Author: Jason Starr

Chief concerns: Morrison at the White House

When the president’s report on 21st century policing was published last summer, Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison devoured it. The manual lights a path through the challenges of modern policing, including the ubiquity of video recording, flare-ups in citizen/police mistrust and the prevalence of social media. Morrison’s copy is now earmarked and highlighted with ways it relates to Colchester and how it can be implemented. As part of her ongoing studies, Morrison joined three other Vermont police chiefs on a one-day visit to the White House in August for a national forum on implementing the plan. “The Colchester Police Department...

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Town selectboard rejects land swap deal to developer

Colchester taxpayers will retain ownership of a 1.7-acre parcel on Water Tower Hill after the selectboard shot down a proposal in August to trade it to a nearby developer for 20 years of rooftop space for a radio tower. The town is already using the roof of Acabay Inc’s office building atop Water Tower Hill to transmit radio communications for Colchester’s three independent fire departments. Town administrators worked out a tentative agreement with Acabay to trade the parcel — which the town acquired for a nominal fee in 1991 — for a 20-year lease to continue using the rooftop...

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Severance cornered: Colchester landowner talks history, new book

When Malcolm Severance was looking to settle down and raise a family, he and his wife, Gladys, surveyed all the possibilities that would combine proximity to his job at the University of Vermont and the rural lifestyle of his youth. The best choice just happened to be right next to his parents’ farm on Route 7 on a parcel just north of the Colchester road that carries the family name. That is where, 50 years later, Severance began penning a history of an institution where he was educated, taught and served as a trustee. “A Pursuit of Excellence: A...

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3-phase Bayside plan OK’d

The Colchester Selectboard endorsed a plan in August to locate a community and fitness center on five acres at Bayside Park, starting with an outdoor pool. The facility would displace some current park amenities onto the undeveloped town-owned 14 acres across the street. Voters approved purchase of the undeveloped property between East Lakeshore Drive and Blakely Road in 2004 with an eye toward community recreation. The selectboard also endorsed a three-tiered phasing plan for the community center starting with construction of a $3.3 million outdoor pool and bathhouse. Phase II is construction of a $4.2 million community/fitness center building,...

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Town opens board seats to students

Civic opportunities for Colchester teenagers expanded in August when the selectboard added a seat for high school sophomores or juniors on all of the town’s appointed boards, committees and commissions. The move creates an even number of members on the town’s eight boards, committees and commissions. A majority of selectboard members felt the policy’s benefits outweigh the risk of deadlocked votes. Only the selectboard is excluded from the policy. The only other elected board, the library board of trustees, will have only a non-voting youth member. Youth are eligible for full voting membership on the development review board, planning...

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