There is an error in this week’s issue of “The Message.” The paper reports that the Cavendish School Budget is up by $12,783 or .7% when in fact it is down by that amount.
Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page.
The 2/28/14 Cavendish Update Includes the Following:
1. Pre-Town Informational Meeting
2. Cavendish Related News
3. CCF Accepting Applications for Spring 2014 Grants
4. Annual Mardi Gras Party
5. The Gram
1. PRE TOWN INFORMATIONAL MEETING
On Tuesday night, the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA) provided a forum to discuss the agenda for Town Meeting. Filmed by LPC-TV, you can watch the proceedings on-line and Comcast.
Town Meeting takes place at the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) on March 3, 7 pm and March 4, 10-7, for Australian ballot. The Town and School District 2013 Annual Report is available on-line.
The following was discussed at this meeting:
Write in Candidates: Brendan McNamara and Wendy Regier are write in candidates for the one-year select board positions.
Tax Exemptions: Two organizations, the Fletcher Farm Foundation (Article 4) and the Black River Health Center (Article 5), both registered non profits, are asking the town for 5-year exemptions on real and personal property taxes. Rich Svec, town manager, explained that this is not as simple as it’s been in years past. Because of the education tax, the Town will have to write checks of approximately $11,788 for Fletcher Farm and $4,023 for the Black River Health Center (BRHC).
Fletcher Farm has been tax exempt for the last five years. The question was raised whether the town could under write the property tax while Fletcher Farm pays the school portion. Svec said he didn’t know but would have this information for Town Meeting.
In 2011 and 2012, the issue of the BRHC exemption was heavily discussed at town meeting. In 2012, a motion was passed to exempt the Center unless by June 30, 2012 the lawyers determine it is not feasible for the ownership of the property to revert to the town. (pages 4 and 5 of the 2012 Town Report). George Timko, selectman and chairperson of BRHC, stated that the board felt this it was not in the best interest of BRHC to transfer the building to the town, as the facility is its only asset.
Twenty Mile Stream Cemetery (Article 6): The Cemetery Commission has requested $10,000 to prepare a portion of land donated to the town for future burial use at the Twenty Mile Stream Cemetery. Like many others in town, this cemetery is close to full. Part of this area was cleared during the Twenty Mile Stream Rd improvements, but $10,000 is needed to finish clearing, stumping and seeding.
Cavendish Recreation Department: Article 7 reads, “ To see if the voters will approve the establishment of a Cavendish Recreation Department and approve an appropriation of $25,500 to support the first year activities of such department and to add said amount to the budget proposed by the selectmen for the Fiscal Year 2014-2015.”
The push to create a formal Cavendish Recreation Department (CRD) is an outgrowth of activities around the rebuilding of Greven Field following Irene. In the past two years, Greven has been expanded to include a walking trail, volley ball court and the testing of water quality on the Black River, so people know when it’s safe to fish, swim and boat.
Currently, the selectmen’s budget includes $4,100 for CRD programs, which is similar to previous years funding, and the school budget includes $1,300 for the program. CRD is asking for an additional $25,500 from the town to formalize the program by having a half time director whose function will include expanding the program beyond its primary offerings of Greven Field and the CTES sports programs. If adopted, this would then become a line item in all future town budgets. More information will be available at Town Meeting.
Use of surplus funds (Item 8): Svec explained that the $30,000 towards the Town Highway Capital Equipment Fund is needed because the Town will eventually need to replace two trucks and a grater. A new furnace is needed for the town garage as the existing ones posses a variety of problems including the safe storage of waste oil. The proposed furnace will use a combination of wood and number 2 heating oil.
Town Budget: There increase in the Town Budget’s budget over last year is less than 2%. It includes increases in salaries for town employees and for some charitable giving. Cost to maintain the town equipment, general maintenance etc. has also increased. New this year is the money the town needs to pay for the renovation of the Windsor County Courthouse.
School Report: The school budget is down by .7% from last year. George Thomson, Principal, encouraged people to the read his report in the Annual report (pages 110-113). During his presentations, Thomson mentioned three different reports available on-line as follows:
Thomson stated that enrollment in CTES is 91 students this year. Over the least 10 years, enrollment has fluctuated- 2004 (105); 2005 (94); 2006 (97); 2007 (107); 2008 (108); 2009 (115); 2010 (108); 2011 (105); 2012 (97) and 2013 (91). He also noted that the pre- school collaborative has 25 children enrolled. However, for 2013, the Annual Report only lists three births.
Voting for the CTES and GMUHS budgets take place on Tuesday by Australian ballot. Currently, no one has expressed interest in the three-year term school board position.
2. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS
Janelle: A Local Artist Profile: From the mismatched socks (family tradition) to the permanently attached hula-hoop meet Janelle Wilfong from Proctorsville. Vermont Journal
Rutland Herald The River Valley Technical Center’s 2014-15 budget is down slightly from the current academic year. Under the plan, taxpayers would see their portion decrease a slight 0.56 percent to $2,524,876 and the overall budget drop a slighter 0.036 percent to $2,801,876.
Dollar General OKed for Chester: In a much anticipated move, the Chester Development Review Board has issued clarified findings of fact and conclusions of law in the conditional use permit application of Zaremba Group LLC to build a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General store on Main Street across from the Country Girl Diner. Chester Telegraph
2014 Doyle Poll Released: It's been testing the pulse of Vermont voters for years. State Senator Bill Doyle's annual town meeting survey has just been released. The 2014 questionnaire asks voters for their take on a number of hot topics. This year it includes questions on whether the state should legalize marijuana and ban cellphone use while driving. It also asks about efforts to combat opiate use and to change the way some foods are labeled in Vermont. The survey appears on-line and can be filled out and returned by mail, or completed at Town Meeting. WCAX
Campaign for VT’s Education Research Tool Compares School Budgets, Test Scores: Campaign for Vermont has assembled education data into a new research tool in advance of Town Meeting Day on Tuesday, March 4. The online Education Research Tool (ERT) shows school districts’ total budgets alongside pupil head counts to calculate average spending per student. A separate page shows each school’s NECAP test scores by the percentage of students who score as proficient (or above) versus partially proficient (or below). Press Release
3. CAVENDISH COMMUNITY FUND ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The Cavendish Community Fund is now accepting applications for grants that will be awarded this spring. The deadline for applying is April 15, 2014. In 2007 the fund inaugurated its program of giving cash grants to organizations for educational, artistic or cultural projects, programs or events. Last year grants went to several organizations including the elementary school for a drama-based collaborative project with the Weston Playhouse, to the Raise the Roof concert series at Gethsemane Church, and to the Historical Society to help edit a book on the life of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Applications and guidelines are available at the Cavendish Community and Conservation Association’s website under the Community Fund tab. Hard copies are also available at Crow’s Bakery in Proctorsville and at the Cavendish town office.
Projects, programs or events must directly benefit the Cavendish community in some way. A panel of local citizens reviews all applications and recommends the ultimate grantees based on the quality and feasibility of each proposal. Grants are not expected to exceed $1,000 each and will depend primarily on the number of applications and the amounts requested.
For further information on applying, on eligibility or on any other aspect of the grant program, or for help completing the application, please call Peter LaBelle at 226-7250 or Barbara Dickey at 226-7187.
4. ANNUAL MARDI GRAS EVENT
Show your support for CCCA and the Cavendish Community Fund by dancing the night away, Saturday March 1, at the annual Mardi Gras party featuring Cajun/Zyedco dance band Yankee Chank. Tickets are $10 at the door. Dancing gets underway at 7:30 pm at Crows Bakery on Depot Street in Proctorsville. Dance instruction provided. FMI: 226-7736
5. THE GRAM
The Cavendish Historical Society recently received a copy of “The Gram,” a newsletter produced by the Proctorsville Grammar School and labeled Vol.II No. 2, which appears to be the November/December 1937 edition. Some of the names associated with the publication include Lillian Place, Eileen Pickett, Beth Sheehan, Howard Parker (Grade 4), and Vesta Shaw. “Sponsors” include: The Handy Market; Wells Market; “If you need a barber see La Plante;” U.S. Savings Bonds at Post Office; Coal and Wood John Smith; Meals Lawrence’s Restaurant; Rooms Meals Excellent Food New Proctor Hotel; If a carpenter you need-Joseph Punalla can do the deed; Service thru the__years, Service Now, Xmas goods Pollard’s Store; Visit the Texaco Station. FMI: http://cavendishhistoricalsocietynews.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-gram-proctorsville-grammar-school.html
This week, the following activities will be taking place:
• Mardi Gras Dance Party (March 1, Saturday): Benefits CCCA and the Cavendish Community Fund. Dance starts at 7:30 pm at Crows Bakery featuring Cajun/Zydeco dance band Yankee Chank. FMI: 226-7292
• Cavendish Town Meeting (March 3, Monday): 7 pm at CTES multi purpose room in Proctorsville. The town budget and associated articles will be first on the agenda. FMI: 226-7792
• Cavendish Australian Ballot (March 4, Tuesday): The polls are open from 10-7 at CTES in Proctorsville. FMI: 226-7792.
To learn more about upcoming events in Cavendish and surrounding towns go to: