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Manager's Message

Aaron Frank, Town Manager

Happy Holidays: The Colchester Town staff wishes all residents and businesses a safe and happy holiday season.  

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the food basket drive with Colchester/Milton Rotary to help families in need.  Colchester Fire, Police and Rescue helped deliver the baskets this weekend and it brought joy to our staff and volunteers to be part of making the holidays a merrier experience for people in need. 

Social Media and Town Requests: You are welcome to post on social media, but if you wish for the Town staff or Selectboard to act on or consider something, please contact us directly by phone or email.  We may wish to obtain more specific information or dialogue with you about the issue to understand and resolve through more direct communication.   

Issues of Local Concern: Please contact the Town staff directly if you have an issue of concern that you believe should be addressed by your Town government.  Here is a directory of phone and email contact information for various Town departments: https://tinyurl.com/Col-Town-Dir and a link to a web page showing your Town services:  https://colchestervt.gov/35/Town-Services.  If you are uncertain who to contact, or are not satisfied with the response to a Town department, feel free to contact the Town Manager’s office at 264-5509 or townmanager@colchestervt.gov.  

Your Town Selectboard serves as the legislative and judicial branch of your municipal government, and oversees the Town Manager.  If you have something to be shared with them at a Selectboard meeting, please send it to townmanager@colchestervt.gov, with “Citizens to Be Heard” in the heading.  Please include your name and address in the body of the email.  Individual Selectboard member contact information is available here: https://colchestervt.gov/401/Selectboard

Automobile Noise: A loud exhaust on a vehicle that has passed Vermont inspection is unlikely to be deemed unreasonable by the court; consequently your Town Police Officers are very unlikely to be able to issue a citation. We have asked State officials and our Town Attorney whether it is possible to create a local ordinance addressing automobile noise more strictly than the State inspections. The Town cannot create its own regulations of vehicles since the State of Vermont regulates vehicle inspections. The State standards for vehicle inspections allow mufflers or aftermarket mufflers to pass. A reasonable way to regulate noise in automobiles is to create a measurable standard and test that becomes part of annual State required inspections.  

Colchester Historical Society Event: The Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont, 1909-1913: Feb. 18, 2021, 12:00 p.m. 

Register now and mark your 2021 calendar for this free presentation about Colchester's famous Buffalo Soldiers. This event is hosted by the Vermont Historical Society and recommended by the Colchester Historical Society. 

The arrival of the Tenth Cavalry sent Burlington into demographic shock. Almost overnight the small city acquired a substantial black community, a situation that clearly dismayed many residents. In July 1909, the Tenth United States Cavalry Regiment, one of four regular army black regiments collectively known as the Buffalo Soldiers, arrived in Colchester to begin a four-year tour of duty at Fort Ethan Allen. Many people feared the presence of sizable numbers of African American soldiers in their community and a bitter debate ensued over whether the City of Burlington should adopt Jim Crow facilities. For the next four years, the Tenth Cavalry would encounter similar reactions as it traveled throughout the northeast and as far south as Winchester, Virginia. Wherever they went, the black soldiers faced fear and suspicion and had to demonstrate good behavior to win the acceptance of the white population.  https://vermonthistory.org/journal/73/07_Work.pdf

The presenter is David Work, Ph.D. in American history. He currently teaches at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington. https://form.jotform.com/203236565233148


COVID UPDATE 

COVID-19 vaccines - Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vaccine/art-20484859

Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine | New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Fact Sheet on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine: https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download

Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? The COVID-19 vaccine is now here in Vermont, and hospitals have begun vaccinations.

If you’re looking for the latest information about who can get the vaccine now, where and when people will be vaccinated, visit healthvermont.gov/covid19-vaccines.

 While we wait for vaccine to become more widely available to Vermonters, we must keep up our prevention practices, including physical distancing, mask-wearing and handwashing. This is still the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

COVID-19 Testing is an important tool to help prevent the spread of the disease. The Health Department recommends testing as soon as possible when:

  • you have symptoms of COVID-19

  • you are referred by your health care provider

  • a person in your workplace or household, or a person you attended an event with, tests positive for COVID-19

  • you plan on going to a social gathering with people you don't live with. You should get tested before the gathering, right after, and again on day 7.

