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


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.


Lakeshore Zoning proposal has been rewritten after largest response from property owners in history of the Planning Commission

The Greensboro Planning Commission met on Monday night and voted to amend the proposed zoning bylaw regarding the Lakeshore area.  Major changes include dropping the “Tree Matrix” proposal which dictated the number and size of trees which could be removed close to the lakefront and a change in the Regulation regarding “non conforming structures” to allow the replacement of damaged property much along the lines of the existing zoning (i.e. within the existing footprint). An additional meeting is being held October 21 to decide the issue of new “Boathouses”. Existing boathouses may be rebuilt if they are destroyed.

The GPC has prepared an excellent and updated comparision of the current and proposed zoning bylaw for the Lakeshore district.

The Planning Commission made the changes in response to written comments by property owners in the Lakeshore District.   The number of emails and letters was the largest which the Planning Commission has ever received regarding proposed changes to any regulation.  The GPC has expressed appreciation for the level of response from the community.

They are planning to hold a public hearing December 2, 2013 and the Town will vote on the final Proposal in March at Town Meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the Planning Commission at [email protected] or (802) 533-2911.


October 8 Update on Town Water Pipe Replacement Project

On schedule and under budget!  Munson, the construction company working for the Fire District #1, will finish this week connecting all the Winnemere camps to the new water line.  The yellow temporary water lines will then disappear.  Munson will then repave those edges of Breezy Avenue and Wilson St. where they had to dig up to put in the new main. 

After the paving, Munson will put in the 1600 feet of pipe going out the south side of Breezy Ave. to the new fire station site at the Four Corners. The schedule then calls for installing pipe along Country Club Road and putting down new pipe out Black’s Point.  Redoing the roof of the reservoir and erecting a separate control building for the new well #4 will probably get done next spring.  The Town of Greensboro will pay for the spur out to the fire station site; all else is paid for by the water users under a 40 year loan agreement with the USDA.

Should the Circus Smirkus camp in Greensboro be allowed to proceed?

The July Greensboro zoning approval for construction of a summer camp by Circus Smirkus on Breezy Avenue in 2014 has been appealed by a group of local landowners to Vermont Superior Court.   The appeal seeks to overturn Town zoning approval of the camp and delay or prevent the camp from proceeding.  Circus Smirkus’ original application, permit, and appeal documents are on the Town website (halfway down page under Circus Smirkus)

The GA knows members hold strong and opposing views towards the Circus Smirkus project.   As a result, we have not to taken an official position on the project and the appeal at this time.

Should the Circus Smirkus camp in Greensboro be allowed to proceed?

We strongly urge our members to express their views about the Circus Smirkus camp by leaving a reply (Click Leave a reply above on the left).   Comments can also be sent to the Greensboro Selectboard and to the Editor of the Hardwick Gazette.


New proposed Greensboro zoning for Caspian Lakeshore property is under consideration – New rules may be effective March 2014

The Greensboro Planning Commission is working on proposed changes to the Greensboro Zoning Bylaw which governs the Caspian Lakeshore district.  The Commission plans to present the new zoning rules at Town Meeting in March 2014, and if voted in they will become effective as of that meeting.

An excellent comparison of the proposed zoning to the current Lakeshore zoning is found here.

The Greensboro Association has submitted comments to the Planning Committee about the draft proposal and has specifically questioned some of the provisions included in Article 8:  Lake Shoreland Protection District Bylaw, which starts on page 56.  The Greensboro Association urges Lakeshore property owners and potential owners to read Article 8 in particular, which contains further requirements regarding rebuilding, renovating or managing trees within the Lakeshore district.  Property owners can also submit comments to the Planning commission at [email protected].

In brief, the Greensboro Association has questioned provisions calling for time consuming obligations on property owners who wish to cut trees on their property, on limitations to rebuild damaged existing cottages on their existing footprint, and on the need for stronger zoning in general given the continuing health of Caspian Lake.

The changes are a response to State legislation H.526 which being considered by the State Senate to provide a state regulation of all Vermont waters, including Caspian Lake.  H. 526 has already been passed by the State House of Representatives.

Copies of the proposed changes are available at the Town Hall and here:  Zoning Bylaw – 2013 Working DRAFT  .

