The TUNBRIDGE Quarterly is mailed four times a year to everyone that owns property and/or resides in Tunbridge and contains news and information from town and school officials and local volunteer efforts. The brainchild of Tunbridge resident Janet Zug, its first edition was published in July 2005 and has been curated by Janet ever since.
The deadlines for TQ entries are on the 15th of December, March, June and September. Contact Janet at 802-889-9602 or [email protected]
THE CURRENT ISSUE
Published January 1, 2024 – Follow this link to view or download the current issue in PDF format.
Click here to see past issues.
John O’Brien, Clerk
889-3474; [email protected]
Gary Mullen, Chair
889-3323, barn or 889-3242, house; [email protected]
Mike McPhetres, Vice Chair
802-272-6108, cell or 802-728-3390, shop; [email protected]
Mariah Cilley, Administrative Assistant
802-889-5521 or [email protected]
As geriatric 2023 shuffles off the calendar, and baby 2024 arrives, pink with potential, the Selectboard is finalizing the FY 24/25 budget, and looking ahead to Town Meeting—where voters and property owners can add their voices to lively discussions about money and policy.
On the day-to-day running of the town, the budget will remain relatively the same. Our municipal team is a good one (the Road Crew and the Administrators in the Town Offices) and we believe they deserve raises prudently above COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment); Tunbridge will never be the highest-paying town in the region, but we would like our salaries to show appreciation for a job well done, and also have the financial compensation be competitive enough so that the experience and dedication doesn’t go elsewhere. It’s hard to put a price tag on employee stability, but ask any employer how difficult retainment and recruitment are in this labor market, and you’ll get a tale of woe.
The more sobering budget numbers are big ticket items that the town, as a community, needs to sort through and prioritize. This is policy stuff. We have all been affected by the opioid crisis and a law enforcement response that is, depending on who you ask, inadequate and understaffed or totally dysfunctional. If we could get positive results, should we significantly up our policing budget? The Town Garage needs to be replaced or majorly refurbished, maybe not in 2025, but sooner than later. It’s sobering to contemplate that a price tag of a million dollars for such a structure is kind of on the low side these days (check out the estimates for a new Burlington High School or a new State Prison). The Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department needs a new fire truck, they’ve set aside funds for equipment replacement, they’ve explored grants, and now they’re asking the town to pitch in. Policing, Highway Department, Fire Department—we need all these services, but—sigh—gone are the days when a bake sale and a car wash could raise the necessary dollars to keep Tunbridge ticking.
Speaking of big money, look at the bill that climate change is thumping us with every year. Take the Strafford Road: the July flooding caused approximately half a million dollars of damage to that Class II highway. To give that number some context, consider our annual highway budget is just over a million dollars. Thankfully, the federal government is footing the bill for most of the fixes, but it’s scary to think that we cannot afford to take care of our own infrastructure anymore. The head of Vermont’s flood response team recently told the Legislature that the “50 year flood” or “”100 year flood” is now inaccurate and archaic language, and there’s no scientific precedent to describe what is happening with these extreme weather events.
At least Tunbridge will be a little more prepared the next time we get seven inches of rain in 24 hours, or two inches in ten minutes: For a couple of weeks in November it seemed like every culvert in town was being replaced, but the annoyance of detours and stop lights is now a fading memory and the results are impressive. The Strafford Road’s “squished culvert” and the Route 110/Whitney Hill Road cast concrete bridge were the headline jobs, but almost every road in town had some end-of-the-construction-season bridge or culvert or ditching project accomplished, often to satisfy a FEMA deadline. Heading into winter, our roads are in good shape.
In employee news, Transfer Station Attendant Mike Barnaby is “semi-retiring.” Mike is giving up his Saturday gig, but will continue to do Wednesdays. The Selectboard appreciates Mike’s dedication to a very difficult and challenging job. That sentiment should be echoed for super sub, Rod Fisk, who would also like to retire (no “semi” about it), but continues on because he’s too much the gentleman to tell the Selectboard to “Go to heck!” Is there anybody out there who would like to work Saturdays, 9 to 3, for $20 an hour? Not a lot of perks, except that you will have celebrity status in town and you’ll be privy to every bit of gossip going around, some of it true.
