Under Chief Mantello, police dept. reaches out
Local businesses and private citizens recently donated three new Taser stun guns to the Castleton Police department. Police Chief Peter Mantello said that local donations were in response to hand-delivered letters asking for funds for the new equipment. The department’s previous stun guns were at least 10 years old and not only no longer working well but out of manufacture. Chief Mantello plans to add video links of construction work on the new police station to his department’s pages on the town website. He will be taking videos using his body camera during visits to the site and recording updates. They will be posted to www.castletonvermont.org/police-department.
Castleton University hires new coaches
Castleton U has hired Scott Legacy as its first head coach for the school’s new wrestling program. Varsity competition begins in autumn 2016. Legacy has coached wrestling at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington for 30 years; his program won 27 consecutive Vermont state wrestling championships.
Castleton has also hired Marty Maher to head up the school’s Nordic skiing program, although a ski team effort has been in abeyance for more than 20 years. Ten skiers have signed up, five men and five women. Four of the five men skied in high school, while two of the five women raced in high school and two others were in the Nordic Ski Club last year. The lack of snow this year has them taking to local roads where they are road-skiing.
The ski team season began on Dec. 13 in Lake Placid with their conference schedule beginning Jan. 17 at Paul Smith’s College in Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Castleton Planning Commission has been discussing re-zoning land along Route 4 to Drake Road. Those in favor of proposed changes say they will encourage job creation and business opportunity. Detractors believe commercial development will erode the neighborhood’s rural/residential character, necessitate public sewer expansion and upgrades, threaten neighboring water wells, and bring in solar panel farms and big-box development. The proposed setback is too narrow, limiting roadside landscaping, they comment.The middle ground is amending the proposed re-zoning to protect existing homeowners and the rural/residential ambiance while encouraging controlled commercial development. Other considerations include doubling the proposed 50-foot setback on Route 30,
No pond for Tinmouth
Tinmouth voters voted 95-47 against purchasing the 2-acre Nelson Parker property known as Tinmouth or Chipman Pond at a special town meeting Dec. 8. Proponents had touted the purchase as a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” pointing to its siting on a town-owned road and large size, while detractors expressed concern that the purchase would lead to increased taxes at a time when money should be going into the town garage and paving budget. The Australian ballot item capped the purchase price at $465,000 financed over a maximum 20 years.
It was offered to the town in October 2014, and the Pavilion Exploration Committee formed to explore the purchase’s potential. The committee recommended establishing a five-member town beach board, hiring an on-site town beach manager, building a boat-washing station and changing and bathroom facilities, and setting regulations for the use of both the beach and the boat launch.