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December 13, 2017     Journal Opinion
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December 13, 2017
 

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Volume 152 Number 50 , An Award Winning Independent Weekly I Ill Newspaper Since 1865 (ISSN-0746-1674) December 13, 2017 by Ed Ballam NORTH HAVERHILL--The just in case the officers claim any weekend's storm that produced the injury later. first measurable snowfall for parts The selectboard asked about the of the region, proved to be a condition ofthecruiserandCollins challenge for emergency respond- said they were waiting on a body ers and vehicles in Haverhill. In shop estimate to determine the separate incidents, a police cruiser damage. sustained heavy damage in arollover North Haverhill Fire Chief Phil while a fire truck, an ambulance, and Blanchard, who saw the wrecked a cruiser were immobilized on a cruiserandattendedMondaynight's heavily traveled dirt road when selectboard meeting, said he was responding to a collision, certain the cruiser was a total loss. Administrative Assistant Jenni- The wreck brought the town's fer Collins reported at Monday police cruiser fleet down to one night's selectboard meeting that a vehicle as asecondvehicle is out for sedan cruiser with two Haverhill manufactuer recall work, Collins officers in it, went off the road on said. Route 112 west of the Swiftwater Blanchard attended the meeting Store on Saturday night. The cruiser to lodge a concern with the struck an embankment and rolled selectboard about road conditions. over during inclement weather. She Blanchard said he and his crews said it was a slow-speed event and both occupants were uninjured. See Cruiser on page 7 Collins added that a report was filed HE,S A MEAN MISTER GRI.NCH! STEALING C LIGHTS IN BRADFORDI--The GrinFh was spotted in front of Marc and Beverly Sinclair s house on Main Street, snagging their Christ- mas lights recently. Actually, the Grinch is a new addition to their holiday decoration display. COURTESY PHOTO by Ed Ballam ! NORTHHAVERHILL__Asitpre voters could be asked to approve an State Senator Jane Kitchel pares for an important annual School apprrpriation of $14,112,030 for remarked that it was "that last mile" by Cieely Richardson district meeting, the Haverhill School the 2018-2019 school year. That is of connectivity that makes the cost OR_FORD--On Dec. 5, Rivendell costs are in large part drivenby the Board debated dates and times to $234,002 less than current Interstate School District Superin- state Career and technical educa- hold the event at its meetirig on appropriation. tendent Elaine Arbour gave the tion tuition will depend on how Mondayrlight. Nevertheless, voters could be school board its first glimpse of a many students decide to attend the Articles that will decide future asked to come up with an additional budget for next year. Saying that the River Bend or Hartford centers, and building repairs as well as next year' s $449,841 in tax dollars to make up by Peter Terry BRADFORD--The two biggest of installing fiber optic cable challenges to area economic growth expensive in sparsely populated and development are broadband towns like Newbury. She said that interact access and cellphone Vermont utilities were investigating coverage, according to the region's ifit would be possible to piggyback business, education, and political high-speedintemetontheirexisting leaders, electric grid. That was the message coming Brian Schlager of Bradford out of the annual Cohase Chamber added that he purchased his home in of Commerce Economic Summit that town specifically because high- dinner at River Bend Career and speed internet and cell coverage Technical Center on Dec. 5 after were available in that particular chamber executive director Erik spot. Volk asked more than two dozen "Iwas limited in the areaswhere leaders to identify the most impor- we could settle," he said. "We tant obstacles hindering economic passed up other houses that would development inthe region, have been great but had no cell/ "One of the things we've been internet accessibility." talking about is if a tourist comes Other challenges identified dur- into Woodsville, we worry about, if ing the course of the meeting were a tourist stops and gets out of his car tax burdens on businesses, moreso to make a call on his cell phone, inVermontthaninNewHampshire; there' s no coverage," Gary Scruton the absence of a regional marketing said. "They're going to get back in plan; insufficient housing for an their car and go to the next town." expanded workforce; and lack of He added that a potential comprehensive educationaloppor- business person looking for an tunities. outlet might make the same deci- Prior to dinner served by River sign passing through Woodsville. Bend culinary arts instructor Jeff He or she sees an empty storefront Andre and three of his students, but continues on his way