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Group seeks to conserve Middlebury farm

Posted on April 13, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Local officials here have begun preliminary talks with Middlebury College about permanently conserving the 108-acre Sabourin property, a tract of agricultural and wooded land located along Route 7 South across from Denecker Chevrolet and adjacent to the Battell Woods. The Sabourin land hosts a portion of the Trail Around Middlebury.

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Middlebury eyes road, water, sewer projects

Posted on April 13, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s Foote Street, Creek Road and Painter Road will be hotbeds of construction activity this spring and summer as work crews perform a variety of paving, water main and sidewalk projects.

Dan Werner, Middlebury’s director of operations, took some time on Thursday to identify where residents and motorists might find some temporary, construction-related  inconveniences during the coming months.

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Middlebury to vote on ID-4 school budgets by ballot

Posted on April 13, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters on April 8 resoundingly endorsed their graded school budget, then elected to change the date and method of voting for future Mary Hogan Elementary School spending plans.

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There's always room at the inn; business helps fire victims

Posted on April 13, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Dan and Michele Brown have hosted some corporate movers and shakers during their almost 11 years of owning and operating the historic and picturesque Swift House Inn in Middlebury.

But nothing gives them more satisfaction than when they are able to roll out the red carpet to those who find themselves temporarily homeless due to a fire or natural disaster.

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Middlebury residents vote on school district changes

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Around 150 Middlebury residents turned out at the ID-4 school district annual meeting on Wednesday, April 8, to overwhelmingly pass a proposed 2015-2016 Mary Hogan Elementary School budget.

They also agreed, after a spirited discussion, to change the date for future ID-4 annual meetings to the first Tuesday in March, and decided to vote on future Mary Hogan Elementary spending plans by Australian ballot, instead of from the floor of the annual meeting.

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Sen. Bray calls for group to propose changes to utility siting process

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



SHOREHAM — Addison County State Sen. Chris Bray, chairman of the Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee, will seek legislative approval for a “working group” that would study the manner in which the Vermont Public Service Board reviews and approves energy projects, and then propose ways to improve that process.

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Lawmakers: Health reform is on track, but new taxes loom

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



SHOREHAM — “It’s been extraordinarily frustrating,” Rep. Diane Lanpher said of Vermont Health Connect’s track record to date. The Vergennes Democrat gave those remarks during a discussion with other local lawmakers of the state’s health care exchange at a Legislative Breakfast in Shoreham Monday morning.

“What started as really good policy at the federal level could not be rolled out in a way that … met where the policy was going,” Lanpher added.

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State budget passes key hurdle

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



SHOREHAM — Local lawmakers at Monday’s Legislative Breakfast at the Shoreham Congregational Church shared details the fiscal year 2016 state budget of $1.46 billion.

Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, a member of the House Appropriations Committee explained what was a difficult process of closing a $113 million revenue shortfall. The committee ultimately recommended $52.8 million in long-term cuts, $23.8 million in one-time cuts and revenues, $35 million in new fees and taxes, and $1.7 million in earnings from renting prison beds to the federal government.

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Powerhouse site below Middlebury falls to be studied

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will come up with funding for an environmental assessment of the historic powerhouse site just below and to the north of Middlebury’s Otter Creek Falls. This comes in the wake of concerns the property might harbor some contamination as a result of industries that operated there during the 19th century.

Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay said the town would be able to apply for additional state and federal funds to clean up any contamination that might be found on the property.

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Education reform effort moves to the Vermont Senate

Posted on April 9, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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SHOREHAM — The Education finance reform bill approved by the Vermont House last Thursday would accomplish three things, according to Rep. David Sharpe: set a statewide education property tax rate, cap school spending for three years and create larger school districts.

The Bristol Democrat, who chairs the House Education Committee, described the bill at a Legislative Breakfast in Shoreham on Monday, where local lawmakers also shared details of what has already been a busy April in the Statehouse.

Bill H.361, as described by Sharpe on Monday, would:

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