Brown counteroffers on mural damage; Derry board hears shed update

From left, Robert Nied, Paul Gordon and Jim Ameden. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Restaurant owner Ed Brown has offered to pay $500 to Flood Brook School as compensation for painting over the mural students designed several years ago, Londonderry Select Board chair Paul Gordon said at Monday’s board meeting.

He said that the offer was relayed by Jackie Trepanier, program director for the Brattleboro Community Justice Center that is mediating a settlement between Brown and the town of Londonderry. The offer is $2,500 less than asked by the board at its last meeting, when the board voted to ask Brown to pay $3,000 toward a wall painting fund.

At Monday’s meeting, the board agreed to let Gordon and Town Administrator Robert Nied negotiate a compromise with Brown using Trepanier as a mediator, should she request such a meeting.

Progress on salt, sand shed

Board member Bob Forbes said sliding doors may be needed for the new town salt and sand shed. He is concerned that, with openings at both ends, the weather may blow through covering the salt and sand with rain or snow. No decision has yet been made to add doors to the project.

Select Board member Bob Forbes suggests that doors may be necessary for the new salt and sand shed.

Forbes said the addition of the doors may also affect the location of the box and meter bringing electricity to the building because the meter is not supposed to go under the eves. He recommended against mounting the electrical panel on the end of the building to allow room for the sliding doors.

Gordon said All Seasons Construction, the contractor for the shed, expects wood for the walls and roof trusses to arrive soon. Forbes said the 12-foot walls may be pre-assembled and put up with a crane. He added that the concrete walls have been poured, but have not yet fully cured, which will take several days of warmer weather.

The board still needs more information to decide whether to add a coating to the concrete or use plastic sheets to protect walls from the salt, which could adversely affect the concrete.

Gordon also said Wes Ameden has made necessary improvements to the road from the south end of the shed to Route 100. The approach to the shed on the north side is a little steeper than expected delaying the work there.

Zoning compliance on Derry radar

In other action, as part of his campaign to help residents comply with zoning regulations, Nied recorded a message to homeowners about the history and importance of zoning. The message is available on the town’s website, or you can click on it below.

Nied said, as Zoning Administrator, he will be looking into compliance issues as well as seeking ways to communicate better with the community. He will make the web site more easily navigable and will share the master list of permits with the town clerk and the Listers. Nied agreed to board member Jim Ameden’s request to share this list with the fire departments and the rescue squad so they can be aware of any changes to houses in the area.

Bob Ellis of GNAT-TV will be shooting a series on Londonderry.

The board gave Bob Ellis, a GNAT-TV board member and a filmmaker, permission to shoot segments of a proposed new show at the recycling center. Ellis said this would be part of a new show focusing on Londonderry that would let the community get to know each other a little bit more.

Ellis said there is no program outline at this time and the show would start sometime next year and be broadcast every week or two. The board raised no objections as long as Ellis did not interfere with traffic flow at the transfer station.

Dick Dale, a Taconic and Green Regional School District board member, told the board that the school budget shows some cost savings, though there are small increases to hire systemwide administrators.

Dick Dale updates the board on the new Taconic and Green Mountain school district.

Dale said that last year, each of the schools used budget surpluses to fund capitol improvements, bringing their tax rate down. Though the district goal is to keep budgets “as flat as possible” from year to year, he said the state has imposed a “catchup” that may require towns to charge taxpayers the actual cost of what it takes to educate the kids.

Dale said one goal is to offer individualized instruction for all students in all the schools in a four-year process that started last year. He said this is a move away from grade level distinction toward Proficiency Based Education. 

The Taconic and Green Annual meeting will be held on Feb. 27, 2018 with a districtwide Australian ballot on the budget occurring on Town Meeting Day in March.

Gordon said volunteers are still needed to help fill out the Traffic Safety Committee, the Parks Board and the Planning Commission, which will soon begin to update the town’s zoning by-laws.

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