The TUNBRIDGE Quarterly
Janet Zug 889-9602 [email protected]
TQ Entries are printed as received and only edited for typos. Please accept my apologies for any mistakes I miss or make! Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions.
The deadline dates for TQ entries are the 15th of December, March, June and September.
As I change the issue number on the cover I realize it’s been almost 19 years since the first TUNBRIDGE Quarterly was delivered! It all started with the hope of creating a way for our town officers and local volunteer efforts to communicate with all the residents and property owners of our town. Taxpayer funds pay to print and mail the TQ and the rest of the work is done with volunteer efforts here on Dickerman Hill. Only 25 more issues left to reach 25 years! 🙂
Tunbridge Town Clerk
Mariah Cilley, Clerk 889-5521
Bonnie McCrillis, Asst Clerk [email protected]
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8-2, Friday closed
Happy New Year Tunbridge! I hope you all had a safe, warm, holiday season filled with family and cheer. I hope 2024 brings warmth and wellness to you all. Bonnie and I have been working to get our Land Records scanned and saved to an online database, going back to the beginning of the land records so that these documents can be saved for years to come and searchable for future research. This was funded using the ARPA funds that were allocated for this project last year.
Town Meeting will be here before we know it. This year it will take place on Tuesday March 5th at the Tunbridge Central School. Stay tuned for more information including the warning and past meeting minutes to be posted as well as open positions.
If you would like to request a slot on a Selectboard meeting agenda, please email me at [email protected] or call the number above.
If you would like to reserve the Town Hall for an event, please call Judy Howe at 889-3487. She maintains the reservation book, reservation contracts and can answer any other particulars that you may need to know.
Contact information for all Town Officers is posted on the Tunbridge website- www.tunbridgevt.org. Our town website has a plethora of information about the Town, ARPA, Legal Trails, Selectboard Minutes, permits, ordinances, forms, and updates from various officials and more.
Dog licensing for 2024 will begin on January 1st. Deadline for licensing is April 1st, 2024. If your dog(s) is/are due for a rabies vaccination prior to April 1, a license cannot be issued until an updated rabies certificate has been received by the Clerk. Cost per license is $9.00 spayed/neutered; $13.00 for non-spayed/neutered. You may get a dog license at the Town Clerk’s Office, or by sending payment, rabies certificate and return address by mail or drop box.
As always, stay well. I look forward to seeing you all.
Kay Jorgensen – 889-5528, [email protected]
Better Bones balance and weight-bearing exercise program is offered at the Town Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. It is aimed at increasing bone density at an age when bone mass is lost and osteoporosis is a concern. Anyone can drop in for a session. A doctor’s permission is requested for those who continue with the program.
Tunbridge Historical Society
Fern Strong – 860-986-0507
The Tunbridge Historical Society had a full year of programs in 2023. The Memorial Day Parade and a program about the military service of Tunbridge Women. Tunbridge Speaks in July “Growing Up in Tunbridge – the Women of Tunbridge” was great fun to hear about the memories of residents of all ages. The Ghost Walk at Mt Pleasant Cemetery in October on a cold and blustery day was well received. The raffle we host every year was very successful thanks to the organization of Nancy Howe. The quilt made
by the Ladies Quilting group was gorgeous.
2024 plans to be another eventful year. We will be participating in the Memorial Day events with a program in town hall. July’s Tunbridge Speaks will be about our Revolutionary War participation. The Ghost Walk will be in Monarch Hill Cemetery.
Please look to our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/tunbridgehistoricalsociety/ and local listserv for dates and times.
THS now has a web page on the town site under organizations. Thanks to Izzy Provoncha for getting that done. Meeting minutes will be posted on the web page. There is also a QR code link to our Venmo account for donations to the society.
We want to send a special thank you to Lydia Flanagan for her excellent work organizing our archives. It is a difficult job and we look forward to being able to share this excellent resource with the community in the future. We will be looking for volunteers to help carry on with this task. Please contact any of the officers if you would like to help in any way.
The Tunbridge Historical Society is still looking for a new president. If you are interested, please contact any of the executive board members stating why you believe you would be a good fit and what your objectives would be.
