Archives for September 2015

Bennington Select Board: October 5, 2015 Meeting Agenda

M E E T I N G   N O T I C E
  Monday, October 5, 2015
Bennington Town Offices – Conference Room
205 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201

  A G E N D A

  6:00 P.M.

  1. Town Plan Public Hearing
  2. Other Business



Bennington Select Board: October 6, 2015 Meeting Agenda

M E E T I N G   N O T I C E
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Bennington Town Offices – Conference Room
205 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201


6:00 P.M.

1. Town Plan Public Hearing
2. Other Business


Bennington’s 2015 Employer Climate Survey Data Is In!

Click the links below to view the data from the first Employer Climate Survey conducted by the Town of Bennington. This information was presented to the Select Board on Monday, September 14, 2015 for an initial viewing, and will go back before the board on September 28, 2015 for a decision on what the next steps will be.

Public Meeting: Regional Energy Planning – September 30, 2015

September 30, 2015
Bennington Museum

The Bennington County Regional Commission is working with the Public Service Department and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) to develop a plan based on Vermont’s energy goal of obtaining 90% of its energy across all sectors—transportation, space heating and cooling, and electricity—from renewable sources by 2050.

BCRC will be holding two initial meetings (one in the Northshire and one in the Southshire) to present background information on the project, discuss analysis of renewable energy potential in our region, and solicit public input on the siting of new renewable energy projects.

View the poster HERE

Bennington Select Board: September 28, 2015 Meeting Agenda

 M E E T I N G   N O T I C E
Monday, September 28, 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. Consent Agenda (6:05 PM – 6:10 PM)
    1. Minutes – September 14, 2015
    2. Warrants
  3. Citizens (15 Minutes Maximum)(6:10 PM – 6:25 PM)
  4. Four Corners North Presentation (6:25 PM – 6:45 PM)
  5. Benn Hi Update (6:45 PM – 7:00 PM)
  6. Business Survey (1st Look) 7:00 PM – 7:20 PM)
  7. Transportation Alternative Grant
    1. Benmont Avenue (7:20 PM – 7:30 PM)
  8. Bike/Ped Implementation Plan Update (7:30 PM – 7:40 PM)
  9. Manager’s Report (7:40 PM – 7:45 PM)
  10. Other Business (7:45 PM – 8:00 PM)







Press Release: Bennington Receives Million Dollar Grant for Pathway Project

September 22, 2015

 Bennington Secures $1.1 Million Grant For Bike Path Construction

BENNINGTON, VERMONT (September 22, 2015, 1:00PM) – Local community members and businesses have spent the past three years working to construct a 2.12 mile shared-use recreational path that would run along the Walloomsac River, connecting Bennington’s urban core to the village of North Bennington. Now with some help from a federal grant, it looks like the completion of a major portion of this project is in sight.

In an award letter from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager Jon Kaplan announced the successful application as part of the State’s 2015 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, with an award amount of $1,108,000, which includes a local share of 10% being borne by the Town. The local match as it’s called, can be in the form of direct cash or in-kind service (i.e. materials and/or labor).

The entire project, known as the Ninja Path, would create a clearly marked, multi-use, pathway that would link the villages of Bennington and North Bennas;ljdfington through a series of on and off road connections. The portion of the path receiving funding however, has not been without its challenges. This is because the pathway, as presented, would run behind the Walmart/Price Chopper shopping plaza, along the river, cross under the Rt 279 overpass and continue behind the Hannaford shopping center. At this point, it would cross a shallow section of the river, as well as Rt 67 before entering Bennington College, which leads to North Bennington. Dan Monks, Bennington’s Planning Director and Assistant Town Manager, shared his excitement for the project, “We feel this will be a major boost to our trail network in town, and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on pedestrian access and recreational opportunities for people with many interests.”

The Bennington Select Board voted in July of 2015 to support an application to the State’s ‘Bike/Ped Program,’ which also funded the scoping study for this project back in the spring. According to Michael Harrington, Bennington’s Economic and Community Development Director, recreation is one of the leading aspects sought after by young professionals and tourists alike. “It’s something we locals take for granted at times, but access to the outdoors and recreational opportunities are what set communities apart. This project will pay dividends for Bennington,” he commented.

Due to the complex nature of the state and federal implementation grants, coupled with the need for engineering and design work, it is likely that final construction of the Ninja Path will not be completed for at least four years. In the interim, the Town will continue to work on constructing portions of the project to ensure that the pathway is open and accessible, and that final completion happens as soon as possible.



For more information about this press release:

Michael Harrington
Economic and Community Development Director

Public Works Project List – (September 21 – September 25)

Town of Bennington Project List

Week of September 21 – September 25, 2015

Water Department

Monday-Water Crews will be making a water service repair on Shawmut Street near the dead end portion of the street. Local traffic will be accommodated.

Tuesday-Water Crews will be making water line repairs on Baker Drive. Local traffic will be accommodated. 

