Archive - May 31, 2010
MONTPELIER — Legislators angling for an overhaul of the popular “Current Use” program, which provides tax breaks for owners of farm and forest lands, said their proposals would have trimmed costs from the state budget.
Gov. James Douglas disagreed, and he said so last week when he sent H.485 back to the Statehouse without his signature.
BRISTOL — After a tense start, Bristol residents on Wednesday night faced their neighbors, pulled out their maps, and began talking seriously about where and how gravel extraction should happen in a town still largely divided over the contentious issue.
The conversation was the second in a series of three forums designed to turn inside out the process of town planning in Bristol, marking an effort by the town’s planning commission to trade, for the time being, public hearings for round-table conversations.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen have taken a look at the first draft of a proposed $1.6 million 2010-2011 city budget that if adopted would not require an increase in the portion of the city tax rate that supports municipal spending.
That $1.6 million figure does not include the sewer budget, which is funded by users, or the fire department budget, which is funded by the several towns protected by the department. It does include Vergennes’ share of funding the fire department.
ADDISON COUNTY — One of the first large thunderstorms of the season sent 70 mph winds and steady bolts of lightning racing through Vermont late last Wednesday night and into the early hours on Thursday, cutting power to thousands of homes around the state, including more than 1,000 in Addison County.
Central Vermont Public Service Corp. (CVPS) estimated that 24,000 residences lost power during the storm, and by 8 a.m. on Thursday 13,200 remained without power.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters will be asked this summer to endorse a $3 million, 20-year bond to chip away at a mounting backlog of needed repairs to the town’s water system infrastructure.
VERGENNES — For the second time in recent months, a longtime member of both the Vergennes Planning Commission and the Development Review Board has decided to step down. On May 18, Mark Hattler, a member of both boards since January 2001, submitted his resignation to aldermen via email.
Hattler’s decision, based on his wish to spend more time with his children, follows the departure earlier this spring of longtime planning chairman Neil Curtis, who resigned after a move out of Vergennes.
Mayor Michael Daniels said Hattler would be as hard to replace as Curtis.
BRISTOL — Bristol residents in the village police district voted down the proposed $378,806 police department spending plan for fiscal year 2011 in a narrow 15-14 paper ballot vote on Monday, May 24. At a meeting of the police district, those opposed to the budget cited the rapidly rising cost of supporting the department as their chief concern.
The proposed 2010-2011 budget would have meant a 12.5 percent hike in the amount to be raised by taxes if residents had approved the budget.
NEW HAVEN — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and more than 70 community members banded together to conserve nearly 200 acres in the northwest corner of Bristol, finalizing a conservation easement for Jason and Nina Bacon’s property on May 21.
The new easement, which is held by Fish and Wildlife, will preserve in perpetuity 194 acres adjacent the Waterworks park on Plank Street. The land will be open for non-vehicular recreation, and the easement now protects valuable maternity colonies for Vermont’s only federally endangered mammal, the Indiana bat.