because regional political and business there is no coverage. SeeSummit on page 5 O four percent increase in this initial what their tuition rates are. And budget will be on the warrant, for other lost revenue. draft is "higher than we want," she there could be changes in bu!lding Altl oUgi/:'a version o the*- The draft bu shows the " r " " asked for board gmdance on whee configuratlons,: - budget is .75 percent less than' biggestlossofrevenueis$250,670 e y, therdee current spending, school taxes are in tuition from Local Edtlcation . . . ,' il" " nevertheless likely to increase. Agencies, which means surround- by Ll] i p Gahagan ;ve v v The board has preferred, March ing towns are sending fewer ---'More than five Townhighwayscangetupto75 unknowns, some proposed changes gramming, replenish the facilities 10, and alternative, March 24, dates students to Haverhill's school montiis after the July 1 deluge, percent of costs from FEMA. and a snapshot of the full budget. She capital reserve fund, and add world penciled into the. calendar. The district. Special education tuition long-term repairs to Route 132 are Rogers says he expects the townwill then turned to other administrators langnage at the elementary level, former is three days before balloting studentrevenueisdownby$34,169, underway this week. From Dec, 11 likely have to come up with 12.5 for more detail and finally invited Actually, the budget currently on March 13, and the board wants to Reductions in state funds also to Dec. 18, Route 132 between percent of the cost of repairs along questions and suggestions. A few does not include world language, first consult state regulators to make account for a significant p0rtion of Cream Street and Lower Cream with other money coming through highlights follow: said Samuel Morey principal sure no rules will be broken with the the revenue reduction. It's antici- Street will be closed to traffic, stateaid. The budget is guided by Michael Foxall who questioned earlier date. The board authorized pated the school district will lose This particular project may Rogers said that 75 percent of Rivendell's mission "to foster the whetherthatwouldbethebestuseof SAU- 23 Superintendent Laurie $62,962 in a state adequacy grant offer a hint of how local govern- the town's roads needed repairs in intellectual, social and personal an estimated $52,000 at this time. Melanson to make the final decision and $54,839 in state catastrophic meat officials are responding to the aftermath of the July 1 event, development of our students," Heputinapleainsteadtomeet"real based on what she learned from aid revenue, recent storms and preparing for where 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in Arbour said. Looking back, she needs" with behavior intervention talking with state election authori- In other business, Melanson more intense weather impacts in about two hours. He said that in showed increases inrecent budgets specialists or social workers or ties. told the school board the high coming years. Thetford, the concentration of rain and costs per pupil, as well as school psychologists or therapists. The board sidestepped March l 7, school staffis working to bring the Thetford sustained consider- occurred injust an hour. enrollmentsoverthepastfiveyears. Board member Kathy Blanchard the date the Haverhill Selectboard Cisco Networking Academy, an able damage from the storms in "Some people said it was the Rivendell' s enrollment has held later seconded his request, saying decided to hold the annual town information technologyonlinepro- early July and late October that hit most water they had ever seen," quite steady over that period, she this should be "a very, very high meeting. Haverhill School Board gram, to Woodsville High School. areas of both New Hampshire and Rogers said. "Most of that damage noted, unlike many neighboring priority." member John Rutherford said he She also said there's an effort to Vermont. The July storm was was erosive due to the nature of the districts that have been seeing Comparing this year with last wanted the public to be rested and coordinate withRiver Bend Career primarily a rain event, while the land, and ditches and culverts could declines. The student-staff ratio, year, special education numbers are "fresh" to consider the school and Technical Center programs to October one was characterized by not take the water." she said, is "tough for a small holding aboutthe same inkindergar- business ratherthanhavingresidents the high schoolincluding computer highwinds. By early the following day, 75 district, coming in at 4.2 students to tenthrough 12 grade, but arehigher endure back-to-back meetings that technology, health care, and, poss - The summer storm was erosive percent of the town's roads needed all employees, and 5.2 to all forpreschool. Seven students attend could consume most ofthe day. bly, criminaljustice, and damaged many roads. A town- repairs. On Route132 alone, $2.9 