Bristol selectboard fishes for project bids and grants

BRISTOL — At an April 25 meeting, the Bristol selectboard moved ahead with a Bristol Conservation Commission plan to build a handicap accessible fishing platform at Eagle Park, located upstream from the New Haven River’s Bartlett Falls off Lincoln Road.
Although no formal contracts have yet been signed, the Dock Doctors — a company based out of North Ferrisburgh that specializes in the design, production and installation of waterfront structures — was verbally awarded the project for $29,715 by the selectboard. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has agreed to fund 75 percent of the project’s cost and the New Haven River Angler Association has offered another $3,000.
The Chuck Baser Memorial Fund, which was named after the late conservation commission member and created by the avid fisherman’s parents, has pledged $5,300 to the project. According to Town Administrator Bill Bryant, any unexpected costs that exceed this funding will be drawn from the town’s Conservation Reserve Fund.
The irregular shaped platform will be approximately 12 feet in width and 22 feet in length. It will be supported by a galvanized steel frame and use a recycled composite material for the surface.
“We’ll put a natural path leading down to the platform, which will be situated between two boulders,” said Mike Savioli of Dock Doctors. “Whether you’re fishing or enjoying the view, it’ll feel like you’re right on the river.”
Also at last Monday’s meeting:
•  Selectboard members discussed the design of the new Route 116 South “Stoplight Bridge” replacement. They were concerned about the new bridge being 18 feet higher than the current bridge. According to Bryant, the selectboard is worried about the potential costs of the project and its impact to side roads, although the project will be completely funded and handled by the state since Route 116 is a state road.
Vermont Agency of Transportation project manager Martha Evans-Mongeon explained why the replacement bridge is designed to be higher: “We’re trying to increase the hydraulic opening, which is the waterway opening for the New Haven River … Last October there were some heavy rains that were lapping at the bottom of the steel on the old bridge … I understand their concern that it will be a lot higher, but we’d like to keep the new bridge out of the flood waters.”
This issue will require ongoing debate, Bryant said.
•  Assistant chief of the Bristol Fire Department Brett Larose presented three grant opportunities: a state-funded Rural Fire Assistance Grant for two dry hydrants that would pull water from local streams and ponds, a Homeland Security Grant for a base radio, and a grant to install defibrillators on all fire trucks.
“Our new policy requires that we ask permission before applying for grants,” said Selectman and Fire Chief John “Peeker” Heffernan.
•  After an executive session, the selectboard authorized recreation director Darla Senecal to engage the services of volunteer office assistant Jamie Martell.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected]

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