Tuesday, February 11, 2014


News To Know February 7, 2014

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW February 7th, 2014

This  communication is put together and distributed on a volunteer basis by resident Corinne Stridsberg simply in an effort to share information and build community, it is not from the town of Berlin.
Please share this with your Berlin friends and neighbors.  If you're not already receiving this news directly by email, send an email to request this to corinnestridsberg@gmail.com.
Check out the Berlin, Vermont Community News page on facebook to find bits of current news:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Berlin-Vermont/205922199452224


Included below please find:


There will be a contra dance and dinner to benefit the Capital City Grange on Sunday, February 9th.  From 3pm - 4pm there will be a family dance, 4:30 - 5:30 is dinner, and from 5:30 - 8:30pmMaivish (Jaige Trudel and Adam Broome) with Mary Wesley calling.  Tickets at the door: Adults $10 to dance and $10 to eat.  Kids 15 and under $5 to dance and $5 to eat.  Be sure to bring shoes to put on inside as they have a gorgeous floor and want to keep it that way.  Capital City Grange Hall on Route 12 in Berlin.  https://www.facebook.com/montpeliercontradance
It's that time again, next Berlin tax payment is due on February 15th, 2014. Yes, that's a Saturday. Payments should be brought in to the Town Treasurer by Friday the 14th at 4:30pm or they can be left in the deposit box outside the front door (which will be checked Sunday morning). Payments can also be postmarked (not a office meter but postmarked by the post office) by Feb 15th. 
Payments not made will incur a late fee of 8% penalty and 1% interest, even if it's late by just a day or two.
Two opportunities are upcoming to indulge of a vast variety of pies for breakfast. The first is at the American Legion at 16 Stowe Street in Waterbury on Saturday, Feb. 15th from 7am - 11am (or when the pie runs out) $7 for all the pie you can eat.  Kids eat for $5. Sponsored by Waterbury Rotary Youth Exchange Committee. It just doesn't get much better then going to a community all you can eat pie fest.
Then a fantastic second opportunity on Saturday, March 29th at 9am - 11am (or until the pie runs out) at the Rumney Elementary School. Last year their pricing was $6 per person or $5 if you brought your own plate and utensils. Another post will be made when I have those details. Rumney also had a selection of whole pies to purchase. Unbelievable the variety of pies to be found at these events - in my experience there are lots of dessert pies but also meat pies, spaghetti pies, and quiche. Mark those calendars for both dates and see you there!
Pub 2/5/14 Times Argus by David Delcore
   BERLIN — A plan to put a 114-foot cell tower on the wooded hillside overlooking a local housing development is generating static from residents who complain Verizon Wireless has failed to accurately communicate what the project will do to their neighborhood.
   The tower, they claim, will be a view-spoiling eyesore that, by all accounts, will protrude more than 35 feet above the tree line, threatening their property values and quality of life.
   Feeling angry and outgunned, residents of Partridge Farms this week urged the Select Board to do whatever it could to block the state Public Service Board from doing what they say it has done 249 times in the past four years: approve a cell tower application.
   It is far from clear what, if anything, the Select Board can do to influence the quasi-judicial PSBprocess that is well underway, but members agreed to consult the town’s attorney, Rob Halpert, about their options and discussed filing a more forceful follow-up to the town’s Dec. 30 submission in the case. That document raised questions about the height and location of the proposed tower and its potential effect on the Partridge Farms neighborhood.
   Before the discussion, Selectman Ture Nelson, a Partridge Farms resident who has formally objected to the proposed cell tower, joined some of his neighbors in the audience. Also, Chairman Brad Towne disclosed he has an unrelated deal with Verizon Wireless to place one of its towers on property he owns in another area of town.
   Those disclosures were followed by a lively discussion during which neighbors accused Verizon Wireless of filing “inaccurate, inconsistent and incomplete information” with the PSB involving its plans to construct a cell tower on a 70-acre parcel owned by resident David Baird.
   According to the neighbors, the application didn’t address the potential aesthetic effects on Partridge Farms. They also claim the housing development was intentionally cropped out of some of the photographs that accompanied the initial application.
   “This isn’t out in the middle of nowhere in a forest like Verizon Wireless is trying to make it out to be,” Nelson said. The proposed tower would be on a wooded ridge less than 150 feet from the edge of a development that has more than 50 single-family homes.
   Owners of several of those homes attended Monday night’s meeting and expressed their unanimous concern about the “monopole” tower that they argued would stick out like a sore thumb on a virgin ridge.
   “In my opinion this (tower) would create an extreme and unnecessary visual impact in our neighborhood,” one resident said.
   Though he was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting, Plateau Drive resident Robert Lehmert said he was upset with what he considered the applicant’s attempt to downplay legitimate aesthetic concerns of the neighborhood by ignoring it.
   “(Verizon Wireless) hid it,” he said. “They obscured the existence of a neighborhood.”
