Sunday, January 17, 2016

 

Berlin News to Know November 4th

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW  November 4, 2015
*
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.
*
For current news look for "BerlinVermont" on facebook for a constant flow of information.  You don't need to be a facebook user to access it, but if you do use facebook, be sure to "Like" it:

For historical news look for "BerlinVermont Memories" on facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BerlinVermontMemories
***********************
Of note:
Don't forget that Monday, November 9th musicians Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher of Prince Edward Island will be performing at the Berlin Congregational Church, 1808 Scott Hill Road 7:30pm $15.  Call 229-9504

TAX PAYMENT DUE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH

China Moon Express - now open at the Berlin Mall, across from Bath & Body Works.

Below you will find:
CLARIFICATION
TAX SALE POSTPONED
CITRUS FRUIT ORDERS FOR U-32 MUSIC DEPT.
ANNUAL SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR - CORRECTION OF HOURS
SCHOOL BOARD & SELECTBOARD TOGETHER FOR MEETING
VETERANS DAY
ZONING REVISIONS AND PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING CHANGE
LEGO LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP AT NORWICH UNIV. - FREE
NEXT TAX PAYMENT DUE NOVEMBER 17TH
MONTPELIER WANTING TO REGULATE BERLIN POND
KEN SQUIER PROGRAM REBROADCAST
HISTORIC REGISTERS
HEADS UP - BAKED GOOD DONATIONS NEEDED LATER THIS MONTH
THE RIVER OF LIGHT 2015
PARK ON MUZZY ROAD
RECOGNITION OF MASTER SGT. MILLER
MALL DENIED TAX BREAK FOR KOHL'S
***********************
CLARIFICATION
There have been several who have asked if I'm the one in charge of the Berlin Front Porch Forum.  I am NOT.  The only involvement I have with Front Porch Forum is to now and then post items, whether for myself, as the Assistant Town Clerk, and occasionally I'll post an item for somebody else and note that in the post. 
This "Berlin News to Know" email I have been sending out for many years and do so on a totally voluntary basis, whenever I can find the time.  I also manage the "Berlin, Vermont" facebook page which has current news and the "Berlin, Vermont Memories" facebook page which is historical news.
                                        - Corinne Stridsberg
***
***
TAX SALE POSTPONED
The tax sale scheduled on Thursday, November 05, 2015 at the Berlin Town office has been postponed. Please contact the Town Treasurer / Tax Collector with any questions. treasurer@berlinvt.org
***
***
CITRUS FRUIT ORDERS FOR U-32 MUSIC DEPT.
Citrus fruit orders, a fundraiser for the U-32 Music Department, can still be submitted online but don't delay. U-32 is expected to receive the orders between Dec 1st & 11th. Specific students can be selected to receive the credit or with no student chosen from the list, the money raised will go toward their scholarship fund. www.fruitorder.com U-32 ID#834899
***
***
ANNUAL SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR - CORRECTION OF HOURS
Please note, the closing time of the book fair was incorrectly stated previously, the only day the book fair is open until 8pm is on November 6th.  The following week the book fair closes at 6pm each night.
Shop in person at the book fair in the school Learning Center November 6th 8am - 8pm and November 9th-13th 8am - 6pm.  All proceeds go toward building the school library collection and classroom library collections.
***
***
SCHOOL BOARD & SELECTBOARD TOGETHER FOR MEETING
To discuss school funding and its effect on property taxes, the Selectboard will be attending the next Berlin Elementary School Board meeting on Monday, November 9th, 2015
***
***
VETERANS DAY
Many thanks to all the Veterans and their families for the sacrifices they have and do make.
In Montpelier on Wednesday, Nov. 11th the Veterans Day Parade will be at 10am.
Reminder - Berlin Town Offices will be closed on 11/11/15
On Veterans Day many restaurants and companies thank veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. 
http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts
***
***
ZONING REVISIONS AND PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING CHANGE
Revisions to Berlin Zoning & Subdivision Regulations will be presented Wednesday, November 11th 7pm at Berlin Elementary School. Residents are encouraged to attend this interactive meeting where your questions are welcome!
Also note the Planning Commission second meeting of the month will be the 18th (instead of the 25th) at the Town Office at
6pm.
***
***
LEGO LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP AT NORWICH UNIV. - FREE
First LEGO League Đ Inaugural Vermont State Championship event, Sunday, November 15th. Norwich University, Shapiro Field House. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free and open to the public. National robotics competition for 9- to 14-year-olds. Come and see students compete in this interactive robotics and innovation activity and visit other related points of interest on campus. STEM-related exhibits begin after noon.
