Archive - May 6, 2010
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Vergennes residents consider finances, educational equity
VERGENNES — Few foes of proposed one-board Addison Northwest Supervisory Union governance spoke out at a Tuesday forum held at Vergennes Union Elementary School in advance of the May 11 revote on unification.
But school board officials acknowledged fears about a potential increase in the city’s tax rate and the assumption of debt from Ferrisburgh that prompted petitioners in Vergennes to ask for a new vote.
ADDISON COUNTY — Dairy farmers in the Northeast are training their sights on the massive Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) co-op and processing giant Dean Foods in an effort to prove that price fixing and illegal monopolization of the dairy industry has kept milk prices artificially low for struggling producers.
These farmers’ action represents the latest in a series of lawsuits around the country alleging that a lack of competition in the dairy processing industry has resulted in record profits for milk processors at the cost of lower prices for farmers.
MONTPELIER — Addison County is in line for a combined total of almost $100 million in state and federal funds over the next few years to pave area roads and repair or replace local bridges, according to priorities set forth in Vermont’s fiscal year 2011 Transportation Bill.
The so-called “T-Bill” was in conference committee for final negotiations as the Addison Independent went to press. But Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, said Monday that none of the projects reflected in the almost $600 million transportation spending plan were at risk.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) wants to conserve 40 acres of forested land on the eastern slope of Chipman Hill, property that was once slated for a housing development.
The property is owned by the Co-operative Insurance Company and forms — along with Chipman Hill — what MALT Executive Director Josh Phillips called “the largest contiguous forest habitat in the vicinity of Middlebury village.”
“It is an interesting spot,” said Phillips, who recently met with selectmen to get support for the conservation deal.
MIDDLEBURY — Many people would agree that Middlebury’s Cross Street Bridge — a $16 million project that has been more than a half-century in the making — will be a monumental achievement once it is completed this fall.
So what better way to mark that achievement than by a monument?
LINCOLN — Voters in Lincoln on Monday night approved a $1.6 million 2010-2011 school year spending plan for the Lincoln Community School.
The budget required a two-part vote because per-pupil spending at the school last year exceeded the state average, and this year’s budget is greater than last year’s budget adjusted for inflation. Voters first approved $1,599,757 in spending in a paper ballot vote, with 69 voting in favor and 30 against.
In a subsequent voice vote, residents also approved the additional $9,778 in spending deemed necessary by the board.
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County State’s Attorney David Fenster has probably packed around a year’s worth of work into his first six months on the job.
It’s been a compressed timeframe during which he’s put in a series of 12-hour days prosecuting three trials while assessing evidence in scores of other cases. In his “spare time,” he’s been getting his family settled in Weybridge while becoming acquainted with the many court officials, law enforcement personnel, victims’ advocates and other professionals with whom he must network in his job.
BRIDPORT — Bridport residents on Tuesday voted 125-75 in favor of a 2010-2011 elementary school spending plan that was slightly leaner than the version defeated on Town Meeting Day.
The approved, $1,330,817 spending plan was $6,158 less than the budget voters rejected by a 179-172 tally last March. The savings were derived from reduced health care premiums ($2,158) and reduced professional development expenses ($4,000).