Wed, Feb 8, 2012 12:08 PM
Local Mickey D's manager honored
Congratulations to Carlo Falco, South Main Street McDonald's
manager, who won the National Ray Kroc Award. Falco can look
forward to a cash award, a trophy, a ring, a pin, and a trip to an
awards party in Chicago, hosted by Jan Fields, president of
McDonald's USA. Last year, 114 McDonald's managers received the
award, selected from 14,000 outlets across the U.S.A.
New airport beacons solar powered
New hazard beacons going in at the Rutland Southern Vermont
Regional Airport are solar powered, so power lines won't mar the
mountainside. Not only will the solar power utilization result in
lowered electric bills, but there will be far lower maintenance
expense - no more worry about storms knocking trees into power
lines. The project will cost $530,000/year for the next four
Other improvements at the airport include relocating Airport Road
some 800 feet to the east to make a T intersection at Route 103.
However, purchasing new snow removal equipment will likely wait for
another year, say officials at the state Agency of
Chain dropping Blue Cross drugs
The Walgreens pharmacy chain is no longer filling prescriptions for
individuals covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont. The two
companies have reached an impasse over payment.
However, Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers have recourse to a
number of other pharmacies that are fully capable of providing for
their medical needs. Relatively few subscribers rely only on
Walgreens; 98 percent either do not use the national chain or use
it only part of the time.
Locally owned and operated Beauchamp & O'Rourke, not far from
the Rutland Walgreens on Woodstock Avenue, has already seen a
number of former Walgreens customers coming through its doors, as
many as five to ten a day. So has Rutland Pharmacy on Allen
On the March ballot
Applicants for five two-year and one one-year alderman seats are to
appear on the March ballot. A total of nine candidates would like
to fill those meeting room chairs. Incumbents David Allaire, Sharon
Davis and William Notte have turned in their petitions for the
two-year seats; so has Christopher Siliski, appointed as a fill-in
when then-alderman Robert Barrett resigned, Challenging the
incumbents are Gary Donahue, Francis Lebo, John Mattison and Dan
White. Alderman Christopher Robinson has filed for the one-year
seat that would fill out the rest of Barrett's term. Current
alderman Ed Larson is not running for another term.
City school board members Rob Towle, Peter Mello and Dick Courcelle
are all poised for re-election; they face no challengers. Races for
the city's mayor, treasurer and assessor do not appear on this
year's ballot, but wait for 2013.
City voters will also decide whether to approve $350,000 for
additional paving; the aldermen had cut that amount from the annual
paving budget total of $500,000, asking voters to give their
consent to the difference.
In addition, city voters will vote on a $2 million bond for work on
local bridges. Leveraging the bond would bring in additional grant
funds to total $10 million, to be applied for work on seven bridges
within five years: West Street Bridge over East Creek, Ripley Road
and River Street (Dorr Drive Bridge) over Otter Creek, Forest
Street over Moon Brook, Church Street over Tenney Brook, and
Crescent Street over East Creek. By the end of the project, there
would still be $250,000 left in the bridge replacement fund.
The state legislature must be fairly confident that Rutland folks
will approve the bond money. Rutland County legislators recently
commented that the Ripley Road bridge project, estimated at $3
million, should go out to bid this December with construction to
begin next spring.
Dorr Drive Bridge, on the state list for replacement since 1994,
will have to wait longer, held up by permitting delays. The project
should go out to bid in October 2014; construction should
begin the following spring. Project cost is estimated at $4
Replacing Forest Park development
Phase two of replacing low-income housing development Forest Park
continues this year. Three of the old buildings will come down,
beginning in July or August. In their place will rise three
duplexes, two six-plexes, a new community center, and a new
maintenance shed. The design work is still in process; there may be
four or five housing units above the community center. The project
cost estimate is between $5 and $6 million.
Phase one resulted in 33 units in seven structures; nearly all have
Completion of the three-phase project calls for removing five
additional buildings, but plans for what their replacement will be
are still under revision.
Parking problems persist
Now that the new Community College of Vermont (CCV) building is
complete, other nearby businesses are complaining that students
seem to be taking up too large a share of available parking slots.
