Hancock Volunteer Fire Dept. Works on Pond Rehab Project

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Communities / Sep. 7, 2017 9:05am EDT

By Martha Slater


Hancock Fire Chief Jacques Veilleux by the edge of the pond his department uses as a water source. (Herald / Martha Slater) Hancock Fire Chief Jacques Veilleux by the edge of the pond his department uses as a water source. (Herald / Martha Slater) Up a steep dirt road behind the former Chesapeake Mill (previously owned by Weyerhauser) is a pond surrounded by woods where the Hancock Volunteer Fire department has been doing some rehab work.

“We call it ‘mucking the pond,’” said Hancock Fire Chief Jacques Veilleux. “Silt and runoff build up at the bottom of the pond over the years. That mud was probably two feet deep when we started the work.”

The pond is connected to a hydrant at the south end of the mill building, which the fire department hooks up to, to fill the tanker trucks when they need to fight fires. The mud at the bottom was interfering with access to the hydrant.

“In the winter, we can’t get water from the river, so this is our only water source,” Veilleux explained.

The water is fed into the pond, which is 12-15-feet deep and about 100-feet long, by springs in the surrounding woods.

To pay for the rehab work needed, the fire department got a Dry Hydrant Grant from the state’s Vermont Rural Hydrant Fire Protection Program, which Veilleux said pays 75% of the cost—up to a $5,000 limit. The remaining 25% will come from money earned at the fire department’s recent annual auction.

The excavation work is being done by Ken Beattie of Granville, and the fire department members have put in a lot of volunteer hours, too. Veilleux said he expects that the excavation work will be completed this month, and then the fire department members will spread grass seed and hay around the edges of the pond.

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