Weathersfield Weekly Blog, February 20, 2019

News You Can Use

The Municipal Fire Department discussion continues in town. Some of the discussion has spilled over to social media. Some information is true, some blatantly false and some not quite “transparent.” If you read the “Wood Report” from 2016 one the items emphasized is cooperation from all parties concerned with an outside facilitator and regular meetings. The report also says all parties should work together on “the operational aspect of delivering fire protection in the community.” It appears these two steps were overlooked in that one fire company was not involved when the other brought the issue of a unified fire department to the select board and after many votes that fire company wants to remain a single non-profit fire department.

The report mentions an alternative to a single fire department. “The town may want to consider, as an alternative, getting out of trying to govern the fire departments and just pay each association to provide fire protection to the community. The associations would run their own business and make all the decisions regarding equipment and fire protection procedures. This alternative reduces the liability exposure to the Town.” This option was partially considering in the writing of two fire service contracts. But not pursued further by the select board.

There has also been discussion of the cost or cost savings involved in a municipal fire department. It has been quoted that the current cost of operating both fire departments is approximately $265,000 however, that figure includes expenses incurred and paid through fundraising and grants obtained by the individual not-for-profit fire departments.

It has been stated in open meetings that monies collected during fund raising come from the taxpayers, therefore it’s like paying a tax but it is not. Donations are given by choice, taxes are not. The amount taxpayers have been paying for fire service over the last few years amounts to between $113,000 and $180,000 (some of that money goes to paying for previously purchased fire equipment.)

The question that has not been thoroughly answered is what happens to the tax rate over the next few years with the addition of a full-time, full-benefited fire chief. A report presented by the town manager details cost savings through apparatus efficiency with a reduction in maintenance and fuel and redundant equipment purchases. The estimated savings is $82,000 annually. The report estimates another $12,000 in redundant office, phone, buildings and grounds, dry hydrant repair, fire wardens and “other cost reductions” listed at $4,808. This report shows an estimated long-term cost to the taxpayers of $17,218. The report suggests using overages from other projects to help absorbs possible increases.

The report goes on to state that there is reduced opportunity for grants offered to municipal fire departments and cost increases stated in the report do not include any future costs for moving towards a paid-on-call department.

There is information out there but like everything else, the reader needs to weigh the information presented in order to make an informed decision and that decision needs to be made before March 5.

Weathersfield select board and town news: At the select board meeting on Feb. 7 the town manager announced that three properties in town were successfully sold at tax sale. A question came up about the town purchasing three acres of the Abbott property for $80,000, which the town manager said was still in negation. The parcel is adjacent to the town forest and could be used for parking. More information about the select board and the town contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or

Weathersfield School news: The school is on Winter Break. Classes will resume on Feb. 25. Also, on Feb. 25 the rescheduled auditions for Weathersfield’s Got Talent. Students should bring signed permission slips to stay after school on the 25th. For more information school news, please call the school at 674-5400.

Adventures and Assignments:

Agape Feast in Brownsville.
On Saturday, the Brownsville Community Church hosted their first annual Agape Feast. Agape come from the Greek work for “love.” It can mean-unselfish love of one person for another; brotherly love; the love of God for humankind; or Love Feast. In Italy, A traditional Italian dish was chosen in honor of “Saint Valentine of Rome”, a Roman saint and priest who ministered to Christians who were persecuted there and who is the reason we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Family, friends and neighborhoods were invited to bring someone special to help celebrate Valentine’s Day. The dinner was by donation to help offset the cost of the meal.

More Agape photos: CLICK HERE

Rachael and Vilray
Shea Theatre in Turners Falls, MA February 19, 2019

 More photos of Rachael and Vilray: CLICK HERE

Get Out and About Events

HK Vegetarian Cooking Class in Perkinsville, Saturday Feb. 23 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.. The Hidden Kitchen at the Inn at Weathersfield brings Denise Atland in for a hands-on vegetarian cooking class. Call for reservations 802-263-9217

Winterfest: Powder, Pig and Party in Brownsville Saturday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.. Ascutney Outdoors is hosting a day of ski racing, tubing, a pig roast and music by Frydaddy. A great way to celebrate winter.

