Friday, August 16, 2013

Cavendish Update 8/16/13 SB Mtg/Thank You/News/Events

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page 

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 8/16/13 Cavendish Update Contains the Following:
1. Thank You CCCA, Sponsors for the Proctorsville Concerts
2. Cavendish Select Board Meeting 8/12/13
3. Cavendish Related News
4. Cavendish Historical Society: Upcoming Events
5. Vermont Golden Honey Festival at the Golden Stage Inn
6. BRGN Expands Furniture Outlet Hours
7. River Front Landowners and Farmers Informational Meeting
8. Events

Since the end of June, Cavendish has enjoyed a series of seven concerts, every Wednesday night on the Proctorsville Green. It’s been a unifying community experience, as people of all ages attended, picnicked, caught up with friends and neighbors, held parties and enjoyed classic Vermont summer evenings.

This series has been made possible by the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA) and the following sponsors-The Inn at Glimmerstone Mansion, Calabrese Architects,  Good Earth Landscaping of Cavendish, Cavendish Snow Fleas,  Black RiverProduce,  Okemo Mountain,  and Cavendish Recreation. 

Thanks to the talents of Sharon Huntley, a variety of bands were booked and  concerts went off without a hitch. She must have an in with the weather man as even on rainy days, the sun shown for all of the concerts and there was no need for the indoor venue.

Special thanks to Peter LaBelle who coordinated press releases and handled the business end of things.

Thank you to all involved. To show your thanks, and to support the 2014 concert series, make a tax deductible contribution to the CCCA, PO Box 605, Cavendish VT 05142. 

Select board (SB) meetings are recorded by LPC-TV and are available at their website and on Comcast Television.

At Monday night’s SB meeting the following items were discussed:
A. Town Roads/Paving Projects/Gravel
• Town Paving: Reclamation on Twenty Mile Stream Rd begins on Aug. 13, and depending on weather, should be finished by Friday Aug. 16 or the beginning of the following week. Work on Tarbell Hill will also begin. Richard Svec, town manager, expects that the roads should be repaired and paved by the end of August.

• Chubb Hill Road: A number of residents who live on or near Chubb Hill Road came to the meeting to express their frustration. The signs of a new road, bisecting the Davis property,  have been in evidence for more than two years. It has been frustrating to see cones and hay bales blocking what is a much safer access to Route 131 from Chubb Hill. Svec explained that the permit from the state was obtained on June 15 and the VTrans site visit took place shortly thereafter. Legally, the town is required to hold a public hearing and needs to provide a 30 day warning period from the announcement of the hearing. On August 19, at 5 pm,  the Select board will site visit the Chubb Hill area, which will be followed by a hearing at the town office. Anyone wishing to comment on the project, and become part of the record, needs to do so at the Aug. 19 meeting.  If there are no objections, the work to open the road will begin immediately.

In order to make the changes to the access road, Chubb Hill will be closed for one-two days. If all goes well, the new access road will be operational by August 23. Closing dates will be posted to the Cavendish VTFacebook page and blog as soon as they are known.

• Gravel: The town obtained a volume of raw material from VELCO as they constructed the Coolidge Substation. This has now been crushed. Lesser quality gravel will be used for projects such as the shoulder areas of Tarbell Hill, while the higher quality gravel will be used to line ditches, fill mud holes in the spring etc. A question was raised about whether the town’s gravel pile would survive a flood like Irene or if  it would be washed down the river. Svec and members of the board explained that the gravel pile was not impacted by Irene and is not expected to be in the event of future flooding.

B. Sustainability
• Zero Sort: Given the fluctuations in the price of recyclables, the Select Board will need to consider what will be best for the town in terms of paying for the Zero Sort service- a fixed rate over the period of the contract or a variable rate based on the rise and fall of the prices of the recyclables. This will be discussed at a dedicated meeting. More information is needed to determine if the town would be best served by ordering a new compactor or going with a used one. Factors like warranties may offset any cost savings from purchasing used. In addition, the Board wasn’t sure if there would be a lag time from the point of purchase to installation for a new compactor. Progress continues at the site and the concrete pad, on which the compactor will sit, will be poured this week. This work is being done in house by Assistant Water Operator Randy Shimp, who has 11 years of experience working with concrete.

