News Briefs
August 2, 2017

Rutland Region News Briefs

Proposed pavilion to add new amenities for community

WEST RUTLAND— West Rutland is applying for a $25,000 facilities grant to add a pavilion on its recreation area that would require a match from the town. The cost of the 48-foot by 70-foot pavilion is $53,321; with site work and electrical wiring, the project cost is $60,601. A McDonald’s grant provides $5,000 of the town’s matching funds.

Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette said making the park more accessible and developing the 100+-acre park for more opportunities has been a long-time dream. Part of the 2014 master plan included creating easier access to the park, but the permitting process took an unusually long time because of its proximity to Route 4. The new access route off Boardman Hill Road provides safe passage.

The open-air pavilion will provide the community with a site for events and picnics. It will have electrical availability. The town is studying whether solar panels on its roof may be feasible.

The park will be accessible by a developing trail system, and West Rutland is working with the Pine Hill Partnership in planning and designing the links. Some part of the bike path will need a boardwalk.

In 2018, a children’s playground with a $17,000 price tag will be installed. A dog park is also on its way.

West Rutland School already uses the park for science classes and other hands-on learning activities. This spring 46 students in grades 7 through 9 raised 108 brook trout in their classrooms from January to June with the Trout Unlimited program; each student released two or three fish into the Clarendon River in the park.

Goulette said the town has put a survey on its Facebook page, asking for public input on what people do and don’t like as the community makes plans for the next decade of the park’s development. The survey takers want to know how often people use the recreation area now and what activities they take part in, what children’s and adult activities, fields, and equipment would encourage them to use it more, and similar queries.

Parallel taxiway funded for Rutland

The federal Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program is giving Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport nearly $2.5 million to build a parallel taxiway. Passenger volume entitled the North Clarendon airport to $150,000 in entitlement funding; however, the Federal Aviation Administration also gave the local site $2.34 million in discretionary funds as a high-priority project, the Rutland Herald reported.

Consulting engineers DuBois & King described the project as a 50-foot-wide taxiway for a staging and taxi area so that those activities need not take place on the runway itself.

On July 18, Cape Air received a two-year contract to provide 21 flights a week to Logan International Airport in Boston. This year is the first time another applicant has vied for the route. Flights between rural communities and urban hubs are essential air services, according to the federal government, and are subsidized. The commute to Boston from Rutland qualifies.

Center Street Marketplace work to start

With the signing of a contract with Parker Excavating July 26, groundbreaking for the Center Street Marketplace was scheduled to begin the first week of August, Rutland City Zoning Administrator Tara Kelly told the Rutland Herald. By the end of the fall construction season, all the underground and resurfacing work should be complete, with only finish work remaining to be done in the spring.

The project goal is for the area, behind the buildings that front Center, Wales, and Washington streets, and Merchants Row, to be public space for “passive recreation and commercial opportunities” per a press release from Rutland Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Brennan Duffy.

Most recently, the state Department of Building and General Services appears likely to enter the list of contributors. The city has applied for a $25,000 grant that would add back in amenities what had been sequestered from the project to trim costs. Those include benches, tables, and bicycle racks, Duffy said.

Rutland Town negotiates road design contract

RUTLAND TOWN—The Rutland Town Select Board postponed signing a contract with engineering firm VHB over concern that the town might not be able to use the assembled data if it decided not to use the company to complete the the project. Town Administrator Joe Zingale said Town Attorney Kevin Brown was returning the company’s proposed contract to rectify that provision.

On Town Meeting Day, voters approved $125,000 for a feasibility study on building a road behind Green Mountain Plaza to divert traffic off Route 7 South, probably stretching from Holiday Drive, paralleling the shopping center to connect with Route 7 at Randbury Road or across from Cold River Road at Aldi’s Supermarket, the Rutland Herald reported.

Select Board member Mary Ashcroft said the committee she leads is breaking the study into three phases, with the first including some preliminary cost estimates. The second is for detailed plans of the most favored road layout.

City and town collaborate for new walking trails

RUTLAND TOWN—Rutland Town plans to open a pair of walking loops for pedestrians and dog walkers, who objected to Rutland City’s denying access to the reservoir area. The one-mile and two-mile trails will be nearly all on town-owned land, with only a small portion on city property.

Rutland Town Recreation Director Mike Rowe will ask for volunteers in helping clean up existing logging roads to use as trails. Storms in recent years have brought down trees that block the roads, he said, and promised to provide chainsaws to the volunteer workers who will redefine existing pathways as they cut brush and remove dead trees. To join the volunteers, call Rowe at 779-2518.

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