Since a relatively short 40-minute Woodstock Selectboard meeting Tuesday night was oh-so-yawn-worthy from a hard news standpoint, this Woodstock Early Bird (GH) just can’t help throwing in some lighter good ‘ole river news to liven things up. ( That’s why WEB enjoys staying to the end of the meeting..often we pick up the best “bird feed” that way! )
Just before adjournment, we report to you a relative light moment (not light for some concerned) involving one of several new giant sandbars in the Ottauquechee River that grew up quickly and were left as berms of new deposit after the Irene floods. We might even (unofficially!) refer to the one discussed as “Sutherland’s Sandbar”!
But there is real worry (officially) that a big peninsula of rocky debris in the river adjacent to ”The Jungle” and a building and property belonging to Fire Chief L.D. Sutherland, Jr. is now big enough to block and send more water into the area during the next high water event. The berm in question is also in the river near a major portion of river bank that was washed away and had served as a portion of the current “snow dump” for the Town and Village of Woodstock.
Selectboard member Preston Bristow asked Municipal Manager Phil Swanson about the “new sandbar.” As it turns out, there have already been official town requests to get a State of Vermont permit to go in and remove the sandbar. But, alas, the State of Vermont has rebuffed those requests.
“We have asked for permission to remove that, (Woodstock Fire Chief) Butch Sutherland has asked, and the State guy’s adamant that there has always been some sort of sandbar there – it’s just bigger than it ever was,” Swanson said, noting the reply from a state river engineer. “He will have none of it.”
Swanson also said he expected much of the sandbar to wash away when spring runoff flows into the river next year.
“Hopefully,” added Selectboard member John Doten who is well-known for his dry, true Vermonter one-line witticisms.