April 29th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — Ask Cheryl Connor and her husband, Jerry, about their decision to hire farmworkers from Mexico, and the Connors will tell you a story that begins 20 years ago — with a dream.
It was an unexpected dream for Jerry, a Bridport dairyman and third-generation farmer. Though he had no ties at the time to Mexico, he’d dreamt clearly of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary held dear by Mexican Catholics.
VERGENNES — The mortal remains of John Collette have been buried beneath a simple headstone in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Vergennes since soon after his death of a heart attack at age 46 on July 17, 1932.
But a fortuitous discovery by an amateur historian is allowing Vermonters to learn the rest of Collette’s story, a story that will allow him to have his name posthumously etched on a far more elaborate monument — the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
MIDDLEBURY — Members of the Vermont House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday were considering steps to pre-empt a major devaluation in utilities’ hydro-power facilities statewide, something that would result in new assessments that could substantially reduce grand lists — and therefore boost property tax rates — in six Addison County towns.
For the purpose of levying property taxes, hydro facilities are currently reassessed annually based on an income analysis that takes into account the wholesale cost of power.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously endorsed the seven-year renewal of a special tax on non-residential property in the downtown in order to fund ongoing improvements to public property in the core village area.
VERGENNES — Downtown Vergennes will have a turn-of-the-century look — at least once or twice a week — this summer: Aldermen approved on Tuesday an application that will allow a local farmer to set up a horse-drawn vending wagon next to the city green.
Erik Andrus, owner of Ferrisburgh’s Good Companion Bakery, plans to hitch a four-foot-by-seven-foot wagon to a draft horse and drive the rig from his farm — which is about a half-mile east of Route 7 on Burroughs Farm Road — into Vergennes. That plan earned unanimous backing on Tuesday.
LINCOLN — Lincoln residents on Monday night will weigh in on a proposed 2010-2011 school year spending plan two months after a vote on the Lincoln Community School budget was postponed at the town’s annual meeting in early March.
The budget will require a two-part vote because per-pupil spending in the school last year exceeded the state average by 1 percent, and this year’s budget is greater than last year’s budget adjusted for inflation.
LINCOLN — The Lincoln selectboard is expected to approve a new version of the town plan next month, paving the way for the town’s planning commission to forge ahead with long-awaited changes to Lincoln zoning regulations.
The selectboard has scheduled a final public hearing on the plan for May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Lincoln town clerk’s office. The hearing comes after the board mistakenly voted to adopt the plan earlier this spring, but realized soon after that they hadn’t scheduled the formal final hearing necessary to adopt the plan.
GRANVILLE — In two special meetings this past Monday, Granville voters approved a school budget and plans for a new town office, both decisions they had postponed on Town Meeting Day.