On November 9, 2018

Rutland Region news briefs – Nov. 8

By Lani Duke

Wallingford statue is in for the winter

The “Boy with the Boot” statue in Wallingford was taken indoors Oct. 30 by town road employees Charlie Woods and Kyle Eastman. Town Administrator Sandi Switzer said the statue will move back to its Route 7 and Route 140 corner in the spring. Why a news item about this? The “Boy with the Boot” has become the icon for the town since it was installed in 1898 by the children of Arnold Young, owner of the Wallingford Inn until 1870, according to roadsideamerica.com. The original statue stood with one bare foot next to a horse-watering trough, holding up a boot that “leaked” water. The current statue is a copy. The motif originated at the J.L. Mott Iron Works in New York, roadsideamerica.com reports. “Copies were offered for sale, through the company catalog, starting in 1875.” The original name of the statue was “The Unfortunate Boot.” About 25 still exist in public places around the U.S.

Higher ed incentive at CSJ

A new Early Action Advantage program at the College of St. Joseph gives extra benefits to students who apply, are accepted, and commit to entering in fall 2019. If they complete the application process by Dec. 15, they not only receive the college’s decision by Jan. 15, but they also receive a $500 Deposit Match, if their nonrefundable deposit is made by Feb. 15. The matching funds are applied to textbooks and course materials. Full-time students are eligible for an Early Action Merit Scholarship for $1,500.

Wallingford Select Board appoints town constable until Town Meeting

Robert Cook of Ice Bed Road will serve as Wallingford town constable until Town Meeting Day in March, appointed by the Select Board.

He has worked in security at Rutland Regional Medical Center. As a non-certified law enforcement officer, Cook is allowed to serve civil or criminal process papers, destroy killed or injured deer, assist the health officer in discharging duties, remove disorderly people from Town Meeting.

He can also collect taxes if there is no elected tax officer, according to Vermont statute.

Wallingford seeks dog park

There is a growing movement to develop a town dog park in Wallingford. Interested individuals may email Lisa Taggart, lisatagg92@gmail.com, or Leighton Thayer, lthayer92@gmail.com.

Rutland Town scotches panhandling ordinance

Rutland Town’s Select Board unanimously repealed its six-year-old panhandling ordinance Oct. 30. A late August letter from the American Civil Liberties Union letter sent to Rutland Town and also to Barre City, Bennington, Brattleboro, Montpelier and Winooski propelled Rutland Town to take down the prohibition.

The letter, declaring the ordinances unconstitutional, threatened the recipient communities that the ACLU would find “impacted individuals” to represent and bring suit for interim injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.

Select Board member John Paul Faignant commented that the Rutland town ordinance, although flexible and liberal, was unlikely to withstand a legal challenge after recent legal decisions.

But town opposition to panhandling may have some justification. Panhandling at sites like Green Mountain Plaza is a safety issue, Chair Joshua Terenzini observed, saying he has seen instances when panhandlers were narrowly missed by cars.

People who panhandle are not allowed to stay at the Mission, Sharon Davis said. At the Mission, clients already receive food, shelter, and clothing. With the necessities provided, cash may be spent on alcohol or drugs; giving money may be the worst thing to do.

Board member Joe Denardo suggested eliminating the traffic island at the plaza entrance because it is a place where panhandlers have gathered. Removing a place to stand may alleviate the problem, he suggested.

Providing for community needs

The Wheels for Warmth program raised more than $15,000 for local heating assistance, according to Tom Donahue, BROC Community Action CEO. People give their old tires to be re-sold if they pass inspection. If donated tires are unusable, they are recycled through Casella Waste Systems.

Mentor Connector will be able to double its community services, thanks to a three-year $500,000 federal grant announced Oct. 28 by Executive Director Chris Hultquist. The money will enable increasing matches to serve 180 more young individuals. Mentor Connector is a Rutland County mentoring program for youth focusing on life skills, educational curiosity and workforce development. Last year, Mentor Connector served 146 youth, with 22 on the waitlist.

Rotary resumes senior lunches

Wallingford Rotary Club, 96 N. Main St., hosts senior lunches every Monday at noon, provided by Meals on Wheels. Those wanting to participate were used to calling Linda Weightman a few days ahead of time to reserve their seats. The program went on hold during the summer when she died unexpectedly, but another Wallingford resident is considering taking on that responsibility. Those who are interested in taking part – no commitment required – please call Town Clerk Julie Sharon at 802 446-2336to give the town an approximation of how many people would like to take part.

No eligible person will be denied for lack of ability to pay, but be aware the program relies on participant contributions to help support itself. The suggested contribution is $3.50.

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