Archive - Aug 2006 - Page
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By HARRIETTE BRAINARD
BRANDON — Brandon officials recently approved a preliminary application from Robert N. Hockaday Jr. of Roland Enterprises for a new development of 70 single-family homes called “The Woods at Spring Pond.”
Hockaday, who is based in Baltimore, Md., was granted approval for his firm’s preliminary application in the middle of July by the town’s development review board. The preliminary application requires approval from local services — including police, fire and rescue departments, water and sewer, and the local school system — to ensure that the town’s infrastructure can accommodate the needs of the development.
“When you’re awarded approval at this juncture, it means that the town has awarded you approval in principle,” says local realtor Skip Davis, whose office has listed the property for sale. The developer will now have to submit more detailed engineering drawings for the final permitting process.
By JOHN S. McCRIGHT
BRIDPORT — By a 81-75 vote, Bridport residents on Thursday approved a plan to spend $600,000 to build a new town garage and move the fire department across the street into the current municipal garage.
With the vote behind them, town officials hope to begin construction of the new garage in late September, with the road crew and its five town vehicles taking occupancy by the time snow flies.
Building the new, five-bay garage is estimated to cost $500,000 and will be erected on a 16-acre parcel of town-owned land at the intersection of Crown Point Road and Short Street. The spot is already the site of a sand and salt shed operated jointly by Bridport and the state of Vermont.
The town will spend an estimated $100,000 to renovate the current, four-bay town garage to accommodate the Bridport Volunteer Fire Department, which officials say has outgrown its two-bay firehouse. Four fireßtrucks are parked bumper-to-bumper in the firehouse, another truck is parked in the town garage, and a sixth is out for repairs.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
NEW HAVEN — The tally of visitors to Addison County Fair and Field Days last week didn’t just break the old record, set in 2005.
No, the attendance for the Tuesday-Saturday event handled the old record like a Hummer would treat a demo derby beater: About 78,000 people paid their way into the annual county fair, almost doubling the old mark of 40,000 achieved just a year ago.
First-time fair director Cara Mullin and other fair officials were, unsurprisingly, ecstatic with the results.
“Every day was just amazing, the amount of people that came through,” Mullin said.
Also happy were Field Days vendors, who moved plenty of t-shirts, maple products and fried dough.
By HARRIETTE BRAINARD
STARKSBORO — Although most of Vermont may not realize it yet, there is a large underground statewide hip-hop movement that is about to burst forth in Starksboro this weekend.
The extent of the influence of that the urban music and cultural phenomenon has had in the Green Mountain State will become apparent on Saturday when Bristol-based Nine37 Productions and Para Bellum Media Group stage a 14-hour hip-hop jam on a farm in Starksboro.
“We’re creating a kind of summit where people can display their skills and make connections with others,” said Josef Shafer, one of the promoters of the Hip Hop in the Hills event. “This is a positive thing for Vermont, we all want to show that it is not just for city and urban areas, this can give everyone a voice — this gives young people a positive voice.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — During a typical August, Addison County Community Action Group’s (ACCAG) food shelf is usually as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.
But this is no typical August.
Thanks to a dream deal through which ACCAG was able to buy the inventory of two area discount food stores, many needy families in Addison County won’t have to worry about going hungry — at least through next spring.
“This means that when people come to us, we will have the confidence that we’ll be able to feed them,” ACCAG Executive Director Jeanne Montross said, as she gestured to some of the dozens of grocery-laden shopping carts that are still waiting to be unloaded in the agency’s Community Services Building on Boardman Street.
By ANDY KIRKALDY
VERGENNES — Vergennes Day, which lures thousands of visitors to the Little City every August, will celebrate its 25th anniversary next week with an expanded menu of activities, especially at Vergennes Union High School.
There, a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter is set to land at 10 a.m., after which that aircraft and National Guard equipment will be on display at VUHS most of Saturday, Aug. 26 — Vergennes Day. Guard personnel will also set up an inflatable obstacle course behind the high school.
Organizer Marguerite Senecal said the obstacle course is weather-dependent, as are two hot-air balloon launches (one at 6 a.m. and another at 6 p.m.) scheduled for VUHS. There also remains a chance the helicopter won’t show up if there is a military emergency.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — State entomologist Jon Turmel warned lawmakers on Monday that Vermont will need to hatch a larger revenue stream to fund its annual battle against mosquitoes, or risk seeing the pesky insects multiply dramatically and bring life threatening diseases into the Green Mountain State in the years to come.
Turmel made the comments during a meeting in Middlebury that saw local legislators, insect-control district officials and municipal leaders discuss this year’s hefty mosquito population and the lack of funds available to battle the insects.
“It’s no longer just a nuisance; it’s now a way of life,” Turmel said of the annual mosquito problem.
Currently, 10 percent of the money the state collects in motorboat registration fees is used to pay for larvicide to drop in communities that are a part of state-approved insect control districts. Motorboat registration fees have been generating between $45,000 and $85,00 per year for mosquito larvicide, according to Turmel.