2004 Town Managers Report
We are fortunate that Colebrook is a close-knit community with so many dedicated volunteers that want to help their town continue to grow. Greater results are being seen because these different organizations and committees are working together. If any Colebrook residents have time on their hands and would like to donate a few hours a week, please call the town office for a list of different organizations looking for volunteers. The Main Street Program is very active and Main Street is looking great!
Senator Judd Greg obtained $500,000.00 from the federal government for water infrastructure, which will certainly be an excellent start to tying new water wells to existing water mains or upgrading the current undersized 100-year-old water mains.
The town hired a hydro geologist to conduct studies to locate possible new water well sites as the current wells could become contaminated at any time. Four sites were identified but only one property owner was willing to sell the land. The town will be drilling two test wells, to determine if there is sufficient and required water quality for a municipal water supply. The town currently has an option on the land in the amount of $160,000.00 with $60,000 to come from the Water Department, $20,000.00 from the taxpayers and $80,000.00 from the Fifteen Mile Mitigation Grant. The grant requires an easement on the property to retain it in its natural state and to ensure that the road frontage land not be developed commercially to protect the wells in perpetuity. Different proposals listed to obtain the grant were: Protecting land surrounding well sites from being developed as commercial land, outdoor science classes, nature trails and a river walk,
boat launch and picnic area for observation of the river, mountains, wildlife, birds and flowers. The dream of eventually tying this land in with the down town area with a river walk along the edge of the Mohawk River from the municipal parking lot to the railroad bed, The walking, hiking and biking trails along the railroad bed up to the Interpretive Center at the Rest Area, with a trail branching off to the Community Pool was also a portion of this grant. These trails could be utilized for cross country skiing and snow shoeing during the winter months. A snowmobile trail already travels through this property. If the town does not find sufficient quantity and quality of water the option will expire and the grant will be declined.
The Colebrook Board of Selectmen, North Country Senators and Legislatures and myself have worked very closely with DES officials to find a cost effective way to cap and close the landfill. If the town were allowed to bring in household rubbish to dome the landfill before capping it, they would save between two and three million dollars. DES officials recently requested the towns engineering firm to conduct extensive studies of different issues the state is concerned about. After all reports have been submitted and studied by State officials, they will determine whether to allow the proposed closure and what measures Colebrook and their engineers have to take during the closure process. If the town receives permission to start the closure process, the Town will hire their own inspector to monitor all loads of rubbish to ensure that Colebrook does not take any un-permitted material that could harm the closure process. If all goes well with
the studies, the closure could start during the 2004 summer period.
Due to the resignation of Colebrooks Recreation Director, all the towns recreational activities were in danger of being shut down until a new director was hired. Nancy and Duane Call called immediately, offering to manage the basketball season, and several other parents called offering their services also. No one wanted the children to miss out on their programs. Every one did a tremendous job! Parents and students that assisted Nancy and Duane were Eldonna and Clint Brooks, Roger and Chantal Griffin, Danny Smith, Lisa Bouchard, Craig Bedard, Mike Ouellet, Richard Siewierski and the Junior High and High School boys and girls basketball players. Other people calling to take over programs were MaryAnn Neary (kids gym) and Jennifer Lyons, with assistant Melanie Mathieu, (arts and crafts.) Heidi Lawton assisted Linda White with the HOAP Program and all other recreational program volunteers in any direction that was needed. I
want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that assisted with the programs and everyones patience with any problems. If I missed thanking anyone, please accept my apologies and know that it was unintentional.
The Town of Colebrook now has a recreation committee that assisted in hiring the new recreation director. They are Eldonna and Clint Brooks, Wayne Frizzell, Raymond Gorman, Darren McCarthy, Jean Maxwell, Lori Morann, Mike Ouellet, Christine Phillips, Angie Putnam and Joan Walsh. They will assist the director and give guidance for future programs. If anyone has suggestions for new programs or events, please contact Melissa at 237-5086, Heidi at 237-4070 or the recreation board members.
Chief Farrell tendered his resignation, effective March 26, 2004; therefore the town is currently advertising for a new chief. If a new chief is not hired by March 26th, Sergeant Steve Cass will run the department under the direction of the selectmen and myself.
The planning board and other volunteers are working to update the Master Plan. If anyone is interested in the direction Colebrook will take in the future, please join these meetings. The committee will be sending out surveys asking what you would like to see. Please fill these out and return them, as every residents thoughts are important. For your convenience, there will be a drop-box in the front entrance of the town hall, which is open twenty-four hours a day, as well as other places around town.
Donna J. Caron