Congratulations to Maria Fortune, winner of the pink princess
bicycle at the recent Northwest Neighborhood Block Party in
Rutland. In all, four young people had their names drawn to receive
shiny, new bikes. Many folks turned out to meet their neighbors,
enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers, talk with service agencies, and
listen to the Castleton state College jazz band.
The value of clean stormwater runoff may come up against the value
of fish habitat as the city and the state Department of Natural
Resources try to thrash out an approach that will work for all
There are more than two contenders in this fight. Combination Pond
and Piedmont Pond are valuable amenities to the people who bought
homes near these two contributors to the Moon Brook watershed. But
stormwater runoff entering Combination Pond conveys too much
pollution into Moon Brook, and trout don't thrive there, says
DNR... another reason trout don't survive there is because the pond
absorbs too much solar warmth, according to Rutland City. The DNR
seems ready to agree to a study exploring the city's position. If
engineers agree that eliminating the Combination Pond dam is the
answer, the DNR seems ready to yield.
Loss of the dam without a court action may be unacceptable for many
homeowners in the area, however. As many as 70 property deeds
include pond access; losing that ability without "compensation or
due process" is unthinkable.
Locals value Combination Pond as a family recreation site, with
fishing in warm weather, ice-skating in cold. They feel left out of
the decision-making process, and some are irritated that neither
mayor Chris Louras nor city attorney Charles Romeo put in an
appearance at their recent gathering to discuss the pond's
Some question whether a deal can have truly been reached. Alderman
Chris Siliski - who did attend the get-together - seems to imply
that removing the dam is a bargaining chip in the city's battle
with the DNR. The results of an independent study may give the city
more leverage, and private citizen property deeds must also be a
Potential alteration to wildlife habitat may come into play.
Residents observe deer, wild turkeys, herons, and ducks along the
reservoir, and trout in the water.
Lake Sunapee Bank, a New Hampshire-based company with eight
branches in Rutland and Windsor counties, recently completed
acquisition and is now sole owner of Charter Trust Company, a New
Hampshire-chartered non-depository trust company. Charter Trust is
headquartered in Concord, NH, with offices in New London, Meredith,
Peterborough, Hanover and Rochester.
Park Ave area sees improvement
Citizen involvement is improving the quality of life in parts of
Rutland, residents and police officials agree. One such
neighborhood is on Park Avenue, where occupants formed a Community
Watch Group a few years ago. Working with police, they reported
suspicious activity and vehicles; police consider neighborhood
involvement to have been essential to successful investigations in
Several other community watch groups are having similar effects on
the micro-communities and streets where they live, police chief
James Baker reports. Plans call for bringing the various groups
together to support each other.
Aldermen continue to seek recreation
Talk around town is that members of the Rutland board of aldermen
still would like to secure an outside audit of the Recreation and
Parks Department. Even if the board were to pass a new, detailed
motion for a bid on a forensic audit, there will not be the
necessary seven votes to override the mayor's expected veto.
Mayor Chris Louras has already vetoed a request to solicit bids on
a four-year forensic audit of the recreation department, contending
the request to vague to act upon. Were the board to pass a motion
worded in conformance with charter requirements, the board could
legally insist that the mayor proceed with a request for proposals,
says city attorney Charles Romeo.
Town to regulate solar
Concern over a seeming over-abundance of proposed solar projects,
Rutland Town's select board, planning commission, and town attorney
collaborated on a town plan amendment to regulate large solar
panels. The standards would encompass aesthetics, historical
significance, size, setbacks and other elements.
More than half a dozen solar power generation proposals have come
forward in recent months, a number large enough to trigger resident
concerns. Their fears include view obstruction, property value
loss, and tourism stifling.
Lani's weekly picks
Fri.-Sat., Oct, 18- 19 - Marble Valley Players present Plague! The
Musical at West Rutland Town Hall Theater. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19 - Rutland Town PTO holds a pre-holiday craft
fair, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the school gym.
Tuesday, Oct. 22 - The Paramount Theatre presents
singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt in a special acoustic
concert. 8 p.m. 775-0903.