Trustees Approve Later Nights at Inn, Re-Consider River Street Bank Project

The Woodstock Village Trustees gave approval last night to multiple  variance requests for extended hours for upcoming spring and summer weddings at the Woodstock Inn and Resort. These planned outdoor events will be allowed to have their bands and music play until 10:30pm.

Related to the issue of outdoor noise, Trustees also spent some time considering possible changes to noise ordinances that might extend hours until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights for when noise must cease. In return (for neighbors who have asked), Trustee Chris Miller suggested “giving an hour” on Sunday mornings so that machines and equipment noise could not start until 8am, rather than the current 7am hour.

Also, various Trustees seemed willing to review a possible change to noise ordinance that might limit the decibel level of certain machines — most notably leaf blowers — to a certain level. Trustees agree to research what might be the best level for cut-off and also whether a distance of 25 feet,  50 feet, or “at the property line” would be appropriate. All these questions will be reviewed as part of an agenda item at a future meeting.

Town Manager Phil Swanson warned Trustees to consider their changes carefully — with a certain amount of conservatism, we detected  —  as it will all go to Woodstock Police for law enforcement of their decisions.

In another matter, the planned River Street new embankment project, Trustees have decided to reconsider a plan that would LOWER  the road level as it intersects with Elm Street and the Elm Street Bridge. Town Manager Swanson informed Trustees that the cost to re-connect fiber optic lines and other power lines owned by Comcast and GMP would be prohibitive under a plan presented at a recent Trustees meeting — nearly $400-thousand dollars just for the re-wiring project which would fall to the Village. So, Village Trustees will hold a special meeting this Friday at 8am to review possible new engineering plans to shore up the River Street embankment that would not LOWER the road and would not disturb underground lines. The Village is hoping to take advantage of $175,000 grant available from the State of Vermont to accomplish the task — however, there is a time limit to the grant’s availability, hence the “emergency” meeting on Friday morning.

In the “citizen comments” portion of the meeting, Woodstock Village resident Joe DiNatale said he wanted to again express his reservations about Woodstock Police carrying AR-15’s in their vehicles. He said he is unhappy with the way the decision to buy the guns was made, not through a deliberative process, but simply by having “interested” officers buy them with their own money.

DiNatale also took issue with what he perceived to be comments from Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish that, for accessibility, these guns might be mounted on the dashboards of police cruisers. Blish said that due to computer equipment on dashboards, that will  not be the case. However, DiNatale, said he would feel more comfortable if the guns were locked up at the station and only available for a specific need. He pointed out that in his experience as a former law enforcement officer, most of his brethren would have rather dealt with situations without the use of  firearms, not with them. He said that fact that officers are being allowed to purchase them means they may well want to use them. DiNatale’s comments were noted and entered into the record.

Finally, Trustee Chairman Candace Coburn thanked Village Trustee Bob Pear for all his contributions to Village life. Pear has announced he will not be seeking re-election at Village Meeting next week.  In the short-term, according to Coburn,  Pear has taken leave from Trustee duties to attend to some family health issues. He was not at Tuesday’s Village Trustees last night where the panel approved one of his well-researched projects, new warmer LED lighting for the Village.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Since Woodstock PD is apparently drifting with
    the militarization madness of the zeitgeist,
    why don’t we get some F-35s
    and put the noise ordinance to a real test?

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    • Posted by charlet davenport on March 14, 2013 at 08:52

      Thank you Joe for asking this question re the new weapons in the police cars. Before town meeting I searched the town report hoping to see the cost of the weapons. Now I realize that the officers paid for them . Is this a common custom in other Vermont police organizations? It is still puzzling to me why they are needed. Is this a trend in Vermont? When I read the report of all the actions of police during the last year I did not notice anything that would indicate that there were incidents here which led to this need. Perhaps there is further information on this subject. I inquired when this issue first arose earlier this year on this site.

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  2. Posted by Bruce Seely on March 13, 2013 at 11:36

    Drones are a lot quieter

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  3. Posted by Corwin Sharp on March 13, 2013 at 12:28

    I would wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Bob Pear for his exemplary dedication to his position as a Village Trustee. Many, many times he has gone WAY beyond the call in his efforts to help this community and assist his neighbors. He will be sadly missed. Thank you Bob for all that you have done for Woodstock. I suspect we won’t see the likes of this man anytime soon.

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  4. Posted by ann jones on March 13, 2013 at 20:47

    Corwin- Thank you for this note. I have memories of Bob walking Golf and Maple Street immediately after the flood, connecting with all and following through on promises. He is a great guy and this family appreciates all he has done for the village and the whole community.

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    • Posted by Corwin Sharp on March 14, 2013 at 14:56

      My wife and I were bewildered by the personal damage that was inflicted upon our poor house by the flood. In the beginning, we had no idea where to turn. And then down the street in muddy boots and jeans came Bob Pear hauling behind him an enormous industrial fan which he presented to us to help dry out the basement. He came back EVERY day to se how we were getting along. That wonderful fan from this kind man ran for more than three months non-stop and helped us immeasurably to dry the place out. Needless to say, my wife and I are BIG FANS of Bob Pear!

      And then, just after the last big snow storm, down the street AGAIN came Bob. This time with a big snow pusher to help us clear our our driveway. His kindness and caring just never stops…

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  5. How long until Homeland Security grant monies get us an armored personnel carrier? http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121121/NEWS07/121129860

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