Andy Kirkaldy

VERGENNES — On the surface there appears to be plenty for Addison Northwest School District administrators and teachers to like about the multi-grade-level student test results that were released in the Vermont Agency of Education’s most recent “Annual Snapshot.” ANWSD as a whole is rated as “Meeting” standards for English Language Arts and Mathematic instruction, as is Vermont as a whole. And in some respects ANWSD looks better than the state. Vergennes Union High School is ranked as “Excelling” in its improvement in English and Math instruction, thus faring better than schools across the...
PANTON — Panton homeowners are looking at about a 15.5-cent increase in their annual property tax rate that is almost all due to a higher Addison Northwest School District homestead school tax rate. Declining Addison Northwest School District enrollment, higher fixed costs, and rising health insurance expenses are pressuring the district budget. That increase translates to $155 per $100,000 of assessed value for homeowners who pay full freight on the value of their properties. Residents eligible for income-sensitivity provisions of Vermont tax law and who thus pay based on their incomes are...
VERGENNES — According to Tim Noonan, the executive director of the Vermont Labor Relations Board, he will oversee an election at the Vergennes Police Department either later this month or in early September. The vote will determine if the officers of the city police force will unionize. City officials in July made it official they would not oppose the officers’ wish to affiliate with the New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA), a union that represents many law enforcement agencies in New England, including in Vermont. The proposed union includes non-supervisory personnel only, and...

DANIEL WHITNEY’S 15D, Natalie Heustis’ 69x and Geoffrey Grant’s No. 10 have a meeting of the minds in a 4-cylinder heat in Thursday night’s Demo Derby at Field Days. Independent photo/Steve James
NEW HAVEN — In addition to mangling already badly damaged remnants of formerly valuable vehicles, awarding cash prizes and trophies and entertaining and deafening a couple thousand fans of motorized mayhem, Thursday’s G. Stone Motors Demolition Derby at Addison County Fair and Field Days answered a few burning questions. One question literally related to burning: How quickly can members of the Vergennes Fire Department put out a fire in an engine compartment? Answer: Based on three incidents on Thursday, give them about 10 seconds and they’ll get it done. Another question: Can there be true...
VERGENNES — The DR Factory Store at 5 North Main St. in Vergennes will close on Friday, Aug. 16, and as of earlier this week had marked down its inventory of DR, Generac and Husqvarna outdoor power equipment. In mid-2018 Generac, which bought DR Power Equipment from Country Home Products in 2015, moved out of its Vergennes plant on Meigs Road. Work that was done there is now being performed in its new headquarters in South Burlington and at its corporate headquarters in Waukesha, Wis. But last year Generac did not shutter the city’s DR store, which is across North Main Street from the...

THE VERGENNES CHAMPS’ coaches and the team’s under-6, -8 and -10 swimmers on Sunday used Silly String to celebrate the team’s fourth-place finish out of 20 teams at the Vermont Swim Association Championships in White River Junction this past weekend. Photo courtesy of Josh Romond
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Vergennes Champs and Middlebury Marlins capped their enjoyable summer swim team seasons in style this past weekend at Vermont Swim Association Championship meet, which was held at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction. The Champs scored 1,715 points to become the only team based outside of Chittenden County to crack the top five at the 20-team competition. Coming off a 2018 season in which the Champs won Division II, Vergennes settled for fourth place in Division I, into which the Champs were placed this summer. The Vergennes team were coming off a...
ADDISON — Addison’s overall residential property tax rate is rising by almost 18 cents or 8 percent, while the commercial non-residential rate — a category that includes seasonal homes, of which there are many in Addison — is rising by about 10 cents, or roughly 5 percent. The Addison selectboard set the town’s municipal property tax rate on Friday, July 19, at 44.3 cents, an increase of less than a penny. That rate includes a 0.015 of a penny for a local exemption tax that allows Addison to give property tax breaks to disabled veterans. The board at the same meeting extended to Aug. 19 the...

KATE COBURN IS the co-organizer of EcoBag Vermont Vergennes.
VERGENNES — A small group of Vergennes-area residents is working with city businesses and residents to help prepare the Little City for next year’s implementation of the new state law banning single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam containers. The new law, which takes effect in July 2020, will prohibit shops and restaurants from giving customers those environmentally unfriendly items. According to EcoBag Vermont Vergennes co-organizer Kate Coburn, the group originally came together about 10 months ago, with support from an established Middlebury EcoBag effort. At that point its...
VERGENNES — The officers of the Vergennes Police Department have voted to unionize by affiliating with the New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA), a union that represents many law enforcement agencies in New England, including in Vermont. The proposed union includes non-supervisory personnel only, and not Chief George Merkel. Merkel took no position on whether his department should unionize. “That’s up to the guys,” he said. There are currently eight officers in the department, not counting Merkel, but one is funded by a grant to serve as a countywide traffic-safety coordinator....
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh homeowners will soon be opening tax bills that will include an 11.66-cent hike, or a little more than 6 percent. The Ferrisburgh selectboard met on Tuesday last week to set the town’s 2019-2020 tax rate at 31.34 cents per $100 of assessed property vale, an increase of 1.82 cents, also about 6 percent. The homestead school tax rate to support Addison Northwest School District schools was set by state officials at $1.6991, also a roughly 6 percent increase from this past year’s rate in Ferrisburgh. Declining ANWSD enrollment, higher fixed costs, and rising health...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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