‘Vermontasaurus’ may soon be extinct
Despite being 25 feet tall and 122 feet long, the one-of-a-kind “Vermontasaurus” is an endangered species. The whimsical sculpture thrown together with scrap wood by a man in Thetford, Vt., faces regulatory challenges from government entities that may dismantle it, according to the Associated Press.
Brian Boland, a 61-year-old former teacher, hot-air balloon designer and pilot, says he built the sculpture on the edge of his property out of broken wooden planks and other detritus so it could be a community gathering place, with no admission charge and no commercial element. However, Thetford town officials told Boland his sculpture was really a structure that requires a $272 permit. The state Division of Fire Safety told Boland that if he could not get a structural engineer to attest to the sculpture’s safety, he could not allow people to congregate underneath it. “There’s enough weight there that if it collapsed, somebody would probably be hurt,” Michael Desrochers, regional manager for the Division of Fire Safety, told AP.
Finally, the Vermont Natural Resources Board says the wooden dinosaur was a substantial change to an existing development and may, therefore, need another permit, at a minimum of $150. The state will decide this week if such a permit is required, according to Boolie Sluka, District 2 assistant coordinator for the board.
Boland says he has been told he might have to dismantle the sculpture entirely. “They should leave me alone. It’s a piece of artwork,” he said.