Archives for April 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT: Float the Walloomsac Headwaters Park and Natural Area – May 16, 2015

1493487_10100212260101299_2767191093844535232_oPublic invited to float the Walloomsac Headwaters Park and Natural Area

Saturday May 16, 2015, 9 am- 11 am (or earlier or later as you wish)
Morgan Street crossing of Jewett Brook
Bennington, VT

Bring your own kayak or canoe and personal flotation devices. Children 13 and over only, please.

On Saturday May 16, the Friends of the Walloomsac Headwaters Park and Natural Area will host a float on Jewett Brook and its ponds and backwaters near Morgan Street. While floaters will choose their own routes and length of time afloat, members of the Friends will help suggest destinations for floaters of all levels of skill and provide maps showing how to reach those locations.

(Note: because this is the first time the Friends have hosted such an outing, there could be some confusion. Please consider it an exploratory event – for everyone involved! We will be looking for feedback from participants on how to make the experience better in future.)

The group will gather to drop off watercraft just south of the Morgan Street bridge over Jewett Brook around 9 am. A small parking pull off nearby, on the east side of Morgan Street, may provide temporary parking for high clearance vehicles. Floaters will be asked to leave their vehicles a short distance away on Middle Pownal Road, at a log landing in Y Woods, and walk back to the launch site. (Look for signs near the bridge and at the parking site.)

For more information, contact Shelly Stiles at the Bennington County Conservation District at 802 442-2275 or The float will be held even in light drizzle but will be cancelled in the case of heavier rain. If the weather is questionable, call the Conservation District before 8:30 am on May 16 where a message will be left on the answering machine if the float has been cancelled.

All floaters participate at their own risk.


Shelly Stiles
District Manager
Bennington County Conservation District
PO Box 505
Bennington, VT  05201
802 442-2275


The Burn Ban in the Town of Bennington, which includes the village of Old Bennington, has been extended to May 22, 2015. For more information, contact Bennington Fire Warden Matt Hathaway at 802-681-8058.

Select Board: New board chair shares vision for the future

A Vision for Bennington47180523
By Tom Jacobs, Bennington Select Board Chair
April 27, 2015

Thank you board colleagues and community members.

Please indulge me for a few moments for my observation of need and my hope for the new board.

The new seating format and the way the agenda will be constructed is intended as a small message that we in town government have to be more nimble in addressing challenges as  well as opportunity and be creative and challenge the community to  take risks and make public investment in our community.

The board must be seen as the catalyst for change and encourage innovation, risk taking and new ways to accomplish the town’s goals. Business as usual or doing things the way they have always been done will not assure our town of vitality or viability.

I want to provide for meaningful and productive exchange by the board and the community on how we can make some of the hopes for the community become a reality. We intend to invite local businesses to our meeting on a regular basis to exchange their community experience in real time

We shouldn’t be putting an emphasis on just recruiting and retaining business we should be recruiting people and ideas and formulating a common vision for what this town wants to and can accomplish.

To do so we have to seek and engage both public and private investment in time and money. Entrepreneurs built this town and we need more ways to encourage and support new ideas be they incubator or creative use of the town’s Economic Development Fund.

We need as a town not only continued planning but a timeline for implementation for some of the projects that continue to languish in the planning phase. A couple of examples being  the long discussed but not installed pedestrian/bike path ways,  and the finalization and implementation of the plan to make the Merchants Bank park a true community asset.

We need to give form to some of the various improvement plans and designs for our downtown.

We need to look at what we want for development of the Northside Drive area and then pursue a timeline for making it a reality.

We need to use social media as a productive tool and not just a forum to complain about the present status of things.

I have already heard from a number of folks who are willing to step up with ideas and investment. I expect the board and town management will join that effort.

Finally I hope the board will convene a town meeting type forum to hear from the community on what it wants Bennington to be.

So let’s get started we have a lot of work to do.

