Letter to the editor: Goodrich Farm project will have impact on town, residents

JOHN HANSELMAN, CEO of Vanguard Renewables, refers to a map showing the layout of a future anaerobic digester at Salisbury’s Goodrich Farm. It will convert manure and food scraps into renewable natural gas for Middlebury College and other clients. Those involved in the project held a groundbreaking ceremony at the farm in August. Independent file photo/Steve James

I’ve read the article regarding the installation of the digesters that will soon begin construction on the Goodrich Farm in Salisbury. I also understand how this may be a solution to some problems, such as green algae in our lakes, etc. Recently a friend told me that when he and his buddy caught two fish in Otter Creek (Salisbury/Cornwall), both fish had blue mouths or lips, as he stated. Although I am not an expert on the subject, I thought they were lacking oxygen and wondered whether the spreading of liquid manure was responsible for this too.

I speculated whether they were abiding by the laws that govern how close they can get to our waterways. In light of the subject, I also considered the large amounts of rain we’ve had and how saturated the soil can get from the heavy rains alone, much less adding to it. I grew up on a farm and manure was spread, then turned, enriching the soil slowly, and not the other way around.

Living on Shard Villa Road and near Goodrich Farm, I recently watched these huge trucks from early morning to dusk, move back and forth, carrying that liquid manure to be sprayed on the soil. Not only did I think of our endangered waterways, but those two fish that were caught. Aside from this, they were going over the speed limit and it was back and forth, one after another all day long.

Only the day after, a small child who lives here and is not yet two ran toward and into the center of the road, with his mother chasing and shouting “No, Matthew. No!” He is unaware of the dangers involved and all I could think of is the speeding of many vehicles on our road and the knoll that blinds you before our driveway. It was a scary moment.

On both sides of this property is a sign that reads “Children at Play.” And shortly after the Columbus Smith estate, the speed limit reduces to 35 mph from 40. Furthermore, and considering that Ernie Goodrich’s wife is the present director of Shard Villa, I believe she would agree that on occasion a resident may wander into the road. I know, because I worked there and this happened on more than one occasion. I have worked with the elderly most of my life.

I also wanted to let people know that this digester project will include blasting. Unlike when Mr. Goodrich was building his barn. I must say, we were a bit shocked. At the time, I was in the pool with my youngest grandson. Let me inform you that with one of those blasts, I thought our home was going to collapse. Please could you keep your blasting within reason? I would like to keep my dishes on my shelves.

Two last things: First and foremost, some of the farm vehicles tend to take more than their share of the road. On several occasions one of my daughters and myself came close to going in the ditch to avoid collision. And second, with the additional traffic and heavy equipment going back and forth, this leads to wear and tear and damage to our roads at a much faster rate. My question here is whether the taxpayer will have to adopt the responsibility of the cost to repair them?

Lastly, I wish Middlebury College the best in their quest and best of luck to Ernie Goodrich.

Susan Pominville


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100