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Photo by Jon Olender  

Season’s last stand

A willow tree on the pond at Greenrange Farm along Sawyer Needham Road in Sudbury was just about the only color left of the fall foliage last Friday after the Oct. 31 wind and rainstorm.

Youth hunters encouraged to report deer at biological check stations

MONTPELIER — Youth deer hunting weekend begins Saturday. Young hunters are encouraged to report their deer at one of the state’s 23 biological reporting stations, where extra data on the harvested animals is collected.

“We encourage hunters to bring their deer to one of these biological reporting stations so they can contribute to deer management in Vermont,” said Fish & Wildlife Department Deer Project Leader, Nick Fortin, in a release. “Examining deer during the youth deer hunting weekend is our best opportunity to assess the deer herd because youth hunters are allowed to harvest any deer, including spike bucks. Biologists will be able to collect data on age, weight and antler development to help guide future deer management decisions.”

Youth hunters who check their deer in at one of these stations will get a 2019 Vermont Hunter Cooperator Patch.

The youth weekend is open to residents and nonresidents who are 15 and younger, who’ve completed a hunter education course, and purchased a hunting license with free youth deer tag. Youth hunters need to be with an unarmed adult who holds a Vermont hunting license. One adult can be with two youth, and they have to be able to see and communicate with the youth without artificial aids. Landowner permission is also required. Youth can take a deer of either sex, antler restrictions don’t apply.

The local biological check stations are:

 - Grant’s Village Store, 8 East St., Middletown Springs

 - Singleton’s Store, 356 Main St., Proctorsville

 - R&L Archery, 70 Smith St., Barre

 - Keith’s Country Store Inc., 4085, Route 7, Pittsford

 - Buxton’s Country Store, 499 Main St., Orwell

Second Vt. Marble Co. building
Water bill reduction for second Marble Co. building

PROCTOR — The second former Vermont Marble Co. building has had its water bill lowered because no one is currently in it.

John Casella II, owner of 39 Main St., approached the Select Board at its Oct. 28 meeting to ask it to lower the number of “EUs” the building is rated for.

Water and sewer customers in Proctor are billed a flat rate depending on how many “EUs” their properties are rated for. One EU, or “equivalent use” is equal to a single residence.

“We were assessed a water charge for seven units and the building is not currently operational, so the water is turned off in the building and has been turned off all year,” Casella said. “So the charge of $6,440, we’re hoping to have abated, and we’re also asking for consideration of a reduction of the units to zero until the building is redeveloped.”

Casella bought 39 Main St. at auction in the fall of last year. It had been owned by College of St. Joseph, which got it through donation from Omya in 2014, along with the much larger 61 Main St, which was also auctioned off. Both buildings used to be part of the former Vermont Marble Co. The building at 61 Main St. was auctioned off twice, after the first buyer didn’t complete the sale. The current owners, the New Vermont Marble Co., plan to have tenants related to the hemp industry in there by winter.

The owners of 61 Main St. approached the Select Board earlier in October and asked that its 10 EUs be lowered to two. The board agreed and granted the request, planning to revisit the issue when the building is more heavily occupied.

Selectwoman Judy Frazier wanted to know what Casella’s plans are for 39 Main St. and how long it might be before it’s redeveloped.

“Good question,” said Casella. “At this point, we don’t really have a deadline or even really a tentative plan.”

He said he was considering using the building for something related to the hemp industry, but that’s not looking doable right now. “... so I think redevelopment would be a function of potentially residential/mixed-use commercial, but we don’t have a solid plan to even talk about today.”

While he asked for the rate to be lowered to zero EUs, Casella said he’d be fine with it being one. It had been assessed at seven EUs.

“We certainly don’t have a problem with one unit and supporting the ability to tie in, recognizing the fact that there is water available to us, so we would certainly consider that as well, even though it doesn’t state that in the letter I wrote,” he said.

The board voted unanimously to grant Casella’s request for the building. Casella said he does plan to use the building because keeping it incurs water bills, taxes and the like.