Bennington Select Board – (Agenda) April 27, 2015

M E E T I N G   N O T I C E


Monday, April 27, 2015

Bennington Fire Facility

Multi-Purpose Room – 3rd Floor

130 River Street

Bennington, VT 05201




6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

1. Pledge of Allegiance

2.  A. Minutes – April 13, 2015

B. Warrants (A – D. Consent Agenda 5 Minutes)

C. 2015 Liquor License Applications

D. Resolution – Women’s Lung Health Week

3.  Citizens (15 Minutes Maximum)

4.  Michele Pilcher, National Hanger (20 Minutes)

5.  Select Board Rules of Procedure (15 Minutes)

6.  Economic Development Fund Program / 1st Reading (15 Minutes)

7.  Amendment to Article 25. Bennington Water/Sewer Regulatory Code Ordinance /

1st Reading (10 Minutes)

8.  Manager’s Report (If Any) (10 Minutes)

9.  Other Business (10 Minutes)

10. Executive Session

  1.            Contracts







New Ordinance: Article 27 – Bennington Fire Department – Service Reimbursement Ordinance

Town of Bennington

Service Reimbursement Ordinance


ARTICLE 27-1 General Provisions


All rules and regulations contained herein, together with such additions and Amendments as may be adopted, are hereby designated as the “Bennington Fire Department Service Reimbursement Ordinance”.


This Ordinance is adopted pursuant to authority granted under 20 V.S.A. 2672, 2675, 2961, and 2963; 24 V.S.A. Sections 1955 and 1971-1983 as exists or as may be amended.  This Ordinance is designated as a Civil Ordinance under 24 V.S.A. 1971 (b).


The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide for the reimbursement of cost incurred by the Town of Bennington for certain activities of the Bennington Fire Department as hereinafter defined.  The Town of Bennington and all persons responsible for and involved with enforcement or application of this Ordinance shall not be liable for any damage or injury to persons or property arising out of or relating in any way to this Ordinance or enforcement of application of this Ordinance.

Article 27-2 Definitions

Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning or terms used in this Ordinance shall be as follows:

  1. “Emergency Incident” shall mean those incidents that require fire and/or emergency response in an immediate fashion, following established emergency response protocols.
  2. “Emergency Personnel” shall mean members of the Bennington Fire Department during their involvement in an emergency and non-emergency incident.
  3. “Hazardous Material Calls” shall mean all incidents involving foreign material that causes a threat or danger to the environment or the health and safety of any person(s).
  4. “Malicious Incident” an incident which is created by an individuals’ intentional purpose to cause property damage, endanger lives, and/or cause the response of emergency personnel for something other than an actual emergency.
  5. “Motor Vehicles Crashes” shall mean incidents involving one or more motorized vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, ATV’s, trains, snowmobiles, boats, planes and vehicles and trailers being pulled by motorized vehicles.
  6. “Non-Permitted Burn” shall mean the intentional disposal of outside debris via burning.
  7. “Primary Coverage Area” shall mean the geographic boundaries of the Town of Bennington.
  8. “Power Line Problem” shall mean any incident where the Bennington Fire Department is called out to assist with emergency power line outages or protection from downed power lines.
  9. “Town Resident” shall mean any person who resides in the Town of Bennington.
  10. “Town” shall mean the Town of Bennington.

Article 27-3 Eligible Occurrences/Incidents

The following types of incidents occurring within the primary coverage area of the Bennington Fire Department are subject to invoicing pursuant to this ordinance.

  1.  Malicious Incidents
  2. Motor Vehicle Crashes
  3. Non-Permitted Burns
  4. Permitted Burns that get out of control due to negligence
  5. Power Line Problems
  6. Hazardous Material Calls

Article 27-4 Enforcement

  1.  All enforcement and application of this ordinance shall be the responsibility of the Bennington Fire Department Fire Chief in concert with the Public Safety Director.
  2.  The Bennington Fire Department is authorized to conduct investigations and take other steps that are necessary and provided by law to enforce the Ordinance.

Article 27-5 Invoicing

 Invoices shall originate from the appropriate town office as determined by the Town Manager. Fees are shown in Schedule A.

