Vernon

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Energy leaders from across the state met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

State officials were surprised last month when they found out Vermont Yankee was storing low-level radioactive water in swimming pools. But now, the incident has lead to improved communications between Entergy administrators and the state.

The town of Vernon strongly supports a plan to build a natural gas power plant near the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Seven Windham County towns that have been used to receiving emergency planning money from Vermont Yankee will have to write budgets this year without that funding.

The spent nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee is being stored in dry casks on the property in Vernon.
Vermont Yankee, Courtesy

Entergy Vermont Yankee says it wants to move its spent nuclear fuel into dry cask storage in 2017, two years earlier than originally planned.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / vpr

As Vernon continues to head toward a referendum on siting a natural gas power plant in town, investors with serious money are waiting to see how the vote turns out.

If a natural gas power plant is built in Vernon it's going to take between $10 million and $12 million just to do the planning and preliminary work, and if the project doesn't move forward, for whatever reason, that money could be lost.

AP Photo/Entergy

An advisory panel that was set up to gather and share information on the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant wants communities to have a say in how federal regulators write a new set of decommissioning rules.

AP Photo/Entergy

Entergy Vermont Yankee wants to use money from its decommissioning trust fund to pay a property tax bill it received from Vernon.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of national energy giant Kinder Morgan, will file an application for a 420-mile natural gas pipeline next month that may have implications for the town of Vernon.

Susan Keese / VPR

More than 40 Vernon residents turned out for their town select board meeting Monday. Many said they’d come to air frustrations with the board and with the leadership of Select Board Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell. Their efforts were stymied when board members declared that public participation at the meeting was limited by law to issues on the agenda.

O’Donnell, a former state legislator, is under investigation for allegedly trying to intervene in a friend’s drunk driving arrest. Since the allegations became public disgruntled residents like Sue Cobb have been showing up at meetings.

Susan Keese / VPR

The chairwoman of the Vernon Select board is under investigation on allegations that she tried to interfere with a drunk driving arrest in her town. Vernon Selectboard Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell denies those allegations. She says she objected not to the arrest, but to "aggressive behavior" by a sheriff’s deputy.

AP File Photo

A Site Assessment Study released by Entergy Vermont Yankee Friday significantly raises the estimated cost of retiring the Vernon plant. The report also provides an early estimate of the timetable for decommissioning, which Entergy says could begin in about three decades.

Voters in Vernon Tuesday passed a slightly pared-down version of the $4.4 million school budget they rejected at town meeting in March. Vernon School Board Chairman Mike Hebert said the board shaved about $50,000 from the original budget.

"We did say to people that we were going to do as much as we could without changing our offerings in the school and what we need to do to maintain our quality level education," Hebert said.

Susan Keese / VPR

Residents of Vernon have voted for a second time to eliminate the town’s police force.

The original vote to de-fund the Vernon Police Department came as a surprise at the town’s annual meeting this past March.

Local residents reaffirmed that decision at a special meeting Monday night that drew what some said was the biggest turnout in the town’s  history.

Voters agreed to contract instead with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department. They accepted a proposal made by Sheriff Keith Clark for round-the-clock police coverage at significant savings to the town.

One of the most surprising votes on town meeting day came from Vernon, which, with a mere six-vote majority, elected to eliminate its police force. That leaves the policing in the town to be done by the Windham County Sheriff’s department.

Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark spoke with Vermont Edition about the vote and what it means for his department.