Willey’s Park and Beach – ideas welcome

Plans are in progress for Willey’s Park in Greensboro, located on the land purchased from the Willey estate by the Town in the 1970’s.   The current ideas have included a parking lot, bridge, new beach, etc. on the historically undeveloped shoreland directly next to the Public Beach.   Interested? Come to the Selectboard meeting this Wednesday (June 11, 7:00pm at the Town Hall) to find out more.

Registration is open for the Third annual Caspian Challenge

The third annual Caspian Challenge will be run this year on July 26. Registration is open electronically for the race here. You are also welcome to register by mail, download the form here.
The race includes a lake loop, a 5k run, a 5k walk, and a kids run. Runners who register by July 6 will receive a free teeshirt! Complete details available here.

Bridge lessons offered this summer

Do you want to learn how to play bridge?  The Mountain View Country Club is offering lessons for members and non-members.   Details are here.

Golf and tennis lessons will continue this year for children and adults, and the popular Kid’s Night will run in July and August.  Check the MVCC calendar for these and many other offerings for the 2014 Season.

Mountain View Country club is a family oriented club which has existed for over 100 years. New members are always welcome – contact https://www.mvccvt.com/.

Summer Opportunities at Sterling College – special offer to GA members

Sterling College, up the road in Craftsbury Common, is offering 2-week summer courses that are open to the general public. Both need and merit based scholarships are available for locals and summer residents, and current members of the Greensboro Association will receive an additional $500 tuition credit to participate in the course of their choice while space remains available.

The line-up of summer short-courses includes Artisan Cheese-Making in collaboration with the Cellars at Jasper Hill (May 27 – June 6), The Art of Fermentation with notable fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz (July 7 – 18), and Place-Based Writing with John Elder, and other renowned authors (June 9 – 20). Visit www.sterlingcollege.edu/summer to see a full course list and to register, and contact Tim Patterson at [email protected] with questions, or to inquire about additional financial aid.

2014 Spring Newsletter

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Click here to read the 2014 Spring Newsletter! Lots of news and information about upcoming  events in Greensboro.  Thank you to Niall Kirkwood, our Newsletter Editor.

Join a “green” effort for the Greensboro Community

Are you interesting in “Green” issues for the greater Greensboro Community?  The Greensboro UCC has recently started a “Green Group” whose membership is open to the community.   The overall purpose is to define ways to foster better environmental awareness, and decide on appropriate next-steps, as well as urging users of the church to do so in the most environment-honoring way possible.  Potential projects include not only more efficient energy use, recycling and composting….but also some initial discussion of longer-term and larger-scale projects, that could include a possible town-wide solar project.

The next meeting is May 10, 2014 from 10 am to 12 in the church’s Library Room (nearest the road)

Pastor Anthony Acheson writes “Have you ever come to an event at Greensboro Church? That is likely, because this building is the most widely used space for community events in our area. Other than Sunday morning, our building is used for non-church groups far more than for church events. Because we want everyone who uses this building to follow green practices, there is a way in which this work belongs to the whole community, not just the church’s membership. As a result, whatever green steps we take have great educational potential for the whole area.”

Questions? Contact Anthony Acheson at [email protected], or Green Group facilitator Mike Coffey at [email protected]

$251,000 USDA Grant to Improve Water Supply in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, VT – (April 9, 2014)  – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Wednesday that it has awarded a $251,000 Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) to Greensboro Fire District #1 to improve drinking water quality for users in Greensboro Village.

The grant will help the Fire District develop an additional well. The system’s existing wells have suffered from drought conditions in the past two years, forcing residents to draw untreated drinking water directly for Caspian Lake. Untreated surface water does not meet the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring the system to issue boil water notices to its users.

 “Safe, high quality drinking water in sufficient quantity is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady. “Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the team at USDA Rural Development recognize that our rural communities cannot shoulder the burden of making large drinking water improvements alone, and the ECWAG program is one of the most effective tools we can use to address sudden and unforeseen water quality and quantity concerns.”

