The Mountain Times

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News briefs from the Rutland Region 5.31

Congratulations St. Joe grads

The College of St. Joseph graduated nearly 100 students this spring, awarding Associate in Arts and Associate in Science, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Master of Science degrees. Although many of the new graduates came from Vermont and New York state, some came from as far as Alaska and Florida.



Solar MOU approved

Rutland City is officially "interested" in a proposal to install a solar collector facility on the site of the city's old poor farm off Woodstock Avenue. The aldermen recently voted to authorize mayor Chris Louras to sign a memorandum of understanding to that end with proposing companies AllEarth Renewables and Green Lantern Development.

The MOU is a preliminary device and, understanding aside, is non-binding. Under the MOU, the city may buy the project at several points in its timeline. The aldermen debated whether the project would be exempt from personal property taxes; whether or not to not impose the taxes on new businesses is a discussion likely to come before the board soon. Recently, the board also discussed whether or not to levy taxes on Keith's II Printing Company when it completes its move to the former West Street Armory.



Underage bar parties under consideration

The Charter and Ordinance Committee will have a third discussion about who should be allowed into bars and when. Charles Greeno, owner of Merchants Row bar The Local, has asked permission to hold parties for the 18-and-over age group, but Rutland city ordinances restrict under-21s from bars with public music and performances.

The committee has already considered but did not approve a motion to have the city attorney draw up draft language for a permit-issuing process. The new proposal to be weighed comes from Greeno and the city attorney; it calls for applications to be vetted by both the Special Liquor Committee and the full board of aldermen, with final veto power in the chief of police. Each application must describe security against underage drinking.


Friday night live 2012 taking shape

Friday Night Live begins its 2012 activities June 22 with a promise of easier navigation along Center Street. Restaurants and bars placing a serving area on the street will have more restrictions in where they place outdoor temporary fencing, no more than 14 feet out from the curb (halfway to the center line). Nor can they place alcohol advertising on the external fencing, or leave barriers and other gear on the street after 11 p.m.

Organizer Downtown Rutland Partnership sees the new limits as eliminating bottlenecks in the traffic flow through the summertime event.



City eyeing water technologies

Rutland's Public Works Committee is weighing a pair of water treatment technologies, either of which would meet recently changed federal standards for haloacetic acids. Under consideration are a filtration system known as MIEX (Magnetic Ion EXchange resin) and an alternate disinfectant, chloramine, to the current product.

Both have drawbacks. MIEX is available only from an Australian company and carries a price tag of $3.3 million. The composition of the resin is a proprietary secret and could conceivably leach some substance into the water. All information on MIEX is only available from its manufacturer - no large water system in the U.S. uses it, nor does any other system in Vermont.

Chloramine is used by many municipalities in the U.S. and is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Vermont Department of Health), but some people are sensitive to it. There is no known way to filter it out of the water thoroughly enough to guard sensitive individuals. Cost to switch over to chloramine treatment is far less than MIEX, an estimated $200,000.

The committee meets again in mid-June. The EPA has indicated Rutland should adopt and install the new system by autumn of 2013. To make that requirement, the city needs to make a decision this summer.



Holiday Inn - No new owner

The much touted auction of the Holiday Inn was a washout. It looked good; you would have thought someone walked home with a real bargain, having placed a winning bid of $2.8 million on the 151-room hotel sited on 14 acres and assessed at $5.6 million.

However, the minimum reserve was not met. There was no sale.



Dismas House reaches benchmark

Dismas House reached the benchmark of serving 500 former prison inmates in January. At the organization's recent annual meeting, Joan and Tom Sonneborn, former president and treasurer of its board of directors, received the Father Jack Hickey, O.P., Award.



Return of The Machine

The Paramount Theatre recently announced the third appearance of The Machine, widely recognized as the country's top Pink Floyd tribute group. Both the 2008 and 2010 performances were near sell-outs.



Local food news

The Downtown farmers market's vendors offer a growing number of locally grown foods- radishes, Swiss chard, sprouts, lettuce, baby pac choi, cilantro, scallions, rhubarb, arugula, and baby spinach - right now plus a surprising variety of baked goods, jams and jellies, handicrafts, jewelry, and more.

Pick up your copy of the 2012 Locally Grown Guide, now up to 48 pages of great information on where to obtain locally grown and produced foodstuffs. This is the seventh year for the guide, produced by the Rutland Area Farm & Food Link, your portal to locally-based producers and service providers.



LANI'S PICKS

Thursday, May 31 - Farmer gathering dinner and survey results discussion, Chaffee Art Center. Call 417-1528.

Saturday, June 2 - It's time for dance and music recitals. This week, the children (and adults) from Miss Jackie's Studio of Dance strut their stuff on the Paramount Theatre stage at 1 and 7 p.m. This year is the studio's 55th annual presentation.

Tagged: rutland report, Rutland news