Local Government Throws A ‘Curve’ At Vermont Irene Victims
“Oh, By The Way...You Need Permits Now”
By Dell Hill
had hoped to have a major update to post concerning the massive and
on-going recovery that Vermonters are experiencing following the nearly
billion dollars in damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Regular readers of
this blog are aware of the previous posts on this subject; especially
as the recovery process has affected my niece and her family in
Waterbury, Vermont. If not, you can catch up by clicking here and here.
Meanwhile, Burlington TV station Fox News 44 Now, has an update that has had the effect of pouring water on a drowning man.
are growing concerns for some people in Waterbury who are still
rebuilding after Irene. Many are questioning why the town waited so
long to tell them they needed permits for repairs. Now, some may have
to spend even more money.
is getting back to normal for the Kadric family. Three months ago,
Tropical Storm Irene practically ripped apart their Waterbury, Vermont
of progress are everywhere, now. A new floor was installed, there's
heat again, and the house has been completely re-wired. Through it all,
money has been extremely tight.
why the family was so shocked in late November when they got a letter
from Waterbury saying they might have to redo some of the work they've
already paid for.
100 other homes in Waterbury's flood zone were damaged by Irene. All
of them need permits for repairs. However, the majority do not have
their permits in place.
Lotspeich, with community planning, says the town tried to get the word
out as soon as it could, but the department had some major hurdles
following the storm. "Our municipal building was flooded and our zoning
administrator had resigned just before the flood," he told us.
says most people have been understanding about the delay, but many are
left wondering where the money will come from to bring their homes up to
code. "FEMA still has a presence in the community and there are a lot
of resources out there," he said.
says it's important for every home in the flood zone, that was damaged,
to have a permit since that helps lower the cost of flood insurance.”
you read, my niece’s family is just one of about a hundred such
families in Waterbury that sustained considerable damage. There are a
LOT of people in the very same dire predicament.
my niece’s case, a permit to completely rebuild a new home to replace
her completely flooded out former residence was obtained before the
construction began. A very, very wise move on her part and that
possible need for local permits was discussed and agreed to almost from
she was required to file for what’s called a “variance” to the existing
local ordinance(s) so as to build the new home about four feet higher
than the previous structure. I guess the local authorities are
concerned that the new home might be tall enough to interfere with local
airline traffic landing at Burlington, Vermont - about 30 miles to her
northwest. (The previous sentence is sarcasm...I just couldn't resist.)
“this just in” - just as I was about to post this piece, I got word
that the variance has been granted, so there will be no additional legal
expenses to “fight city hall”. Whewwww! Dodged another bullet there.
very latest news is good. The new home has all been thoroughly
insulated and the plumbers and electricians are slated to make their
major hookups over the next couple of days. Family members in Texas
supplied the gift of an entire set of kitchen appliances and that
shocked my niece right into tears (again!). As soon as the dry wall
work is completed and a fresh coat of paint is applied, those appliances
will be installed. They have a need for one more bedroom set, but I
have a little surprise in store for them on that front, too...so let’s
keep that little secret between you and me, OK?
7th will be “Day 100” in the recovery process and the principals are
weary, but no-where near broken. With Christmas just days away, what
they’ve accomplished is - as my sister correctly observed - “nothing
short of a miracle”.
Tina & Charlie Say "THANK YOU"!