News Briefs
February 7, 2018

Rutland Region 2/7/18

By Lani Duke

Rutland-area scholars on Castleton U, CCV honors lists
Castleton University recently revealed the names of those students who made the President’s List and Dean’s List for 2017-18 fall semester. President’s List students must be full-time students with a grade point average of 4.0. On that list, students who list their home town as Rutland are: Megan Nadler, Hanna Neyman, Brittany Renouf, Mia Sanborn, and Kristin McElroy; Center Rutland, Brenna Burgess; West Rutland, Joseph Callahan, Brooke Raiche, and Kelsey Wedin; and Wallingford, Karissa Shaw.
Dean’s List students must have full-time status with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Rutland students on the Dean’s List are Emily Keeler, Amy Manning, Sarah Roundy, Jasmin Gomez, Sarah Nadler, Brandon Bailey, Jacob Gladding, Ryan Vaillancourt, Dominique Gatto, Ailaini Corsones-Brown, Gabrielle Lazzaro, Alex Wetherby, Katherine Perkins, Kathryn Beach, Nicholas Bjorkman, Hannah Coburn, Owen Dunigan, Coral Robert, Elizabeth Sampson, Taylor Smith, and Gideon Yeager.
Dean’s List students who gave their home town as West Rutland include Liam Edwards, Kayla Szido, Zachary Cullen, Lindsay LaFerriere, Taylor Raiche, Katelyn Wedin, Sierra Fales, Saige King, Matthew Bathalon, Alexandra Resch, Andrea Manney, and Julia May.
North Clarendon students on the Dean’s List are Ryan Surrell, Alyssa Chapin, Alexis Davis, and Chelsea Congdon. Other students on the Dean’s List are Taylor Worcester of East Wallingford, Heather Fredritz of Rutland Town, and Hannah Turgeon of Wallingford.
In addition, Community College of Vermont recently announced that full-time students Joseph Alford and Winter Jackson of Rutland made its President’s List with GPAs of 4.0. On the CCV Dean’s List, with GPAs of 3.5 to 3.99 were Morgan Turnbaugh of North Clarendon, Holly McLennan of Wallingford, and Isaiah Coltey and Lydia May of West Rutland, as well as Samantha Benoit, Abigail Blair, Riley Cahill, Stephanie Colton, Kelly Dorman, Letisha Gibbs, Amber Kent, Ronald Kreth, and Bryan Maxham of Rutland.

Rutland fire chief position still empty
Rutland remains without a fire chief after the top two finalists for the job were unable to take the job, Alderman William Notte said. A large field of candidates remains, and it would be easy to choose any of them. But the fire chief search committee is working to find the best possible fit and posted the job again, receiving numerous applications, Notte explained.
The search committee hopes to decide on a recommendation before April, Rutland Mayor David Allaire told the Rutland Herald. Deputy Fire Chief William Lovett continues serving as interim chief.
Qualified candidates are “in short supply,” Allaire theorized. Chiefs tend to be at home in their current jobs. Finding a new one means identifying someone with the right background who is willing to try a new community and a new department. In Allaire’s view, that might be someone who is “approaching middle age” who has 20 or 30 years at his current location but wants to retire and move.
Rutland is looking for someone with a minimum of 10 years firefighting supervisory experience who also has emergency management director experience. Allaire said city officials intend to ensure that identified finalists know the potential salary and benefits.

Fox Room returns to service
Repairs and refurbishing in the Rutland Free Library’s Nella Grimm Fox Room should ensure the room will be available again for public use in April, Library director Randal Smathers told the Rutland Herald. Architects advised a novel approach to remedying the collapsed acoustic ceiling tiles, strapping them in place and covering them with new tiles.
Ripping out the old tiles, held by a glue containing 2 percent asbestos, would have created a disposal problem and added a $35,000 disposal bill. Instead, sealing the old ceiling in place is cleaner, safer, and less expensive, with an estimated cost of $50,000 to $60,000.
The repair and other upgrades are from a $200,000 gift from the Sutnick family. Those improvements include carpet replacement using Flotex or something made from rubber but able to be cleaned with water.
Switching to LED bulbs will probably save $150 to $200 a month on lighting in the Fox room, Smathers said. Efficiency Vermont is aiding in the fixture replacement.
If the city and the four participating towns of Mendon, Tinmouth, Rutland Town, and Ira approve a budget with a 3 percent increase, the library may be open more in the evening and make more use of the Fox Room, adding two more open evenings to its schedule.

From armory to home-grown outlet
A portion of the former Rutland Armory at 15 West St. has become an outlet for clearance items from Vermont Country Store. Scheduled to open Feb. 2, Yankee Surplus will display separate rooms for sleepwear and slippers, bedding and home items, food, and clothing for men and women.
The store may use as much of the building as it finds necessary, but currently plans to occupy only a small part for retail activities, about 3,300 square feet on the first floor. Store Manager Melissa Scudder told The Rutland Reader that there will be a constant supply of new items from its web, catalog, and store operations, offering “the best deals in town” at clearance and discount prices. It will employ four people.
Vermont Country Store regards Yankee Surplus as its only affiliated clearance center, large and flexible enough to cover the store’s clearance needs, likely along with some “opportunistic buys,” according to Geof Brown, VCS executive vice president.
VCS retail director Jim Szabo said the one-time armory’s history made it appealing. The parent company is committed to Rutland and supports community organizations, and one room will be set aside as a community meeting room. The retail store’s hours of operation are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday.