Learn more and find a site healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing.

BIPOC Vermonters have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, due to systemic and structural racism affecting the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, and work: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-among-BIPOC-Data-Brief.pdf

St. Michaels College COVID Cases: 82 total cases as of 12/20/2020. The College of 1,600 students conducted 9,504 COVID tests this last semester. Students are completing the semester following Thanksgiving, at home online.  Find their updates at https://www.smcvt.edu/return-to-campus/

COVID Cases in Colchester: 247 total cases as of 12/16/2020. This is 17 more cases than a week ago and includes the Saint Michael's cases.  This is 11-20 cases in the last two weeks per 10,000 people in our community of 17,249. 

COVID Cases by town: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/current-activity/covid-19-communities


Parks and Recreation

Glen Cuttitta, Director

- The New Winter/Spring program brochure is available online at our website www.colchestervt.gov 

- At this time, we are unable to determine if there will be a Youth Basketball Program.  The current delay in high school sports and the availability to use the schools courts are based on the Agency of Education guidance. 

- Staff is working on summer camp programming and staffing.

- Planning is taking place for projects scheduled for FY 22. 

- At this time, we will not construct an ice rink at Airport Park. Currently the State of Vermont Be Smart, Stay Safe Order prohibits outdoor activities that involve physical contact and more than two individuals from different households (Section 4.1. Outdoor Recreation). An ice rink would encourage hockey games and prohibited activities. We will revisit construction of the ice rink in mid-January (when we typically put up the rink) and act according to State guidelines at that time. 

 -  Park staff is prepared to groom Nordic trails at Airport Park as soon as we have enough snow to create trails.

- Park staff is continuing miscellaneous maintenance such as basic repairs and preparing for winter closedown of park facilities.

Visit https://colchestervt.gov/333/Parks-Recreation or call 802-264-5640.


Colchester Police Department

Chief Doug Allen

Our Thanksgiving holiday traffic safety campaign was successful.  Between Nov. 20-29, CPD officers engaged 101 drivers.  Officers wrote warnings for 90 different violations and ticketed 43 drivers.  During that same time, we had 15 motor vehicle crashes in Colchester with only one minor personal injury.  We will have officers focusing on impaired driving around the upcoming holiday season. 

We continue to work with the State of Vermont on complaints related to compliance with the Governor’s pandemic orders.  We have worked with Vermont State Police and Vermont Department of Liquor Control to ensure all complaints are answered and education provided as necessary.  

A reminder that parking on any public road or parking lot between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in Colchester is prohibited now until March.  Officers have been tagging vehicles with warning tickets.  Any vehicle receiving more then two warnings or is impeding snow removal is subject to tow.

Since Nov. 11, CPD has responded to 1,153 calls for service.  These calls resulted in 43 arrests for criminal violations including Possession of Stolen Property, Violation of Abuse Prevention Order, and Burglary among others.   

For more about Colchester Police Department visit http://colchestervt.gov/police or call (802) 264-5555.

Visit http://colchestervt.gov/police or call (802) 264-5555.


Upcoming Town Meetings 

 Agendas available at: https://clerkshq.com/Colchester-vt

Planning Commission: Next meeting: TBA 

Development Review Board: Development Review Board: Next meeting: Jan. 13 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/9359846003; Zoom Webinar ID: 935 984 6003

  • Live stream:  http://lcatv.org/live-stream-2

  • Mail or email public comments prior to the hearing (lriddle@colchestervt.gov 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: Jan. 18, 2021

Library Board of Trustees: Next meeting Jan. 21 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

Selectboard: Next regular meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. Residents may watch the meeting online via live stream: http://lcatv.org/live-stream-2 or attend via phone 1-929-205-6099; Meeting ID: 967 6487 8386; Passcode: 234888 or alternatively send a note to TownManager@colchestervt.gov with “Citizens to be Heard” in the Subject and their 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.

Subscribe to the Town Newsletter: https://www.colchestervt.gov/list.aspx 

For more information or comment: 264-5509 or townmanager@colchestervt.gov

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