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July 1, 2020 top stories
New bus depot
nears development

BRADFORD—Stagecoach hopes to begin building a $3.6 million home for its River Route fleet and other local buses later this year with an opening scheduled for the spring of 2021.
Dubbed the Upper Valley Community Transportation Center, the development will be constructed on a state-owned 16-acre parcel of land adjacent to the revamped park and ride near I-91 and at the foot of Plateau Acres.
Currently, Stagecoach garages its buses in a rented barn behind the Bradford Regional Community Center where Orange East Senior Center is located. But over the years, ridership has increased.
According to Tri-Valley Transit, the Addison County organization that operates Stagecoach, ridership in the region has grown 9 percent since 2014. And it expects the growth to continue. Even taking into consideration the effects of COVID-19, ridership is expected to increase another 20 percent by 2024.
As a result, Stagecoach has added capacity by increasing the number of buses and increasing the size of those buses.
At one time, the typical size of each bus was 16-20 seats. Now, Stagecoach has begun deploying 28-seat buses on its River Route commuter line that transports area residents between Wells River and Lebanon.
Tri-Valley Transit Community Relations Director Mary-Claire Crogan said that there was a plunge in ridership across the region during the Stay Home orders.
“There was a confluence of factors,” she said in an interview. “There were fewer places to go. We also maintained safe distancing on the buses for health care workers and for riders whose chronic care could not be deferred.”

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Recycling changes start on July 1

FAIRLEE—Many Vermonters have been using a backyard compost pile for decades—if not generations—to repurpose kitchen and other household leftovers. Other waste that breaks down over time, such as leaves, sawdust, or newspapers can also be added to the pile. The end product of a compost system is nutritious soil that can be turned to good use in gardens and flowerbeds.
It’s a tradition that is now enshrined in law. On July 1, the final phases of Vermont’s recycling law enacted in 2012 take effect, including a prohibition on food scraps entering the state’s landfills.
According to Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District Outreach Manager Cassandra Hemenway, the law directed waste haulers and town transfer stations to offer food scrap collection to residents beginning in 2017 in advance of the ban effective this week.
The law covers recyclables such as glass, paper, plastic, tin and aluminum cans, and leaf and yard debris, with compostable kitchen waste and food scraps in the final phase. Passed in 2012, its mandates on residents and small businesses have been phased in since 2014. Larger businesses are subject to a different set of rules.
Some towns have been ahead of the mandated deadline and have added alternatives to their solid waste program in advance of the deadline. Especially in the last couple of years, residents in several towns, including the CVSWMD towns of Fairlee and Bradford, have had the option of taking kitchen scraps to a drop-off place at the local transfer station.

RAINDROPS ON LILIES AND WHISPERS OF KITTENS—Not exactly the “Sound of Music” song lyrics but an overdue, long-awaited reprieve from the heat wave was the rain Sunday through Tuesday. These tiger lilies beamed brightly throught he raindrops.
Law would have
banned memorial

SWIFTWATER—The family of a college student who went missing from a state highway in Haverhill over 15 years ago is opposed to a potential ban on roadside memorials.
A recent bill proposed in the NH House of Representatives raised alarms for the family of Maura Murray, who has been missing since February 2004 when she vanished after her car went off the road on Route 112 in Swiftwater. For the past 16 years, the Murray family has had a large blue ribbon wrapped around the tree her car struck. This is the family’s only sacred place for honoring and remembering their sister and daughter.
Introduced in January, HB1255 seeks to make roadside memorials illegal in New Hampshire and was passed by the House on March 11. Although the bill was subsequently tabled in the Senate on June 16, the family is concerned about future attempts to pass similar legislation.
“Until Maura is found, we have no grave to visit or ashes to scatter. HB 1255 and any companion bill in the Senate will destroy the only

FD merger talks
continue despite vote

HAVERHILL CORNER—At the June 11 Haverhill Corner Precinct Annual Meeting, residents voted 45-6 not to join the Town of Haverhill Fire Department at this time and retain oversight of the precinct’s fire department.
According to Haverhill Corner Precinct Commissioner Doug Dutile, voters are not ready to merge their fire department with the newly formed town Fire Department until they have more answers. Questions concerning what will happen to their equipment and fire station, and what staffing will look like before they vote to join have yet to be answered, Dutile said, adding that the Haverhill Corner Fire Department currently has 22 firefighters on its roster who are very dedicated.
“The precinct wants to merge, but we don’t have all the answers,” Dutile said, explaining that at the previous year’s annual meeting, residents voted with an “overwhelming yes” to allow the commissioners to study the possibility of merging.
At the annual town meeting in March, residents voted in favor of creating a central Town of Haverhill Fire Department that would include the Haverhill Precinct and North Haverhill Precinct fire departments if either chose to join, although both were contingent on precinct votes approving those plans as well. Woodsville precinct has also been invited to join, but voters opted not to during that prec

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