Coming Soon: Vernon Community Visit Process to Set Priorities for the Future!

Join your friends, neighbors, and fellow Vernon residents to share YOUR vision for the future of the town. In May 2016, the Vermont Council on Rural Development will facilitate a Community Visit Day to ask ALL Vernon residents about opportunities, challenges, and ideas for action for the Vernon Community. This is the first step in a process of building priorities and addressing critical challenges before the community. This is for EVERYONE who works or lives in Vernon and cares about the future of the town.

The day will include a series of forums on issues important to the community as well as a Community Dinner and Celebration. More details coming soon. In the meantime, to learn at the VCRD Community Visit Website at http://vtrural.org/programs/Community-Visits or call Jenna at 225-6091.

Governor Shumlin announces grant to help Vernon discover its future

Windham Grows and a Vernon Post-VY Community Engagement Process are the latest projects approved for funding from the Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP).

“These projects will help build economic development foundations in the region, providing promising business opportunities in the food and agriculture sector in Windham County and a forum for Vernon residents to continue post-VY economic development planning,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) was awarded $40,000 for a “Vernon Community Visit,” which will create a forum for community decisions that will drive action in Vernon over the next two years. VCRD’s five-month process will unite residents of Vernon to examine issues before the community, prioritize actions to respond to challenges and opportunities, build local task forces and implementation plans for community and economic development projects, and connect to human and financial resources to help advance community goals. (more…)

J. Maynard Miller Town Forest, Vernon, Vermont

One of Vernon’s unique places is the J. Maynard Miller Town Forest, home of several stands of black gum trees (Nyssa sylvatica), some of them more than 400 years old. This is the only place in Vermont this species of tree can be found. Typically the black gum is found south of the Mason-Dixon line, where it is known as the tupelo or black tupelo.

In 2016, the State of Vermont proposed to designate the black gum swamps as a Class I wetland, providing the highest level of protection.

One black gum tree in the Vernon forest was measured to be 435 years old. At another location in southern New Hampshire, a black gum was found to be 562 years old. These trees are not only among the oldest trees in New England, but they may be the oldest broadleaf deciduous trees in North America.

There are at least seven different swamp areas (totaling 28 acres) within the forest and and at least one more nearby with black gum trees. Their presence is thought to be the result of a period 3,000-5,000 years ago when the climate in this area was warmer. J. Maynard Miller, a local dairy farmer, for whom the forest is named, convinced the town back in the early 1970s of the importance of this tract and persuaded the town to buy it to ensure its permanent protection. (more…)

What you can do at the Town Clerk’s office

The Vernon Town Clerk’s office is a hub of town government activity. If the Clerk’s office can’t help you, they will know where to direct you for assistance or answers. With a new Town Clerk, Tim Arsenault, now in office, we thought we’d compile a guide to most of the things you can do at the Town Clerk’s office.

… READ MORE

New fire wardens; how to get a burning permit

As we move into the traditional “burning season” of spring, Vernon residents should be aware that we have new fire wardens, as follows:

  • John E. (“JJ”) Wheeldon — (802) 254-8185
  • Todd Capen (Deputy Fire Warden) — (802) 380-6214

A burning permit needs to be obtained from one of the wardens if you plan to have a fire that’s bigger in size than a normal backyard fire pit fire or barbecue. Permits will be given only for burning natural brush or branches, not construction materials, toxic items, or anything containing oils, paints or accelerants. (Other prohibited items include, but are not limited to: tires, tubes, plastics, shingles, foam rubber, oils, paints and any engineered building products.) Your fire must be attended at all times, safely extinguished, and out before dark.

Permits are free, and issued verbally. No forms, no paperwork, no fees. Just call JJ, or Todd if you can’t reach JJ, provide your name, the time and place of the burn, and ask for an OK. You can leave a message and they will get back to you. A permit will normally be given as long as conditions are not excessively dry or windy, and as long as you have the ability to keep the fire contained, and as long as the materials are limited to brush and branches. Burning permits can be obtained any time of year; there actually is no set burning season as there is in some areas.

Photo by Gord Webster, used under Creative Commons License

 

Updated information about recycling in Vernon

Our hardworking recycling committee has posted lots of new information on their page on this website!

This includes:

  • Committee names and contact info
  • Where to buy Pay-as-you-Throw trash bags
  • Tips to reduce your Pay-as-you-Throw bag costs
  • What’s recyclable and what’s not
  • What’s compostable and what’s not
  • New Sure-Close containers available for composting
  • … and more

Read more on the Vernon Recycling page!

Photo Credit: GotCredit, used under Creative Commons License

Town Clerk announces new hours

Tim Arsenault, Vernon’s new town clerk, has announced new office hours for the town clerk’s office, which are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arsenault will also be available by appointment and can be reached via his cell phone number, which is (802) 689-0390. Here’s full info about the town clerk’s office hours and contacts:

Town & School District Clerk

  • HOURS:  Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • TOWN CLERK: Tim Arsenault — clerk@vernonvt.org
    • PHONE (802) 257-0292
    • CELL: (802) 689-0390
    • FAX: (802) 257-3561
  • Aina Lindquist (Assistant)

Vernon strikes tax deal with Entergy on Vermont Yankee valuation

By Mike Faher

Vermont Yankee’s contribution to Vernon’s coffers will drop by 26 percent this year, the first in a series of declines in a new tax deal between the town and plant owner Entergy.

