March 12th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — This Saturday, March 14, downtown Middlebury will welcome thousands of visitors to its closed-off downtown streets for the 7th Annual Vermont Chili Festival. This very popular event, staged by the Better Middlebury Partnership, will feature live music, an all-local beverage tent, street performers and more than 50 kinds of chili from some of Vermont’s best restaurants to sample and enjoy.
The fun starts at 1 p.m. and sampling will continue through 4 p.m.
MIDDLEBURY — School financing and the state’s budget woes continued to dominate conversation at the Bridport Grange’s legislative breakfast series, the most recent edition of which was held on Monday at the Middlebury American Legion headquarters.
Lawmakers have been told there is a $118 million revenue shortfall for the state budget that is to take effect July 1. The Legislature’s money committees are considering cuts to the current budget draft, along with some possible fee and tax increases.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Tuesday confirmed their support for an East Street preschool playground, an action taken despite a Town Meeting Day vote against the project.
All five aldermen at the meeting said the 303-202 tally on March 3 on the $42,000 project was not representative because the petitioned language on the article failed to make clear that residents would not pay to build the playground.
ADDISON COUNTY — The new Public Service Board investigation into cost hikes related to the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project will begin this month and may not conclude until late May at the earliest, according to a schedule proposed by the board March 2.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on Monday took steps toward an April 14 budget revote and picked a new chairperson. But, despite debate among its members and the 20 attendees, board members did not settle on a new spending plan.
In a paper ballot of the board members, Addison representative to the VUHS board Laurie Childers unseated sitting chairman Kurt Haigis, one of two VUHS directors from Ferrisburgh, as the board’s new leader.
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board took its first crack at developing a new budget proposal for the Bristol school Tuesday evening after voters in the five-town area rejected the initial draft on Town Meeting Day.
While board members did not decide whether to create a budget that is more or less expensive than the original spending plan, they did decide to solicit input from voters and staff to help make up their minds.
BRISTOL — Three-dozen parents, teachers and community members packed the Bristol Elementary School library Monday evening to give their input to the school board on how it should draft a new budget proposal.
But board members did not discuss spending numbers that could appear in that proposal or set a date for citizens to vote on it.
Voters on Town Meeting Day rejected the original spending plan, which totaled $4.93 million, by a tally of 377 to 267.
VERGENNES — In addition to deciding to move ahead with a city park for preschoolers, Vergennes aldermen at their meeting Tuesday evening also:
•Elected Renny Perry as senior alderman. Perry will stand in as mayor if needed at meetings when Mayor Bill Benton is absent. Randy Ouellette held the post in recent years, but chose not to run for another term.