On August 16, 2017

Rutland Region News Briefs 8/16

By Lani Duke
New fire chief sought

The seven-member committee searching for a new Rutland City fire chief met for the first time Aug. 3. Its goal is to hire the new department head by the first of the year, VTDigger reported.

Search committee members are Mayor David Allaire, Board of Aldermen President Sharon Davis, Public Safety Committee Chair William Notte, two fire department representatives chosen by department members; and two representatives of the public. The panel chose James Cruise as its chair; Cruise is a representative member of the and also a retired Vermont State Police fire investigator.

Aldermen approve bath house renovation study

The Rutland City Board of Aldermen voted to spent $4,000 for a plan to renovate the present bath house at White Pool during their Aug. 7 meeting. The Recreation Committee had already lent unanimous support to having local firm NBF Architects, already studying the feasibility of adding a gymnasium to the Courcelle Building, add the bath house study to its work table.

NBF had told the committee on July 18 that the bath house can be made to serve the city’s purposes. Given structural renovations, it may offer 2,000-2,200 square feet of usable space, according to the Rutland Herald.

Already at grade, the building needs little remodeling to meet handicapped accessibility requirements, said Tom DePoy, recreation committee chair. Among the study considerations is whether a new roof is necessary. A rehab that would provide the necessities is estimated to cost about $200,000. The committee also was told an extension could be added to either end of the existing building to provide a community room.

REDC site roof replacement a VEDA award

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) recently approved $101,000 in Local Development Corporation Loan Program funds to aid Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) in replacing sections of the roof on its 44,000-square-foot Cold River Industrial Park building. REDC acquired the former Qualitad building in 2004, using a $792,000 VEDA loan.

Ellison Surface Technologies, a company that makes coatings for aviation parts, occupies about 36,000 square feet of the building. The Mint, Rutland’s makerspace, has recently moved into the building for shared space and equipment in which to design and develop prototypes.

VEDA is pumping nearly $6.6 million into this and three other projects, two in Franklin County and one in Windsor County, which together total $33 million for facilities in industrial parks.

Dept. of Taxes to listen to Rutland small businesses

The state Department of Taxes recently announced a tour of the state wherein it asks small businesses to express their concerns. Commissioner Kaj Samsom said the department needs to know “how we can help them navigate the sometimes complex Vermont tax code.”

The tour makes a stop in Rutland on Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Green Mountain Power Energy Center, 66 Merchants Row, from 10 a.m. to noon. Input will be included in the Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report.

Setback temporary in West Rutland trail development, route to change slightly

Although the state refused West Rutland a grant to develop trails through town forest land, Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette told the Rutland Herald that the town is undeterred.

The trail would begin at the edge of the recreation area, go over a bridge and through a field to a second bridge with a right-hand turn into privately owned forest that connects to town forest. Climbing the hill puts the hiker on VELCO power line cleared land, moving on to Boardman Hill.

Pine Hill Park Partnership organizer Shelly Lutz said her organization is willing to lend its expertise in trail building to help West Rutland recreation enthusiasts learn to build trails and perform trail maintenance.

She praised the park’s potential, citing the wide variety of trees, the stone walls, and the view in general.

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