Sunday, April 24, 2016
Berlin News to Know April 24, 2016
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
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Below you will find:
ON THE DODGE FARM OF BERLIN
FARM IN THE NEWS
VERMONT GOVERNOR PRIMARY
WHEN DISCUSSION IS LOST –
UPCOMING MEETINGS / TAX SALES
AND PRESENTATION ON THE DODGE FARM OF BERLIN
The Berlin Historical Society invites you to share an evening of local
Dodge Farm of
Join us for a "photo-walk" of the
was on the Berlin Barre-Montpelier Road for almost
two hundred years and was home to six generations of the Dodge family. Enjoy
pictures, stories and writings that will introduce you to the rich history of
this farm and her family.
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 Berlin Congregational Church, 1808 Scott Hill Road, Berlin Corner, Vermont The evening will begin with a Potluck Dinner at 6pm followed by a presentation on the History of the Dodge Farm of Berlin at 7pm.
Please RSVP to Sara Walker 802-318-5828 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Your response helps us plan for seating.
On occasion I have people ask me about finding an apartment and that has come up again. Does anybody currently have an apartment available and be willing to rent month-to-month? Somebody has an opportunity to take a
starts end of May until October with a chance of an extension. No pets
but would like to be able to have one. Berlin
FARM IN THE NEWS
Fresh Tracks Farm on Vermont Route 12 right here in
article in the Bridge is an interesting read and there is also a drone tour
showing the Tasting Room and Vineyard on the Fresh Tracks Farm website: Berlin
Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher from
performing here in Prince Edward Island on Sunday,
May 22nd at . Tickets $15
can be reserved by calling Andy Lacasse at 229-9504. Berlin
VERMONT GOVERNOR PRIMARY
Tuesday, August 9th is the Vermont Governor Primary, last day to register to vote is Wednesday, August 3rd. Early / absentee ballots will become available about 30 days prior to August 9th, it’s not too early to request one be sent to you when they’re ready.
Register to vote on line: https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/voters/registration.aspx or stop by the Town Clerk’s office which is open M-Th
WHEN DISCUSSION IS LOST –
TOWN MEETING BERLIN
The article U-32 student Kevin Thayer wrote for The Chronicle “When Discussion is Lost – Berlin Town Meeting” is one that we should all consider (see link below).
Perhaps there should be another vote to see if voters want to continue with the budgets and other items being on the Australian ballot or if they'd like them back on the floor to discuss and potentially alter. It could also be considered if an afternoon Town Meeting would be more convenient for people to attend.
People have also wondered if a Saturday or an evening meeting would work. Please consider elderly could have trouble getting to an evening meeting.
When the vote changed - On
January 17, 2009 at 145 voted
for the school budget to be put on Australian Ballot 88 yes / 57 no. Then
at 139 people
voted for the town budget to be put on Australian Ballot 72 yes / 67 no.
A petition to have it go to vote again would need about 100 signatures (5% of registered voters) and the vote would be a floor vote.
The students at U-32 have a lot of interesting articles in The Chronicle which is posted to the WCSU Open Media Platform. Here is a
the Hilltop Inn on Berlin Airport Road.
UPCOMING MEETINGS / TAX SALES
The Sewer Commission meets on Monday April 25th at the Town office.
The Planning Commission meets Wednesday, April 27th for continued discussion of the comprehensive revision and unification of
’s zoning and
subdivision regulations. Berlin
Details can be found at: http://placesense.com/berlin
The Charter Committee will meet Monday, May 2nd , the Selectboard also meets May 2nd at , and the Development Review Board meets Tuesday, May 3rd , these meetings are at the Town office.
Saturday, May 7th is Green Up Day.
Subaru at Twin City 142 Mall
Road is an official bag pick-up and drop
-off location. There will be free food, drinks, and Green Up Day goodies
for the volunteers.
The next quarterly tax payment is due on Tuesday, May 17th.
Information on pending tax sales can be found at: http://www.berlinvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Pending-Tax-Sales-1.pdf
Montpelier’s Berlin Pond charter change H.871, which would have given Montpelier the right to regulate state owned waters, was NOT approved by the House Committee on Government Operations but apparently still has the potential to be attached as an amendment to a piece of legislation that does make it out of committee. Several days of testimony were heard before the vote.
This agenda includes who was scheduled to testify:
Documents & Handouts:
Panel Kills Montpelier’s Berlin Pond charter change
Pub. 4/23/16 Times Argus by David Delcore http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160423/NEWS01/160429822
The 6-4-1 vote came after the divided committee first “split” the bill and unanimously advanced a companion charter change — one that would give Montpelier the authority to impose a 1 percent tax on rooms, meals and alcohol sold within its borders.
Both charter changes were overwhelmingly approved by
After hearing from the last of two dozen witnesses — a group that included city and state officials, local residents and outdoor enthusiasts — the committee invoked a procedural maneuver that kept the local options tax on track and left the city’s request to regulate its drinking water supply up in the air.
“Now comes the hard part,” Rep. Donna Sweeny, D-Windsor, told fellow members of the committee she leads as they turned their attention to
Rep. Maida Townsend, D-South Burlington, clearly wasn’t comfortable with having to wade into a dispute that she said pits Montpelier against Berlin with the state Agency of Natural Resources serving as the referee.