The board again discussed how best to educate the community about Zero Sort, arranging volunteers to help see that it’s implemented correctly. As there are several other environmental projects which residents need to be aware of, the board voted to use the town’s bulk mailing permit to send out information on Zero-Sort and several other projects (PACE and Efficiency Vermont programs).

You can learn more about Zero Sort recycling by going to theCasella Zero Sort site

• Composting: The same legislation (Act 148) that is requiring the town to recycle anything they possibly can, requires that by 2017 anything that can be composted be kept out of the landfills. The push is for composting at homes to minimize the need for a central point at the transfer station. Various types of composters were discussed including a “Green Cone Digester” that handles all types of food scraps including meat. Learn more about Digesters.

• Solar Project: Soveren submitted a Certificate of Public Good for the Cavendish project of 150 solar panels. It was rejected as the site would yield more than 150KW. The Certificate has been refilled using fewer panels so the desired 150 KW will be achieved. Through this process, the VT Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) evaluated the project in terms of wetlands. As long as there is a 50 foot buffer the project is fine. Note that the wetlands existed because of a beaver dam, which was destroyed during Irene. The project can easily meet this requirement

There is an issue with taxes as the VT legislator passed a bill that requires an education fund tax on the solar equipment. For the Cavendish project, this would amount to about $750 a year. The question is whether to have the holding company responsible for the solar project pay the tax, which means the rates benefitting the town would be adjusted downwards to reflect that, or increasing taxes,. One way or the other, the tax will need to be paid, and therefore needs to be put before the voters to determine a course of action. 

• PACE: At Town Meeting this year, voters approved the town’s participation in Vermont’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. This is a financing program designed to help qualified homeowners invest in specific energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Homeowners can borrow up to $35,000 in a low interest loan, which is to be repaid over/up to 20 years. The administrator of this program is Efficiency Vermont. The town’s only responsibility is if a homeowner defaults on their loan, then the town would have to post a lean on the property. This is no different than what is required of the town with anyone that holds a mortgage. According to PACE programs in other states, defaulting on a PACE loan is very rare.

The Select Board was given a Program Administrator Agreement form to review. The town’s lawyer will also be reviewing these materials, and if no problems are found, the Select board will vote to adopt the Agreement at their Aug. 19 meeting. An informational meeting will be held to further discuss PACE with homeowners.

C. E911 Numbers: In order to make it easier for first responders, the town is offering low cost house numbers, installed for free by the Cavendish and Proctorsville Fire Departments. Notice of this offer was sent with the tax bills, and 117 signs have already been ordered. As it is anticipated that there will be a second wave of interest in signs, once the first group are posted, the board voted to extend the date for purchasing numbers. To learn more about the program or to place an order, contact the Town Office 226-7291.

CTES Board Minutes for July 16/ Agenda for 8/20 Meeting: Minutes have been posted to The next CTES Board meetings will be on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 5:30 at the school. The agenda will include information on Roof repair, proposal for Soffit Project, Teacher/Staff Agreement and Bus Route.

Do VT State Police Have to Meet TicketQuotas?: A VT State Police internal e-mail would imply that they do. It surfaced during an investigation into the alleged DUI arrest of an off-duty police officer. Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee's stop was part of a state police operation called Sober Summer. It allows certain barracks extra DUI patrols. The internal email obtained by WCAX News shows state police solicited troopers to work a special detail the night Higbee was pulled over. The email instructs troopers to make two vehicle stops per hour. In response to the quota allegations, Vermont State Police Col. Tom L'Esperance issued the following statement: "The Vermont State Police do not use quotas. There are no set number of required tickets or arrests for any trooper; for patrol operations, grant funded initiatives or any other function. The Vermont State Police do set benchmarks for citizen contacts of any trooper working an overtime detail funded by federal grants. These benchmarks ensure that any trooper working a federally funded traffic safety detail is proactively and judiciously using the time to increase public safety." WCAX 

McDonalds in Springfield has been Demolished: Closing on July 28, the McDonalds in Springfield is being replaced with a new smaller building. It will reopen in late October.
Eagle Times.

