Cavendish Update 8/2/19: Taxes/SB Mtg/Break-Ins/Events

Blueberries.JPG

 

CHECK THE CAVENDISH VT FACEBOOK PAGE DAILY FOR THE LATEST NEWS You don’t have to be a Facebook subscriber to see this page.

8/2/19 Cavendish Update

1.Cavendish Tax Rate Calculation Error

2. Cavendish Break-Ins

3. Cavendish Related news

4. Wednesday Concert: Chris Kleeman

5. Events

1.TAX RATE CALCULATION ERROR: At the July 29 Select Board (SB) meeting, Cavendish Town Clerk Diane McNamara informed the board that an error was made in calculating the FY 19-20 Fire District tax rates. According to the unapproved minutes of this meeting, posted to the Municipal website, Diane said she miscalculated the fire district tax rates for the 20192020 tax bills, which had already been mailed out. She handed out some information to the Board showing that the billed rate, the corrected rate, and the resulting shortfall which totals $194,737.

Diane explained that there are three options to make up this shortfall-sending out supplemental tax bills, resetting the tax accounting system and issuing new tax bills, or borrowing the money and making it up on next year’s bill. She discussed the pros and cons of these options with the Board.

The Board decided that sending out new or supplemental bills would cause a lot of confusion for taxpayers and mortgage services, and that borrowing the money or taking out a line of credit would be less disruptive. They agreed that the Town should send out a letter to all taxpayers to explain the situation.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to Cavendish Property Owners. If you have questions, please call the town office 802-226-7291.

July 30, 2019

Dear Property Owner,

This letter is to inform you of a math error that was made in the calculation of the FY19-20 Fire District tax rates and to explain how we plan to resolve it.

The impact of this error is as follows:

Fire District #1 tax rate was set at 0.0008 rather than 0.0801 per $100 of assessed value resulting in a shortfall of $116,835 in fire district tax collections for this year.

Fire District #2 tax rate was set at 0.0007 rather than 0.0672 per $100 of assessed value resulting in a shortfall of $77,903 in fire district tax collections for this year.

The Select Board members considered several options to resolve the shortfall of funds and made the decision to borrow the funds during the FY19-20 tax year in order to meet the budgets of both Fire Districts. This means that the FY19-20 Fire District shortfall will be added to the FY20-21 Fire District tax rates.

We sincerely apologize for this error and for any confusion it may cause. Please feel free to call the Town Clerk/Treasurer’s office with any questions you may have.

Cavendish Town Treasurer/Tax Collector

2. CAVENDISH BREAK-INS: In the last six weeks, there have been reports of break ins and/or items being stolen in both Cavendish and Proctorsville. According to the VT State Police, on 07-30-19 at approximately 1:50 pm, a resident of Cavendish reported swimming at the Gorge near Power Plant Road when she learned from other swimmers that her vehicle had a smashed driver's side window.  The resident returned to her vehicle and found that an unknown person(s) entered it and stole a wallet containing her Vermont issued identification card and other items. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Westminster State Police Barracks at 802-254-2382 and reference case number 19B104410.

It turns out multiple people are reporting that their cars were broken into and items stolen while swimming at the Cavendish Gorge.

The immediate reaction is that these are drug related crimes. However, that can't be confirmed or denied, nor is it known whether the criminals are coming from Cavendish or neighboring towns.

Unfortunately, like every place in the country, Cavendish is not immune to the drug epidemic. To help those impacted by addiction, there is information on line at the Cavendish Connects website: Cavendish Resources for Addiction: Drugs and Cavendish Resources for Addiction: Alcohol

To reduce the risks of break ins and thefts, please use the following resources:

• Car:  Tips From a Former Car Thief on How to Protect Your Car

• Home: Protect yourself from home invasion

• Second Home Owners: 5 Tips for Securing your vacation home

Be mindful of who is in your neighborhood and take note of unusual behavior. Be particularly aware of second homeowner properties as they are often more likely to be targeted. If you see something that doesn't seem right, call 911 and report it to the state police.

 

3.CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS

Timko Replaces Kell on the Select Board: In addition to dealing with the Fire District Tax Rate (see Item 1 above), the Select Board approved George Timko as the replacement for SB member Michael Kell, who resigned due to a move out of state. If Timko is interested in completing the three-year term of Kell’s, he will need to run in March 2020. Other business conducted at the meeting included, Jill Flinn’s letter of resignation as Animal Control Officer and approval of the Golden Stage Inn’s request to sell alcohol at the upcoming Honey Festival.   

