Letters to the Editor (3/18/10)

March 18, 2010


Cleaning up at the Sportsman’s Club

The North Country Sportsman’s Club on Old Creamery Road in Williston has been shooting skeet and trap for the past 37 years. It’s been estimated that over 1 million pounds of lead has been shot and deposited on the land over this time.

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that lead is a toxic substance to humans and animals, leading to permanent neurological damage. Lead has been determined to be a major health risk and has been banned from lead fishing sinkers, waterfowl shotgun shells, gasoline, paint and even limited in brass plumbing fixtures.

The NCSC must sign a yearly agreement with the town of Williston. This agreement is to be signed by April 30. I believe the town should sign a three-month temporary agreement with the NCSC to allow the town to have a public meeting and study this further. As part of the agreement I believe the following conditions should be met:

> The EPA has developed guidelines for outdoor shooting ranges that should be followed before another agreement should be signed by the town.

> The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has grant money available to gun clubs for lead mitigation and other improvements. The NCSC should apply for this money and, if accepted, the money must be used for lead reclamation.

Being a resident of Williston, I am concerned about our watershed into the Sucker Brook and the cleanup of our land of toxic material. Private water tests downstream from the club have proven high levels of lead far above threshold limits set by the state as being toxic to humans and livestock.

As long as the NCSC is located at their present site, they are responsible for cleanup. If they decide tomorrow or sometime in the future to leave Williston, myself and other residents would become responsible for the expensive toxic site cleanup.

Mike Isham, Isham Family Farm, Williston


Implementing the ambulance service

Congratulations to the Williston Fire and EMS Department, our town manager and Selectboard and all those who work to make improvements to our town services.

Thank you also to those who listened to my concerns. I was so happy to hear from our Selectboard members that they will be keeping a close eye on this new Williston ambulance service. Please join with me in asking for a monthly report presented at the Selectboard meetings when this starts in July for both fire and rescue regarding call volume, response times, manning, transports, non-transports, times we have needed mutual aid, billables and collectibles.

I also implore you, Chief Morton, to think about presenting a manning document to the Selectboard for response to phases at the airport, as well as fire and EMS per shift to ensure there is coverage for both EMS calls and fire calls and to alleviate any concerns the airport might have over Williston’s ability to respond to phases at the airport.

Please consider revising your decision of having only two staff per ambulance. Because it is a minimum by state law doesn’t mean it is best practice. As you well know, there is a lot for EMTs to do on the way to the hospital and when it is a critical case, having more hands is necessary.

Kristine Benevento, Williston