The most frequent requests for information the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) receives fall into three categories-genealogy, Phineas Gage and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. As it has been since 1976, there are still “no directions to Solzhenitsyn” given, but there is a special summer exhibit about his life.

Since requests for information are received weekly, we started wondering what our early settlers, Phineas Gage and Solzhenitsyn might have in common. Each of their stories are unique, with the common thread being that they all survived considerable hardship and yet went on to thrive. A program on August 25 will explore the characteristics of thrives by reviewing the lives of Cavendish’s first families (Coffeen, Dutton and Proctor), Phineas Gage and Solzhenitsyn.

On Sept ember 13, 1848 Phineas Gage, a foreman, was working with his crew excavating rocks in preparing the bed for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad in Cavendish. An accidental explosion of a charge he had set blew his tamping iron through his head. It entered under the left cheekbone and exited through the top of the head. Thus began the first documented case of traumatic brain injury, which laid the foundation for understanding that different parts of the brain serve different functions. To mark the 165th anniversary of the accident, CHS will hold its annual Gage Walk on September 15. There will be a discussion about Gage before the walk. FMI: 802-226-7807 or

The first annual Golden Honey Festival will take place on Sept 14 from 10-4 on the grounds of the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville (Depot Street and 103). Vermont artists, candle makers, bakers and beekeepers are invited to showcase their products. Goodman’s American Pie of Ludlow (Proctorsville residents) will be baking honey themed pizza in their new portable Beehive Oven. There will also be music, kids’ crafts and education workshops. Admission is free.

Vendors (crafters, gardeners, bakers, farmers, artists and beekeepers) are being sought for this event. The cost is $20 for a 10 X 10 booth. Electricity is available by reservation only and costs an additional $5. This fee can be waved if you are willing to present a 30 minute educational lecture or demonstration.

For more information, and to arrange for booth space, contact Julie at

Black River Good Neighbor Services announces the doubling of hours for their furniture outlet.  Formerly open only on Saturdays, the store will now open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 4.  Located at 105 Main Street in Ludlow, the furniture store is housed in the former thrift store building that began its life as the town firehouse.

The furniture outlet sells good quality used furniture and gratefully accepts saleable donations.  It is an extension of the organization's thrift store operating at 37B Main Street.  Proceeds from sale of the donated goods go to Black River Good Neighbor’s food shelf and financial assistance programs.  The food shelf serves the towns of Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly and Plymouth and distributes food on behalf of several USDA food assistance programs as well as through its own efforts.

FMI: 802-228-3663.  The Thrift Store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4.  The food shelf is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 3.

The Ct River Watershed Council is sponsoring a free informational meeting on erosion Thursday Aug. 29, 7 pm at the Fletcher Farm (dinning hall) at 611 Route 103 South, Ludlow , VT. If you’ve been affected by erosion, this is a great opportunity to learn about funding and program that you may qualify for. FMI: 802-457-6114

Even though the concert series have ended, Cavendish Recreation continues to sponsor Rec Night on Thursdays at 6 pm at Greven Field. The walking path is a great way to stretch your legs and enjoy the river.

The upcoming week is the last full week of summer for the kids as school opens on August 28 at CTES and GMUHS. Seventh grade orientation is Aug. 26 and 27 at GMUHS.

Make the most of the last days of summer  To learn more about upcoming events in Cavendish and surrounding towns go to:
-  Events listed by month
-  Events listed by day 

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