Colchester Stock: Town Hall Sign

Manager’s Message

Aaron Frank, Town Manager

Lung Cancer Screening: Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the U.S. and kills more than 150,000 Americans each year.  Most lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.Lung screening reduces mortality by at least 20%, as screening increases the likelihood that tumors are caught at earlier stages when they are easier to treat. The most important risk factor for lung cancer is smoking.  Other major risk factors include secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos, air pollution, previous radiation to the lung, toxins (e.g. arsenic, cadmium), and personal or family history of lung cancer.  Screening resources: https://www.acraccreditation.org/accredited-facility-search.  For more information about lung cancer screening: www.alcsi.org.

The American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative encourages lung cancer screening for high-risk patients.

Local Hazard Mitigation Plan: The Town of Colchester is updating its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a condition of continued access to reduced cost flood insurance, and  as required by the State of Vermont for continued access to State funding for municipal costs after weather events.  The Town incorporates zoning, shoreland protection and other development restrictions to minimize long term risk and damage to life and property from natural hazards.  Through the LHMP, we must review natural hazards and document strategies and actions to reduce and minimize the impact of those hazards. 

Colchester’s last LHMP was completed in 2017. An updated plan is due in early 2022. As part of the plan update, the Town is seeking input from residents and stakeholders. Please take a few moments to answer the questions below and share your thoughts on natural hazard risks, important community assets, and strategies to reduce the impact of natural hazards on Colchester’s community assets.  Thank you in advance for your input to be considered within the framework of this planning process.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JYWKKR5

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Unemployment: The State of Vermont continues to substantially outperform the nation in unemployment with 2.9% unemployment in Vermont and 4.8% nationally. Chittenden County at 1.7% and the Town of Colchester at 1.7% respectively, outperform the State. 

Employment: The Colchester labor force, those working or actively seeking work, dropped from 10,758 in February 2020, pre-COVID, to 9,677 in January 2021.  The labor force is trending back up and is now at 10,046 but is 712 (7%) below pre-COVID levels; one percent higher than in June.  The number of employed people dropped from 10,556 pre-COVID to a low of 9,339 in January 2021 and is now up to 9,874 or 682 (6%) below pre-COVID levels.  The labor force does not include people who cannot work due to lack of childcare or a variety of other reasons including those who choose not to work. 

This chart shows unemployed people in Colchester (those looking for jobs) on the left scale and bar graph in orang, and the percentage of unemployed people in Colchester on the right scale and line graph in aqua.  While the number of unemployed people went up in September by 108 people vs. June, the labor force reduced by 47 people. While we fared far better than the nation and better than the State as a whole, our economy is still recovering from an enormous shock with 7% or 712 fewer people working.  

“This economic recovery is unusual for many reasons.  While the unemployment rate is near pre-pandemic levels, the labor force is down approximately 7% or 25,000 individuals.  The number of filled jobs is down about 6% or 20,000 positions. This contraction in the labor force combined with Vermont employers ramping up hiring efforts to fill open positions is resulting in an extremely tight labor market. The Department’s job board, VermontJobLink.com, shows over 10,000 open positions currently under recruitment in Vermont and our local workforce teams continue to work with job seekers, offering both in-person and virtual services, such as workshops, job fairs, and one-on-one career consultations”.  – Michael Harrington, State of Vermont Labor Commissioner

The Vermont Department of Labor has services to assist unemployed Vermonters back into the workforce with meaningful employment. For more information: http://www.labor.vermont.gov/jobs

For the latest unemployment press release: http://www.vtlmi.info/index.cfm

Information on past downturns: https://colchestervt.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/693

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COVID UPDATE

Appointments for Free Vaccine: https://vermont.force.com/events/s/selfregistration

You can also walk in at CVS, Hannaford Food and Drug, Walmart, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw’s Supermarket, or Costco or get an appointment with Kinney Drugs, CVS, Walgreens,Northfield Pharmacy,or UVMMC Outpatient Pharmacies

Booster Shot information: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccineBooster Shot Answers:https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/faqs#boostershot

Booster shots available through

Johnson & Johnson: You can get a booster shot if you received your vaccine at least two months ago.

Moderna and Pfizer: You can get a booster shot if you received your second dose of vaccine at least six months ago and are: 

    65 or older.

    18 or older with certain medical conditions.

    18 or older who work in a high-risk setting.

    18 or older and are Black, Indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC) 

    18 or older and live with someone who is BIPOC.

COVID-19 Update: In the last 14 days, there have been 561 cases of Coronavirus in Chittenden County. For further information, please visit the Vermont Department of Health's Dashboard: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/current-activity/vermont-dashboard

Forecast: The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation notes that cases are 3.9 times greater for unvaccinated vs. fully vaccinated people and that overall cases increased 26% in the week prior to October 11. https://dfr.vermont.gov/sites/finreg/files/doc_library/dfr-covid19-modeling-092821-revised.pdf

Vaccination Progress: 88% of Chittenden County residents 12+ have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of  October 1, 2021: www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-dashboard

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Library: Over the past few months we have been so excited to see so many patrons visit us. As the weather cools and the leaves turn, we hope many more come and use our services. 

