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Weathersfield requests stay of execution for tree from late farmer’s property

  • An old, dying maple tree that stands Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in a commuter parking lot off Interstate 91 in Ascutney, Vt. The land was once part of a farm belonging to Romaine Tenney, whose farm was seized in 1964 to make way for the interstate highway. Tenney burned his barn and his home, with him inside. The tree is going to be removed and the state of Vermont is now looking for a way to remember Tenney. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring) Wilson Ring

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 11/13/2019 10:09:21 PM
Modified: 11/13/2019 10:09:12 PM

WEATHERSFIELD — The town Selectboard has sent a letter to Gov. Phil Scott and Secretary of Transportation Joe Flynn asking the state to suspend its plan to cut down a large maple tree that was on the farm of the late Romaine Tenney.

The tree is located at the edge of a park and ride off Exit 8 of Interstate 91 and an arborist hired by the state has said it is mostly dead, presents a hazard to vehicles and people, and can’t be saved.

But at a public meeting last month to discuss ideas for memorializing Tenney, several people questioned the state’s claim about the tree’s health and argued for another opinion.

“Suspension of any action will permit time for the situation to be further investigated by the Town of Weathersfield, Agency of Transportation and a designated arborist,” the Selectboard said in the letter dated Nov. 12.

Tenney burned his farm buildings and took his own life in 1964 because the state was about to take his farm to make way for construction of the interstate.

VTrans representatives Andrea Wright and Kyle Obenauer are scheduled to attend Monday’s Selectboard meeting for further discussion.




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