Water Tests for the Black River: Little Ascutney did not test safe this week. Water testing was done on July 31 after a heavy rain the previous evening, which may have had an impact on test results. All other areas tested safe.  Thank you BRAT for your continued dedication to the Black River and the safety of those who use it. Note that anything above 235 CFU is considered unsafe for recreational purposes. Specific results are as follows:

Cavendish Gorge: 40 CFU (Safe)

Greven Field: 161 CFU (Safe)

Buttermilk Falls: 59 CFU (safe)

Little Ascutney: 1,550 CFU (Unsafe)

Tolles Power Dam:50 CFU (Safe)

News from the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS): It’s blueberry picking time at the McEnaney’s-354 Miner Road, Chester.  This is one of the fundraisers that supports CHS’s Young Historian’s program.  Loads of plump, organic berries waiting for you. While picking buckets are available, you’ll need your own container for taking them home.. If it’s daylight, they’re open. No dogs, but. kids are welcome and those under 12 get a free pound if they pick them themselves. $3.00 a pound (not pint).  The CHS Newsletter is now on line:

Bottled Water Pulled from Shelves in VT Stores: State officials announced Thursday that multiple brands of generic bottled water sold in-state have PFAS levels more than five times above Vermont’s new standard. The company that owns the spring, Spring Hill Dairy, provides bottled water under store-brand labels at Shaw’s, Cumberland Farms, CVS (Ice Canyon), Best Yet, 365, IGA, HyTop and Food Club. VT Digger

 

4. CAVENDISH CONCERT: CHRIS KLEEMAN: On Wednesday, August 7th at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting, the Vermont based master blues singer and legendary song stylist, Chris Kleeman will perform at the Cavendish summer music series on the Svec Memorial Green in Proctorsville. This concert is sponsored by Good Earth Landscape Company. As always, the concerts are free and open to everyone.  Rain dates will be announced on the Cavendish Facebook page. For more information please call Robin at 226-7736.

 

5. EVENTS

AUGUST 7 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Chris Kleeman (Blues guitar) sponsored by Good Earth Landscaping

AUGUST 14 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Yankee Chank (Cajun/Zydeco dance band) sponsored by Murdocks

AUGUST 17 (SATURDAY): The Annual Chrome & Craft Festival at the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts & Crafts on Route 103 in Ludlow. From 10-4 (rain or shine).

AUGUST 21 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. John Sullivan and Friends sponsored by DG Bodyworks.

SEPTEMBER 14 (SATURDAY): VT Golden Honey Festival. 10-4 Part craft fair, part food festival, the VT Golden Honey Festival is a community favorite. Located on the lawn of the Golden Stage Inn, 399 Depot St. in Proctorsville. Proceeds of this event will benefit VT Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth (Ludlow and Proctorsville. For vendor and other information: vtgoldenhoneyfestival@gmail.com or 802-226-7744 (Julie).

SEPTEMBER 18 (WEDNESDAY): 2-6 Pm Hazardous Waste Collection at the Springfield Transfer Station. For a printable list of what to bring and what not to bring, click on the Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District.

The next collections will be in the spring of 2020. FMI: 802- 674-9235

For information on upcoming events, go to the Cavendish Connects Calendar. For area events, check the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce calendar.  

IF YOU READ THIS PLEASE HELP SUPPORT CAVENDISH CONNECTS

Cavendish Update 7/26/19: Tag Sale/GMUSD/News/Events

Tag Sale logo.jpg

CHECK THE CAVENDISH VT FACEBOOK PAGE DAILY FOR THE LATEST NEWS You don’t have to be a Facebook subscriber to see this page.

7/19/19 Cavendish Update

1.Town Wide Tag Sale

2. GMUSD-More legal charges

3. Cavendish Related News

4. Wednesday Concert: Davis Brother Garage Band

5. Job Posting

6. Events

1. CAVENDISH TOWN WIDE TAG SALE: The Town Wide Tag is tomorrow, Saturday July 27th, from 9-2. More vendors are being added to both the Cavendish Green and Svec Park (Proctorsvill Green) along with individual homes and businesses. Some vendors have provided lists of what they are offering. To target your shopping, check  the Tag Sale webpage . Lots of incredible buys this year, such as air fryer, kayak, fishing gear, boats, air conditioners, mini refrigerator, household items, toys, clothes, electronics, and even a pottery wheel.

Both of the town greens will have lemonade stands and there is food available at both ends of town. As the temps rise, be sure to stay hydrated.