  1.  Malicious Incidents shall be invoiced per occurrence, with the perpetrator to be held responsible.
  2.  Motor Vehicle Crashes within the primary coverage area of the Bennington Fire Department, shall be invoiced per occurrence. In the event multiple vehicles are involved, responsibility for costs may be prorated as determined by the Fire Chief among the person(s), operator(s), or vehicle owner(s) involved.
  3.  Non-Permitted Burns shall be invoiced per occurrence, to the individual(s) responsible.
  4.  Permitted Burns that get out of control due to negligence shall be invoiced per occurrence to the individual(s) the original burn permit was issued to.
  5.  Rescue Calls shall be invoiced per occurrence with the responsible party being the rescued person, or that person’s natural or legal guardian.
  6.  Power Line Problems shall be invoiced per occurrence, to Green Mountain Power or other electric utility.
  7.  Hazardous Material calls shall be invoiced for materials used to clean up or contain the spill or contamination.
  8.  In circumstances where the responsible party or parties in the preceding circumstances (#A,B,C,D,E,F and G) cannot be identified and/or located and/or reimbursement cannot be obtained from the person(s), the property owner shall be responsible for the invoiced costs if the Bennington Fire Department determines that service was made necessary due to the fault of the property owner.

Article 27-6  Ordinance Management

This ordinance shall be managed by the Public Safety Director.

  1. Invoices shall be issued by the Town of Bennington and shall include the date on which the services were provided by the Bennington Fire Department, the type of incident that is serving as the basis for the invoice, and explanation of the services provided, and an itemization of the costs of the services provided.Payments shall be made within 30-days of invoicing to the Town of Bennington with interest to accrue at the statutory rate on the 31st day.  The invoice shall be mailed first class to the last known address of the person(s) responsible for payment. Any invoice may be appealed to the Public Safety Director.  The appeal shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Public Safety Director within 10 days of the invoice date.  The appeal shall be acted upon by the Public Safety Director within 15 days after the receipt of the appeal notice.  Upon such appeal, the Public Safety Director following hearing, shall act to reverse, affirm, or modify the original invoicing determination.  The Public Safety Director shall issue a written decision to the aggrieved party within 15 days of the appeal hearing.
  2.  Invoicing/Reimbursement rates for any incident and/or occurrence shall be as established by the Public Safety Director. Rates shall be on file in the Town Clerk’s Office and available for inspection.

Article 27-7 Severability, Liability, Amendments

  1.  If any portion of this Ordinance is held unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected.
  2.  This Ordinance and its provisions may be amended by the Bennington Selectboard, pursuant to the applicable provisions of the law.

Article 27-8 Statutory Authority and Effective Date

THIS ORDINANCE IS HEREBY ADOPTED by the Select Board of the Town of Bennington, and shall unless a petition is filed as provided by law, become effective upon the expiration of sixty (60) days after said date of adoption.


Dated at Bennington, Vermont this 13th day of April, 2015:


Select Board
Town of Bennington, Vermont

Sharyn L. Brush
Donald A. Campbell
Jim Carroll
Justin J. Corcoran
Thomas H. Jacobs
Michael A. Keane
John C. McFadden

























The following is the fee schedule for the reimbursement of labor and equipment pertaining to calls that fall under the criteria of the reimbursement ordinance adopted by the Town of Bennington.


Initial Call:


  • $500.00 flat rate per call for up to and including two hours
  • $250.00 per fire apparatus for every hour after the second hour
  • $25.00 per hour for every firefighter/fire police after the 1st hour
  • $2,500.00 for motor vehicle crash with extrication












New Ordinance: Article 26 – Private Alarm




Businesses and residences are providing protection from burglary, robbery, and fire by means of electronic alarm devices.  Unfortunately, human and mechanical errors are causing the Bennington Police Department and the Bennington Fire Department to respond to a significant number of false alarms.

The emergency response to each false alarm requires the deployment of personnel and vehicles to unfounded situations, effectively removes them from the designated service of protecting life and property, and results in unnecessary expenditure of public funds.


