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Goshen gets technology grant, and other news from around the region

GOSHEN — In August, Goshen received a $2,985 grant from the Help America Vote Act. Since the act passed in 2005, the federal government has awarded the grants to states annually. Its purpose is to make elections more accessible to voters and to allow the town to communicate more easily with other towns and the state come the next election.
Goshen applied for the grant in July and received the money in August. The town has until next August to spend it. A portion of the money has already gone to high-speed Internet for the town offices and town hall, which Bristol Electronics installed on Oct. 16. The town will also use the money to purchase computers and printers.
After the select board meeting on Nov. 9, Geryll Roberson purchased a domain name for the town’s new Web site. The Web site is www.goshenvt.org, and it is in development.
The following real estate sales were recorded in Goshen this year:
• Apr. 27: William and Eleanor Denno to Thomas and Wanda Boise, 2 acres and a house on Ripton Road.
• Feb. 10: Michael Elmore to Andrew Marks, 25 acres on Route 73, $25,000
Traffic, taxes on table in Leicester
LEICESTER — On July 29, a dog bit Christine Cole at Larry and Melissa Lanphear’s home in Leicester. The dog was discovered to be unregistered and without vaccinations, so Cole went to the hospital. The town quarantined the dog and fined the Lanphear family.
At the Sept. 21 selectboard meeting, selectmen decided that paying the sheriff’s department to enforce speed ordinances on its roads was not paying off — the department was issuing one ticket for every two hours on duty. They requested an end to patrol services for October, November and December.
The board is still waiting to meet with Sheriff Jim Coons, and the department has suspended patrols, although some concerned parties in the town dispute this decision. At the Oct. 19 selectmen’s meeting, Bucky Shackett contended that the patrols made the town safer, regardless of cost, and that they should continue.
“If you are speeding, you’re speeding, whether you are going to work or praying,” he said, according to meeting minutes.
In early November, Cecile Todd resigned her position as chair of the board of listers, although she is still a lister. Subsequently John Hughes was elected chair, with Tim Johnson serving as vice-chair.
Also on the table at meetings of town officials this fall was the issue of delinquent taxes. As of Nov. 2, Leicester residents owed the town $122,000 in delinquent taxes, and the town was struggling to pay its bills with so much less money than anticipated. The town is considering ways to enforce the collection of taxes and to bring down the rate of delinquency.
Due to the large amount of delinquent taxes, selectmen are considering taking out a loan in order to pay the school budget until they can collect the taxes the town is owed.
The following real estate sales were recorded in Leicester in the past year:
• March 25: Michael Lussier to Jess Taylor and Tina Santor, 0.5 acres and house on Stovepipe Avenue, $80,000.
• April 3: James and Linda Stewart to Zachary Colander, 0.3 acres, a house and a seasonal dwelling on Winding Way, $222,500.
• April 24: Susan Kalinowski and Joann Kuebler to Carolyn Gerow, 1 acre and mobile home on Lake Dunmore Road. $106,000.
• May 15: Chad Van Ormer and Tamar Boyd to Michael and Melissa Kin, 2 acres and a house on Lake Dunmore Road. $180,000.
• July 31: Sarah Conlin to Cushing Family LLC, 0.71 acres and seasonal dwelling on Pine Haven Lane, $500,000.
• Aug. 27: Stanley Livingston to John Chandler and Megan Dupoise-Chandler, 10 acres and a house on Hooker Road, $180,000.
• Aug. 31: Victoria Crain to Michael and Lisa Peluso, 0.35 acres and seasonal dwelling on Sunset Point, $120,000.
• Sept. 21: Peter Vigne to Lloyd Komesar and Maureen Carn, 0.6 acres and seasonal dwelling on Catamount Drive, $258,000.
• Sept. 25: Donald and Jeannette Gore to Elizabeth Hedley, 0.9 acres and a house on Hooker Road, $199,000.
• Oct. 12: Sidney and Shelley Glassner family trust to Daniel Wheeless and Katherine Middleton, 2.76 acres and house, $390,000.
• Nov. 9: Aaron Schondube to Lesley Bienvenue, 2 acres and mobile home on Lake Dunmore Road, $101,000.
• Nov. 10: Laurie Nichols to Matthew Ethier, property off Old Stove Pipe Avenue, $12,000.
Rt. 73 traffic worries Orwell selectmen
ORWELL — With Route 73 being one of two principle roads leading to the Ticonderoga Ferry, the town of Orwell has seen increased traffic since the closing of the Champlain Bridge in October.