“I just think it’s a total shame that this has reached this kind of situation,” Townsend lamented. “I think both communities have a vested interest in that pond, I think both sets of arguments have merit, and I so wish that the two communities, along with ANR, could … just get it together to work together because everyone cares about the pond.”
Townsend’s plea for “common ground” set the stage for a vote that saw Rep. Joanna Cole, D-Burlington, join the committee’s five Republican members in opposing the controversial charter change, even as she indicated she would prefer more “restrictions” than currently exist.
Though Sweeny ultimately joined a minority that included Townsend, Rep. Debbie Evans,
Rep. Patti Lewis, R-Berlin, shared that concern, openly worrying that approval of a request the state essentially cede its authority over Berlin Pond to Montpelier could “open the door for another Supreme Court case” and, in her view, wasn’t necessary.
That was the view of Friday’s scheduled witness, Peter LaFlamme, director of the state’s watershed management division.
LaFlamme reiterated the state’s oft-stated position that light recreational use of Berlin Pond — non-motorized boating, fishing and swimming — posed no discernible risk to
LaFlamme said concern about the presence of petroleum products on the pond “moved the needle slightly” and prompted the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expand a previously existing ban on motorized boats to include all internal combustion engines at
The committee, which spent most of the week listening to competing testimony on that point, was finally forced to take a position during a hearing attended by Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, community activists Jed and Page Guertin, and Rep. Warren Kitzmiller, D-Montpelier, who introduced the charter changes.
“Very disappointing,” Kitzmiller said after the failed vote on the second of two charter changes.
Joining Cole and Lewis in the majority were Rep. Dennis Devereaux, R-Mount Holly, Rep. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, Rep. Ronald Hulbert, R-Milton, and Rep. Rob LaClair,
Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, D-Bradford, did not attend any of this week’s hearings and was not present for Friday’s vote.
Committee members on both sides of the issue seemed to agree that clearer signage spelling out what is and isn’t allowed on the pond would be an improvement and “port-a-potties” be incorporated into the state Department of Fish & Wildlife’s evolving plans to develop a “carry-on” boat access.
The charter change is Montpelier’s latest attempt to turn back the clock on a 2012 Vermont Supreme Court case in which justices came down squarely on the side of a couple of rogue kayakers who claimed Montpelier lacked the authority to prohibit use of the pond.
If blessed by the Legislature, the charter change would arguably give
Though it doesn’t have the committee’s backing, Lewis didn’t rule out the possibility the charter change could be introduced as an amendment to some other piece of legislation that actually did make it out of committee.
“We’re not done yet,” she said.
Barring an amendment, this will mark the second straight session when a piece of Kitzmiller-backed legislation stalled in a House committee.
A year ago, Kitzmiller voluntarily withdrew a bill that was pending before the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, after it became clear members of that panel were poised to defeat it. That legislation would have given eight communities —
Testimony starts on Berlin Pond dispute
Pub. 4/21/16 Times Argus by Gina Tron
The hearing is for a charter change proposed by the city voted by residents on Town Meeting Day. The change will ultimately give
“If my son were unable to take no for an answer, he and I would have to have a serious talk about boundaries and about how ‘no means no,’” said Mike Covey from the Vermont Traditions Coalition. “Every time the city of
He said that this is about municipal control, which he called unconstitutional.
Covey quoted Calvin Coolidge who said, “It’s better to kill bad bills than to pass them.” He went on to say that this is a bad bill, and urged for the House committee to vote no on the Berlin Pond section of Bill H-871. The other section of the charter-change bill is for
“Our drinking water has been open to regulation against our wishes,” said Rep. Warren Kitzmiller, D-Montpelier. “We had that authority for over 100 years, but it has disappeared through a series of regulatory changes, errors, omissions, and frankly, some very political decisions at the highest level of the state government.”
A legislative fix proposed by Kitzmiller met resistance in committee last year. The issue of who has control over the pond has been an often contentious one, and dates back from before 2009.
“The Agency of Natural Resources is not taking a back seat … as they have been accused of doing,” said selectman Ture Nelson, the
He described the charter change language as too broad. “It allows them (
Kitzmiller spoke about his fear of contaminants and pathogens.
“As the science as pathogen detection improves, new waterborne diseases associated with drinking water continue to emerge. Most surface-treatment water facilities are designed to greatly reduce but not completely eliminate.”
He claimed that water treatment plants don’t get rid of 100 percent of contaminants.
In Thomas McArdle’s testimony, he said this issue is about water — not the land, kayaks, people, fishermen or politics. He is the
McArdle said he objects to public statements issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation about
“Because the fact of the matter is, our treatment facility is not capable of treating all potential sources of contamination; there are types of bacteria that we can neither completely remove nor safely inactivate,” McArdle said.
Others who testified on Wednesday argued that increasing contaminants in the water through recreation could be potentially harmful to the drinking water.
The hearing starts up again today at in Room 49 of the State House. Hearings are also scheduled to continue on Friday. A decision is not expected in the immediate future.