Newport City Council: Wilson passed over for council president

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copyright the Chronicle March 9, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – The first council meeting after Newport’s annual meeting usually begins with a drowsy run of reappointments to a wide variety of city offices.  That pattern was broken Monday when Alderman Steven Vincent passed over the incumbent, Alderman John Wilson, to nominate Alderman Neil Morrissette as president of the council.

Alderman Jacques Roberge seconded the nomination, and Mr. Wilson was effectively removed from the position, which he’s held since Paul Monette was elected Mayor in 2009.

City council president is largely an honorary title except when the mayor is absent…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Coventry Town Meeting: Diaz keeps clerk and treasurer jobs

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copyright the Chronicle March 2, 2016

by Randi Morse

COVENTRY – Town Clerk and Treasurer Cynthia Diaz retained both jobs at Town Meeting here Tuesday, despite a caution about her bookkeeping that the select board had put in the Warning for Town Meeting.

Auditors have consistently returned negative comments about her record keeping, and many of the same problems have persisted for years.

When the 2016 Town Report was released, residents were unsure what would happen as Ms. Diaz’s bookkeeping, as the treasurer, had not fared well in the reports from Graham & Graham, and from Gene Besaw and Associates.  Both audits recommended that numerous changes be made by Ms. Diaz, most of which she had, at the time of Town Meeting, yet to implement.

The second article of the Warning Tuesday asked to change the treasurer’s three-year term to a one-year term.

Board member Scott Morley… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Lowell Town Meeting: Road commissioner loses close race

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copyright the Chronicle March 2, 2016

by Sam Thurston

LOWELL – The first order of business at Town Meeting Tuesday was the schools.  After re-electing the school directors whose terms had expired, the budget was looked at.  Last year the budget was $1,754,498, and this year it is $1,880310 (which is a spending of $11,676 per equalized pupil).

A motion from the floor was presented to level fund it – to only appropriate the amount given last year.  School Director Steven Mason, with the other two directors standing behind him, defended the figure asked for.

In past years, he noted, the increase was smaller… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Brownington Town Meeting: Board returns to three members

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copyright the Chronicle March 2, 2016

by Eileen Wolfe

BROWNINGTON – Were voters at a mudslinging match?  Or a law school class?  How about a comedy of errors?

Town Meeting on Tuesday seemed to incorporate a bit of all those as people lurched and fought and eventually zipped their way through town and school affairs.

The meeting got off to an inauspicious start  By lunchtime, eight votes had been taken to decide five articles (or sub-articles), and it turned out that only three of the five final decisions would stand.  In addition, a less than congenial tone had been set that would continue… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Troy Town Meeting: Voters opt to buy property for preschool

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copyright the Chronicle March 2, 2016

by Tena Starr

NORTH TROY – Following a fairly long and typically feisty discussion, voters at Town Meeting here Tuesday agreed to spend $76,000 to buy the so-called Allen property, a lot and house adjacent to the school.

The short-term plan is to use the property for a preschool.

An attempt to cut how much the town pays for… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Forestry bills go after the bad guys

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Tena Starr

MONTPELIER — Legislation aimed at pinching the bad guys in the forestry business, while protecting the good guys from nuisance suits and dust-ups with zoning laws, is winding its way through the Vermont House at the moment.

In its current form, it would affect not only loggers, but also landowners who use loggers, and the mills that buy from loggers.

Orleans County loggers are leery of the legislation, but Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation Michael Snyder views it as a tool aimed at protecting loggers’ right to do business.

H.584, which has an identical counterpart in the Senate, started out as one big bill, but has since been broken into pieces in the House so it can more easily pass through committees. And it’s rapidly changing as it proceeds.… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Weak loonie cuts into Canadian travel and maple syrup prices

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

The increasingly weak Canadian dollar is affecting both U.S. business along the border and the price of maple syrup.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Canadian dollar’s value fluctuated right around $1 American. Since then, its value has steadily dropped, reaching a low point on January 20 of about 68 cents U.S., according to tradingeconomics.com.

Apparently, the Canadian dollar is tied to the price of oil because Canada exports a lot of it. Given that the price of oil is low, so is the loonie.

The Fédération des Producteurs Acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) sets syrup prices in Canadian dollars, so when the loonie’s value goes down in American dollars, so does the price of syrup.

Quebec sugarmakers provide maple syrup for over 70 percent of the global market, the FPAQ website says.

Because there are so many of them, the price set for their product becomes the base price for… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Clerk foils armed robbery

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

GREENSBORO BEND — Police say Joshua L. Chase-Renault walked into Smith’s Store in Greensboro Bend on the evening of February 8 carrying a knife and intending to rob the place.

But Mr. Chase-Renault left the store in a hurry when the clerk pulled out a handgun, said Hardwick Police Detective Kevin Lehoe.

Not only was the clerk armed, but also Hardwick Sergeant Michael Glodgett was watching the store from the parking lot of a sawmill across the street. When he saw a man run out of the store and jump into a car he followed, but gave up the chase after losing him on Stannard Mountain Road.… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Holland: School budget is down, tax rate is up

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copyright the Chronicle February 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

HOLLAND — The Holland School Board has crafted a budget for the town’s elementary school that reduces spending by nearly $80,000 compared to last year. Working with a very sharp pencil, they reduced the elementary school’s budget from the $1.02-million voters approved last year to about $963,000.

As a result, the portion of the town’s education rate assigned to the elementary school will be down by a smidgen more than one cent per hundred dollars of assessed value.

Overall, though, Holland’s education tax rate is likely to rise by 17 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value. The steep increase is due to a couple of factors… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Outage created plenty of work for plumbers

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copyright the Chronicle February 17, 2016

by Tena Starr

It was a perfect trifecta of bad luck – the coldest day of the year by far, not enough snow to insulate foundations, and an outage that left roughly 1,500 Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) members without power for about 12 hours Sunday.  Barton and Orleans electric customers were out as well.

A day later, or a day earlier, and it might have been a different story.  But by Sunday afternoon… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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