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January 30th, 2015
The text accompanying photos of the demolished Lazarus Building in the Jan. 22 Independent doesn’t mention the source of the building’s name or its first occupant.
The building may have been unprepossessing and its location was a longtime irritant to promoters of the Marble Works; but its owner, Stanton Lazarus, his brother Gene and the Lazarus family were highly esteemed members of the community. Their contributions to Middlebury life should be a valued heritage, not debris of the downtown reconstruction blitz.
With a projected $100 million budget gap, the governor and lawmakers must grapple with difficult spending and revenue decisions during the 2015 legislative session. In recent years, Vermont has closed its annual budget gap using a combination of one-time funds and unexpected revenue growth. Unfortunately, federal funds have stopped and state revenues are lagging making these strategies unlikely. However, there is another solution: The governor and lawmakers could make economic growth a priority.
CORNWALL — A barn off West Street in Cornwall that was used to house heifers and to store hay was destroyed by a fire during the evening of Thursday, Jan. 29.
Cornwall Fire Chief Dennis Rheaume suspects sparks from a torch used to thaw out some frozen water pipes triggered the fire at the barn, owned by Randy Quesnel. The barn was empty of animals at the time but contained approximately 100 round bales of dry, good-quality hay, according to Rheaume.
MONTPELIER — While Gov. Peter Shumlin has at least temporarily put the brakes on Vermont’s transition to a single-payer health insurance system, that will not prevent key legislative committees from studying and advancing measures aimed at reducing the cost of, and improving access to, health care services.
BRISTOL — Bristol officials believe they have found a way to close the town landfill more quickly and cheaply than previously anticipated, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation has said it will not support the plan.
MIDDLEBURY — Local elections will rank low on the list of reasons to draw Middlebury-area residents to their respective town meetings this March.
Candidates for local school and municipal offices had until Monday to file their petitions with their town clerks. A survey of the seven towns that make up the Addison Central Supervisory Union show there will only be a handful of contested elections when Middlebury-area residents head to the polls on Town Meeting Day, March 3.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters at their town meeting will field a proposed 2015-2016 general fund budget of $9,949,155 that would require a 3.8-cent hike in the municipal tax rate, but they will not be asked to consider a stipend increase for members of the town selectboard.
The proposed 2015-2016 municipal budget represents a 6.7 percent increase over the budgeted 2014-2015 spending plan. The current municipal tax rate is 94 cents per $100 in property value, so a 3.8-cent increase represents a 4 percent hike in taxes.
BRISTOL — More than a dozen five-town residents braved the snowstorm Tuesday evening to discuss creating a food co-op in Bristol after a local market closed its doors.
Several residents pitched the idea on Front Porch Forum after Timmi Moffi, the owner of Mountain Greens, announced that the market was closing after 11 year in business.
Moffi attributed much of the store’s failure to competition from Bristol’s lone supermarket.