The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

News briefs from the Lakes Region

CASTLETON-The Federal Highway Administration recently awarded $81,920 for the Stone Valley Byway along Route 30 from Manchester to Castleton. The funding is to develop a feasibility study to enhance bicycle and pedestrian experience along the route by making access and travel routes safer.

CASTLETON-Castleton is back in a tizzy over its seat of government, or what to do with it. The latest concern is over the method used to take a survey, sent out in a tax bill. It asked where the survey taker wanted town offices to be, whether emergency services should be in the town office relocation, how large a bond is too large, and similar questions. The questionnaire followed a community focus group attended by 27 individuals.

A number of folks in the town, containing 4,717 inhabitants (according to the 2010 census,) felt that the town had not had sufficient input on the decision before placing a $2 million bond to build the proposed new town offices on the March town meeting ballot. The bond question was soundly defeated.

If more than one voter resides in the household to which the tax bill came, who votes, some questioned. Nor will the survey reach renters, regardless of how long they may have lived in their current residence. Conversely, surveying only registered voters leaves out the opinion of property owners who don't reside in Castleton and those who are not registered.

Residents have been discussing the issue, in one form or another, for more than a year. The town offices moved out of the red brick row building it had occupied for more than 50 years because mold had infested the structure. Repairing/renovating the building would have cost $1.1 million, according to some estimates, so a study committee recommended buying land west of the traditional town center to erect a new town hall complex including offices, police, fire station, and meeting hall.

CASTLETON-Thanks to all who contributed to the Castleton Community Center's recent basket party. The organizing committee collected more than 200 baskets and raffle items. And thanks to American Legion Post 50 for the use of their hall and to all volunteers who helped with ticket sales, food service and basket transport. Funds raised help maintain the CCC Wellness Center.

POULTNEY-Massachusetts-based The Food Project recently partnered with Green Mountain College to set up a scholarship for high school youth who have completed 100 hours or more of service in their community. "The Food Project Make a Difference Scholarship" will award $5,000 towards GMC tuition and fees for students with at least 50 hours of service at The Food Project and 50 hours of service at another registered non-profit organization.

WHITEHALL-The Elks Lodge in Whitehall plans a benefit dinner/basket party to help Paul Wager, recently diagnosed with the very rare, very aggressive type of lymphoma called "Mantle," which is in his bone marrow stage 4. He's going to have very aggressive chemotherapy for 4-6 months. The dinner is 4 to 6:30 p.m. Contact Janna DeLong, Citizens Bank, Castleton, and Wager's daughter.

FAIR HAVEN-Fair Haven's police chief William Humphries has accepted the position of interim town manager as the town searches for a replacement for Peter Hathaway, previous town manager. At the end of his term, October 25, Humphries will resume his police chief duties.

Hathaway had been town manager for 17 months; some in town say he left in exasperation caused by the select board's micromanagement. A 12-person search committee is charged with evaluating applications for the job. Applications are due Friday, August 31.

FAIR HAVEN-The town of Fair Haven intends to continue with its plan to send out letters asking local and state elected officials whether they support renewable energy and biomass and, specifically, the Beaver Wood Energy project, a wood-fired biomass power plant and wood-pellet making facility at Fair Haven. Their purpose is to stimulate support for the Fair Haven Energy Center.
A second letter asks businesses around the state for their attitude towards Vermont's energy development plan.

Saturday, August 11 - "The Weedman" Steven Schussel leads a plant I.D. walk from Lake St. Catherine's Nature Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. Learn names and uses for local flora and how to identify plants in the wild.
Sunday, August 12 - Benson Family Day and Burdock Festival, one of the more wonderfully eccentric Vermont delights. Parade at 10, firemen's BBQ 11:30-1. 2760 Stage Road, 537-2063.
Tuesday, August 14 - Pine Street Jazz and special guest Taryn Noelle close this year's much acclaimed summer concert season at Castleton, bringing their audience an evening of "smooth blues and hot jazz." 273-2911.

Tagged: Lani's Picks, Lakes Region