  1. “Alarm System”: Any mechanism or device used in a building or on premises for the detection of unauthorized entry, criminal activity, or fire and which is designed to transmit to any receiving station a signal or other message indicating an occurrence requiring a police response.  For the purposes of this ordinance, “alarm systems” shall also include those alarms received by private alarm companies, who then in turn notify the police department.  Communications center for dispatch to police or fire services.
  2. “Alarm System User”: Any person, partnership, corporation, or any other entity in control of any building or premises where an alarm system is installed, operated, or maintained.
  3. “Chief”: The Chief of the Bennington Police Department.
  4. “Public Safety Director”. The Public Safety Director for the Town of Bennington.
  5. “False Alarm”: Any alarm signal eliciting a response from the police or fire department when the situation requiring the response does not, in fact, exist.  An alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the user does not constitute a false alarm.
  6. “Audible On-Site Alarm”: Any mechanism or device which, when activated, causes an audible or visual signal to be activated only in the building or on the premises where the system is installed and operated.
  7. “Department”: The Bennington Police Department and/or Bennington Fire Department.


 It is unlawful to install, operate, or maintain an alarm system which transmits via telephone line directly to the police department communications center a pre-recorded message requesting a response by the department.


  1.  An alarm system user shall be responsible for all false alarms generated by their system or devices.
  2.  The Chief/Public Safety Director, or his/her designee, shall charge and collect from the alarm system user the following user fees for false alarms:
  3.  Each alarm user shall be entitled to one (1) false alarm during a six (6) month period without being assessed a service fee. Six (6) month periods shall start January 1 and July 1 of each year.
  4.  A second false alarm within the six (6) month period shall result in a charge of $50. Third and subsequent false alarms in the same six (6) month period shall result in a charge of $75 each.
  5.  The User shall have the right to appeal to the Chief/Public Safety Director as to any matter pertaining to fees and charges. The Chief/Public Safety Director shall make a determination.
  6.  All fees must be paid within fourteen (14) days of the date of receipt of notice. Failure to pay fee and charges within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice, shall result in the fees doubling.  The fees shall continue to double every thirty (30) days until paid in full.  Failure to pay all fees within 60 days shall result in a lien against the property.


Any alarm system user who owns or operates an alarm system within the Town of Bennington shall provide the Chief/Public Safety Director with written information containing the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the alarm system user and at least two (2) persons who can be notified to respond to the alarm and secure the premises during any hour of the day or night.  The alarm system user is also responsible for providing any pertinent information concerning the building or premises to the Chief/Public Safety Director.  The alarm system user is also responsible for immediately notifying the Chief/Public Safety Director of any changes in any information.


Audible on-site alarms which may be heard in any public place shall be equipped and maintained to automatically shut off no longer than thirty (30) minutes after being activated.


Any building or premises owned by the Town of Bennington, the Bennington School District, the Mount Anthony Union, the Village School of North Bennington or the Southwestern Vermont Medical Health Care Corporation shall be exempt from fees or charges.


Any alarm system user violating any of the provisions of this ordinance, including the failure to pay the fees designated herein, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00


The Town’s regulation of alarm systems shall not constitute acceptance by the Town of Bennington for any liability to maintain any equipment, answer any alarms, or any other action in connection therewith.  In the event the Town finds it necessary to require users to cease transmitting signals from alarm systems for non-compliance with any section of this ordinance, the Town shall not be held liable for such action.


If any section, subsection, or any part thereof is for any reason held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this ordinance.


THIS ORDINANCE IS HEREBY ADOPTED by the Select Board of the Town of Bennington, and shall unless a petition is filed as provided by law, become effective upon the expiration of sixty (60) days after said date of adoption.