***
***
NEXT TAX PAYMENT DUE NOVEMBER 17TH
In order to meet this deadline, payments should be brought to the Treasurer at the town office no later than the 17th at 4:30pm or they can be left in the deposit box outside the front door (which will be checked Tuesday morning).  Payments can also be postmarked (not an office meter but postmarked by the post office) by November 17th.  Payments not made will incur a late fee of 8% penalty and 1% interest.  The Treasurer’s office is open five days a week (Monday through Thursday 8am to 4:30pm and on Friday 8am to 4pm).  The next payments are due Feb. 17th & May 17th.
***
***
MONTPELIER WANTING TO REGULATE BERLIN POND
From Montpelier 11/3/15
"Berlin Pond - Discussion of a possible city charter change related to regulation of the pond is scheduled for the Nov. 18 City Council meeting. The state Supreme Court ruled the city doesn’t have the authority to regulate public use of the pond, which serves as the city’s drinking water supply, and the city is seeking to get that authority, Fraser said."
***
***
KEN SQUIER PROGRAM REBROADCAST
"Ken Squier, His Life...So Far", will be rebroadcast on Thursday, Nov 19, 6:57 p.m. on Vermont PBS. Program runs 70 minutes.
***
***
HISTORIC REGISTERS
At the final meeting of the year on Tuesday, November 24th, the Berlin Historical Society will welcome Devin Colman, State Architectural Historian at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation to explain how structures get on to the historic registers and any implications of them being on those registers.  The meeting will start at 7pm although we invite you to come at 6:30pm to have the chance to look at some photos and other materials. 
The Historical Society will not be meeting in December, January, or February but are considering hosting some open houses.  Please let us know if this would be of interest to you. 
To stop by the Historical Society, you may find us there by chance with the "Open" sign on the door or you're most welcome to contact us to make an appointment - day, evening & weekend times are possible. Our phone is 552-8804 and email is historicalsociety@berlinvt.org
***
***
HEADS UP - BAKED GOOD DONATIONS NEEDED LATER THIS MONTH
Carole Lacasse of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department is looking for baked good donations for their food booth at the Winter Festival of Vermont Crafters at the Barre Auditorium which is held the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.  YOUR help is very important as many bakers are needed to make this a successful event.  Baked goods can be whatever you enjoy making - cupcakes, cookies, squares, breads.  Breads may end up being sold whole or by the slice.   Please drop off baked goods at the Fire Dept. on Friday, Nov 27th or Saturday, Nov 28th.  Don't let transportation be an issue as Carole is usually able to pick items from those who can't get over to the station on Friday the 27th if you plan with her in advance.  You can reach Carole at 229-9504
The funds raised have been used in a variety of ways over the years -  after Tropical Storm Irene three complete wet suits were purchased, there have also been tools purchased, boots & gloves, turnout gear, stove & refrigerator for fire house, etc.
It would be greatly appreciated if you can do a little extra baking to help out.
***
***
THE RIVER OF LIGHT 2015
Time to mark those calendars for The River of Light 2015 which will be held Saturday, December 5th from 5-6pm in Waterbury.  More details:
https://ariveroflightinwaterbury.wordpress.com/
***
***
PARK ON MUZZY ROAD (this is from Selectboard member Jeremy Hansen)
After the FEMA buyout of a flood-damaged property on the northwestern corner of Muzzy Road and Route 12, the Town of Berlin applied for and received a grant to convert the property into a publicly-usable space. (Please note that the conditions of the FEMA buyout prevent the Town from selling the property.) The town has incurred no cost, and will not have any expenses for the project for at least three years. The park will be under construction soon, and I've posted the initial sketch for the design here:
http://bit.ly/1XNeDni
I'm also getting feedback from students at Berlin Elementary to come up with a name for the park. We're currently calling it "
Muzzy Road Park", but other suggestions have come in, too. If you have ideas, please send them along to me.
- Jeremy Hansen hansen.selectboard@gmail.com
***
***
RECOGNITION OF MASTER SGT. MILLER
Master Sgt. Richard Miller, a machinist technician for the 158th Fighter Wing has created a reusable tool that allows a single person to fix a structural issue on F-16s.  This new process saves the U.S. Air Force more than $33,000 per fix.
