June 25th, 2015
VERGENNES — As they moved on Tuesday toward a 2.5-cent increase in the city’s municipal tax rate, Vergennes aldermen received good news from City Manager Mel Hawley — the city’s year-end fund balance will be larger than he first expected.
Hawley said some numbers could still move a little bit, but he told aldermen the fund balance — the cash carry-over from the city’s fiscal year, which will end on June 30 — would be enough to allow aldermen to use it to keep the tax rate in check.
MONTPELIER — Opponents of Vermont Gas Systems natural gas pipeline said Tuesday that the expensive project is no longer necessary because technological advances have obviated the need for the product.
The comments came as the Vermont Public Service Board on Monday and Tuesday held technical hearings on whether to revoke the permit it granted to Vermont Gas for a 41-mile natural gas pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. The hearings were called to reconsider the Phase 1 permits due to significant cost increases.
VERGENNES — Aldermen mulled over the municipal budget at the Vergennes City Council meeting Tuesday (see story on Page 1A), and also discussed the latest overflow of the city’s sewer system into Otter Creek.
City Manager Mel Hawley once again said that water infiltration from older clay sewer lines (both city-owned and privately owned), roof drains and sump pumps — as well as heavy rains — pose major problems, and that pinning down the sources must be done per a long-standing state order before a major fix can be made.
MONTPELIER — The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions has awarded grants to five municipal conservation commissions, including Cornwall’s. Groups will receive between $400 and $500, depending on the project, from the AVCC Tiny Grant program.
“We are proud to be able to help advance, in a small way, conservation projects identified and carried out by local conservation commissions,” said Jake Brown, chair of AVCC. “Supporting this sort of work is what AVCC is all about.”
FERRISBURGH — The Abenaki people of Vermont will celebrate their vibrant history and culture at Abenaki Heritage Weekend at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh on Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, June 28, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is a fun-filled weekend of music, dance, storytelling, history and art, presented in partnership with the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s annual Peasant Market will take place this year on Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Middlebury town green.
A Middlebury tradition for decades, Peasant Market got its start as a “women’s fair” shortly after St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church was founded in 1827. The market took on its current name in the 1940s, and has been a local tradition ever since. All proceeds are donated to area nonprofits and service organizations. Last year’s market raised roughly $23,000.
MIDDLEBURY — As a kid growing up in Middlebury during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Peter Ferland would yearn for snow days and weekends when he could break out his Super 8 camera and make some fun-filled movies with his buddies.
He filmed, and occasionally starred in, some abbreviated and decidedly low-budget knock-offs of James Bond and the Swamp Monster. Ferland and his neighbor Mike Sommers filed down the blade of an axe to add realism to their own slasher movie. He also made some very good claymation movies.
CORNWALL — The Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department will slow-roast chicken all morning on Sunday, June 28, and baste the birds with secret sauce for the annual CVFD barbecue starting at noon at the Route 30 station.
Full meals, featuring baked beans, two salads, rolls and a beverage cost $12, with proceeds to benefit the CVFD's work. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available. Join the diners at the station or take a full meal home.
Kids of all ages are welcome to check out the big trucks and meet the volunteers. Serving continues until 3 p.m.