We invite all town residents to join THS. We look forward to input and participation by all. Please share information, questions, and photographs with us on our Facebook page and feel free to contact any of the officers.
Downstreet’s HomeOwnership Center
Financial Wellness and Homebuyer Education
Bill Meckel – (802) 476-4493
HOC: Downstreet Housing and Community Development’s Homeownership Center offers a wide range of services and resources to support individuals and families in their journey toward homeownership. Downstreet’s comprehensive programs include homebuyer education, financial counseling, and down payment assistance — all designed to empower prospective homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the complexities of the housing market. Through workshops, one-on-one counseling, and access to various resources, the Homeownership Center strives to make the dream of owning a home a reality for those in Vermont. Whether you are a first-time buyer or seeking to make informed decisions about housing, Downstreet’s Homeownership Center is a valuable partner on the path to homeownership.
Financial wellness and homebuyer education: Downstreet Housing and Community Development is your resource for achieving financial wellness and homeownership success. Our comprehensive programs empower you with personalized financial consultations, credit report insights, and action plans to enhance your financial health and credit score. We’re committed to supporting you at every stage, addressing all your financial questions and concerns. Our Homebuyer Education program provides essential knowledge to navigate the complexities of the homebuying process, including terminology, financing options, and down payment assistance.
Ed Larkin Contra Dancers
Clyde Jenne – [email protected]
The Ed Larkin Contra Dancers will host Contra Dancing at the Tunbridge Town Hall on January 12th, February 9th & March 8th. Dances start at 7 pm, weather permitting.
All dances taught. Refreshments at intermission. $8 donation at the door. Bring the family. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free.
First Branch Ambulance
Barbara LaFrancis 889-3378. Judy Tucker – 889-3305
Hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday. A new year is upon us with all its challenges.
The heat raffle ended on Jan 2nd. Results to be posted in the next quarterly.
Our annual letter was mailed in early December with important information regarding services FBA provides along with goals to continue excellent service to our community in the future. To provide this service we need your support now more than ever whether it’s becoming a member of the squad, monetary donations or making us aware of someone in the community that could benefit from our services.
Two main goals for FBA are:
- Raising dollars to buy our replacement ambulance. As you saw in our letter, we have a good start. Keeping our vehicles and equipment current is extremely important. They travel many miles for us in all kinds of conditions. As you know, equipment wears out and gets upgraded.
- Recruiting people to join out dedicated squad.
We need members and volunteers at all levels to help maintain our current volume of calls.
FBA WILL BE OFFERING A VT FIRST RESPONDERS COURSE in January. If you are interested or know someone who might be call Chase or Liz for Information At 802-685-3112.
Thank you to those who have already responded with their generous donations. If you have not yet done so, please consider making one. We need your support. Donations are appreciated in any amount at any time. We would not be able to operate without your support. Stay safe and well.
Mariah Lawrence – Library Director
Hours: T 10-5; W 3-7; Th 10-5, F 3-7; Sat 9-12
2023 was absolutely packed with excitement at the library. Between our new stage made by Jeff Porter, lots of new programming, new staff members and a whole lot of after school kids the year was a whirlwind of joy. This year, our patron visits have doubled and circulation has skyrocketed. To make a donation to the library for our annual appeal send a check or use the donate button on our website.
Coming up in 2024, expect to see a new writing group for especially for seniors as well as one for adults of all ages. Our book club “Shelf Love” will now meet monthly. The Conservation Commission has begun Winter Evenings. The library will also host “Sunday Speakers” for those looking for an earlier time frame during the darker months. Thanks to staff member Theresa FitzGerald, the fiber group will be starting back up! The first Tuesday evening of every month she will guide you through an assisted project or you can just bring your own! “Knitting Wellness” welcomes people of all ages
The library is excited to help educate our community on the BIG Solar Eclipse happening April 8th. Look to the library for monthly programs and events leading up to the big day. Make sure you travel north just a bit on the 8th so you can view the eclipse in the path of totality.
