Selectboard discusses airport, dog bites
by Jack Deming
Nov 29, 2012 | 4595 views | 6 6 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WILMINGTON- The select­board worked out a response for Haystack developer Jim Barnes’ requests for donation of town-owned land and funding for expanding the former Mount Snow airport. Barnes’ request for donated land includes more than 164 lots surrounding Haystack and the airport area. Barnes was also hoping to immediately acquire the deed to land that would connect the Haystack golf course to the Haystack ski area.

While selectboard members are interested in Barnes’ proposals, they wanted to make it clear they are required to follow specific guidelines for transferring the land. Selectboard chair Tom Consolino made the point that any land the town owns cannot be donated. “We cannot donate land, we would have to sell it at a reasonable price and only sell it for the tax money, not for economic development.”

Selectboard member Meg Streeter added that the town would keep the door open to selling said properties. “One thing we should make clear is that we are interested in selling the land we acquired through tax sales, but not in donating it. We need to clarify that we will sell them under the same conditions we have sold other tax sales, which is the amount we’re owed, or someone can make the town an offer.”

Consolino and board member James Burke suggested the board keep the response simple, so as to not get ahead of themselves, and tell Barnes that the town simply cannot donate land but would be willing to sell it in the future.

Barnes also requested a $200,000 low-interest loan from the town, which board members agreed the town hadn’t the ways or means to provide at this time. Streeter left the door open for the future “I think it’s fair to say that next year we would be happy to explore economic development funding for him, or anyone else who wants the town to support their applications.”

Haughwout agreed that the town always needs to be thinking ahead. “I think we should be committed to looking into economic development funding. We should be doing it regardless of someone now asking for money.”

Town manager Scott Murphy reported that the town had received a payment of $93,000 from FEMA for engineering work already performed on the Haynes Road bridge damaged in Tropical Storm Irene. Murphy said the work on the bridge is continuing, and the town hopes to have it open to traffic within a month to six weeks.

Murphy also said the town received its first 1% local option tax revenue payment of $58,000. The tax option was approved by voters last April to tax certain items an extra percentage. The state pays the town 70 cents on the dollar of the tax money collected by merchants. According to Murphy, the town is not sure how the money will be put to use.

The board also held a special meeting to hear the case of a 25-pound dog named Carson with a history of biting. This being the dog’s third reported incident of biting, Police chief Joe Szarejko was on hand to recommend that the dog, which is currently unlicensed, must be registered and vaccinations must be up to date. Carson’s owner, Genie Bent, explained that she was not there at the time of the latest incident and regularly keeps a shock collar on the dog to keep it from barking.

Haughwout voiced concern about an out-of-control dog population, citing an awful lot of bite hearings. “Owners need to be responsible about this,” said Haughwout. “I don’t know what is going to make the public understand that this is a public safety issue, because clearly our ordinance isn’t doing it. I want to know why there’s so many incidents before it comes to a hearing, because to me a third bite is pretty serious.”

Szarejko told the board that there was no action taken after the second incident because the bite victim was reluctant to make it an issue. According to Det. Mark Denault, of the Wilmington Police Department, all investigated dog bite incidents are brought to the selectboard.

Following testimony from Bent, Consolino ordered the dog must be leashed and muzzled when outdoors, must be in a secure location when at its residence, and that a police officer be allowed on the premises to check on compliance with these conditions periodically.

The town also added Davis Drive and East Brook Crossing to a list of roads where snowmobiles would be permitted to travel.
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Genie Bent
December 01, 2012
For the record, the bark collar was put on after the last incident as a last resort. It was put on to ensure Carson does not get overly excited and nip people, because if he bites another person he will be put down. The collar gives a warning beep prior to a small zap that I did of course try on myself first, it has shown to keep him slightly more calm. I have tried many different training techniques to keep him from getting overly excited about new people to no avail. I am not a lazy owner nor am I uneducated in dog training, Carson was traumatized and abused as a puppy and still clearly shows signs of this. Thanks for believing what "journalist" write, as they made several incorrect statements above.
Wendy Ingraham
December 05, 2012
There is a product, made by Pet Naturals of Vermont (which you can buy either online or at One Stop Pet Supply in Brattleboro), called "Dog Calm". It would be worth trying.

Did you even google the link I sent? There are lots of "dog training" techniques out there, but not all are good for the dog and the people it lives and interacts with. It sounds like you tried the wrong ones, based on punishment and not reward. I feel bad for this dog....abused and now wearing a painful device to "control it"? Sounds to me like the dog is not the problem. You cannot heal or train a dog with painful lessons....all they learn is pain makes a good reason to bite.
Genie Bent
December 06, 2012
I have tried the dog calming pills, herbal remedies, they didn't effect his energy level at all. And honestly I really didn't like the idea of drugging my dog. I also have never used punishment to train my dog, Carson is a very intelligent dog and has learned many great manners and tricks. I just have continuously lost the battle when he meets someone. It's the first minute that he gets excited and aggressively barks and then he loved new people, literally giving kisses and brings toys over. He really is a adorable dog, everyone that knows him loves him. With the bark collar he doesn't bark three times and get shocked, he smart enough to understand the beep is a warning and he calms down. As I had said it is a last resort. The sadest thing now is that he is forced to wear a muzzle, I find them very inhuman. I had him in my fenced in yard yesterday with it on and he just sat there staring at me. He wouldn't play, not that he really can with a muzzle on. Once again please don't jump to conclusions without knowing anything about me or my dog. You have been incorrect in both of your comments.
Wendy Ingraham
December 07, 2012
I would strongly advise speaking to the Windham County Humane society about this ongoing problem with your dog.

"Dog Calm" contains no drugs. At under 7 dollars it seems worth a try.

A shock collar is "punishment". A muzzle is certainly a last resort. Call the humane society, they will give you resources. They will work with you to find a solution.
Wendy Ingraham
November 29, 2012
Regarding the dog bite, this owner needs to learn how to properly train her dog....a shock collar is an extreme method to stop barking and sounds like a lazy and uneducated owner. If I had a shock collar on me I'd probably want to bite too. The most problematical dogs come from owners too lazy or unwilling to educate THEMSELVES in how to train a dog. Google Karen Pryor......she has a great training method. And it sure doesn't involve shock collars.
Wendy Ingraham
November 29, 2012

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