Pins for Pets in Claremont NH Wednesday, Feb. 27 6-10 p.m.. Maple Lanes are hosting a night of bowling with family and friends benefiting our furry friends at Sullivan County Humane Society. More info.:

Schnitzel to Spaetzle German Cooking Class in Perkinsville Saturday, March 2 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.. The Hidden Kitchen at the Inn at Weathersfield brings Denise Atland in for a hands-on German cooking class. Call for reservations 802-263-9217.

Town Meeting in Ascutney Saturday, March 2 10 a.m.-2 p.m. School meeting at 10 a.m., Town Meeting at 12:30 p.m. Lunch provided by the Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library.

Town Vote in Ascutney, Tuesday, March 5. Voting by Australian ballot at Martin Memorial Hall Rte. 5 in Ascutney.

Music and Performances

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m.. Feb. 22 Jon Clinch, March 1 Steve Ellis.

The Engine Room in WRJ. Feb. 22 Off The List Beach Party 9 p.m., Feb. 23 Board Game Night 6 p.m., Feb 27 Girls Night Out 8 p.m..

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. March 14 The Very Hungry Caterpillar 10 a.m.; march 17 John 5 and the Creatures 7p.m.; April 12 A sick Day for Amos McGee 10 a.m.; April 18 Stand Up America-50 years of Jethro Tull; April 19 Get The Led Out; May 17 Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza 10 a.m.; Keb’ Mo’ June 16.

Reading Winter Concert Series in Reading at Robinson Hall. The newly formed concert series continues with Spencer Lewis on March 9. $10 adults, under 15 free. Refreshments served.

Skinny Pancake in Hanover NH. Feb. 23 Derek Burkins and The Milo White Band 8-10 p.m., March 14 Pete’s Posse 7-9 p.m., March 23 Fred Haas Organ Jam 7-9 p.m.

Taverne On The Square in Claremont. Feb. 22 Disco Dance Party 8 p.m., March 1 Party Crashers 8 p.m..

Windsor Station in Windsor. 22 Carton/Chodus 9:30 p.m..

Ongoing Events

AARP Tax-Aide Program in Ascutney Tuesdays at 9 a.m. at Martin Memorial Hall 5259 Route 5 call 802-885-3933 for more information.

Food Assistance:
Ascutney Union Church Food Cupboard in Ascutney 5243 Route 5 Saturdays 9-10 a.m. call 802-674-2484.

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Low cost spay/neuter clinics in Springfield. Springfield Humane Society is hosting low cost spay/neuter clinics in 2019: April 30, May 28, June 18, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept.24, Oct. 29, and Nov. 26 at the Springfield Humane Society, on Route 143. Cost is $50 for female cat and $40 for male cat. Weathersfield residents may be reimbursed up to $50 for the surgery with a limit of three pets per year. Get your SNAP form from the town office. Please call Springfield Humane Society for an appointment at 802-885-3997.

Roast Beef Suppers of 2019 in Hartland at the Brick Church 10 Station RD. Six consecutive Saturday nights through Feb. 23 5-7 p.m. or until the roast beef runs out. $15 for all you can eat...roast beef, green beans, Cole slaw, mashed potatoes, homemade rolls and homemade pie. 802-436-2792.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSVP. Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Sandy Lemois. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Twin State Depression Support Group in Weathersfield. Free peer-led Depression Support Groups to all, the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm, 5259 Route 5, Ascutney, VT (Martin Memorial Hall - downstairs) and the 4th Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm, 7 Morgan Street, Springfield, VT (Turning Point) Both venues are accessible. or on facebook: More information call 802-795-0098

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at two weeks prior to your event.

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