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Forum, May 6: Give Hanover Affordable Housing a Boost


Saturday, May 05, 2018
Give Hanover Affordable Housing a Boost

Improving and increasing affordable, in-town housing for seniors and those with disabilities is what Hanover’s Article 17 is about. Summer Park, adjacent to the Black Community Center, is Hanover’s only affordable senior housing and is comprised of three, 1970s-era buildings with eight apartments each. These 24 studio and one-bedroom apartments are in need of replacement and are energy inefficient with costly electric heat. The 12 second-floor units can be accessed by stairs only, making them unsuitable for seniors or those with poor mobility.

The town of Hanover has tasked Twin Pines Housing, the region’s nonprofit affordable housing provider, with redeveloping Summer Park. Twin Pines Housing and the town had previously worked together on the development of the mixed-income community at Gile Hill. If approved, Article 17 would transfer Summer Park and an adjoining property to Twin Pines Housing, which would be responsible for the redevelopment of Summer Park. The first phase would involve the construction of a new, energy-efficient, 24-apartment building. A second phase will allow for additional units to serve seniors and disabled residents.

I encourage Hanover residents to vote yes on Article 17 on Tuesday during the business meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the Hanover High School gymnasium. Additional information on Article 17 and Summer Park can be found on the Twin Pines Housing’s website at www.twinpineshousing.org

Andrew B. Winter, Executive Director

Twin Pines Housing

Vote for Trillium as Hanover’s Flower

Voters at the evening session of Hanover’s Town Meeting will be asked to name trillium as the official town flower, and we encourage you to vote yes on Article 18.

Trillium, a beautiful native wildflower that grows easily in Hanover’s woodlands, at forest edges and along stone walls, is a tasty target for deer. Blooms were common until about eight years ago. As the deer population has surged, the result has been a dramatic decline in flowering trillium plants. Following significant research, the Hanover Conservation Commission’s Biodiversity Committee has identified trillium survival as a means of monitoring deer browse pressure. Monitoring stations will be set up throughout town to track changes in our trillium population, and we will be inviting residents to help in monitoring them.

We look forward to learning more about the interactions of wildlife and wildflowers and hope for more blossoms in coming years.

Adair Mulligan

Hanover Conservancy

Joyce Noll

Hanover Garden Club

Barbara McIlroy

Biodiversity Committee

SB 2 Would Gum Up the Works

I had the opportunity recently to attend an information session at the Etna Public Library about Article 7, which would, if passed, change Hanover into an SB 2 town and eliminate our historic Town Meeting structure. I now feel I have a duty to attend Town Meeting at Hanover High School on Tuesday, at 7 p.m., and vote.

Our town’s budget is set by our Selectboard with the input of individuals familiar with the needs and challenges of our community. I trust my local government representatives and believe in their ability to propose a yearly budget that is in the best interests of our community. Just as important, at the end of Town Meeting, a budget is approved and officials can plan and move forward with the work of the town.

If we become an SB 2 town, the budget we will vote on will not necessarily be the best work of our local government. Because of the addition of a separate deliberative session under the SB 2 format, citizens have the opportunity to significantly change the proposed budget that then goes to voters. These deliberative sessions have been poorly attended in other SB 2 towns, making them vulnerable to co-opting by special interest groups. Yes, I love my neighbors, but in a community of our size, it wouldn’t take many residents to approve a budget in a deliberative session that isn’t in our best interests. Even more concerning, SB 2 towns have a pass-or-fail vote on the budget, meaning that if it fails, the budget reverts to a default spending plan that can, for the lack of a better phrase, become a big old mess. If ever a system had the potential to gum up the workings of local government, SB 2 is it.

Anne Peterson

Etna

Beware of Neonicotinoids

Many big-box stores in our area sell plants. Please check the labels that come with them to make sure that they do not have the word “neonicotinoid” on them. These pesticides are lethal to honeybees and bumblebees, both of which are in major decline due to the use of these pesticides. Most local garden shops do not use these strong pesticides.

Kit Hood

Sharon

The writer holds the master gardener certification from the University of Vermont.

Vermont’s Route 5 Needs Repair

New Hampshire’s highways are well maintained and a pleasure to drive. Too bad Vermont does not have the same level of maintenance. Have you traveled along Route 5 in White River Junction, from the Hartford Avenue bridge to the VA Medical Center area? Every year the pavement gets worse and the bridge deck is falling apart. I’ve contacted the Vermont Agency of Transportation and was told that neither of these problems is on any upcoming program to be repaired. Seems like most of our tax dollars go to the Chittenden County area.

Stan Robinson

White River Junction

Hope Springs Infernal

So far, Hillary Clinton hasn’t blamed the two people most responsible for her defeat: herself and Donald Trump.

But there’s still hope.

John E. Jersey

Hartland