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Messages - Norton

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General Discussion / Re: tankless water heater
« on: November 15, 2017, 05:16:50 PM »

Are you sure that's what you want?

I only ask because there are a lot of misconceptions about tankless heaters, including their efficiency.

General Discussion / Customer service
« on: April 21, 2017, 05:57:46 AM »

Went into J&L Hardware the other day.  I was looking for a small part to use for a purpose never intended by the manufacturer, and I didn't really know what I needed.  By the time I was done I had three employees offering ideas and we found something that worked better than I had expected.  Paid about three bucks.

This is not unusual for me, and it got me thinking how lucking we are to have a first-rate hardware store in town.  You just don't get that kind of service in the big box stores.  I've also had a couple of larger projects where I learned that it's a good idea to talk to Jeff and his staff before assuming I would get a better price at a bigger store further away.

And I can't help but notice that the store always shows up as a generous sponsor for town events and fund-raisers. This isn't surprising, Jeff's family has a history of supporting the town, but again it's something you're more likely to get from a business that's family owned and locally run.

Anyway, I thought i would just share my thinking that we are fortunate to have that store and that it's the kind of business we all should be supporting.

General Discussion / Re: Your opinion on a HEAT PUMP heating system
« on: April 16, 2017, 06:22:02 AM »

There are heat pumps that tie into your main system, but the vast majority of heat pumps installed in Vt houses are stand-alone units.  They don't connect to your central air system.  These are essentially space heaters.  They have an outside unit and an inside unit that hangs on the wall.  You probably wouldn't need one in every room, but one alone probably won't heat your house unless it is very efficient

In the past we haven't seen them much in Vt because they didn't work well in very cold weather, but that has changed.  There are units now that still retain most (>80%) of their output below zero.

They provide heat much cheaper than traditional electric resistance heat, certainly cheaper than LP.  And as noted they air condition as well.  I haven't heard of any problems with the controls regarding switching from heating to cooling.

They don't work without electricity, but then again neither will your LP furnace, or any other furnace or boiler.  As always, it's nice to have some sort of heat that works when the power is out.

You can go through GMP if you want, but you don't have to.  You can use your own contractor, but you might want to choose one that has experience with these units.  There are rebates from Efficiency Vermont.  You can get more info at:

General Discussion / Re: Dragging these new trash Bins to the main road?
« on: August 13, 2016, 07:14:21 AM »

Yes, there are new regs from the state.  Thanks for posting that info.

But that's not what we are talking about. We're talking about one trash hauler who has decided to reduce their labor costs by providing a lower level of service.  This is fine, and understandable, but they should have told us when we were deciding last spring to give them the monopoly contract for Fairfax.  It appears they didn't.  That's the issue -- that they are changing the terms of our agreement after the fact.

Their decision to go to the new system is separate from the state limit on how much we throw away.  The state didn't mandate the new collection system.  In fact, we could have voted for the other trash option (join the district like all of our neighboring towns) and we wouldn't have been forced to handle our trash this way.  So obviously there was at least one other option that would have met state regs.  We voted to continue the way we have been doing it.  But this isn't the way we have been doing it.  That vote might have been different if everyone had known the changes Casella was planning.

For example, when we voted, no one mentioned that we would have to maintain a 9 ft by 15 ft level plowed area within six feet of the road with no overhead obstacles.  Or at least that's my impression.  I could be wrong.  Does anyone out there have any record of this information being provided before we decided to hire them?

General Discussion / Re: Dragging these new trash Bins to the main road?
« on: August 12, 2016, 08:37:59 AM »
I am surprised that everyone seems to be caught off guard by the new containers. I am certain these were discussed either at the town meeting or one of the trash meetings and that it was put out at that time that we would be transitioning to these.   

If that's the case then I'm wrong and should just shut up.

But it sure sounds like most people were caught by surprise.

