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Manager’s Message

Aaron Frank, Town Manager

The staff at the Town of Colchester wish all in our community a healthy and safe New Year. 

There is reason for hope as many of your Town’s Rescue department staff, as front-line medical personnel and licensed as Emergency Medical Technicians or higher, have received their first dose of COVID vaccine.  


Unemployment:  During the current economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the unemployment rate rose extremely fast—declined quickly and is beginning to rise, at least in Colchester and Vermont. 

Initially, the Colchester unemployment rate rose from 1.9% to 13.3% in two months.  We are now at 2.3% unemployment, but with more people working and looking for work than in the last month. 

Info on past downturns:

The 2.3% unemployment represents people who are actively looking for a job.  The unemployment rate would not include people who cannot work due to lack of childcare or a variety of other reasons.  In November 2020, 6.4% or 688 fewer Colchester residents were working than in November 2019.  There are 125 or 1.2% more people working in November 2020 than there were in October 2020.

Unemployment definitions: National, State, County and Colchester Unemployment:

Unemployment Rates (%) in Current Economic Downtown



Chittenden County



Feb 2020 (for perspective)





Mar 2020





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CDC Recommendations on Vaccine Priority:

Vermont COVID-19 Vaccine Planning:

Once You Get The COVID-19 Vaccine, Can You Still Infect Others?

St. Michaels College COVID Cases: 82 total cases as of 12/22/2020. The College of 1,600 students conducted 9,570 COVID tests.  Find their updates at

COVID Cases in Colchester: 270 total cases as of 12/23/2020. This is 23 more cases than a week ago and includes the Saint Michaels cases. This is 21-40 cases in the last two weeks per 10,000 people in our community of 17,249. 

COVID Cases by town:

Colchester Rescue

Chief Scott Crady

There were 141 emergency medical calls in the last 30 days, compared to 110 calls last year for this time frame.

Administration of the COVID-19 vaccine began last week for healthcare workers and emergency medical services providers across the country. Providers at Colchester Rescue started receiving the vaccine on Thursday, Dec. 17.  The decision to receive this vaccine is an individual choice and completely voluntary. Personnel based their decisions on the studies from the manufacturer (Pfizer), research from organizations such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and advice from doctors. As with any vaccination or medication, there is always some level of risk; each person needs to understand their personal medical conditions and speak with their physician if they have concerns. If anyone has experienced an allergic reaction upon receiving another vaccine, such as a flu or shingles vaccine, they should consult with their physician before receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. A reaction to a previous vaccine does not necessarily mean someone cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine but their physician will give such an individual the best advice.

The State of Vermont Department of Health is giving licensed EMS personnel (Emergency Medical Technicians, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics) guidance and training to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Licensed EMS personnel currently administer intramuscular (IM) injections to patients in emergency settings. This training focuses on COVID-19 vaccination specifics such as reconstitution, dosing, and administration.  This project will have nurses, pharmacists, and EMS personnel working side-by-side at COVID-19 vaccination clinics to administer the vaccine to the general public under the vaccination plan implemented by the Vermont Department of Health under federal and statewide priority guidelines. 

I urge anyone that has questions about whether they should receive the COVID-19 vaccination to contact their doctor. This will give you the most accurate information based on your personal situation and help you make an informed decision that is right for you. 

Colchester Rescue: or call (802) 264-5990.

Planning & Zoning

Sarah Hadd, Director

The Colchester Planning and Zoning Department reports the following:

The Colchester Development Review Board met on Dec. 9 via Zoom and approved:

  • A two-lot subdivision at 2179 Roosevelt Highway

  • Sketch plan application to subdivide existing buildings owned by St. Michael’s College into six lots along Ethan Allen Avenue  

The Development Review Board will meet again via Zoom on Jan. 13 to consider:

  • Expansion of the Moorings Marina at 332 West Lakeshore Drive

  • A seawall at 595 Orchard Shore Road

  • A three-lot subdivision at 660 Jasper Mine Road

  • Site plan for an auto service and repair use at 226 South Oak Circle

Permit applications may be submitted online at

Curious about Colchester properties?  Our online map shows zoning, assessment, and a variety of other information, including commercial properties. See

Visit, or call (802) 264-5600.

Colchester Fire Department

Chief Stephen Bourgeois

In the last month, our department has responded to 72 calls for service in Colchester and several incidents outside of town for Mutual Aid.

The department continues to function with adjustments due to COVID restrictions to help keep our members and the community safe. All our training is being conducted online. Department-wide meetings are being held twice a month via zoom. Members are only at the stations to respond to emergencies. 

We have received three new member applications and will be going through the entrance process when COVID restrictions allow.

One of our members, Matt Tivnan, resigned this month to take a full-time firefighter’s position in Maine. Matt served the Town of Colchester both in the Fire Department and Colchester Rescue for many years. We would like to thank him for his service and wish him well.

The members of the Colchester Fire Department would like to wish you all a safe and Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Visit  or call 802-862-4415

Upcoming Town Meetings 

Agendas available at:

  • Planning Commission: Next meeting: TBA 

  • Development Review Board: Development Review Board: Next meeting: Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM via Zoom:; Zoom Webinar ID: 935 984 6003

  • Live stream:

  • Mail or email public comments prior to the hearing ( 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  
  • Library Board of Trustees: Next meeting: Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:30 PM via Zoom. Details to follow.
  • Selectboard: Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:30 PM. Residents may watch the meeting online via live stream: or attend via phone 1-929-205-6099; Meeting ID: 967 6487 8386; Passcode: 234888 or alternatively send a note to 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

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For more information or comment: 264-5509 or

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