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.

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.

Is it necessary or beneficial to have both a Regional Planning Commission and a separate Economic Development  Corporation serving the same population? In Central Vermont, a committee considering that question has decided the answer is no.  A "joint committee on consolidation of the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission and the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation" is recommending merging the two organizations into a Central Vermont Regional Commission.

Susan Keese / VPR

Tempers have erupted in the town of Rockingham over a decision to close the public library during renovations this summer.

The plan has sparked opposition from residents who say that closing the much-loved library is unnecessary.

The Rockingham Public library is finishing up a $3 million, voter-approved renovation.

The project came to a halt last fall when workers walked off the job because they hadn’t been paid. The president of Baybutt Construction, the general contractor, later filed for bankruptcy.

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:

After a winter's worth of wear and tear, bridges can take a beating in Vermont. This time of year cities and towns, as well as the state, take stock of how the bridges are holding up. The bridges that raise the most concern tend to fall into two categories: the oldest and the busiest. When a bridge fits under both those headings, the problems can be far more complicated.

The Montpelier City Council recently put together a list of goals to focus on over the next year. Among them is "to become a nationally known bike and pedestrian friendly city."

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:

Rockingham Health Officer Ellen Howard is asking residents to be sure their pets' rabies vaccines are up-to-date. While there have not been any confirmed cases of rabies in Rockingham so far this year, Howard reported, "the Rockingham Highway Department has recently dealt with four instances of very ill, disoriented animals."

Andy Roberts Photos

Ludlow's West Hill Recreation Area has a problem. In fact, one might say the town recreation committee is on a wild goose chase. It's searching for ways to get a gaggle of unwelcome geese to leave the recreation area and find another home.

The city of Burlington adopted its first Climate Action Plan 13 years ago. Since that time, the city has set goals, as outlined on the city's website, to reduce its carbon emissions to a 20 percent reduction of 2007 levels by 2020 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

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 annual town reports came out late this year in Lincoln - only three days before Town Meeting Day. As it turns out, that has caused  lot of hassle.

At first, town officials feared the problem meant the annual town meeting had not been properly warned, putting the town out of compliance with Vermont's open meeting law. But after consultation with the secretary of state's office, town officials were assured town meeting could go ahead as planned, so long as Lincoln held a separately warned "validation meeting" where voters would ratify Town Meeting Day results.

Northfield Farmers Market

Seasonal farmers markets will soon begin sprouting up around Vermont. Among them will be the Northfield Farmers Market, which has been held Tuesday afternoons at the Northfield Village Common since 2007. But this year the Northfield Village Common will also be home to a second farmers market, held on Monday afternoons. The new market will be called Friendly Farms Market, but the relationship between market organizers is far from cordial.

Judging by the forecast, Wednesday is going to be warm and sunny across Vermont – a delightful day to be outside. And that's a good thing, because  it happens to be Vermont Intergenerational Walk and Roll to School Day. This is the second year Vermont Safe Routes to School has sponsored Walk and Roll to School Day.

The first day students returned to Montpelier's Union Elementary School after their spring vacation on Monday also turned out to be the first day construction crews began work on School Street on the city's new district heating project.

City officials knew this would cause some traffic headaches, especially during school drop-off and pick-up times. But they say the situation couldn't be helped if the city's district heat project is to be kept on track.

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