AMELIA GARDNER AND Nate Gusakov welcomed the first baby born in Addison County in 2008 at their Lincoln home on New Year's Day. Abigail Lucile Gusakov weighed in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
January 7, 2008
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
January 7, 2008
By MEGAN JAMES
BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School board on Thursday approved a $10,995,304 spending plan for the 2008-2009 academic year, which it will present to voters on Town Meeting Day. The plan represents a 2.12 percent increase in spending over the current year’s $10,766,837 budget, but it also represents a 5 percent hike in the amount the school will ask from taxpayers.
“Last year we had a couple of failed budgets so the assessment was really quite low,” board chair Jim Rademacher said. The 2007-08 budget approved after three district-wide votes featured a 0.32 percent increase in the tax levy from the previous year.
“So yes the assessment is up 5 percent, but if you look at our total budget we’ve kept it quite low,” Rademacher said.
The school board last week also decided to ask voters to float a $1,998,500 bond to repair the 46-year-old OVUHS school building. In addition to twice rejecting proposed school spending plans in 2007, Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union voters also rejected a proposed $10.3 million bond, which would have been used for updating facilities.
With a relatively low increase in health insurance costs for employees — it is budgeted at about 5 percent — the main drivers responsible for the increased spending in the 2008-09 budget are maintenance, fuel costs and changes in the experiential high school program.
The board made $224,690 in proposed spending cuts last year after voters twice rejected the school’s spending plan. Some of those expenses, like maintenance costs, are woven back into the 2008-09 proposal. Last year, the board reduced the maintenance budget by $75,000, leaving that area under-funded this year. So next year’s plan includes a $126,793 increase in maintenance costs.
January 7, 2008
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — The Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center (PHCC) is partnering with Porter Medical Center on new course that will offer area students a prime entrée into the health care industry.
Now in its first year, PHCC’s “Allied Health Program” is giving students access to classroom training and hands-on experience in a hospital setting, with the potential of earning Licensed Nurse Assistant (LNA) certification. That LNA status will permit students to graduate directly to jobs at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, among other places, or continue their studies in the medical field.
Career Center officials have been discussing establishing a health care curriculum for at least the past six years, according to PHCC Director Lynn Coale. But those six years have also seen a decline in district enrollment in the regional vocational/technical high school, meaning the center has had to be more careful than ever about maintaining existing programs — let alone starting new ones. The PHCC’s proposed 2008-2009 budget envisions 1.5 fewer teachers in response to dwindling student numbers.
Still, PHCC board members agreed that launching an Allied Health Program was a safe bet.
“This is based on an incredible need in the health career field and the lack of a highly skilled workforce,” Coale said. “At the same time, we are confronted with decreasing enrollment at the high school and the need to revise, and in reality decrease, the programs we are offering.”
The PHCC board hired Janice Whitaker, a registered nurse and local resident with a background in health education, to develop and implement the new curriculum this year.