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January 15th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury officials are proposing to use a combination of surplus money, revenue adjustments and spending reductions to trim the proposed fiscal year 2016 municipal budget by $158,742, an amount that would allow the selectboard to achieve its goal of limiting the impact on residents to a 4-cent increase on the local property tax rate.
MONTPELIER — The three members of the Public Service Board may have had a bout of déjà vu Monday afternoon. That’s when, as expected, opponents of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project formally asked the board to investigate a second major cost hike announced by the company for Phase I of the pipeline.
MIDDLEBURY — The annual meeting of the Green Mountain Club Bread Loaf Section will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church in Middlebury. Photographer James P. Blair will give a talk titled “Being There.”
Blair worked as a staff photographer for National Geographic magazine for 30 years. Forty-six articles carried his byline and more than 2,000 of his photos have appeared within its covers.
MIDDLEBURY — After 16 years as a dispatcher at Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) in Middlebury, Marcia Brown retired in December 2014. During her last weeks at ACTR, Brown was showered with cards and phone calls from community members and riders she had served so well. An open house luncheon was also held in her honor at the Community Transportation Center.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA on Monday announced that 582 Vermont dairy farms — 67 percent of Vermont’s registered dairy farms — had enrolled in a new financial safety net called the Margin Protection Program (MPP). Created by the 2014 Farm Bill, the voluntary program offers financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and national average feed costs — falls below the coverage levels selected by individual farmers.
ADDISON COUNTY — Gov. Peter Shumlin has made cleaning up Lake Champlain a top priority. To do that, he proposed in his Jan. 8 inaugural address to make changes to the state’s Current Use tax program to penalize farmers who pollute waterways.
The Agency of Agriculture said denying Current Use tax breaks to offenders would add another enforcement tool to the state, which is cracking down on pollution into its waterways.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on Monday adopted a roughly $10.47 million spending plan that administrators said will begin to dig VUHS out of its deep financial hole and would more accurately reflect the cost of operating the school after years of underfunded spending.
To reach those goals, the budget calls for an 11 percent increase of about $1 million over the VUHS budget Addison Northwest Supervisory Union voters approved this past spring.
MIDDLEBURY — A group of 25 Middlebury College students this winter has been given the kind of assignment any civic-minded person would dream of: Give away $10,000 to one or more charitable causes.