Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No extra school budget votes this Town Meeting

We won't have to vote three times on the school budget next town meeting, reports the Addison Independent.  It's an Act 82 thing:

Turns out Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) office made an error in its initial calculations, which indicated the Ripton spending plan would trigger two votes under Vermont’s Act 82. That law requires school districts to limit budget increases to the rate of inflation, plus 1 percent. Districts that fail to do so must hold one vote on the portion of the budget that falls under inflation plus 1 percent, and then a separate vote on the portion that exceeds that amount. With that in mind, Ripton was preparing to warn two votes — one for $758,245, and another for $17,115, the amount thought to exceed the Act 82 limit.
But ACSU interim Superintendent Gail Conley reported on Thursday that the original budget number distributed by the district and reported in the story did not reflect expenses — such as special education costs — that districts are allowed to deduct from the Act 82 formula. As a result, the $775,360 budget in fact falls under the Act 82 threshold and will not require two votes, he said.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ripton local hero

Riptonite Bill McKibben gets profiled by the Boston Globe.

The man who crushed the Keystone XL pipeline
Tall and stooped, intensely wonky and hopelessly earnest, the 51-year-old McKibben is an unlikely candidate for celebrity. Yet over the past few years he has emerged as the new superstar of the environmental movement. And to many environmentalists – like Al Gore, who in an e-mail praises McKibben for “his passion, his sincerity and his depth of knowledge” – McKibben offers the brightest hope for their future.
Bravo, Bill!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PACE meeting at Ripton school next week

An informational meeting is coming up on an important Ripton initiative:

Why: PACE will be voted on at Town Meeting

When: informational meeting -Tues, Jan. 17, 7-8:30 pm

Where: Ripton School gym

Who: Ripton’s Selectboard and Energy Coordinator hope

everyone will attend

What’s PACE? – Property Assessed Clean Energy - a way

for individuals to pay for energy efficiency or renewable energy

improvements provided by qualified, licensed contractors with longer

repayment terms than bank loans. It’s organized through Efficiency


Why will it be voted on at Town Meeting? Although it costs

the town nothing and there is no risk, the legislation enabling PACE

requires the Town to approve becoming a PACE district at Town


How does PACE work? In a nutshell, an interested homeowner

makes a contract with the town and the town pays a licensed

contractor for the approved energy improvements. The town puts

a lien on that taxpayer’s property which is paid off over 10-20 years

(or sooner) with the tax bill. The lien stays with the property if the

property is sold.

For the full details, come to the meeting on the 17th. There’s

also fact sheets at the Town Office and on the Town’s website

www.riptonvt ---- or at Efficiency VT at

(thanks to Warren King)

A death in Ripton

A hitchhiker died in our town this week.  Quoting the Burlington Free Press,
Duclos had been reported as an overdue hiker Monday evening. He was described as an experienced hiker who had planned to embark on a 12-mile hike Monday afternoon, [Detective Sgt. Robert] Patten said.
Police began searching for Duclos shortly after daybreak Tuesday. Duclos was found dead about three miles from the trailhead.
Detective Sgt. Robert Patten said it appears Duclos may have broken his leg while hiking, immobilizing him in wintry weather.
Sympathies to his family and friends.