COVID-19/Town Services

 

Centers for Disease Control   

Vermont Department of Health

UVM Medical Center      

Vermont Emergency Management 

COVID-19 Community Guide  

Vermont Department of Health FAQ

COVID UPDATE:  As of June 25 there have been 52 COVID cases in Colchester, which is not surprising considering our residential and employment populations as well as our location in the most populated county in the State of Vermont

We have flattened the curve here in Vermont, but we need to crush the curve.  Do not let up now.  Continue to be careful.  Bring masks with you when leaving your home, and wear them when in stores and around others who don’t live in your home. Crush the curve!

Town Role in COVID-19 Response: Your Town staff is focused on continued delivery of crucial public safety services such as rescue, fire, and police. We support these services with facilities, equipment, and support such as: information technology, human resources, finance, treasury, coordination of resources and local public information.

Colchester has a well-developed Emergency Operations Plan which was updated by the Selectboard on March 17th. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since January, and developed continuation of operations plans for municipal services. The plans help maintain the crucial services; help keep the public safe, and help maintain the capacity of our first responding public safety services. Also in March, Aaron Frank, Town Manager, declared a State of Emergency under the Colchester Code of Ordinances Chapter 16, Emergency Management. This declaration allows the Town to exercise emergency powers to help protect the public health and safety of our community.

We are also in regular communication with the Vermont Emergency Operations Center regarding conditions in Colchester and taking advantage of State and Federal resources when they are available.

Town Services: The Town follows the recommendations from the State of Vermont and the Centers for Disease Control as they pertain to the Town as an employer and a provider of emergency and municipal services. With the exception of crucial municipal services such as rescue, fire, police, dispatch, critical road and infrastructure maintenance, most municipal departments will be working remotely as dictated by State orders.

The Town is temporarily operating with reduced staff and other resources due to COVID-19, resulting in the reduction or suspension of some Town services. This is necessary due to the impact of Federal and State COVID-19 related work rules on service delivery, higher Town expenses related to COVID-19, and reductions in Town fee revenues due to the evolving public health emergency and related economic and regulatory climate.  The Town receives about $7.5M annually or about 40% of its total annual revenue from non-tax fees. 

Due to decreases in activity related to COVID-19 and the Governor’s orders to keep the public safe--including work restrictions and physical distancing requirements, we are not generating some fees at all, such as Recreation programs, and others at lower rates, such as Rescue. 

Statewide lost municipal revenues are estimated to be 20%.  Considering the changed economic climate, the reduced ability to provide services, the remaining work restrictions, and the concern for revenues, the Town has implemented a purchasing freeze, a hiring freeze, and furloughs accounting for 27 full-time staff.  This is 25% of our total workforce and 50% of the workforce excluding public safety. This will have a profound effect on service delivery and limit our ability to address non-urgent complaints or issues. We are carefully attending to Town revenues, reporting to the Selectboard monthly, and will work carefully to align services with revenues. 

Library programs and Recreation programs are suspended until further notice. The Library building is closed and we are offering curbside and online services. Most recreation camps are being held.

Colchester Town Offices at 781 Blakely Rd. are open to the public from 7:30AM to noon except for Town Holidays. Masks are required. We are still at half our normal staffing levels--except for public safety--due to the furloughs. We will use the time in the afternoon to process work brought in during the morning. We are available by phone and email in the afternoon. Our online services are available 24/7. Thank you for your patience. Town Directory: https://tinyurl.com/Col-Town-Dir

The Colchester staff is required by the Governors orders to wear face coverings when in the close presence of others. We have a requirement for the public to wear face coverings as well when visiting buildings in which Town employees or volunteers work. We cannot allow entry to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to enter Town buildings. COVID-19 Symptoms include: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, and New loss of taste or smell

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. 

Information about changed services: 

Assessor                      

Colchester’s Burnham Library           

Parks & Recreation     

Planning and Zoning                          

Public Works

Town Clerk/Treasurer

Town Newsletters with COVID-19 Updates Updates beginning March

 Click here

Other Local Services & Updates:

Local Resources for those in Need:

Mental Health Resources:

Business Information:

Local Volunteering Opportunities:

State-wide Volunteering Opportunities: