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January 16th, 2012
VERGENNES — As the Bixby Memorial Free Library prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday in October, the library’s director and board are also taking steps to keep the Vergennes institution relevant for its second century.
In the next few months, the Bixby will automate its card catalog, receive computer hardware and software as part of the e-Vermont grant the library helped Vergennes win, run computer literacy workshops, and on Town Meeting Day survey residents of the five communities it serves.
MIDDLEBURY — If all goes as planned, lounging on the Middlebury town green this summer could include checking emails, reading Wikipedia or watching YouTube videos on any Wi-Fi enabled device.
That’s because the downtown public Wi-Fi project that has been examined on and off over the past few years looks to be picking up steam.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College will soon expand its renewable energy portfolio. Next month it will install 34 photovoltaic solar power collectors on the open swathe of 1.5-acre college land off Route 125, between McCardell Bicentennial Hall and the college organic garden.
The 143-kilowatt (kW) project, slated to go up in February, is expected to generate 200,000 kW-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, and will be metered against Battell Hall to offset the annual power consumption of the year-round dormitory, which annually uses about 190,000 kWh.
ADDISON COUNTY — Almost 100 Addison County residents have hooked their homes up to a solar hot water system in large part due to Solar Addison County, a program launched last summer by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).
BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School board last week approved a proposed $10,332,550 spending plan for 2012-13. That represents an increase of $233,918 or 2.32 percent over the current spending plan.
There was none of the drama of past year’s budget talks when the fate of two items in the budget — the alternative education Harvest Program and the school resource officer — were in question. For the record, both of those line items are intact.
ADDISON COUNTY — In late December, FairPoint Communications expanded broadband Internet service to 225 Granville homes and businesses.
The arrival of high-speed Internet in the town is a milestone for the company: Now all of Fairpoint’s Addison County exchanges have at least some broadband coverage, and nearly 90 percent of the company’s customers statewide have access to broadband Internet.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen agreed on Jan. 10 to increase the city’s financial contribution toward installing sprinklers in City Hall and the Vergennes Opera House to $35,000.
The increased contribution for the delayed project is up from an earlier estimated city share of $20,000 to $22,000.
MIDDLEBURY — Friday night’s anticipated match-up between the Middlebury College men’s hockey team and longtime rival Plattsburgh in the end turned out to be a mismatch.
Although the shot total at Kenyon Arena favored the visiting Cardinals by only 27-25, the Cardinals generated by far the better chances in dealing the Panthers their worst setback since 1993, a 7-0 loss. The Panthers dropped to 6-5-2, while Plattsburgh, ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III, improved to 11-2-3.