board to hesitate and members said they wanted to review the document one more time. They planned on dis- cussing the issue again at the board' s next meeting in two weeks. Before reaching that decision Town Manager Glenn English said he' s neutral about whether the town needs its own health ordinance, but pointed out that Berlin, a small city to the north, is the only other community in the state that has its own health ordinance. English said other municipalities rely on state laws to handle health code viola- SAVE lIME * ........ * AND MONEY. 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Box 675 / 1047 US Route 302 Wells River, VT. 05081,0675 (802) 757-2773 I (603) 747,2770 1 Fax: (802) 757-2774 ,wykr.corn tions. English wanted the selectboard to know that a decision to have an independent health ordinance was not without costs. He said the town's health officer, Steve Robbins, works part-time in the position and the ordinance would necessarily require him to spend more hours at the job. "There's a lot of record keep to this," English said. "I just want you to know there' s going to be a cost to this. It's not going to be free. I just want you to know that." Additionally, English said that while the board has the authority to adopt ahealth ordinance, it's usually done in cooperation with the health officer. Robbins and his wife were involved in a serious motorcycle accident on Memorial Day weekend and Robbins has been recovering since. In the interim, English, who is the deputy health officer, has been doing the health officer's job. He said Robbins has some concerns about the local ordinance and would like to speak with the board at its next meeting. The board decided to postpone consideration of the ordinance until its next meeting after speaking with Robbins. Wheeler asked that ifLadd had any additional revisions drafts be distributed ahead of the meeting, rather than at the meeting or just before it. "We were asked to take [an earlier version] home and study it and make some comments, only to have another draft distributed to- night," Wheeler said. Ladd said he was finished with the revisions and he was ready to take action. "We need to get moving on this," Ladd said. "I don't want to put it off any longer." Ed Ballam can be reached at eballam@]onews.com. TATTOO GoatHead Graf*x Tattoo Kevin Graf, Artist Main Street Bradford, VT 802-222-4700 Continued from page 1) endangered species, including the dwarf wedgemussel. This unique ecosystem helped attract funding. Nobody seems to know quite when the dam was built or when the initial breach occurred, but some history was developed, aided in part by former area resident Terry Rielly, whose grandparents owned a penstock in the area. The dam was not there in 1875, but in 1933, it was there---longer than it is now--and in the hands of Green Mountain Power Company. In fact, there are actually three dams there: a wooden one, an old masonry one, and the newer concrete version. The dam is bookended by two bridges, sustain- ing Cochran Road and Route 302. The engineers, Milone & MacBroom of Waterbury, evaluated four different alternatives: doing nothing; completely removing the dam and sediment; removing the left spillway, sill, and all of the sediment; and removing part of the left spillway, sill, and adjacent sediment. The preferred alternative was to remove all of the left spillway. This option maximizes flood control at less cost than removing the entire dam. This fall, workers will return to plant trees, with more vegetative restoration planned for the spring of 2015. Rhodes emphasizes that returning the site back to a natural state is an important part of the project. Funding for the endeavor, with an estimated cost of$150,000, was assembled by Rhodes over the course of two years via an amalgam of grants. The most challenging part, he says, was obtaining funding for the engineering. "Everybody wants to fund the 'sexy stuff," he explains. But luckily, the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation & Enhancement Fund--one of many targeted funds operated by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation--came through with a two-year grant, with $50,000 for engineering and an archaeological study last year and another $50,000 for construction (or rather, deconstruction) this year. "If not for them, the project would not have happened," accord- ing to Rhodes. Other funding came from the state of Vermont via the conservation license plate program, Trout Unlimited, Patagonia, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and American Rivers, a charitable arm HELP WANTED JOURNEYMAN OR MASTER PLUMBER Local company searching for a NH or VT Master or Journeyman Plumber. Would also consider doing an apprenticeship for the right candidate. We offer a very competitive benefits package and salary. Please send resume to RCS@sover.net ROGER CARPENTER SERVICES P.O. Box 87, North Thetford, VT 05054 2975 RYEGATE ROAD US RT. 5 EAST RYEGATE, VT STORAGE TRAILERS MANY SIZES AVAILABLE FOR SALE OR RENT ALSO AVAILABLE WOOD PELLETS BARK MULCH TOPSOIL STONE 802-757-8068 C cttnut Hull J'oict (603) 536-2250 672 Tenney Mt, Highway Plymouth, NH OPEN DALLY Except Wednesdays & Holidays FEATURIN( SKYLINE HOMES TRADES WELCOME Let me help you save time and money, Protecting more of your world with Allstate makes your life easier. And it can put more money in your pocket. Bundle your policies and you can save even more. Why wait? Call me today. SWENSON INSURANCE AGENCY (800)491-4765 134 MAIN STREET BRADFORD fclements@swensoninsurance.com @ Allstate. You're in good hands. Auto Home Life Retirement Subject to terms, conditions and availability. Savings vary. Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Fire And Casualty Insurance Company: Northbrook, Illinois 2011 Allstate Insurance Company. of Green Mountain Coffee Roast- ers. Rhodes hopes the project will come in under the $150,000 estimate, which includes approxi- mately $43,000 for site prepara- tion, $25,000 for removal of concrete, rock and wood, $26,000 for channel work (primarily re- moval and hauling of sediment), and $10,000 for site restoration (i.e., revegetation). The work will be done by Chief Bogie of Chief Crushing & Excava- tion, a South Ryegate firm. Rhodes notes that this not only keeps the work local but also utilizes a company that is familiar to both the town of Groton and the state of Vermont. The town of Groton will have use of the concrete and gravel that are excavated from the site, savg tax dollars. Everybody has been wonderful to work with, including the neigh- bors and the town," Rhodes con- cludes. Park and ride (continued from page l) To accommodate the new stop, all pickups on Stagecoach's Trip 2 will depart five minutes earlier, and for Trip 3, the Wells River Savings Bank and Newbury Village Store pickups will be five minutes earlier, with all other times remaining the same. The changes begin on July 7, the opening date for the lot. We're hoping this will encour- age carpooling and mass transit. Haverhill residents may want to use it, too," said Newbury Town Clerk Susan Underwood, who wrote the ant application. The town received 9,000 for the project, although the final cost has not yet been deter- mined. George and Scott Emerson of Green Valley Construction did the work, overseen by the Newbury Highway Foreman. Underwood reports that the park and ride will hopefully ease some parking issues inNewbury Village. "Now, people park on the street [by the Newbury Village Store], and it's already a congested area. In the winter, especially, there' s no place to park," she said. Stagecoach will continue picking up riders at the Village Store, but the new lot provides another alternative. Although there is an existing lot by the boat launch just down the road, that lot is often full in the summer, and it is owned by the Vermont Department ofFish & Wildlife. The park and ride, built on 1.9 acres of state-owned land on the south side of Newbury Crossing Road, will now be owned and maintained by the town of Newbury. The grant requires that at least 10 spaces be created, and the town intends to add lighting there as well. The initial grant application was filed in 2011, but the project was delayed as VTrans funds were diverted to emergency repairs fol- lowing Tropical Storm Irene. According to Underwood, there are no immediate plans for other park-and-rides in town. There was an informal lot near the Wells River exit off I-91 on private property, but the owner decided to stop making that available to the public. There is another lot at the Ryegate fire station, and the state is planning to buy land to expand the park and ride on Route 25 in Bradford. Stagecoach Transportation Ser- vices provides scheduled bus service and free rides to senior centers in Orange and northern Windsor coun- ties. In some areas, they will also provide pickup and drop-off for those with disabilities within a quarter mile of major corridors. Their "Ticket to Ride" program willpay up to 80 percent of the cost of rides for senior citizens (60+) and persons with disabilities when there is not available transportation in the household or the person requesting the trips is unable to drive on the day of the trip. Ticket to Ride is available for a broad array of destinations, such as medical services, shopping, er- rands, and social purposes. Stagecoach can be contacted by phone at (800) 427-3553, and schedule and fare information is available at www.stagecoach- rides.org. TWIN STATE HUMANE SOCIETY is looking for volunteers who have a commitment to animals and their well-being We service Haverhill, Warren, Newbury, Bradford and other surrounding towns. We need dedicated and creative people to help with our current programs and work on new fund raisers. If you have an interest, please email us at info@twinstatehs.eom sponsored by Your Yard, Garden and Pet Place 3147 Dartmouth College Highway North Haverhill, NH 603-767-6981 iii P, P Y" t 6