Friday, March 28, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 28, 2014

Middlebury College is giving the town most of 1.4 acres parcel of land behind the Ilsley library as well as the Lazarus Building at 20 Main Street. Middlebury town officials are pleased with the college’s decision to donate the so-called Economic Development Initiative parcel. The selectboard will next decide how to proceed with soliciting input on how the property should be used and developed. It is currently the site of a municipal parking lot serving the library and downtown businesses.

The Vermont State Budget for the next fiscal year goes up for a final vote in the house today. Yesterday, the House voted 91-46 to give preliminary approval to the budget. The proposal made by the appropriations committee totals $1.4 billion. It's a 3.8% general fund increase from last year but does not raise income taxes.

The Bristol Elementary School board has chosen the school’s interim principal to be the permanent head. In a unanimous vote, Sandy Jump will continue as principal at BES. Jump has previously served as the principal in Milton, Charlotte and East Corinth.

Governor Peter Shumlin is pushing for more jobs in Vermont. The governor wants lawmakers to pass a number of bills related to economic growth. Some of those initiatives include downtown tax credits, investment in small businesses, and increased funding for worker training programs. He also wants to push more Vermont students to go to college after high school. The governor used Mylan Labs, BioTek, and Keurig Green Mountain as examples of businesses growing jobs in Vermont.

There’s some movement in the Chittenden County Transportation Authority strike which is going into its 12th day. C-C-T-A management says it has a contract proposal from the bus drivers’ union which they call "credible," indicating some possible compromise on some of the issues. The two sides now say they’ll meet for a mediated negotiated session sometime over the next several days.

Further delays are expected in the military’s new F-35 jet fighter program. 18 of the controversial and very expensive planes are expected to arrive at the Burlington Air Guard base in 2020 to replace the aging F-16’s in the Vermont Air Guard’s fleet. However, a Congressional committee learned this week delays in testing the jet’s software may delay its planned deployment. An updated timetable so far has not been released.