The Fire District is in the final stages of an 18,000 foot water line replacement project scheduled to be completed in the coming months. USDA Rural Development provided $2,833,250 in low cost loans and grants through the agency’s Water and Waste Disposal Program. The new lines will increase fire protection and decrease water consumption due to old leaking pipes. The contractor for the project, Munson Earth Moving Corp., recently received the Associated General Contractors of Vermont 2013 Best Builders award for this project.

 “In the middle of our two-year pipe replacement project, our primary well started to dry up,” said John Mackin Prudential Committee Greensboro Fire District 1.  “USDA Rural Development stepped in with critical funding for a new well.  This has been a major undertaking for our Fire District Prudential Committee.  We have been very fortunate to have the professional help that has been provided throughout this project.”

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $197 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html.

The Greensboro Garage is seeking a buyer – will close July 1.

The Breezy Lane branch of the Greensboro Garage is seeking a buyer.   Steven Ferber is planning to retire, and has had the business on the market with that in mind.  Without a buyer, it will close its doors on July 1.   According to Tim Nisbet, co-owner of the Greensboro Garage with Stephen,  “This has been an extremely difficult decision for Stephen and me to make. It is our hope that someone will step forward and buy the Greensboro property and continue to offer the service that we have over the past 42+ years”.

Although the Greensboro shop will close on July 1st,  the Hardwick location of the Greensboro Garage is going to remain in operation, according to Tim.

The Greensboro shop is a turnkey business in that it has a faithful and growing clientele and a complete staff of 7 for office and auto maintenance functions.  Interested parties should contact The Watson Agency (Craftsbury office) or Stephen Ferber at the Garage for further information.

Circus Smirkus plans to break ground for Greensboro Camp early in July

The proposal to build a children’s camp on the Sig Lonegren property on Breezy Lane is close to passing its last hurdle.   Once the Act 250 ruling by the state is received, the project will be fully ready to proceed.

Circus Smirkus floated its idea to purchase the Greensboro property for its camp in 2013, and spent significant time developing architectural plans, fundraising among its supporters, and informing various Greensboro constituencies.   Following significant deliberation by the Greensboro Planning Commission,  the project was approved in June 2013.

In August 2013, two groups filed opposition to the camp plan with the State of Vermont, contending that the plan should not have been approved by Greensboro as it altered the character of the town.    As of the Act 250 hearing in February 2014,  all opposition by both the abutters to the Lonegren property and by other summer community property owners had been withdrawn.

Closing on the Lonegren property took place on April 16.   Contractor site visits and bid meetings took place the first week in April, and construction is planned to begin on July 1, 2014.   The camp will  open  in summer 2015.

The camp will not affect the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour program, which will continue to present shows at the Circus Barn on Circus Road in Greensboro.  The 2014 Big Top Tour  “Anchors Away for Atlantis” will present shows in Greensboro on June 29 at 1pm and 6pm, on  August 15 at 6pm, and on August 16 at 1pm and 6pm.

Further information on the camp and how to get Big Top Tour tickets is available on the Circus Smirkus website at smirkus.org.

FLASH: The 2014 Caspian Challenge will be run July 26

We’ve received many inquiries about the 2014 3rd annual Caspian Challenge in Greensboro.   The races will be held on July 26 in the morning.   Registration will open June 1 (check back here for details).   Thanks so much for the interest!

 

The Firehouse is nearing completion

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The Greensboro Firehouse is nearing completion at the Four Corners on the approach into Greensboro.

GAAR to buy Hazendale Farmstead

The Greensboro Arts Alliance has entered into a purchase agreement with Hazendale Farmstead as a home base for their organization.    Diana Griffith and David Allen have announced that they will vacate the premises at the end of September 2014 and will relocate to a new building on the farm to continue the business.

In recent years the GAAR has sought a permanent home for their productions and summer festival.  Among other ideas were a site located in the Lake Protection district (which was denied due to zoning) and the renovation of Town Hall to create a theater.  A committee of town residents and officials combined with members of the GAAR community determined in the fall that the Town Hall idea was not workable.  