Dated at Bennington, Vermont this 13th day of April, 2015:


Select Board
Town of Bennington, Vermont

Sharyn L. Brush
Donald A. Campbell
Jim Carroll
Justin J. Corcoran
Thomas H. Jacobs
Michael A. Keane
John C. McFadden

Town Manager’s Column: All About Town (April)



Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

At its first meeting in April, the Select Board reorganized. Tom Jacobs was elected Chair; John McFadden was elected Vice Chair. The Board seems poised to take a very active role in the community. The Board’s enthusiasm can be contagious. I look forward to working with Tom and John as we move into this next term.

The Board voted to enact several ordinances at this meeting as well. The False Alarm Ordinance was amended to add the Bennington Fire Department. False alarms cost money and personnel time. Although the Ordinance provides for fines, they are minimal when compared to the cost of responding. A second ordinance provides for reimbursement for the Fire Department’s costs in responding to acts of negligence, carelessness, maliciousness and hazardous waste spills. This Ordinance will allow the Town to bill insurance carriers in instances where the above-referenced actions are evident.

A third ordinance provides for the licensing of trash haulers and, as required by new State law, the implementation of unit-based pricing for all trash and recycling collection. License fees will be $15.00 for the single vehicle hauler and $50.00 for the fleet hauler. All haulers will have to offer curbside collection of recyclables and, ultimately, collection or separation of compostable materials. This is also mandated by a new State law. In concert with this effort, The Select Board voted to join the new county-wide Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance. I’ve written about this 13 town consortium that is creating a formal inter-local alliance to address the issues of solid waste and recycling in the County. The first act of the Alliance will be to finalize the new county-wide Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP). This Plan will address compliance with the State’s new Materials Management Plan, provide for educational outreach to the communities and schools, and set standards for meeting newly created State recycling goals.

On to other matters, you have probably noticed the signals at the Four Corners are not working as they should. The pressure sensing wires beneath the road surface which helped keep traffic flowing are damaged. Thus the timing sequence and the normal functions for pedestrian movements are not working properly. The signals have been placed on a simple cycle while the Town identifies and secures the necessary corrective action. Please be patient.

Two upcoming events should have the community’s support and action. May 2nd is Green Up Day, the day the State of Vermont has designated for cleaning up our roadsides. Please contact the Town office at 442-1037 to pick up bags and let us know where you’ll be working. The second event is the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day scheduled for May 9th from 9 am until 1 pm at the Bennington Transfer Station. We are, once again, taking latex paints in concert with Paint Care and Clean Harbors. All household hazardous wastes are accepted. Watch for the ad in the newspaper or call the Town Offices to find out more, or check our website at

Please remember that campfires and open burns need a permit! Contact the Town Offices. These fires must be attended, must be cared for, and must be properly extinguished by midnight. There are fines for non-compliance. Think about your neighbor. If you’ve got a smoky fire going, are using wet wood or other materials, it is likely you will foul your neighbor’s home. Let’s not do that.

Remember, if anyone has any questions or suggestions arising from this column or on any town matters, please contact me at 442-1037 or stop in at the Town Offices on South Street.

Stuart Hurd is Bennington’s Town Manager. He writes a monthly column on town issues.

New Ordinance: Article 28 – Municipal Solid Waste Variable Rate Pricing and Hauler Registration and Reporting




Article 28-1: PURPOSE

This ordinance is enacted to implement a variable rate pricing system to decrease the disposal of solid waste, increase recycling and composting, increase the diversion and reuse of valuable materials in the solid waste stream and otherwise encourage the responsible use of resources and the protection of the environment, and to provide for equitable and fair pricing for solid waste services.

Article 28-2: Statutory Authority

The authority for this ordinance is granted in 24 V.S.A. § 1971 (Title 24, Chapter 59, Section 1971), and 24 V.S.A. § 2202a (a) (Title 24, Chapter 61, Subchapter 8, Section 2202a), the power to adopt, amend, repeal, and enforce ordinances, and to manage and regulate the solid waste disposal within its boundaries. 24 V.S.A. § 2202a (d) requires municipalities implement a variable rate pricing system by no later than July 1, 2015.

