Author: Jason Starr

Legislative hopefuls sound off at forum

All seven contenders for the five legislative positions open in Colchester this November showed to a forum last week, touting their beliefs and policies. The Colchester Community Development Corporation hosted last Wednesday’s event at the Elley-Long Music Center in Fort Ethan Allen. In attendance were Democrat incumbent Dick Mazza, running unopposed for the Senate; Republican Pat Brennan and Democrat Maureen Dakin, running unopposed for re-election to the two House District 9-2 seats; and Republicans Pat Liebrecht and Joey Purvis and Democrats Curt Taylor and Jim Condon, all vying for two seats in House District 9-1. About 30 people came...

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Early ed. committee to study options

Colchester School District Superintendent Amy Minor is forming a committee to study the needs of Colchester’s youngest students, with the possibility of building a new early education center under consideration. It’s a broader approach than Minor’s predecessor, Larry Waters, took last year when he spearheaded a focused study of the early education center concept. The new building, proposed for district property near Colchester High School, would replace Porters Point and Union Memorial schools and house the district’s fledgling preschool program. Minor said she is not predisposed toward building a new school for pre-K through grade 2 but is concerned...

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CSWD picks up dropoff center question

The Chittenden Solid Waste District has extended a new opportunity for Colchester to host one of its trash and recycling dropoff centers. Facilities manager Brian Wright recently requested input from member municipalities about their interest in, and land availability for, a dropoff center. Colchester lost its part-time dropoff center about 10 years ago, when a new town office building was constructed on Blakely Road. CSWD ran the center behind the old town offices until the new office building elbowed it out. Since then, town officials have made overtures to CSWD about reconstituting a dropoff, and citizens have occasionally reminded...

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Energy siting gets local voice

New legislation gives towns more say in where wind and solar energy projects are built as the state ramps up local energy production in pursuit of ambitious renewable energy goals. But for towns to take advantage of their increased voice under Act 174, they need land use plans that are compatible with state energy goals, the most aggressive of which are to reduce energy consumption by a third by 2050 and to satisfy 90 percent of remaining energy needs with renewable sources. The legislation gives regional planning commissions a leading role in certifying local plans as compatible with state...

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Walking tunnel punctuates Bayside plan

Twelve years after Colchester voters approved a $1.1 million bond for 14 acres across from Bayside Park, there is finally a plan to make use of the land. Landscape architect Axel Bishop of Lafayette, Colo., said the town should incorporate the property into upper and lower Bayside Park to create a singular recreation destination on the shores of Malletts Bay. He presented designs during last week’s selectboard meeting. Bishop was one of a team of contractors that priced and planned an enhanced recreation hub in and around Bayside Park. The plan includes a community pool and recreation center, pedestrian...

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