The sale will not affect the 2014 summer season.  Hazendale will be open as usual from May with flowers and vegetable starts from the green house, and the last week of June with a fully stocked Farmstand.  And the GAAR has announced an expanded 2014 session under a tent located on the Town Hall Green, as well as a children’s camp, master classes, and a writers program.  For details on their camps and programs, go to their website.

 

 

Town Meeting results

Results of Town Meeting are available at the Town Web site.    Among many other items, Peter Romans and Marsha Gadoury were elected to the selectboard,  the new Shoreland Zoning was passed, and the Town budget was passed.  The proposal to direct the state to establish a Vermont State Bank was defeated.

Additionally, the Greensboro Arts Alliance announced a purchase agreement with Hazendale Farm to establish a permanent home for their festival and programming.  And Junior Salls, the Greensboro Fire chief, announced that the construction of the new firehouse should be completed in the next month (weather permitting!)

Thanks to the Four C’s of early Learning for the fantastic Chicken, biscuits, and apple crumble lunch served during the meeting!

Funky Fourth Fireworks and Parade scheduled for July 5, 2014

The Funky Fourth will be celebrated on July 5, 2014.  Volunteers are welcome and needed to help with the parade and any aspects of the day….Please, many hands make light work!

2014 Winter Update

Our members have received the Winter Letter by email. Those who have not “opted out” of paper mailings will also get the mailing delivered by the USPS shortly. We look forward to getting your updates, suggestions and new member referrals.

We have been very busy this the fall, addressing a number of issues important to our members. Read the highlights in the Winter 2014 President’s Letter.

 

Come to Town Meeting March 4

The Greensboro Town Meeting will be on March 4, 2014 at 10am in the Fellowship Hall of the United Church of Christ.   For details on the agenda, absentee voting details, and the town reports including financial statements go to www.greensborovt.org and look at the front page article about Town Meeting.

Recent local zoning revisions will be voted on at this Town Meeting.

Vermont State Senate Shoreland Protection Bill Update

The Vermont Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee has unanimously sent H 526, The Shoreland Protection Bill, to the Vermont Senate for a vote. The Town of Greensboro is urging property owners and others who have interest in this legislation to contact their representatives – see the Town website for more details.

More information on the State bill is available here.

The Greensboro Association is following this bill closely, as it may supersede the new, proposed local Lakeshore zoning ordinances which have been developed during the past six months by the Greensboro Zoning Board.

 

 

Water Pipe Replacement Project Wraps up and Munson Wins Award

Greensboro’s water pipe replacement work wraps up this December as the contractor, Munson Earth Moving Corporation, wins the 2013 Best Builders Award “For Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort.”  Since April, Munson has been digging up and replacing over 3.5 miles of water pipe in the Greensboro Fire District #1 (GFD#1) all with minimal disruption to vehicular traffic and water service.  Munson will return early in the spring to finish some hook-ups, plant some more grass and lay down a new sidewalk by The Green across from Willey’s.

John Mackin, the Water Operator and Chair of the GFD#1 Prudential Committee, echoed the sentiments of whole town in saying, “Munson has been superb. We couldn’t have asked for a better contractor. They have been efficient in their work and sensitive to the water users.  We salute Eric Freehart, the Munson project supervisor, and his great team.  We thank all Greensboro residents for their patience in this major infrastructure improvement providing jobs in Orleans County.”

Last spring Munson dug up and replaced the water lines from Lakeview School down to Willey’s and up Breezy Avenue to Country Club Road, being sure to finish Breezy before the summer influx. From July to October they replaced pipe from the reservoir down to the Perron field, across to Cheney Road and along the lake through Winnemere, all this time maintaining water service through temporary surface piping to the 200 users in the district.  In the fall Munson completed some paving, laid pipe out Country Club Road, put down 1600 feet of pipe to the new fire station site and finished by going out Black’s Point. In addition we now have 25 shiny new red fire hydrants.

