Derry board adopts resolution asking shoppers to wear masks VTrans explains Route 11 repaving project, process

The Londonderry Select Board meets by Zoom on Monday night.


By Bruce Frauman
2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

After considerable discussion, the Londonderry Select Board on May 18, approved a resolution that requests that people shopping at Londonderry businesses wear a mask as the town attempts to protect workers and residents from the continuing threat of the Covid-19 virus. Board chair George Mora will work with Town Administrator Shane O’Keefe to establish exact wording.

Board member Taylor Prouty believes the timing on the mask resolution is good.

Resident Doug Friant had proposed a detailed resolution requiring wearing of masks based on one passed in Burlington.

Board member Vincent Annunziata said he supported the Londonderry resolution because it does not mandate that people must wear masks and fellow member Taylor Prouty said the timing is good because as of Monday, the state began opening more types of retail outlets. (See also: Local businessowners contemplate reopening and To mask or not to mask: Locals talk about why they wear one, why they don’t)

CLARIFICATION: Annunziata says that he was against adopting the Burlington resolution, calling it unenforceable, and believes it is a matter of individual, not state or town, responsibility. He adds, “After debate, we agreed to issue a statement of support in line with CDC guidelines in case businesses felt like it would help them with requesting people wear masks.”

Emergency Management Director Kevin Beattie said the Mountain Towns Emergency Operations Center is still open in response to the Covid-19 crisis. He says it may close when the state of emergency is lifted or when the state EOC closed. Beattie said he expects the local EOC to remain open into the recovery stage.

Beattie said he has seen many people not wearing masks or maintaining proper social distancing, and expressed concern that Memorial Day this coming Monday will usher in an influx of visitors who may not abide by the required two-week quarantine.

The board approved the Itinerant Vendor Permit Application from the West River Farmers Market, contingent on Beattie’s approval of additions to the operating plan. A limited market — with about 20 produce and food vendors — plans to open on May 23. Beattie said the operating plan “lacks a couple of things” including spacing between the customers and the vendors, having a health and safety official on scene and making hand sanitizer available at the entrance and exit.

Mora said WRFM President Mark Fischer told her there would be hand sanitizer at the entrance, a one-way traffic flow, 12 feet between vendors and 6 feet between the vendors and customers, though customers can make payments directly to vendors. She added that all vending staff will wear masks and gloves and all customers will be required to wear masks.

Trucks along Thompsonburg Road, Route 11 paving

The board heard a complaint from resident Gary Longley about the number, speed and size of trucks traveling along Thompsonburg Road. He said the volume of traffic is degrading the quality of life for those living there.  Longley said the road gets used by skateboarders, bikers and families taking walks, who all have to dodge the trucks.

Thompsonburg Road resident Gary Longley is concerned about truck traffic along the road.

Mora said the trucks are coming from a gravel pit at the end of Rowes Road. She said the permit allows 15 days of crushing per year and 20 trips a day. Mad King Quarry LLC, the new owner, use large semis, Mora said. Prouty said the crusher just arrived, so this is there perfect time to monitor the number of days they are using it. He also said its permit is set to expire in January 2022. Longley seemed to take some hope that the truck traffic would not be year round.

As Zoning Administrator, O’Keefe said he will ask Mad King for documentation to prove they are honoring the permit’s restrictions, that the company notify abutting property owners when prior to crushing and hammering and that it post notice at the Depot and at the head of the West River Trail.

Mora asked all parties to come to the next meeting with formal plans on how to re-open the “Take It or Leave It” bin at the Transfer Station as well as accepting returnable cans and bottles again. Transfer Station liaison Tom Cavanagh said that Candy Bliss is comfortable sorting returnables again and that Wayne Blanchard is accepting them again in his store, Wayne’s Auto and Lawn Care on Main Street.

Vermont Butcher Shop owner Nick DeLauri sharply questioned VTrans project manager Matt Bogaczyk about the affect the Route 11 paving project will have on his business until Mora asked him to continue on his own time. Bogacyzk said the timing of the project is still unclear because of delays due to restrictions from the Covid crisis. He said contractors are now working on drainage improvements, including the replacement of several culverts, which will continue for several weeks.

Matt Bogaczyk explains how VTrans is managing repaving Route 11.

Bogacyzk said VTrans will issue weekly updates on where the work will take place. The repaving, he added, is done by a train that mills up pavement, mixes it with new aggregate and emulsified asphalt, then lays it back onto the road in a process. The longest time this train will block any driveway or business entrance is three hours, he added. Bogacyzk added that he is  “cognizant of wait times and delays to motorists” and there are ways to allow drivers to get through more quickly during long delays.

The board agreed to focus on paving parts of Middletown Road during fiscal year 2021 along with finishing work on Adams Drive, nearby Eves Drive and possibly Mansfield Lane, should there be extra money in the budget. Prouty said the paving done on Adams and Eves drives is too narrow and interfere with plowing in the winter. O’Keefe will send out the requests for bid for these paving projects.

After a brief public hearing to which no one from the public attended, the board passed an amendment to the zoning bylaws to allow small construction projects and 1/4 acre or less of land disturbance by approval of the Zoning Administrator instead of a formal review by the DRB. This applies only to roads that are not maintained by the town or the state, including private roads. O’Keefe said the revised bylaw will go into effect in 21 days.

The board voted to put off a bond vote, estimated to be over $900,000, to continue work on the Town Office building until Town Meeting in March 2021. O’Keefe said in the meantime about $90,000 for asbestos removal and a septic inspection should be done this year.

Town Clerk and Parks Board member Kelly Pajala said the Parks Board has decided not to open Memorial Park at all this season and to have no bathroom facilities available at Pingree Park. She said all the picnic tables at Pingree Park have been removed, but that the dog park is open.

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  1. Actually, I did not support the resolution as written. I feel like masks are a matter of individual responsibility rather than state or town responsibility. However we agreed to issue a statement of support for businesses to suggest wearing masks as it is in line with CDC recommendations.