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February 5th, 2015
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Jan. 27 met for the second time in two weeks behind closed doors to discuss a land deal with Mayor Bill Benton and his sister Betsey Benton.
Ownership of that land, along Otter Creek, could help the city create a park on the river’s east side while connecting the city’s MacDonough Drive docks with Main Street. The city has, since 2010, leased the parcel from the Bentons for a nominal annual fee. The land is in the flood plain, limiting its value.
MIDDLEBURY — Four Vermont companies, one with a decidedly local flavor, are in the running to develop 1.42 acres of prime real estate in downtown Middlebury.
At issue is a town-owned parcel of land located behind the Ilsley Public Library, off Bakery Lane. Middlebury officials have, for the past several years, sought to market the property for some kind of mixed-used development that would complement the existing business scene and draw more shoppers to the downtown area.
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh residents in March will be asked to approve a 2015-2016 town budget that calls for the first recent significant spending increase, a 5.6 percent hike to about $1.77 million.
Line items pushing spending higher include increased hours for town office workers, an additional road crew employee, a deficit from the current year that must be retired, and projected higher insurance and road resurfacing costs.
BRISTOL — Kaitlin Heffernan, like many 25-year-olds, keeps her cell phone on her at all times. But it isn’t to text friends, check emails or browse the Internet.
At any moment, any hour of the day, the Bristol resident could get a call from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, telling her to leave immediately and prepare for a double lung transplant. She’ll have just three hours to prepare for a major surgery that could take 6 to 12 hours — and will likely save her life.
BRIDPORT — Members of Addison County’s agricultural community are concerned about how they could be affected by the state’s latest push to clean up Lake Champlain.
Gov. Peter Shumlin in his January inaugural address cited cleanup of the lake as one of his top priorities for the 2015-2016 biennium. He noted that farmers must play a key role in that effort, through water quality initiatives that are in part designed to reduce manure runoff into Lake Champlain. Manure is a leading source of phosphorous pollution in the lake.
WEYBRIDGE — Weybridge officials are proposing to change the municipality’s charter in a manner that would allow for its town clerk and treasurer to be appointed by the selectboard, rather than elected by the public.
This means that the person or people taking these positions would no longer have to reside in the town of Weybridge and would be appointed by the selectboard. Panton approved a similar charter change last year.
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man on Monday pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and resisting arrest after he allegedly struck a man at a Route 7 South home and inflicted injuries upon himself while intoxicated on Dec. 3, 2014.
MIDDLEBURY — Rich and Sheri Larsen will present “Exploring the Slot Canyons of Southern Utah” on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at Ilsley Library in Middlebury.
Southern Utah is a stark and wildly beautiful land of sandstone carved into countless canyons, ranging in size from Colorado River canyons to slots so tight a person cannot fit through. The Larsens, often with accomplices from Vermont and other states, have now made a dozen trips to Utah to play in slot canyons.