Jonathan Vincent retires from the Fire District

He recently ended a 27 year career and was honored by his fellow employees

Jonathan Vincent moved to Norwich Vermont in 1991 and took a job as the director of design for Timberpeg . In 1993, he was asked to join the Prudential committee to replace Ted Thompson who was leaving. In 1995 he became the chair of the Prudential committee and held that position until 2018 when he stepped down as chair but stayed on to support the Fire District as clerk. Jonathan retired on January 27, 2020. The employees of the district provided him with a cake and thanked him for his many years of service to the district. Editors note: He retired from the Fire District, and not the Fire department.

I bet the cake was yummy

A nice way to remember where you worked for so long.

I am providing the history of the Fire District to give you a better understanding of the duties.

Fire District

Creation by Selectboard – authority & powers

In 1922 the Norwich Selectboard created the Norwich Fire District following petition by residents of the village. The District then created what is now the Norwich Fire Department and leased usage of hydrants from the Norwich Water Supply Company for fire fighting. 

Fire Department 

The Norwich Fire District Fire Department was started in 1922 by the Fire District. This may have superseded an existing fire brigade.  A shed was donated by Mr. Hazen to house equipment at the site of the current fire station. In 1988 the District gave the Fire Department to the Town. 

Village Zoning – In 1966 the village of Norwich adopted zoning. This was administered by the District until 1978 when the Town adopted zoning superseding and incorporating the District’s regulations. 

Town Dump – The District bought property next to the current Highway garage in 1925 for the purposes of a community dump. I do not know if the District ever ran the dump but by the 1940’s the Town had taken over the running of the dump. In 2006 the District gave this land to the Town.

Water Department purchase - The District purchased the privately held Water Department from the shareholders in 1978.

Sidewalks – The original sidewalks (in their present form) were donated. The District took on responsibility in the 1950’s for sidewalks in the District and by the 1970’s an agreement with the Town was formalized by which the District was responsible for installation and the Town paid for maintenance (shoveling and salting). At that time the walks were hand shoveled by L.H. Cooks men. In 2000 the Town purchased a snow blower/sidewalk plow and started clearing the sidewalks. Some of the sidewalks were installed with Fire District funds but using Town Highway equipment and personnel. These were the upper section of Main Street to the intersection of Turnpike and the further section on Beaver Meadow Road in the 1970’s,Turnpike road in the 1990’s, replacement of most of Main Street from Beaver Meadow up since 2000. Other sidewalks not installed by the District are: South Main Street and Elm Street.  

Carpenter Street Swale – In 1978 the Prudential Committee agreed to be the municipal sponsor for a drainage project along Carpenter Street to be funded by federal grants and homeowner fees. Several foundations and septic’s had failed in this area due to the high water table. The District signed an agreement to cut the swale and maintain the grass for the life of the project. In 2000 Soil Conservation, the engineering representative for the project, signed off that the life of the project had been reached.

Land Management Agreement - In 1995 the District entered an agreement with the Town for taxes to be abated on 360 acres of watershed lands along Beaver Meadow Road. In conjunction with this pact the management of the land was to be administered by a Council made up of two appointees from the Town and one by the Prudential Committee. In 2000 the rest of the Beaver Meadow lands (approximately an additional 650 acres) were included into the abatement and an updated management pact.

I am providing a more descriptive timeline of the Norwich Water System for those who might be interested in the history of it, and the work it has done over the years.

Norwich Water System

1922 – purchased land on Beaver Meadow Road, built a dam, distribution system - unlined cast iron 8” on Main Street & 6” on Mechanic and Elm Street, wooden pipe 10” & 12” from reservoir to Main Street by Turnpike Rd,

1922 to 1930’s – continued acquisition of property

1927 – rebuild dam

1933 – Cliff & Hazen Streets by private developer with a 6” unlined cast iron,

1935 – new line from Peisch house on South Main Street to Lewiston – 6” unlined cast iron?

1945 – replaced 10” & 12” wood with lined cast iron,

1950 – new 6” line was installed down Beaver Meadow starting at Moore Lane and ending by bridge, extensions on Elm and Hopson replacing section of 2” and extending lines to current ends.

1955 – built first chlorination and fluoride injection at the current shop 417 Beaver Meadow Road.

1960 – new line on Carpenter Street & McKenna Road – 6” lined cast iron,

1965 – re-do of line to Lewiston to follow Rt.5 and Rt. 10 to intersection with bottom of McKenna Road up to Lewiston Hill intersection- 8” lined cast iron

1970 - by this time the Fire District had assorted 2” galvanized iron lines on Lary Lane, at the end of Elm Street, on Mechanic Street, Huntley & Sargent Streets,on Church Street, Lewiston, The end of McKenna Road,The end of Cliff Street, Trumbull Lane, Willey Hill & Koch Road, Hopson to Pine Tree, Jones Circle, Beaver Meadow Rd to Catholic Church, Partridge Hill,

1974 – almost lost the dam during spring rains, and began looking for a new source,

1978 – expanded the shop (417 Beaver Meadow)

1980 – Fire District buys private Water Department  

1982 – refurbishing of system, new source created along the Connecticut River, new reservoir /closed impoundment on top of Dutton Hill, new transmission line between pump house and impoundment, upgrade of line to Trumbull Lane along Main Street, new 6” line to Partridge Hill.

1984 to 2005 – removal of most of the 2” galvanized lines except Koch Rd and Trumbull Lane. This included Huntley and Sargent Streets, Lary Lane and the end of Elm Street in early 1990’s, Hopson from Warner Meadow to Pine Tree road in late 1990’s, and McKenna Road and Willey Hill in 2000. (cement lined galvanized iron remains on Trumbull Lane and Koch road; the end of Cliff Street and some sections in Lewiston 2”, probably unlined, are still active). An upgrade of the first section of Elm Street and Jones Circle with 8” and 4” lined ductile iron was done in 2005.

2003 & 2004- 2nd expansion of shop to include more office space, storage and handicapped bathroom completed.

Thank you Jonathon for a job well done.

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