Slate set for Rutland City Aldermanic race
Ten candidates have announced they are running for the Rutland City Board of Aldermen. Only three are incumbents seeking re-election to a two-year seat. Those three are Board President Sharon Davis, William Notte, and Scott Tommola, reported VTDigger.
Candidate Paul Clifford has previously been elected to a seat among Rutland’s aldermen and, in the intervening years, also served Rutland Town as a Select Board member. Four of the remaining candidates ran for seats on the board last year: John Atwood, Matthew Whitcomb, Daniel White, and Kam Johnston. Although none of them received an alderman’s seat, Johnston was elected to serve on the Rutland City Board of School Commissioners. Whitcomb received an appointment to the Rutland Redevelopment Authority Board of Commissioners.
The two candidates who have not run for an alderman’s seat before are Jack Crowther and Francis Haas. Crowther has spoken before the board several times in opposition to Rutland city water fluoridation.
This year’s field of candidates seems relatively small. In 2017, 17 candidates hoped to fill six seats on the board.
Not running for re-election Mar. 6 are Aldermen Ed Larson and Gary Donahue. Larson was serving a one-year term, appointed to fill the seat vacated when then-alderman David Allaire was elected to the office of City mayor.
Another city election race is that for city treasurer. Mary Markowski has filed to continue filling the remainder of a two-year term, appointed when former treasurer Wendy Wilton left to become Vermont state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. Kam Johnston is on the ballot for city treasurer as well as that for alderman.
The Town Meeting ballot will also offer three candidates for commissioner on the Rutland City School Board. Current School Board President Dick Courcelle and Commissioner Joanne Pencek have filed for the race, as has Charlene Seward, reported the Rutland Herald. Incumbent Christian Wideawake did not file for re-election.

Bits and pieces
Rutland Town has announced it is conveying the lands and premises at 339 Cedar Avenue, the former Cheney Hill School, more recently called the Cheney Hill community center, by quitclaim deed to the Town of Rutland School District for one dollar on Mar. 20. The school district had given the property to the town Mar 15, 1988.
The story of the Costello family’s 1928 settlement in Rutland and subsequent trials and triumphs is the topic on “Generations: Stories from Rutland County,” appearing on PEGTV’s Channel 15 Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. Enjoy hearing Steve Costello and his family tell their story.
The Mint-Rutland’s Makerspace hopes to have its jewelry lab completely outfitted by March, thanks to help from Tim Schneller, owner of Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths. He has been helping The Mint source high quality tools and equipment.
The Mint also has special thanks for Forest Immel, who coordinated the purchase of many hand tools and who also built the first tool storage on wheels. Thanks to Craig Angstadt, who created storage in the woodshop for new equipment.

Rutland Town adjusting new job parameters
RUTLAND TOWN—Town department heads met with the Select Board Jan. 30 to examine what responsibilities the departments had accepted in the five months since former town administrator Joe Zingale was fired, and how much they want new Town Administrative Assistant Bill Sweet to perform. His responsibilities will extend from operating the town website to shoveling the front sidewalk, reported the Rutland Herald.
In response to Road Commissioner Byron Hathaway’s estimate that taking over the water and sewer responsibilities that Zingale had covered would require 218 hours annually, the Select Board voted him an hourly raise of $32.70 for those hours, in contrast to the $25.82 he receives as elected road commissioner. Hathaway was first elected to that position in 2000, having served the town as an independent plowing contractor since 1986.
Hathaway has not asked that he receive payment for the extra responsibilities he took on when the town and Zingale severed their relationship abruptly. When the meeting had concluded, he indicated he felt he, like other people in the town, was just filling in to meet a need.
Other changes in Rutland Town administration will include more use of e-mail and other electronic communications. Town attorney Kevin Brown has encouraged the town to establish e-mail accounts for all Select Board members, and the Board asked Sweet to bring them estimates for purchasing five laptops or tablets.

Project Vision offers annual report
Rutland’s Project Vision will hold its next monthly meeting in the Rutland Intermediate School, 65 Library Ave., Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. The meeting will not be an open forum, however. The public is invited to attend as spectators.
The unusual time and location provide an opportunity for each of the organization’s three committees – Building Great Neighborhoods, Community Health, and Crime and Safety – to summarize its activities in 2017, Rutland City Police Commander Matthew Prouty told the Rutland Herald.
Project Vision Chairman Joe Kraus will facilitate the meeting. Presenting the previous year’s progress reports are Teresa Miele and Shannon Kennelly from the neighborhood committee, Dr. Jeffrey McKee and Sarah Roy of the health committee, and Prouty. Rob Bliss, assistant superintendent of Rutland City Schools, may also report on a pre-kindergarten group.
Prouty said he expects to hear exciting, encouraging reports and intends to ask committee members for their input on 2018 goals. He also anticipates a discussion of the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) and developing an overdose response strategy initiative.
Prouty intends the meeting to be an opportunity for people who may not be able to attend Project Vision’s monthly noon meetings to see if they might want to become involved with one of the committees. The organization’s normal monthly meetings are the second Thursday of each month, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Alliance Community Fellowship Church in the Howe Center.

Personnel positioning
Nurse practitioner Kathy Felder, WHNP-BC, CUNP, rejoined the Marble Valley Urology team recently. Her specialties include urogynecology, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions affecting female pelvic organs’ muscles and connective tissue. A nurse practitioner since 1981, she received her nurse practitioner training through the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, and an associate degree in nursing from Castleton University.

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