instructors, including administra- alternative day programs, one less "We' ll be voting on the future of Melansontoldtheboardshewas wide, days-long power outage was million dollars worth of damage tors who teach as well. Elementary than last year. our schools," Rutherford said. working on getting quotes for a the signature of the many trees that occurred. Overall, Thetford, with a school class sizes average 22 at In response to a question, "There' s a lot on the line." modular building to house the King fell on power lines during the fall population of2,600, incurred about Westshire and 24 at Samuel Morey. Arbour said she and other adminis- The schoolboardanticipatesas Street School program on the high storm. $4 million in damage to road Among the drivers for the 2018- trators have been talking about how many as four ballot votes during the school campus as the current Thetford Selectboard Chair infrastructure. Impacts will cer- 2019 budget, Arbour said, are to build some small-scale, onsite annual meeting for bonds related to building, a residential home, needs Stuart Rogers outlined the scope of tainly be felt inthe 2018 budget and retirement and insurance rates, programs in the district to bring school district building improve- significant repairs. She continues work in a Dec. 12 phone interview, beyond. salaries, enrollment, staffing and back some of the outplaced stu- meats, to look for the best price, andwill He explainedthat Route132, which In contrast only four locations in special education. Of those, there dents. This could save money, keep Voters will also be asked to vote provide the board with options at a passes throughNorwich, Thetford, Thetford were affected by Tropical are several unknowns. Labor nego- on a budget for the 2018-2019 tiations that are now underway with school year. According to a draft the union for the teachers and See Budget on page 7 budget providedto the schoolboard, support staff. Health insurance by Alex Nuti-de Biasi NEWBURY--Schoolboards over- altogether. BMU Superintendent seeing both Blue Mountain Union Emilie Knisely told boardmembers and Newbury Elementary School on Dec. 6 that there is no approval or voted last week to pursue further rejection process for the plans. collaboration with each other in Secretary Rebecca Holcombe approving Act 46 plans to present to will issue aproposed statewide plan state regulators, on June 1 that "may or may not The moves come as school incorporate" the school district districts aroundthe state face a Dec. proposals. For the next six months, 26 deadline to present proposals to the state will take testimony on the the Vermont Secretary of Education statewide plan and accept amend- if they 1/ave not already formed a ments or changes to individual new district under Act 46. district proposals. On Nov. 30, Of course, whether the alterna- 2018, the Vermont State Board of tive govemance proposals will carry any weight is a different question See Act 46 on page 7 See School on page 5 WELCOMING SANTA--This Santa welcomes passersby to enjoy the lights and decorations on Main Street in Bradford. COURTESY PHOTO Strafford and Sharon, is one of only Storm Irene, which hit Vermont at two state roads that rely on local the end of August 2011. Two of highway crews for maintenance, those spots were on Route 132. But the damage sustained earlier According to Rogers, the July 1 this year qualifies for federal funds storm was "exponentially worse," to repair the 5.25 miles of Route with 15 to 16 locations damaged 132 in Thetford. along Route 132 and about 75 more People who need to get through qualifying for FEMA funds. that area will have to detour around "Irene was nothing compared to it, either on Tucker Hill or Academy this," Rogers said. "There was more roads depending on which direction rain and water rising up (during they are coming from. Rogers said Irene), but the damage was less that people should plan for longer widespread in Thetford. Right after travel times. July 1, we did have residents who "Everybody' s travel in that area were stranded." willbeaffectedthisweek,"Rogers Rogers and others including said. The road is expected to stay Gov. Phil Scotttouredthe damages closed through Dec. 18. during the immediate aftermath of Money to pay for storm damage the storm. Rogers said everyone was to town roads comes from federal "pretty tired." and state governments as well as Currently, only one road in local entities.AccordingtoRogers, Thetford is closed indefinitely. this particular phase of work must Rogers described the damage to be completed by Dec. 26 in order to Stevens Road, whichwas washed out qualify for 100 percent reimburse- entirely He called it an"impressive ment from federal funds. After that hole" approximately 50 feet across date, the percentage of compensa- and 15 feet deep. Where there once tion drops, so it is important to get it done before them. See Storm damage on page 7 71111!!!!11!t!!1!11118