Beavers, bureaucracy, bridges bedevil board
by Margo Avakian
Sep 27, 2012 | 2182 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HALIFAX- The selectboard held a special meeting to discuss problems with beavers and bridges. Lacking a final say on either issue, the board could only decide on how to navigate through the rules set by state and/or federal bureaucrats.

The beaver problem - or problem beaver - is located on Pennel Hill Road, where a repeatedly clogged culvert sends water flowing onto the roadway. The road crew has cleared the culvert more than once, but the beaver is persistent. When selectboard member Earl Holtz received a call claiming that a road crew member had attempted to shoot the beaver responsible, Holtz started researching the regulations.

“I don’t want a member of the road crew arrested for shooting a beaver,” Holtz declared.

According to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Holtz said, if nothing else works, the selectboard can petition the transportation authority for permission to kill the beaver. Edee Edwards suggested trying other means first, possibly the use of “beaver calming devices” to “slow the water flow (making the sound) less enticing for the beavers.” The board eventually voted to send a letter to the game warden asking for advice on how to proceed.

The board then took up the problem of cost estimates for the Deer Park Road bridge. Project manager Christina Moore told the board that the original FEMA estimate is too low to be taken as a baseline for calculating the extra cost of building a bridge long enough to meet Agency of Natural Resources standards. “FEMA’s design is too narrow for the code,” Moore said. Moore added that there are other problems with the FEMA design, for example, the fact that it did not take into account the results of boring samples.

Purchasing agent Joseph Tamburrino expressed concern over delays, reminding Moore that the contract cannot be officially awarded before the state and FEMA have given approval. Moore said she is sure approval can be gotten in 35-40 days “if we really push.” Moore also assured the board that Cold River Bridges, the putative contract winner, can do the estimate in a few hours, and offered to lend assistance. The board voted to direct Tamburrino and Moore to ask Cold River for a cost estimate of a 49-foot bridge that would, in other respects, meet code standards.
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dwight williams
October 05, 2012
This is Vermont: A rifle IS a "beaver calming device". I've never had much luck cooking those critters, always come out greasy and give me gas.
Wendy Ingraham
September 28, 2012
Was there no phone call to the Game Warden even thought of? Seems to me it could have resolved the question of how to deal with the beaver a lot faster than the mail.....