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July 10th, 2014
ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont Gas Systems has already spent more than $1.5 million on securing land rights for Phase I of the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project, and last week announced it had increased its budget for land acquisitions by more than $1 million.
This increased projected cost is part of a $35.6 million cost hike for the entire project, a bill 40 percent higher than the company told the Public Service Board last February.
SALISBURY — The 25 members of the Salisbury Congregational Church routinely find solace and affirmation in the Bible. And when it comes to their latest effort to repair the steeple of their historic place of worship, Galatians chapter 6, verse 9, must seem particularly a propos:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
ADDISON COUNTY — It’s no secret that Vermont’s population, on average, is aging, and Addison County is being affected almost as much as any of the rural counties.
In the past 10 years, three new senior living facilities opened in Addison County (Armory Lane Senior Housing in Vergennes and Eastview and the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury), indicating an increase in the county’s elderly population. During the same period, high school enrollment dropped to its lowest levels since the early 1990s.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday approved a fiscal year 2015 municipal tax rate of 94 cents per $100 in property value, representing an almost 3-cent bump and a 3-percent increase from the current town rate of just over 91 cents.
When added to education property taxes computed by the state, Middlebury taxpayers will be assessed an overall fiscal year 2015 residential property tax rate of $2.717 per $100 of property value.
That rate is up 8.4 cents from the fiscal year 2014 rate of $2.633, an increase of about 3.2 percent.
MIDDLEBURY — If all goes according to plan, in August of 2015 Middlebury will host the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival — a project that promises to be an exciting addition to Middlebury’s cultural scene as well as a significant opportunity for budding filmmakers across the country.
PANTON — Panton’s charter change, which residents approved on Town Meeting Day and the Vermont Legislature supported this past winter with only minor language changes, became official on July 1 — and three key town jobs are no longer elected positions.
The Panton selectboard met on Tuesday to choose a town clerk, treasurer and delinquent tax collector, and chose to re-appoint the elected incumbents — clerk Jean Miller, treasurer Diane Merrill and tax collector Barbara Fleming.
RIPTON — When Ian McNeely arrived at the Bread Loaf School of English this June, he turned to a nearby student and asked, “What is this place?”
McNeely had been hired as a member of the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble only a few weeks before the Bread Loaf sessions began after two other actors had to back out, and so had had little time to prepare for his time in Ripton. In fact, he admitted with a grin, he didn’t even have time to Google the place.
“I was a replacement of a replacement,” McNeely said.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College’s campus is far from empty every summer after undergraduate students depart. The college’s summer language schools, established nearly a century ago, provide an influx of new faces for six to eight weeks every June.
Language school students are normally prohibited from speaking English at any point during the program, leading to the slogan, “No English Spoken Here.” The annual appearance of foreign-language-speaking students has become a familiar phenomenon to Middlebury residents and business owners.