By Lani Duke
Police station nixed again; recount confirmed outcome
CASTLETON—A vote recount confirmed that Castleton residents are about equally divided on the proposal to to appropriate $300,420 to build a new police station next to the new Castleton Fire Department on Elm Street. A first count showed the proposal defeated by 12, but a recount on March 9 narrowed that gap to 11—365 no, 354 yes.
Now what? The Select Board must decide whether or not to plan a revote on the issue. Petitions are already circulating toward that end, but Select Board chair Joe Bruno has indicated that a re-polling seems unlikely before the end of the calendar year.
The Select Board had anticipated that the project would be financed largely from selling off buses that had belonged to the town’s former school district, bringing in $300,000. With that large an amount already available, there need be no municipal tax rate increase.
In the meantime, the Police Department remains housed in the town offices, without space for a holding cell, interview rooms, or evidence storage. The town offices themselves are in temporary trailers while the town also looks for a permanent city office site.
One suggestion that has come up is to lodge the Police Department and town offices in the place that the Fire Department vacated when it moved into its new building.
Serving your community
CASTLETON—The Castleton Recreation Commission is asking for proposals for its summer recreation programming, specifically for folks willing to share a talent or skill in sports, arts, crafts, nature, music, or some other form of recreation during the weeks of June 29 through July 3 and August 3 through 7. Get in touch with Amy Clapp to find out more.
Public safety changes
POULTNEY—The Poultney Select Board recently ended a 24-year tradition of contracting with the Vermont State Police, citing a large increase in the hourly rate for coverage and inflexible schedule changes . Although the Board has not been dissatisfied with VSP service, it signed instead with the Rutland County Sheriff Department, citing more hours of service—32 per week compared to 20, for less cash. The County Sheriff’s office also offers another advantage: an interactive email system, already bearing fruit in Wallingford and Clarendon. It helped Wallingford bring an end to a string of burglaries and enables residents to send tips, report suspicious activity or locate missing pets. Poultney residents may learn more about the email offering in a meeting at the Poultney High library, 6:30 p.m., March 24.
to the Fair Haven Jazz Ensemble for being invited to perform in the annual Vermont Jazz Festival at the Elley-Long Center in Colchester. Members of the ensemble are Lindsay Marcy, Noah Bonvoulior, Reilly Howard, Ian Knapp, Erik Brown, Glen Wilcox, Cara Cummings, Isaac Nichols, Ryan Langmaid, Zach Caraballo, Kyra Trombley, Emily Clement, Eric Ray, Matt Eckler, Jacob Wilcox, and Charlie Cacciatore.
to Ben Park of Mettawee Community School, invited to compete in the National Geographic Geo Bee at the state level, to be held March 27 at Middlebury College. According to the National Geographic website, “The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.”
to Castleton State College Natural Sciences Department chair and geology prof Tim Grover, for landing the first ever National Science Foundation grant at Castleton, awarded for research in undergraduate institutions (RUI). The two-year-long project receives almost $60,000 for “Collaborative Research: RUI: Proterozoic Mountain Building and Collapse, Eastern Adirondacks, New York.”