The Cavendish Connects booth is in the Proctorsville Gazebo. Stop by if you have a question and to make donations to keep both the Town Wide Tag Sale and all the components of Cavendish Connects (Facebook page, blog, website and Update) operational.

2. GMUSD -MORE LEGAL CHARGES: The Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) board is dealing with yet another legal issue. The Chester Telegraph reported three charges (a dog bite in Ludlow, discriminatory firing at the TRSU, and something involving the former GMUHS principal Tom Ference) before this was acknowledged by Two Rivers Supervisory Union (TRSU) Superintendent, Meg Powden. At the July 18th board meeting, a 4th charge was filed, this time against the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) for discriminatory firing.

Note this doesn't include the charges brought by the Chester Telegraph as a result of violations of the open meeting law. While GMUSD quickly resolved this issue, the TRSU and the Ludlow Mt Holly Unified School District have taken a different path. At the July meeting, the GMUSD unanimously voted that their TRSU representatives make a motion that the TRSU adopt the strategy of the GMUSD board to avoid even more litigation.

In his coverage of the July meeting, Shawn Cunningham of the Chester Telegraph noted While there are no details from the closed door session, it appears that the case involves Samantha Foster who alleged in a filing with the Attorney General’s office that she was fired in December of 2018 by CTES Principal Deb Beaupre soon after a meeting concerning a situation in which a student kicked and hit Foster and she was seeking accommodations for her disability. According to the complaint, Foster had become disabled when a special needs student with whom she was working struck her over the head with a metal water bottle resulting in an injury to her brain. That occurred in 2008. At the time, she was working as a student supervisor providing support for students with autism while pursuing a master’s degree and was unable to resume work for several years. According to the filing, violence and aggression exacerbates the symptoms of Foster’s disability.

 As part of her Superintendent’s report, Powden announced that they were posting a new position for Green Mountain Union High School (GMUHS) for a special educator position as the person holding that job may not have completed their licensure by the start of the school year.

 While not naming Justin Osier, Foster’s husband and a special educator at GMUHS, many are aware of his crowd funding efforts to raise $1,200 to pay for the peer review required for his license. While he met his goal within three days, Osier needed to use this strategy as the SU did not honor their original promise to pay these fees, which was made when he started at GMUHS in the fall of 2017.

 Cavendish representative Doug McBride noted that the spending on legal fees was 300% above the budgeted figure for this activity. Consequently, the board, at their June meeting, requested that a representative from VSBIT (Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust) come to the July meeting to discuss the type of coverage the TRSU has and if it’s sufficient to handle the various litigations currently in play. Tim Vincent of VSBIT indicated that the TRSU coverage was sufficient.

 It is interesting to note that while comments are often made about “the good of the children” and “what students need,” the majority of the GMUSD board meetings are not pertaining to curriculum and increasing educational opportunities for children. Instead, it’s about law suits, employee handbooks (once again this has been sent back for revisions and review), and insurance coverage.

 The one mention at the July meeting of students was in response to a US News Report on GMUHS’s low performance- only 23% of the students achieved math proficiency. Powden, Lauren Fierman, GMUHS principal and board member Fred Marin, all basically said the same thing-the students don’t have any skin in the game so don’t really care about performance on the Smarter Balance test. As Powden noted, it’s not like the SATS or other tests that effect the student’s future.

Fierman and Powden noted their concerns about the test scores and said that measures are being taken to try to improve them by hiring new math teachers and coaching existing ones.

Two of the GMUSD board members, Kate Lamphere (Cavendish) and Deb Brown (Chester), have resigned from the TRSU board. While both will continue on the GMUSD board, two new appointments were made to the TRSU board Fred Marin (Cavendish, who was the alternate to the TRSU board) and Wayne Wheelock (Baltimore).

This meeting was not taped, but both the Chester Telegraph and Vermont Journal have articles about the meeting.

 

3.CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS

Water Tests for the Black River: Thanks to the steady rain for 24 hours on Monday into Tuesday morning, Wednesday’s water samples showed elevated bacteria levels at Little Ascutney Rd (again over 400 cfu) and at Greven Field (276 cfu) -- the EPA recommends 235 cfu as an upper limit for safe swimming. By now, with no rain predicted for the weekend, Greven should be just fine for dipping. It is always recommended to not swim if the water is cloudy or within 24 hours after a heavy/steady rain.

Tolles Power Dam in Perkinsville: 108 cfu (safe)
Cavendish Gorge: 105 cfu (safe)
Buttermilk Falls: 114 cfu (safe)

Thank you BRAT for your continued dedication to the Black River and the safety of those who use it.