Some of the old replaced cast iron pipes had gaping holes in them, some as large at 2 inches in diameter.  So it is no surprise that the daily water usage of the GFD#1 has now been reduced by 75%.  In addition, the district dug a new well last spring and brought it on line this summer in order to reduce the strain on well #3 that the hydrologist said, “has been dewatered.”  This new 600 ft. deep well #4 costs over $100,000.  John Mackin hopes now that the district will never again have to issue a “boil water” notice as required when the district pumps emergency water directly from Caspian Lake and has to chlorinate it heavily.

The bill for the entire project will exceed $3 million in the spring when the roof of the water system’s reservoir on Baker Hill will be replaced and two new buildings for machinery and chlorination are built.  The Town of Greensboro will pay only for the 1600 ft. spur to the new fire station; everything else is paid for by the water users in the GFD#1.  The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Division, has made a loan to the district of $1.558 million at 2.75% per year, payable over 40 years, as well as a grant of as much as $1.275 million.  Since the loan payback will cost the district $64,466 per year, the water user rate for a residential home has had to double to $400 per year.

Court Perry, vice president of Munson Earth Moving Corporation, accepted the Best Builder Award from the Associated General Contractors of Vermont.  Ken Trask of Tata & Howard (formerly Leach Engineering) was the senior engineer in charge of designing the entire project and holding the hands of Greensboro’s Prudential Committee: John Mackin, Nat Smith and Craig Dezell.

The water project started in earnest five years ago when the state determined that Greensboro had been in violation of the state water rules for far too long, dating back well into the Helen Lyles reign as Water Czar. The water leaks had become legendary and expensive.  The water pressure was far too low and the risk of water contamination was far too high.  The district hired Tata & Howard of St. Johnsbury to make recommendations and the legal voters of the GFD#1 voted to go ahead in October of 2010 by approving a $2.95 million bond to finance the project.

 

Greensboro Zoning Board will meet on December 2, 2013 to review New Lakeshore Zoning

All are welcome.  For more information, please go to the Town website www.greensborovt.org.

 

The New Fire Station is under construction – Energy Efficiency has been questioned

Construction for the new Fire Station on Breezy Avenue has begun.   The Station, which will be at the Four Corners adjacent to the MVCC driving range, was approved at Town Meeting in March 2013.  The contract for the Fire House was accepted from E.F. Wall with contingencies for $679,800, an amount that is well within the $920,000 bond approved by the voters of Greensboro.   The new building, which will resemble a Vermont barn, is projected to be complete by March 2014.  It will replace the current circa 1900 firehouse in the village and will provide ample room for newer equipment which does not fit in the current space as well as bathroom facilities.

One building issue is being discussed.  Current plans are to insulate the building walls and slab floor with fiberglass insulation which meets minimum current energy standards.   The Greensboro Town Energy Committee (GTEC) has asked the Town and the Fire Department to consider using foam/fiberglass insulation in the building in lieu of fiberglass  and to fully insulate the slab with foam.  Foam/Fiberglass insulation is the recommendation of Efficiency Vermont (a Statewide organization which helps communities identify and implement energy savings).  Energy efficiency translates to lower operating costs.

The Select Board and the Fire Station Committee is reviewing why the choice was made by the architect for fiberglass insulation vs. foam and is considering the cost vs. performance of the various systems.   Although there is bond money available to fund the upgrade to foam/fiberglass, the Select Board and Committee has taken a conservative approach to the construction, and has reiterated the position that bond vote money “shouldn’t just be spent because of what the taxpayers voted”.  In contrast, members of the Energy Committee feel foam is far superior in insulation and air sealing over fiberglass and an efficient building will pay dividends in fuel savings for its life.  A small savings now could translate into larger expense in the future.

All Greensboro property owners and taxpayers are invited to make comments regarding this insulation issue to the Select Board and Fire Committee via [email protected].   Comments can also be made via “leave a reply” in this article.