Free Covid-19 Test Kits Available

We encourage you to pick up free Covid Test kits while supplies last.

Test kits are available to the public at each of the following locations:

  • Town Office Lobby
  • Recreation Center Lobby
  • Senior Center Lobby

The expiration date for the test kits was extended by the manufacturer until January 31, 2023. To view documentation on the expiration extension, click here.

Fluorescent Bulbs to be Banned From Sale in VT in 2023

Mercury-containing Lightbulbs to be Banned from Sale in Vermont

This will apply to screw-based Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL) and Four Foot (4’) General-Purpose Linear Fluorescent Tubes

When will the ban on selling these lightbulbs in Vermont start?

  • Screw based – Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) Banned from sale starting February 17, 2023
  • General-purpose – Four Foot (4’) Linear Fluorescent Tubes Banned from sale starting January 1, 2024

Full details and alternative solutions to replace mercury-containing bulbs are provide here… download the full fact sheet.

USGS Seeks Help Monitoring Atmospheric Site at Bradford-Putnam Wetlands

Great opportunity for a retired person!

The U.S. Geological Survey is offering an opportunity for weekly operation of a National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) site located near Bennington, VT, and known by NADP Site ID “VT01”.

The position involves visiting the VT01 site every Tuesday morning to collect the weekly composite sample of precipitation obtained by a mechanical collector and ensuring that the automated precipitation gage is operating properly. CLICK TO VIEW DETAILS

The whole process takes less than an hour each week every Tuesday, not including driving time to the site. Even if it does not rain or snow, the bucket needs to be changed out and the data downloaded every Tuesday. Therefore, a backup operator is required to cover for life events and vacations. The operator may identify a backup operator.

Bennington County Regional Emergency Management Committee (REMC) meeting – Sept. 29

Please see the attached agenda for the upcoming Bennington County Regional Emergency Management Committee (REMC) meeting. This newly formed group has taken the place of the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEPC).

 

 

Willow Park Playgrounds Almost Done – But NOT YET!

Picture of playground under construction with the words "Almost Done... but NOT YET!"

The playgrounds at Willow Park are looking good and nearing completion, but they are not yet ready for use.

A big remaining piece is the installation of the poured-in-place rubber at the small playground and large playground pathways. We expect that to happen this week, and it is especially important that the playgrounds are not disturbed during this work. There will be contractor personnel on site overnight while the poured -in-place rubber cures.

Once that is done, we will see the final installation of swings, final landscaping and cleanup work, and then a safety inspection and certification public use.
We hope to announce a completion date very, VERY soon! We will celebrate the re-opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and we invite you all to join us when that happens.

WE REMAIN INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to our community who has been so very patient as this amazing renewal of the playgrounds take place.

Taxes Due November 10, 2022

Taxes are due by November 10, 2022, at 4:30 pm. Pay in person, by mail, using our secure drop box, or online.

Taxes are due November 10… here are some helpful tips!

By now you should have received your tax bill in the mail. If you have received a bill for a property you no longer own… please forward it to the new owner or let us know at the town office. If you have not received your bill, you can stop by or call the town office at 802-442-1037 and ask for the collections office. You can find more information on the town’s website at: https://benningtonvt.org/departments/collections/.

 

HOMESTEAD DECLARATION (Form HS-122)

Every property in Vermont is subject to education property taxes to pay for the state’s schools. Homeowners can file a HOMESTEAD DECLARATION which will reduce the tax on their homestead in Bennington and the parcel of land surrounding the dwelling, that is owned and occupied by the resident as the persons domicile. THIS MUST BE FILED EVERY YEAR in order to be eligible. The deadline for filing this without a penalty is in April. The penalty for late filing is 3%. YOU MUST file by October 17, 2022 in order to be eligible.

 

PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENT CLAIM (Form HI-144)

If you have a Homestead Declaration and you lived there for the entire year, have a household income of $136,900 or less, and were not claimed as a dependent by someone else then you are eligible for an adjustment to the amount of taxes you pay. This also has a deadline of April, but can be filed as late as October 17, 2022 with a penalty.

Questions regarding State Payments or Homestead Declaration should be directed to the State of Vermont.Property Tax Assistance – (Education Payment, Rebate, Homestead Declaration) Tel: 1-866-828-2865 (toll free in VT) or 802-828-2865 (local & out-of-state) Fax: 802-828-2720. The State Web site is https://tax.vermont.gov/

Town Pool Upgrade

Major overhaul of the town pool drain system replaces the original cast iron drain pipes that were badly degraded.

New floor drains replace the older wall drains. Repairs to the pool are expected to take about a month.

A major overhaul at Rec Center pool — just in time!

Timing is everything. The Town is working with the Carpenter Group and a number of local sub contractors to do a major overhaul of the drain system for the Town pool. And the timing could not be better… as feared, the existing drains were just about ready to fail, so making this fix now prevented what could have been catastrophic if left unattended.

Planning for redoing the drains has been in the works for a while and the end cost will be about $65,000. “The old wall drains were made of cast iron and really starting to degrade” says Mark Sawyer, Assistant Director of Facilities. “Moving the drains to the floor instead of the wall will be much safer and better for avoiding structural problems in the future.”

It’s a big job… removing old drains, concrete cutting through the floor and walls to the filter room, new drains and piping, then pressure testing, new concrete, re-tiling, and finally a special acid wash of everything in preparation of refilling the pool. The total time for completing the work is estimated to be about a month.

Willow Park Update

Work on the Willow Park Playgrounds continues!

The new fitness stations are installed, the pathways sub-base is installed on the lower playground, and the precast concrete curbing installation has started which will probably take the remainder of the week to complete.

Once the curbing is in place, then the “poured-in-place” rubber pathways will occur, followed by wood chip installation!
Barring weather issues, we are probably looking at a minimum of 2-3 weeks of work remaining.

New Electric Mower

New electric mower in use!

The town is now actively using its new electric Green Machine “Rival” mower around Bennington. This is part of the overall effort to both reduce the carbon footprint of the community and save money on fuel and maintenance at the same time.

The town is responsible for mowing a lot of lawns. “This seems to do really well in terms of battery use” notes Chris, who works on the Buildings and Grounds team. “I’ve already done the entire Epstein field and I’m still at 92%.”

One possible issue is how well it can handle thick, wet, grass. “We did have an issue with grass clumping up inside” notes Mark Sawyer, assistant director of Buildings and Grounds, “though we are not sure if it was due to it being a rear-discharge style mower versus a side discharge like the gas powered mowers.”

November Election Ballots Will Be Mailed

November Election Ballots Will Be Mailed

Early Absentee ballots will be automatically mailed to all active voters on the checklist for this November’s General Election. The mailing is completed by the Vermont Secretary of State usually later in September.

You do not need to call beforehand to be mailed the ballot. If you have not received your ballot by mid October, you can call the Town Clerk to request one.