Highway Department

Monday – Friday

Highway crews will be working on Pleasant Street preparing for the installation of concrete curbing.

A highway crew will be repairing blacktop at numerous water repair digs throughout town.

Road side mowing will be taking place in the South East end of town, please use caution when you see this vehicle mowing the roads as it darts in and out of traffic in order to mow around obstacles.

A highway crew will continue the River Road bank stabilization project, the road will be closed to all through traffic until further notice, please take alternate routes for at least 4 weeks.

 All Work will be dependent on weather conditions.

Please use caution when entering a construction zone,

men and equipment will be in the traveled portion of the road.


Residents and Contractors – Please make sure all loads are covered when taking leaves and or brush to the transfer station.


Town Manager’s Column: All About Town (September 2015)


Stuart A. Hurd, Town Manager

At its September 14 meeting, the Select Board moved to adopt the revised Town Plan provided that the Johnson Controls site is reclassified from Industrial to Planned Commercial. The vote passed thus requiring two more public hearings because the change in the land use plan is considered significant. Those hearings are scheduled for October 5 and 6, 2015. I expect that the hearings will be short and sweet and the Plan adopted before the October 9th deadline. The long running disagreement over the classification of the former Johnson Controls property is over for the time being, unless the Plan is challenged by petition. Despite claims to the contrary, there is much work ahead before any development can occur there. Time will tell.

The Select Board’s counsel has filed the necessary legal brief outlining why the Chelsea and Apple Hill solar projects will cause an undue adverse impact on the surroundings. New laws enacted by the Legislature in 2015 require additional setbacks and screening for these projects, but the approvals continue to rest with the Public Service Board (PSB), not municipalities. I have not had the first hand dealings with the developers of these projects that many residents of Apple Hill claim were arrogant and heavy-handed. The Select Board did not involve the developers in its deliberations of the plans. In my opinion, and with all due respect, my review of the submissions indicates that these are well-positioned projects, most likely meeting the new legislation for screening and setbacks, and not located on prime agricultural land as many other projects have been. The size of the combined projects gives cause for concern, but that issue has been decided by the Vermont Supreme Court. I suspect the Town’s efforts may achieve additional screening and other improvements, but I doubt the projects will be denied. In the meantime, additional solar projects are planned for the west end and south of town on lands of the Sheriff’s Department. There may be others coming as well. The Select Board has asked the staff to develop an ordinance which will attempt to insure that future projects are well-screened. This ordinance “shall not be more restrictive than screening requirements applied to commercial development in the municipality”. ((T.24VSA section 4414(15) A.)

I hope you all have been reading and listening to the various local school board discussions about the impacts of Act 46, the consolidation of local schools act (my title). There is an opportunity to reduce the local education tax rate by as much as $0.10, or $100 in taxes on a $100,000 home. In year two, that potential rate decrease drops to $0.08. It continues to decline over a five year period. There are issues about capped per pupil spending that cause concern. So far, the discussions have led to establishing a committee of individual board members to collectively seek ways to comply with, or show compliance with, the new law. In two recent instances, individual board members seemed to indicate that true consolidation will not happen. The best we can hope for is to prove that we are sufficiently consolidated to comply with the law. I find it hard to understand why local board members see consolidation in such a bad light. There are ways to protect local schools from closing. In fact, consolidation would enhance the District’s ability to fully utilize the current facilities, potentially improve school choice within the District, improve individual school populations reducing, or stabilizing, per student costs across the board, enhance the use of current staff positions throughout the District, and provide one representative school board to oversee the operations of all schools in concert with the superintendent’s office.

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.


Bennington Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day – Oct 3, 2015


Bennington Transfer Station
904 Houghten Lane
October 3, 2015
8am – 1pm

FREE For Residents Of Participating Towns

Bennington HHW Flyer Poster October 2015


NOTICE: Oral Health Commission Established – Applicants Wanted

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2015



The Town of Bennington established the Oral Health Commission effective September 14, 2015.  Its purpose is to assist the Town of Bennington’s ongoing effort to address the health and wellbeing of its citizens with special emphasis on promoting their improved oral health by designating a commission to act in an advisory capacity to the Select Board.  Bennington residents interested in these positions must submit a letter of interest for the position to the Bennington Select Board and send it to the Town Manager=s Office, 205 South Street, P.O. Box 469, Bennington, Vermont 05201, no later than noon on Monday, September 21, 2015.

ORAL HEALTH COMMISSION –Members of the Commission shall serve for three years upon their appointment by the Select Board.  However, the first Commission appointed shall have one-third (1/3) of its members appointed to three (3) year terms, one-third (1/3) to two (2) year terms, and one-third (1/3) to one (1) year terms so that no more than one-third (1/3) of the Commission shall be reappointed in any one year. Notwithstanding the above no member may serve more than two full three year terms.

                                                        Term Expires

2 POSITIONS OPEN                         9/18

2 POSITIONS OPEN                         9/17

2 POSITIONS OPEN                         9/16