Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cavendish Update 10/28/08

This issue of the Cavendish Update is made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), a non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the conservation of land and natural resources and to the preservation of historic sites within the context of sustainable economic growth. FMI: PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142 or 802-226-7736

The Cavendish Update is now available on-line at http://cavendishvt.blogspot.com/

The Cavendish Update Contains

1. Cavendish Board of Water Commissioners Meeting: Low Bidder Defaults
2. Medieval Castle at the Golden Stage Inn Haunted House: All invited
3. November Cavendish Calendar

1. Cavendish Board of Water Commissioners Meeting: Low Bidder Defaults
At the Oct. 27 Water Commissioners meeting, Rich Svec, town manager, provided an update on the construction phase of the water filtration project. On October 8, four companies submitted bids to complete the final phase of the construction of the water filtration project. The companies were as follows:
• Daniels Construction $221,400
• Wright Construction $302,623
• Penta Corp $317,800
• Infrastructure Construction $353,000

Daniels Construction not only had the lowest bid, but also has been doing work on the water filtration project, making them the first choice. However, after submitting the bid, Daniels withdrew it due to omissions in cost projections. When asked to provide a revised budget, costs increased to $281,000, and were not provided in the timely manner requested by Svec. Unfortunately, Daniels is considered to have defaulted on their bid and will not be eligible for this project.

The town can call in the bid bond, five percent of the cost of the project, posted by Daniels when they submitted their proposal. This would provide the town approximately $11,000. The Board voted unanimously to seek the bid bond funds as the default by the company has created a number of costly problems for the town.

The town has $246,500 budgeted for the construction phase, which is well below all of the bids submitted, including the revised projections by Daniels Construction. Further, the connection of the second well, which produces significantly less water than the town’s primary well, but has very clean water, is considered an important component of the new filtration system. The connection cost, approximately $30,000, was not part of the $246,500 budget. This means that the actual shortfall is closer to $75,000.

Svec suggested that the town do the project “in-house,” hiring a construction manager. Using a local bid process to hire different companies to do the various aspects of the project, the town would also use some of its own crew for digging trenches for piping etc. A number of those in attendance voiced concern over this approach. Among the issues raised were liability and taking town crew away from other necessary town projects, potentially creating problems elsewhere. More than one community member present thought the approach would be “penny wise and pound foolish,” meaning that it might save some money initially, but there was a real possibility that it could end up costing the town even more money than going with one of the current bidders.

A discussion followed about how the shortfall could be met. Suggestions were made about the town borrowing money from itself-using funds set aside for the renovations and expansion of the town office-to seeking grant support.

The Water Board has decided to have a special meeting with the state to see what direction they would recommend.

2. Medieval Castle at the Golden Stage Inn Haunted House: All invited
Once again, the Golden Stage Inn is hosting their annual haunted house on Oct. 31, Halloween night; from 5-8 pm. Innkeepers Peter and Sandy Gregg have been hard at work on some special projects including taming the Proctorsville Dragon.

The Golden Stage Inn is listed as “one of 74 best places to sleep with a ghost.” Whether or not “George” will make an appearance in his traveling cloak and large brim, some other interesting characters will. This is a free community event and should not be missed. Lots of treats and goodies are for all those who venture into the Inn. FMI: 226-7744

3. November Cavendish Calendar
If you have an item you would like posted on the November Cavendish Calendar, please submit to margoc@tds.net by Oct. 30. Please note that the Calendar will be posted on Nov. 1 and there will be no posting of the Cavendish Update on Friday, Oct. 31.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cavendish Update 10/24/08

This issue of the Cavendish Update is made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), a non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the conservation of land and natural resources and to the preservation of historic sites within the context of sustainable economic growth. FMI: PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142 or 802-226-7736

The Cavendish Update Contains
1. Cavendish Update on-line
2. CHS Speaker’s Bureau: We Need Your Help
3. Proctorville Townhouses Are More Affordable
4. Meet the Candidates Night 10/28/08 in Cavendish

1. Cavendish Update On-line & Other Information
To make the Cavendish Update as user friendly as possible, it is now being posted on-line at http://cavendishvt.blogspot.com/ The site will contain archived issues, starting with Oct. 17 (last week’s post).

Unless there is a special notice or information needs to get out sooner, posts are sent on Friday of each week. If you have something you want posted, please send it by Thursday noon. If it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate to call 226-7807.

The Update is supported by the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) and CCCA. You can support the continuation of the Cavendish Update by sending tax-free contributions to both organizations as follows. Be sure to indicate that your donation is to be used to support the Cavendish Update.

PO Box 605
Cavendish, VT 05142

PO Box 472
Cavendish, VT 05142

If you would like to be a sponsor of the Cavendish Update, please contact margoc@tds.net or call (8020 226-7807.