Vernon tax committee members say they can’t yet release many details of the six-year contract, pending a state review. But this much is clear: Entergy’s tax payments for the shut down nuclear plant will be shrinking, and that will start with a $266,750 decrease in the company’s 2016 payment to the town.

While acknowledging the financial blow, those who worked to negotiate the contract also praised Entergy for agreeing to the new tax assessments as well as an additional annual payment in lieu of taxes.

“Entergy didn’t have to do this. They’re paying us hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they had to pay us,” said Patty O’Donnell, the tax committee’s chairwoman. “But their purpose was to try to help the community step down slowly so that we can get past the burden of high taxes and have time to figure out what we want our town to be in the future.”

Read more at VT Digger.com

Photo by Paul Miller

‘Hunt’ing down history, Part 7

By Barbara Emery Moseley

NOTE: This series chronicles the generations of Vernon’s Hunt family, all related to Jonathan Hunt of “Governor Hunt Road” fame. If you’ve missed any installments in this series, you can catch up here!

Here comes the bride—but is it Levina, Lovinah, Lavinia, or Levinah Swan who will glide into matrimony with Jonathan Hunt on July 14, 1779? All these versions of her name appear in various references. Lovinah is on her tombstone in Vernon’s North (Hunt) Cemetery, but, although “written in stone,” it is incorrect. However, the Vermont Historical Society has in its archives an 1831 letter written from Vernon to her son, U.S. Senator Jonathan Hunt, in Washington, DC. It closes with: “I hope I shall see you all again in good health is the daly [sic] prayer of your aff’nt Mother Levinah Hunt.”

Her great-great grandfather Thomas was the first of the Swan family to arrive in this country, about 1648. He was a doctor, born in Scotland, and educated in England. Settling in Roxbury, a section of Boston, he soon met and married Mary Lamb.

On July 11, 1681, his house was “set on fire” by Maria, a black servant, and “burned with some in it.” For this crime, Maria was sentenced to be burned at the stake. The barbaric punishment was carried out on Boston Common, September 22, 1681. (more…)

Rabies Clinic, March 13 — and, time to renew your dog’s license!

The annual rabies clinic will be held at the Vernon Fire Station, located at 2482 Fort Bridgman Rd., on Sunday, March 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health. Vaccinations will cost $10, and dog licenses will be sold by the town.

  • Bring a copy of your animal’s prior rabies certificate or registration, if there was one.
  • All animals must be leashed or in carriers.

Contact the Vernon Town Clerk at 802-257-0292 for more information.

Vermont law requires that all dogs 6 months old and older must be registered with the Town on or before April 1 of each year.

In addition to being available at the rabies clinic, dog license renewal forms are available at the Town Clerk’s Office. The fees are $13.00 for dogs that are not spayed or neutered and $9.00 for spayed or neutered dogs. The fees have gone up $1.00 because the state raised its fee to $5.00 from $4.00.

If your dog is required to have a rabies shot, the Town Clerk’s Office cannot issue a license for that animal until it has received the required shot and the original rabies certificate is presented to them. The date the shot is needed is shown on your dog’s license. If there is no date showing on your dog’s license, then your dog’s rabies shot has run out and you must have it vaccinated again before it can be issued a license.

If you no longer have your dog(s), please contact the Town Clerk’s Office as soon as possible so they may correct their records. Their phone number is 802-257-0292.

Photo by Rachel H, used under Creative Commons License

Election results, March 1, 2016

Following are the complete results of the March 1, 2016 town elections.

Gas plant vote: Do you support a natural gas fired electric generating plant being located in Vernon?

YES — 677

NO — 153

School Budget vote:

YES — 596

NO — 288

Office Candidate(s) Votes
DELINQUENT TAX COLLECTOR – 1 Year Term Marylynn Scherlin 684
1ST CONSTABLE – 1 Year Term Peter Crossman 798
2ND CONSTABLE – 1 Year Term Scott Lane 718
GRAND JUROR – 1 Year Term Nancy C. Howe (write in) 10
LISTER – 3 Year Term Carol J. Hammond 709
SCHOOL DIRECTOR – 2 Year Term Marylynn Scherlin 685
SCHOOL DIRECTOR – 3 Year Term Walter C. Breau 702
SELECTBOARD – 3 Year Term Bronna M. Zlochiver

Sandra Harris

201

630

SELECTBOARD – 2 Year Term Stephen Skibnowsky 719
SELECTBOARD – 3 Year Unexpired Term (ends in 2018) Joshua Unruh

Bronna M. Zlochiver

573

202

TOWN AGENT- 1 Year Term Nancy C. Howe 695
TOWN AND TOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT CLERK – 3 Year Term Nancy L. Gassett

Timothy R. Arsenault

Melissa R. Ferris

115

593

156

TOWN MODERATOR – 1 Year Term Timothy R. Arsenault (write in) 237
TOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT MODERATOR – 1 Year Term Timothy R. Arsenault (write in) 133
TOWN AND TOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT TREASURER – 3 Year Unexpired Term (ends in 2017) Cindy Turnley 723

 

Presidential Primaries1

DEMOCRATIC:

  • Hillary Clinton – 62
  • Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – 1
  • Martin O’Malley – 1
  • Bernie Sanders – 393

REPUBLICAN:

  • Jeb Bush – 15
  • Ben Carson -54
  • Chris Christie – 1
  • Ted Cruz – 56
  • Carly Fiorina – 3
  • John Kasich – 67
  • Rand Paul – 2
  • Marco Rubio – 84
  • Rick Santorum – 0
  • Donald Trump – 150