By RUSSELL JONES
Two weeks ago, many Brandon residents spoke out against discontinuing Creek Road at a selectboard meeting which prompted board members to say they would consider the public input and make a decision within the next couple of weeks. This Monday night, the selectboard voted to take no action, which would mean the road will remain open as it has been in the past.
The board also voted to approve a $50,000 loan, from the revolving loan fund, for a young couple to purchase Dave’s Grocery, the general store in Forest Dale that currently hosts a small post office there.
On April 8, over 40 residents showed up to voice an opinion against discontinuing Creek Road, many saying that the road was used for a multitude of recreational purposes. After deliberating on the road’s future for two weeks, the board decided to leave the road as is.
Several residents asked the board to make the road a public trail, but board chair Seth Hopkins said that vehicles would not be allowed on a public trail.
“I think going to a trail could hurt us in the long run,” said board member Doug Bailey. “One of the landowners may want to use that road for agricultural purposes in the future, we just don’t know.”
NEW OWNERS AT DAVE’S
Todd Lagendyk, originally from Rochester, N.Y., and his wife Maribeth, originally from Rutland, live in Texas currently, but have been interested in returning to the area and are in the process of buying Dave’s Grocery in Forest Dale. He is a machinist by day and a barbecue cook at night. They have a ministry-based barbecue business that eventually plans to hire people looking for a second chance called Restoration Barbecue.
Lagendyk said he does not plan to change much when he takes over at the store.
“Dave has done a wonderful job building up the store and I feel I have quite the shoes to fill,” he said. “My main goal is to keep the store just how Dave has for the past 30 years. It will maintain many of the faces the community has come to know and love, with the addition of my ugly self.”
Lagendyk is hoping for the official transition to take place on July 1, and said he will offer barbecue one Saturday a month until it becomes popular enough to cook it every Saturday. “They are what we are looking for,” Brandon’s economic development director Bill Moore said at the meeting. “The workforce troubles are well documented, we need to keep young workers here and bring in younger families to live in our communities. This is a late 20-something couple who have two kids and will live above the store.”