News Briefs

News Briefs: Lakes Region

By Lani Duke

Students learn local community arts

CASTLETON—Students in Castleton’s master of arts in arts administration program recently spent a week learning about local community arts. Launched this summer, the low-residency program emphasizes practical applications. Enrollment currently totals nine students. Two are Castleton alumni; the others come from from across the country. During their one-week campus residency, participants visited local arts organizations, including the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College, Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, and the Paramount and Chaffee Arts Center in Rutland. As they spoke with each organization’s leaders, they observed the challenges and rewards of executive-level leadership. Students reported that they enjoyed getting to know the other members in their cohort, readying them for a year of online courses while having a greater depth and understanding of the group for upcoming forums.

Grant supports milfoil fight on Lake St. Catherine

POULTNEY—The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Agency of Natural Resources has given a grant-in-aid up to $43,350 to fight the invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil on Lake St. Catherine. The money is to be used for an already-conducted milfoil survey, treatment with the chemical herbicide Renovate, and a diver-assisted suction harvesting program.

The grant also pays for the lake greeter program, employing individuals who monitor the state boat launch in Wells. The greeter meets boats arriving at the launch site and inspects the boat, with the owner’s permission, to ensure no milfoil is clinging to the boat or trailer.

Although milfoil is said to multiple more quickly than any program can offset, inspectors found no new milfoil populations in the state in 2015.

The state draws money for grant-in-aid funds from annual motorboat registration fees and federal funds.

Rite Aid rising in Fair Haven, permits pending

FAIR HAVEN—Although a new Rite Aid pharmacy at 70 Washington St., Fair Haven, has nearly completed its permitting hurdles, construction will likely not begin until March 2017 and reach completion that autumn. The 11,115-square-foot building is designed so that outside lighting does not illuminate areas beyond the site perimeter. Its pylon sign may not bear a scrolling message but it may display a reader board with a message that does not appear to move.

Its local zoning permit has been approved and the state has given permission for its entrance onto state highway Route 22A. The town has approved the Rite Aid’s final water and sewer capacity allocation.

Still to be resolved is a pre-existing issue between Acquisition Holdings, LLC of Hartford, Conn., and Storm Water Vermont. Jason Rudnick, Acquisition Holdings manager, said his company is working with the current landowners and expects to close on financing to complete the property purchase in late summer. Rudnick said his company is a preferred developer, having already constructed stores in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Bringing a new Rite Aid to western Rutland County has been a process long in planning. The company first received an Act 250 permit in 2000, albeit for a slightly smaller building, 11,060 square feet. Rite Aid already has a smaller store at 62 Washington St., in the Shaw’s center.

A new minor application was filed March 16, 2016. The previous month, Rite Aid shareholders approved the chain’s sale to Walgreens; federal regulators have been reviewing during arrangement, with expectations of closing the sale. The store will continue to operate as a Rite Aid; plans for the new building include a drive-through window, a larger format, and an updated appearance.

Petitions submitted, withdrawn, rejected

CASTLETON—Castleton voters may join those of other towns in the area voting on whether they approve or disapprove of the planned refugee resettlement program in Rutland City. Debbie Regimbald submitted a certified petition to the town clerk on June 24, but she will be unable to present it to the Castleton Select Board until July 18. The petition reads: “Shall the Town of Castleton inform the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and the City of Rutland due to significant lack of factual and financial information we do not favor its implementation in our region at this time?” It would appear that her petition is unable to appear on the scheduled August 9 primary ballot because there are fewer than 30 days between her presentation to the Select Board and the election.

Dolores Luebke said she is no longer circulating a petition with similar wording in Pawlet.

A Rutland Town petition asking for a delay in relocating refugees into Rutland was rejected by the town’s Select Board.

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