   Like those who spoke Monday, Lehmert said he believed the tower could be relocated on the 70-acre parcel in a way that would be less intrusive to Partridge Farms residents and still accomplish the company’s goal of enhancing service along the Barre-Montpelier Road, as well as the Route 2 corridor between Montpelier and East Montpelier. However, he said, the company’s representatives turned a deaf ear to those suggestions.
   “Nobody has taken any time to communicate with us, and we are the people who will have to live with this eyesore,” he said.
   Responding to written concerns submitted recently to the Public Service Board by Lehmert, Nelson and the town, Verizon Wireless representatives have maintained worries about aesthetics have been “grossly overstated” by the neighbors. Only the top 36 feet of the tower will be visible from vantage points in Partridge Farms, and that height is needed to provide for adequate service, fill coverage gaps and accommodate the future co-location of other carriers.
   According to the company’s filings, the 110-foot tower would be topped by 12 panel antennas that would increase its height to 114 feet. The tower would be designed to blend into the hillside setting, the company said, and only about 36 feet of it would be visible above the tree line, which has an average height of roughly 78 feet.
   Notwithstanding neighbors’ concerns, Verizon Wireless contends the project qualifies for the expedited review typically afforded telecommunications facilities of “limited scope and size.”
   Though Berlin’s zoning regulations don’t come into play because no local review is required, they do establish a target of 20 feet above the average tree line, while leaving the door open to exceptions to provide adequate coverage in the community or to accomplish co-location that could limit the number of towers needed.
   Verizon Wireless claims both criteria come into play.
   david.delcore @timesargus.com
pub 2/5/14 Times Argus
   There has been little or no measurable increase in the level of delinquent tax rates and tax sales around most of central Vermont in the past fiscal year, say town and city officials across the region, and in some cases rates have actually decreased.
   “Delinquency rates have held pretty steady,” said Barre Town Clerk Donna Kelty.
   “In Barre Town, the delinquency rate was 2.48 percent in the fiscal year of 2011-12, and 2.28 percent in 2012-13.”
   Kelty said these rates have fallen from the 2007-08 fiscal year when the delinquency rate was 4.6 percent.
   In Montpelier, delinquent tax collector Beverlee Hill reports the city hasn’t had a tax sale in five years. Hill said that before going through the process of a tax sale, she often checks to see if properties are in foreclosure.
   “Most of the ones that could go to tax sales are in the foreclosures process. I let the property go through foreclosures rather than do tax sales,” Hill said. “The city gets all of the taxes, penalties and interest when a property goes through foreclosure, just as it would if it went to tax sale, and it saves the city from going through the cumbersome process of a tax sale.”
   Montpelier residents paid $8 million in taxes during fiscal year 2013. A total of $775,000 in taxes was delinquent, for a rate of less than 1 percent, one of the lowest in central Vermont. Hill said all but $34,000 of the delinquent tax dollars for fiscal year 2013 have been collected.
   The capital has had a good history when it comes to delinquent taxes: The city’s delinquent tax balance for fiscal 2012 was just $148, while the delinquent balance for fiscal 2011 stood at $376. Hill said the reason for the small balances in previous years has been the city’s ability to work out successful payment plans for people with delinquent taxes, as well as properties that could go up for tax sale and are not in the process of foreclosure.
   In Waterbury, Municipal Manager William Shepeluk reports that the city’s total delinquency number as of January had reached $250,000, up from $227,000 in 2013 and $215,000 in 2012. Shepeluk does not view the increase as very significant, however, saying he’s not all that concerned.
   Waterbury boasts one of the steadiest delinquency tax rates in central Vermont. Shepeluk projects the outstanding delinquency rate for 2013 to be somewhere in the range of 2 percent. This is similar to previous years’ rates of 1.83 percent in 2012 and 2 percent in 2011.
   In Plainfield, delinquency rates are on a steep decline, decreasing 60 percent since 2009. According to delinquent tax collector George Cushing, “The town report reflects delinquent taxes through the end of December 2012 were less than $25,000.” Cushing said this was mostly attributable to two taxpayers. The most recent tax sales in Plainfield took place in 2011 and 2012.
   Barre has also seen a fairly stable delinquent-tax situation, although there were 11 tax sales in the city in 2013. However, that was on par with numbers from previous years: eight in 2012, 13 in 2011, and 12 in 2010.
   “The tax sales really just affect cash flow,” said City Clerk Carol Dawes. “They don’t affect the budget. You really can’t budget for that kind of thing.”
   Bucking the regional trend, delinquent taxes have increased in Berlin. As of December, the delinquent tax figure stood at $240,435, up from the end of June, when delinquent taxes in the town were at $182,753. Town Administrator Jeff Schulz thinks the rise in the numbers may be partly due to turnover in treasurers, as Berlin has seen a number of different people holding the position during the past couple of years.
Below are several recent postings .... there have been many more about a variety of topics, looking for services, garage sales, meeting announcements, events, etc.  Membership is free - to join go to: http://frontporchforum.com

