July 8th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday approved a fiscal year 2011 residential tax rate of $2.5637 per $100 in property value, a rise of approximately 10 cents above the current rate of $2.4627.
The new rate translates into a property tax increase of $202 for the owner of a homestead (home and two acres) valued at $200,000, according to Middlebury Assistant Town Manager Joe Colangelo.
ADDISON COUNTY — On the evening of June 28, a black bear demolished a steel fence at Paul and Kristin Francoeur’s home on Shackett Road in Leicester, following the scent of grain that had been freshly laid out for the Francoeurs’ alpacas.
Kristin Francoeur explained that alpacas are protective of their food, and it appears that when one of the animals stood up to the bear he hit it with a fatal blow that broke its neck and burst an artery.
BRISTOL — The District 1 Act 250 commission on Tuesday afternoon drew to a close the public testimony portion of a hearing to determine whether a proposed Bristol gravel pit conforms with the state’s land use and development law.
The hearing opened on June 28, and ran four days in total.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, July 13, to cast ballots on a $3 million, 20-year bond to chip away at a mounting backlog of needed repairs to the town’s water system infrastructure.
The backlog of projects has been created by town officials’ decision to apply a substantial portion of Middlebury’s current water fund balance toward water-related upgrades near the Cross Street Bridge project while the ground in that area is still ripped up by construction. This has meant that other projects have had to be delayed.
In its recent ruling upholding age discrimination for mandatory retirement of state police officers, the Vermont Supreme Court defies logic for political expedience, maintains entrenched bureaucratic preferences and inadvertently does more to place the public safety at risk than not.
VERGENNES — The general manager of the Goodrich manufacturing plant in Vergennes was killed in a car accident in Pennsylvania Monday morning.
Gary J. Loftus, 58, of Connecticut was driving a 2005 Chevy Suburban in the left lane of Interstate 81 northbound near Pine Grove about 35 miles northeast of Harrisburg on July 5, according to news reports. Police say that a few minutes before 11 a.m. the SUV drifted into the right lane and made contact with a green 1996 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Melinda Brown, 31, of Lykens, Pa.
A few months ago I was covering an event at the Bristol Elementary School with photographer Trent Campbell — the sort of story I sometimes offer up self-deprecatingly to friends when I talk about my job. This, I’ll joke, is the bread and butter of community journalists: elementary school assemblies and small town police logs. In Bristol, a handful of students spent all year growing out their hair for Locks of Love, and Trent and I were on hand at the end-of-year assembly to document the big cut: snip!
ADDISON COUNTY — Businesses affected by the closure and subsequent demolition of the Champlain Bridge are now being offered free consulting through the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC).
Sarah Kearns, a VtSBDC business adviser, will offer her services to businesses of any type until the end of 2011 — even after the replacement bridge is scheduled to open in the fall of next year.