Monday, February 2, 2015

WVTK Local & State News February 2, 2015

VTrans has added a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Route 7 and Exchange Street to it’s list of priority projects. Since 2004, officials in Middlebury have pushing for the roundabout saying trucks entering Route 7 from Exchange Street have a tough time because of the traffic moving at 50 mph and limited visibility. So far, there is no timetable on the project and as for funding, officials say it will cost over six figures due to land acquisition in the area. New businesses on Exchange Street might also be asked to participate in the local share of the roundabout.

A new study indicates that the dairy industry has an impact of more than two-billion-dollars a year on Vermont's economy. The study from the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council says that dairy brings three-million-dollars in circulating cash to the state each day. It also shows that dairy accounts for 70-percent of Vermont's agricultural sales, and its farms produce 63-percent of New England's milk.

The Brandon selectboard last week warned what they are calling a “no-frills” budget for Town Meeting Day. The proposed spending plan call for a 2 percent, or $47,000, increase in the amount to be raised by taxes. Also on Town Meeting Day, residents will be deciding on a number of improvement projects with separate votes. The budget also restores the public works director to a full-time position.

The Vermont Senate Committees on Health & Welfare and Judiciary are holding a public hearing next week on a bill regarding firearm background checks. The public hearing will be held in the House Chamber at the Statehouse starting at 5:30 p.m. on February 10. A press release says the public is invited to comment on bill S.31 and will have two minutes to testify. Anyone interested in testifying may sign up 30 minutes before the hearing outside the House Chamber.

Due to a shortage of rock salt, the Rutland City Department of Public Works says they are now restricting the use of salt on the roads. Salting will now be limited to hills and major intersections. The Department of Public Works are urging drivers to slow down and use extra caution as many streets will remain snow covered after plowing. The Department of Public Works says some roads may remain slippery for several days until back-ordered salt is delivered.