Aaron Frank, Town Manager
While April 18 is officially the start of Volunteer Appreciation Week, we're using the next three weeks to honor our dedicated and hard-working volunteers that sacrifice their time to support the Town of Colchester, including Rescue staff, firefighters and all those who serve on our many boards and commissions. We couldn't do it without you! Thank you.
Volunteer Appreciation Week - April 2021
Colchester Rescue Squad
On behalf of the Town of Colchester, we would like to recognize the thirty-eight volunteer Emergency Medical Service providers of Colchester Rescue Squad!
We have always appreciated the dedication and service provided to the community by the volunteer members of Colchester Rescue. The past year has been trying and we couldn’t have made it through without you!
You, our dedicated volunteers answer calls to serve the community in the rain, sun, snow and the dark of night. You sacrifice time from your own families to serve ours.
You didn’t back down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Colchester Rescue was in service every day of the pandemic and even grew membership. You stepped up and persevered through operational changes, an influx of information, and the uncertainty of what lay ahead.
We are incredibly proud of entire our team at Colchester Rescue and especially thankful for the service of our volunteers.
With sincere gratitude for your selfless service to the Town of Colchester,
Scott Crady, Rescue Chief
Aaron Frank, Town Manager
Pam Loranger, Colchester Selectboard Chair
Colchester Historical Society News
Spring Newsletter Ready to Read
The Colchester Historical Society has published their Spring 2021 newsletter which can be viewed here: https://colchestervt.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6587/Spring-2021-Colchester-VT-Historical-Society-Newsletter. Learn about Colchester historical driving tours, the Buffalo Soldiers and recent acquisitions from the Modern Woodmen of America.
Enjoy the Lively & Local Exhibit for FREE
Members of the Colchester Historical Society are invited to enjoy FREE admission to the Lively & Local Exhibit at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier. One of the features of the exhibit is the Colchester Log Schoolhouse. The exhibit runs now through July 31, 2021. Current Hours: 10am-4pm, Wednesday-Saturday (please check website, vermonthistory.org for updated hours & visitor guidelines).
For non-members, admissions fees are: $7 Adult, $5 Senior/Student/Children, $20 Family; Free for kids under 6.
Visitors must adhere to all current guidelines related to COVID-19 as set forth by the State of Vermont and Vermont Historical Society. Current visitor information can be found at https://vermonthistory.org/museum.
Note that members of the Colchester Historical Society also can receive a 20% discount on an Individual or Household membership to the Vermont Historical Society! Inquire about the discount at the front desk when visiting.
What? Not a member of the Colchester Historical Society? Find our membership application form at https://colchestervt.gov/.../View/4410/Membership-Form-2019.
Recent Cases: Chittenden County has had 853 new cases in the last 14 days. There are 70 new cases recorded as of today.
Vermont Forward Plan announced: State officials announced last Tuesday an outline for the State’s path to reopening. A 3-step plan that will unfold over the next 3 months, Vermont Forward hopes to have the state “reopen” by July 4. While this is not a hard and fast plan, if Vermont stays on track with vaccinations and meets percentage goals each month, restrictions and mandates could be lifted by the July holiday.
For cross-state travel, unvaccinated travelers are required to get tested no more than three days before coming to Vermont, and have proof of a negative test before traveling to Vermont. Residents coming back into the state will have to get tested within three days of returning. Additionally, businesses with little or no contact will go to universal guidance that includes mask-wearing and physical distancing. View the universal guidance here: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/vermont-forward/business-operations#universal-guidance.
If the State reaches the milestone of 60-70% of Vermonters having received their first dose of a vaccine by May 1st, more businesses, those with low contact, short duration, and in an outdoor and controlled environment, will go to universal guidance. Indoor gatherings and events will allow one un-vaccinated person per 100 square feet, up to 150 people. Outdoor gatherings and events will allow the same up to 300 people, plus any number of vaccinated people.
If the State reaches the vaccination goal of 70-85% of Vermonters over 16 having had their first dose, looser restrictions on gatherings will be applied, and no testing for cross state travel will be required. These new rules open up the possibility for larger events like graduations and weddings.
Ideally, by July, Governor Scott says there will be no formal mandates, just recommended mask-wearing and social distancing. If any of these vaccination milestones are not met, however, the plan will have to be pushed back and restrictions might have to go back in place. If Vermonters continue adhering to current restrictions, wear masks, stay at least six feet apart from others, and continue to register for vaccines as they become available, the State is confident the milestones can be met and Vermonters can prevent further spread of COVID-19.
You can view the Vermont Forward Plan here: https://www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward#gsc.tab=0.
New COVID-19 Variation: A new variant of COVID-19, P.1, was identified in a Vermont specimen last week. This is the third variant to be detected in the state, and might be the most transmissible so far. COVID-19 variants have been on the rise around the country, but Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says if Vermonters continue to follow guidance, spreading of the virus can be curbed.
Vaccination Eligibility: The COVID-19 vaccine registration is officially open to those 30 and older starting today, April 12. Next Monday, Vermonters 16 and older can register for the vaccine.