The library offers monthly story hours, a middle school book club and a weekly playgroup for children birth-5 years of age. The library also hosts “Imagination Fridays” with meetings of No Thank You Evil, a
collaborative game fro 5-9 year olds, followed by Magic the Gathering. All abilities welcome, cards provided. In addition to these regular programs the library has received a generous grant from The Vermont Humanities Council to host another round of their all ages book club, Generation Connect. Together we will discuss and celebrate The Wild Robot Trilogy during the winter months of January, February and March. Come to the library and get a copy of the book to keep!
Check the website for details about all of our events and programs! tunbridgelibrary.org
Tunbridge Grange # 384
Rosemary Distel 802-272-2235
The Tunbridge Grange had a busy fall with many activities such as our annual Harvest Supper, Sharon Welcome Center refreshment offerings, Holiday Craft Nights (special thanks to Marie Danforth and Chancity Young for providing their crafting skills!), Holiday Craft Market, and our first year for a Holiday Prize Bingo Night – which was very successful due to all the wonderful donated prizes from the following people & businesses:
Alan’s Vending Service
Paul Amell, Jr
Tom & Linda Blaisdell
Earthly Wonders – Lydia Welch
Dan & Betty Roberts
The Tunbridge General Store
Tunbridge Woodcrafts – Skip Distel
Tunbridge World’s Fair
Peggy O’Neill Willoughby
Zug Glass Studio
We will start our regular winter bingo on Fridays starting January 12 at 6:30 pm on the lower level of the Town Hall. Bingo, food, raffles, etc!
We continue to seek new members to join the Tunbridge Grange. Please reach out to any Grange member to ask about joining. We assist local families and other organizations in need.
Kay Jorgensen, 889-5528
The new Sunday Series begins Jan. 7 at 2:30 p.m. at the Tunbridge Public Library. The series is especially for people who can’t get out on winter evenings. Tunbridge residents will be featured at most of the twice-a-month programs scheduled January through March, all at 2:30 p.m.
- Jan. 7: “251 Club Adventures—On and Off the ‘Beaten Path.” Club board member John Dumville and Deadra and Chuck Ashton, Eve Ermer and Scott Russell, Anne and Ben Linehan, and Peg Sherlock and Doug Giles will tell how they successfully visited all 251 towns.
- Jan. 21: “Skiing With Henry Knox” will feature Sam Brakeley of Sharon who skied the 330-mile Catamount Trail in winter carrying journals of Col. Henry Knox who dragged 59 cannons 300 miles from Fort Ticonderoga to the Continental Army in Boston.
- Feb. 4: “Between House and Barn”: A Poetry Reading with Carol Potter.” The award-winning Tunbridge poet is widely published, teaches for the Antioch University MFA program in Los Angeles, and provides private manuscript consultations and editing.
- Feb. 18: “An Acoustic Guitar Journey, From A Window to a
Silent Woods” with Neil Fitzgerald, acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and
composer from Tunbridge. Photographic scenes will accompany his
- March 3: “An Overview of Vermont’s Criminal Justice System Q&A” with Will Porter, retired Orange County States Attorney. With experience both as a state prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he looks forward to answering questions about justice in Vermont.
- March 17: “Play Ball.” Meet some players, hear their stories and see trophies and equipment from generations of past players.
Intelligence Based Policing
Robert S. Childs. [email protected] 802-889-3241
Central Vermont Intelligence Based Policing has been working on an initiative to promote our overall goal of reducing in crime in our area. The problems span policing, the courts and the corrections department. Policing is the issue we are working on now. The courts and corrections departments will take a greater effort, politically, to correct.
I have met with several area select boards to promote a cooperative effort by two or more towns to join forces in acquiring police services. The idea comes from a couple of towns in Vermont that have utilized the policing forces already in place in one town to provide policing in the adjoining town. The practice accomplishes several things. It places officers familiar with the area in the area, the citizens get to know the officers, the officers get to know the people. In part based on the old “Officer Friendly Program”, this results in better communication between the citizens and the police. Without this communication, the police are at a disadvantage in solving much of the crime taking place.
With limited officers and large patrol areas our State Police are often times an hour to respond to an incident. Keeping patrol areas smaller results in faster response times.
