The Colchester Selectboard is taking no formal position on the use of F35 jets at the Burlington International Airport (BTV) or the projected noise impacts on the town. Deputy Town Manager, Geoff Urbanik, cited the lack of feedback, positive or negative, from townsfolk as one of the reasons for the board’s neutrality.
Even if residents were up in arms about the projected noise impact, he says there is little to nothing the town could do to combat that.
Neither the BTV airport, nor the city of Burlington, has control over the federal government’s use of F35 jets, as they currently hold a 100-year lease for the air guard property. “There is not a lot of action that could be taken,” explained Urbanik.
From the first map put out in 2015 to projections for 2023, homes that could be affected by excessive noise will increase from 976 to 2,640. That’s over 1,500 more homes.
While the towns of Winooski, Burlington, and Williston will be most harshly affected by the increased noise, the new map shows impacts extending as far as lower Malletts Bay Avenue in Colchester.
According to a memo put out by Town Manager Aaron Frank, “about five total dwellings in Colchester are within the 65 DNL [Day-Night Average Sound Level] on the new map, along with a couple of hotels and parts of St. Michael’s College that include the President’s Residence and administration buildings, but no dormitories.”