Highway Photos

Proposed F.Y. ’22 Agencies Funding Allocations

Please find below the Proposed F.Y. ’22 Agencies Funding Allocations: Updated January 8, 2021

Proposed F.Y. ’22 Agencies Funding Allocations

Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice
BCRC
BPI
Bennington Free Library
BROC
J. McCullough Library
Paran Recreation
P.A.V.E.
R.S.V.P.
S.W.V.T. Council On Aging
Tutorial Center
V.C.I.L.
Bennington Free Clinic
Bennington Homeless Shelter
Bennington County Association Against Child Abuse
Sunrise Family Resource Center
Bennington Rescue Squad

Coronavirus Update

 

For Immediate Release

 

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Launches COVID-19 Hotline
Screening at Entry and Digital Information Session Aim to Increase Information and Awareness

 

BENNINGTON, VT—March 12, 2020—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), is continuously working to minimize the spread of COVID-19, while providing safe care for all patients. The most recent actions include the launch of a COVID-19 hotline and a respiratory etiquette check-in at the main entrance. 

 

“Proactive monitoring and protection efforts have made SVMC safe for those with appointments and procedures scheduled,” said Tom Dee, SVHC’s president and CEO. “We want our patients to feel confident that SVMC is open and ready to provide the care they need.”

 

Hotline

A COVID-19 information hotline is now available at 802-440-8844. The most commonly requested information is delivered via a recorded message, after which a representative answers between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays.

 

SVMC recommends primary care providers as the best source for individual guidance and information. The hotline offers support for primary care providers and ensures those who do not have a provider get the information and services they need.

 

“Everyone’s situation is a little bit different,” said Paula Johnson, director of Quality, Safety and Value at SVMC. “The aim of the hotline is to deliver the information that patients need in a customized and timely way. We hope this will empower community members to take actions that will help ensure their safety and limit the spread of the illness.”

 

Front Entrance Check-In

 


 

Patients and visitors to the hospital will now notice signage that directs them to the touch-free automatic door at the main entrance. Patients have the option to go immediately to the Emergency Department for care or stop at a respiratory etiquette check-in, where they will be greeted and asked whether they have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Those with symptoms are given a mask, and all are given a sticker with the date and which department or unit they are visiting. These efforts will allow clinical professionals to take the appropriate measures to ensure safety for all patients, visitors, and staff.

 

“If someone in the building has a cough or a fever, we need to know about it,” said Trey Dobson, MD, chief medical officer for SVMC. “These new screening measures ensure that we treat that person appropriately and minimize exposure to others.”

 

Visitors

The respiratory check-in is also provides an opportunity to reinforce the flu-season visitor policy, which recommends that those with symptoms of infectious disease (respiratory or gastrointestinal) wait until they are well to visit in person. In addition, visits are limited to those who are over the age of 18 and to no more than two per patient at a time. 

 

In addition, for the safety of patients and residents, the visitor policies at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, on SVMC’s Bennington Campus, and The Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Hoosick Falls have been updated to exclude all except medical visits.

 

“We know it is difficult to forego in-person visits with loved ones in our care,” said Suzanne Anair, who administrates both facilities. “But we trust that the families of our patients and residents will understand our desire to protect them from exposure to this potentially devastating illness.”

 

Digital Information Session

The hospital is partnering with the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Catamount Access Television (CAT-TV) to present an online lunch and learn session for area business members at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16. The session will feature SVHC’s President and CEO Tom Dee and SVMC’s Chief Medical Officer Trey Dobson, MD. Participants will be able to ask questions related to COVID-19. Chamber members and members of the public can access the session at www.facebook.com/CATTVbennington/.  It will air on CAT-TV and be posted to www.SouthwesternVermontChamber.com/lunchandlearn.

 

“We lean on the strength of our award-winning health care system to keep us informed and safe.  We appreciate all the hard work Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and our other healthcare members are doing during this crisis,” said Matt Harrington, executive director, Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “We hope this Lunch and Learn provides a regional perspective and good information to the many communities we serve.”

 

Drive-Up Testing

 

SVMC nurses conduct a drive-up test for COVID-19.

