News Briefs

News Briefs: Lakes Region, June 1 2016

Library addition breaks ground

POULTNEY—Construction of the $381,000 renovation and addition to the Poultney Public Library began May 23 as a lineup of library trustees and supporters sank silver shovels into the ground behind the 205 Main Street structure. The library has occupied the 1910 building since 1956 and has been planning to increase its footprint since 1996. The addition, five years in planning, nearly doubles the structure’s square footage, from 1,656 to 3,050.

The added portion provides space to hold programming without having to move study tables that block off access to the bookshelves, a frequent inhibiting factor in planning events.

In addition to new space, the improvements will be made to the uninsulated. The work includes repairs to make the building more energy efficient, watertight, and comfortable, including the uninsulated cinder block portion of the building that was added in 1971, roof, and windows. Russell Construction Services project manager Todd Davis anticipates the project, designed by Ralph Nimtz of NBF Architects, to be completed by the end of the year.

Help for the project came from numerous sources. Private sources contributed more than $217,000 in the form of bequests, donations, and grants, as well as the sale of an antique letter. Poultney voters also approved $100,000 for the project. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development has just announced a $50,000 grant for new equipment, above the $248,000 loan previously granted.

Contract with sheriff

BENSON—Benson’s Select Board voted May 23 to contract with the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department for supplemental policing. Selectman Sue Janssen described the sheriff’s department role as that of backup enforcement for existing ordinances, including unlicensed dogs and junk cars. The arrangement will take effect July 1 with an expectation of three hours of police work per week, billed at $40 an hour. Either party may end the contract on 30 days’ notice.

Up to about a year ago, Benson had a three-year policing relationship with the Fair Haven Police Department and had relied on the town constable before that. The Benson Select Board had also considered contracting with the Vermont State Police, Castleton Police Department, and a private contractor.

Sheriff Stephen Benard said he and deputies plan to visit with Benson businesses and get their emergency contact numbers. Community members wishing to see a list of the calls that the sheriff’s department answer can access it online, Benard said. The town will provide a certified copy of all town ordinances and a list of roads open to ATV traffic.

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