Friday, December 13, 2013

Cavendish Update: 12/13/13 Weather/News/SB Mtg/Events

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

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page.

Note from the Proctorsville Fire Dept.-Thank you to everyone that attended our benefit dinner last night for PFD 1st Lt Seth Perry and PFD 2nd Lt Nate Rose. It was a huge success. We would also like to thank everyone that helped to make it all possible. There were 60 different items for the silent auction and we served almost 200 dinners. Again thank you for helping to support our brothers and they're families in they're time of need. Read more about the supper in this week’s Vermont Journal The Proctorsville Community Becomes a Family.

Please note that the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. Six to 10 inches of snow are expected with a maximum snowfall rate of up to an inch per hour, mainly Sunday morning.

The 12/13/13 Cavendish Update Contains the Following:
1. Select Board Meeting 12/9/13
2. Cavendish Related News
3. Cavendish Classifieds
4. 95th Birthday of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
5. VT Supreme Court Rules for Local Charities
6. Events

Select board (SB) meetings are recorded by LPC-TV and are available at their website and on Comcast Television. The following were discussed at Monday’s Meeting:

At Monday’s meeting the following were discussed, and in some cases voted on:

A. Black River Health Center (BRHC): Sandra Russo, on behalf of the BRHC board, asked that an article be included for Town Meeting, which would exempt the Center, a 501 (c) 3 organization from paying taxes for the next five years. The issue of exemption for this property has been discussed numerous times in the last five years, with the voters finally denying BRHC ‘s exemption and asking that the building be turned over to the town, thereby taking it off the tax rolls. As is done with other buildings in town, the town would then lease the building back to BHRC at no cost. When Selectmen Scott Ranney asked why this was still an issue, George Timko, Select men and President of the BRHC, said that the BRHC board felt that it was not in their best interest to relinquish ownership since they may have need of using it for collateral at another time. Russo said the taxes were about $5,000 a year. The SB voted to include the item on the March town meeting warning.

B. External Appropriations Policy: The board reviewed the policy regarding external 501 (c) 3 non profits (e.g. Black River Good Neighbors, SEVCA, RSVP etc.)  who are interested in receiving money from the town. In order to qualify for consideration, as part of the budgeting process, they must file an application by Nov. 30. This policy does not apply to organizations in the town, such as The Cavendish Historical Society and Cavendish Library.

C. External Appropriations Requests for 2014-2015: The following non-profits, who have received funding before, addressed the board: LPC-TV, SEVCA, RSVP, VNA (Visiting Nurses Association), Black River Good Neighbor, and Black River Senior Center. All but SEVCA were asking for level funding. SEVCA requested an increase of $400 so that the town would be paying for half of one percent of the money that residents of the town receive. New this year was a request from the CTES After School program. Nearly half of the students (current enrollment is about 90) participate in the homework club and other activities. The board felt this was an item for the school budget and not the town. Further, the after school program is not a 501 (c) 3 non-profit. Cavendish Recreation presented a budget to the board of $29,600, which would include a Director working 25-30 hours a week. This program will be dealt with separately in January.

D. Sustainability
• Zero Sort: The new single-stream recycling program is off to a good start. With this program successfully launched, discussion turned to dealing with compostable materials and what the municipal response will be. The board agreed that encouraging home composting would be the next task. They discussed having Mary O’Brien of Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District come to a SB meeting to discuss various options.

• Solar Project: While equipment and materials are at the site for the Cavendish Municipal Solar Project, the installation is on hold until the spring. Rich Svec, town manager, thought it would be a good idea to have a memo of understanding with Soveren so that the town is not liable for items that have been left at the site.

E. Pet Waste Disposal: A resident of Proctorsville has contacted the town office about the feasibility of having some type of animal waste containers on the Proctorsville Green and/or an ordinance and signage letting people know they need to clean up after their dogs. The board agreed to take this matter up after they have completed the town budget.

F. Bridges
• Depot Street (#58): The barrel protecting motorists from the damaged area of the bridge was thrown into the river. Gurney Brothers has done some work –laid steel plate, which is now covered by asphalt. The five-ton limit for commercial purposes holds. Svec advised that fire trucks not use the bridge.

• Whitesville (#1): A temporary structure has been built for the winter near the bridge. They will be doing pre casts for the bridge so that as soon as school closes, they can begin work.

• Davis Rd (# 37): Still don’t have the green light to move forward. The issue resolves around the fact the bridge was originally 25 feet long but the need is for a 36-foot replacement.

G. Tax Collection: The owners of the twenty properties listed for tax sale have either resolved their back tax issues by full payment or a realistic payment plan is now in place. Due to their complexity, the town’s attorney is dealing with the two properties with the largest/longest tax debt. After the budget is completed, more tax sale notices will be posted.

State Awards Cavendish Funds for Local Planning: Cavendish has received a municipal planning grant of $9,947 to update the town plan to address newly required economic development, flood resiliency elements and issues identified by the Regional Planning Commission.