Set up an account. You may set up an account in advance of your vaccine registration opening date. https://vermont.force.com/events/s/selfregistration
Vaccination Progress: As of Friday, April 9, 249,724 Vermonters, or 45.6% of the state’s population have had at least one dose of the vaccine. 161,200 Vermonters, or 29.4%, have been fully vaccinated. View the COVID-19 Dashboard here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-dashboard
Face Masks Available
Need a new face mask? Free cloth face masks with tie backs in a variety of colors are still available at the Town Clerk’s Office at 781 Blakely Road. Grab up to five masks for yourself or others at the office between 7:30 A.M. and noon, Monday through Friday. They will be available until they run out.
Director of Parks & Recreation
April Vacation Camp for grades K-5 still has a few spots available. You can register on the Parks and Recreation website https://colchestervt.gov/333/Parks-Recreation.
Colchester Youth Lacrosse for grades 3-8 has begun with spaces still available on each team. Please call our office if your child is interested in playing.
Lacrosse Launch for grade 2 is still accepting players. You can register on our website and the program starts on May 1st. https://colchestervt.gov/333/Parks-Recreation
Smart Start Lacrosse for children grades K-1 is also still accepting players. You can register on our website and the program starts on May 1st. https://colchestervt.gov/333/Parks-Recreation
The Summer Camp/Program brochure is available online at our website https://colchestervt.gov/333/Parks-Recreation. Hard copies will no longer be mailed to each household.
Pavilion rental applications are still on hold as we await group gathering sizes for the summer from the State of Vermont. We will announce the date we will be accepting reservations on our social media sites (Facebook and Instagram) and our website.
As parks begin to open please follow all State of Vermont Outdoor 4.1 Recreation and Fitness guidelines - https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-stay-home-stay-safe-order#outdoor-recreation-and-fitness
Park restroom facilities remain closed at this time and should be opening in the next couple of weeks.
Please remember to pick up after your pets in the parks and recreation paths.
Planning is taking place for park projects scheduled for FY 22.
Park staff is continuing miscellaneous maintenance in the parks and its facilities.
Chief of Colchester Police
Our warm weather has again given us a much-needed preview of summer. Complaints into our dispatch center have also had a summer flavor to them. Motor vehicle and noise complaints are on the increase. With open windows and people enjoying the outdoors after a long, isolated winter, please show respect for your neighbors and the community by the way you drive and recreate.
On a related issue, with more use of recreation paths and sidewalks, please remember to keep dogs on a leash or under immediate control and to pick up their waste. This includes properly disposing of the waste bag.
I have spoken before in both the Newsletter and before our Selectboard about the incredible value we place on our Community Outreach workers. Since 2018, Colchester was one of the original communities that partnered with Howard Services to provide social workers to help law enforcement interact and provide services to persons with mental health or other unmet social needs. We were reminded of that value this week when a resident wrote to the Town Manager expressing his appreciation for how CPD officers and Outreach staff worked for several hours to de-escalate a male having a mental health crisis.
Now serving nine communities with six workers, Community Outreach continues to provide services both independently and in close cooperation with CPD staff. CPD regularly trains on de-escalation techniques through our rigorous use of force trainings.
Since March 12, CPD has responded to 877 calls for service. These calls resulted in 28 arrests on 35 criminal violations including, Unlawful Trespass, Aggravated Domestic Assault, and Credit Card Fraud, among others.
For more about Colchester Police Department visit http://colchestervt.gov/police or call (802) 264-5555.
Upcoming Town Meetings
Agendas available at: https://clerkshq.com/Colchester-vt
- Planning Commission: April 20 at 7:00 P.M. via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/9359846003; Zoom Meeting ID: 935 984 6003:
- Mail or email public testimony prior to the hearing (firstname.lastname@example.org or Town of Colchester Planning Commission, 781 Blakely Road, Colchester, VT 05446)
- Development Review Board: Next meeting: April 14 at 7:00 PM via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/9359846003; Zoom Meeting ID: 935 984 6003
- Live stream: http://lcatv.org/live-stream-2
- Mail or email public comments prior to the hearing (email@example.com)or Town of Colchester, c/o Development Review Board, 781 Blakely Road, Colchester, VT 05446) or participate at public comment periods during the Zoom meeting.
- Recreation Advisory Board: Next meeting: TBA
- Conservation Commission: 3rd Monday of the month. Next meeting: April 19, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Dial: 1-929-205-6099;Meeting ID: 940 0941 6919;Passcode: 291046
- Library Board of Trustees: Next meeting: April 15, 2021 at 4:30 PM. Dial: 1-929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 945 6255 3201 Passcode: 610770.
- Special Meeting of the Library Board of Trustees: April 22, 2021 at 9:00 A.M. Dial: 1-929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 939 5640 7441 Passcode: 929760
- Selectboard: -Next meeting: April 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM. Attend via phone: 1-929-205-6099; Meeting ID: 936 3297 3311; Passcode: 692394 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. Watch the meeting online via live stream: http://lcatv.org/live-stream-2
- Selectboard Agenda: www.bit.ly/Colchester-SB-Agendas
Subscribe to the Town Newsletter: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/jkMAO2v
For more information or to comment call 264-5509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org