At the Oct. 26 Orwell selectboard meeting, selectmen discussed the growing concern by townspeople and businesses about the state’s decision to enable passengers to ride the ferry for free. Selectmen also reported on a discussion with representatives from the town of Shoreham and State Rep. Will Stevens, at which the two towns discussed what each needed to help deal with the increased car and truck traffic through the area. Orwell’s requirements were:
• Adding a stop light at the intersection of Routes 73 and 22A.
• Applying for grants for additional signage on roads going to the ferry.
• Reducing the speed limit through Orwell on Route 22A.
• Asking the state Agency of Transportation to take over ownership of Route 73 West (Route 73 East is already a state road).
Shoreham and Orwell together identified the need to repave Routes 73 West and 74, which both lead to the ferry.
Both towns agreed that they will attempt to get emergency services support due to the increased traffic, and they wrote a joint letter to Secretary of Transportation David Dill voicing their concerns about the alternate routes to the ferry.
In other news from Orwell, there was a break-in at the Orwell town garage on the night of Sept. 22. Some equipment was reported missing and one of the doors was damaged. The selectboard is pursuing options for reimbursement for the damages through the town’s insurance.
In a letter dated Nov. 9, lister Stephen James resigned his position, citing his inability to spend the time necessary to do the job. Selectmen accepted applications for a replacement lister until the day of their December meeting.
Also on Nov. 9, the board heard a letter from Dr. Callahan of Orwell in which he listed his concerns about traffic through the village. Accordingly, the selectboard agreed to write a letter to the State Safety Board requesting an increase in state surveillance and a lowering of the speed limit on Route 73 within the village to 25 mph, especially near the school.
The following property transfers were recorded in Orwell in the past year:
• April 28: Anna R. Hotte trust to Russell and Meggan Young, 203 acres and a house, farm buildings and mobile home on Royce Hill Road. $470,000.
• July 16: David and Joy Abbot to Walter Phelps, 2 lots on Main Street, $59,500.
• July 16: James and Jeffrey Booska to Benjamin Davies and Jennifer Rheaume, 2 acres and a house on Route 73 East, $141,000.
• Oct. 16: David and Joanna Babcock to Walter Phelps, 19.6 acres and barn on Royce Hill Road, $150,000.
• Nov. 2: Donald and Roslyn Moser to Rae Anne Barry and Sharon Thompson, 0.25 acres and a mobile home on Mt. Independence Road, $40,000.
Whiting considers tax deadlines
WHITING — At the March 23 selectboard meeting, Whiting selectmen received a petition signed by over 40 town residents claiming noncompliance on a property at 91 North Main St. — it was messy to the point where garbage was blowing into the road, meeting minutes said.
In addition, it was discovered that after the owners of that property had installed a new trailer, they had not removed the old trailer, for which they no longer had a permit.
Later, in May, a sewage violation was issued to owners of 91 North Main for a disconnected sewage system — the trailer on the property was draining wastewater onto the ground, according to minutes.
Also on March 23, selectmen voted to appropriate $200 for Eric Leno to restart the Whiting Little League.
In April, the Vermont Agency of Transportation reported a discrepancy in the width of Route 30 through Whiting — it ranges from 66 to 99 feet wide in various places.
An ongoing dispute has moved into a legal battle concerning the ongoing road widening on West Street, where the owners of one property are disputing the roadwork past that property.
At the Aug. 24 selectboard meeting, selectmen voted to ask that Route 30 through Whiting be designated as part of the Lake Champlain Byway.
In September, the issue was raised at a selectboard meeting that the system of offering a 2 to 3 percent discount on taxes paid early was creating complications. This year, the state did not finish calculating the taxes until the middle of August, and the first round of tax discounts ended on Aug. 1. This made it necessary for the town to give numerous tax refunds to those who had overpaid, creating extra work and complications in the town’s income calculations. The updating of this rule will go to a town vote, probably on Town Meeting Day.
The following property transfers were recorded in Whiting in the past year:
• June 26: Lorenzo Quesnel to Matthew Daniels, 320 acres, house and farm buildings on Leicester-Whiting Road. $340,000.
• July 30: Edward Jacobson trust to Jefferson and Kelly Lu, 8 acres and a house on West Shoreham-Whiting Road, $172,000.
• Aug. 19: Rita Chartrand to Orestes Katsantonis, 10.78 acres and a house on West Road, $285,000.
• Sept. 28: Jennifer Ponder to Peter Cousineau, 16.66 acres, house and cottage on Cutting Hill Road, $162,000.

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