Ludlow Mulls $2.6 m Bike Path: Ludlow is considering adding a $2.6 million bike and pedestrian path to link the community's business section to mountain recreation areas. The 3.5-mile paved trail would run along Route 103 from a park-and-ride lot and then eventually move to side roads that lead to the Jackson Gore and Buttermilk Falls recreational areas. WCAX 

BRGN Thanks Okemo and Skiers for a Successful Food Drive: Black River Good Neighbor Services thanks Okemo employees and Mountain Ambassadors who so generously helped to collect food at the annual Okemo Mountain Food Drive. 

New, Non-Mandatory VTDriver’s License Available in January: No one has to get a Real ID just to operate a motor vehicle, but in a few years—no one knows exactly when—this special driver’s license will also allow entry to certain federal facilities, as well as commercial aircraft. You could gain that same access with a passport and a standard driver’s license, but Robert Ide, Commissioner of Vermont’s Department of Motor Vehicles, says the Real ID will be much more convenient. If you want one, you must show up in person at a DMV office with your birth certificate or other proof of identity, proof of your legal status in the US, a social security card or other proof of your full number, and two proofs of your Vermont address. You will also have your photograph taken, and those images will be searchable on a database using facial recognition technology. VPR 

Lottery for Roadside Firewood Lots Open: The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will open the lottery for personal roadside firewood lots on state forest lands on January 2, 2014. The two-week registration for “cut-your-own” lots ends January 16. Each roadside lot costs $30 and yields about three cords of wood for the 2014 home heating season. This year roadside lots are available in the towns of Duxbury, Orange, Johnson, Groton, Westmore and Sutton. Participants will need to indicate where they prefer to cut. Register online  or call 802-828-1531 for more information. The department will accept one signup per household. The department will notify winners of the roadside lots in early March. Press Release 

Flu Season is Slow to Arrive but is on its Way: According to the VT Dept. Of Health, while influenza, flu, has not yet officially arrived in Vermont, it’s certainly coming soon – if it’s not already here. A few cases of the flu have been reported in surrounding states and in Quebec. To get ready for flu season, everyone age 6 months and older should get vaccinated against the flu. This will benefit both the vaccinated individual and people in their family and community who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications. Press Release 

Free: Refrigerator and stove - they both work, but are old. We're remodeling our kitchen. The refrigerator is available next week and the stove is available now for pick up. FMI: or 659-4867

SEEKING WEEKEND HOUSEKEEPER: Golden Stage Inn is seeking a housekeeper for three weekends per month for the winter months.  $10/hour starting wage.  Housekeeping experience preferred; professional references required.  Please contact Mike & Julie for more information.  226-7744 or email

December 11th marked the 95th birthday of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Laureate in literature and Soviet dissident who lived approximately 18 of the 20 years he was exiled from Russia in Cavendish. During that time, he wrote The Red Wheel, a history of the Russian Revolution. In the coming year, the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will be recognizing this important milestone with a variety of activities. For more information.

On December 6, 2013, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed a 2012 Windsor jury’s verdict allowing Phyllis Agan’s trust gifts totaling $1,550,000 to be disbursed mostly to local charities including: United Church of Ludlow, Black River Good Neighbor Services, Black River Academy Museum, Ludlow Garden Club, Masons, Rotary, American Legion Auxiliary, Annunciation Church, Gill Home, and Black River High School scholarships.

For over sixty years Bill and Phyllis Agan lived in Ludlow where both were active in many community activities.  After Bill died, Phyllis placed her assets into a trust, the beneficiaries of which were her immediate relatives.  She amended the trust many times to add and delete beneficiaries, and in 2005 she added some thirteen beneficiaries or increased amounts to beneficiaries already named, most of whom were charities in Ludlow.  Phyllis’ estate had a value of over $5 million when she died in May 2008.  Besides the charities, all remaining assets were left to immediate family members.

Her sister, niece and nephew, who were to inherit most of the balance of the estate, sued the charities to nullify the trust amendments.  After an eight-day trial held in February 2012, a jury awarded the full bequests to the charities.  The family appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court, which has now upheld the jury.

This week, the following activities will be taking place in Cavendish:
• Christmas Tree Sales: Saturday and Sunday-Cavendish Fire Department (9-5) and Proctorsville Fire Dept. (9-4) will be holding Christmas Tree Sales. The Proctorsville Fire Department has posted the following, Thank you to everyone that stopped by our Christmas Tree and Wreath sale on this past Sat, and Sun. We only have 31 VT grown Fraser Firs left and a couple wreaths as well. It is expected that the trees will sell quickly this Sat, Dec 14 from 9am to 4pm. So come early. Trees start at $30 and wreaths are $15. If any trees remain after Sat we will continue to sell on Sunday the 15th from 9am until sold out.

• Carol Sing: Sunday, Dec. 15. A fun walk around Cavendish singing Christmas carols to our neighbors. Afterwards, hot chocolate and tasty treats. Meet at the Baptist Church at 1 pm. FMI: 226-7131

• LPC-TV Open House: Dec. 16 (Monday)  4-7 pm, 37C Main Street., Ludlow. FMI: 802-228-8808

• CTES Board Meeting: Dec. 17 (Tuesday) 5:30-7:30 pm at the school

• CTES Holiday Concert: Dec 18 (Wednesday) 7-8 pm at the school. Tentative snow date is Thursday, Dec. 19.

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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