Due to the high rate of COVID-19 cases in Chittenden County, all patrons entering the library or attending a program in the Library Meeting House are required to wear a mask, even if fully vaccinated. We appreciate your cooperation.

Our hours in November will continue to be as follows: 

Mondays, 12 – 6 pm

Tuesdays, 10 am – 4 pm

Wednesdays, 10 am – 4 pm

Thursday, 12 – 6 pm

Friday, 10 am – 1 pm

Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm

The Library will be closed on Thursday November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. 

The Library will also be closed on Thursday November 25 and Friday November 26 because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Regular service hours will resume Saturday November 27. 

Here are some other programs you can attend in November:

Kids Yoga: Monday November 1, 8, 15 & 29 at 3:30-4:00 pm and 4:00 – 4:30 pm. Join Melissa Nutting for Kids Yoga, a joyful blend of yoga poses, songs, games, books, and relaxation techniques. There will be two sessions of the program, Kids Yoga I from 3:30 – 4 pm for kids, pre-k – 2nd grade, and Kids Yoga II which will run from 4-4:30 pm for kids, 2nd – 5th grade. Sign-ups for this program are required, please sign up on our website.

Outdoor Storytime: Tuesdays & Fridays at 10:30 am. Join us on the library lawn for stories, songs, and lots of giggles. Please bring a towel or blankets for your family to sit on during storytime.

Outdoor Crafts: Thursday, November 4 & 18 at 3:30 pm. Kids 5 and up get to work on a new craft project every session.

Adult Craft – Book Turkey: Tuesday November 9 at 1 pm & Saturday November 13 at 11 am at the Library Meeting House. Do you love our book turkey? Join us and learn how you can repurpose an old book into a fantastic centerpiece! All materials provided. Registration is required. If the class is full, please contact burnhamlib@colchestervt.gov and we will put you on a waitlist. 

Young Writers & Storytellers: Wednesday, November 10 at 3:30 pm. Join us for our writing club for children from kindergarten to 5th grade. Let’s create stories! Call 264-5660 for more information.

Virtual Adult Book Discussion: Tuesday, November 16 at 1 pm over Zoom. Join our afternoon book group! We read a wide range of books, and the discussion is led by a Library staff member. This month, we’ll be reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Copies of the book are available for checkout. As the book discussion is over Zoom, please let a staff member know you are interested in attending so that a link can be sent to you before the program.

Here is one of the great books you can check out in the library or from our digital collection: 

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson –Adult Fiction, 2019

Susan Gamberg, Youth Services

Back from Mexico, Sheriff Walt Longmire is faced with a new case in Absaroka County, Wyoming.  A dead shepherd has been found and Walt has a suspicion that it is a suicide.  The victim is found to be connected to a family of very powerful and violent Basque ranchers.  Walt investigates and begins to doubt his first thought of suicide as the cause of death because it’s beginning to look more like a case of murder.  As his investigation progresses, Walt finds clues of strange tree carvings and candy wrappers left in places he searches and he begins to believe his Spirit Guide Virgil White Buffalo is the one leaving the clues.  Walt also is faced with angry townspeople claiming a wolf is loose in the Bighorn Mountains threatening them and their livestock, further complicating his search for the killer.   Another great read in this series. 

 


Upcoming Town Meetings 

Upcoming Meetings:

Selectboard: Tuesday, November 9 at 5:30 pm at the Colchester Town Offices, 3rd Floor Outer Bay Conference Room, 781 Blakely Road.  Masks are required. Alternatively, send a note to townmanager@colchestervt.gov with “Citizens to be Heard” in the Subject and your name. As with in-person Citizens to be Heard, we ask that you SHARE YOUR ADDRESS. The email will be shared with the entire Selectboard prior to the meeting and included in the information packet at the next meeting. 

Development Review Board: Wednesday, November 10, 7:00 pm at the Colchester Town Offices, 3rd Floor Outer Bay Conference Room, 781 Blakely Road. The Development Review Board will likely be participating remotely. Members of the public will have the option to choose either remote or in-person attendance. Masks are required for in-person attendance. Public comments can be submitted prior to the hearing by email to zmaia@colchestervt.gov or by mail to Town of Colchester, c/o Development Review Board, 781 Blakely Road, Colchester, VT 05446. Alternatively, participate in the public comment periods during the hybrid meeting.

Recreation Advisory Board: Wednesday, November 10, 7:00 am at the Colchester Town Offices, 3rd Floor Outer Bay Conference Room, 781 Blakely Road. Masks are required.  

Library Board of Trustees: November 18 4:30 pm at the Burnham Memorial Library, Burnham Room, 898 Main Street. Masks are required.  Remote info will be provided at a future time. 

Colchester Parks and Recreation Fall Activities: Ongoing program offerings for all ages.  Currently we are accepting Youth Basketball League registrations. colchestervt.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6804/2021FallBrochure 

Subscribe to the Town Newsletter:https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/jkMAO2v

For more information or to comment, call 264-5509 or email townmanager@colchestervt.gov

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