September 2016 chronology
During the first week of September, new regulations regarding solar siting and screening took effect. Among other requirements, the regulations demanded that new solar arrays “blend into the surrounding” area and mitigate “adverse aesthetic impacts.”
The finalized plan for unifying six schools in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union was reviewed by the Vermont State Board of Education in early September and approved by the state in late September. The plan, then depended on approval from voters in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro on Nov. 8.
Sen. Bernie Sanders paid Middlebury a visit on Labor Day, rallying roughly 300 supporters on the town green. He encouraged the crowd to become politically active in order to push issues like fixing income inequality, addressing climate change, instituting national health care, reforming campaign finance laws and instituting free college tuition.
Addison County’s growing substance abuse crisis has forced more children into foster care and heightened the need for foster parents, the Independent reported in September. When Laurie Mumley started as the resource coordinator for the Department for Children and Families three years ago, the number of foster children in the county was about 55 — it has since risen to the 90s.
Monument Farms Dairy, Vermont Hard Cider Company and Champlain Valley Equipment formed an alliance in which renewable energy was boosted for everyone involved. Monument Farms used “lees” — the leftovers from the Vermont Cider’s cider-making process — to increase the efficiency of its cow power electricity-generating system. The excess energy produced by Monument Farms was sold to Champlain Valley Equipment, a key financial component that made the project a reality.
A blaze swallowed a 150-year-old historic covered bridge between Cornwall and Salisbury. Authorities did not speculate about the cause of the fire, they asked anyone who may have been in the vicinity to call the police barracks.
Childhood friends Justine Jackson and Sophie Pickens opened a new gallery called Northern Daughters in downtown Vergennes. The two describe the space as one that “merges the aesthetic of blue chip galleries with the familiarity and authenticity of a Vermont general store.”
State police arrested 12 protestors in New Haven, including a Middlebury town official and a member of the local clergy, and charged them with trespassing after they stood blocking the construction of the Addison Country natural gas pipeline. The blockade was said to be representative of support for Native Americans in North and South Dakota who are opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The state of Vermont submitted a final Lake Champlain cleanup plan to the Environmental Protection Agency. The plan included comprehensive cleanup with regard to phosphorus pollution.
A 2.2 MW solar development found its home on a pasture off Field Days Road in New Haven, but controversy ensued when the exact sighting of the project needed to be decided. Three members of the Public Service Board — Chair James Volz, Sarah Hoffman and Margaret Cheney — took a look at the site in late September before making their decision.
A federal grant of $600,000 was given to Addison County to direct local teens away from alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse.
Four years into the Middlebury Business Development Fund’s five-year trial, the organization struggled to bring new businesses and jobs to town. Though its leader, Jamie Gaucher, has pursued a diverse and bountiful sum of prospects, goals of bringing businesses with more than 40 employees have not yet been met.
Moose hunting season officially started in September, but 40 percent fewer permits were granted this year. The Department of Fish and Wildlife was hesitant to further diminish the herd, which was hit hard by ticks, 30,000 to 70,000 of which can populate a single moose at one time. Moose have been driven away from Vermont by deforestation, and warming temperatures that have invited ticks northward.
The Middlebury selectboard unanimously endorsed a decision to purchase a new ladder truck and accompanying tools for the fire department at a total cost of $886,471. The truck is Middlebury Fire Department’s most expensive vehicle, and was bought to replace the existing 1993 Pierce Arrow ladder truck, whose 20-year life span had expired.