By Lani Duke
Is Castleton hinting at consolidation?
CASTLETON—On May 26 Castleton voters approved a proposal to buy the Castleton Village School from the school district and close the building but did so with a very squeaky margin, 213 to 207. Ballot results may be moot, however, since 12 percent of the building belongs to Hubbardton school district, which did not take part in the balloting. If the school were to close, its students would attend classes at Castleton Elementary. Such a transference could not take place until the 2016-2017 academic year, as the current year’s budgets are already set and numerous physical changes would be required to the Castleton Elementary building.
Pawlet to update town plan
PAWLET—Pawlet’s Planning Commission is working to draft an update to the town plan, set to expire Nov. 17. Without an updated town plan, towns are ineligible for Village Center designation or other financial aid from the state. Pawlet’s Village Center designation expires in September but has a three-month grace period. Part of the incentive is to keep the village center designation active; among the updates is adding Village Center designation to the town plan document. State statute requires that town plans be updated every five years. Benson and Castleton last completed that process in 2013; Tinmouth, Hubbardton and Middletown Springs in 2012; Poultney in 2011.
Eco-harvester launched at Lake Bomoseen
CASTLETON—The Lake Bomoseen Association has launched its new eco-harvester, a machine designed to pull the plants out of the lake’s muddy bottom and roll them up, hopefully minimizing seed distribution. Christened the Lake Bomoseen Association Bomobelle, she made her public debut May 22 at Crystal Beach, launched with a sprinkle of champagne. Purchased with funds from association dues and those gathered by the 200 Club (LBA members who chipped in at least $200 apiece to buy the beast), the Bomobelle is considered to be more ecologically friendly than other methods of controlling invasive water plants. Harvesting is to begin June 20, running through October 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
to Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union (ARSU) head Ron Ryan, named the state’s Superintendent of the Year. They recognize his leadership in bringing together six schools and eight school boards and standardizing teaching contracts and curricula while consolidating busing and food service.
ARSU is one of the state’s largest school districts, encompassing the towns of Benson, Castleton, Fair Haven, and Orwell, with an enrollment of about 1,400, a $26 million budget, and a 300-member staff.