General Discussion / Re: Dragging these new trash Bins to the main road?
« on: August 12, 2016, 06:56:54 AM »

Well, maybe it seems like "complaining to you".  I didn't intend it that way.  I thought I was pointing out that this is a unilateral action, that we were not consulted, that it appears Casella was planning this change when we voted last spring but kept it from us, and that as customers we shouldn't be expected to just take this kind of treatment.

Sure, I could ask for smaller containers, and that would work for the modest amount of trash we generate.  Will they have bigger wheels so they roll on gravel?  Will that mean I don't have to maintain a large plowed space for them?  Will they fit in my car like the old ones?  Will that remove the eyesore of thousands of them sitting next to our roads all the time?  Will they even be significantly lighter than the smaller ones once they have trash in them?

No.  Smaller containers don't fix the fundamental issue.

Pointing out that we have been deceived and treated unfairly isn't "complaining".  It could be called "taking action", since anything that only one person does will never change what Casella does.  It would take a group of us.

General Discussion / Re: Dragging these new trash Bins to the main road?
« on: August 11, 2016, 07:23:43 AM »

This is insane.  I recognize this may not be an issue for those who live in town and have a short paved run to the curb.  But that's not most of us.

Those of us with thousand-foot gravel driveways can't haul those huge things around even in the summer, much less the winter.  And the people who live on smaller roads (over 100 of them listed!) will have to go further and leave their bins ..............well, I don't know.  I guess they will just have to find a spot somewhere on land they don't own.

How big a spot?  To put the two bins the way they specify in their letter, you need a flat, level spot (free of snow of course!) that is at least fifteen feet by nine feet, with no overhead lines or branches.  For lots of us, this space simply does not exist.

The bins need to be "no more than 6' from edge of curb".  Of course most of us don't have curbs, but if they mean the edge of the road then they are ordering us to put the bins where the snowbank is.

Assuming I even have a flat level spot big enough and in the right place, how do I handle my snowplowing?  It usually happens when I'm not around to help.  Are all the snowplowing guys in town going to get out of their trucks, move the bins out of the way, plow the spot for the bins and then put them back?  I don't think so.  And even if they are willing, should I have to pay the additional cost?

Everyone with long driveways will have to leave the bins in place all the time, so all of us that live in Fairfax will have to get used seeing to those two big ugly plastic boxes hanging out at the end of everyone's driveways all the time, forever.  Not just on pickup day, but ALL THE TIME.

Casella is investing lots of money in this switch, and it obviously wasn't decided last week.  When we voted last spring on how to handle our trash, was this change already planned?  Seems likely.  Did Casella tell the select board (or anyone else) about it?  If not, why not?  And if so, why did our select board not mention it to us in preparation for the vote?  Or at least recognize the fundamental stupidity of this approach?

And why isn't someone from Casella contributing to this discussion?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like this has been forced on us.  We voted just a few months ago about how to handle the trash and weren't told about this change, so we didn't know what we were choosing.  I don't see any reason why we should passively accept this.

General Discussion / Re: Getting rid of Suburban Propane
« on: January 31, 2015, 08:46:16 AM »

We just switched away from Suburban.  Had been buying from them for almost 30 years, since it was RL Vallee.  Every time they got bought out, the customer service deteriorated, and this last winter Suburban sent me bills for money I didn't owe them -- three separate times.  That, and their prices have consistently been significantly higher than most.

We decided to go with Patterson.  Too soon to say much, but they have been good to deal with so far.

Political Issues/Comments / Re: Chris Santee
« on: October 30, 2014, 06:22:19 AM »
Hi Chris,

I have heard not one bit where Chris stands on the current issues at all. 

I like both candidates but need to hear something if you want my vote.  I know he is a family man and where he came from, I also know the same from Barb.  No doubt both good people.

Tell me what YOU will bring to going to Montpelier if you want my vote.

1. What is your position on single payer health care?
2. What are your plans or suggestions to lower or fix our broken property tax issue?
3. What is your position on legalizing marijuana?