The costs for individual towns to set up their own police departments is great. By cooperating two or more adjoining towns into a policing area these costs can be supported by a wider tax base. By contracting services through an already established policing agency much of the initial cost of property, equipment and administrative fees can be greatly reduced.
To start, I contacted the towns of Chelsea, and Tunbridge. Vershire and Strafford have since been included in the promotion of this idea. Strafford, Tunbridge and Chelsea have all indicated an interest and each has or is in the process of meeting area policing agencies to gather additional information.
One of the things that we have learned from past policing contracts is that while some patrols have happened, little if any actual policing has occurred. It is evident that a few hours of patrol dollars do not result in tickets being issued or crimes being investigated. By acting locally, we can accomplish this but we must start by giving the support necessary to form and finance policing within our area.
The Tunbridge Church
Kay Jorgensen, (802) 693-0098, [email protected]
The Tunbridge Church welcomes John McClintock as its permanent pastor. Parish Council President Nancy Rogers announced he was unanimously voted to the position at a special meeting of church members and began leading services on Dec. 3. His hours at the Parish House are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Visitors are welcome.
Pastor John, his wife Meaghan and daughter moved to Tunbridge in June 2022 and have felt right at home. Shortly after arriving here, they welcomed a second little girl. They have enjoyed getting involved in town activities through the school, church and library, and look forward to the future of Tunbridge.
John has a B.A. in Philosophy from Bridgewater State University and a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University School of Theology. He enjoys writing songs, reading, and spending time with his family. He says, “I’ve spent my life asking big questions. From my childhood in Rhode Island, to my military service, to my studies in philosophy and theology, I’ve never been satisfied with easy answers.
“Along the way, I developed an appreciation for the everyday – a quick conversation, a friendly smile, or news about a loved one. My ministry seeks to wed big ideas with small-town life in a way that gives people the comfort they look for in a church community but that also stretches and challenges their notions of God, faith, and their place in the world.”
* * *
During the early months of 2024 the church will resume soup and snack deliveries to some of those in town who won’t be getting out as much during the winter. On March 31 the church will celebrate Easter with both a sunrise service and 10 a.m. church service.
In recent months Outreach Committee volunteers delivered Thanksgiving snack bags and poinsettia plants to local seniors. Pastor John led four classes of Advent Study and is planning additional studies for the new year. Banners of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace on the church deck railing and the creche with lighted star reminded passers-by of the Advent season.
Last year the church donated mission funds to the United Church of Christ’s International Emergency Turkey and Syria Earthquake Response; Project Dove at Bethany Church, Randolph, for displaced children in Myrhorod, Ukraine; Chelsea Area Senior Citizens Center; and Kyle Spaulding. Children’s hats, mittens and gloves collected in December were distributed locally.
The Women Moving Forward informal group for fellowship and support meets for a potluck meal at 12 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at the Parish House. The Tunbridge Community Food Shelf is open at the Parish House on Fridays from 4-6 p.m. Al-Anon and AA meetings are held at the house on Sundays at 5 and 7 p.m., respectively.
Weekly church services can be accessed at tunbridgechurch.org. All are welcome to attend Sunday services online and in person at 10 a.m. To join the church email list, use the contact info in the heading. The church welcomes support of its programs at PO Box 270, Tunbridge VT 05077 or by credit card at tunbridgechurch.org. Also, visit the Facebook page.
Janet Zug – 802-738-9602 [email protected]
The 16th season of the Tunbridge Town Hall Shindigs continues with three more dances in 2024. Come and enjoy visiting downstairs & dancing upstairs! The dances happen from 7 – 10pm on the first Saturdays from November thru April ($15. at the door)
Advanced reservation are not needed for the rest of the season, just show up!
Shoot me an email if you’d like to be added to the email reminder list.
February 3 – The Shugarmakers
A fun mix of sweet dance music, something for all tastes!
The Shugs are the founding band of the Tunbridge Town Hall Shindigs!
March 2 – Better Days Band
R & B, Classic Rock, Blues and Funky stuff with unique arrangements!
April 6 – Marty and Todd
Two guys with a full dance band sound playing favorite country hits of the 70s, 80s & 90s with a few R&R oldies sprinkled in!
It’s a casual atmosphere. If you like to dance, you’ll love the Shindigs!
Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair
Deb Mullen – 889-9406 [email protected]
The Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair are going into our annual hibernation for a few months, during which we will be thinking about all the ways we can support the Fair: Renovating buildings? Providing safety equipment? Upgrading lighting and plumbing? Improving accessibility? Fixing storm damage?
The Friends have done all of these things, and more! How? With your support! We hope you will join us as we begin planning for 2024. One way you can help is to consider a tax-deductible donation to the Friends; another is to give a Friends membership as a holiday gift. A day at the Fair comes in all colors and sizes, and is guaranteed to delight! Contact Deb Mullen at the contact info above to find out more.
From the Friends to all of our friends, wishing you a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy new year.
Tunbridge Health Officer
Jodi Hoyt 802-249-8956 [email protected]
Town health officer updates for Tunbridge:
In June of 2022, Governor Scott signed into law Act 181 (2022), that amends 18 V.S.A. §§ 602a and 603. Act 181 provides for the transition of authority for rental housing health and safety to the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety (DPS).
The changes in state law affect your authority and duties as a town health officer in Tunbridge.
Principally,Act 181 (2022) removes the requirement that town health officers conduct rental housing inspections upon request of a landlord or tenant, and provides that town health officers have the authority to assist DPS in inspecting rental housing pursuant to 20 V.S.A. chapter 172.
DPS has adopted the Rental Housing Health and Safety Code, effective December 31, 2023, and designed a complaint-driven inspection system, updated inspection forms, and hired inspectors to conduct rental housing inspections, including inspections of short-term rentals.
The Health Department will repeal its Rental Housing Health Code. DPS is now the government entity with the primary authority to enforce State laws governing rental housing health and safety. Town health officers have the authority to assist the DPS in inspecting rental housing but not held responsible for it anymore.
Tunbridge Community Food Shelf
Open Fridays 4:00 to 6:00
802-693-0098 (please leave a message)
The holidays are over and winter has officially begun, and the Tunbridge Community food shelf is here to help. Winter brings additional expenses for many families. So, if you are finding yourself a little financially short, let us help with your supplemental food needs. We are open every Friday 4:00 to 6:00 at the Parish House across from the town offices and the Tunbridge Church. There are no restrictions to who many use the food shelf, just a need. The volunteers who man the food shelf each week, welcome you to stop by and see what is available.
In November, we were the beneficiary of a wonderful food donation from the Tunbridge Recreation Committee. They sponsored a Thanksgiving softball tournament, where the entry fee for each team was a box of food which was given to our food shelf. We are so grateful for their generous donation. It supplied us with a wide variety of different foods to help fill our shelves. We also want to thank all the community members who frequently drop off food items. We appreciate your continued support.
Each week, our committee prepares backpacks for 11 families at the Tunbridge School. These supplement the food needs of at least 45 children and their family members. If you are interested in this confidential program, contact the school nurses for more information.
Again this winter, the food shelf committee will team with the Tunbridge Church outreach committee to supply a meal, plus monthly snack packs for our community senior citizens.
Food and financial donations are always welcomed. Items can be dropped off during the food shelf hours or left by the back door, weather permitting. Monetary donations should be sent to Mary Fisk, treasurer at PO Box 12, Tunbridge, VT 05077.
We encourage you to visit the Tunbridge food shelf if you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity Please spread the word that we are here to help. There is no restrictions on use of the program, just need. Please take advantage of this community resource.
Tunbridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors
For TNHN services call 889-3437
Tunbridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors coordinates and provides basic services at no charge to town residents through the efforts of volunteers. We are a non-profit organization whose operating costs (primarily phone service) are supported by the generosity of Tunbridgians who allocate funds at Town Meeting, and by donations, which may be sent to TNHN, P.O. Box 22, Tunbridge, VT 05077.
A few of the services offered by TNHN are:
• Rides (see below)
• Pick up of prescriptions or other goods from stores
• Cooking meals for people who are unable to cook for a short time
• Minor repairs or painting, minor home improvements, changing a lock*
• Changing a flat tire or jump-starting a car
• Simple repairs to household appliances*
• Help lifting or moving large objects
• Delivery of library books or Food Shelf items
• Help with gardening, lawn care or stacking firewood
• Shoveling snow off walkways and steps
• Other reasonable requests
*Please note: the cost of any materials needed falls on the person requesting help.
