Scooter MacMillan, Editor
Town planner Larry Lewack got a bit of a surprise when he got to work and was greeted by the sight of a pile of manure outside his office window in the field behind the Charlotte Town Hall parking lot.
“Happy Monday! Don’t open your window,” he said was how his week started on March 7.
Although the selectboard has extended the mask mandate through March in the town hall, the library and the senior center, Lewack said he didn’t think wearing one would help with the olfactory bouquet of bovine waste.
The manure was the result of that property, often referred to as the LeBoeuf estate, being purchased by Mike Dunbar from the Shirley Bruce Estate on Friday for $500,000.
Robert Mack said he delivered the manure to the property over the weekend, preparing to farm there for Dunbar.
He expects the first crop he’ll plant is soybeans, not hemp, a crop that didn’t do as well as he had expected when he planted a number of acres in 2019, hoping to take advantage of the predicted CBD craze. He attributed part of the problem with the hemp market to the pandemic.
“I’m ready to move on to marijuana,” Mack joked.
Although a number of people had already called the town hall to start the week complaining, worried about the pile of bull euphemism, Mack said he was aware that the manure could not be spread until after April 1 and would wait until at least then.
“I’m aware of all those dates,” he said. “I’m not in a big rush. I just had nothing to do now, so I’m helping Mike cleaning up.”
Dunbar said he will also have cattle on the land.
The property is about 55 acres and includes the couple of acres the Charlotte Family Health Center had considered buying to build a new medical office at 251 Ferry Road.
Dunbar plans to renovate and rent the house there that the health center had planned to tear down. The property has sat unoccupied for almost 18 years.
Although the house has sat in ruins for a long time, it is not a “knock down,” Dunbar said. “Actually, under the vinyl siding is the original wood clapboard siding that we’re going to paint.”
He plans to strip the house down to its original timber frame, replacing the roof, keeping the windows and interior doors and adding new electrical and plumbing.
Dunbar said, “Then we’ll rent it out, so a nice family can live here and enjoy the town.”