Join me in congratulating Richard Miller.  He is a U-32 graduate, Class of '82. He also lived in Berlin for many years as adult. 
See further details: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/179285/vtang-airman-bores-through-corrosion#.Vjq5C36rRUS
***
***
MALL DENIED TAX BREAK FOR KOHL'S
Pub. 11/4/15 Times Argus by David Delcore
BERLIN — Unwilling to ignore the plain language of a voter-approved tax stabilization policy, the Select Board unanimously agreed this week that owners of the Berlin Mall will have to pay full freight for the Kohl’s department store that is under construction and scheduled to open in February.
Though the Kohl’s project met every other criterion in the policy, which has been used three times since voters approved it in 2011, board members agreed — some reluctantly — that it clearly didn’t meet one of them.
The fact that construction was underway weeks before representatives of Berlin Mall LLC requested a tax break for the $4.85 million project proved to be what board Chairman Ture Nelson termed a fatal flaw.
Mall owner Ken Simon and lawyer Charles Storrow sought to downplay the significance of a deadline they missed during what they characterized as a chaotic quest to keep Kohl’s from bolting amid uncertainty involving a state land use permit that the District 5 Environmental Commission finally issued in late July.
The stabilization request was submitted a few weeks after work on the six-month construction project had started.
Board members agreed that was a problem given the policy that requires all applications for tax breaks be “received and approved” before construction begins.
“I don’t see anything that gives us discretion to waive that point,” said Nelson, who invited Storrow and Simon to make a case to the contrary.
Storrow did his best, pitching the glitch as a “no harm, no foul” oversight the board could ignore without requiring any adjustment to property values that were set in April.
The requested stabilization agreement — like the one the mall received for the recent Wal-Mart expansion — would phase in the assessed value of the freestanding Kohl’s project over five years, incrementally increasing the tax bill for the mall property. This year, Storrow said, the mall is paying nearly $300,000 in property taxes — including roughly $70,000 to the town — and that figure would increase even if the stabilization agreement were approved.
“This isn’t a matter of going backward,” he said. “This is a matter of not going forward … as quickly as otherwise would be the case.”
After listening to Storrow and Simon, Nelson said he was sympathetic but not persuaded.
“I just don’t see any legal way around it,” he said of the policy.
Select Board member Pete Kelley said he was as conflicted as Nelson with respect to the mall’s predicament, but wasn’t prepared to ignore the policy.
“Somebody took the time to make these rules (and) to make these laws, and I think it would be a shame if this board watered those laws and rules down to something that was subject to our personal opinion at the time,” he said, suggesting that would be a dangerous precedent.
Storrow didn’t dispute the policy’s requirements.
“It is in there. It is written down, but what, as a practical matter, really is the harm in terms of the policy itself?” he asked, acknowledging that granting the request might invite criticism from residents.
Board member Jeremy Hansen said the policy couldn’t be clearer. “This is about as explicit a rule as can possibly be written,” he said.
According to Hansen, others — including the mall — have been able to successfully apply for stabilization agreements, and he saw no reason to bend the rules to accommodate a late request.
“This is supposed to be an incentive, not a pat on the back saying: ‘Good job, thanks for coming,’” said Hansen, who voted against the last two stabilization requests based on his view they amounted to little more than taxpayer-funded subsidies for projects that were going to happen anyway.
Simon, who apologized for the delay and urged the board to consider the circumstances that led to it, politely accepted the outcome.
“I think you could have done something differently, but I respect your decision,” he said after the board approved Hansen’s motion to reject the application.
Based on the board’s action, the full assessed value of the new store will be added to the mall property’s $14.9 million appraisal for the purposes of calculating the municipal portion of its property tax bill next year.
Had the stabilization request been approved, only 10 percent of the store’s value would have been added to the mall’s assessment next year. That figure would have increased to 20 percent in 2017, 40 percent in 2018, 60 percent in 2019 and 80 percent in 2020.
In 2021, the mall would have been taxed for municipal purposes based on the full fair market value of the store.
david.delcore @timesargus.com

***

Comments: Post a Comment



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?