For patients who have a referral for COVID-19 testing from their primary care provider, SVMC offers drive-up testing. The service allows patients to remain in their cars. The process was initiated over the weekend to minimize potential viral exposure to other patients and staff for patients who do not need emergency care or monitoring. Clinical staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE), swab patients in their cars, and remind patients to practice self-isolation until results are known. Samples are sent to the Vermont lab for results, which typically arrive to the primary care provider within 96 hours. The State of Vermont is not charging for the test.

 

Dee continued, “We have an extraordinary team of professionals and dedicated community leaders all committed to ensuring, as best as we can, that this virus has as little impact as possible on the health of our communities. The situation is changing rapidly. We aim to keep everyone informed, so we can all work together in this important effort.” 

 

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your state’s department of health. Telephone numbers and other COVID-19 information, including frequently asked questions and helpful resources, are available at svhealthcare.org. The site is updated continuously.

 

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. For more information, visit svhealthcare.org.

 

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

 

Media Contact:

Ray Smith
Director of Marketing and Communications | Public Information Officer

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

(802) 447-50003

ray.smith@svhealthcare.org

 

Select Board Meeting – January 24, 2022

There will be a meeting of the Select Board on Monday, January 24, 2022.

The Select Board packet is available by clicking here.

Recycling Used Oil

In order to save on propane heating costs, the Town Highway Department building on Bowen Road uses a recycled oil heater.

Roughly 1500 gallons of old used oil has been recycled this year, and so far it’s resulted in 50% savings on propane. “It’s too early to determine how much the actual savings will be since it’s been a warmer than usual winter so far” notes assistant Department of Public Works director Larry Gates. “but in addition to saving us on propane, it’s saves us the expense of having to get rid of the used oil.”

It’s a common sense way to save money and reduces the environmental risks associated with transporting or storing used oil. DPW employee Tanner Gerity is shown here filling up the holding tank on the heater. The heater uses a blast tube style burner with heat exchanger and a high torque pump to maximize efficiency. Every tax dollar saved means one less tax dollar needed in the future.

Safety & Equity Task Force Meeting – Thursday, January 20, 4:30 pm

There will be a meeting of the Safety and Equity Task Force this Thursday, January 20, at 4:30 pm.

The meeting will be held in person (masks required) at the multi-purpose room located on the third floor of the Firehouse at 130 River Street in Bennington.

The agenda for the meeting, or to view additional materials and information, please visit the Safety and Equity Task Force web page.

New Dispatchers at the Police Department

11,000 phone calls a year… and that’s JUST for the police department!

That’s how many calls our dispatchers at the Bennington Police Department handled last year. But that is JUST THE START!

In addition to handling call for the Police, our dispatchers also field calls for two EMS agencies, seven fire departments, AND provide mutual aid services for nearby towns in New York. That’s a lot of calls.

We are pleased to welcome Corbin Dean and Zoe Nixon to the dispatcher team. Dean has recently finished his training and is now fully engaged on the night shift. “My prior experience in the Air Force was helpful in learning this new job” Dean notes “I’m happy to be here!”

Our dispatchers play a key role in public safety, making sure that people in need are connected to the services they require as quickly as possible. As a result, dispatchers are trained to be as succinct and brief in their phone interactions as possible! Simply put, it’s impossible for a dispatcher to spend 10-12 minutes on any single call without possibly endangering others who need assistance as well.

As someone calling the police, this is a great thing to remember! Try to explain your problem or concern as quickly as possible. Work with the dispatcher so they can get you the help you need, and PLEASE BE UNDERSTANDING if they appear to be be “short” with you… they are not being rude — they are doing their job how they have been trained.

“It’s a tough job, but I love it” says 10 year veteran dispatcher Kimberly Krawczyk, “Every day is different and I look forward to it.” Interestingly, call volume can be affected by the weather. “We tend to get less calls when it’s really cold or bad weather outside, with the exception of bad weather in the morning when people are heading to work,” Krawczyk explains. “We tend to get the most calls during nice weather in the summer.”

ARPA Funding Priorities

The Town seeks your input on 3.9 million in funding priorities!

The Town of Bennington is expected to receive a total of 3.9 million dollars in federal funding for projects as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). How the Town uses the funds can be transformational for our community and the Town is seeking input from community members to best determine those uses.

