News Briefs

News Briefs: Rutland Region

By Lani Duke

Solar array comment period resumes

WEST RUTLAND—The Public Service Board ordered the 21-day comment period to be resumed on an application for a Certificate of Public Good on a proposed 500-kw net-metering solar array at 280 Clarendon Ave., West Rutland. The application had been filed April 12 by Westside Solar, LLC, based in Rutland.

The PSB has already received comments on the project from the Vermont Department of Public Service, the Vermont Department for Historic Preservation, the regional issues committee of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, the Town of West Rutland, Rebecca Jones, and joint comments from adjoining landowners Michael R. Chalaux, Marion L. Taft, Florence Tyminski, Richard Fredette, Jr., Kevin W. Sweet, and Richard Prenevost.

West Rutland’s Development Review Board has already rejected the project, saying it did not meet town regulations. Its letter to the PSB stated the project violates town zoning regulations, exceeds the proper size for surface area restriction, and changes neighborhood character. The letter asked for the town and adjoining property owners to be given party status and for the state board to reject the project application.

Rutland’s Got Talent contest returns to downtown

RUTLAND—Center Street Alley is again the site for the annual Rutland’s Got Talent contest, held every Wednesday at 9 p.m. until the final round on Aug.10. Anyone, whether singer, musician, group, or solo performer, may sign up. Local musician and sound engineer Stephen Audsley is producing and coordinating the contest as he has done for the past three years. Every night of the six-week open mic slot, Audsley will choose a winner and a runner-up. On the final performance night, he will also select a wild-card winner from the second-place contestants. A surprise guest judge chooses the final night’s winner, who receives two and a half hours of studio time in Southview Arts Studio in Middletown Springs. Additional prizes include gift certificates and a cash prize.

New rules restrict neighborhood parking

RUTLAND—Parking on Library Avenue west of Pine Street is being cut in half as the Traffic Committee has restricted parking to alternate sides of the street, which has been narrowed in the redeveloped area. In an effort to provide fairness, drivers may park on one side of the street on even-numbered days, and the other side on odd-numbered days. Look for signs.

Huebner leads “coalition of the willing”

RUTLAND—Rutland Regional Medical Center president and CEO Tom Huebner is working with a new umbrella group intended to aid the state’s affordable care organizations in working together. Known as the Vermont Care Organization (VCO), the organization will coordinate the efforts of OneCare of Vermont, HealthFirst and Community Health Accountable Care and their work with other health agencies.

The effort anticipates a new “all-payer” system being planned by the Shumlin administration, moving away from the traditional fee-for-service model. The all-payer model would allow Medicaid, Medicare and commercial insurers to reimburse medical providers for keeping patients healthy. Once finalized, the VCO would provide a unified structure to distribute insurer funds, learn from each other, and work on case management, Huebner said.

Huebner chairs a steering committee working to develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create the VCO so that the three organizations would no longer be on separate tracks but following a common path. Al Gobeille, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board, said the MOU’s intent is for providers to create a “coalition of the willing,” leading payment and health care delivery reform.

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