MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard will spend the next two months refining a fiscal year 2020 municipal budget proposal that currently reflects almost $600,000 in new expenses, including two new hires and a $296,119 increase in local infrastructure improvements.
A $600,000 increase would drive the need for an 8-cent hike in the municipal tax rate, but that won’t happen. Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay is proposing, from the outset, that the town use surplus revenues from the community’s Cross Street Bridge fund to offset the proposed $286,119 bump in capital improvement expenses...
VERGENNES — The newly formed Vergennes recreation committee last week shared with the city council the list of priorities its members created after its first two meetings — and up to $147,000 of work to the city pool was at the top.
The committee, founded to advise the council on maintenance of existing facilities and ways to improve recreation offerings in Vergennes, listed obtaining a grant to fund that work as its first of a number of goals it shared with the council.
Recreation committee chairman Tim Cook recommended to the council at its Nov. 27 meeting that it pursue a grant from a new...
LINCOLN RESIDENTS MARIA Teixeira, left, and her partner, Travis Herben, gathered a few toys no longer used by their children, 9-year-old Ezaias, right, Micaiah, 7, and Simeon, 1, to exchange at the upcoming Toy Swap at the Lincoln Library. Teixeira and other volunteers organized the swap to bring new life to old toys.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
LINCOLN — So profound is the depth of imagination kids summon when they play with toys that it has inspired a special category of storytelling in our culture. From “The Nutcracker” to “The Velveteen Rabbit” to “Toy Story,” we find hope in the notion that our playthings could live separate lives, struggling like we do, fighting our battles, keeping it real when the “real world” intervenes. Integral to many of these stories is the letting go, the heart-wrenching moment when children outgrow their toys and leave them behind forever.
It’s nobody’s fault. Children grow up. But the magic is forever...
UVM RESEARCHER ARASH Ghalehgolabbehbahani, shown at a test plot in New Haven growing saffron flowers last month, says that an acre of Vermont land could generate more than $100,000 worth of the precious spice.
Independent photo/Christopher Ross
NEW HAVEN — Thanks to a partnership between Peck Electric and University of Vermont, flowers that produce the most expensive spice in the world this fall were blooming in the shade of a few New Haven solar panels.
It’s too soon to tell whether saffron, which retails for between $3,000 and $9,000 a pound, will become a viable crop in Vermont, but three years of testing by UVM’s North American Center for Saffron Research and Development have produced promising results. The flowers from which the precious saffron threads are harvested, Crocus sativus, bloom in the agricultural down-time of late...
THE SWING SET and play structure at Lincoln Community School were quiet on Thursday when school in the 5-towns was closed because heavy snow downed power lines.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham Unified School District schools were closed all day Thursday because of impassable roads and downed power lines. Other county school districts remained open.
Heavy, wet snow over the preceding couple of days had caused widespread damage and knocked out power to tens of thousands of Vermonters.
Green Mountain Power announced on Twitter Thursday morning that it had restored power to more than 86,000 customers statewide but had received 550 additional outage reports overnight. At 10 a.m. Thursday 102 Vermont towns were still experiencing power outages, affecting...
NEW HAVEN — A post on the “gofundme” social media website has been created to help a New Haven family whose home was severely damaged in a Nov. 25 fire.
The home, owned by Jessica and Matt Friend, is located on Halpin Road, just across the town line from Middlebury. It was at around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, that firefighters from multiple departments were toned out on a report of a chimney fire at the residence.
Firefighters found the fire had spread from the chimney to portions of the first floor and second floor before stopping at the attic, according to Middlebury Fire Chief David...
SALISBURY — Salisbury officials are lining up a Town Meeting Day vote that will ask residents to close their local landfill and join the Addison County Solid Waste Management District (ACSWMD) for the town’s future waste disposal and recycling.
Salisbury currently operates the last unlined landfill in the state.
“It’s somewhat of a no-brainer,” Salisbury selectboard Chairman Tom Scanlon of the looming decision. “There’s a lifespan to a landfill, and ours is the last unlined landfill in the state. I would rather see it close sooner rather than later, so there are no problems with it in the...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Showing Up for Racial Justice is continuing the second season of its Seeing Color/Seeking Justice film series at the Marquis Theater in downtown Middlebury.
“The Hate U Give,” the second film of this year’s series, will be shown on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 4 and 7 p.m. The film stars Amanda Stenberg as Starr Carter, a teenage girl whose childhood best friend is killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Based on the best selling young adult novel by Angie Thomas, the film opens with Starr remembering the day she and her two brothers got “The Talk” from their dad....
MONKTON — Attention Monkton residents: the town’s Municipal Building Committee wants to hear from you.
The Building Committee has been working for over a year to determine what kind of facility the majority of Monkton residents want and exploring design concepts. The next step is putting out a request for proposals, but the committee wants more feedback on some basic design concepts put together by the committee.
When is the last time you visited the Russell Memorial Library? Have you ever stopped in at the Town Hall? Now’s your chance.
The committee will host an open house at the Monkton...
RICHARD RHEAUME, REPRESENTING R&L Rubbish, accepts a plaque with challenge coins, from Bristol Fire Chief Brett LaRose for the work R&L has done to go “above and beyond” for the Bristol Fire Department.
BRISTOL — This autumn the Bristol Fire Department recognized a couple of local businesses for their longtime support.
Desabrais Dry Cleaning, owned and operated by Lucie and Steve Noble, and R&L Rubbish, owned and operated by Richard Rheaume and Louis Poirier, have “truly gone above and beyond for the town of Bristol and their fire department,” said Bristol Fire Chief Brett LaRose.
“Desabrais has been providing dry cleaning services at no cost to the department for as long as I can remember,” LaRose explained. “As the department uniform coordinator I can tell you I have personally been...