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Volume 19, Issue 20 Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall Middlefield gives ‘resounding yes’ on Powder Ridge sale Stephanie Wilcox Town Times In what he called a “landslide vote”, Middlefield decided to sell Powder Ridge to Sean Hayes, 1,132 to 466 votes. At the close of the referendum on the sale of Powder Ridge Aug. 16, Hayes, owner of Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland, said he was feeling excited, pleased, encouraged and relieved. “I am absolutely pleased that so many people came out to voice their opinion,” he said, just minutes after his victory. “To me, 1100 to 400 is a resounding ‘yes.’ It sends a message across the board that we’re {Middlefield} going to support this.” A whopping 1,600 people cast their vote between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Aug. 16, or a 50 percent voter turnout that included registered voters, unaffiliated voters and those who own property in Sean Hayes said he is ready to resurrect Powder Ridge. Photo by Stephanie Wilcox Middlefield. That number was significant to Hayes for another reason. “We hit another record – 1,600 people came today at Brownstone.” In the many meetings and open houses where Hayes has presented his proposal, and most recently at an Aug. 9 public hearing on the proposed deal, Hayes has cited his already-successful business as a major strength of his plan to make Powder Ridge into a winter sports park for the whole family. With a new park to bring back to life, Hayes said the first thing he is going to do is “take a breather.” After that, he said he is looking forward to closing the deal and is hopeful trucks will be going down the Powder Ridge driveways by September. “At that time we’ll begin to restore it to what it was,” he said. Hayes’ wife, who was also at the polls, admitted that her husband was too nervous to stand inside the Middlefield Community Center to hear the results of the referendum. First Selectman Jon Brayshaw, who stayed outside with Hayes, also did not want to come in. “I’ve lost sleep over this,” Brayshaw said. “This was the answer to our prayers. I’ve been sick over it for months.” Hayes, however, said he didn’t think even once that he would lose the vote but said, “To me, it was never about win or lose, it was about a resounding ‘yes.’” Poll workers also were pleased that evening. They See Powder Ridge, page 28 Friday, August 24, 2012 A friendly reminder This charming sign on Haddam Quarter Road in Durham says “Duck Crossing.” Keep in mind that school starts next Thursday, Aug. 30, and there will be a lot more than just ducks on the roadways. Kids could be crossing the streets on their way to and from the school bus or school. Be safe, and have a great school year, Regional District 13! Photo by Karen Kean Dr. Brad Wilkinson retires By Judy Moeckel Special to the Town Times Dr. Bradford Wilkinson has mixed emotions about retiring from his family practice in Durham after more than 15 years. A lifelong local resident, he is a beloved fixture in town as well as in the greater Middletown area (and especially at Perk on Main next door to his office). “It is bittersweet,” he said. “I am saying goodbye to so many people who are patients, who have become friends.” Rather than talk about himself and his achievements, Wilkinson prefers to focus on the doctor who is taking over his practice at Middlesex Hospital Primary CareDurham, John A. Wilson, M.D., and the addition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Lauryn SlomkowskiBuller. They will join an established medical team alongside Dr. Tanya Feke and Physician Assistant Rena Jacobs. Wilson, who has been with the practice for about a year, received his bachelor of science degree in biology See Wilkinson, page 29

08-24-2012 Town Times

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