Public Post

Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.

Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.

Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Towns Going Solar

Jun 21, 2013
Town of Marshfield

A growing number of Vermont towns are taking a look at powering municipal buildings via solar arrays.

This month the town of Thetford sent out a Request For Information to companies that could help the town construct a "community/municipal solar farm."

In Worcester, the select board met with a solar development company earlier this month:

June marks the halfway point of 2013 and, likewise, the midpoint of the year-long Vermont Home Energy Challenge. The challenge was created by Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) and other organizations.

After a contentious meeting in a packed firehouse this week, the chiefs of the Bennington Rural Fire Department voted to restore all 15 members who had been suspended last week to active duty.

Chief Shawn Gardner said he made the decision to “try to move this department forward.”'

“It's not the decision we really wanted to make but it's the right decision for this time. We're going to just try to work on it from there and see what we can do to keep this department moving from here on out,” he said.

As the beginning of the fiscal year approaches, towns across Vermont with budgets that did not pass on Town Meeting Day are trying to pass them now.

VPR’s Amy Noyes speaks with Peter Biello about this and other news found in Public Post, VPR’s online source of community news items that hold big consequences for Vermont towns. 

VPR’s Public Post pores through municipal public documents, posted online, to bring you local news from Vermont’s cities, towns, villages and gores. When we find something interesting or otherwise newsworthy, we send out a tweet. We follow up on the bigger stories at the VPR News Blog. Here are some tweet highlights from the past week:

In a letter to the Charlotte Select Board last month, members of the Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge, the Lewis Creek Association and the Charlotte Conservation Commission asked the board to consider an offer by Chittenden County Forester Keith Thompson to map non-invasive plant species. And this week the select board agreed to take part.

Voters in Bennington and Rutland Town head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for or against proposed school budgets. In Bennington this is the third time since March that an FY14 budget has been brought before the voters. It's the fourth time for school officials in Rutland Town. Fiscal Year 2014 budgets go into effect July 1.

On sunny days, dog owners in some of Vermont’s biggest cities and towns can take their pets to a dog park.

VPR’s Public Post pores through municipal public documents, posted online, to bring you local news from Vermont’s cities, towns, villages and gores. When we find something interesting or otherwise newsworthy, we send out a tweet. We follow up on the bigger stories at the VPR News Blog. Here are some tweet highlights from the past week:

For The Dogs

Jun 7, 2013
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Several communities around Vermont are considering creating a designated public space for dogs to play untethered. Meeting minutes in Wallingford, Hinesburg, Arlington, and Windsor have all revealed interest in creating a town dog park.

VPR/Susan Keese

A popular southern Vermont swimming spot is expected to reopen this summer for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene.

Townshend Lake was declared off-limits to swimmers last season because of large quantities of silt deposited by the August, 2011, storm. Officials said the soft sediment posed a safety hazard and reduced the lake’s depth to a few feet.

But the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the swimming area, plans to have it dredged within the next few weeks.

The first of three public informational meetings is being held in Waterbury this week, in advance of a $5 million bond vote to build a new municipal complex on land that currently belongs to the state.

The state has agreed to sell the town two buildings and a parcel of land in the Waterbury State Office Complex for $300,000. Much of the office complex remains unused since it flooded during Tropical Storm Irene. The Purchase and Sale Agreement was signed last week.

Colchester voters go to the polls this week to consider a bond vote that, if all goes as planned, shouldn't cost the taxpayers anything. The $500,000 bond would pay to replace a failing wastewater system at the Windemere Estates Mobile Home Park, located on Johnson Avenue between St. Michael's College and Camp Johnson. The loan would be repaid by the property owner, The Housing Foundation, Inc. (HFI).

VPR’s Public Post pores through municipal public documents, posted online, to bring you local news from Vermont’s cities, towns, villages and gores. When we find something interesting or otherwise newsworthy, we send out a tweet. We follow up on the bigger stories at the VPR News Blog. Here are some tweet highlights from the past week:

This morning we begin a new series of conversations about the local news found in VPR’s online Public Post. That’s where you’ll find meeting minutes and community news items that hold big consequences for Vermont towns.

This week, we turn our attention to the flooding Vermont experienced in May and a new trend among towns trying to be transparent under Vermont’s public records law. VPR’s Amy Noyes manages Public Post and she speaks with Peter Biello.
 

A long-running dispute over the tax status of a Vermont educational organization has led to a lawsuit.

The Southeast Vermont Learning Cooperative has filed a complaint against the town of Dummerston, saying the organization should be exempt from paying property taxes. The town has denied the request. It asked for part of building's list value, instead, but the state did not agree to that.

The collaborative offers professional development courses to teachers in 12 supervisory unions. It bought the building on Route 5 in 2011.

VPR’s Public Post pores through municipal public documents, posted online, to bring you local news from Vermont’s cities, towns, villages and gores. When we find something interesting or otherwise newsworthy, we send out a tweet. We follow up on the bigger stories at the VPR News Blog. Here are some tweet highlights from the past week:

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has a plan for taking care of the White River and its tributaries, and it is now asking for public input before finalizing and implementing it.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. The Town of Jay has put that motto to work in re-purposing its former town garage. The Jay Planning Commission and Zoning Board recently issued a change of use permit to house the Troy/Jay Recycle Center in the fourth bay of the Cross Road building that formerly served as the town garage.

There is no longer a food shelf in the Weathersfield village of Perkinsville, or anywhere else in Weathersfield. That has created a hardship – not just for residents who are food insecure, but also for at least one food shelf in a neighboring community. The Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf has been serving approximately 20 Weathersfield families since the food shelf at the Perkinsville Community Church closed its doors.

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