At the January 10th Select Board meeting, a public presentation will be made outlining the process for determining funding priorities along with an overview of ARPA, eligible funding uses, and to answer any questions regarding the process. This first meeting on January 10 is to discuss the process only. The merits of individual projects and where they fall in the list of priorities for ARPA funding will be discussed at the following Select Board meeting on January 24.

An initial draft list of suggested priorities for economic development and Town infrastructure and operations has been created by the Town of Bennington Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee — a Select Board sub-committee and Town of Bennington, BCRC and BBC staff — with consultation by economic development consultants White and Burke and the Bennington Department of Health. These lists are broken down into “tiers” where the first tier of projects best aligns with a combination of available funds, including ARPA eligibility, time for project completion, a clear role for the Town, and the existence of necessary partners for moving forward. Subsequent tiers do not reflect any judgement on the merits of the projects themselves, but rather a lack of some or all of the aforementioned criteria. This draft list is available for review on the Town website at: https://benningtonvt.org/arpa-priorities/

Is there a lower tier project that you might know about that is farther along than the committee knows? Are there possible partners to move a project forward that the committee is unaware of? (For example: a tier two project is a Downtown Hardware Store. Do you know someone who formerly owned or ran a hardware store who dreams of opening a hardware store here? If the Town had a partner ready to move on a project, that could elevate it to a tier one project.) Are there feasible projects that were missed?

The Town is asking for your input on the priorities for using the ARPA funds. Public comment will be taken between January 10 and January 21 in preparation for the Select Board meeting on January 24th when the projects will be discussed. A public comment form is available on the town website at https://benningtonvt.org/arpa-priorities/ or you can mail comments or drop them off at the Town Office. The public will have the opportunity to make additional comments, if they choose, at the meeting on the 24th. The Select Board strongly urges the public to provide written comments in advance as written comments are by far the most effective and efficient way for the public to provide meaningful input.

It is important to note that the initial priority list will need to be flexible. Final ARPA guidelines may change, new ideas from the public may emerge, problems with initial priority projects may appear that make them no longer feasible. The result of this process is an initial list of priority projects to start working on and pursuing… not necessarily the final list. A vote on the initial list of priorities will be made after the discussion on January 24 so that Town staff can begin that work.

PUBLIC COMMENT – ARPA Funding Priorities

We want your input!

What infrastructure or projects should the Town prioritize? Please visit our ARPA Priorities page to comment on the proposed draft priority list, review all the documents related to ARPA funds and eligibility. We very much appreciate and welcome your input!

 

 

time to renew your dog licenses

Time to Renew your Dog Licenses

time to renew your dog licenses

2022 Dog licenses are now available at the Bennington Town Clerk’s Office at 205 South Street.

The Clerk’s office is open Monday to Friday, from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. Please bring a current rabies vaccination certificate signed by your vet.

The cost for a dog license is $9 if spayed/altered, and $13 if intact.

All dogs must be licensed by April 1st, 2022. Give us a call if you have any questions! 802-442-1043

Historic Preservation Commission Meeting – January 11, 2022

There will be a meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

The Historic Preservation Commission Agenda is available by clicking here.

Keeper of all things Election Related

Our town clerk is the keeper of all things election related!

This includes securing and storing the ballots after they have been counted. For State and Federal elections, those ballots are stored for 22 months. For local elections the ballots are stored for 90 days.

The ballots are secured in the Town records vault. Each bag of ballots is dated and secured with a numbered tamper-proof lock. The lock numbers are recorded with the state. Each step of the process is designed to ensure that ballots are properly stored and secured.

For example, the ballots shown in this image will be disposed of this coming September. The detail shows the date and tamper proof lock.

This week the ballots from the 2020 Presidential Primary reached their end date for storage. The end result? We recycle them!

Town Website Re-Design Request for Proposal

The Town of Bennington is looking to do a complete re-design of our website.

The Town uses it’s web presence to provide information about the town, access to town services, and for outreach to citizens. Currently this information is spread between three distinct websites, which will be combined as part of this redesign to improve ease of access to information and to achieve a unified overall look.

To download the Request for Proposal (Quote), please visit:
https://benningtonvt.org/website-rfp/