Thursday, May 28, 2015

WVTK Local & State News May 28, 2015

Voters in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union will go to the polls to decide the fate of the Vergennes Union High School budget on June 9th. School Board members cut $55,000 from the proposal that was defeated on May 5th. The new spending plan for the 2015-2016 school year is just over $10-million. Despite the $55,000 cut, the latest VUHS budget is still seeking an increase of $845,000 from the current VUHS budget. Also on Tuesday, June 9th, voters in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union will try for a third time to approve a budget for Mount Abraham Union High School. The proposed version up for a vote is $75,000 less than the previous version defeated on April 14th.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin today signed a bill that repeals the philosophical exemption to Vermont's vaccine law. Shumlin said, "Vaccines work and parents should get their kids vaccinated. I know there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue. I hope this legislation will have the effect of increasing vaccination rates." The changes go into effective in July 2016.

More than one million dollars in federal assistance has been sent to Vermont to help cover the costs of the winter storm from December 9-12, 2014. The storm wreaked havoc on Vermont's infrastructure, downing power lines and trees. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says the aid includes about $670,000 for emergency protective measures, and about $384,000 in permanent repair work. Another two million dollars in FEMA aid is expected, most of which will be for the Vermont Electric Cooperative.

Two decades and counting. An expansion project at Middlebury's State Airport still will not begin for at least another two fiscal years. The airport is home to a 2,500 foot runway, one of the smallest in Vermont. Deputy Secretary for Vermont's Agency of Transportation, Chris Cole says the project is not budgeted for until 2017. Despite the wait, Cole says upgrades to the airport are essential to improve safety.

Vermont State Police were kept busy over the Memorial Day weekend. State troopers investigated 33 crashes on Vermont roads over the long weekend, with three involving deaths. Police also made 12 DUI arrests, wrote close to 400 speeding tickets and helped 42 disabled drivers. There have been 14 traffic deaths since the beginning of the year, with almost half of them involving people who were not properly restrained.