Brayshaw is back with a big update


Now that the election season is over, I assume Town Times will allow me to resume my monthly blurb. But first, before I get into some “stuff” of interest, let me assure you that it was an honor to be elected to serve the town once again. It was a humbling experience knocking on 1,000 doors while walking (no joke) over 200 miles. Ed Bailey was the perfect running mate and my wife Gwen the perfect marriage mate of 48 years. For the next two years I will resume my goal of kindness to all who approach. So, here we go…..

Lake Beseck has seen quite a transformation. It now looks like a giant ugly mud pie. Work finally began on the dam so the clock is ticking. The Lake Environment Committee has been working with two consultants and the DEEP to determine what can be done to make improvements while the water level is down. The “problem” is that we do not own the lake … the state does. To get them to budge takes the usual nuclear explosion and money — lots of money. Both are being worked on. As for wells, as of today, we have knowledge of four wells that went dry. They were shallow dug wells and therefore needed replacement anyway.

As for lake tidbits, would you believe that every evening an army of raccoons make their way to the water’s edge an chow down on the abundance of freshwater clams —yuck!

This fall, Antoinette Astle resigned from her post as our Senior Center/municipal agent after 20 years of employment. The Senior Center Advisory Board jumped into action fielding applications and conducting interviews resulting in the hiring of Joan Lombardo. Joan is a great fit and will soon be up to speed. The town’s sincere thanks to Amanda Pedersen (Durham’s Senior Coordinator) for filling in while we found a replacement.

As for great fits, Brian Dumas recently resigned his roll of emergency manager. Brian worked around the clock during our several weather-related emergencies over the past few years. Luckily, hardly a day had passed when Bill Roberts stepped up and agreed to fill the roll. You ask, what’s an emergency manager and why do we need such?

Witness the 6 p.m. news for an answer. As small as we are, we need to make good decisions when an emergency shows up on our doorstep. You and your family deserve the best.

And, by the time you read this some old news — Black Friday and the touted “soft opening” of Powder Ridge went off as planned. Seven years have elapsed since it closed. The word on the street among those at the opening was that the ski area seemed to be in hibernation. The lights and snowmakers were certainly part of the waking up process.

Recently, the Board of Selectmen agreed to introduce and make available a discount drug card to our citizens. We are one of nearly 100 small towns and cities that have signed up for the program. You should have by now received a card and info in the mail having to do with the free program. If you misplaced it, call my office and I’ll get you another.

And finally, the “Vogel” land sale was signed on Sept. 13 and a check gladly accepted and applied to the mortgage. If you recall, the 20 acres was appraised at $300,000 and was sold for same.

The land is zoned agriculture and can not be developed, except for one house in the rear. The $700K for Powder Ridge and the $300K for Vogel tops out at the $1 million that we voted for.

And speaking of voted for — Joe and I are starting to work on next year’s budget. This year we have a few new members on the Board of Finance who will be all ears to hear your input. Don’t be bashful. In case I do not get another blurb in before Christmas, I do want to wish readers and nonreaders alike a blessed Christmas season.

Jon A. Brayshaw is first selectman for Middlefield.



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