Water Line Replacement Project Status – August 2013

July found the Munson crew finishing the Lauredon line. There is now a fire hydrant directly opposite the elementary school.  They then proceeded to cross East Craftsbury Road and run up Perron’s fields to the reservoir for the longest and steepest uninterrupted run of 12” pipe(.6 mi.).   In August, temporary piping was placed, flushed, and connected to cottages along Cheney Road/Winnimere.  Work then commenced on the section between from the village terminus now at Wilson St. between the Parsonage and Altman’s, down Church Lane and Cheney Lane towards Winnemere.   As of August 31, permanent pipe was laid up to the end of Church Lane.  Some limited blasting will be done the week of September 3 to remove rock ledge on the pipe’s path.


This is adhering to the schedule set, so we are happy with progress to date.

John Mackin for the Greensboro Fire District #1

GA Members Vote to Accept Amended Bylaws at Annual Meeting

The GA Annual Meeting was held on Friday, August 9 at the UCC.  We were delighted to celebrate Helen Dimick, this years Greensboro Award winner. Helen was introduced by Warren Hill, chair of the Greensboro Selectboard, who joined speakers from the Greensboro Association as well as Robbie Hurst from Willey’s and Ed LeClair of Circus Smirkus. We appreciate all the information shared.

The members voted to accept the amended GA Bylaws and Articles of Association, and to approve the GA Board’s intention to apply for 501(c)3 status for the Greensboro Association. Reports were given by the Lake Committee (Andy Dales), the Grants Committee (Clay Simpson), the Nominations committee (Don Jenkins) and the Treasurer (Rick Lovett). John Stone shared the Presidents report as well. All reports are available here.

One special thanks was extended to Anne Harbison, who is retiring this year from her over 10 year commitment to the Memorial Garden. Many thanks, Anne! We all appreciate your hard work, and the beautiful result.

New State Regulations for Lake Shoreland Protection are under consideration – will supersede Local Greensboro Zoning ordinances

A new state law, H.526, is being considered by the State Senate to provide a state regulation of all Vermont waters, including Caspian Lake.  The bill has already been passed by the State House of Representatives.  It requires that no cleared area, impervious surface, or disturbance could be created on undeveloped shoreland within 100 feet of the mean water level of a lake, and further that no new disturbance could be created within that area along developed shoreland unless it is no closer to the shoreland than the existing development.  The bill also deletes all provisions for existing municipal bylaws that address shoreland zoning.   Greensboro has a zoning law for the Lakeshore district, but this would be superseded by the current State bill.    See the Greensboro town website for local information regarding this act.
The Lake Shoreland Protection Commission will hold a public meeting regarding H.526 in Newport, Vermont on Friday August 9 at 1:30pm at the East Side Restaurant in Newport, VT. At the meeting, the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) will provide an overview of the health, value and regulation of lakeshore lands in Vermont. After the ANR presentation, the public will be invited to provide input during a moderated question and answer period. Public participants may be asked to limit their statements or questions in order to allow participation by all interested persons.
An agenda for the meeting and the location and map of the East Side Restaurant are attached. Additional information and documents can be accessed on the Lake Shoreland Protection Commission website.
During 2012, The Vermont General Assembly established the Lake Shoreland Protection Commission in order to:
·         Provide information to the public regarding the current health of waters of the State, including the results of the 2012 Agency of Natural Resources’ State Water Quality Remediation, Implementation, and Funding Report;
·         Inform the public regarding the regulation of State waters, including requirements the State may need to meet in implementing the cleanup plan for Lake Champlain;
·         Summarize for the public the status of efforts to address and improve the quality of all State waters, and how regulation of shoreland activity impacts water quality; and
·         Take public input regarding the regulation of disturbance, clearing, and creation of impervious surfaces in the shorelands of lakes.


Great Concert on Sunday Afternoon

Banjo Dan and Willy Lindner and the Sky Blue Boys played a great concert on Sunday afternoon in the Greensboro barn owned by the Ranz family.   The sounds of guitar, mandolin and banjo filled the barn which was festooned with fairy lights, and the weather outside went from rain, to sun, to rain again!   Young and old enjoyed the music, which included a wide range of styles.   Thanks to the Band for the great music, to the Ranz family for their wonderful barn, and Victoria Von Hessert for organizing the event.  Photos by Karen Gowen
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Caspian Challenge is a Big Success!

The Caspian Challenge was terrific – we had over 80 runners/walkers on a stunning summer morning…thanks to Victoria VonHessert and all her volunteers for doing all of the work to organize it!  The results can be found here.

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