This article first appeared in the February 16th, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Gwen Stanley
BRIDGEWATER — In the Bridgewater Selectboard’s report this year, the board points out that some of the infrastructure damaged in Irene will be waiting for repair until spring. Of the 34 roads and 16 bridges reported damaged in the storm, most have been fixed, but more is needed and the town took out a line of credit to pay for the $1.6 million worth of repairs it’s already seen. The report details, “We are working with FEMA and the State to complete the reimbursement paperwork and expect a good portion of our expenses will be covered.”
A town web site is also in the works for Bridgewater; after receiving a grant from the e-Vermont program, plans are in place to start that off in the spring.
Bridgewater’s Listers are reporting an increase in the Grand List for 2010; attributing the rise to new construction and renovations, they present the figure of $3,304,500 for listed property. The report makes reference to a particular appeal by a taxpayer to the State Hearing Officer that favored the taxpayer and reduced the Grand List by about a million dollars. The common level of appraisal, or CLA for the state this year is at 98.06 percent of fair market value.
Warned articles this year total $17,900 and include appropriation of $5,000 to the Thompson Senior Center and the Woodstock Recreation Center. The latter would mean that the out-of-town fee would be waived for Bridgewater residents. The amount to be raised in taxes this fiscal year is $699,978.68.
As of press time, no new bids for Bridgewater’s three selectboard seats have been made.
Road Commissioner Nope Martin said in his yearly report that almost all roads in the town were badly damaged and there’s only one section of road that hasn’t been reopened, due to hard work by the road crew.
“This work was a major accomplishment considering our limited time and resources. Work will resume in the spring, bringing us new challenges, some of which are not even foreseen yet (holes, landslides, mud). Piles of gravel recovered from the river will be crushed into usable road material. Using this material will help restore the roads to pre Irene condition, at a cost savings to the town,” Martin said.
The school district will be voting on an estimated budget of $1,728,736 to fund the 2012-2013 elementary and high school budgets, as well as $15,000 for a pre-kindergarten program to start in the summer.