2. CHS Speaker’s Bureau: We Need Your Help
The Cavendish Historical Society is putting together a Speakers Bureau so that we can provide speakers, demonstrations and workshops to organizations and groups that are interested in some aspect of Cavendish history. We are covering a broad change of topics-from archeology to storytelling. If you can take pictures, weave, churn butter, tell stories about what Cavendish was once like, play an instrument, tell tall tales or have an expertise in business, art, music or another field, please take a minute and fill out the survey form below and e-mail it to margoc@tds.net.


Areas of expertise:

Availability (time of day and what days are best for you):

Do you require a fee? If yes,

Best time and way to contact you:

3. Proctorsville Townhouses Are More Affordable
Rockingham Area Community Land Trust (RACLT) announces new financing available for the Proctorsville Townhouses. In addition the purchase price is now $135,000. The town homes are located on the beautiful Proctorsville Green. Construction was completed in February, 2008.

No down-payment is needed to buy these homes as the State of Vermont is providing down-payment grants to qualified buyers. Also Vermont Housing Financing Agency (VHFA) is offering a 4.75%, 30 year fixed with 0% soft-second mortgage until December 2008. $1500 towards closing costs is all that a buyer needs to invest. This will provide a very affordable monthly payment so that working Vermonters can afford to buy a home.

The homes meet the highest energy-efficiency standards set by the federal government and have been awarded 5 Star Plus ENERGY STAR Home Energy Rating Certificates. Homeowners will experience approximately 43% lower heating and electricity costs compared to the average home. As energy costs rise, it’s increasingly important to have a home that is as energy-efficient as possible. These ENERGY STAR–qualified homes provide consistent temperatures between rooms and improved indoor air quality and thus are more comfortable and healthier than typical homes.

A low mortgage payment in combination with low energy costs make these newly constructed homes less expensive to own then typical, older, lower-priced homes.

Four two-bedroom townhouses are available now for purchase. The first floor offers a spacious living room, dining room and conveniently designed kitchen, with two bedrooms upstairs. In addition, a patio and exterior storage are included. These townhouses provide homeowners access to local amenities which include shopping, public transportation and recreational activities.

The homes will be kept “perpetually affordable” under the Trust’s Homeland program sponsored by Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

FMI: Cindy Gagnier at (802) 885-1856

4. Meet the Candidates Night 10/28/08 in Cavendish
Meet the Candidates Night at the Cavendish Town Elementary School on Tuesday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m.. Each of the candidates for the Vermont House and Senate seats that represent Cavendish have been invited to give his or her positions on a variety of issues and will answer questions from the floor. Running for State Senate are Mark A. Blanchard, Kent Butterfield, John Campbell, Ethan Foster, Richard ‘Dick’ McCormack, Alice W. Nitka, and Kirk Sparkman. Running for the State House of Representatives is Ernest Shand and Edward J. Williams. All citizens are invited to meet the candidates. For those who cannot attend the session, it will be televised on LPCTV. This event is sponsored by CCCA. FMI: Will Hunter at 226-7852.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cavendish Update 10/17/08

This issue of the Cavendish Update is made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA), a non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the conservation of land and natural resources and to the preservation of historic sites within the context of sustainable economic growth. FMI: PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142 or 802-226-7736

The 10/17/08 Cavendish Update Contains
1. Public Notice: Restricting Traffic on Depot Street
2. Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting
3. For A Green Cavendish: 10 for Less then 10
4. “The Secret Life of Bees”: Reading Group
5. Green Mountain Parents Group
6. Cavendish Calendar On-Sale

1. Public Notice: Restricting Traffic on Depot Street
The Town of Cavendish has issued a public notice of the ordinance restricting through truck traffic on Depot Street in Proctorsville. In addition, the legal load for the bridge will now be up to 20,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Necessary truck traffic to provide delivery and service to local residents and business may legally travel on Depot Street. This is being done because of the population density on the road, including children, the need for repairs on the bridge, and the frequency of accidents on the road. Many trucks use Depot Street to connect to 103 or 131 respectively. The ordinance will become effective on December 6, 60 days after its date of adoption by the Select Board, unless a petition is filed with the Selectmen by Nov. 20. Copies of the Ordinance are available from the Town Office. FMI: 226-7291.

2. Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting
The Cavendish Historical Society’s (CHS) Annual Meeting will be held this Sunday, Oct. 19, starting with a pot luck at 5 pm at the Cavendish Inn (formerly Glimmerstone) on Main Street in Cavendish. This year, CHS will be honoring Linda Welch, author of the “Families of Cavendish” series with the Society’s Life Time Achievement Award. Also being recognized are Carmine Guica and Paul Kingsbury for their efforts in organizing CHS’s new farm exhibit. All are welcome to this free event.

