Quantcast

Dead woman's wishes being ignored? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dead woman's wishes being ignored?

Posted: Updated:
JERICHO, Vt. -

A land dispute in Chittenden County is raising questions about whether a dead woman's wishes are being ignored. Alice Rivers donated her 125 acres of land to the Underhill-Jericho Fire Department back in 1986 with the rights to continue living in her home until she died. She died 11 months ago and now the department is selling the land for $1.5 million.

Michael Kramer has lived in Jericho for 10 years. He never met Alice Rivers, but he says that she made her wishes for the land along Browns Trace Road very clear-- "Don't sell it if it can possibly be avoided." Those are the words of Alice Rivers straight from the notes of a Rivers Land Committee Meeting less than six months after she made the donation.

Reporter Julie Kelley: Was that in her request to the fire department?

Randy Clarke: That was not in that agreement that she signed.

Not in the legal agreement, but repeatedly in notes afterwards.

Former Underhill-Jericho Fire Chief Randy Clarke has dedicated more than 50 years to the department and knew Alice Rivers. In a letter dated Oct. 12, 2001, it stated, "It should be noted that our original agreement with Mrs Rivers states that ... We would keep the land open ..."

Julie Kelley: Do you need the money? Is that why you're deciding to sell?

Randy Clarke: I'm really not prepared to answer that question.

-----

Julie Kelley: It sounds a little questionable to not be able to answer if the fire department needs the money.

Randy Clarke: The fire department gets its money from the taxpayers.

He went on to say if they sell the land, the interest will go to the bottom line and taxes will be impacted.

For some people, the concern is that this land known as the Gateway to Jericho will turn into another subdivision in Chittenden County.

Todd Odit is the town administrator in Jericho and says the Rivers land could be developed under current zoning.

"The portions in blue are zoned as rural residential, which means there is a minimum lot size of 3 acres under a traditional development," Odit said.

Kramer has set up a Save The Rivers Property Facebook page and is moved by Alice Rivers' constant mention of her husband's wishes.

"He worked hard for the land and this is how she would like to honor him by keeping it open," Kramer said.

The fire department runs as a nonprofit, so it doesn't answer to the public, despite getting tax dollars from them. Randy Clarke says they want to hear what people have to say. The fire department is holding a meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Underhill station to explain the decision to sell the land. And Thursday night (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. the group Save the Rivers Property is meeting at the community center in Jericho Center.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Vermont Health Connect down for repairs

    Vermont Health Connect down for repairs

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:52:02 GMT
    Gov. Peter Shumlin temporarily pulled the plug on the Vermont Health Connect website Tuesday. The governor says it's the best way to fix ongoing problems with the site. But critics say he's just protecting himself during campaign season.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin temporarily pulled the plug on the Vermont Health Connect website Tuesday. The governor says it's the best way to fix ongoing problems with the site. But critics say he's just protecting himself during campaign season.
  • 1 infected with hantavirus in Vermont

    1 infected with hantavirus in Vermont

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:58 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:58:55 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Health is warning residents to be cautious when cleaning up rodent-infested areas after someone came down with a potentially deadly virus carried by deer mice.
    The Vermont Department of Health is warning residents to be cautious when cleaning up rodent-infested areas after someone came down with a potentially deadly virus carried by deer mice.
  • Area hospitals track spread of enterovirus-68

    Area hospitals track spread of enterovirus-68

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:56 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:56:14 GMT
    Doctors in our region are preparing for a respiratory illness spreading across the country. So far, there are no confirmed cases of enterovirus-68 in Vermont or New Hampshire, but experts say it will likely arrive soon.
    Doctors in our region are preparing for a respiratory illness spreading across the country. So far, there are no confirmed cases of enterovirus-68 in Vermont or New Hampshire, but experts say it will likely arrive soon.
  • Respiratory virus spreads across country

    Respiratory virus spreads across country

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:32:31 GMT
    Rich Hinchliffe with Central Vermont Medical Center joins us to talk about Enterovirus D68.
    Rich Hinchliffe with Central Vermont Medical Center joins us to talk about Enterovirus D68.
  • Vt. man denied bail in murder of daughter's boyfriend

    Vt. man denied bail in murder of daughter's boyfriend

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:01:53 GMT
    A Vermont man accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend and burying his body beneath a manure pile will stay in jail.
    A Vermont man accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend and burying his body beneath a manure pile will stay in jail.
  • Police: Meth lab found in Hartford

    Police: Meth lab found in Hartford

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:09:06 GMT
    Police say they busted a meth lab in Hartford early Monday morning.
    Police say they busted a meth lab in Hartford early Monday morning.
  • Police search for man who stole donations from Williston rest area

    Police search for man who stole donations from Williston rest area

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:30 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:30:33 GMT
    Vermont state police need your help catching a crook who stole donations from a rest area.
    Vermont state police need your help catching a crook who stole donations from a rest area.
  • Pot found growing along St. Albans road

    Pot found growing along St. Albans road

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:46:15 GMT
    For the second time in as many weeks, police in St. Albans are trying to figure out who's behind a roadside marijuana grow operation.
    For the second time in as many weeks, police in St. Albans are trying to figure out who's behind a roadside marijuana grow operation.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.