Barre Pothole Gains New Life as Lake Goldsbury

BARRE – A pothole of unusual size has grown large enough to be officially classified as a lake by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. The pothole lake is located on North Main Street between the intersections of Zan Street and Richardson Road, just east of Faith Community Church. Drivers are urged to take alternate routes to avoid the lake until a new system of roads can be devised.

The situation was first brought to officials’ attention when one resident posted a picture of the then-pothole onto seeclickfix.com, a website where people can post photos of problems that need attention. A plan was put into place to fix what was at the time considered to be a problem, when another concerned resident, Ms. Elmyra Mantless, petitioned the city to save what she considered an important part of Barre’s evolving watershed.

“I saw the picture that was posted,” Mantless said, “and I saw that there were creatures living in and around this natural lake. I saw frogs, I saw insects, and I knew that it would be wrong to destroy this habitat. So I called the state, had some measurements done, and fortunately for everyone they agreed with me.”

Several op-ed letters written to the Times Argus suggest that not everyone feels as fortunate as Mantless, especially during rush hour, but the ruling is official and a rulemaking petition has been started for how to best regulate swimming, fishing, and other public use around Lake Goldsbury, named for one of the original settlers of the city. For now the lake has been roped off and residents are advised not to swim in or drink any of the water until further testing can be completed.

“I’m just so thrilled!” Mantless said. “It’s not every day that you get to do something that has such an impact on so many people!”

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