3. For A Green Cavendish: 10 for Less then 10
The September 19 issue of the Cavendish Update provided a number of “no cost” ways to reduce energy and help keep Cavendish “green.” This post contains ten things you can purchase for less than $10.

• Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). To learn more about them, go to www.newbulbintown.com CFLs are widely available, so look for coupons to make it even cheaper. CFLs can be recycled at the transfer station in Cavendish. Use lighting control devices like dimmers and motion detectors to provide light only when you need it.

• Shopping bags come in a variety of styles and fabrics. They can be purchased for as little as a $1 from Shaws and other grocery stores. Hot and cold bags sell for $2. Canvas bags will last longer than the less expensive ones. Instead of holiday wrap, give your presents this year in reusable shopping bags. Crochet or knit your own “French market bag.” the string tote that can be easily folded and stored in a purse. Stop by Six Loose Ladies, on the green in Proctorsville, for patterns, string and help.

• Install faucet aerators on all faucets.

• Buy reusable not disposable. Some replacements to consider:

• Kitchen towels and clothes made of cotton instead of paper towels

• Microfiber clothes instead of paper towels, dusting wands, and even Swiffer pads. Depending on the quality of the cloth, it can be used to clean windows and other surfaces using only water.
• Safety razors instead of disposable

• Dryer balls instead of sheets

• Stainless steel coffee filters instead of paper

• Stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic bottled water. HSN is currently offering two for $19.95 and EcoCanteen is offering a 26 oz one for $9.99 www.ecocanteen.org With the most recent studies on the dangers of plastics; expect to see more affordable stainless steel water bottles.

• Cloth napkins instead of paper. Purchase napkins when they are on sale and/or make your own. Don’t sew? Cut out napkins with pinking sheers.

• For disposable items like copy paper, household tissues (toilet paper, napkins, facial tissue and paper towels) purchase ones that contain recycled post consumer content. The National Resources Defense Council provides a list of tissue product contents at http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp

• Purchase eco friendly dish and laundry detergents, shampoo, body wash and cleaning products. Consider Castile soap (available at Crow’s Corner Bakery), as it is environmentally friendly and can be used to clean everything from dishes to skin. Buy in bulk when possible and buy concentrates and refills.

• Make your own cleaning products with baking soda, vinegar and other common household products. A combination of baking soda with liquid soap (e.g. Castile soap) mixed together in a paste makes a “soft scrub,” suitable for cleaning bathtubs, sinks etc. Combine 4 spoonfuls of baking soda and a quart of water in a spray bottle, and you can use it to clean almost anything. Make your own cleaning kit by going to http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-non-toxic-cleaning-kit.html

• Buy a clothes line and pins and hang clothes outside instead of using a dryer

• Use foam soap dispensers. Foam soap is already activated, goes on easier, rinses off quicker and is environmentally friendlier than other alternatives. Make your own refills for your foam dispenser by mixing one part liquid hand soap (can use Castile soap) to four parts water.

• Add some plants to your daytime environment to boost the oxygenation. Plants release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and other toxins during the daylight hours.

• Make sure all your major electronics are on power strips. Even when they are “off”, stereo equipment and computers continue to draw electricity. Turning off a power strip at night or when you leave the house reduces energy use and saves money. Cost can be: as little as $10.

4. “The Secret Life of Bees”
The Cavendish Library’s Book Club will be reading “The Secret Life of Bees,” which is now available from the library. The tentative date for the Book Club is November 12 (Wednesday) at 6 pm.

5. Green Mountain Parents Group
GM Parents Group meets on Oct. 20 at 6 pm at the Stone Hearth Inn. The Agenda will include: Review of student survey; school website; science fair; auditorium renovations; Rowland Foundation; and PBIS. FMI: SCOTTVIN@VERMONTEL.NET

6. Cavendish Calendar On-Sale
The Cavendish Community and Conservation Association’s (CCCA) First Annual Cavendish Calendar Contest has arrived and is now on sale at the Cavendish Town Office on High Street in Cavendish, at the Opera House CafĂ© on Depot Street in Proctorsville, and at other locations in Cavendish. The calendar pictures this year celebrate the beauty of Cavendish and contain a mix of landscapes, wildlife and buildings, all in photographs taken by Cavendish residents. Three categories of photographers, based on their ages, won contest prizes, but all pictures were eligible for inclusion in the calendar, whether the picture won a prize or not.

The CCCA has already announced that they will run the contest again for the 2010 calendar. Since there were so many entries in such a short time frame this year, the CCCA hopes to get a wider selection of places and seasons in the next contest. Therefore all Cavendish citizens are encouraged to take pictures now so that the best shots might grace the 2010 calendar.

Meanwhile, the 2009 calendars make great holiday gifts and are a great reminder of how beautiful the Black River Valley can be at any time of the year. FMI: 226-7736