Mack Molding asks court to dismiss wrongful termination suit, disqualify lawyer: The Arlington-based Mack Molding is asking a judge to dismiss a wrongful termination lawsuit, saying that a former employee’s husband secretly recorded private phone calls and that her attorney abused the discovery process. The company also asked for the lawyer to be disqualified. VT Digger

 Rotary’s Duck Race to Support Stepping Stones: The Ludlow Rotary Club has selected the Stepping Stone Preschool to be the beneficiary of its 20th annual Ralph D. Hogancamp Memorial Duck Race. This year’s race will be Saturday, Aug. 17 at 12 p.m. and begin at Depot Street Bridge where the ducks will be released into the Black River; the ducks will cross the finish line at Walker Bridge. Prizes awarded to the first three ducklings across the finish line and the last little duck will also receive a cash prize. VT Journal

 Fletcher Farm announces August classes and events: There is still one more month of terrific classes at Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts. Vt Journal

 Vail Buys Another VT Resort: Vail Resorts, owner of Okemo Mountain, announced Monday that it is buying 17 more ski areas, including Vermont’s Mt. Snow. When the transaction closes, the 2019-20 Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass and Military Epic Pass will include unlimited and unrestricted access to the 17 Peak Resorts ski areas. Yahoo Finance

 Burned Consumers Eligible for Part of $1.85 Million Equifax Settlement: The state of Vermont will receive $1.85 million, and affected Vermont consumers are eligible for compensation, as part of a national settlement with Equifax following the company’s 2017 data security breach. The $1.8 million Vermont will receive will go into the state’s general fund. Affected consumers can submit claims for time spent dealing with the breach, which is $25 per hour for up to 20 hours. “If Vermonters spent time making sure their money was safe, you are eligible for restitution up to 20 hours at $25 an hour.” Consumers can also be reimbursed for documented out-of-pocket expenses related to the breach, up to $20,000. Affected consumers are also eligible for three free credit monitoring reports. VT Digger

 

4. CAVENDISH CONCERT: DAVIS BROTHERS GARAGE BAND: The Cavendish Community and Conservation Association and the town of Cavendish invite everyone to spend an evening having fun on the Svec Memorial Green in Proctorsville Wednesday, July 31, starting at 6 p.m. when the annual summer music series continues with the Davis Brothers Garage Band.

 The band has been a staple of the Vermont ski scene, and before that in Colorado, since the 1970s. Brothers Rick and Jeff Davis of Brownsville formed the band with cousin Lane Gibson. The latest addition to the band is no stranger to Proctorsville – Mark Huntley will be on drums. The band is famous for covers of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, and the Doobie Brothers, among others. This concert is sponsored by DG Bodyworks of Proctorsville.

 As always, the concerts are free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, please check the Cavendish Facebook page. For more information, please call Robin at 802-226-7736.

 

5. JOB OPENING: Good Earth Land Design of Proctorsville is looking to hire someone to assist with landscape operations (planting, stone tending & general landscape labor, equipment operation). We work on great projects in beautiful locations and a nice work environment. Call 802-226-7754.

 

6. EVENTS

JULY 27 (SATURDAY): 9th Annual Cavendish Town Wide Tag Sale. 9-2

JULY 31 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Davis Brothers Garage Band, sponsored by DG Bodyworks

AUGUST 1 (THURSDAY): TRSU board meeting at CTES, 6 pm.

AUGUST 7 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Chris Kleeman (Blues guitar) sponsored by Good Earth Landscaping

AUGUST 14 (WEDNESDAY): Concert at the Proctorsville Green, 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Yankee Chank (Cajun/Zydeco dance band) sponsored by Murdocks

SEPTEMBER 14 (SATURDAY): VT Golden Honey Festival. 10-4 Part craft fair, part food festival, the VT Golden Honey Festival is a community favorite. Located on the lawn of the Golden Stage Inn, 399 Depot St. in Proctorsville. Proceeds of this event will benefit VT Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth (Ludlow and Proctorsville. For vendor and other information: vtgoldenhoneyfestival@gmail.com or 802-226-7744 (Julie).

SEPTEMBER 18 (WEDNESDAY): 2-6 Pm Hazardous Waste Collection at the Springfield Transfer Station. For a printable list of what to bring and what not to bring, click on the Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District. The next collections will be in the spring of 2020. FMI: 802- 674-9235

 For information on upcoming events, go to the Cavendish Connects Calendar. For area events, check the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce calendar.  

IF YOU READ THIS PLEASE HELP SUPPORT CAVENDISH CONNECTS