May 20th, 2010
BRISTOL — Bristol residents in the village police district could see a 12.5 percent hike in the amount to be raised by taxes if the police department’s spending plan is approved on Monday.
The proposed $378,806 police district budget for 2010-2011 is slated for a vote on May 24 at a 7 p.m. meeting at the Bristol Hub Teen Center, where residents will also discuss the town’s water and sewer budgets for the coming fiscal year.
MIDDLEBURY — Gene Childers, 66, has been marching to his own tune since he was six years old.
Students in the region have been following Childers’ marching orders for more than four decades during his long career as a music instructor and band director, the past 22 years of which have been spent at Middlebury Union Middle School.
GOSHEN — Tensions ran high at a meeting of the Goshen Planning Commission on Monday night, where efforts to compile information for an update to the town plan became a continuation of an earlier debate about the future of one of the more prominent pieces of property in the tiny mountain town.
BRISTOL — One of Addison County’s largest farms has secured a $250,000 grant to put toward the construction of an on-farm methane digester to convert manure into electricity.
Bristol’s Four Hills Farm was received the grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which last week announced more than $3 million in grants and low-interest loans for 15 Vermont renewable energy projects.
Brian Hill, who co-owns the farm with Kevin, Ronald and Joanne Hill, said the farmers have been considering installing a methane digester for about eight years.
BP’s oil spill in the Gulf Coast has prompted older stories of BP’s mismanagement to rise to the fore. The stories are of political favoritism involving the White House, Department of Justice and the EPA, all undermining the good work that was trying to be done by bureaucrats doing their job.
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh selectmen will meet with other town officials and citizens on Monday night to discuss the future of the town-owned Union Meeting Hall, which sits on the east side of Route 7 across from the former town clerk’s office.
Selectmen are concerned with the condition of the historic building and the increasing cost of maintaining it. The building is now rented for a modest fee to a church, but officials said the income is not enough to pay for building upkeep in the long term.
As Gov. Douglas contemplates vetoes of last-minute bills passed by the Legislature, many of his supporters over the past eight years are appealing for his support of H.485, a bill that reforms the Current Use law. Douglas is considering a veto presumably because it restricts a landowner’s ability to enroll the land in Current Use for a short time to avoid higher taxes, then take the land out of the program to sell it at a premium. It is, in short, a loophole in the 30-year-old law that was created in the 1990s when a “development penalty” was weakened.
MIDDLEBURY — It was early on a recent Thursday morning when eight people, armed with binoculars and guidebooks, gathered in the parking lot at Otter View Park in Middlebury, ears perked up for morning birdcalls.
The group was there for the monthly wildlife walk organized jointly by the Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) and the Otter Creek Audubon Society. The walks are two hours long, and starting with the May 13 walk, they will now begin at 7:30 a.m. for the summer season.