Article 28-3: DEFINITIONS

  1. “Collection” shall mean the gathering, pickup, acceptance, and allowance to drop off municipal solid waste by both solid waste haulers and solid waste facilities such as transfer stations where drop off of municipal solid waste is permitted.
  2. “Facility” shall mean any site or structure used for treating, storing, processing, recycling, transferring or disposal of municipal solid waste. A Facility may consist of a one or more treatment, storage, recycling, or disposal operations.
  3. “Hauler” shall mean any person that collects, transports, or delivers solid waste generated within the Town of Bennington.
  4. “Municipal Solid Waste” hereinafter referred to as “MSW,” means combined household, commercial, and industrial waste materials generated in a given area.
  5. “Mandatory Recyclables” include those listed in the Universal Recycling Law such as paper, cardboard, glass, specified plastics and metal.
  6. “Organic Materials” include food scraps, leaf and yard waste and other materials that can be diverted from landfills through composting, diverted for agricultural use or treated using anaerobic digestion.
  7. “Recycling Methodology” means the method of collection used by the Hauler, i.e., single stream/dual stream, type of containers, truck type, and processing facility.
  8. “Variable rate pricing” means a fee structure that charges for MSW Collection based on its weight or volume.



Haulers and Facilities that provide Collection and/or drop-off disposal services for MSW to residential customers shall charge these customers for this service on the basis of the volume or weight of the MSW they produce, which is a pricing system commonly referred to as Variable Rate Pricing.

Each Hauler and Facility shall establish a unit-based price to be charged for the Collection/drop-off disposal of each unit of MSW from residential customers. These may be based on a price per pound or a price for each 30-gallon bag or 30-gallon container that is collected or disposed of by a resident. Each larger unit of MSW, such as a 64-gallon container or a 50-gallon bag, shall carry an increased price.

The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit any Hauler or Facility from establishing rules and regulations regarding the safe maximum weight of bags or containers of municipal solid waste materials.  A Hauler or Facility may refuse to collect or allow disposal of any bag or container which is overloaded or which contains a MSW greater than the rated or specified volume or weight of such bag or container, or shall account for and bill the customer for the Collection of such excess MSW.

Article 28-5: FLAT FEE

In addition to the unit-based price charged per unit of MSW, Haulers and Facilities may, but are not required to, charge a flat fee to residential customers for the purpose of covering operational costs for collecting, transporting, and disposing of MSW.

In the event that a Hauler or Facility elects to establish a flat fee, all bills for services provided to residential customers shall clearly show both the flat fee and the unit-based price to maintain transparency.

Nothing herein shall prevent or prohibit a Hauler or Facility from charging additional fees for the Collection of materials such as food and yard residuals or bulky items; except however, that no Hauler or Facility may charge a separate line item fee on a bill to a residential customer for the Collection of mandated recyclables after July 1, 2015, in accordance with state statutes.  A Hauler or Facility may incorporate the collection cost of mandated recyclables into the cost of the collection of solid waste and may adjust the charge for the collection of solid waste.


The Hauler or Facility shall file and submit evidence of their variable rate pricing system, including a breakdown of any and all fees including any flat fees, to the Town of Bennington along with their registration.


Each hauler shall register with the Town annually by December 31st and that registration will be valid for the next calendar year.  When registering, the hauler may be required to provide contact information, towns served, type of vehicle, vehicle identification number, license plate number for each vehicle, and the types of services offered including their Recycling Methodology and pay a registration fee as specified on the registration form. Haulers and Facilities shall report on the quantities of municipal solid waste, organics and mandated recyclables collected in the Town for each preceding quarter on April 15th, July 15th, October 15th and January 15th of each year on forms to be provided by the Town.


  1. This ordinance is a civil ordinance and enforcement shall be brought in the judicial bureau in accordance with 24 V.S.A. §§ 1974a et seq.
  2. The penalties for violating this ordinance are as follows:

    1st offense: Notice of Violation (written warning – demanding Variable rate pricing)

    Civil Penalty                                                         Waiver Fee
    2nd offense:                                                         $100.00                   $50.00
    3rd offense:                                                          $250.00                   $125.00
    4th and subsequent offenses:                         $500.00                   $300.00

    The waiver fee is paid by a violator who admits or does not contest the violation.