Rides could include transportation to and from nearby medical appointments, church and other local events, car repair/service appointments and shopping trips. If the trip is a long one, please be aware that some drivers may need riders to contribute to the cost of gas due to high fuel prices.
Anyone needing help with something should call 802-889-3437. We do our best to find a volunteer who is available for that specific request at that specific time and date. However, on occasion that is not possible, especially if advance notice is not given.
We are always on the lookout for more volunteers. To join our list, please contact any of the board members listed below or call 802-889-3437. We respect and value your willingness to help your neighbors.
Current Board Members: Michael O’Donnell, President – 802-763-8985; Jory Innes, Vice President – 802-299-9249; Pat Howe, Treasurer – 802-889-5512;
Sarah Priestap Porter, Secretary; Linda B. Howe; Holly Bee.
Tunbridge Emergency Management Director
Brenda Field – 889-5548
“4 Day to Two Week Power Outage, Personnel Survival”
January 11th, Thursday 6:00 at the Town Hall
Thinking about and preparing for a possible scenario that could happen and has happened in Vermont. Large snowstorm, over 20”, heavy snow, ice, it takes down many, many trees and of course the power lines yet again. This time though, you can’t drive in and out to get gasoline, food or recieve deliveries. It may be days, many days before the power company secures the lines and allows the road crews to clear snow. This round table will have thoughts and lists of items for you to have on hand and or plan to get.
Jan 11th will be a good time to double-check ourselves with info for those that have recently moved here and those of us who have been through long power outages.
One of our presenters will be an electrician (who sometimes acts as a popular Tunbridge Fire chief) with info on generators. How to size the one you need. How to install and run safely.
Green Mountain Power rep will bring info on their plans of building out for less power outages in the future plus a solar generator to view.
What services do you need, are you signed up with the state if you have special medical needs so the local emergency services can target you for checking on. If you heat with wood, bring a piece of wood to be checked for moisture content with a meter.
It’s not just snow storms that could create this scenario, the grid could fail for many reasons, floods could damage roads and trees.
You may be on your own for a while, four days could be just annoying if above freezing temps but over that you truly could be in survival mode so be prepared and come complete your list of items with us. We will have handouts of items to think about, have on hand.
Plan with your neighbors, friends, share knowledge, equipment and what helps, works and doesn’t work.
Call Brenda Field or Mariah Cilley at the town offices for more info or input.
Chelsea Area Senior Center
Susan Pirie, 685-2290, [email protected]
In addition to offering Meals on Wheels and Curbside pick-up, the Chelsea Area Senior Center is open for indoor dining on Mondays at 12:00 pm. Please call to make a reservation to eat indoors, for curbside pick up and also Meals on Wheels.
Tunbridge Town Nurse
Jodi Hoyt 802-249-8956 [email protected]
Hello Tunbridge residents, The town nurse is celebrating her one year in Tunbridge! This year she has been able to help people with so many things but here are a few; hospice care, getting ramps for disabled residents, connecting with neighbors helping neighbors, getting COVID tests for the town, well water contamination and flood disaster, getting flood resource donations, getting handicap placards, helping with infections, post surgical procedures, post hospital admissions, FEMA, long term care referrals, getting vaccinations, grieving resources, picking up prescriptions, green burial information, disposing of expired medications, education, setting up a social media presence, speaking at senior luncheons, writing 3 newsletters so far, writing and receiving multiple grants, connecting people with food and heating assistance. So much more.
The newest addition is creating and organizing the Tunbridge medical equipment library. In which residents can borrow medical equipment to help in time of need. She also helped support getting dental care to the area via health hub for adult dental care which adults can call 802-VTTEETH to schedule. Advertising at memorial parade, trick or trunk and many different community events. So excited for another year with Tunbridge! My hardest hurdle is only having a few hours a week but I’m doing the best I can. I thank you for all your support of your community.
