News Briefs

Town selects builder for new town office

By Lani Duke

CASTLETON—Castleton’s Select Board voted to award the contract for the new town office to McClure Construction of Castleton. In the July 25 meeting, the Board restricted the project cost to up to $701,000. The second low bidder for the project was Upland Construction of Woodstock, offering to do the work for $711,000. McClure was also the successful bidder for the adjacent police station, recently finished. The office will be erected on a 3.3-acre parcel the town had purchased in early April for $100,000. Of the $803,544 estimated total cost for the building, $688,400 will be for construction with the remainder used for such costs as architectural and engineering services, contingencies, and insurance.
One-year contract signed
FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven’s Select Board signed a one-year contract with Town Manager Herb Durfee on Aug. 2. Durfee and the Board have been discussing and negotiating the contract for quite some time. At an April 12 open meeting, the Board had evaluated Durfee’s job performance. Board members had been divided in their opinions about Durfee’s effectiveness and relationship with the Board. Selectman Rod Holzworth said he felt there was both room for improving and capability of improving. Public Works Department superintendent Walter Panoushek told the Board that Durfee was one of the better town managers of the eight with whom he has worked. Selectman Jeff Sheldon was the sole Board member to verbalize support for the contract.
Durfee’s previous three-year contract ended June 30, 2016. The new one-year contract includes changes to his health insurance coverage and a 2 percent raise in salary. An additional change covers hiring and dismissing the chief of police, superintendent of public works, and town accountant; in the future these personnel matters are “conducted jointly” by the town manager and Select Board. Most of the contract remains unchanged.
Shale Hill Adventure Farm for sale
BENSON—Rob Butler and Jill Bogert-Butler are putting their Shale Hill Adventure Farm up for sale with a $1.65 million price tag. The offering includes the 140-acre property as well as its 51-obstacle, 6.4-mile course, two barns, 4,000-square-foot custom timber frame house, Act 250 permit, and brand and lifestyle. For more information, visit
Cheesemaker receives three national awards
WEST PAWLET—Three cheeses made by Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet received national recognition at the 33rd annual American Cheese Society competition in Des Moines, Ia. Cheesemaker Leslie Goff and Consider Bardwell Farm received received third place honors in three categories.
Their Danby Cheese won third for a goat’s milk cheese aged more than 60 days. Their Manchester Cheese won third in the category of farmstead cheese aged 60 days or more made from goat’s milk. And their Rupert Cheese won third in the open category of washed rind cheeses aged more than 60 dys, with up to 42 percent moisture.
Vermont cheesemakers received 34 ribbons in all, recognizing the work of 13 cheesemakers and companies. Fifteen Vermont cheeses won first place in their class, nine won second place, and 10 won third place.

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