On December 21, 2016

Lakes Region – News Briefs

Hearing on revised bylaws announced
PAWLET—The Pawlet Select Board will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions to the town’s unified bylaws Jan. 3 in the town hall conference room. The revisions expand the industrial district along the western border of West Pawlet and the New York state border, and add several parcels to commercial districts in West Pawlet and Pawlet village. The amendments also combine the current flood hazard area regulations and river corridor protection areas into one section of the unified bylaws.
Private property poses obstacle to snowplows
PAWLET—Anne Marie Havel Maiello complained to the Pawlet Select Board during its Dec. 6 meeting about damage to her garden from the town snowplow and asked for repairs. Selectman Mike Beecher explained that there is a difference between the right-of-way and the traveled portion of the road; the width, as it is, is not enough to properly maintain the road. Select Board member Sarah Ludlam explained that Maiello’s entire garden is in the town right-of-way and, because it is not level with the road surface, it is more difficult to maneuver around. Keith Mason outlined the physics and dynamics of the town snowplows. Beecher gave Maeillo a copy of pertinent Vermont highway law.
Pawlet farm seeks working farmer
PAWLET—The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) is working with Tim and Nancy Bryant to help find a lessor or purchaser for their 168-acre farm on Route 133 who will operate a commercial farm business and contribute to the agricultural community. A $25,000 grant is available to upgrade or construct infrastructure to improve nutrient management facilities and/or water quality. A $50,000 grant is available to help an incoming dairy farmer transition the farm to organic dairy production. Both grants are only for farms in the Mettowee Valley. All existing pastureland can be certified organic.
An active dairy farm until last spring, the property includes a 3,600-square-foot farmhouse, a double-wide farm laborer house, and a mobile home site. It has numerous barns and three silos. Milking equipment, pipeline and bulk tank are included in the purchase.
Although the farm is set up for dairy production, all types of agricultural uses are a possibility under a perpetual farmland conservation easement. For more information call VLT representative Donald Campbell, 802-442-4915.
The Dome: deflated but not deceased
CASTLETON—Castleton University Dean of Administration Scott Dikeman recently assured an inquiring Spartan student reporter that the dome is safe and may go up this spring. Donated to Castleton by Middlebury College in 2013 when Middlebury built a permanent facility, the air-supported dome has been anticipated with delight.
Castleton thought its Act 250 status would ensure the dome would go up quickly. That was not what happened. Installation of the football-field-size structure required a wastewater and drinking permit from the Agency of Natural Resources. According to ANR engineer David Swift, the permit had arrived in July 2015, but he withheld it while another permit regarding wetlands was still being investigated. District 1 Environmental Comission Coordinator William Burke said adding the dome to the site behind Diamond Run Mall required an Act 250 permit amendment because it presents a “material change” to the overall design of Castleton’s athletic facility at that location in Rutland Town.
The 55,000-square-foot sports arena will provide Castleton athletic teams with year-round practice space and will also be open to the general public. Although it may be used for sports activities, it may not be used for a large-attendance commencement because it lacks sprinklers.
‘Tis the season for giving
CASTLETON—The Friends of the Castleton Free Library has been supporting a collection box to take in non-perishable food items for Castleton Cares.
Gilmore Home Center in Bomoseen has been gathering monetary donations to send pure Vermont maple syrup to Green Mountain Boys National Guard units deployed overseas. Operation Sweet Tooth has also been accepting syrup donations. It may not be too late to help out. Call Mark Flynn, 468-5676.
Fair Haven Concerned is asking shoppers to consider Second Chance Thrift Shop, 73 Main St., Fair Haven, to help Fair Haven Concerned become self-supporting. The store is open extra hours before Christmas, including Dec. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Beginning Dec. 27, it returns to its normal hours, 1-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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