March 12th, 2015
ADDISON COUNTY — Three school boards in northern Addison County met early this week to consider new budget proposals after voters said “no” to initial proposed spending plans on Town Meeting Day.
The Vergennes Union High School and the Bristol Elementary School boards met on Monday evening and the Mount Abraham Union High School Board convened on Tuesday. All three meetings garnered a couple dozen visitors.
The boards did not warn any new budgets for revote, but all plan to meet again next week.
MIDDLEBURY — This spring will certainly be a season of renewal for Middlebury Regional Emergency Medical Services.
The nonprofit organization has hired a new executive director who will be launching some new services aimed at making MREMS more financially stable. The new hire — Ric Lavallee — will also lead a fund-raising effort to replace one of MREMS’ aging ambulances.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College President-elect Laurie L. Patton is not even officially on the institution’s payroll yet, but she took time from her ongoing duties at Duke University to visit Middlebury municipal officials to assure them that maintaining a cordial and productive relationship with the town will be one of the top priorities of her administration.
MIDDLEBURY — This Saturday, March 14, downtown Middlebury will welcome thousands of visitors to its closed-off downtown streets for the 7th Annual Vermont Chili Festival. This very popular event, staged by the Better Middlebury Partnership, will feature live music, an all-local beverage tent, street performers and more than 50 kinds of chili from some of Vermont’s best restaurants to sample and enjoy.
The fun starts at 1 p.m. and sampling will continue through 4 p.m.
MIDDLEBURY — School financing and the state’s budget woes continued to dominate conversation at the Bridport Grange’s legislative breakfast series, the most recent edition of which was held on Monday at the Middlebury American Legion headquarters.
Lawmakers have been told there is a $118 million revenue shortfall for the state budget that is to take effect July 1. The Legislature’s money committees are considering cuts to the current budget draft, along with some possible fee and tax increases.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Tuesday confirmed their support for an East Street preschool playground, an action taken despite a Town Meeting Day vote against the project.
All five aldermen at the meeting said the 303-202 tally on March 3 on the $42,000 project was not representative because the petitioned language on the article failed to make clear that residents would not pay to build the playground.
ADDISON COUNTY — The new Public Service Board investigation into cost hikes related to the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project will begin this month and may not conclude until late May at the earliest, according to a schedule proposed by the board March 2.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on Monday took steps toward an April 14 budget revote and picked a new chairperson. But, despite debate among its members and the 20 attendees, board members did not settle on a new spending plan.
In a paper ballot of the board members, Addison representative to the VUHS board Laurie Childers unseated sitting chairman Kurt Haigis, one of two VUHS directors from Ferrisburgh, as the board’s new leader.