The first two questions are important to a lot of people.  Unless I missed something, this has been your only response:
"I am not a supporter of the single-payer system and will go into details as soon as possible."

It's less than a week until the election.  What specific ideas or plans do you have for addressing the property tax and health care issues?

Current News & Events / Re: White House/Old Town Office
« on: March 18, 2014, 09:22:32 AM »
I am aware it was going to take a lot of money to get the white house up to code for it to be used for any kind of use when looked at before the town decided to build a new office instead. 

The code requirements for a residence are very different than the code requirements for a public space.  Just because it wasn't reasonable to bring it up to the requirements for a town office doesn't mean that it wouldn't be worth it to use it as a residence.

Maybe somebody has looked into this in detail.  Does anyone know?

Current News & Events / Re: White House/Old Town Office
« on: March 18, 2014, 06:44:29 AM »

Reading this post, I can't help but get the impression that the decision has already been made by a small group behind closed doors.

Hello, Fairfax Neighbors.

In this post, I'd like to discuss your questions and comments about the future of the White House/Old Town Office on the corner of the school property. First, I've seen posts about selling or renting the house to a resident in need of a home. I can tell you that renting would require costly renovations to bring the house up to code suitable for renting. Also, as a school, we do not wish to start in the property rental business. To sell the property would require subdividing it from the remainder of the school property. Either of these tasks requires locating every Bellows decedent for permission. The Bellows family has spread their wings somewhat over the past century and are not all easily located.

I had to pause reading some of the comments about preserving the history. When watching/reading about artifacts from only 50 years ago, I would often stop and wonder why so many have been destroyed. I don't want this to happen to a structure that has such rich history in our town and school. I have been considering ideas for preserving the history of the building in some way before any permanent decisions take away that option. I will be in touch with our arts departments to consider a photographic essay that would help in historical preservation. I'd also like to flesh out ideas to preserve a physical piece of the structure in an art work or other display alongside the photographic essay. I think it is possible to compile a journal of memories and public records to keep together with the same display.

Please keep the comments and ideas coming. I think we are all looking for the same things, low school budget and preservation of our past.

Rachelle LeVau

Has anyone looked in detail at the “costly renovations”, or is this an assumption?

What about going back to the original purpose of the house (housing for a faculty member)?  The property has value as a residence for someone.  One of the faculty (it wouldn’t necessarily need to be the principal) would likely accept a lower salary in exchange for living there.  The school would retain ownership and control, no subdivision needed.

Has anyone asked the Bellows family what their views are?  You may not know where they are, but I bet they do.

The second paragraph is very discouraging.  It starts with a lament about the loss of history and concludes that maybe someone should take some pictures before we knock the thing down.


Right you are, al.

I was just thinking that it used to be Parson's, didn't happen to note that it wasn't the original.  But I also remember it being across the street where Foothills is now, and the gas pumps.  I remember for a time the gas pumps remained in operation after the store moved.  The store folks had to keep a sharp eye out for young houligans trying to get free gas once the pumps were on the other side of the street.  Not saying who those houligans were.......


That's right.

You must be old.

Current News & Events / Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
« on: March 08, 2014, 07:33:14 AM »

Chris, was any reason given for not wanting to sell it?  Do they plan to do something else with the land?  Why pay someone to wreck it when someone else would pay us (our school) for it, plus paying property taxes on an ongoing basis?  Seems like an appropriate question, especially given the school funding struggles these days.

I don't know what it's worth, 250K was just a ballpark guess.  I don't think much would be required to convert from office to house, because it's always been a house.  It was designed to be a house.  Presumably anyone who bought it would probably renovate, but other than kitchen and bath you wouldn't need to do much.  The only really funky thing is the safe, but that could be kind of cool.  (soundproof man cave, anyone?)

It's a very desireable location, especially for a family.  Walking distance to most everything in town, 30 second commute to school for the kids (no road crossing required).

I think it would only seem odd for residents to be there if you think of it as an office.  For most of it's history, it has been a residence.  Many of us old-timers still think of it that way.

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