News Briefs

Rutland Region News Briefs

Lender shoots self in foot
CLARENDON—Mortgage lender Provident Funding Associates is trying to foreclose on the house at 266 Creek Rd., Clarendon. The action is the fourth time Provident has attempted to foreclose on what the real estate website Zillow describes as a 3,750-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath single-family home on 30 acres with a heated pool, 92×32 barn, and heated garage.

Arnold and Peggy Campney gave Provident a $310,000 mortgage on the property in 2007. Joan Campney also holds a mortgage on the property, dating to 2004, in second position after Provident’s interest, according to the Rutland Herald.

Provident filed a foreclosure action against Arthur and Peggy Campney for lack of payment and listed Joan Campney as a defendant as well in October 2008 but dropped the action three months later. It filed for a default judgment on the property seven months later. Because Provident did not respond to the court’s order for a mortgage note, the court dismissed the second complaint in January 1010.

The court decided against Provident’s third foreclosure, filed in December 2010, saying the company had not provided a complaint copy to the defendant, and notified Provident of this fact in June 2011.

Provident filed a fourth time in January 2012. Joan Campney asked for dismissal, saying the three previous dismissals indicated the complaint lacked merit. But in a 10-page brief issued Dec 22, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled dismissal was an overreach. Doing so gave Joan Campney a windfall because it gave her priority over the mortgage company, a condition she had intentionally given up in 2007, the court said.

Sidewalk shoveling ordinance in effect downtown
Downtown building owners or lessees must keep their sidewalks snow-free or covered with enough sand or salt so that the surface is safe for pedestrians, Rutland City Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg reminded the business community Dec. 22. That requirement extends to any area serviced by parking meters, including kiosks.

The notion that a merchant’s responsibility only applies to the area closest to his or her building is an “urban myth,” Wennberg told the Rutland Herald. Responsibility extends from the building’s wall across the full width of the sidewalk, he said.

There is a gray area, if an entire building or its first-floor storefront is empty. A day with recurring snowfall generally draws downtown business owners and employees outdoors to remove the snow every hour.

Failure to do so may bring a fine of $100 to $500 a day from the DPW or the police if sidewalks remain obstructed.

There is a policy for city neighborhoods, Wennberg noted, but no formal penalty system.

The city encourages property owners to clean sidewalks. It does all it can with its small fleet of three (two of them “very old”) sidewalk tractors, staying busy for several days after each major deposit.

It places a higher priority on those areas that have the heaviest usage and those areas that are close to schools.

Exceptionally cold weather stresses shelter, soup kitchen
Sharon Russell said the Open Door Mission is prepared to provide food, clothing, and shelter in the extreme cold that rolled into Rutland. There are beds for about 60 people at the shelter during the winter, she said, but, if the demand expands a lot, the Mission will set up cots. It may even make beds on the floor.

Extreme cold may necessitate relaxing the rules, Russell commented, but people who are on drugs or hostile will be turned away. She will call the police if someone is out of control. Local police and fire personnel have been extremely supportive when the cold becomes severe. The city has placed onsite vehicles that help the shelter provide for a larger capacity.

The state designated the Open Door Mission as a cold weather shelter last year, but Russell declined to apply this year, because the restrictions and paperwork are too voluminous. “If it’s paper and people, paper loses,” she told the Rutland Herald.

The Mission served nearly 160 Christmas dinners Dec. 22, and more than 20 on Dec. 25. Usually, community members are more likely to share their Christmas day meal, Russell commented, saying that she feels the weather likely played a part.

Changing face of local business
The Key Auto Group of Portsmouth, N.H., has purchased William Shearer’s Honda dealership, 211 Route 7 South, with plans to change its name to Key Honda of Rutland, finalizing the $3 million sale Dec. 21. The Shearer group has owned the local dealership for 25 years.

Brian Kenney will continue as general manager as he has for the past two years. Other staff will also stay in place, Kenney told the Rutland Herald.

The Rutland dealership is not only Key Auto Group’s first dealership in Vermont, but also its first Honda dealership.

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