HEARD ON THE STREET: 9.1.16

Progressives Nominate Carl Etnier for State Rep

EAST MONTPELIER/MIDDLESEX — After coming in second against Kim Jessup in the Democratic primary election for the only Washington – 5 District House seat representing East Montpelier and Middlesex, Carl Etnier continues to seek the seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Tony Klein, D- East Montpelier. Etnier also resides in East Montpelier.

The Vermont Progressive Party nominated Etnier August 11 to run in the general election. His opponents will be Republican Dexter Lafavour of Middlesex, Democrat Jessup of Middlesex and Independent Matt Swenson of East Montpelier.

The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8.

City To Rebuild Flood Plain

BARRE CITY — The City of Barre announces receiving a $100,000 Ecosystem Restoration Grant from the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. The grant application was jointly prepared by DuBois and King, Inc., consulting engineers and the Barre City Manager’s office.

This funding will augment the $500,000 in FEMA/CDBG grant funding for the buyouts of three flood damaged houses in the Harrington Avenue area, and a $500,000 municipal bond authorization passed by voters at the March, 2016 Town Meeting.

Funds will provide for the implementation of phase one of the Gunners Brook flood mitigation program developed after the July 2015 flood event in this flood weary north-end neighborhood. Specifically, the Ecosystem Grant is intended to support three elements of the flood mitigation project: 1) installation of two stream-bed debris collection structures, 2) floodplain restoration and 3) removal of the abandoned Harrington Avenue bridge deck.

Phased construction should begin this fall, with completion of the entire project in the summer 2017.

Get Schooled For Hunting Season

MONTPELIER — It’s back to school season … for would-be hunters.

With most hunting seasons just around the corner, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is urging new hunters to sign up now for a hunter education course. All would-be hunters, trappers and bowhunters are required to complete their respective courses before purchasing their first license.

“This is the time to sign up and complete a course, because once hunting seasons begin, our volunteer instructors want to be out in the field,” said Nicole Meier in Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.

To find your course, enroll at www.register-ed.com/programs/vermont. The system includes maps and directions, instant confirmation and reminder emails, and a function that allows you to contact a course instructor directly. You can view the number of open spaces remaining in a course and receive email notifications when new courses become available in your area. Online Home Study Basic Firearm courses are also available.

New this year, the Hunter Education Program is also unveiling online bowhunter education homework, available here: https://www.bowhunter-ed.com/vermont/.

The website is vtfishandwildlife.com and the telephone number is 828-1193.

Local Woman To Organize New Recreation Facility

MONTPELIER — First In Fitness, the city’s only weight/circuit training/exercise machine facility is consolidating operations to its Berlin location on Granger Road. But many people who live in town are not willing to accept that their favorite fitness spot is leaving for good. Searching for a way to fill the gap, a group of people headed up by resident Dot Helling will meet in the Memorial Room to discuss alternatives.

Said Helling in an email to The Bridge, “I am spearheading a project to create a downtown state of the art recreation facility with a pool to replace what we’re losing and give Montpelier something we have wanted and needed for years. The response is overwhelming and I will be holding an organizational meeting in the Memorial Room on Tuesday, September 13 from 7 to 9 p.m.” More information to come.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

New at Local Schools: Pre-K and Proficiency-based Learning

MONTPELIER — Superintendent Brian Ricca reports a few new things going on in Montpelier Public Schools. For one thing, Union Elementary School will get a whole new class of young learners! “We have a new pre-kindergarten classroom at Union starting on September 12,” Ricca told The Bridge by email.

Though it is not new this year, it is relatively new to the school system: Main Street Middle School is continuing to focus on personalized learning plans, as well as proficiency based learning and assessment. And Montpelier High School is continuing a schoolwide implementation of proficiency based learning and assessment.

Unitarian Church Builds RampChurch RampbyJuliaBarstow

MONTPELIER — The Unitarian Church is having a new accessible ramp built. It will replace the original ramp, which was built in 1983. “The old one had disintegrated and was breaking apart,” said Paul Ohlson, chair of the Property Committee at the church.

The new ramp will be longer lived, and rather than having a space between it and the ground like the old one, this ramp will be solid. Gendron Building, which constructed the original ramp, is also building the new one. Phil Roach of Gendron Building said the old ramp might have deteriorated through de-icing salt. He said they intend to apply waterproofing to the new ramp to help it resist corrosion. Church Historian Peter Thoms commented that the ramp has been “very well used.” Paul Ohlson said, “We are very conscious of being an accessible facility, with the ramp and automatic doors.” The church also has low thresholds for wheelchair access, an elevator between the vestry and sanctuary levels and a new accessible restroom in the vestry. “We’re grateful to do this work,” Ohlson said.

The new ramp and a new railing are expected to be completed by September 2, and will cost about $5,500.

Reported by Julia Barstow

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