Tunbridge World’s Fair
Ingrid Steinberg 802-889-5555 [email protected]
We had another successful fair this year despite all of the bad weather leading up to it. We are nearly full with winter storage, but room for a couple more campers and cars for next year, so keep that in mind and reach out to the office if you are interested.
The fairgrounds is all buttoned up for the year and work has already begun for next season! See you in 2024 and if you have any questions please contact the office via phone or email.
Tunbridge Town Website
Geoff Hansen, 802-889-3373, or [email protected]
Tunbridge’s town website is a timely resource for information from the Town Clerk, board meetings (including videos of meetings via Zoom), an Events Calendar listing upcoming meetings and community events, and past issues of the Tunbridge Quarterly. Please let us know if there’s something you would like to see listed or have any questions.
Friends of First Branch Schools
Tiffany Bates, Eliza Minnucci, Jen Loftus
The Friends of First Branch Schools had a satisfying fall season, adding a new fundraiser and approving a variety of funding requests.
In September, under the expert leadership of grandparent Peggy Grote, we catered the concert event at Fieldstone Farm (on 110 in Tunbridge). Over 130 customers raved about Peggy’s delicious butternut lasagna and salads, and our student volunteers were especially helpful and efficient in their serving duties. We appreciate the invitation from Taylor Faccio at Fieldstone Farm, and look forward to making it an annual event.
This fall we’ve been able to approve funding for: craft supplies for the elementary library, active learning materials for all kindergartners, rain pants for all third graders and their teachers, Lois’s donuts for the Applefest event at the elementary school(at a generous discount, thank you, Lois!), supplies for the Great Book Giveaway, and $3,000 (and facebook marketplace expertise) to acquire a just-about-brand-new evaporator for the middle school. Perhaps our most favorite projects to fund come directly from students, and so we were delighted to receive and approve requests from middle schoolers to fund the candy-cane prizes for a student-designed scavenger hunt, as well as a student initiated drama club production.
Looking ahead: We will be collecting High Mowing Seed orders in January – this is an excellent fundraiser for us each year; 60% of the purchase price stays with our club. We really appreciate your orders. Keep an eye out for a community skating party at the Tunbridge rink in February. We also anticipate celebrating the new evaporator with a sugaring themed apparel sale by the time the sap is running, and perhaps an All-Maple community supper too! We’ve had a group of a variety of stakeholders meet to plan our Rachel Brown Memorial building, and hope to have middle school students involved in the construction of a building to be erected in 2024.
You can be first to know about what we are up to by joining our contact list by sending us an email. We have great fun fundraising, and then getting to say yes to all the requests from students and teachers is the icing on the cake!
Tunbridge Conservation Commission
Eliza Minnucci [email protected]
Betsy Gaiser, Evan Reiss – Co-Chairs, Cheryl Metcalf – Secretary, Jory Innes – Treasurer, Eliza Minnucci, Scott Beavers, Bryan Kalleberg
Our commission welcomes winter to our valley and cheers on those who take the time to hand-feed the birds.
We are pleased to report that we again collaborated with the White River Partnership to host our annual clean-up of the First Branch of the White River on October 14. Fourteen volunteers pulled 30 tires, 300 lbs of trash, 1 yard of scrap metal, several bottles of toxic waste, and a partridge in a pear tree from the riverbed. Actually, it wasn’t a partridge. It was a FOUR WHEELER! We pulled a four wheeler from the river. Each fall we work on a river section, and due to the flooding that appears to be increasing in frequency we anticipate this tradition will continue in perpetuity.
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting the Winter Evenings at the Tunbridge Public Library in 2024 and have lined up the following speakers:
January 12 – Cultivating Backyard Habitat for Pollinators in Every Season with Desiree Narango
February 9 – Forests and Carbon: Climate Change Mitigation while Maintaining Ecological Function with David Paganelli
March 8 – Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping with Bill Mares and guest James Key (co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council)
All presentations begin at 7pm, and are followed by light deserts and informal conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.
We welcome interested community members to attend our meetings, and to consider membership on our commission. The Tunbridge Conservation Commission meets the first Thursday of the month at 6pm at the Tunbridge Public Library. For further information contact us at [email protected].
Information about our commission can also be found at http://tunbridgevt.org/conservation-commission/