Cabin Fever Latin Dance Party at Fresh Tracks Farm!

Posted to: Berlin
Event: Feb 8, 20146:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Escape your winter blues and cure your Cabin Fever! In celebration of the Vermonts Wine & Chocolate Weekend, were throwing a Latin Themed party all night long!
From 6:00 to 7:00 pm, take part in an official Salsa class (led by the Salsalina Dance Studio). Tickets are only $13 per person, but due to the size of our tasting room, well have to limit it to 30 participants. Important: Please call us at 802-223-1151, or buy tickets via our Event Tickets page athttp://www.freshtracksfarm.com/event-calendar/ticket/
The limit is referring only to the Salsa class, not the after-party though!!
After the lesson ends, the dance party will begin, and it goes until 10:00 pm. Well have Latin-themed sweets available for all to enjoy and of course, wine abounding! :)
Please share this link with friends and family, and most importantly, RSVP to our Facebook event! (https://www.facebook.com/events/281109348706723/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular)


Grant Writing Support Needed - posted Feb 7th

The Berlin Elementary School has an amazing school garden that supports both the education of students and our foodservice program. In order to make this effort sustainable, we need support with grant writing. Is there anyone out there that can volunteer some time and/or expertise in finding and applying for grants? Please contact cgauthier@u32.org.


Berlin School Garden Shed Work Day - posted Feb 7th

Event: Apr 23, 2014
Mark your calendars now! On April 23rd, the Berlin School will continue work to construct a garden shed to accompany our fantastic school garden. We could use your help! Please consider joining us. Email cgauthier@u32.org to RSVP or with questions. Thank you!


Plan Central Vermont Website Launch - posted Feb 6th

Robert Wernecke • Pine Hill Drive 
Posted to: Berlin
Would you like to participate in planning for the future of Central Vermont?
The new Plan Central Vermont website is now live at www.plancentralvermont.org! Here you will be able to learn more about the Plan Central Vermont project and the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commissions progress as well as how you can get involved in guiding the Central Vermont Region towards a more sustainable future.
Also visit the community input map: http://plancentralvermont.org/participate/community-input-map/ to participate in the creation of Central Vermont's Regional Plan. Review the map and provide your own comments!
Stephanie Smith|Community Engagement Coordinator A*VISTA
Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
29 Main Street Suite 4|Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-0389|smith@cvregion.com
www.centralvtplanning.org|Find us on Facebook!

Raw Milk Sales - posted Feb 2

Nate Rogers • Rowell Hill Rd 
Posted to: Berlin
Just wanted to let the community know that we are now selling raw milk from our farm. We are offering a CSA option as well as cash sales, drop me a email for pricing and info or just stop on by the farm. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rogers.farmstead
Email is Rogersfarmstead@gmail.com
Rowell Hill Road Berlin

Winter Carnival Feb. 14-16 - posted Jan 28

Bob Illingworth • Freedom 
Posted to: Berlin
Event: Feb 14, 201412:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Feb 14th and 15th and the full day Sat the 15th--ice skating,chili cook offs ,ice and snow sculptures weather related!! Librarian with story-time Sat 10-2 Last weekend of Norwichhockey against the cream of the crop Babson 7pm Feb 14th. U Mass 4pm Feb 15th Let,s break up this winter with fun!!!! Not just a Labor Day town!!!!
On board of directors for Northfield Rec. Dept.
A couple other recent Front Porch Forum postings of note on Feb 4th were: "Designing the Home Garden and Small Farm for Climate-Change Future" (event Feb 10th 6:30pm -8 pm at MHS) and "Letter from the U-32 Board" regarding their finalized budget.

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