On January 4, 2017

Rutland Region News Briefs

Are snowplows outgrowing narrow roads?
WALLINGFORD—At its Dec. 19 meeting, the Wallingford Select Board heard Road Commissioner Phil Baker’s report on plowing Rogers Farm Road. Road crews stop plowing before coming even with the loop to Stan Taylor’s property because there is no place wide enough for the plow to turn around beyond the pillars. The two large plow trucks used for most winter road maintenance are too large to maneuver in narrow spaces.
Board members agreed to inform Taylor of their decision to plow only to the pillars through this winter. They are offering to visit the property in the spring to discuss developing a turnaround at the end of the road so that the entire length of Rogers Farm Road can be plowed next winter.
The board also discussed how far to plow Wallingford Pond Road, agreeing it should be plowed to the parking lot.
Act 46 to combine two supervisory unions
Provided voters approve at Town Meeting on March 7, Rutland Central and Rutland Southwest supervisory unions will merge.
Seven school districts will thereby merge into four, two of them side-by-side and two others standing alone.
The merged districts are Quarry Valley Union School district, comprising Poultney, Proctor, and West Rutland, and Wells Springs Union district, comprising Middletown Springs and Wells. Stand-alone, alternative-structure districts are Ira School District and Rutland Town School District.
Neither of the stand-alone districts need vote on the merger.

Town school fights the midwinter slump
RUTLAND TOWN—Rutland Town School eighth-graders will travel to Washington, D.C., to cap off their lower-level education, the School Board recently announced, and Rutland Town grade-schoolers will have the opportunity to experience rock climbing competition, beginning in January. The Rutland Town School talent show is scheduled for Jan. 20 in the gym, and the school will join Rutland High School for jazz night, Jan. 26, in the Rutland High auditorium.
Public schools lose a commissioner, gain a coach
RUTLAND—Rutland Public Schools Commissioner Daniel Alcorn resigned from the School Board at the end of November because he is being employed by the school system as a coach. The city charter designates that his replacement is to be nominated by the mayor.
Grade-schoolers learn financial literacy
CLARENDON—Clarendon Elementary is one of 138 schools taking part in Reading is an Investment, a program initiated by the Vermont State Treasurer’s office in 2010 to teach each student personal finance concepts and money skills through personal reading and classroom or library instruction.
In the meantime, the Rotary Club of Rutland South recently gave each Clarendon Elementary third-grader a dictionary as part of Rotary’s nationwide Dictionary Project.
Thanks, Rotary!

NeighborWorks adds two staffers
WEST RUTLAND—NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has announced the addition of two staff people. Tracie Salmon left the ranks of an international manufacturing company to work as finance manager for the West Rutland-based non-profit. Her workload covers the accounting system, including general ledger transactions, payroll, treasurer, financial controls, grant compliance, and financial report preparation.
Chris Condon leaves his seat on the NeighborWorks board of directors to take on the role of director of business development. His previous work experience has been in the electricity industry and energy innovation. Currently working on a master’s in business administration at the College of St. Joseph, Condon will forecast, budget and manage cash to ensure NeighborWorks’ financial strength and future stability, developing new programs and partnerships while managing relationships with lending institutions.
UVM Extension relocates
RUTLAND—The University of Vermont Extension Service moved Dec. 15 to 271 N. Main St., Suite 110, after years of being located in the Howe Center. Staff who will have offices at the new location are Kate Bilinksi, Nutrition, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program educator; Kimberly Griffin, 4-H educator; Chris Lindgren, forest business educator; and Rebecca Maden, vegetable nutrient education specialist. Office administration assistants are Mary Homan and Pamela Lowell.
Although the address is different, the telephone numbers remain the same: 802-773-3349 and 800-281-6977 (toll-free in Vermont). Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

A personal note of appreciation
Now that 2016 is gone, it seems appropriate to all who have given freely of their time to improve the Rutland area. Some are volunteers. Others provide jobs, promote Rutland for economic development and tourism, and repair the city’s and county’s infrastructure. Still more help Rutland-area folks live a healthful lifestyle. Some are in the medical profession; others provide locally, grown, nutritious foods.
When I arrived in Vermont and wondered what life would hold, a co-worker told me, “Vermont is one widespread small town. Everybody you meet knows someone else you know.”
We do not thank and appreciate each other enough. For the most part, the community functions somewhat effectively. Even with snowstorms, thunder and lightning, high winds and floods, most of the time, the lights come on, the streets and roads become passable again. Community events keep on being planned and actuated. Neither nature nor politics has devastated the Rutland area badly enough that it does not bounce back. Thanks and congratulations to all.

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