The parking shortage along Evelyn Street has been moved to a
different corner of downtown. Additional parked cars plug up the
street in the vicinity of West and Wales so that lot-parked cars
have difficulty getting out to go home. Seemingly available
after-hours parking spots in the Rutland City Schools
administration lot and behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars post are
CCV's Christopher Ettori, Rutland operations manager and student
resource advisor, and John Rice, Rutland Public Schools director of
Building, Grounds and Transportation, are working on solutions.
Students may buy 15-week passes to park in the downtown parking
deck for a semester at a time, and the college's financial aid
package may cover the $20 parking pass expense. CCV students may
take the bus throughout the city without charge, as may students at
other colleges in the area.
Building developer DEW West and Wales,
LLC, is already leasing 50 parking spaces in the deck up through
2018. It is unclear whether students will have to pay to use those
parking slots. Locals suspect a paucity of forethought.
All this is taking place while Rutland City is trying to help the
downtown parking garage become more profitable or run the risk of
having the garage shut down. Increased deck usage would also
relieve on-street parking congestion.
The City is asking for some changes: lengthening the hours that the
deck is open, decreasing the cost for a month's parking to $35,
increasing security personnel and putting in security camera
monitoring on the Center Street walkway and in stairwells,
prohibiting "hanging out" in the deck for people who don't have a
vehicle parked there, improvign lighting, and putting in a payment
system that would allow users to pay by the hour while adding in a
30-minute freebie for people running short errands. The City also
asks the state to continue maintaining and cleaning the structure
and to give the City quarterly progress reports.
Osher series studies nature
The Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning focuses on Vermont's
natural world during February. Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
wildlife biologist Doug Blodgett discusses Rattlesnakes in Vermont
at the February 10 session. Rutland County Audubon Society
co-president Roy Pilcher treats participants to a photographic show
of Vermont's Wildflowers on February 17. And Center for Northern
Woodlands Education executive director/publisher Walter Medwid
focuses on the relationship between humans and the nation's largest
canine predator in The Good, the Bad, the Wolf on February 24. All
discussions take place Fridays at 1:30 p.m. in the Godnick Adult
Center, 1 Deer St., Rutland.
Sign up for legislative bus trip
The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce and Rutland Economic
Development Corp. plan their annual Legislative Bus Trip to the
Vermont State House in Montpelier on Thursday, March 1. OMYA, Inc.
sponsors the excursion.
The day begins at 7 a.m. in the Chamber's conference room, 50
Merchants Row, downtown Rutland, with departure at 7:30. Meet with
members of the Rutland County Legislative Delegation and other
government folks, attend committee meetings and lunch with
officials at Capitol Plaza. Sign up by calling 773-2747.
Friday night live planning
Businesses in downtown Rutland are encouraged to participate in
brainstorming sessions to plan summer 2012 Friday Night Live
activities. Bring your ideas to the Tuesday, Feb. 21, meeting at 6
p.m. or the Wednesday, Feb. 22, meeting at 8 a.m. Both are in the
Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce conference room, 50 Merchants
Saturday, Feb. 11 - Taste-of-Chocolate and Elvis offers more than
20 varieties of chocolate to sample and judge plus music by a local
Elvis impersonator. Coffee, tea, silent auction, 50/50 raffle,
dancing, singing at Godnick Center, 1 Deer St. Benefits All Saints'
Anglican Church of Rutland. Call 282-8098 for info.
Saturday, Feb. 11 - Dirty Dancing, one of the top ten most loved
Valentine's Day movies, stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in a
romantic hit that includes music hits The Time of My Life and
Hungry Eyes. See it at the Paramount Theatre, downtown Rutland.
Call 775-0903 for tickets.
Monday, Feb. 13 - Town meeting style discussion of flood recovery
efforts with representatives of five state agencies, Rutland
Regional planning Commission, and Rutland Economic Development
Corp. Talk about local response, recovery goals, and best disaster
preparation - what works and what doesn't. Rutland Free Library, 5