Monday, March 24, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 24, 2014

More than 2,300 Vermont property owners who hold federal flood insurance policies are facing premium increases because of recent demands on the program. Property owners across the state received almost $63 million in claims from federal flood insurance policies to help recover from 2011 flooding from Tropical Storm Irene and two other flooding events. Federal officials say premiums need to rise to help put the federal program on sound financial footing.

A car crash on busy Route 7 slowed commuters this morning in Ferrisburgh. Police say a vehicle turning on to Route 7 from Greenbush Road was rear-ended by an oncoming car. No one was seriously hurt. One lane was closed while crews cleaned up the mess. Both vehicles were towed away about an hour after the crash.

Still no end in sight for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority bus drivers’ strike. It’s now entered its second week, with a bargaining session Saturday failing to reach any resolution. While management says it delivered a complete contract to the union, a statement released by the union representing the drivers says the company was unwilling to address the two issues which led to a rejection of their last offer. About 92-hundred people, adults and Burlington school students, depend on CCTA bus transportation daily.

Vermont’s largest city is making an effort to collect more tax revenue from the online reservations of hotel and motel rooms in Burlington. Mayor Miro Weinberger says it’s an attempt to collect unpaid taxes owed to the city by out-of-state companies. Weinberger says it could bring the city a ‘‘significant’’ amount of money and level the playing field between local hotel owners and out-of-state companies. The city wants customers to be taxed on the price paid for the hotel room, the same way hotels are taxed directly. Philip Minardi of the Travel Technology Association says the online companies are service providers, not retailers.

A new pilot program in Vermont will allow farmers to recycle the plastics they accumulate for free at various locations statewide. Vermont dairy farms generate about 500 tons of plastic annually from the wrap around hay bales, covers feed bunks and other uses, but much of the plastic ends up at the landfill, at a cost to farmers. The new program will let farmers recycle that plastic, along with greenhouse film, nursery pots and trays, and tubing used by maple syrup producers. Any of the clean, dry material can be recycled through April in Middlebury, Montpelier, Highgate, Bennington and Hyde Park.