By Lani Duke
Poultney residents contest store proposal
POULTNEY—Local residents’ concerns about developing a Dollar General store on a Beaman Street property led to the town’s Development Review Board nixing the proposal, June 28. A pair of planned light-industrial uses met with community approval, but inclusion of the 10,000-square-foot retail use did not.
Four buildings stand on the 1.76-acre parcel, which formerly held the Vemas electromechanical manufacturer, now under the control of Poultney Properties LLC., overseen by Leonard Knappmiller of Rutland. Dollar General would be a tenant of the largest of the four structures. The DRB ruled that Dollar General’s retail use “would create a mixture of uses not recognized in the town’s zoning bylaws.” It also expressed concern for the impact the store would exert on the surrounding, largely residential neighborhood. Dollar General was not a party in the permit process.
Complaints came from owners of abutting residential properties on either side and from the ad hoc group Concerned Citizens of Poultney, which had gathered more than 500 local residents’ signatures pledging not to patronize the store. C. B. Hall, a proponent of the citizen group, said in VTDigger that petition signers wanted to protect established local business from the threat that dollar stores pose, and that an industrial company, fitting the requirements for the site’s existing zoning, would provide more, better paying jobs.
The uses the DRB did approve are a woodworking company and a Green Mountain College shop and classroom.
Airport property to yield timber
FAIR HAVEN—Consulting forester Steve Handfield told the Select Board June 20 that two forested lots are five to seven years away from being harvested. The airport property has already been marked for harvest. The Select Board agreed to hire Handfield to refresh the information for the sale and prepare the project for harvest. He will mail out prospectuses, prepare a map, and meet with potential loggers to take advantage of what is currently a strong market; the town may receive as much as $5,000 to $10,000 from the sale.
New town manager coming in fall
FAIR HAVEN— Fair Haven Select Board Chair Robert Richards hopes the town will hire a new town manager this fall, he told the Rutland Herald June 29. Sixteen applications have been turned in for the position, none from Jonas Rosenthal, interim town manager.
Richards anticipated the search committee would meet July 11 to begin studying the applications. Each Select Board member chose one person to serve on the search committee; committee members are Sharon Adams, Tim Langlois, Police Chief William Humphries, and Dennis Barret. The fifth member will be selected by whomever the board chooses to fill the vacancy left by the death of Selectman Richard Frazier. Three people have said they are interested in filling Frazier’s seat; the decision will be made at the board’s July 18 meeting.
Waste disposal changes in Benson
BENSON—Benson will no longer offer its own household hazardous waste collection. Instead, Benson residents may bring hazardous waste to the Fair Haven Transfer Station starting Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Rutland County Solid Waste District is no longer contracting with the Solid Waste Alliance Communities (SWAC) of which Benson is a member. Benson residents with proof of residency may drop off solid-waste items at the Rutland County Solid Waste District Hazardous Waste Depot only until Dec. 31, 2017, during the facility’s regular hours.
The Benson Transfer Station no longer accepts fluorescent bulbs. Several stores accept them, including Shaw’s Supermarket and Aubuchon Hardware in Fair Haven.