Towns

Between National Get Outdoors Day and Vermont Days, there are many free activities to choose from this weekend. The Vermont Library Association is encouraging patrons to visit libraries throughout the state with its Passport to Vermont Libraries summer program. Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union is hosting a community conversation on Vermont's new education governance law.

VPR/Steve Zind

The weekly newspaper the The Herald of Randolph has a new publisher; only its fifth in the paper’s 140-year history. Despite the change, the paper will continue to be locally owned.

OSSU

Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union is hosting a public conversation on H.361, the education governance law signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin last week. The school boards of the supervisory union's member towns, Craftsbury, Greensboro, Hardwick, Stannard, Wolcott and Woodbury, have invited the public and the district's elected officials to join the conversation.

Aspects of the new law that will be addressed at the meeting include:

Two schools are closed in Richmond this morning, as the town is dealing with a problem with the municipal water system that has left parts of the town without water. Richmond Elementary and Camel's Hump Middle School are both closed.

Officials say some home and businesses are without water, others have low water pressure. The town's water department is working on a fix for the problem, but they're not sure when water will be restored. Areas without water include East Main Street, Church Street, Esplanade, Farr Road, Jericho Road and Thompson Road.

Jessamyn West / Vermont Library Association

The Vermont Library Association is taking a page out of the 251 Club's playbook or, more accurately, its travel journal. The VLA has signed up 99 libraries around Vermont to issue library passports to encourage patrons to visit other Vermont libraries this summer.

John C. Stewart & Son, Inc.

On June 17, 1915 John C. Stewart opened a Ford dealership in Cuttingsville. One hundred years later, a fourth generation of Stewarts is operating John C. Stewart & Son, Inc. and still selling Ford vehicles in the Shrewsbury village of Cuttingsville.

The Vermont National Guard breaks ground on a vehicle maintenance facility in North Hyde Park. Vermont forest groups aim to train at least one Forest Pest First Detector in each town. Doctors are writing prescriptions to go spend time at state parks.

Voters in Stowe and Hyde Park Village vote to pursue community solar projects. Windsor students tackle tobacco litter in their town. Three towns vote to support replacing a dam at Lake Fairlee.

Toby Talbot / AP

Earlier this month, voters at the Annual Village Meeting in Hyde Park passed a $3 million bond question to build a 1-megawatt community solar project. On Thursday, Stowe voters will consider spending up to $3.5 million on a similar project. Both towns plan to fund the projects through zero-interest federal Clean Energy Renewable Bonds. The deadline to apply for funding is next week.

Delsie Hoyt

Construction is expected to start next month on a new dam at Lake Fairlee. Earlier this month voters in Fairlee, West Fairlee and Thetford all voted in favor of an $850,000 bond to rebuild the dam.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Secretary of State Jim Condos says he's optimistic that the passage of a same-day voter registration bill this session will help increase turnout in Vermont.

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the season for most Vermont State Parks. Volunteers are wanted to staff a visitors center in Smugglers' Notch. VTrans finishes a bridge replacement in Stowe and is starting another in East Burke.

Nina Keck / VPR

The Vermont Marble Museum has gone through its share of ups and downs in recent years. But Saturday, the town of Proctor is celebrating the museum’s grand re-opening with a town-wide gala, including train rides back and forth between Rutland.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Steven Jeffrey is outgoing executive director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. He's held that position for over thirty years. On his way out, we're talking to him about Vermont's local governments and the issues they face, and how the state's towns and cities have changed over the years.

Manchester Confronts A Hotel Building Boom

May 21, 2015
Andrew McKeever / Manchester Journal

Back in the 1980s and '90s, Manchester became known as a retail outlet hub, with national brand name stores opening up and attracting crowds of shoppers and tourists. 

Now a new boom is underway in the scenic Bennington County town of 4,000 residents — but this one is driven by lodging, not retail.

VTrans

Travelers through East Burke will have a detour to contend with starting next Tuesday, May 26. The detour will last three weeks as the Vermont Agency of Transportation replaces the Route 114 bridge over Dish Mill Brook.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

The long legal battle between St. Johnsbury and former Town Manager Ralph Nelson is finally over.

Nelson left an administrative job in Major League Baseball to become Town Manager of St. Johnsbury in 2010. About two years later, a newly elected select board sent him packing without, he says,  explaining why. 

A new option may be on the table for Waitsfield's new town office. Fifteen Vermont arts organizations receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Tunbridge invites dowsers to its town forest celebration.

Bev Kehoe / Town of Waitsfield

Some Waitsfield voters want their town to put the breaks on plans for a new town office building, and to instead consider renovating an existing property that is coming on the market. And this isn't the first time the town has been in this position.

Nearly two years ago, voters in Waitsfield approved a bond to build a new town office on a plot of land commonly known as the Farm Stand Lot. The town had been awarded a $750,000 Community Development Disaster Recovery Block Grant and voters approved borrowing $650,000 for the project.

Seth Perlman / AP/file

Do you dowse? If so, the Tunbridge Town Forest Committee wants to hear from you!

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