For the purposes of this ordinance, the Select Board hereby designates the Bennington Police Department with law enforcement authority for this ordinance under Vermont law.


All ordinances or parts of ordinances, resolutions, regulations, or other documents inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Article 28-11: SEVERABILITY

This ordinance and its various parts, sentences, sections, and clauses are hereby declared to be severable.  If any part, sentence, section or clause is adjudged invalid, it is hereby provided that the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

Article 28-12: EFFECTIVE DATE            

This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after the adoption date shown below.
THIS ORDINANCE IS HEREBY ADOPTED by the Select Board of the Town of Bennington, and shall unless a petition is filed as provided by law, become effective upon the expiration of sixty (60) days after said date of adoption.
Dated at Bennington, Vermont this 13th day of April 2015.
Select Board
Town of Bennington, Vermont

Sharyn L. Brush
Donald A. Campbell
Jim Carroll
Justin J. Corcoran
Thomas H. Jacobs
Michael A. Keane
John C. McFadden

Ban on all outside burning – (April 15, 2015 – April 29, 2015)

Town of Bennington
The Town of Bennington Fire Warden, Matt Hathaway wishes to advise all Bennington residents with burn permits that there is a ban on all outside burning. No new permits will be issued at this time. There are no outside fires of any kind permitted until further notice. Dry and warm conditions coupled with variable winds make outdoor burning hazardous. Contact the Fire Warden directly 802-681-8058 for questions or information.

Press Release: New Program Aimed at Reducing Crime and Drugs, While Improve Neighborhoods

April 15, 2015

Town Launches Program Aimed at Reducing Crime and Drugs, While Improve Neighborhoods

BENNINGTON – By definition the word ‘catalyst’ means to cause a change, and The Town of Bennington is hoping that’s exactly what its new program will do. Project Catalyst, established earlier this year, focuses on areas within the town of Bennington that have a history of crime, substance abuse and blight. Originally developed in response to the article that was published by the New York Times that highlighted the opiate problem in rural America, Project Catalyst, which was modeled after other regional outreach programs, combines community and municipal resources to positively impact neighborhoods and areas within the town.

Through a multi-pronged approach, the municipality and its partners, who include Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, United Counseling Services, the Vermont Department of Labor, the Vermont Department of Human Services, the local school system and other community organizations, have begun to combine efforts and resources in order to make measurable improvements within identified neighborhoods.

Focused on prevention, treatment and enforcement, Project Catalyst uses data collection as a way to identify at-risk areas within the community and then determines the appropriate response as a way to decrease crime, increase community participation, eliminate blight and provide much needed services to individuals battling addiction. For example, a particular street is identified as a focus area based on certain data, and through combined coordination, participating organizations create a plan for implementing a variety of programs. These could include infrastructure and safety improvements, community outreach programs, support services for landlords and renters, and an increased police presence.  “There is no silver bullet for combating decades worth of social norming, but we’re hoping this approach will become the catalyst for change in these areas,” said Town Manager Stuart Hurd.

In addition to specific neighborhood identification, Project Catalyst has a subcomponent aimed at empowering residents and improving collaboration with local police. Through the “EYES” Progam, which stands for Every Yard on Every Street, community members can now contact the police through an anonymous tip line (802-445-EYES)or by email to report suspicious activity.  “This is not meant to replace 911 for emergency situations, but hopefully encourages individuals to regularly and freely communicate with the Bennington Police Department.” said Bennington Chief of Police Paul Doucette. He went on to say that a major component of combating crime is the ability to rely on concerned citizens to share information whenever it is safe to do so.

Project Catalyst launch in January of 2015, and is currently working with partnering organizations to develop programs for its initial identified neighborhood. First steps will include a landlord meeting, resident survey and the implementation of an advisory council.




For more information contact:
Michael Harrington
Economic and Community Development Director