The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

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News breifs from the Rutland Region 4.5

All four RCSU pricipals IN JOB DISPUTES

Rutland Central Supervisory Union's four principals seem to all have had disputes with their employers. Rutland Town principal Patty Beaumont was first to resign in late February, followed by June Sargent of Proctor High and now Nancy Erickson of Proctor Elementary. Erickson's resignation is effective June 30.

West Rutland principal Juanita Birch-Clay has been having difficulty with her school board too; she has been told she must meet a specific condition of employment to be re-hired for the coming year.

There appears to be no unifying factor triggering these difficulties.



WIND POWER QUESTIONS

West Rutland cmmunity members met recently to discuss their concerns about a wind-powered project proposed for the top of Grandpa's Knob. They want to know how it will affect the town's property taxes, whether there will be blasting on the ridgeline to site the wind turbines, and how the road and the sites will affect local wells and farms.

The project would place as many as 20 wind turbines on the Grandpa's Knob ridgeline in West Rutland, Castleton, Hubbardton and Pittsford. It would put a large taxpayer in West Rutland.

While residents look for more information, developer Reunion Power doesn't have a lot of data available yet. Reunion purchased the project from previous developer Noble Environmental Power in late 2009. Managing director Steve Eisenberg has said his company is still putting the project's needs together, deciding the number of turbines and where they should be installed, plus the roads to service them. Reunion Power plans a May public meeting in West Rutland.



CUTTING DRUG DEMAND

An anticipated drug treatment center would help cut the amount of illegal drugs entering Rutland, interim police chief James Baker said. 

Although police can investigate drug-related crimes, they cannot lessen the demand. A drug treatment clinic, dispensing methadone and possibly other addiction treatment substances, would lower the demand.

Methadone treatment satisfies the physical craving for drugs such as heroin and prescription painkillers without providing a "high" when administered in proper doses.

Getting an already proposed methadone clinic up and running is a project filled with obstacles; the first hurdle is finding an acceptable site to place it. A site on Park Street has seemed fairly suitable, but officials from the nearby Vermont Achievement Center have expressed concerns about safety and traffic routing. Other possible locations have included the former Video World building on South Main, and a number of buildings on Woodstock Avenue. A credit union occupying part of the South Main site objected to sharing a building with a clinic; the Woodstock sites have insufficient parking space, Tom DePoy told assembled aldermen and health and law enforcement officials.

Parking availability is a strong plus for the Park Street site, as is being away from downtown congestion.



VEDA loans help Rutland businesses thrive

A Vermont Economic Development Corp. (VEDA) loan for $346,000 enables Rutland Plywood Corp. to finish a wood-fired co-generation plant. The plant already in place currently generates 285 kilowatts per hour, operating around the clock, seven days a week, enough to power 300 homes a year.

It burns 15,000 tons a year of wood waste left over from its manufacturing operation, which makes hardwood laminates for snowboards, hand tools, musical instruments, knitting needles, gunstocks, and many other everyday products. In addition to the electricity the plant produces, it also makes steam used as part of its manufacturing operation. The electric power is sold to Central Vermont Public Service.

In all, VEDA issued $10.4 million to finance a variety of business ventures across the state. Among the loans is $300,000 to Rutland's Crash Palace, an auto body repair business; the funds help it buy the property it is currently leasing.



Playground reopens

Meadow Street Playground is scheduled to reopen after having been closed through the winter. The play surface has been removed and replaced after city workers removed mud and other washed in debris from tropical storm Irene; the tennis court and basketball court had to be power washed.

Playing on the adjacent fields, however, will have to wait until turf grows in and matures, Rutland Recreation Department Superintendent EJay Bishop has said.

 "The back fields, where the softball fields are, will remain closed until the turf has grown in and matured to the point where we're comfortable with it," Bishop said Thursday. The mud has been removed, the fields have been aerated and fertilized - also true for Giorgetti Park fields. Infields still need to be rebuilt, and reseeding will have to wait until soil temperatures warm until the soil warms up to 55 degrees.


Shelvey retires

Alan Shelvey, commissioner of Rutland City's Department of Public Works, plans to retire in April. City engineer Evan Pilchowski will step into the position once the aldermen confirm his appointment, but Shelvey will remain working for the City on a part-time basis through the summer.



LANI'S PICKS

Saturday, April 7-Easter Egg Hunt in Depot Park, downtown Rutland, starts at 10 a.m. for children age 10 and under. Also an Easter Egg Scramble at Jump for Fun, 1 Scale Ave. Howe Center Building #10. Also starts at 10 a.m. BYOB (bring your own basket or bag).

Saturday, April 7-Dr. Strangelove comes to the Big Flicks at the Paramount Theatre film series. 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 10-Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce April mixer closes Wales Street for a pig roast sponsored by Roots the Restaurant and Earth Waste Systems.

Thursday, April 12-Spring Job Fair at U.S. Army & National Guard Reserve Center, Post Road, 1-4 p.m.

Tagged: rutland report, rutland